Saturday, February 09, 2008

Biology in Science Fiction Roundup: February 9 Edition

Some biology in science fiction bits from around the internets:

Times Online lists The Top 10 modern sci-fi movie clich├ęs, starting with "A virus has decimated the population . . . " (via SF Signal)

As quoted in the latest edition of Ansible:
History looks more and more like a science-fiction novel in which mutants repeatedly arose and displaced normal humans -- sometimes quietly, by surviving starvation and disease better, other times as a conquering horde' (Gregory Cochran, co-author of a paper on human evolution, quoted in Newsweek , 19 January)
David Hughes, editor at Electric Spec, reviews Nancy Kress's Beggars in Spain, including how well the science holds up 15 years after its original publication.
I'm afraid that Kress didn't get it right in terms of how much genetic science (among other things) would develop. (If fact, there's one point where smoking is referred to as an "archaic" habit. If only we'd come that far!).
Wil McCarthy's Lab Notes column in Sci Fi Weekly takes a look at the science of the Cloverfield monster

Adam Weiner, author of Don't Try This at Home! The Physics of Hollywood Movies looks at the science of superheroes for Popular Science. It is mostly about physics, naturally, but there are also bits on the physiology of The Hulk and the improbability that The Torch has intact DNA.

A special edition of GATTACA will be released March 11.

BoingBoing TV presents Codehunters, a short anime by Ben Hibon. There are demons and death and DNA:
Since Khaan came into power his supremacy had been challenged by a single dissenter, a man named Krai. This man was a renowned “Coder”; one of the last survivors of a supreme race possessing the ability to manipulate DNA, the code of life. Krai was the only person with the power to challenge Khaan’s rule of terror. As his wrath turned against Khaan, Krai became the people’s hero, a symbol of rebellion and freedom.

io9 determines which giant monster is tallest - Cloverfield monster? King Kong? Godzilla? Kroll? Read it to find out.

In the New York Times Paper Cuts blog, Dave Itzkoff lets actor/comedian Bill Hader review his favorite science fiction and horror novels. (via the Dizzies)
I was reading an interview with Alex Garland about “28 Days Later,” where he said: This is basically me ripping off this book I read when I was a kid, called “Day of the Triffids.” I found it in a used-book store in L.A., called the Iliad, and from the first chapter alone I was hooked. It is a lot like “28 Days Later” – a guy wakes up in a hospital and there’s no one in there, and all of London is vacant. But instead of turning into zombies, everyone in London is now blind, because they were watching an asteroid shower. They figure out that he can see, so he’s being chased by all these blind people. Think about if everyone in New York lost their sight, and you were the one guy who could still see, and people figured it out. It’s just such a terrifying image. And then the plants show up. Just to add another layer, there are plants that whip out and destroy you. After I read “Day of the Triffids,” I read “The Ruins,” a Scott Smith book that’s also about killer plants. Now I’m afraid of plants
You can win a copy of Edward Willett's new novel Marseguro. From the cover blurb:

Marseguro, a water world far distant from Earth, is home to a small colony of unmodified humans known as landlings and to the Selkies, a water-dwelling race created by geneticist Victor Hansen from modified human DNA. For seventy years the Selkies and the unmodified landlings have dwelled together in peace, safe from pursuit by the current theocratic rulers of Earth–a group intent on maintaining human genetic and religious purity.

Then landling Chris Keating, a misfit on any world, seeks personal revenge on Emily Wood and her fellow Selkies by activating a distress beacon taken from the remains of the original colony ship. When the Earth forces capture the signal and pinpoint its origin, a strike force, with Victor Hansen’s own grandson Richard aboard, is sent to eradicate this abomination.

Yet Marseguro will not prove as easy to conquer as the Earth force anticipates. And what Richard Hansen discovers may alter not only his own destiny but that of Marseguro and Earth as well…

Find out how to win a copy and read sample chapters.

Finally, to get yourself a weekly fix of cool free fiction, head over to Tor and sign up for their mailing list.
The first week's free book is Mistborn, by rising fantasy star Brandon Sanderson. Next week's will be Old Man's War by John Scalzi, 2006's winner of the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. Over the next several weeks, other books still.

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1 comment:

Old Bogus said...

But if The Torch had become a silicon based life form . . .