Just taking a break here from various projects to point out some consumer culture items helping to set a Moon mood this week.
First up, is Apollo 18. Billed as “found footage” from a secret government mission to the Moon in 1974, it opens Friday around the country:
Looks like I’ll be at the theater this weekend for the first time in ages. As far as ‘found footage’ movies go, I did rather enjoy Troll Hunter, and Cloverfield is still fun…
Fresh out is a new sci-fi novel from Larry Niven & Steven Barnes that is set on the Moon. The year is 2085 and humanity is spreading into the Solar system. On the Moon, Heinlein Crater has been given over to the creation of a gaming environment for the creation of the ultimate live-action role-playing (LARP) adventure ever broadcast.
For those unfamiliar with LARPing, it’s role-playing gaming in a ‘real-world’ (i.e. non-virtual) setting. We’ve come a long way from Mazes & Monsters, and while role-playing still carries a strong geek factor, it is more accepted than it used to be. Still, we’re not as far along as ‘Dream Park‘ (an earlier novel in this series) or ‘Futureworld‘. Holography is still not here in the form everyone wants (although I’d rather use holography for useful things like 3D air traffic control before entertainment), and RPGing still isn’t a spectator sport. FPS shooters seem to be though; more on that anon.
I’m about halfway through the book for an upcoming review, so stay tuned for that in the not-too-distant future.
Also forthcoming is another EVA Interview. Not here at OotC, unfortunately, but rather in the new magazine that the folks over at NASAWatch/SpaceRef are putting together, Space Quarterly. The first issue is scheduled for release on September 1st, and therein you will find her interview with Jeff Greason. Jeff is emerging as a strong spokesperson for the commercial development of cislunar space, couched in terms of ultimately settling off-world in new colonies. Cislunar space is our sandbox for learning how to do things further out. It’s a new marketplace awaiting exploitation, something I hope is highlighted in one of the articles in the first issue: “The Philosophy of Lunar Commercialization and Economic Development”.
Speaking of commercial product, if you haven’t been to your local Hallmark store in a while, you might want to stop in and grab a “The Sky’s the Limit” Snoopy-on-the-Moon figure. Hallmark has been dribbling out a number of astronaut Snoopy items over the last few years, from holiday tree ornaments to figurines to plush toys (a number of which mysteriously turned up in the annual NSS of North Texas Santa Space Toy Drive collection…). I’ve been a big fan of astronaut Snoopy for a while, enough so that when I was interning at Boeing in Huntington Beach during my ISU studies I made a field trip to the Knott’s Berry Farm amusement park specifically to look for whatever astronaut Snoopy stuff I could find. This was of course the precursor to the Astronaut Snoopy Medal still given out to Yuri’s Night volunteers, although the Snoopy isn’t dancing anymore, and is in a white outfit, not blue. More akin to the Silver Snoopy Award given out to team members that went above-and-beyond to assure mission success in the Shuttle program. I was pleased to see a number of Yuri’s Night folks wearing their medals at the party I threw on behalf of The Moon Society at this year’s ISDC in Huntsville.
Way on the other end of the wholesomeness spectrum. I say way, way over there well removed from anything approaching wholesome family entertainment with strong christian overtones (shout out to Robot Chicken), is a new first-person-shooter add-on pack for Call of Duty: Black Ops. Your friendly Lunar Librarian doesn’t normally play FPS games, being more of a Civ-type game player where one tries to build an enduring civilization, one of strong culture and secure borders. But if you’re into shoot-’em-ups (and who isn’t every now and then?), you might want to check out this latest horror. There have been Werewolves on the Moon. There have been Vampires on the Moon. There have been Mummies on the Moon. (I know this because they’re all in the ‘Comics in Space’ art show I have hanging at Frontiers of Flight Museum – you should definitely check it out) Now, it is time for…
Zombies on the Moon!
What can I say – new physics to play with, as when the projectile gun launches the wielder into the air (so to speak). Hopefully the PC version will be on a CD so I can add a physical copy to the Lunar Library.
And since we’re on the topic of Nazi’s on the Moon, there’s an updated trailer from Iron Sky, the forthcoming independent movie currently scheduled to hit theatres on April 4th, 2012.
Speaking of Lunar Library, and art shows, and scary things…as I noted previously I’ve already started on the art show for next year’s Moon Day on July 21st. My medium will be space-themed LP covers. My initial goal is to have 150 LP covers. Each will be mounted in a frame. Each column will have 5 frames, meaning 30 columns in all. Groupings of columns will allow for the telling of stories, but the general progression will be early days, astronauts and rockets and satellites (cislunar space), our Moon, the planets, and our Cosmos. Willie Nelson gets the final frame with ‘Stardust’.
Don’t think you can guess the covers, though. My DITC (that’s Diggin’ In The Crates) is turning up some amazingly unusual items. I promised scary things, and here from the satellites section of the show is one that I find particularly unsettling, even more so than zombies, like something from a SPECTRE crime boss line-up. Whoever said there was no money to be made in space? See if you can guess the year of the LP from the cut of his suit…