Saturday, July 23, 2016

Science Fiction and Fantasy: The Future and the Future?

Regular readers of this blog know my love of Terry Brooks and his Shannara books. Some readers may have caught my rant on the Rizzoli and Isles TV series being irritatingly different than the books. Why change Maura's serial killer mom to a gangster dad? Why change Warren Hoyt's name to Charles? (I do appreciate now the series is definitely it's own thing now in it's final season.)

I had caught most episodes of the new Shannara Chronicles series when it originally aired and was pretty intrigued. Yes, most of the characters were not how I visualized them when I read Elfstones of Shannara back in high school (Reading the World of Shannara reference tome, I discovered my mind's eye was always wrong on that score anyway...) but the characterizations were spot on which is definitely more important. Yes, people who haven't read any of the books published recently may complain about the "cameos" made by remnants of our 21st century world but since it was made canon later and definitely helps set the show apart from Legend of the Seeker and Game of Thrones. Gnomes and Trolls for instance are not how I pictured 20 years ago but now, knowing they're descended from mutated humans, their look makes a lot of sense.

I have two questions. As was my question with Star Trek V and missing Romulans, wasn't there at least one dwarf in Elfstones? Of course, the next book  Wishsong of Shannara  takes place in Dwarf territory so maybe not... My next question is where s the show going next? The end of season 1 seems to imply the missing years between book two and three. Creatively, that might be a better way to go...

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Regular readers of the blog also know my love of Star Trek. Overall, I've enjoyed the rebooted movie universe  devised by JJ Abrams but the thing that I missed was memorable quotes. The best ones from the first two were ripped from previous movies.  (Maybe the scripts were written by Melania Trump's speechwriter?) Star Trek Beyond gave McCoy and Spock in particular some great ones: "I fail to see how excrement of any kind would help the situation."

Abrams and co have from the beginning been awesome at giving Scotty, Sulu and Uhura more prominence but it took Simon Pegg himself co-writing to give "Montgomery Scotty" something more than comic relief and Chekov had probably his most memorable movie to date. (Sadly, following Anton Yelchin's death, the role will not, and probably shouldn't be, recast...)

As many have noted,  Beyond  had the most original story of the three. The last one, In To Darkness,  was a retelling of  Wrath of Khan which I said in my review was needed to establish the differences between the two universes.  The background of this movie ties back to the Xindi War during the third season of  Star Trek: Enterprise which took place prior to the Kelvin destruction and the timeline break meaning a version of this could take place in the original timeline meaning the opposite of the last movie. (The upcoming TV series takes place in the old universe so there could be at least name drops?)           

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