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  • July bulletin Posted on 01 July 2015

    [This latest update is taken wholesale from the July newsletter. If you'd like to get these emailed to you once a month, sign up here]


    "Civilisation is the distance that man has placed between himself and his own excreta"
    -Brian Aldiss



    I hope that you are all happy and sunny and well. This month, the film club is back, there are podcasts a-plenty, and one of my favourite sf authors is featured in the showcase. How do you like THEM apples?

    Science Fiction Theatre
    After a brief hiatus in which I did some talking, SFT returns this month with a screening of Death Watch (1980) on Monday 20th July at the Victoria in Dalston.

    Directed by Bertrand Tavernier, Death Watch is the story of Katherine Mortenhoe (Romy Schneider), who has been diagnosed with an incurable disease. In a near-future where death from illness is extremely unusual, she becomes an unwitting celebrity and is besieged by journalists and a television company called NTV, headed by the creepy but still somehow likeable Vincent Ferriman (Harry Dean Stanton). When Katherine goes on the run she meets Roddy (Harvey Keitel), unaware that he is a NTV cameraman who has undergone an experimental surgical procedure in which cameras have been implanted behind his eyes…

    If that synopsis doesn’t do it for you, well, I don’t know what will. It’s a bleak but very thoughtful and prescient film. It’s also a big favourite of mine, so much so that it was included in my ‘alternate history of sf film’ talk in June.

    Tickets will be £5 on the door, or just £3.50 in advance from the shop.

    Programme supported by Film Hub London, managed by Film London. Proud to be a partner of the BFI Film Audience Network, funded by the National Lottery: www.filmlondon.org.uk/filmhub

    Science Fiction Theatre Podcast
    Since the last newsletter a whopping TWO podcasts have been released. The middle of June brought with it our retro review of Jurassic Park, in which Dan did his best to nit-pick about the greatest dinosaur movie ever made. But we saw through his evil ways.

    And in the past few days, episode 9 of the roundtable was released, in which we lament over Jurassic World, fawn over Ex Machina, and chat about a very satisfying film challenge which saw us watch Chronicle and the original 1956 Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

    And if all of that wasn't enough, keep an eye out for the July retro review which will drop/go live/be poured into your ears on the 15th, in which we welcome a special guest into the 'studio' and take a long hard look at The Terminator.

    You can stream the podcasts via the SFT website, or you can subscribe, for free, via iTunes.

    Social round-up
    Like us on facebook and follow us on twitter for regular updates on newly listed books, links to articles, book reviews, artwork, videos, and more. We're also on tumblr and pinterest, where we collect all manner of sf goodness. Some highlights from the past month:

    • Concept art from Vincenzo Natali's adaption of William Gibson's Neuromancer that didn't see the light of day.
    • Suit Up, a wonderful NASA documentary celebrating five decades of spacewalks.
    • Philip K. Dick's long lost children's book Nick and the Glimmung is being reissued later this year.
    • The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North (a book which I thought was the stand-out title of the Clarke shortlist) won the John Campbell award for best novel. And at the same event, Kurt Vonnegut was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame.
    • Editor Oliver Johnson looks back at the publication of Jurassic Park in 1993.
    • CGI or stop motion? With Ray Harryhausen's birthday just gone and the CGI-heavy Jurassic World doing the business at the cinema, John Kenneth Muir examines the pros and cons of both techniques.
    • An urban explorer finds the remains of the Russian space shuttle program.


    July Showcase
    In the shop this month we're looking at the life and works of Brian Aldiss, an English writer and editor, best known for science fiction novels and short stories. He is a highly decorated author who has achieved the rare feat of acceptance as a writer of real significance by the literary establishment in his lifetime.

    The Interpreter Billion Year Spree Hothouse New Arrivals, Old Encounters Non Stop


    We're also highlighting our stock of vintage issues of Fantasy & Science Fiction magazine, a digest-size American magazine first published in 1949, which is still produced today.

    June 1951 June 1952 June 1954 January 1954 April 1953


    Right then, job done, information has been communicated.

    Hopefully I'll see some of you on the 20th for the film. There will be a brief email reminder a few days beforehand in which I'll show you the event poster in all of its glory (I've had a sneak peek, it is a beaut).

    Sweaty hugs


    Next month...
    "Somewhere in the world, the wrong pig met up with the wrong bat"

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