Today in Geek News: Another Earth offers a glimmer of hope that there will be at least one genre movie this summer that isn’t painfully stupid.  The gods smile upon us with Project Zomboid, a zombie survival game that will kill you dead.  A whole lot of people watched Noah Wyle run, shoot and lecture his way through the premier of Falling Skies.  And science fiction author Jamie Mason releases his young adult novel Echo.

Amid a summer movie season that features talking cars that aren’t made by Knight Industries, another Transformers sequel and a remake/reboot of Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, I’ve managed to find one movie that looks genuinely intriguing: Mike Cahill’s Another Earth. Having already won critical acclaim at the Sundance Film Festival, Another Earth tells the story of a duplicate Earth and the tragedy that brings together an astrophysics student and a composer who has “reached the pinnacle of his profession”.  While I hold out hope that Cowboys and Aliens might be this year’s Iron Man, it’s nice to see something that looks like a genuine think piece quietly inserted into the mix.  Another Earth opens on July 22.  Here’s the trailer.

The indie game renaissance has finally extended its reach into the world of zombies.  The Indie Stone’s Project Zomboid might only be in pre-release alpha, but it is already making waves on the internet.  PZ tells the story of the player’s death.  There is no winning this 2D isometric role-playing game; there is only surviving a little longer than in the last play through.  Project Zomboid’s tech demo boasts a very creative crafting system, haunting music and survival mechanics that demand players manage their character’s mental and physical needs while evading the zombie hoard and other survivors.  The devs have promised that the release version will feature skill trees, randomly generated quests and co-op multiplayer.  A free tech demo is available via The Indie Stone’s website.  Once the devs patch the game to deal with a recent hack attack, the alpha version, which will be updated Minecraft style, will be on sale for about nine dollars.

Last weekend Doctor Professor Noah Wyle made his return to the small screen and apparently people were watching.  The premier episodes of TNT’s alien invasion series, Falling Skies, pulled in 5.9 million viewers to become the biggest cable television launch of the year.  For comparison, last summer’s The Walking Dead pulled in 5.3 million viewers with its debut.  While Falling Skies offers some promise, it’s hard not to notice the War of the Worlds meets The Patriot meets The Triopds vibe that echoes through the show. It’s even harder not to notice the odd plot holes within the first two episodes.  Falling Skies now faces the challenge of holding on to its huge audience.  But, really, it’s not like there’s anything else to watch this summer.

And finally, science fiction author Jamie Mason, the very first person to ever do an interview with the Page of Reviews, has just released his new young adult SF novel, Echo. Set on a planet where human colonists have lost all memory of Earth, Echo explores religion and false history through the lens of an outcast youth.  I’d have my review of Echo done by now if the damn postal strike hadn’t intercepted my Kindle.  Echo is available in any format you can imagine from Drollerie Press.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That, friends, Romans and Klingons, is your geek news for June 24 2011.  Optimus Prime be with you.