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  • August bulletin Posted on 03 August 2015

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


    "Mankind invents cultures - and cultures invent myths to justify and explain their existence"
    -Harry Harrison


    Hello to you,

    A film club first to tell you about this month. These are exciting times.

    Science Fiction Theatre
    The programme continues in August with a very special screening of Contagion (2011) on Monday 17th August at The Victoria in Dalston. Special because for the first time we're going to have a science talk before the film. Science!

    Directed by Steven Soderbergh, Contagion is the story of Beth Emhoff, who returns home from a business trip and attributes the malaise she feels to jet lag. But two days later Beth is dead, and doctors tell her shocked husband that they have no idea what killed her. Soon, many others start to exhibit the same symptoms, and a global pandemic explodes...

    The film will be preceded by a talk from Dr Adam Kucharski of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, who will explain the maths that help us to study and control a disease outbreak in the real world. From ebola to bird flu, knowing how a disease spreads and how it can be controlled all comes down to one number.

    This event has been in the pipe for a while now and we're really looking forward to it. The talk itself is really fascinating (I've had a taster), and no matter your level of your interest I think you'll find it interesting.  

    Tickets are officially "dirt cheap", just £5 on the door or a meagre £3.50 if bought in advance from the shop.

    Science Fiction Theatre Podcast
    The middle of last month saw the release of our third retro review, in which friend of SFT Ross Peacock joined us to talk about one of his, and our, favourite sci-fi films - James Cameron's The Terminator (1984).

    And in the past few days episode 10 of the roundtable has been released. In the latest installment we talked about (the grossly underrated) Predators, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, The Death of Superman Lives: What Happened?, and Spanish time travel thriller Timecrimes. We also chatted about last month’s film club pick Death Watch, and for the film challenge we watched both versions of The Day the Earth Stood Still - can you guess which one came out on top?

    We upload a podcast every fortnight, and you can stream them all via the SFT website, or you can subscribe, for free, via iTunes.

    Social media 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:

    • Hari Kunzru on Dune, 50 years on.
    • SF Gateway interviewed Galactic Journey, the blog which presents 1950s and 60s science fact and fiction news as though it were happening today.
    • Interesting article about why the creators of Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow haven't made a film since.
    • The full version of the first ever soviet science fiction film, Aelita Queen of Mars (1924), is on youtube.
    • Parts one and two of a great interview with sf 'grandmaster' Samuel R. Delany, author of Dhalgren, Nova, and Babel-17.
    • Adam Roberts examines the Hugo kerfuffle and what it means for the future of the award.


    August Showcase
    In the shop this month we're looking at the life and (our stock of) works by Harry Harrison, an American science fiction best known for the Stainless Steel Rat and Bill the Galactic Hero series of books. He also wrote the novel Make Room! Make Room!, a story of overpopulation and consumption which was used as the basis for the 1973 film Soylent Green

    Backdrop of Stars In Our Hands, the Stars Bill the Galactic Hero Star Smashers of the Galaxy Rangers Planet of the Damned


    We're also highlighting our stock of magazines with covers by Ed 'Emsh' Emshwiller, an American pioneer of science fiction art who produced over 400 cover paintings for sf magazines in the 1950s and 60s.

    Amazing - July 1964 F&SF - February 1958 The Psionic Menace by Keith Woodcott Galaxy - December 1963 Lest Darkness Fall by L. Sprague de Camp


    That's it for now. I'll email you a few days before the screening, you know, as a heads up.  



    Next month...
    "When I was a kid, you could buy meat anywhere! Eggs they had, real butter! Not this... crap!"

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