1417 – Waste Tide (2013 novel)

For All Tomorrow’s Parties. 全为明日派对。


timespace coordinates: The Waste Tide depicts a dystopian China in the post-2020 era. (2040’s -2050’s) In the Guiyu island, the large electronic recycle industries are in full control of local lineage associations. The laborers who undertake dangerous work for the profit of the Chinese and foreign businessmen who employ them are depicted not as humans, but cyborgs whose bodies and minds have been altered permanently through bio-engineering.

wastetideThe Waste Tide is a science fiction novel by the Chinese writer Chen Qiufan.

The story takes place in the imaginary ”Silicon Isle”. The Chinese word ”硅屿” for Silicon Isle shares a similar pronunciation with Guiyu (Chinese: 贵屿) in Mandarin. In the real world, Guiyu is a town in the Shantou prefecture of Guangdong province in China. And it is Shantou where Chen Qiufan was born and grew up before he entered Peking University. Situated on the South China Sea coast, Guiyu got famous in the global environmentalist community for its reception of E-waste. The town held the record for being the largest E-waste site up to 2013. Though some residents got rich by electronic recycling, pollution became serious in the town. Talking about the background of writing the novel, Chen said: ”Choosing my hometown as background to write the story, is related to my thinking of China. To depict the pain of changing China, is just because I desire for she getting better gradually.’ (wiki)

goodreads

1406 – Redeemer (2017/2019 video game)

timespace coordinates: 2060’s (?) Mongolian part of the Altai Mountains

Redeemer is a top-down shooter video game developed by Russian company Sobaka Studio and published by Good Shepherd Entertainment. The game was released for Microsoft Windows on August 1, 2017. An Enhanced Edition was released for PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and Xbox One on July 19, 2019. (wiki)

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS (MINIMUM): OS: Win7 SP1, Windows 8.1, Windows 10 / Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM) i3-6300 CPU / Memory: 4 GB RAM / Graphics: AMD Radeon R9 200 Series or equivalent / DirectX: Version 11 / Storage: 7 GB available space / Additional Notes: 64-Bit OS Required

steam

1385 – Ad Astra (2019)

timespace coordinates: “near future” (2050’s ?) commercial flight to the Moon > the ship Cepheus, bound for Mars > Norwegian biomedical research space station >  underground SpaceCom base on Mars > the Lima Project (Neptune’s rings)ad_astra_xlgAd Astra is a 2019 American science fiction adventure film produced, co-written, and directed by James Gray. Starring Brad PittTommy Lee JonesRuth NeggaLiv Tyler, and Donald Sutherland, it follows an astronaut who goes into space in search of his lost father, whose experiment threatens the Solar System. + scored by Max Richter. +

Reviews out of the Venice Film Festival compared it to well-worn sci-fi touchstones “2001: A Space Odyssey” and “Solaris,” and “Apocalypse Now,” in part due to its probing adventure narrative. Gray says he went straight to the urtext that inspired them, Homer’s epic poem “The Odyssey.” (cnn)

The title means “to the stars” in Latin. It is often used as a shorthand for “Per Aspera Ad Astra” (Through the hardships to the Stars).

wiki   /   imdb   /   rt

1384 – Freaks (2018)

Freaks is a 2018 American-Canadian science fiction thriller film directed, written and produced by Zach Lipovsky and Adam B. Stein. It stars Emile HirschBruce DernGrace ParkAmanda Crew, and Lexy Kolker, who was seven years old at the time of filming.

The film tells the story of a 7-year-old girl named Chloe (Kolker) who is locked in an abandoned house by her disturbed father (Hirsch). The mysterious Mr. Snowcone (Dern) convinces her to escape for his own suspicious reasons. (wiki)

A promotional poster for the film features a street sign with a one eye logo and a phone number to call to report “abnormal activity”. The number is 1-800-517-5890 and when called, a recorded message with a woman’s voice would say, “Thank you for calling the abnormal defense hotline, provided by the Department of Homeland Security.” The recorded message at first urged others to be on the lookout for “freaks” and it said that you can leave a message to report any abnormal activity from freaks. A few days later, the recorded message was changed to warn others to stay away from an upcoming San Diego Comic Con “free underground prescreening of Freaks” on July 18, 2019.


imdb   /   rottentomatoes

1324 – Strange Days (1995)

timespace coordinates: 1999, turn of the century (near-future) Los Angeles (racial war zone / New Year’s Eve party) 

MV5BODFkMTBmNjktMjM1Yy00MjY5LTliMGEtM2FhYjE2YjRmN2RkXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNzkwMjQ5NzM@._V1_Strange Days is a 1995 American science fiction thriller film directed by Kathryn Bigelow, written by James Cameron and Jay Cocks, and produced by Cameron and Steven-Charles Jaffe. It stars Ralph FiennesAngela BassettJuliette Lewis, and Tom Sizemore. Set in the last two days of 1999, the film follows the story of a black marketeer of SQUID discs, recordings that allow a user to experience the recorder’s memories and physical sensations, as he attempts to uncover the truth behind the murder of a prostitute.

Blending science fiction with film noir conventions, Strange Days explores themes such as racismabuse of powerrape, and voyeurism. Although the story was conceived by Cameron around 1986, Bigelow found inspiration after incidents such as the Lorena Bobbitt trial and the 1992 Los Angeles riots that followed the Rodney King verdict.

Strange Days was a commercial failure and almost derailed Bigelow’s career (…) Nevertheless, the film’s critical standing has improved over the years, with many fans feeling that the film has been overlooked by a casual mass audience and misguided critics.

The scene where the crowd celebrates the turn of the new century at the end of the film was shot at the corner of the 5th and Flower streets, between the Westin Bonaventure Hotel and the Los Angeles Public Library. Over 50 off-duty police officers were hired to control an assembled crowd of 10,000 people, who had to pay $10 in advance to attend the event. The film-makers also hired rave promoters Moss Jacobs and Philip Blaine to produce performances featuring Aphex TwinDeee-Lite, as well as “all the cyber-techno bands they could garner”.

In 2015The Washington Post editor Sonny Bunch felt that Strange Days was still relevant, comparing the imagery captured by the SQUID units to that of first-person shooters or cellphone videos on YouTube. He added that events such as Jeriko One’s murder and the subsequent coverup of the crime contribute to activist movements like Black Lives Matter, and that their media documentation amplifies their reception and consequences. (read more: Themes)

Strange Days_02_0

wiki   /   imdb