When I wrote the original draft of First World in 2006, I had no idea I would be converting it to a book five years later – never mind a series of them. But those are the journeys in time we take. What’s interesting to me, are the countless additional ideas I had at the time when writing the screenplay that I now can fit into a book. It wasn’t because I didn’t think they wouldn’t be visually interesting, but when writing a script on spec, unless you’re James Cameron, you really are confined to a certain page limit.
In Synedrion, I theorized the possibility that, at some point in time, satellites will not only be able to render images of the inside of buildings, but can do so in three dimensions with nearly life-like quality. Thus, the Eighth Synedrion Council watching President Kennedy as he delivers his famous 1961 address to Congress in VEC – the Virtual Earth Control room.
This technology, while maybe not yet in three dimensional form, partially exists today. According to an article on CNET, DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, wants technologies that render “complete situational awareness” through buildings. My guess is that they already have it as part of their Advanced Space Systems program.
NASA’s Terra satellite already maps the topography of the planet. And in 2007 the Bush Administration approved a plan for “21st-century spycraft…that can see through cloud cover and even penetrate buildings and underground bunkers.”
Speaking of time, last night I watched one of my favorite movies The Time Machine. Starring the dashing Rod Taylor and the beautiful Yvette Mimieux, H.G. Wells’ story of a machine that can go forward and backward in time, is a classic. Forget the remake, the 1960 version is the one you want to see.
One of my favorite scenes was when Taylor’s character, H. George Wells, goes into the library of the Eloi city in the year 802701 only to discover that books no longer exist (those that did crumpled in his hands from extreme age) and that data was stored in ring CD-like devices. Curious how such change in technology is happening now in the Earth year of 2011.
As I’ve said before, what I enjoy the most about the classic science fiction made in the 1950s and 60s (and some in the 70s) is the story they told through dialogue. Of course, they tried their best to deliver visual greatness (This Island Earth took two years to create the special effects). Regarding stories that center on time, one hidden gem (forget the sets) is Journey to the Center of Time.
In closing, the trailer for Approved by Durjaya has been released and I start work on a new film in Boston next weekend titled Noah. More on that project next time.
The Paris Air Show is known as the worlds largest and for good reason. Not only is it the oldest, but it acts as a grand exhibit hall to the latest and greatest in aviation. This year, however, the talk was all about the ZEHST – The Zero Emission Hyper Sonic Transport.
Since the Concorde last flew about eight years ago, the commercial aviation market has stayed subsonic. While it might be nice to fly in the luxury of the A380, it saddens me that there’s no longer a choice if you want to fly supersonic.
EADS, the parent company of Airbus, introduced the ZEHST concept. The idea is that it will be able to fly at Mach 4 with over 100 passengers at over 100,000 feet and make the journey from New York to Tokyo in only 2.5 hours.
There’s no question that the ambition is an impressive one. But will it ever fly? From what I’ve read, EADS claims it could have a working model by 2020 and be in the market by 2050. I wish we could go back to the heady days of Apollo and Concorde when we decided to just do something great. The science and engineering are there so to quote Nike “Just do it!”
As the article states, the United States government classifies lunar samples as national treasures and well it should. Aside from the fact that these objects are from another world, they were brought back to this one by man for all of mankind to study and learn from. I for one believe it should be illegal for anyone to try to sell lunar objects.
Finally, for those of you that don’t subscribe to my email newsletter or missed it on Facebook or Twitter, last month yours truly was cast in a short science fiction film called Approved by Durjaya. The film “centers around a dystopian society in which there are strict rules enforced by a higher authority and each citizen is assigned to a group that determines their job and subsequently their life.” I play one of the two protagonists. The film is scheduled for release in December.
In closing, I’m also running a promotion for First World: Covenant. For those of you that purchased the ebook, I am offering a FREE autographed cover of Covenant that would be suitable for framing. Details can be found in my latest email newsletter.