Category Archives: Solar Sci-Fi

The impact of “2001: A Space Odyssey” + A Discovery One model

The Studio 360 public radio program had a very interesting recent program on The impact of Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey”.

A half-century after it was released, “2001: A Space Odyssey” is still supplying light amid the darkness. It’s considered not just a great film but an important and influential work of modern art. An astonishing marriage of sound and image, man and machine, there’s nothing simple or obvious — nothing monolithic — about it.

With no help from cinematic CGI, its vision of the 21st century and beyond seems uncannily prescient and profound. Before we’d even landed on the moon, “2001” showed us how privately operated spacecraft would one day take us there.

Life’s biggest mystery — our place in the universe — would be an empty question were it not for director Stanley Kubrick and author Arthur C. Clarke’s vision of what comes next. There is no “Star Wars” without the Star Gate, no “Close Encounters” or “Contact” without the monolith. HAL was a perfect preview/early warning of Siri and Alexa and our AI-dominated near future.

In Part One we look at the film’s origins in 1960s New York when Kubrick and Clarke first met. We visit Kubrick’s former penthouse apartment, where the two believed they saw a UFO, and then recall their trip to the 1964 World’s Fair. We explore the unorthodox production and try to discover how “2001” went from opening night bomb to counterculture icon. We’ll hear from effects wizard Doug Trumbull, actor Keir Dullea, film critic Carrie Rickey, “2001” scholars Michael Benson (“Space Odyssey“), Piers Bizony (“The Making of Stanley Kubrick’s ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’“) and Jarice Hanson, as well as superfan Tom Hanks, who has seen the movie more than 200 times.

2001 Poster

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Here is a terrific scale model replica of the Discovery One spaceship in the movie:

Largest Scale Discovery One Prop Replica On Sale Now
HobbyLink Japan, in partnership with GomoraKick (Kaiyodo International), presents a
limited-edition 1.6-meter scale replica of ‘Discovery One’ prop featured in film “2001: A
Space Odyssey”

Discovery One Model - HLJ
Discovery One 1.6m long model from HobbyLink Japan.

Sano, Tochigi, JAPAN: Today, HobbyLink Japan Ltd., an internet retail business specializing in sales of hobby products and collectibles to customers worldwide, announced the exclusive US distribution rights for a limited-edition 1/10 scale 3D-CAD replica of the original ‘Discovery One’ spaceship prop made famous in Stanley Kubrick’s acclaimed 1968 sci-fi classic ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’.

The company, a leader in its niche for nearly 25 years, now expands its portfolio with HLJ Select, a new brand for premium merchandise, to better serve the acquired preferences of memorabilia collectors globally. In collaboration with GomoraKick (Kaiyodo International), HobbyLink Japan Ltd. proudly offers the ‘Discovery One’ spacecraft prop replica exclusively to the United States market:

Most precise, largest scale (1/10) replica of the original movie prop, measuring 160cm (approx. 5 feet 3 inches) in length

● Each single piece is created through Hollywood-class 3D-CAD printing paired with meticulous handcrafting by world-renowned Japanese modelers
● Individually-sculpted, unique spine module containers and side panels
● Superior detail in the piping, heat dissipation fins, and fuel tanks of nuclear engines
● Perfectly recreated antenna array based on original movie images
● Cockpit illumination via 4 remote-controlled LED lights
● Luxury acrylic display stand and photo-etched acrylic name plate included

For more detailed information on the ‘Discovery One’ spaceship replica, please visit
https://discovery-one.hlj.com/.

Discovery One Model - front - HobbyLink Japan
Front view of the Discovery One model. Credits: HobbyLink Japan

About HobbyLink Japan Ltd.: HobbyLink Japan Ltd. is an internet retail business based in Sano, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. Founded in 1995, the company started out offering Japanese model kits to international customers out of a small apartment in Tokyo, Japan. Today, HobbyLink Japan Ltd. operates a custom-built office and state-of-the-art warehouse in scenic Sano, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan, and offers over 120,000 hobby products including anime & action figures, model kits, Gundam products, hobby publications, and other collectibles at domestic prices, shipping to over 220 countries worldwide. In addition to retail sales (B2C), the company provides wholesale (B2B), third-party logistics and e-commerce services (3PL/3PEC). With a culturally diverse team of over 75 Japanese and international employees, HobbyLink Japan Ltd. was awarded the ‘Gold Trusted Service Award’ for ‘Outstanding Customer Service’ in 2018 by Feefo. Learn more at https://hlj.com/corporate-profile.

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Delta-v

Science fiction comic mysteries by Jackie Kingon

If you are looking for some fun space reads during the holiday season, check out Jackie Kingon’s “science fiction comic mysteries”. She sent me the following excerpts of reviews for Chocolate Chocolate Moons:

“Kingon’s prose is often as snappy as her settings…delightful”
—Kirkus Review

“This book is provoking allegory with satirical elements that mock the weight loss industry and society’s view of eating as a whole.”
—Online Book Club

“A humorous romp, sure to please many a reader.”
—Midwest Book Review

And for Sherlock Mars:

Molly’s Bistro, owned by Earthling Molly Marbles, is doing well in Mars’ capital of New Chicago. Virtual Vittles, a virtual-reality restaurant, has opened nearby, but when its dining experience leaves customers hungry, they make a beeline for Molly’s place. She and Virtual Vittles owner Rick Frances eventually collaborate on a dining event; unfortunately, it ends with Rick found dead at Molly’s Bistro. Molly, who previously helped detectives solve a different mystery, works the murder case…An undeniably fun tale with a protagonist who can apparently handle anything…

—Kirkus Review

Video shorts: A “Glimpse” of future technologies

Here are the first three short films in a series underway at DUST called Glimpse, each offering a view of the impact of a future technology:

** Circuits” 

If you could control all your devices from a tattoo on your arm, would you feel safer? What if that sense of security was an illusion? “Circuits” presents a glimpse into the future of…body modification.

** “The Stork

The birth of a child makes every parent nervous. Technology makes the process safer, but our biological impulse to worry still seeps into the experience – no matter what. “The Stork” is a glimpse into the future of…birth.

** Sebastian Moller” 

What happens when a chef takes his craft from experimental to extreme? What would you pay to savor a food that’s never been tasted before? “Sebastian Moller” is a glimpse into the future of…haute cuisine.

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Einstein’s Monsters: The Life and Times of Black Holes

Videos: “The Expanse” is saved + Sean Penn heads to Mars + First trailer for “First Man”

Solar Sci-Fi (i.e. hard science fiction involving near-term scenarios within our solar system) has gone big time in the past few years with the major financial successes of the films Gravity and The Martian. The TV series The Expanse, which depicts conflicts among settlers of Mars, the Asteroid Belt, and Earth, has lasted 3 seasons on the SyFy Channel and will now continue on Amazon Prime:

Sean Penn will headline a new TV series on Hulu called “The First” about humans going to Mars : The First (Hulu): Sean Penn’s Mars TV Series Debuts First Plot Details | IndieWire

Set in the 2030s, the eight-episode first season is mainly set on Earth as the astronauts prepare for the journey to the red planet and NASA forms a partnership with a private company to support the trip.

And on the Solar Sci-Reality front, the film First Man with Ryan Gosling looks to be an epic re-telling of how Neil Armstrong came to take that first step onto the lunar surface:

The film is to be released in the fall.

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