SFF in Other Media

While I mostly write about SFF in books, TV and movies I thought I would take a minute to write about some of my favorite moments of the genre outside of these media.* Many of these may be obvious choices, but I will try to include some you might not have been aware of.

Games

After watching the Smash Up episode of Tabletop, I knew this was a game I would have to have. Dinosaurs with lasers? Check. Aliens? Check. Robots, ninjas, and pirates? Check, check, check. Basically there are eight decks which you combine to take over bases, while sabotaging other teams, to race to be the first to 15 points. I brought it over to a friends house and we played it 4 times in a row. It is quick to learn, but isn’t repetitive as your strategies have to change depending what factions you have, and the graphics on the cards are beautiful.  You no longer have to argue about which is better, ninjas pirates or wizards, now you can prove it. Only downside is the cards are a little writing heavy so the first time you play make sure you take the time to read them all.

Honorable mention: Gone Home. While a little pricey, this computer game is also gorgeous and I believe well worth it. The premise is you have just returned home after a year abroad in which your family has moved houses and the new house is empty when you return. You then spend the night going around the house piecing together clues and hints as to what happened in the past year. Not technically sf, but you spend the first half of the game expecting ghosts or something similar to just pop out everywhere. It is a creepy house, and it has a few other slight ‘genre’ elements that I believe make it count. And it is my blog, so my rules.

Audio

Have you been listening to the Welcome to Night Vale podcast? No? What are you doing, stop reading this and do so immediately. It is about a small town in the desert which has a number of weird supernatural elements, and is done in the style of a community radio show. Cecil, the host of the show, is dorky and extremely likable and it is great to see his crush on the new scientist in town, Carlos, develop. Each episode also includes music by a new band in the ‘Weather Report’ section. Updates biweekly, and comes in around 20 minutes, so it is perfect to listen to when you go for a walk or do chores. At least listen to the first one, it is amazing. Also, the fan community is HUGE. I particularly love the fanart that is being produced.

Honorable mention: The Thrilling Adventure Hour. A podcast done in the style of old time radio shows, frequently featuring Nathan Fillion, Busy Philipps, Linda Cardelini, Josh Malina, Paul F. Thompkins, Paget Brewster, Chris Hardwick and various other members of the Nerdist family. There are a number of recurring stories, the main two being ‘Sparks Nevada, Marshal on Mars’ a western set on – you guessed it – Mars, and ‘Beyond Belief’ about a married pair of boozy, fast-talking, high society mediums. It is a hugely fun podcast that is worth checking out. Other segments include stories about superheroes, time travel, and space. Updated weekly, well worth a space on your mobile media device of choice.

Experiences

Nine Worlds Geekfest. In August after backing it on Kickstarter, I attended the first annual convention. It was amazing. For a small con it had a ton going on, with countless ‘tracks’ of panel themes, ranging from fandom, geek feminism, vampires, gaming, and bronies, there was literally something for every type of geek. The vendors were all wonderful, and I had no qualms spending all of my money attaining 8-bit jewelry, indie comics, beautiful prints and t-shirts. And books, so many books. It is a UK con, but if you are in the area book now and enjoy the early ticket rate. Prices are just going to go up. In fact be a part of London Geek week! It is the weekend before Loncon, so make a vacation out of it, enjoying London and the rest of England between the two cons. Nine Worlds was an extremely respectful con, with, as far as I know, no issues of harassment and an amazing gender/ethnicity/age/etc balance on their panels. There were fans, professors, professional artists and writers (Cory Doctorow was there!) it is definitely a worthwhile experience.

Visual

While I guess this is technically a book, it is not the type I usually write about so I am going to count it. Saga v.1 is a gorgeous, award winning, sff comic book, now collected in two volumes – but more are coming! – about a family from two worlds at war that are just trying to survive. It has people with wings, robot royalty, magic, ghosts, amazing looking bounty hunter aliens, and much much more. The use of language, both the style of the narration/dialogue but also the use of esperanto for an ‘alien’ looking language that appears recognizable, is fascinating, and the characterization is spot on. It was definitely influenced by Star Wars, and has a LoTR vibe to it, with some Romeo and Juliet thrown in for good measure. Even if you are not a comic book/graphic novel fan it is worth looking into. Available now as an ebook, and physical book.  (Featured image.)

 

So readers, what are some of your favorite examples of sff in other media?

 

*I would also thank you all for putting up with my hiatus. I am back now, and you can expect regular content again.

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