Interview with key figures in the world of science and science fiction.
Interview with 'Alien' Co-Creator Dan O'Bannon
In the below excerpt from Film Fantasy Magazine, Ed Sudden II interviews Alien co-creator Dan O'Bannon. In excerpt, O'Bannon recounts that the concept of the movie Alien began as a simple story called “Gremlins”. I was about a World War II B-17 bomber crew on a mission over Tokyo who are terrorized by a horde of midget monsters. Dan O’Bannon began his career as the the co-author and director responsible for design, editing, and special effects on the movie Dark Star. He also co-starred as Sgt. Pinback. Pinback’s scenes with his alien, a mean-looking and very mischevious beach ball with feet are notable high points of humor in sci-fi film history. Dan went from Dark Star to pre-production work on Jodorowsky’s Dune, the Frank Herbert novel, to effects work on Star Wars and his most iconic movie Alien.
Reconstructing Lynch's 'Dune:' A Look at 'Dune Redux'
Once you’ve watched a few fan edits (also known as fan cuts) of commercially released feature films, you come to appreciate the extraordinary power of editing to change a movie. I found that particularly true with David Lynch'sDune.
Interview with Investigative Filmmaker Jeremy Corbell
Jeremy Kenyon Lockyer Corbell makes his living seeking out the ExtraOrdinary; that seemingly gratuitous capitalization perfectly encapsulating his mission to–as he puts it–“force us to reconsider the fabric of our own beliefs” and consider an atypical alternative. His approach is to undermine attempts to discredit unorthodox opinions by way of discrediting the opinion holders themselves.
The Science of Smell
Straddling the disciplines of art and science, Sissel Tolaas has travelled the globe collecting over 7,000 different smells, which she stores in her Berlin research laboratory. Along the way she has made cheese from the bacteria in David Beckham’s football boots, simulated the sweaty smell of fear, and recreated the scent of space as a training aid for NASA astronauts. Having avoided deodorant her entire life, Tolaas is on a quest to educate “the smell-blinded” by separating odours from visual stimulus. She has made scents that help people learn biology and has mapped out molecular smellscapes from Amman to Calcutta. When the wind blows, her nose becomes filled with a “symphony of music”, and she dreams of everyone being able to experience the same sensation. Tolaas believes that once we retrain our noses, we will be able to overcome society’s pre-conceptions of what smells good and bad. And if that happens, we’ll all be able to see everything from a new perspective… without even having to open our eyes.
Artist Mario Martinez aka MARS-1 Interview
While artists abound who enjoy conjuring up astronauts, robots, space battles and creatures from another world, few are able to achieve the striking balance that makes the extraterrestrial imagery of Mario Martinez, better known simply as Mars-1, so compelling. Born of the skateboard and graffiti cultures of his Californian surroundings, and even more so by the trippy European Comics of Moebius and the pseudo-organic tech of latter-day anime, his paintings, sculptures, prints and toy designs evocatively convey the contents of an unbridled imagination. At the same time, his respect for scientific accuracy-even when pondering the far-flung future or the specifics of spacey species we (or most of us, anyway) have yet to encounter-invest his work with a vivid authenticity. This vintage HEAD interview presents a very organic and down-to-earth vibe of an artist whose journey was then at an early stage.
Interview with Mike Resnick
At 74 years old, Mike Resnick is only hitting his stride. Just last week he handed in the eighth book he wrote this year, and he has clocked in 13 short stories and just sold a fantasy trilogy to DAW Publishing. He has mentored countless authors, including Nebula award nominee Martin Shoemaker and is the recipient of five Hugos (from a record 37 nominations) and is first on the Locus list of all-time award winners, living or dead, for short fiction, and is fourth on the list of Science Fiction's all-time top award winners in all fiction categories. Resnick is also the editor of Galaxy's Edge, one of the field's leading magazines.
Interview with 'Floaters' Creator Jeremy Solterbeck
Space: the Final Frontier. Or... is it? While space travel has consistently been depicted in science fiction and popular culture as an exclusivity attainable by elite scientists, engineers, and air force pilots, Floaters poses an interesting predicament: what if ordinary people went to space?
Science Journalist Lee Billings On Life Beyond the Solar System
The history of science can be read as a series of brusque reality checks. Once, we imagined ourselves the center of a small and harmonious universe, gifted with a sun content to revolve placidly around the Earth. In time, however, our real estate was relegated from the center of everything to a hum-drum corner of an unimportant galaxy in a much bigger and more tumultuous universe. Upon closer inspection, our sun was revealed to be just another star, born from a nebula, fated for eventual collapse. At the same time, we came to understand the spark of life, transforming in the process from the mini-gods of a pedantic little empire into nothing more than a consequence of biological randomness.
Interview With Ralph Barnaby
In October of 1910, when he was just 17 years old, Ralph Stanton Barnaby played hooky from high school and went to the Second International Gordon Bennett Air Race at Belmont Park, Long Island. His older brother was at the park, working on the engine of one of the planes entered in the race. The plane was the Baby Grand–owned and designed by Wilbur and Orville Wright. For a week before the race, young Ralph helped his brother and the Wrights put the final touches on Baby Grand.
To Preserve a Demon
Writer/editor Jason Davis has a special ambition -- to catalog, digitize, edit, correct, annotate and re-publish (or publish for the first time, in some cases) all of Harlan Ellison's writings. Twenty-six four-foot-wide drawers of typescripts, over 100 feet of paper if stacked, the lifework of a man who is easily one of the most influential and cantankerous authors of the 20th century. Jason is spearheading the Harlan Ellison Books Preservation Project, a grand undertaking "To create definitive versions of all Harlan Ellison's writings, fiction and non-fiction, to preserve in print for posterity."
Interview with Martin Shoemaker
Omni had the opportunity to speak with Martin L. Shoemaker, multi-award winning author and professional programmer. His short story Today I Am Paul was nominated for a Nebula Award and he has won much accolade in the span of his six year career. Martin has written for publications such as Analog, Galaxy’s Edge and Clarkesworld. He has a number of upcoming projects, including several novels.
Robert Helms 'Guinea Pig Zero'
Our country’s pharmaceutical industry demands rigorous testing of potential drug agents, human trials that sometimes drag on for weeks or months. Test subjects must often monotonously return to get blood drawn, abstain from normal activity, or keep meticulous notes about their side effects. But, at the end of the trial, it’s a quick couple thousand dollars in your pocket. This is precisely the kind of work that draws those on the margins of society, those who are willing to dose themselves with the latest psychiatric concoction and live in a confined clinic for a few weeks. And we need them—these guinea pigs. Without reliable test subjects, America doesn’t get its drugs.