critical mass april 3: the fifth season

fifthKate Treloar suggests we look at the Broken Earth Trilogy by N K Jemisin, and will talk about the first novel, The Fifth Season, at the meeting on April 3rd, 2019.
As usual, we meet at Kappys, 22 Compton St, Adelaide. 6:45 for a 7pm start.


His Dark Materials from BBC


The BBC has unveiled the first look at its forthcoming big-budget adaptation of Philip Pullman’s fantasy epic His Dark Materials.

The British public broadcaster, which has joined with HBO on the Bad Wolf and New Line Cinema-produced series, has released a trailer featuring stars Dafne Keen, James McAvoy, Ruth Wilson and Lin-Manuel Miranda that you can watch above.

“We wanted fans to have a tiny glimpse of His Dark Materials,” said exec producer Jane Tranter. “As with Lyra, there are many more worlds to discover as we start upon this epic journey.”

His Dark Materials, which is one of the biggest in scope and most expensive British dramas to date, is ritten by Jack Thorne and directed by Tom Hooper, and is based on Pullman’s acclaimed trilogy of books: Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass, considered a modern masterpiece of imaginative fiction.

The cast of the drama, which started filming at the end of last year in Cardiff at Wolf Studios Wales, also includes Anne-Marie Duff, Clarke Peters, Ariyon Bakare, Will Keen, father of young lead Dafne Keen, Ian Gelder, Georgina Campbell, Lucian Msamati, James Cosmo, Ruta Gedmintas, Mat Fraser, Geoff Bell, Simon Manyonda as well as young actors Lewin Lloyd, Daniel Frogson and Tyler Howitt.

— report from Deadline

The Island of Dr Moron screening

Screen Shot 2019-02-22 at 11.09.39 pmAs part of the fringe, there’s a screening of this film at 6:30pm Monday, Feb 25th at the mercury Cinema.

Edwyna and Douggie are shipwrecked on a mysterious island. They are then captured by natives and sold to mad doctor who want s to use them as experimental subjects.

This powerhouse rock musical is driven by 21 original songs, wild dancing and characters you’ll never forget. Come along and meet the creators, director and producers of this amazing Aussie musical. One screening only.
See you at The Mercury.
Chris Dockrill has been writing, directing, teaching and producing theatre for over 30 years. His scripts have appeared in many collections published by major authors both in Australia and, in translation, across Europe. He has written 5 rock musicals, collaborating with his wife, Lyn, as composer. The production of The Island of Doctor Moron is a unique achievement as it is the first and only film of its type to have been produced in Australia to date. It has now screened in many countries around the world and is part of the National Film and Sound Archives of Australia. His writings range from the deeply serious to the outrageously escapist as is this wonderful film.


Genre, SF & the Cradle of Ideas

I like all genres, no, wait, I love all genres and often squange them together in the same book; The Eyre Affair I regard as a station with a lot of different trains—arrive on romance, and leave on alternative history. The thing is, Speculative Fiction—alright, there, I’ve done it, I’ve labelled myself —is a cradle, a nursery of fresh ideas. It’s the sandbox of the literary world, the place where new concepts are born, where the cross-fertilization of worn tropes give rise to exciting new possibilities. We take ideas, we experiment, we run with them, we have fun. Some are dead ends, but others grow and bare fruit—often in other writer’s heads. For yes, Speculative Fiction is a gregarious beast, and engages freely with other authors. The themes and ideas that I and my fellow speculators write now may lead onto much better books by more talented authors ten years from now.

— Jasper Fforde, “Genre, Speculative Fiction and the Cradle of Ideas”

read the full article at Locus Online

 NETFLIX will air movie based on LIU CIXIN story

File770 reports:

 SYFY Wire“Netflix bringing Chinese sci-fi blockbuster The Wandering Earth to the U.S.”

China’s film industry is truly making itself known around the globe these days. Especially now that Netflix has announced it’s snagged the rights to release The Wandering Earth, the Chinese sci-fi blockbuster touted as the country’s first mainstream sci-fi hit on par with the production quality and thrills of a Hollywood tentpole.

[…] Netflix hasn’t issued a release date for the film on its platform, but considering the streaming giant doesn’t operate in China due to local regulations favoring homegrown streaming services, it marks a major acquisition for the U.S. streaming service.

Aurealis Award Finalists announced

The Continuum Foundation (ConFound) has announced this year’s finalists for the 2018 Aurealis Awards. Two books from Publishing, Corey J. White’s Static Ruin and Kirstyn McDermott’s Triquetra, have been nominated, as well as Sam Hawke’s City of Lies, which was published by Tor Books in the U.S., and Penguin Random House in Australia. The winners of the 2018 Aurealis Awards, Sara Douglass Book Series Award, and the Convenors’ Award for Excellence will be announced at the Aurealis Awards ceremony, which will be held in Melbourne on Saturday May 4, 2019.


  • Devouring Dark, Alan Baxter (Grey Matter Press)
  • Lady Helen and the Dark Days Deceit, Alison Goodman (HarperCollins Publishers)
  • City of Lies, Sam Hawke (Penguin Random House)
  • Lightning Tracks, Alethea Kinsela (Plainspeak Publishing)
  • The Witch Who Courted Death, Maria Lewis (Hachette Australia)
  • We Ride the Storm, Devin Madson (self-published)



  • Scales of Empire, Kylie Chan (HarperCollins Publishers)
  • Obsidio, Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff (Allen & Unwin)
  • Lifel1k3, Jay Kristoff (Allen & Unwin)
  • Dyschronia, Jennifer Mills (Picador Australia)
  • A Superior Spectre, Angela Meyer (Ventura Press)
  • The Second Cure, Margaret Morgan (Penguin Random House)

Head over to The Aurealis Awards site for more information and details of the other categories!

Critical Mass: march 6th

Andrew leads off our discussion of last year’s winner of the Hugo for best Novella, All Systems Red, by Martha Wells. 

I could have become a mass murderer after I hacked my governor module, but then I realized I could access the combined feed of entertainment channels on the company satellites. It had been well over 35,000 hours or so since then, with still not much murdering, but probably, I don’t know, a little under 35,000 hours of movies, serials, books, plays and music consumed. As a heartless killing machine, I was a terrible failure.

— opening paragraph of chapter one of All Systems Red by Martha Wells

Please read the novella, and come along ready to contribute to our discussion of the work. As usual, 6:45 for a 7pm start at Kappys, 22 Compton St, Adelaide.

A forgotten feminist dystopia…

Rose Macaulay’s What Not, which features a sinister Ministry of Brains, is little known, but there are claims it influenced both Aldous Huxley and George Orwell

A forgotten feminist dystopian novel, a story of eugenics and newspaper manipulation that is believed to have influenced Brave New World and Nineteen Eighty-Four, is coming back into print for the first time in a century, complete with pages that were suppressed in 1918.

Rose Macaulay’s What Not was first published 100 years ago, but swiftly withdrawn over potentially libellous passages. Once it was reissued in 1919, it had “lost its momentum” and has been out of print ever since, according to independent publisher Handheld Press, which will republish the novel in March 2019.

— Alison Flood, from “What Not: lost feminist nnovel that anticipated Brave new World finally finds its time” Dec 10th, in The Guardian

The BBC’s Backlog Of Doctor Who Screenplays

Did you know that the BBC shares a lot of their teleplays online? Including a lot featuring our favourite Doctor.

I didn’t until today (thanks for the information, Bleeding Cool), but it turns out the BBC Writer’s Room website features an extensive backlog of screenplays for BBC shows. Their latest post is the first episode of this past season of Doctor Who, featuring the debut of Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor.

There are a lot of goodies here, actually, from some older Doctor Who’s to Sherlock to Luther. For fans of the BBC’s approach to genre television, this is a goldmine. And for students of screenwriting, resources like this are always an incredible find.

So, pull up a chair, settle in, and spend the evening reading some screenplays. It’ll be relaxing.

Julie Muncy,

Michelle Yeoh ST spin-off

File770 reports

CBS All Access has officially tapped Yeoh to captain a Star Trek series of her own: a black ops-themed spinoff of Discovery in which the actress will reprise her role and explore the next chapter in the life of Capt. Philippa Georgiou. The untitled drama will further explore Starfleet’s Section 31 division, a shadow organization within the Federation featured on Star Trek: Discovery.