Interview: on World of Tanks by Peter Gothard

SciFiLondon travelled to Paris to play the new iPad version of the free-to-play MMO shooter – World of Tanks Blitz. Out in the next few weeks, we found this pared-down, five-minute version of its bigger brother a hoot from start to finish. But how does releasing a mobile version affect the bigger picture for the game's future across platforms, and are there any plans to take the game to Xbox One or PlayStation 4? Peter Gothard sat down with World of Tanks producer Romain Mardot to find out more.

Wolfenstein: The New Order Review by Peter Gothard

When you try and make a first person shooter these days, it often feels like you're damned if you do, and damned if you don't. Don't make it like a Call of Duty clone, all linear corridors and easy-to-follow checkpoint markers. But do make it tell a story, and not let you off the leash so much it becomes an unintelligible trawl through spacious combat boxes, with no drama or setpieces. 

The Brave New World of Science Fiction Theatre (or, beam me up to LA right now, Scotty!)

This week Sci-Fest, the first ever Los Angeles festival of science fiction theatre, has got under way in Hollywood. It’s a fantastic initiative, the brain child of actor David Dean Bottrell (best known for playing homicidal Lincoln Meyer in Boston Legal, and Professor Kannell from True Blood). He’s gathered together some great actors who we know and love from science fiction film and television – James Kyson (Ando from Heroes), L.S.

Stranger in a Strange Land: Under the Skin

Eight years ago I moved from England, where I was born and bred, to Scotland. Eight days ago I moved from Scotland back to England not, I have to be honest, without a certain sense of relief. I was coming home. In Scotland, I had never belonged. And on top of that, it’s the year of The Referendum. So it seems oddly timely to be writing my first Sci-Fi-London blog on a film which can be read, at least at first, as being about an English woman’s experience of Scotland.

The Zero Theorem Review

Terry Gilliam, the mind behind Twelve Monkeys, Brazil, Time Bandits and so many more strange and beautiful films, is back once again, in between bouts of trying to get The Man Who Killed Don Quixote made, for a new mindbending sci-fi, The Zero Theorem. Gilliam has stated that the film is a very personal piece about the simple desire to be alone, and how in today's world, that's not so easy to do.

I actually got one of these for Christmas ... a Star Trek Communicator

Kirk and Communicator

I've noticed in recent years that people have stopped sneering at sci-fi. Maybe it's because nearly all of the highest grossing Hollywood movies seem to be science fiction or fantasy stories. What sci-fi and fantasy does regularly now is to give us the "wow!" factor in our minds. But what I find amazing is the fact that technologies such as we saw in sci-fi movies are in some ways becoming reality, giving us that "wow!" factor in real life too.

I want one of these for Christmas ... a holodeck

In the Simpsons episode Homer vs Dignity, Mr Burns decides to make a impoverished Homer Simpson his “prank monkey” in return for cash payments which Homer desperately needs in order to stave off bankruptcy. One of the pranks Burns directs Homer to commit is to eat a rare and very expensive Spider-Man comic in front of Comic Book Guy, the comic book shop proprietor. So, Homer goes into the shop and says to Comic Book Guy:

I would like to buy a mint condition Spiderman issue number one.”

To which Comic Book Guy replies sarcastically:

And I would like an hour on the holodeck with Seven of Nine, but it ain’t going to happen!

I want one of these for Christmas ... a flying car

Peter Thiel, the co-founder of PayPal, in commenting upon the Twitter phenomenon, once said "we wanted flying cars, they gave us 140 characters".

Not very practical is our Mr Thiel then. Keeping your Twitter followers up-to-date on your life and work … no thanks. Turning up for work in a Jetsons’ style flying car … yes please! But that's visionaries for you. I think we dream of acquiring amazing gadgets partly to escape the mundane and boring aspects of every day life, imagining that advanced technology is somehow going to make everyday life continuously fabulous (that's if you're one of those strange folk who hasn't watched Blade Runner yet). And a flying car sure beats walking.