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

Matteo

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Saw a bunch more on the weekend: Fish Night was pretty but that's all, Good Hunting I liked, The Dump was fun, but the ending was obvious, Shape Shifters looked great and the action was good, Helping Hand was the best of this lot - but if only she had a cricket ball ;), Lucky 13 was another great looking piece but lacked something for me, Zima Blue I suspect was much better as a written piece; on screen it didn't come across so well, Blindspot was stuck in 80s.

I'm bracing myself for Alternate Histories...
 

ctg

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While it’s tough to make out much in the frenzied video other than a lot of gore, we know some of the eight episodes of the season are based on the stories of classic sci-fi writers Harlan Ellison (“Life Hutch”) and J.G. Ballard (“The Downed Giant,” which will be directed by Deadpool’s Tim Miller) as well as modern sci-fi writers John Scalzi (“Automated Customer Service), Neil Asher (“Snow in the Desert”), and Paolo Bacigalupi (“Pop Squad”).

The only one I don't know is Paolo Bacigalupi.
 

Matteo

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Well, Alternate Histories turned out to be quite silly and funny. Also saw a few of the new episodes: Automated Customer Services (when vacuum cleaners go rogue!!) was fun, Ice (teenagers on an ice planet) was mediocre, and Pop Squad (controlling the population) was very good - though would have benefited from more background.
 

ctg

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I'm sorry for not writing the reviews. Was not in the right mindset. Hence I reserved the episodes and didn't watch them.
 

Dave

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I watched them all in one sitting. Hit and miss. I can't remember the first series to say whether the second was better.

Automated Customer Services (when vacuum cleaners go rogue!!) was fun, Ice (teenagers on an ice planet) was mediocre, and Pop Squad (controlling the population) was very good - though would have benefited from more background.
Those were the standout episodes. Pop Squad was the most thought provoking, but nothing told me why the policeman suddenly had such a change of heart. It couldn't have been the woman's little speech. Yes, more background needed.
 

alexvss

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I did watch them all in one sitting last night, and, although I like the first volume more, I don't regret it. I think that this one is much more escapist. The one I liked the most was Pop Squad, it reminded of the French comic Androïds--it's the same premise.
 

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Automated Customer Service - John Scalzi

Modern CGI with the art style leaning towards the spitting image. In the futuristic retirement community all care is applied by robots. An ideal situation we've toying for a while. It just Scalzi shows us that it might not be a good idea of replacing carers with robots, completely. Loved the robot more than the old lady and her yapping god ... er, dog. Laughed at the "super helpful" customer service.

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Ice - Rich Larson

Old school cartoon. The author might be strange to some, but if you have been reading the magazines, you can find this Nigerian born Canadian master in the Asimov's, Analogu, Clarkesworld etc. The story is a dark SF coming-to-age YA. Wait for the cyberwhales. They are gorgeous, but at the end don't really play a big role. No deaths in this short. Lots of drug references, so mildly NSFW.

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Pop Squad - Paolo Bacigalupi.

Modern 'realistic' CGI. Like I said before this multiaward winning author was completely unknown to me. So apologies for ignorance. The story is a futuristic cyberpunk noir. It is also super dark, so NSFW. I loved the main character struggle. It is the same tale that you can find in Braddenbury's Fahrenheit 451 essentially. Loved the tale twisting, especially seeing the anti-transhuman angle and the urban decay spreading everywhere. In the Bladerunner Gaff's words all I can ask is: "Who would want to live forever?"
 

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Snow in the Desert - Neal Asher

Modern Hyper-realistic CGI. The tale is set in far futuristic alien exoplanet, but in the heart it is a 'twisted western' survivalist story. Not only you'll see aliens, but there is a strong presence of mutants and other oddities. Unlike in the last one, the transhumanism is strong in this one, like it is present in so many Neal's stories. There are also shades of Neal's Military SF tied in tale. So, there's a lot of things that are very SF. Wait for the twist at the end. NSFW - for violence.

One of my favourite.

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The Tall Grass - Joe Lanstale

Old school artistic cartoon mixed with CGI. I was surprised by the water colour art style. It really fit well both the story and the characters. The story is a grim mystery with strong horror vibes, which should be no wonder as the author is major horror, crime, mystery master. Absolutely loved it.

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All Through the House - Joachim Heijndermans

Stop animation with mixed CGI. It is a Christmas tale, but for adults only. I surely wouldn't be showing it to the young ones. Teenagers maybe. But only if they understood grim humour, as the Santa Claws is a terrifying nightmarish creature that some adults might find quite disturbing. "What would happen if we weren't good?"
 

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Life Hutch - Harlan Ellison

Hyper realistic CGI. Grandmaster Ellison's tale is set in the far future. It is a short survivalist tale, with mixed in Military SF and space opera. Just wait for the robot to appear. I would not have known what to do in his shoes. NSFW - for injury detail and graphic violence, so I'm going to add PTSD warning as well.

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The Drowned Giant - JG Ballard

Hyper realitic CGI. Grandmaster Ballard's tale is set in the present day. It's a twist to the classic Lilliput story with a giant washing up to the beach. NSFW for showing a gigantic cock, and a composing corpse in detail. I ended up wondering what would we do if a giant washed up on one of our beaches?

Note also that the tale is set in the Ipswich.
 

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My favorites so far are "The Drowned Giant" for its sheer strangeness and "All Through the House", which made me frightened for my younger self.
 

Matteo

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I just saw the remaining five episodes. Snow in the Desert looked great and had a nice twist but otherwise fairly ordinary. The Tall Grass looked beautiful and had a hint of a Twilight Zone episode (though more violent) - liked that one. All Through the House was fun. Life Hutch failed in logic. I've not read the short story The Drowned Giant but can imagine it is a good read - unfortunately it did not work as a piece of film (any imagination one would have reading the story is immediately lost).

However, on the whole, this collection was better than the first.
 

alexvss

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I just saw the remaining five episodes. Snow in the Desert looked great and had a nice twist but otherwise fairly ordinary. The Tall Grass looked beautiful and had a hint of a Twilight Zone episode (though more violent) - liked that one. All Through the House was fun. Life Hutch failed in logic. I've not read the short story The Drowned Giant but can imagine it is a good read - unfortunately it did not work as a piece of film (any imagination one would have reading the story is immediately lost).

However, on the whole, this collection was better than the first.
I'll bite. Why do you think Life Hutch failed in logic?
 

Matteo

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I felt it was too much a stretch that a maintenance droid would act that way - even one that was malfunctioning. And were there no other ships in the area to pick him up? (I assume they had all been destroyed, but still...).
 

alexvss

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Volume 3 has been announced! It will come out around the same time as last year. An announcement teaser was released today, but it doesn't have any information on the actual episodes (they just show scenes from the previous volumes). I guess it's time to rewatch everything.

 

Mon0Zer0

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Does everyone know how Love & Robots came into being already, and how Netflix kind of screwed over a large magazine? Has this ever been discussed?
 

alexvss

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Does everyone know how Love & Robots came into being already, and how Netflix kind of screwed over a large magazine? Has this ever been discussed?
This has not been discussed in this thread. Not that I know of. But I'd sure like to. Please share.
 
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Mon0Zer0

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Not that I know of. But I'd sure like to.

Basically, the series was developed in conjunction with a famous monthly magazine. You'll know the magazine from two well known compendium movies in the eighties and noughties, the artwork of which is iconic and was parodied in South Park. Enough hints?

The CEO of the magazine at the time was a film producer who was trying to use the years of ip it had accumulated to produce a black mirroresque animated show - it would feature stories by Moebius, Druillet etc plus some impressive shorts made by budding animation directors that had been flying round as sizzle reels. The latter made it into the final show. So, the producer put the whole package together, got Fincher onboard and started pre-production.

Netflix and Tim Miller then, apparently, simply approached the directors themselves behind the magazines back and packaged the show very cheaply and put it out as Love & Robots. CEO, as you can imagine, was spitting feathers.
 

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