Saturday, 29 April 2017

Golden Age Films on Nuclear Energy Fears

In my series on the history of science fiction, I am looking at films made in the Golden Age. Some films played on the fear of nuclear energy and the power it had to mutate: It Came From Beneath the Sea (1955), The Amazing Colossal Man (1957), The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957), The Fly (1958), and the most enduring, Godzilla (1954) from Japan.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

11 Things I Learned in Malta about Writing - 8 Build Watchtowers

On a 2014 holiday in Malta I saw many things that could help me with my writing. I will be sharing one each week. Here is point 8 I learned:

Build watchtowers
2014-09-12 11.34.39The Knights of Malta built watchtowers on every headland. In the days before radio or telephones, the first tower to spot invaders would light a beacon fire on top of the tower. The towers either side would see the blaze and light theirs. It is estimated that the news reached the capital Valletta in ten minutes.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Golden Age Alien Films

In my history of science fiction we have reached what is known as the Golden Age of Science Fiction, and are looking at the films. Alien films increased in popularity, like Robert Wise's The Day the Earth Stood Still, and Howard Hawks' The Thing from Another World (both 1951).

Forbidden Planet (1956) was the first big-budget feature film set entirely in space, and paved the way for the Star Trek TV series in the sixties. It included the most famous robot, Robby. William Shatner, who played Captain James T Kirk in Star Trek, says that science fiction “appeals to a mythological need in people.” Forbidden Planet also had the first all-electronic music score.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

11 Things I Learned in Malta about Writing - 7 There’s Always a Way Up the Hill

On a 2014 holiday in Malta I saw many things that could help me with my writing. I will be sharing one each week. Here is point 7 I learned:

There’s always a way up the hill
2014-09-11 16.43.20

Malta has no mountains but is a series of steep hills. The roads don’t all go round the hills. The Maltese like to build their amazing churches on top of hills, and they have been invaded so many times that they have fortified cities on high places too. They have found ways to build roads to them, some very creative.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Golden Age Science Fiction Films

In the Golden Age of science fiction films came into their own. Many films were low-budget B-movies, but there were a significant number of successful films with big budgets and impressive special effects.

Producer George Pal created Destination Moon (1950), When Worlds Collide (1951), The War of the Worlds (1953), and The Time Machine (1960), all of which won an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects, which demonstrated the increased technical excellence and critical recognition of the genre.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

11 Things I Learned in Malta about Writing - 6 Rules are Made to be Broken

On a 2014 holiday in Malta I saw many things that could help me with my writing. I will be sharing one each week. Here is point 6 I learned:

Rules are made to be broken
Valletta

Valletta


Saturday, 8 April 2017

Arthur C Clarke’s Best Books

In my series on the History of Science Fiction, I’ve reached Arthur C Clarke. I wrote about him two weeks ago, and about his most famous book, 2001: A Space Odyssey, last week. This week I wanted to highlight his best books, so I went to Google and asked the question. I ended up at Ranker and Goodreads who mainly agreed on the best books.



2001: A Space Odyssey comes top of every list, but the sequels are not rated as highly by many people.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

11 Things I Learned in Malta about Writing – 5 When it Doesn't Work, Tear it Down, But Then Build it Better

On a 2014 holiday in Malta I saw many things that could help me with my writing. I will be sharing one each week. Here is point 5 I learned:

When it doesn’t work, tear it down, but then build it better

2014-09-17 12.15.53
Everywhere you go on the coast you see buildings derelict, being torn down or rebuilt. We asked a tour guide about it and he told us that city-dwellers have houses on the coast to escape to in the summer. When the children are grown the house is no longer suitable, so they tear it down and rebuild it as apartments so the children can use them for their families. Much as we love our stories, sometimes they just don’t work. Have the courage to tear them apart to make them better.

Sunday, 2 April 2017

2001: A Space Odyssey

In my History of Science Fiction I wrote last week about Arthur C Clarke. He was one of the giants of the genre, but best known for his involvement in the film 2001: A Space Odyssey.

2001: A Space Odyssey is a 1968 epic science-fiction film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick. The screenplay was written by Kubrick and Arthur C Clarke, partially inspired by Clarke's short story The Sentinel. Clarke concurrently wrote the novel 2001: A Space Odyssey, published soon after the film was released.