Sci-Fi Month

Sci-Fi Month: Sci-Fi Sounds

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In the past I’ve posted a couple of themed playlists on the blog, and shared my reading soundtrack. I thought it would be fun to do a similar thing for Sci-Fi Month, and share my favourite science fiction sounds.

The playlist is available to follow on Spotify, and the tracks are listed below.

Don’t forget to check out the schedule for the rest of today’s posts. You can also Tweet about the event using the hashtag #RRSciFiMonth.

  • Life by Harry Gregson-Williams, from Prometheus– this is the song that plays when Shaw realises what she and the team have found, something every space explorer dreams of – extra-terrestrial life.
  • Pulstar by Vangelis – a lot of his music has a sci-fi vibe but I really love this one.
  • Icarus by Michael McCann, from Deus Ex: Human Revolution – a haunting theme song from a game based around a rather eerie prospect
  • I Am The Doctor by Murray Gold, from Doctor Who: Series 5 – apart from the main theme, this song really rounds up the series for me. It reminds me of all those moments where the Doctor and his companions seem truly stuck – and then the Doctor does something brilliant and saves the day.
  • Suicide Mission by Jack Wall, from Mass Effect 2 – with some definite sci-fi elements, this song brings back memories from a very emotional and tense part of the game.
  • Das Malefitz by Faunts, from Mass Effect 3 – the ending credits song for Mass Effect 3, this song encaptures the final moments of my favourite game series ever.
  • StarWaves by M83, from Oblivion – I have Sarah J. Maas to thank for this! When I met her I told her that my reading playlist is basically the same as her writing playlist (soundtracks), and she recommended this one.
  • End Theme by Vangelis, from Blade Runner – sadly this one is a cover, because the original isn’t on Spotify.
  • Prologue by John Williams, from War of the Worlds– wonderfully creepy and foreboding, and complete with Morgan Freeman reading that amazing quotation from the original H.G. Wells novel (albeit slightly updated for the modern age).
  • Across the Stars (Love Theme) by John Williams, from Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones – even though it’s from my least favourite Star Wars movie, the love theme of Anakin and Amidala/Padme is just wonderful.
  • Duel of the Fates by John Williams, from Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace – because that is one EPIC duel.
  • The Bioluminescence of the Night by James Horner, from Avatar – because I wish I lived on Pandora.
  • Derezzed by Daft Punk, from Tron: Legacy – I don’t care what people say, I kind of loved Tron: Legacy. But you know what I loved more than the film? Daft Punk’s soundtrack for it.
  • Main Title by James Horner, from Aliens – you know what’s coming… I scream at the people in that film when they decide to leave the spaceship. NO!
  • I Am Legend – Epilogue by James Newton Howard, from I Am Legend – a post-traumatic events song that gives you hope.
  • Adagio in D Minor by The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, from Sunshine – this is from a rather underrated sci-fi film, and the soundtrack has just the right mix of creepy and beautiful.
  • Sector 6 by Steve Jablonsky, from The Island – if you haven’t seen The Island, then watch it. It’s about cloning, and stars Sean Bean, Ewan McGregor and Scarlet Johanssen.
  • Science is Fun by Mike Morasky, from Portal 2 – this whole soundtrack is insane, just like the game, but this song definitely has a frantic feel to it.

What do you think of my playlist? I tried to avoid main themes – what would you put in your own Sci-Fi Sounds playlist?

Sci-Fi Month, Thoughts

Sci-Fi Month: The Last of the Timelords – Thoughts on Doctor Who

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Well hello there, dear readers! For my first proper Sci-Fi Month post, I want to share my love of Doctor Who with you all. I’ve only been watching the show since 2009, several years after they rebooted it, but once I watched one episode I had to watch them all. It’s been love ever since. I plan on discussing my favourite things about the show, and would love to hear yours too! I will try and avoid spoilers where possible. Don’t forget to check out the schedule for the rest of today’s posts. You can also Tweet about the event using the hashtag #RRSciFiMonth.
 

Why do I love Doctor Who?

Because it’s just so wonderfully varied and fun, and as well as all the great adventures the Doctor and his companions go on, the characters are just so well-built and I just… I just can’t explain it! I sat down, watched one episode and literally did not stop until I’d finished them all. I marathoned series one to four in a couple of weeks during my first year of university, then watched from series five onwards as they aired. Time and space travel have always fascinated me, so that’s a big part of it, but I think all the little elements of the show come together to make one amazing big thing. Plus, you know, there’s an archaeologist. And it sure knows how to tug at the heartstrings one minute, and have you roaring with laughter the next. In three, very fangirl-ish words: all the feels.
 
I’ve also met one Doctor, and seen another cast member in person (revealed below)!
 

My favourite episodes

  • The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit (series two, episodes eight and nine) – a brilliant two-parter, the Doctor and Rose land on a base of a crew who are drilling through a planet for resources. However, they dig too deep and awaken ancient evil.
  • 42 (series three, episode seven) – you’ll notice a trend here, I kind of love all the episodes where a small group of humans is stuck out somewhere in space, and then something starts killing them off or threatening them – they’re the scariest to me. In this particular episode, Martha and the Doctor only have forty-two minutes to save themselves and the crew, as the ship is hurtling into an alien star.
  • Blink (series three, episode ten) – the first time we meet the Weeping Angels, the scariest Doctor Who villain out there. The Doctor is actually barely in this one, but it’s so creepy and eerie and somehow classically Who, despite the lack of Doctor. This episode features Carey Mulligan as Sally Sparrow.
  • Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead (series four, episodes eight and nine) – I love my two-parters! This is the first time we meet the brilliant River Song, and also the Vashda Nerada – invisible, flesh eating swarms who live in the shadows. Hey, who turned out the lights?!
  • The Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone (series five, episodes four and five) – more Weeping Angels! More terrifying scenes! More River Song!
  • The Waters of Mars (special episode) – this is my favourite Doctor Who special. It’s another Alien-style humans living on a base and being picked off one by one type episode, and this time there’s something in the water. This one is preeeeetty creepy…
  • I also think Vincent and the Doctor (series five, episode ten) deserves a special mention for making me blub like a baby when the Doctor takes Vincent van Gogh to the future and shows him how much people love his work. His face at that moment makes me weep.

My favourite companion

This is a really difficult choice, because I kind of love them all for different reasons, but if I had to choose one it would be…

Donna Noble. Because unlike Rose, she’s not in love with the Doctor. Unlike Martha, she’s not super clever and able to bring some change to the world. Unlike Amy, her life hasn’t centered around him, and unlike Clara, the Doctor’s life is not centered around her. Donna is just a temp from Chiswick, a normal (albeit rather mouthy) woman, with a brilliant sense of humour and a kind heart. And what happened to her… well, it wasn’t fair.
 

My favourite non-companion character

I suppose there aren’t all that many to choose from really, at least regular characters. But hands down, it is definitely…
 

River Song. Professor of archaeology (YES) and all round bad-ass, what other character would get away with uttering the above words on prime-time family television? I love River’s sass, her sarcasm and wit, and her ability to look after herself in any situation. Her flirting with the Doctor is wonderful.
 
And I’ve seen her in real life! I was on an excavation in 2010, and she visited with her daughter. I got a sneaky stalker photo of when she went up in the cherry picker to look over the site, but it’s not very good… A couple of people actually got photos with her, but not me. Boo!

My favourite villains

I expect it’s rather obvious by now that the villains I find most terrifying in Doctor Who are…

The Weeping Angels. These horrors pose as statues, and can only move when not being watched. Once they touch you, they send you back in time to… live yourself to death! (as the Doctor puts it…) and feed off of the energy that you leave behind. Okay, it doesn’t sound scary, but when you see these things in action they are terrifying. Although in one episode they actually start snapping necks. Here’s a cool fan-made trailer that someone put together, using various clips of the four episodes the Angels are featured in.
 
Oh, and just remember. Don’t blink. Don’t even blink. Blink and you’re dead. Don’t turn your back. Don’t turn away. And don’t blink.
 

My favourite songs from the soundtrack

Yay, more playlists! I’ve put together a list of my favourite songs from the soundtrack of the show. Warning: may cause sudden weepiness in Whovians.
 

What are your favourite things about Doctor Who? If you’d like to do a similar post, please share your link in the comments below!

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Horror October: Spooky Songs

Last week, I posted a spooky soundtrack for Horror October, organised by Leanne at Literary Excursion. This week I’m posting some awesome songs with ‘spooky’ words in the title – not spooky sounding music. Songs that mention ghosts, graves, zombies etc!

The playlist is available to follow on Spotify. You can find the complete listing below.

  • (Ghost) Riders In The Sky – Johnny Cash
  • Little Ghost – The White Stripes
  • Misguided Ghosts – Paramore
  • Ghost Town – The Specials
  • Children of the Grave – Black Sabbath
  • Cemetery Gates – Pantera
  • Perhaps Vampires Is A Bit Strong But… – Arctic Monkeys
  • Don’t Fear The Reaper – Blue Oyster Cult
  • Witchy Woman – The Eagles
  • Me and the Devil – Gil Scott-Heron
  • Season of the Witch – Karen Elson
  • Spellbound – Siouxsie and the Banshees
  • Highway to Hell – AC/DC (cover version, apparently they’re not on Spotify)
  • Sympathy for the Devil – The Rolling Stones
  • Some Kind of Monster – Metallica
  • Superstition – Stevie Wonder
  • Werewolves of London – Warren Zevon
  • Pet Semetary – The Ramones
  • Crossroad Blues – Robert Johnson
  • I Put A Spell On You – Screamin’ Jay Hawkins
  • Voodoo Child (Slight Return) – Jimi Hendrix
  • Killer on the Loose – Thin Lizzy
  • Heads Will Roll – Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  • Bad Moon Rising – Creedence Clearwater Revival

What do you think of my playlist? What songs would you include on your own spooky-themed playlist?

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Reading Soundtracks

I am the sort of person who hates silence. I need music on, constantly. I have to take my iPod everywhere, I even use it for the five minute walk to work. However, some music can be particularly distracting whilst reading, so I prefer to listen to instrumental pieces – specifically, soundtracks. Here are some of my top ones!

Just a small selection! I think that Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince is my favourite of the Harry Potters, because I absolutely love the song ‘Harry and Hermione’, plus the Umbridge inspired ones are fun. The Mass Effect 3 soundtrack is known as the one that makes me sob like a baby. Especially this song – the one that you get with your love interest (Garrus!)

I just have so much love for film and game soundtracks. Imagine how different our experiences would be without them. It would be so much harder to build up the right atmosphere, make your viewers/players feel excited, scared, sad. To me, they are perfect to read books to, and you can even match the genres! Something creepy? Prometheus. Something a bit wacky, and exciting? Doctor Who. Something epic? Lord of the Rings.

Now for my readers! What do you read along to, if anything?