There is a long history of bands integrating sci-fi theatrics into their music and stage shows, from Pink Floyd to Devo. However, few bands do it with as much obvious excitement as The Aquabats, a band of superheroic proportions with a mission to battle evil through their music. If you ever accidentally wander into a venue where they’re playing, you’ll know ittheir brightly-colored spandex costumes are hard to miss.Consistent with the band’s image, they have their own origin story. The members originally hail from the island of Aquabania, where they lived in concert with humanoid bat monsters. This utopian existence was ended when Space Monster “M” attacked. Escaping from the island, they were rejuvenated by a mad scientist’s potent potions, gained superpowers, and devoted themselves to one day amassing enough fans to return to their home and defeat Space Monster “M.” Read all »
William Shatner certainly has a checkered career. For every success like playing Captain Kirk in the Star Trek franchise, there’s a questionable entry like the 1968 album The Transformed Man, a horribly-compelling mash-up of spoken word, classic poetry, and popular songs of the 60s.However, sci-fi has usually proven a comfortable fit for Shatner, whether in front of the camera or holding the pen. He’s composed a number of Star Trek novels, the Tek-War series, and The Quest for Tomorrow series. Now, Shatner is taking the interesting step of converting his franchises into comics. Read all »
Robots were first envisioned as humanity’s servants, but who would have thought that so many would capture our hearts and minds? If any robots are reading this and plan on taking over the world, you could do worse than emulating these hard-wired heroes.10. Gort (The Day the Earth Stood Still): This mechanical marvel wowed audiences in 1951 as the companion of Klaatu, the alien visitor who comes to Earth to offer them a way out of their nuclear arms race. According to Klaatu, “there’s no limit” to what this hulking robot can do.9. T-800 (The Terminator series): Arnold Schwarzenneger’s iconic turn as “The Terminator” demonstrated a perfect killing machine that, in the 2nd and 3rd films, could turn into a protective father as if at the flick of a switch. He represents one of the more frightening visions of what robots could become.8. RoboCop (Robocop series): Okay, technically he’s a cyborg, but his visored helmet and mechanical armor are all metal, baby. The human brain behind it all gives RoboCop an empathy other mechanical characters lack. Read all »
In Japan, the Chikyuu Boueigun series has been garnering fans since 2003. The first title to be released in America was the third in the series, titled Earth Defense Force 2017 in English. EDF 2017 borrowed familiar sci-fi vices (an alien invasion made up of giant bugs and giant robots) and welded them to addictive, arcade-style gameplay. With over 150 weapons and 53 levels, the game also offered a lot of replay value despite concerns over graphics and voice acting.A preview of the new iteration in the series, Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon, shows that publisher D3 is aware of the last game’s limitations, and is doing its best to fix them. The game has a new American developer, Vicious Cycle, who created the devilishly satirical Matt Hazard series of games. Vicious Cycle is adding online play for the first time, with 4-player co-op and 6-player competitive. The best news is that if this all sounds interesting to you, you can track the last game down for cheap and imagine it even better, then be there for the new game’s launch early next year.
If a fictional character is lucky enough to survive 70 years, they are generally rewarded with the honor of being a household name. Such is the case with comic heroes Batman and Green Lantern. Now, I can’t say definitively that author Ray Bradbury is not as well known as he should be, but I’m sure that many people who’ve seen his work are unaware of it. For example, who remembers that he wrote the 1956 film adaptation of Moby Dick, or that his novel Something Wicked This Way Comes was a major influence on Stephen King?Bradbury’s first work was published in the sci-fi fanzine Imagination! In 1938, a short story title “Hollerbochen’s Dilemma.” Although this story is not currently collected, it wasn’t long before he was gaining recognition from science fiction and literary circles alike. In 1945, his story “Big Black and White Game” was collected in the Best American Short Stories annual anthology. The title refers to a baseball game played between a white team and a black team, in which racial tensions bubble to the surface. The story can be found in the omnibus collection A Sound of Thunder and Other Stories. Read all »