Tagged space opera

Free Chocolate Is a Sci-Fi Novel That May Cause Cravings

Disclaimer: Free Chocolate is a space opera by Amber Royer, not a promotion for sweet treats. The premise of the book is that in a futuristic world, chocolate is now one of Earth’s most valuable currencies, and it needs to be kept safe. One of the things that I loved is that the main character—a Latina woman named Bo—is highly capable and instigates a lot of action in the novel, from stealing a cacao pod to becoming a fugitive...

In Space Dandy, Absurdity Is the Final Frontier

Interdimensional ramen, universe-wide zombie plagues, planetary wars about underwear, sentient plants—these are just a few examples of the kind of strangeness you’ll encounter in any given episode of Space Dandy. Space Dandy is directed by Shinichirō Watanabe, who’s best known for his directing work on none other than Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo (another classic that’s on my docket to watch sometime soon). But while Watanabe’s stellar work is just as apparent in this series as it is in those he’s better known for, Space...

Saturday Night Space Opera Expands Twin Cities Sci-Fi Gaming with a Mini Convention

When someone picks up a 12-sided die, the popular imagination generally links it with a Dungeon Master’s Guide and tales of swords and sorcery rather than spacesuits and starships, an image crystallized among the general public by Weezer, Stranger Things, Freaks and Geeks, and more. But science fiction has been a part of role-playing games since the 1970s with James M. Ward’s Metamorphosis Alpha, among other systems, and local group Saturday Night Space Opera has been providing a space...

Throwback Thursday: Insert Multi-Pass Joke Here for The Fifth Element

Throwback Thursday examines films from the past, “classic” films that might not be in the current cultural zeitgeist but can still be important, interesting, fun, or all of the above. As the final space-opera themed Throwback Thursday before CONvergence next week, I wanted to take a moment to shine a light on one of my favorite films, Luc Besson’s 1997 extravaganza The Fifth Element. Owing a huge debt to the production design of Jean “Moebius” Giraud, and Jean-Claude Mézières,...

Throwback Thursday: Star Trek: The Motion Picture Boldly Makes a Television Series Into a Film

Throwback Thursday examines films from the past, “classic” films that might not be in the current cultural zeitgeist but can still be important, interesting, fun, or all of the above. There’s one franchise I’ve steered clear of in these columns. One that has over 50 years of material ranging from television, films, cartoons, novels, and comics. You name the media, Star Trek has been a part of it for over half a century. What do you focus on? In...

Throwback Thursday: The Alien Menace Is Real in Starship Troopers

Throwback Thursday examines films from the past, “classic” films that might not be in the current cultural zeitgeist but can still be important, interesting, fun, or all of the above. In a newsreel that takes a page out of the Triumph of the Will playbook, 1997’s Starship Troopers opens with a clip for military service and citizenship, and it doesn’t let up on the jingoistic propaganda for the rest of its runtime. While a modest success at the box...

Throwback Thursday: Delving Into Frank Herbert’s Dune

Throwback Thursday examines films from the past, “classic” films that might not be in the current cultural zeitgeist but can still be important, interesting, fun, or all of the above. In compiling the list of space opera films I wanted to cover before CONvergence 2017, I added one of my favorites: David Lynch’s would-be opus Dune (1984). However, when I had my one-year anniversary column at Twin Cities Geek, I covered the entire oeuvre of Lynch (which you can find...

Throwback Thursday: Galaxy Quest Is an Homage, Not a Parody

Throwback Thursday examines films from the past, “classic” films that might not be in the current cultural zeitgeist but can still be important, interesting, fun, or all of the above. One of the first panels I remember attending at CONvergence was a discussion about which parody was better, Galaxy Quest or Spaceballs. The consensus was that the two were hard to compare since they came from entirely different mindsets. While Spaceballs sent up everything having to do with space operas,...

Throwback Thursday: Spaceballs the Review!

Throwback Thursday examines films from the past, “classic” films that might not be in the current cultural zeitgeist but can still be important, interesting, fun, or all of the above. Spaceballs was my introduction to Mel Brooks. I was 12 years old and visiting my grandmother for the summer (I think it was an excuse for my parents to have time to themselves). She was the type of grandparent that spoiled me. She took me to see three to four...

Throwback Thursday: Dark Star Is an Excavated Classic

Throwback Thursday examines films from the past, “classic” films that might not be in the current cultural zeitgeist but can still be important, interesting, fun, or all of the above. I’m going to start off this throwback with a big ol’ declarative sentence. Dark Star is not a good film. There. I’ve said it. You might be wondering why I’m devoting a column to its existence, then. It might not be a good film, but it is an important...
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