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Love, Death & Robots: major SF authors in a new anthology Netflix series

Werthead

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Netflix has launched - today! - a new animated anthology series called Love, Death and Robots. It has 18 episodes, ranging from 6 to 20 minutes in length in a variety of styles. Two are original, the rest are based on existing SF short fiction, including three stories by John Scalzi, two by Alastair Reynolds, one by Mark Kloos, one by Joe Lansdale and one by Peter F. Hamilton (Sonnie's Edge from the Second Chance at Eden collection, set in the Night's Dawn universe).

I've seen the first three and very impressed so far. The animation is excellent, the scripts are pretty good and the stories quite effective. Hoping the rest keep up the good work.
 

Les

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Just watched Sonnie's Edge and am suitably impressed. I read this story a couple of years back in A Second Chance At Eden and enjoyed it a lot more than I though I would. Well worth the time to watch. It's a brutal story but it works well. I recommend it.
 

Werthead

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Full story roster:

Sonnie's Edge by Peter F. Hamilton
Beyond the Aquila Rift by Alastair Reynolds
Three Robots by John Scalzi
Fish Night by Joe Lansdale
Secret War by David W. Amendola
Ice Age by Michael Swanwick
The Witness by Alberto Mieglo*
Suits by Steven Lewis
Sucker of Souls by Kirsten Cross
When the Yogurt Took Over by John Scalzi
Good Hunting by Ken Liu
The Dump by Joe Landsale
Shape Shifters by Marko Kloos
Helping Hand by Claudine Griggs
Lucky 13 by Marko Kloos
Zima Blue by Alastair Reynolds
Blindspot by Vitaliy Shushko*
Alternate Histories by John Scalzi

* original teleplays not based on existing short stories
 

picklematrix

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Never thought I'd see the day that Peter F Hamilton and Alistair Reynolds works got adapted.
Now we just need a big budget COMMOWEALTH or Nights Dawn series on HBO.
 
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ctg

weaver of the unseen
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Sonnie's Edge - Peter F Hamilton

In the underground world of "beasties" fights, Sonnie is unbeatable -- as long as she keeps her edge.
Beautiful Dark Urban Fantasy set in the Far Future. The technology presented in shorty is already here in the form of telepresence. In Mr Hamilton's story, the technology is more advanced than what we have traditionally used to see in the realms of SF. Yet it is completely plausible and the fight is superb. Netflix made a great job by making bioengineered monsters as real as their "pilots." The double twist was beautifully executed.


Three Robots - John Scalzi
Long after the fall of humanity three robots embark on a sightseeing tour of a post-apocalyptic city.
You'd think that post-apocalyptic stories are often dark, but in this case, the fall of the humanity is marvellously presented by the Three Robots that you cannot but just laugh at the banter, that three totally different Ai's shell out as they try to figure out the past. LOL. Love to the murder cat.


The Witness - Alberto Mieglo

After seeing a brutal murder, a woman flees from the killer through the streets of a surreal city.
Dark Urban Noir set in the near future at some parallel world. The story is engaging and full of tension as your start to fear for the poor main character from the beginning. The story includes so wierdness that might shock some of the traditional fiction lovers. Also NSFW. Loved the twist.


Suits - Steven Lewis

A community of farmers use their homemade mechs to defend their families from an alien invasion.
Funny shorty set in off-world with technology that could be possible tomorrow. The humour suttle and it makes you smile, if not grin as the farmers put their best defence in workman style at their land. Fear aliens the wrath of an determined farmer. They are not happy for losing any cattle. The story take Moo's to where they have never gone before, and the fight to save them is bar to the StarShip Troopers! Loved every second of it, and also cried at the end. Long live the small people!
 

ctg

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Sucker of Souls - Kirsten Cross

Unleashed by an archaeological dig, a bloodthirsty demon battles a team of mercenaries armed with ... cats?
This might sound weird in the synopsis, but the tale is a nice little dark fantasy dealing with the consequences of breaching the unknown. I'm certain the doctor didn't mean, but what he could do when he is playing one of the oldest sins, the explorations. The monster-of-the-tale is terrifying and when the cat walks in the play, the story really twists.

Loved the dialogue and character somewhat desperate acts. NSFW.


When the Yogurt took over - John Scalzi
After scientists accidentally breed super-intelligent yogurt, it soon hungers for world domination.
Equally as funny as Scalzi's other entry. This is however told in more of classical SF way, by using Douglas Adam style of narrative. However, John adds his spice and makes the tale one of the most lovely SF shorts. The twist at the end.


Beyond the Aquila Rift - Alastair Reynolds

Awakening after travelling light years off course, a ship's crew struggles to discover just how far they've come.
Beautiful SF shorty. Netflix put a lot of resources into making of this episode as all you see is gorgeous HD CGI graphics, down to last of Captain beard. You are certainly going to have one if you have been in space as long as they've. Unlike in Reynolds main work, you'll see concepts that break traditional physics. NSFW. Tale is one of the longest in this series and it marvels the watcher with a real science and scary fantasy.


Good Hunting - Ken Liu

The son of a spirit hunter forges a bond with a shape-shifting huli jing.
An alternative history paranormal fantasy. This Chinese story is told through traditional anime graphics, and it is tensile from first minute. You easily fall for the main character and his inability to deal with the reality. We humans are so easily put under an illusion. I loved how the story changed simple monster tale to YA, before it transforms to full adult and even brings in the old age and inevitable death. Then it transforms again, bringing in full steam-punk. it is hard to say what it is, because it has everything in mere fifteen minutes. NSFW.

Don't think for a second you'll know where the story goes. This is a true gem and should get an award. I am amazed by it.
 

ctg

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The Dump - Joe Landsale

Ugly Dave calls the garbage dump home, and he's not about to let some city slicker take it away from him.
Another full CGI that could have come from the masters of Pixar, but when you see it, you know they could have never done it. The tale is humourous dark urban fantasy set in the present day. In a way what happens to Ugly Dave could happen to anyone of us. Good one. :giggle:


Shape-shifters - Marko Kloos

Deep In Afghanistan, two marines with supernatural powers face a threat from one of their own kind.
Gorgeous Military SF that mixes in paranormal fantasy. The CGI is top notch. You start to wonder what if as you'll watch this. If you are well versed in the British SFF and H movies, you are not going to be alone to assume that this is Dog Soldiers spiced up with Murican magic. It's is exciting, bloody and terrifying all at the same time.

The fight between the werewolves is amazing. You could not be able to get this done in real. This a rare werewolf tale and it is worth every second if it. It also made me shed a tear.


Helping Hand - Claudine Griggs

Stranded in orbit, an astronaut must choose between life and limb before her oxygen runs out.
Super sexy Hard SF set in near future. Everything you'll see is as realistic as it could be. The space is a hard place to scream your lungs out. Nobody hears. So desperate measures know no boundaries. The story left me breathless and wishing for more.
 

ctg

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I still have five to go. I didn't had a good mindset to review them last night. But, if you don't mind Adult genre shorties, then this is definitely one to check out. I suspect that if this is a success there might be another set coming in the future.
 

ctg

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Fish Night - Joe Lansdale

After their car breaks down in the desert, two salesmen take a dreamlike voyage to the dawn of time.
A classical SF tale set in the real world. The comic or cartoon like graphics works really well for the story as all the hues and colours fits supremely well to fate of the door-to-door sales men. The SF comes through the observations in time and place as the men gets sucked into an quantum anomaly. I wish I could experience something like it in the real life. Although I'd be like the old guy, just observing.


Lucky 13 - Marko Kloos

After the drop-ship Lucky 13 lost two crews, no pilot would fly her ... but rookies don't get a choice.
Marko Kloos second story is a Military SF space-opera. A short one, but I certainly packed a lot story for 13 minutes. The narrator is a black veteran female pilot, who tells a wicked tale about Lucky 13's fight on an alien planet. Realistic CGI pays off well for this realistic story. The technology you see in this one closely matches the Pentagon vision about the future of warfare. Watch out for the adrenaline rush and occasional shout of "ef yeah." Hail to Lucky 13!


Zima Blue - Alastair Reynolds

The renowned artist Zima recounts his mysterious past and rise to fame before unveiling his final work.
Reynolds second work. This time Netflix chose to tell master's tale through a classical cartoon. I loved the twist. You have to see it, because talking about it would spoil the story. Note that this story matches closely Reynolds voice in the famous Revelation Space. It's a great transformation story told in just 9 minutes.
 

farntfar

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Some were a little gory but overall I'd say that I'd enjoyed all of them.

If this were a challenge:

Long list
Three robots, Suits,Beyond the Aquila ridge, Shape shifter, Zima blue, Ice age

Short list
Sonnie's edge,Helping hand

But my vote goes to
Good hunting
both for the animation and the story.
 
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Jo Zebedee

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Sorry all. Just watched the first 3. Tits out (no dicks on show), rapey overtones, Women in danger, Women shagging each other (no men shagging each other or anyone for that matter).

Great animation. Terrible for women in sf seeking any serious consideration.

I can’t believe the accolades this is getting and no one is mentioning the toxic imagery. In fact, I can’t say how alienated this has made me from fandom. :(
 

Dave

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Sorry all. Just watched the first 3. Tits out (no dicks on show), rapey overtones, Women in danger, Women shagging each other (no men shagging each other or anyone for that matter)
And that was just watching Three Robots! ;)

I tend to agree, more than a few had a very Heavy Metal vibe, except that it does get better. I persevered and When the Yogurt Took Over and Ice Age could never be described in that way. Maybe you could just pick out those. I think Alternate Histories is free of that too. Certainly some good stories told well.

It is a pity that considering how poorly served, and how little of written science fiction and fantasy short stories and novellas come to screen, that it should be the case that it made you feel that way. Innovation and creativity is generally seen first in written stories, and TV and Film slow to follow, but some of these were very clichéd.
 

Jo Zebedee

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I was recommending it to my kids - no way now. I’ll get it deleted off my profile and won’t be going back. I’m not going to support something that gratifies and doesn’t need to. Except that the kids would put me outside to sleep in the garden I’d be getting rid of Netflix. :D
 

Dave

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I'm certain you would like much more of them than you don't if you watched them all. However, most are "adult," if not for the sex themes, then for the level of violence, and consequentially not suitable for children.
 

Jo Zebedee

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I'm certain you would like much more of them than you don't if you watched them all. However, most are "adult," if not for the sex themes, then for the level of violence, and consequentially not suitable for children.
I might like them more - but the point is I’d be supporting something which has shown gratuitous imagery of women (in my opinion, of course) where it didn’t need to. So it’s a no for me.

(My kids are getting well up these days - much harder to police them.)
 
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