Shin Godzilla (2016)

A fantastic Godzilla film, very much drawing from the 1954 original in that there’s little focus on franchise-building or riffing off the Godzilla series and monster movie traditions for their own sake, but instead weaving a science-fiction tale that uses Godzilla to comment on actual real-world events and mentalities. Here, Godzilla and his attacks aren’t…

Godzilla (1954)

The original, 1954 Godzilla/Gojira film is much more of a science-fiction movie than a monster movie. Partially this is due to the movie codifying the monster genre, so there wasn’t a tradition to draw from yet, but also because it very much subscribes to the science-fiction convention of using outlandish yet at least seemingly semi-plausible…

Meathouse Man (1976) by George R. R. Martin

This is an ugly, off-putting story, clearly drawing from the same emotional experience that drove “This Tower of Ashes” and “Dying of the Light”, but in a much more repulsive way. The characterisation and worldbuilding is in as fine form as ever, notably better than many of the other “Thousand Worlds” short stories. Martin also has a clearer…

In the House of the Worm (1976) by George R. R. Martin

A disturbing, eerie, repulsive horror/science-fiction hybrid short story. This is one of the more nakedly Lovecraft-inspired stories of Martin. It’s more of a typical science-fiction short story than some of Martin’s other “Thousand Worlds” stories, in that it all leads to a clever ending but doesn’t have as much focus on characterisation, which is a shame…

Nobody Leaves New Pittsburg (1976) by George R. R. Martin

This is the first short story in the “Corpse Handler Trilogy”. It’s not really a trilogy in the strict sense, as the three stories have no character or plot connections, and are just united through their common exploration of one of Martin’s science-fiction worldbuilding elements; that of workers who technologically telepathically control corpses to make them…

This Tower of Ashes (1976) by George R. R. Martin

This short story reads like a proto-attempt at what would become Martin’s much more accomplished novel, Dying of the Light. Clearly, both stories (as well as Meathouse Man) are drawing from a personal experience that affected Martin deeply. For better or worse, I can relate deeply with that experience, especially at this time of my life. While…