Feature: Holiday Presents

As the holiday season approaches, Owen Shavelson suggests a few recently released and upcoming items to look out for that we’ve not yet mentioned on here…




WolverineThe Wolverine – Unleashed Extended Edition (out now)

Marking Hugh Jackman’s sixth outing as the bad-tempered, indestructible Wolverine, this brand new Blu-ray is something fans shouldn’t miss. With 12 extra minutes of footage and the violence notably ramped up a notch, The Wolverine Unleashed Extended Edition is everything fans of the malicious mutant have come to expect. It’s also, according to director James Mangold, the true form of the film.

The four-disc set enables optimal accessibility, allowing viewers to download the film onto mobile devices for viewing. There’s also a plethora of behind-the-scenes content as well. And, for anyone who thought Wolverine’s suit was lacking a certain flair, fans of the comic might want to stay tuned for the alternate ending. (The standard edition is also included.)



ElysiumElysium (December 17 in the US; December 26 in the UK)

The Blu-ray release of Matt Damon’s dystopian epic is perfect for the holidays. Set in the year 2159, class warfare is taken to planetary extremes with the lower class left to their own devices on ravaged Earth. Meanwhile, the privileged live out their cushy lives aboard the utopian space station Elysium. Of course… that doesn’t stop some Earthers from trying to make it aboard the station.

Crammed full of special features, the Elysium Blu-ray offers an interactive tour of the futuristic setting as well as background on the technology featured in the film. Director Neill Blomkamp, who you might recognize for his work on District 9, offers this definitive release – his living, breathing, futuristic world brought to life in this stunning edition.



black-mirrir-dvd ukBlack Mirror

Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker has been hinting at a third series to his ground-breaking dystopian British sci-fi series. Unfortunately, it’s not likely to come anytime soon but if you’re new to the series, now’s a great time to start. Black Mirror Blu-rays and DVDs are being sold in anticipation and, if you live in the States, Audience currently broadcasts the first two series.



The Long War

Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter

the-long-war-by-terry-pratchett-and-stephen-baxterIn a genre that has been largely distilled by the mainstream, it’s always nice when something rich and imaginative like The Long War comes along. The second part of a five-book series, Terry Pratchett brings a breath of fresh air to the familiar space operatic trappings ostensibly present in this series.

Set a generation after the events of the previous instalment, humanity has continued to spread across the galaxy. As new possibilities for new life on new worlds continue to breed new hope, the people of these burgeoning worlds are under constant stress from the Datum government – our Earth. The threat of a second Revolutionary War looms overhead – promising a scale the likes of which humanity has never conceived.




Old Mars

George R. R. Martin, Gardner Dozois, Michael Moorcock, Joe R. Lansdale, and James S.A. Corey

OldMarsOld Mars is a collection of short stories that all pay tribute the great, red planet. However, this isn’t the Mars as you know it but, rather, the Mars your grandparents and great grandparents grew up with – a Mars teeming with life, with running waters and great Martian cities.

George R. R. Martin of Game of Thrones fame is just one of the many talented authors to contribute to this nostalgic jaunt. Old Mars is by no stretch of the imagination “hard science fiction” but it greatly demonstrates the sci-fi genres other strength – imagination. Well-written and evocative of the pulpy, niche beginnings of early sci-fi, Old Mars is a must-have for anyone looking for a way into the genre.


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