Category: scifi

There is incredibly little information available about the 1979 aborted adaptation of Lloyd Biggle Jr.’s 1961 novel, “Monument,” except for a 1979 article in Starlog with some set photographs and concept art. 

The book is a classic, about an old space bum who crashes on an idyllic, Polynesia-like planet, and who leaves a plan behind for the primitive inhabitants to use knowledge of bureaucracy and other tactics to prevent their planet from becoming a resort, and ensuring they own it forever. The film adaptation stalled, despite having a cast, locations, and even monster costumes, when the producer unexpectedly died. 

If it had been made, it would probably have changed science fiction films as it was a very smart, sophisticated film at a time when that kind of scifi movie wasn’t made often. 

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Gil Kane’s Star Hawks, a daily comic strip published in 1977, after the pop culture defining hit of Star Wars. 

People who only know the newspaper comic strip as just fuddy duddy jokes might want to look how cool and prestigious some of the old adventure and romance strips were.

This week is the 100th Anniversary of the publication of maybe my favorite pulp-era fantasy novel, A. Merritt’s Moon Pool, and I’m not alone: the creator of Dungeons and Dragons, Gary Gygax, said that the Moon Pool was his favorite fantasy novel and A. Merritt his favorite novelist.

So many stories from this era are borderline unreadable, but Moon Pool is intensely readable and modern. Ghostly, weird, it blurred the line between horror, science fiction, fantasy, and lost race stories at a time when these genre categories were much more porous and fluid than they are now. There was no scifi yet in the fixed form we’d know, certainly no fantasy, no horror – just an amorphous kind of story called “weird fiction.” It made me want to look into the real-life setting of the story, the weird, mysterious Nan Madol ruins on the Melanesian island of Pohnape. 

Esteban Maroto.

Michael Whelan.

Flandry of Terra, read this series if you can. It’s about a spy in the future, James Bond in space, who wins through clever schemes.