If you were to call me a geek, I’d be hard-pressed to debate the label. I’ve filled a lot of life with superheroes and Star Trek.
That said, I’ve never been a “hard” sci fi guy. I’d have to say that Star Wars was my first science fiction, and I was fortunate that I got to experience it at the perfect age to catapult me into more. I moved from Archie and Richie Rich to The Flash, Justice League, Iron Man, Green Lantern, The Avengers and Fantastic Four. In my heyday, I bought damned near every superhero on the market, but those were my favorites.
Why did I enjoy them? To me, they were the ones that were the most fun. Superman was too dull, Batman too dark, Hulk too repetitive, Captain America too preachy, Thor too … Middle Englishy?
I’ve tried to get into harder sci fi over the years: Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, Frank Herbert, William Gibson, Arthur C. Clarke. To this day, I still pick one of them up every so often to see if it pulls me in now that I’m “older and wiser.”
Nah. They still seem dull to me. I like my science fiction with a wink and a side of goofy. Avengers didn’t work as the third biggest film of all time because it had action, it worked because it was fun.
Which is why the month of August has me excited:
Guardians of the Galaxy: every trailer just makes this movie look better and better. And by that, I mean, entertaining. I am one of the rare few who read the original Guardians of the Galaxy in the early 1980s (as I mentioned I bought all of them), but I was absolutely baffled that they chose these guys for a movie. A fucking talking raccoon? Seriously?
But from the first teaser trailer, I was hooked. The random offbeat 70s sound track, set into some fantastic action and a bit of comedy. It’s a little bit Firefly, a little bit Dirty Dozen and a little bit Howard the Duck. Hmm, forget I mentioned that last part. Let’s replace that part with Zoe Saldana and Karen Gillan and go with that, okay?
You’ve probably seen the 400 different ads on TV, with its release coming August 1st. As an aside, I HATE the practice of micro-marketing with a different movie trailer for every market segment. But check out the May trailer here:
Speaking of Karen Gillan, the show that launched her career is up next. Coming on August 23 is the season premiere of Doctor Who. I never watched the show when I was a kid – it was way beyond my geek level. But since its return in 2005, I’ve been hooked. I think the new Who showed up at just the right time. It was the tail end of an era in which every leading man had to be a gritty anti-hero, but here was a relatively straight forward good guy, with a streak of goofy. Battling a trash can with a plunger on its head. This newest incarnation features an all-new lead and is rumored to be darker than the past couple of seasons. That doesn’t worry me too much, though. A darker doctor is still a damned sight brighter than most of what’s on TV and Peter Capaldi is a brilliant actor.
Finally, I’m excited about John Scalzi’s latest novel, Lock In. While Scalzi isn’t exactly a household name, I’ve devoured his novels in the past year since being introduced to the Hugo Award winning Redshirts. Like the Doctor, Lock In appears to be a bit darker than Scalzi’s past work, but Scalzi is another one who never fails to amuse even when he’s going dark.
He wrote Old Man’s War, which I had no interest in reading. War novels and old people. No, thank you. But after reading so many positive reviews, I picked it up and loved it. It was filled with brisk action and humorous dialogue throughout – right up my alley. So, his latest is on my “read the day it’s released” list. For those who are keeping track, that’s August 26.
I’m not planning on taking over for Den of Geek any time soon, but wanted to share a few of the things on my entertainment horizon.