Sunday, February 26, 2012

Completed: 42 Challenge 2011 ~ anything Sci Fi


42 Challenge 2011 

It’s our very late post to mark the end of this 2011 challenge, where we attempted to read, watch, attend  “42 anythings” which are science fiction related.

The challenge’s title is based upon The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe’s answer to the “Ultimate Question” and its answer “42 “ which is the universal theory and reason for everything. 

Amazingly we almost finished this crazy challenge and as you can see below we watched and read a lot of sci-fi”ish” things in 2011 and we had a blast. (In case your interested the badge above links to our host’s blog for the challenge, which sadly she isn't doing again this year.)

We Viewed | Read:

  • 10 movies
  • 9 short stories and poems
  • 22 books

Collectively we almost completed the challenge at 41. Wow!

Movies with Mini Reviews:


Survivors  (TV Series 1975–1977)

This is a BBC production and a series about a post apocalyptic UK which is is based upon a virus that kills 95% of the world’s population.

A bit outdated and low tech, it still allows the watcher to experience what it would be like if almost everyone on the planet dies. It’s a 3 star in our opinion; we watched only the first in the series.


Paul (2011)  

Two geeky comic-book readers travel across the U.S. and encounter an alien named Paul outside the notorious Area 51, with hilarious results.

John watched this funny movie on a trans-Atlantic flight and laughed the whole time and designated it a 4 star rating.


F 451

Fahrenheit 451  (1966)  

This classic book by Ray Bradbury, turned into a movie, is set in a future where books are illegal. They are burned at the temperature which burns paper – 451 degrees.

This old 60’s dystopian movie has some great fashions which are slightly in style right now and was very entertaining. The movie too feels a bit dated, but is still great to watch. At 4 stars, it is a must see for all science fiction/dystopian aficionados.



Videodrome (1983

A horror sci-fi flick, where a cable-TV programmer begins to see his life disintegrate in a surreal fashion when he watches a video that causes horrific and creepy consequences.

This is a violent and disturbing movie with some interesting special effects considering the age of the film. A must view for any horror/sci-fi lover at 3.5 stars.



Pandorum  (2009)  

The crew from a spectacularly created spaceship wakes up with no knowledge of their mission or their identities, to find that they are not the only hungry beings on the ship.

A very scary sci-fi/horror flick; there are several ridiculous scenes but the special effects, makeup and scene setting are fabulous – this flick contains a spectacular monster in our opinion. We enjoyed it at 3.5 stars.


9 (2009)   

When a cute rag doll which has been granted a soul awakens in a post-apocalyptic future, he sets out on a quest to rid his world of evil.

This is a sweet story, contains amazing graphics and special effects with a sweet yet spiritual theme. 4 stars for this cute family oriented film. 



Brazil (1985)  

A bureaucrat in a dystopian future world tries to correct an administrative error and becomes a wanted man.

This is an incredible film – for its plot, visuals and creativity. Wonderful to watch, it really is a must see for any sci-fi aficionado; and anyone for that matter. Highly recommended at 4.5 stars!  


Andromeda Strain

The Andromeda Strain (1971)  

In this classic book turned movie, scientists must stop a deadly alien virus before it can spread.

Low tech and very intriguing, this is an extremely well done movie considering when it was made, and is another must see. 3.5 stars is our rating for this classic movie.  


the man who fell to earth

The Man Who Fell to Earth  (1976)  

A heart-breaking movie about an alien who travels to Earth to send back water for his dying planet.

With a surreal feel and well done makeup, David Bowie stars in this great movie. It is one of the movies which Shellie holds responsible for her love of science fiction. An excellent, low tech classic, it is a must view for everyone at 4.5 stars.

the children

The Children (2008)

Set in the UK, a vacation turns into a terrifying fight for survival as the children begin to turn against their parents.

Although more horror than science fiction – there is an element which puts this into the genre, since it appears that this is a disease that is spread from body fluids. John liked this film, Shellie thought it was okay so we will designate it a balance between the two ratings at 3.5 stars.

Books with Linked Reviews:


  1. Nebula Awards Showcase 2011 ~ edited by Kevin J. Anderson (This book contained 9 sci fi shorts and poems.) 
  2. Electric Ant ~ by Philip K. Dick (adapted by David Mack; illustrated by Pascal Aline) (GN, SF, C)
  3. Trouble and Her Friends ~ by Melissa Scott (SF)
  4. Wither (Chemical Garden Trilogy # 1) ~ by Lauren DeStefano (YA,SF)
  5. Delirium ~ by Lauren Oliver (SF,YA)
  6. In Other Worlds (audio) ~ by Margaret Attwood
  7. Feed (audio) ~ by M. T. Anderson
  8. Lament for Lost Atlanta” ~ by Arlan Andrews

(16 books, novelettes, novellas, short stories, and poems.)


  1. The Revisionists ~ by Thomas Mullen
  2. The Immortality Virus ~ by Christine Amsden
  3. Fleet of Worlds ~ by Larry Niven and Edward M. Lerner
  4. The Windup Girl ~ by Paolo Bacigalupi
  5. Matter (book #8 in the Culture series) ~ by Iain M. Banks
  6. The Time Machine ~ by H. G. Wells
  7. Robopocalypse ~ by Daniel H. Wilson
  8. WWW:Wonder (#3) ~ by Robert J. Sawyer
  9. All the Lives He Led ~ by Frederik Pohl
  10. WWW:Watch (#2) ~ by Robert J. Sawyer
  11. Variable Star ~ by Robert A. Heinlein and Spider Robinson
  12. The Healers (The Aesculapians, Book One) ~ by Thomas Heric
  13. Home Fires ~ by Gene Wolfe
  14. WWW:Wake (#1) ~ by Robert J. Sawyer
  15. The Metalmark Contract ~ by David Batchelor (not reviewed)

(15 books)

Here’s to another year and a bunch more intriguing and thought-provoking reads, movie views, and more all within one of our favorite genres – Science Fiction!

Thanks for reading.

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