Thursday, May 22, 2008

Cinema icon for spec-fic: Christian Bale

Checking out this post in the Guardian, it hit me: Christian Bale is the speculative fiction fan's actor. Whoa! you say...what about Harrison Ford in Blade Runner and Star Wars or Peter Weller in Robocop and Naked Lunch?

It's true...there is quite a list. But when it comes down to performers, you want one that becomes the character. Christian Bale is that actor. For a reference (using a Western for a different view), see 3:10 to Yuma in which Bale is the magnet that draws you into the drama... sure Crowe has his larger-than-life persona running full steam but it's Bale that creates the drama...his family concerns become real and make you care about the outcome.

The same goes for Batman Begins. Michael Keaton was cool when the cinematic versions of the caped crusader came alive. Even Jack Nicholson was an amusing distraction. But true fans know that Christian Bale has captured the real spirit of the source publications: the DC comic series. It's far darker than Adam West ever portrayed...and Bale captures the training, intensity and selflessness that is the real Batman.

Cut to today and plans for John Connor in the next Terminators. It's a smart choice to cast Bale. If there are any doubts in the casting meetings or in negotiations, drop them. He IS the clear choice for the role. Speculative fiction fans that buy the tickets will line up if he's becomes John Connor.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Desiccation in your fiction

This interesting article in Wired magazine makes a point that could well play into speculative fiction. When we think about global warming and consider how it would be part of a future setting, people typically come up with more of a Waterworld scenario. After all, don't melting glaciers imply rising sea levels and more water everywhere?

Not so according to the central theme of the Wired article. As climate change marches on, we're actually seeing less freshwater in many parts of the world...even England. Personally, I never thought of England as a drought-stricken place. Most envision it as typically rainy and floating in spare water. However, this is not the case...quite the opposite.

So, if you're considering a bit of speculative fiction where our water condition is part of your setting, think twice. You may need to have seawater rise AND decrease your levels of freshwater at the same time.