The Cultural Gutter

taking trash seriously

"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." -- Oscar Wilde

Three Islands


A homophobic Tumblr post becomes Queer dystopian adventure fiction in two responses. Behold! (Thanks, Adele!)

“Navajos on Mars: Native Sci-Fi Film Futures”


‘The recent rise of Native-produced sci-fi films is more than an academic fascination. These diverse set of films have the power to not only help us to reimagine our assumptions about the futures of Indigenous peoples, but also to serve as a cultural mirror enabling us to reassess the Western sci-fi futures we have internalized. […]

“The Greatest Actor Alive”


The Atlantic profiles Max Von Sydow. “For a significant portion of his six decades onscreen, he has been the greatest actor alive. Now, in his 87th year on Earth, he may be on the verge of becoming a pop-culture icon. In December, he’ll be seen in Star Wars: Episode VII—The Force Awakens, in a role […]

“The Empire Strikes Thomas Kinkade”


The Daily Banter has a galley of artist Jeff Bennett’s “Wars of Kinkade,” which integrate Star Wars into the paintings of Thomas Kinkade. “But one modern artist has finally figured out what Kinkade’s scenes are lacking. What they’ve always really needed to be complete. And that’s a full-scale invasion by Star Wars‘s Evil Galactic Empire.”

Women Destroy Science Fiction


Read stories, essays and excerpts from Lightspeed magazine’s “Women Destroy Science Fiction” issue, which just happened to win a 2015 British Fantasy Award!

“Strong Female Characters and the Double Standard”


At, Liz Bourke writes about the double standard in how strong female characters are evaluated: “But show me a female character whose major characteristics are competence with violence, willingness to defy authority, and the occasional ability to make entertaining banter, and I’ll show you a character who—I am willing to guarantee you—has been dismissed […]

“Fear You Can Hear”


Nitrate Diva has a list of “31 of the Scariest Old Time Radio Episodes for Halloween.” Listen up!

“Even dogs assail’d their masters, all save one”


At The Brattle Film Notes, Kerry Fristoe writes about The Road Warrior and Lord Byron’s poem, “Darkness,” in “The Road Warrior or Mad Max and Lord Byron Walk into a Bar…”

2016, Parts 1 and 2


At Die, Danger, Die, Die, Kill!, Todd reviews the two part Ghanian director Ninja’s film, 2016. “2016 is a movie that I am obligated to review by virtue of my having long ago joined the internet chorus of people trumpeting on about its insane trailer—and this despite the fact that all of you with any […]

Thunderbirds meet “The Abominable Snowman”


Look, it’s the trailer for “The Abominable Snowman” a new episode of classic Thunderbirds. Huffington Post UK has more: “It’s exactly half a century since we heard the ominous tones of voice actor Peter Dyneley bringing us the Thunderbirds intro ‘5 -4 – 3 – 2 -1 Thunderbirds are go’, and to celebrate, the team […]

An Ode To Dana Scully

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At The Toast, Laura Sook Duncombe shares, “An Ode To Dana Scully.” Scully was the hero my pre-adolescent heart craved. Watching the show for the first time was like arriving at a place I’d never been but instantly knew as home.”

“What If Pam Grier Was Ripley In The Alien Films?”

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Peter Stults created three posters for Alien, Aliens and Alien 3 starring Pam Grier as Ellen Ripley. (via @DarkMattersProj)

Return To The Planet Of Monkeys vs. Robots

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It’s time to return to a question I first confronted five years ago in  “A Matter of Evolution: Monkeys vs. Robots” and faced again in“Terror of Monkeys vs. Robots.”  The eternal question of Monkeys vs. Robots. Not just who would win in a fight. That question has been ably considered by James Kolchaka in Monkey […]

“Sci-Fi’s Difficult Genius”

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The New Yorker has a profile of author Gene Wolfe. “His narrators may be prophets, or liars, or merely crazy, but somewhere in their stories they help to reveal what Wolfe most wants his readers to know: that compassion can withstand the most brutal of futures and exist on the most distant planets, and it […]

Bitch Planet Studies Exploitation With Exploitation”

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At Sequential Art, Ian Dawe writes about Kelly Sue Deconnick and Valentine de Landro’s comic, Bitch Planet. “The first thing to understand about this comic is that it’s a deep homage to 1970s science fiction, sports movies and exploitation pornography. Artist Valentine De Landro uses the visual language of films like 1974’s Caged Heat, but […]

Interview with Ursula K. Le Guin

The New York Times Sunday Book Review has an interview with author Ursula K. Le Guin. “I read mostly novels, any kind of novels, and poetry, and all kinds of nonfiction, especially some kinds of science, biographies, some history, and books about and by Native Americans, and Tierra del Fuego, and Darwinian adaptation — oh, […]

“Who Was Jack Kirby’s Darkseid?”

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At Too Busy Thinking About My Comics, Colin Smith begins an in-depth look at Jack Kirby’s most anti-life creation, Darkseid. “What follows is my attempt to work out the character of Kirby’s Darkseid during those two wonderful years in the early 1970s, when DC Comics had handed The King four spaces in their publishing schedule […]

Mark Hamill’s Sassy Autographs

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There’s a set of Star Wars cards autographed with amusing comments by Mark Hamill at imgur.

The Projection Booth watches Alien 3

Mike White, Rob St. Mary and Cinema Snob’s Brad Jones explore the mystery of Alien 3 and its production at The Projection Booth. “We talked to Vincent Ward who brought the idea of ‘monks in space’ to the game and the late John Fasano who worked on a few drafts of the Alien 3 script. […]

“Frank Rudolph Paul’s Life On Other Planets”


Juxtapoz Magazine has a gallery of Frank Rudolph Paul’s science fiction illustrations, 1936-9.

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  • Of Note Elsewhere

    Stacked has a sweet resource list of young adult books featuring black girls. “All descriptions are from WorldCat, and I’m absolutely eager to hear more titles. All are YA books featuring black girls front and center and they include fiction and some non-fiction. A couple of these titles also fall into that crossover category, so while they may technically be “adult” reads, they have great appeal to teens. Several of these authors have written more than one title featuring a black girl at the center, so it’s worth checking their other titles, too. Many of these are also on-going series titles. I’ve limited to one per author.”


    Michael Aguilar discusses The Giant Claw and making the stop motion wonder of “Godzilla 2014 vs. The Giant Claw, Part I!” (Thanks, Kate!)


    In a 1988 Sight And Sound interview, Patricia Highsmith talks about film adaptations of her novels, from Strangers On A Train (1950) to The American Friend (1977)


    Open Culture has a re-vamped trailer for a film adaptation of  Alejandro Jodorowsky and Moebius’ comic The Incal. One that never happened. “[Incal‘s] success made it a logical candidate for film adaptation, and so director Pascal Blais brought together artists from Heavy Metal magazine (in which Mœbius first published some of his best known work) to make it happen. It resulted in nothing more than a trailer, but what a trailer; you can watch a recently revamped edition of the one Blais and his collaborators put together in the 1980s at the top of the post.” (Thanks, Felipe!)


    Hyperallergic has a gallery of astronomical and cosmological illustrations from photographer Michael Benson’s books, Cosmographics: Picturing Space Through Time. (Thanks, Stephanie!)


    A homophobic Tumblr post becomes Queer dystopian adventure fiction in two responses. Behold! (Thanks, Adele!)


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