HBO find: 9

I love rummaging around all the different entertainment providers to find great films and shows I may have missed when they first debuted. This was the case with 9, the epic fantasy tucked into HBO’s movie section.

This animated film premiered in 2009 and was celebrated for its steam punk visuals and imaginative world. It explores the common trope of man vs. the rise of machines.

I watched this with my husband who, like myself, was first drawn to the crisp animation work. But we soon learned the action dominating the first act would carry through to the end.

If you love adrenaline-inducing movies this film is right up your alley. My husband was on the edge of the seat. But I would have preferred more character development around the nine doll-like creations who are navigating a post apocalyptic world and trying to discover their true meaning.

Either way it was very enjoyable and had an ending neither of us saw coming.

-PNJ

Oscar Nominated Short Film The World of Tomorrow Gets Sequel

The World of Tomorrow is my favorite science fiction short film. Now, it’s getting a sequel!

When you have 15 minutes to spare, catch it on Netflix. The story follows a young girl Emily Prime as she’s visited by a third-generation clone of herself. The clone proceeds to tell her about her own future through relived memories. What you find is ethereal animated short that’s light-handed with prose yet profound in its overall message.

The World of Tomorrow is something you must experience on your own, with an open mind and no disruptions. It makes you ponder how the choices of the future will impact society and whether ia wealth of advancements can truly safeguard the human race.

The film, by Don Hertzfeldt, was nominated for an Oscar in 2016. With other great works in his repertoire, such as It’s a Beautiful Day, it’s clear the forthcoming sequel titled The Burden of Other People’s Thoughts will likely join the ranks of his esteemed films.

Science Fiction Series: The Internet of Things

Some of my favorite science fiction books aren’t the most outlandish or far fetched. Instead of reimagining an entire world thousands of years into the future, they look at technology on the rise and hypothesis what’s coming next.

Science fiction books dealing with the Internet of Things (IoT) do just that.

What is the Internet of Things?
This term isn’t very well known. It’s passed around in tech circles to describe the interconnectedness of the world. When every aspect of your life, from your bed, car, fridge, clothes and hair products are connected to the internet, they’re able to share information easily. What’s done with that information is the crux of this concept.

As with all other technological advancements, the goal is to simplify life, save businesses money with increased efficiency and make it easier for people to buy goods.

When it comes to the science fiction world, writers have been tackling this subject for awhile. Here are some of the most notable novels on the Internet of Things.

Ubik by Philip K. DickUbik by Philip K. Dick (1969)

“Ubik is ‘about’ lots of things – cryonics, immersion, memory and the illusion of reality – but the stand-out passage that speaks most closely to today’s tech occurs when the protagonist tries to get in to his connected home, which won’t let him do anything until he’s paid the bills for his IoT subscriptions.”—Sarah Housley in WGSN InsiderHeavy Weather by Bruce Sterling

Heavy Weather by Bruce Sterling (1994)

“It’s also a world of networked devices and smart machines that are so complex, they’re impossible to debug, a picture of a complex and near unknowable Internet of Things that’s there to be hacked and explored.”—Simon Bisson in ZD Net

Rainbows End by Vernor VingeRainbows End by Vernor Vinge (1944)

“San Diego, 2025 or thereabouts, a city much like today, but transformed under the skin by ubiquitous computing, wearable devices, and augmented reality.”—Simon Bisson in ZD Net