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Beam Me Up #284 Things pt1 – Peter Watts


Peter Watts





Well lets continue on with the goulish theme started the first of October, in episode 284.  This week what better than a rather frightening tale from an author not unknown to the BMU listening audience.  Mr.  Peter Watts.

As we all know at this point, there is a new “Thing Movie”  in the theaters.  Many long time SF fans know that there are three movies based on Who Goes There?  by John W. Campbell, Jr. under the pen name Don A. Stuart   published August 1938 in Astounding Stories.  In 1973, the story was voted by the Science Fiction Writers of America as one of the finest science fiction novellas ever written, and was  published in The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume Two edit by non – other than Isaac Asimov!  The name was changed to “The Thing” when the first of 3 movies made from the basic story line.

Now if you are like me you read the story and found the first movie really lacking.  In the second, directed by Scott Carpenter,  There was a more technically adept and effects rich offering but in the end, a monster movie with no empathy for the creature and no attempt to communicate.  With me, it also closed the door on any further offering in the “Things” franchise.  So what a pleasant surprise I got when reading this new story for Peter Watts called the Things… to discover it had a major twist  right in the beginning that you will ask why wasn’t this done earlier!
Needless to say it is a wonderful homage  to John Campbell’s work.

I wanted this story so bad …..but asking Peter I found out that Clarksworld online magazine had picked up the rights, but Peter said he didn’t mind me playing an audio version as well, so the wonderful folks at Clarkesworld Magazine very graciously let me play their recording of Things.

I want to tell you that their reader got the pathos.  It is an excellent reading.   I play part 1 this week and next week I will finish it up.   Remember is is material better suited for adult sensibilities though not graphic, it could still be considered disturbing at times.

But first to get things warmed up I start with Atlanta Rhythm Section playing Alien…rather appropriate huh?

And from the blog I start with a review of the anime classic Cowboy Bebop.  The movie is a series fan’s movie. Not really a good introduction to the Bebop universe and more a treat for fans.  I loved it, but then I was a fan.  If you have seen the complete series and want a bit  more than this is for you!

Astronomers have discovered the oldest and farthest supernova ever detected — a massive star that exploded 11 billion years ago.

In August of 1883 447 objects passing in front of the sun over two days. But this huge amount of material was only observed by one astronomer.  But panic took hold anyway….These objects were so huge and coming in so close that folks were taking out comet insurance.  Other astronomers  suggested all form of fauna and flora that could have flown in front of the lens and give an erroneous result.  What WAS observed were actually fragments of a massive, billion-ton comet, and the reason that no one else was able to observe the objects is that they passed so close to the Earth!  Calculations show that the ultra massive object passed between 300 to 5000 miles above the surface!!

Using the Keck telescopes on Mauna Kea, astronomers have captured the first direct image of a planet being born.

And so much more!  Honest!


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