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Jen Miller

BSFME Contestant #6: Blade Runner: The Final Cut

We are nearing the end of Best Science Fiction Movie Ever (BSFME) Week, and we've read some very compelling arguments for The Fifth Element, Back to the Future II, The Empire Strikes Back, The Wrath of Khan, and The MatrixToday, Jen Miller brings us our final contestant--Blade Runner: The Final Cut.


Blade RunnerWithout any question, Blade Runner: The Final Cut is the best science fiction movie of all time.  For starters, it contains the best movie quotation ever:

I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I've watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.

The imagery of Roy Batty's words is so beautiful, so peaceful, and so sad--it's a rare quotation that is all of these things at once.

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Reading The Sword of Shannara: Chapters 11-15

The Sword of ShannaraJen Miller and Phil Ilten have been reading The Sword of Shannara together and sharing their thoughts by writing back and forth.  If you're just joining us, get your own copy of the book, read the first two installments here and here, and join our conversation!


Dear Phil--

So, the plot thickens....One thing that struck me as I was reading this section was the difference in the “bad guys” between this and LotR. While you have Orcs and Uruk-Hai in Tolkien’s work, the only group of “bad guys” we’ve seen so far is the Gnomes, who are really just misguided--not truly evil. Certainly both texts have a solitary evil figure with a group of hunters, but it seems that Brooks is much more hesitant to label an entire race as evil.

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Location, location, location: A Review of Amanda Hemingway's Sangreal Trilogy

The Greenstone GrailA few weekends ago, I went camping in a state park that contained the ruins of an abandoned sandstone quarry.  After hiking around the park in the morning, I relaxed at the campsite in the afternoon, taking the quiet time to start a fantasy trilogy that I'd never read before--Amanda Hemingway's Sangreal Trilogy.  The first book in the series, The Greenstone Grail, starts with a prologue about a boy named Nathan who discovers the ruins of an ancient chapel, deep in the woods.

Although I soon learned that the series is takes place in England, rather than the midwestern United States, the initial connection made by the similarity between the book's setting and my own was hard to shake.  For the rest of the camping trip, the thought lingered in the back of my mind that perhaps there was more to the old buildings I was seeing than meets the eye, and as I continued reading The Greenstone Grail, I was drawn into the narrative more quickly because of the familiar feeling of the opening chapter.  This reading experience was fascinating for me, and made me think of how our own settings while we read can help us to more fully experience the setting of what we are reading. 

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Our Fantastic Week Ahead: June 27

Given that it's the last week of June, we are smack dab in the middle of science fiction blockbuster season!  Already this summer we've seen the release of Super 8, X-Men: First Class, and Green Lantern, and this week marks the release of the latest installment in Michael Bay's Transformers franchise--Transformers: Dark of the Moon.  While none of these movies seems like it will go down in history as one of the great science fiction movies, they are a lot of fun, and give us an occasion to think back on the science fiction movies that are our favorites.

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Fantastically Fun Fridays: June 24, 2011

So as you all might have heard, J.K. Rowling made this big announcement yesterday about Pottermore, a website with 18,000 more words of content about the world of Harry Potter (as well as some interactive game-type things) that is also being described as a collaborative effort between Rowling and her fans.  She also announced that the Harry Potter books will be available as ebooks.  While the idea of a collaborative site sounds intriguing and it's something I'm sure to check out, the whole thing was a bit anticlimactic for me.  Given the popularity of the series to begin with, as well as the way this announcement was hyped, anything less than the announcement of another novel would have been (for me) a letdown.  Chris Wilson over at Slate compares Pottermore to Tolkien's The Silmarillion, which seems like a very appropriate comparison--we all want another novel, but all we get are the leftover crumbs from the series.  What do you all think?  Is this a big deal?  Or is it just a letdown?  Let us know in the comments!

Here are some of the other interesting things we found around the tubes this week: 

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