Sci-Fi

Evolution

This week Sam gives Danielle a crash course in fictional biology with the 2001 film Evolution. When a meteor strikes Earth carrying an alien goo which rapidly starts growing and evolving, it’s up to community college professors Ira Kane (David Duchovny) and Harry Block (Orlando Jones) to investigate and prevent the aliens from taking over the world. Only not really since they are woefully unqualified and unequipped the handle anything this important, thus the government quickly steps in with the help of CDC Deputy Director Dr. Allison Reid (Julianne Moore). Ira and Harry don’t give up, and, with the help of firefighter in training Wayne (Sean William Scott), are determined to take the glory of the alien discovery for themselves at any cost, often with a healthy dose of terrible science and misogyny, just because. Sam becomes increasingly irate as the film continually sprays bad science at him like shampoo through a fire hose, culminating in a solution so asinine it forces Sam to root for the military industrial complex. Danielle, meanwhile, is confused about when the rapidly evolving aliens could reach a point where humanity could parley with them, but is mostly upset that Dr. Reid ends up leaving her job for the utterly charmless Ira; we both think she can do better. So enjoy as Sam finds himself rooting strongly for the antagonists in a film that’s as fast and loose with its character development as it is with its science.

Be sure to check out I Drink Your Podcast which covers every film from 2007, especially the episode about Next featuring Danielle and Sam. You can find them on Twitter @IDYP_Podcast, Instagram @idyp_podcast, and listen wherever you get your podcasts.

The Eternal Enemy

Danielle digs deep into the 90s’ well with the Christopher Pike novel The Eternal Enemy. Rela is just a normal girl who loves boys, cookies, and VCRs. Her life goes off the rails when the VCR she just bought turns out to be recording TV shows from the future! This doesn’t really matter as Rela is more interested in the cute boy, Chris, at her school. However, Rela does record a future news broadcast where she’s murdered by a weird stalker, but she decides her best course of action is to go about her daily life, as one would. Sam is already confused about what’s going on, and that’s before the stalker turns about to be Rela’s grandfather from the future trying to preserve the robot takeover of Earth. There’s a lot moral waffling about what has a soul and if humans should be replaced by cyborg hybrids, but Sam is firmly on the robots’ side in all this despite the best arguments to the contrary. If you think the philosophizing is confusing, wait until all the weird time travel paradoxes rear their ugly heads. So enjoy Blockbuster, VCRs, and startlingly fast adoptions in this 90s fueled sci-fi drama!

Highlander II: The Quickening (feat. I Drink Your Podcast)

This week Sam shares the insanity that is the 1991 movie Highlander II: The Quickening, and to deal with it Danielle calls for backup in the form of Emily from I Drink Your Podcast. In the year 2024 the world has been encased in a shield to protect Earth from the intense rays of the sun now able to ravage to planet due the destruction of the ozone layer. For some reason, Connor MacLeod, now mortal and old beyond his years, was involved in the creation of the shield. How exactly his previous career as a sword wielding immortal translates to large scale engineering projects is a question beyond answer. It’s also revealed that Connor is from the past, or an alien from another planet depending on if you watch the director’s cut of the film, and was sent to the future/Earth with the other immortals as punishment for their participation in a rebellion against Michael Ironside as their evil ruler General Katana. All that crazy is before Sam even gets to the plot (such as it is) or the resurrection of Juan Sánchez-Villalobos Ramírez, played by Sean Connery. About the only thing this sequel seems to retain from the first film is the baffling accent choices, so dive in as we discover there can be only one…again.

Check out more of Emily and I Drink Your Podcast on Twitter @IDYP_Podcast, Instagram @idyp_podcast, and listen wherever you get your podcasts.

Jason X

Danielle brings Sam a little Halloween in February with the 2001 sci-fi horror film Jason X. Forget everything you know about the Friday the 13th movies and Camp Crystal Lake because it does not matter. Danielle strains her own memory, and her verbal faculties, to tell Sam how Jason has been caught and is being cryogenically frozen in order to contain him. Unsurprisingly, he still manages to kill a bunch of people before being frozen, but surprisingly being frozen somehow does kills him, which is kinda the opposite point of cryogenic freezing. In any case, he’s discovered in the 25th century, and the doctor that froze him is brought back to life, mostly so she can warn them about Jason and be ignored. Jason decides he’s been dead long enough and brings himself back to life to do what he does best: Stab people who are having sex. Now loose on the spaceship (yes, this is in space) Jason will terrorize the rest of the crew which consists of a sexy android, a quippy security guard, a morally bankrupt professor, and some miscellaneous nerds. Will the crew be able to survive Jason and escape? No, of course not, most of them die, but Jason is eventually defeated which results in an ending so nonsensical that Sam and Danielle are still trying to puzzle out what the heck it means.

Book Reshorts: Partial Recall 2: The Forgetting Strikes Back

In this week’s Book Reshorts it’s Sam’s turn to test Danielle’s powers of recall. Sam takes Danielle all the way back to their very first episode and sees how well she can remember all the dense science fiction and weird alien sex from the Isaac Asimov book The Gods Themselves. While the science, and character names, may elude her, she does recall some of the more outlandish plans the characters try to execute, if not exactly why someone might want to fly the moon off into space. So listen to find out exactly which parts of that story are forgotten and which are lodged forever in our brains.

The Disasters (feat. Colored Pages Book Club)

This week special guest Marci, of the Colored Pages Bookclub podcast, brings M.K. England’s young adult space adventure novel The Disasters to share with Danielle and Sam. Immediately after being expelled from a moon-based space academy, self-hating hot-shot pilot Nax Hall and his friends find the academy under attack by mysterious forces. Making their escape to the space colonies to hide, they slowly uncover a sinister plot by an extremely well-branded terrorist organization to wipe out the settlements. While that’s pretty terrible, Sam and Danielle are much more preoccupied with the unexpected appearance of space goats and their differing opinions on love triangles. Nonetheless, our hapless adventurers set out to foil the evil plan, and boy are we glad they didn’t skip leg day.

Check out the Colored Pages Book Club podcast on Instagram @TheseColoredPages and Twitter @TheColoredPages, and listen on Stitcher, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts.

Ringworld – Part 3

This week Sam concludes the sci-fi romp Ringworld by Larry Niven. With Teela Brown careening off into the unknown, Luis Wu and his remaining alien friends set out to find her, before immediately falling into a trap. Here they meet Halrloprillalar Hotrufan (a name Sam cannot pronounce) who is a surviving Ringworld engineer from before their civilization fell. Will she provide valuable insights and a advanced knowledge that helps our bumbling adventurers? Not really, she’s mostly just another sex object for Luis, who has seemed to have forgotten all about Teela Brown. Fortunately, Luis has a plan to escape Ringworld, which he inexplicably will not share with any of his companions. Will Luis’ ridiculous plan work to free them of Ringworld? Is Teela better off without Luis? (Yes.) Don’t worry if you can’t remember anything that happened in the previous part, neither can Danielle.

Ringworld – Part 2

This week Sam continues his exploration of the book Ringoworld by Larry Niven. Louis Wu and his motley crew have crash-landed on the Ringworld and it’s time to explore! But first, they must discuss, at length, their various theories about the world and also a bit of inter-galactic politics. As they zoom around the strange mega-structure, they encounter ruined cities, people reverted to savagery, murderous sunflowers, and floating castles, but Louis’ and Teela’s top priority is to have sex just about everywhere. The truth of Teela’s luck will come out, and our intrepid heroes will make some truly impressive leaps in logic that are somehow always right, when they’re not bickering, that is. Will the mysteries of the Ringworld and the fall of its civilization be revealed? Well, there’s a third part for a reason.

Ringworld – Part 1

This week Sam begins a deep dive into Larry Niven’s epic sci-fi work Ringworld. Join Danielle as Sam guides her through the amazing journey of Louis Wu, a two-hundred-year-old space adventurer dating the twenty-year-old great-great-granddaughter of an old flame. After delving into some alien sexual practices (which all these classic sci-fi books seem to feel the need to do) Luis, his girlfriend, and two aliens set off to explore a mysterious, massive ring found orbiting a distant star. However, before all that, the book first needs to explain, in great detail, how everything else in the universe works. And boy, is there a lot to cover: eight-foot warrior cat creatures, humans breeding for luck, an alien race of cowards, and gladiatorial battles for reproductive rights. Will Danielle be able to follow all the nonsense Sam is spouting? Probably not, but hopefully you can.

The Gods Themselves

Sam attempts to describe the Isaac Asimov book The Gods Themselves to Danielle. It’s full of scheming scientists, parallel universe aliens, moon people, and a lot of sex for a book that is decidedly not sexy. We hope you enjoy this dive into the golden age of classic sci-fi as much as we did.