SFF Music Video of the Week #58

Skipping back to the near-present, let's turn our attention to a little number from Greece. This was going to be the Greek entry into the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest - but then The 19 happened. Still, it did produce this fun and telling little video. Super powers, (implied) segregation, xenophobia, and a couple of kids who might just make it right. Heady stuff for a Eurovision entry!I hope you enjoy "Supergirl" by Stefania, from 2020.

SFF Music Video of the Week #57

Back to 1999, and one that I am sure is going to have some folks convinced that I've gone even further off the deep end.Let's take on the music first - it is a fairly basic boy-band dance track (technically R&B - believe it or not), typical of the late 90s.  Very slick sound production, but could pretty much be a drop in replacement for any number of other tunes. The  surprisingly clever lyrics are another kettle of fish. The song itself is essentially a fan shout-out - a thank-you note from the band itself. The central message being that the music industry is a major drag, but that the fans are the ones who make it worthwhile. (More recently Lady Gaga recorded a similar sentiment in "Applause".)The video is (to say the least) over the top. Giant spaceship, synchrodancing robots, hoverboard dodgeball against a holographic opponent, space fighter battles, and the obligatory mass dance scene. And yet, it still somehow makes a story out of it all (mostly), and the c…

SFF Music Video of the Week - #56

So let's head back to 2000, and an Aussie band who were probably just a few years ahead of their time.  Possibly the most interesting thing to ever come out of Canberra, B(if)tek were a synthpop duo from before synthpop was really popular.  Recording from 1994 to 2003, they released three albums - and this is from the second, the (now) ominously titled "2020". Have a watch of the strangely prophetic "Machines Work", by B(if)tek from 2000, and think about the increasing roles of AI in our world, and how many of these 'AI's are actually mechanical turks.

SFF Music Video of the Week - #55

Let's look in again at those masters of Electroswing, Caravan Palace, and see what they can do with a flying saucer invasion... 

Non alcoholic Cocktails #5

 CC-KCOk, this one is a bit more involved, but you can do some of the prep even months in advance.Ingredients:
1 cup crushed ice
2 shots Non-alcoholic Gin (e.g. Lyre's London Dry or Clovendoe Seed)
2 shots Cumquat (or Kumquat if you prefer) cordial
Soda water
1 Kumquat (or Cumquat) cut into thin seedless slicesMethod:
Place all except the sliced fruit and the soda in a shaker, and shake well.
Pour (do not strain) into margarita glasses, top with soda and garnish with (C|K)umquat slices.Now, what about the cordial? You're not going to find it in a store, so you'll need to make it yourself.Finding a suitable fruit tree is the very first step - you may have one, or know someone who does. The recipe below is from here: Cordial

1.5kg sugar
4 cups boiling water
500g kumquats
1 tablespoon (rounded) citric acid

Place the sugar, water and acid in a large bowl and stir until the sugar is dissolved.…

SFF Music Video of the Week - #54

Getting things back on track, let's go for animated embroidery. Yep. You read that right. And SFF themed, with a roll-call of monsters.Be amazed by the 2018 track "Lake Monsters of the USA" by the inimitable They Might Be Giants, from "I l Like Fun". 

SFF Music Video of the Week - #53

Let's kick off the new year (almost a week late, but, hey...) with a track that is so 80's it hurts. Here is 1983's "Human Touch" by Rick Springfield. Complete with shoulder pads, silver suits, named computers, alien sax players, and more. Pity we did not get any of that for 2016. (And if the embed fails, try popping it out to youtube.)

Do not use real quokkas.


SFF Music Video of the Week - #52

Well, this brings us to a full year of videos, with 52 posts. I think I have covered everything from the 70s to the present day, and I have much more to come. There some real downers I have not shared yet, but they can wait until after The 19. For now, I am going to try to be a little more upbeat, so get ready for some fun.

What does this anniversary bear? A track from the 80's, and one of the iconic SF-themed videos from the era.

An human-looking alien, trapped on Earth, and slowly losing control of his powers, finally gets a message from space. Now all he has to do is get away from the humans who are now becoming obsessed with him.

Featuring what was, for the time, cutting-edge special effects for a music video, this track carried the singer to stardom.

Here is Nik Kershaw performing in "Wouldn't It Be Good" from 1984.

SFF Music Video of the Week - #51

This week brings us to the first of the videos that could be called NSFW. Although in this case, I think NSF Humans is possibly a better warning.

Featuring the most 70's glam metal band the 2000's have created, we get what I can only call a teaser for a soft-porn SF movie.  I really don't know what else to say, except that you should not watch this at work or near impressionable people like parents, teenagers, conservative faith-holders, or politicians of most stripes.

You have been warned, here is The Darkness with "I Believe In A Thing Called Love" from 2002.

Video below the cut.

A fine line to walk for Australia

Thanks to the actions of a Very Large Nation, and those of a handful of hateful right-wingers, Australia now finds itself in a rather uncomfortable place.

On the one hand, we fight a constant battle against racism - both towards immigrants and tourists, and towards our own First Nations. The latter is deplorable, ingrained and we are gradually making some inroads on (albeit far too slow and late for far too many). The former ... we had largely gotten over it. Until three things collided with the sort of mindset that creates false dichotomies and can believe five mutually contradictory things at once.

The first was the idea created by a past Liberal government that refugees arriving by boat are somehow criminals. Never mind the various treaties we've signed that say otherwise. For whatever reason, Labor jumped onboard with this cruel lie, and set a horrible stage for the last 20-odd years. This re-sparked the ember that "Dem Forn Types" are somehow a threat to our way of …

SFF Music Video of the Week - #50

Let's say hello to Miike Snow again. This time we get all the great Bond tropes. Until things take a very fabulous turn. SFF? Well, we've got death rays, so let's say 'Yes'.

Keep your eyes open for the guards with an amazing sense of rhythm, and some of the greatest dance moves you'll never see in a Bond movie. Also stick around for The Return of the Spurned Partner!

With no further ado, here is 2016's "Genghis Khan" from Miike Snow.

The Problem With Good SFF Literature

There are a number of events, groups, and people I refer to very obliquely throughout this. I do so not to mask or erase the targets of these events, people, and groups, but to limit the exposure I give to the perpetrators. To all of you who have been the targets of these nameless instigators, my deepest apologies if I cause offence or distress by doing so, and please contact me so that I can make appropriate changes.

For the past few years, I have been dutifully reading the annual Hugo packet, and voting on the Hugo Awards. (If, somehow,  you are reading this and don't know what the Hugos are, think something like the Academy Awards for SF&F. Like all such things, this is a loose analogy at best, but it carries the right gravitas.) This is a a substantial task, covering a good half dozen novels, and the same again for novellas, novelettes, short stories, anthologies, fan works, editorial contributions, dramatic presentations, YA entries, new writers... the list goes on.

So ho…