Explore Destiny’s Solar System

Destiny is a brand new IP from Bungie, the software developers that created the iconic SciFi game series Halo. It follows a Guardian, a member of a warrior caste, protecting the last bastion of humanity far in the future. The game will take you through the ruins of Earth’s empire, from the home planet, to the Moon, out to Mars, and back to Venus. Destiny-Logo It’s a game I’m really hyped up about. The gameplay isn’t very innovative, it plays like many first person shooters out there, but the real selling point for me is the universe Bungie has built. It’s solid SciFi fare.

To help promote the upcoming release of Destiny, on September 9th, they have created a full featured planet view to explore a taste of some of the locales you will be visiting. Partnered with Google, this website works much like Google street view.

It’s gotten me all kinds of excited for the release!

A little background in case you are confused by the world you are looking at. In the near future humanity discovers and enigmatic entity they call “The Traveler” on Mars, and with its help humanity goes into a golden age. Humanity spreads to the worlds of the solar system, and looks beyond.

However, The Traveler had an ancient enemy that had been hounding it for millennia, which humanity calls “The Darkness,” who catches up to the Traveler and humanity’s golden age comes to an abrupt end.

In a last minute stand, The Traveler makes a stand, sacrificing itself to save the last city of humanity. It leaves behind little bits of technology to help the surviving humans, but it’s beneficence has come to an end. Humanity is on its own. The_traveller Your character is awakened by one of these pieces of technology, with the express task of helping humanity reclaim its lost golden age. Standing in your way, The Darkness is starting to return, and is bringing its allies with it.

I think it’s a cool backstory, and I really want to explore this world. I’ve spent a while looking through the planet view tool to get a sense of everything. There are videos, audio narration, and cool panoramic views to help give you a sense of everything you will be doing in Destiny.

Check it out now and see you out in the solar system! www.destinyplanetview.com

No Man’s Sky

I’ve slowly been falling out of love with video gaming. There hasn’t been much that has captured my imagination in a long time. As with most forms of entertainment, we have been stuck with endless sequels and a lack of imagination.

But every now and then a bolt of lightning strikes.

During a recent taping of our gaming chat show, Keep it Casual, one of our panelists brought up a new game called No Man’s Sky. It’s a procedurally generated Science Fiction exploration game. Check out the video here:

The really awesome thing about procedural generation, is that it creates an almost infinite world to explore, with infinite creatures and locales. Now, this game is a ways off, so the ambition may be higher than the actual execution, but the dream is fantastic.

As my colleague mentioned, growing up Star Trek fans has given us a real sense of exploring the unknown when it comes to SciFi. I can see myself getting completely consumed with this game.

I can’t wait to get in my ship and go. Find new places and things, be the restless galactic explorer I was always meant to be but never truly will be.

So excited for this game!!!

P.S. On a side note, purely a matter of taste, but I love the design choices and look of their website.


Vin Diesel Plants a Tree For Groot

Here’s a picture of the actor Vin Diesel planting a tree.


You may be asking yourself why I posted this, and that is a fair question.

During his ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, Vin Diesel also challenged people to go out and plant a tree for Groot, his character in the recent Marvel film Guardians of the Galaxy. The ALS challenge has gone viral and provided immeasurable exposure to a challenging disease, in addition to the contributions.

It would be nice for environmental issues to gain such viral exposure, and the trees would really help. Imagine if “Plant a Tree for Groot” gained the same popularity?

I’ve read that there were 2.4 million youtube uploads for the ALS challenge. 2 million new trees in the world would not be a bad thing. Too bad it won’t ever happen.

The brilliance of the ALS challenge is its simplicity and the fun factor. No one really is interested in planting a tree, or watching someone plant a tree. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not rushing out to plant any trees, but I like the concept.

I’m all about awareness, and that’s what I love about the ALS challenge and the Plant a Tree for Groot idea. It spreads the conversation. There have been significantly more buckets of water dumped on people’s heads than actual donations, but it has left an indelible mark on fundraising and awareness for the disease.

So I applaud Vin Diesel for going out and using his SciFi character to bring awareness to something that affects us all as well.


$26,000 Buys You SciFi History

I’ve never shied away from the promoting this blog as a platform to help legitimize Science Fiction as a form of art and literature. In my search I’ve come across an interesting story I wanted to share, wherein someone bought the original cover art to Frank Herbert’s Dune for $26,000.

I swear it’s pertinent.

Dune cover

Now, beyond being a part of SciFi history that I really enjoy (Dune being my all-time favorite book), I think it shows a level of commitment and passion from a fan to spend such a high sum on this piece of artwork. I respect that.

Does spending large amounts of money and being very passionate legitimize a genre? Does it make it literature? Certainly not.

That being said, it does give me some hope. There are people out there that recognize and want to preserve the things that make this genre special and unique. That is infinitely more important.

I want to point one other thing out. The cynics out there will say I’m wasting my time arguing for an established genre’s place in literature, when they would say it is already there. I say, go talk to English professors, those that decide what constitutes “literature,” and see what their views are. Not the guy who teaches the SciFi comparative literature course at your local college, because you’ll get the answer you want, but rather the dean of the comparative literature or english department of that school.  Continue reading

Why Can’t It Be the Future

There are times that it is almost painful to me that I live in the present, and cannot explore the outer reaches of our universe. More often than not, these thoughts are triggered by awesome pieces of fiction, movies, or concept art.

This time it was a concept design.

Over at NASA, Dr. Harold White spends the parts of his time not working on feasible propulsion systems like ion and plasma to theorize on warp propulsion. Here is a representation of what one ship could look like.

Warp ship design 1

I desperately want to ride in this ship. I know it’s completely fanciful, but it’s SO COOL.

Apparently the rings around the ship are what provides the warp bubble that will catapult the ship to far flung destinations. All I know is that it is one sexy piece of design.

Here’s to Dr. White figuring this all out!

Warp ship design 2

[via Sploid]


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