The weekend is upon us, and with it a chance to sit back, relax and consume massive amounts of sci-fi, fantasy and horror pop culture. In The Geekender, our writers share a bit about what they're reading, watching and playing -- and we want to hear from you. Let us know what's on your plate in the comments!
Trent Moore: I'll go ahead and get the disclosure out of the way: Blastr is owned by Syfy. Home team show or not, I've really been digging the new space-set series Killjoys the past few weeks. I was curious enough to bank the first couple episodes on my DVR, and finally found the time to chew through them. Turns out, this little show is a lot of fun. Witty dialogue, likable characters and a bit of dangling mystery to tie it all together. There are dashes of Farscape and Firefly here (not to say it's in the same league, per se), and I'm thinking this one could be the guilty sci-fi pleasure of the summer.
Ernie Estrella: Due to some pressing cram sessions and binge sessions, I'll be clearing out my DVR that has the last two episodes of The Flash Season 1 and Salem Season 2. Both started out as underdogs, but I felt both shows displayed their strengths and potential longevity in their respective genres, shining where other bigger named-shows like Gotham and Constantine floundered. I especially felt Salem took it up several notches this season with Lucy Lawless as the big boss and the Witch War storyline. They're taking some risks at WGN America and that's promising for a network trying to grow their original content. Plus, I've been impressed the performances of the leading ladies this season, Tamzin Merchant (Anne Hale), Elise Eberle (Mercy Lewis) and Janet Montgomery (Mary Sibley).
Jeff Spry: Rocking in my hammock under the pines this long 4th of July weekend, I plan on catching up on several eye-catching tie-in comics to Marvel's excellent Secret Wars event. Four of the best companion books so far are The Infinity Gauntlet, Ghost Racers, Weirdworld, and Planet Hulk, all with top-shelf creative teams and a colorful panorama of artistic styles and stories. Marvel has unspooled its massive Secret Wars series with a smart, aggressive marketing campaign and offered up some tantalizingly odd titles perfect for holiday reading with a red, white and blue Bomb Pop in one hand and a cool comic in the other.
Matthew Jackson: Stephen King is my favorite author, so every once in a while (usually a short while) I tend to go back and re-read a favorite work of his, just to evoke certain feelings and remind myself why I love stories so much. This weekend, because it's my second favorite novel of his (after The Stand), and because it's the only King novel I left unpacked during my recent move, I'll be diving back into IT. This book's been in the news a lot lately because of the rocky road of its new big screen adaptation, but when I really dig into this story, I don't care, because when it's at its best, this book is better than any film version could ever hope to be.
Don Kaye: I don't know if I'll get to it this weekend, but I just picked up a book earlier this week called The Burning Dark. It's a sci-fi novel by Adam Christopher and may be the first of a larger series called Spider War. I don't know much beyond that, but I do know that the synopsis on the back cover was enough to get me to buy it. The story takes place in deep space and features a haunted space station, a ghostly message that's a thousand years old, and a race of machines that devour entire worlds. From what I can tell, the book hits the sweet spot between hard sci-fi and horror -- a great but often tricky balancing act to pull off. Hopefully it lives up to that back cover pitch and some of the reviews I've read.
Krystal Clark: I'm almost done with my trek through the DC Animated Universe. This week's offering is Justice League: Throne of Atlantis. It's loosely based on the New 52 story ("Throne of Atlantis"), written by Geoff Johns. As you might suspect, it focuses on Arthur Curry, aka Aquaman, and underwater drama with the Atlanteans. Aquaman has a foot on both land and sea, so he's at the center of a war brewing between those worlds. Like most DC films, Throne of Atlantis has a killer cast, including Matt Lanter (Star Wars: The Clone Wars), Sam Witwer (Syfy's Being Human), Rosario Dawson (Daredevil), and fan favorite Nathan Fillion (Firefly, Castle).
Dany Roth: This weekend, I will be doing what I have done every year since time immememorial (aka 1996) -- watching Independence Day. Maybe that's a little too on the nose, but who am I to say no to a disaster movie so cheesy yet endearing that director Roland Emmerich has been dying to recapture the (box office) magic ever since? Plus, this is the last July 4th we'll get to watch this masterpiece untainted by the uncertain future of not one, but two sequels. So, bring on the Pullman presidential speechifying, the Will Smith welcoming to Earth, and that classic shoddy Jeff Goldblum line delivery --Nothing beats Indepence Day on Independence Day!
Lisa Granshaw: This weekend, I plan to finally finish reading the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine novel I started two weeks ago, Demons of Air and Darkness by Keith R.A. DeCandido. Instead of jumping right into the next book in the series once I'm done, though, I picked up something a little different to check out: Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy. Over the years, I've grown increasingly interested in how aspects of pop culture like comic books, science fiction, and fantasy have impacted the fashion world, and this book takes a look at how superheroes, in particular, have influenced certain designers. The book accompanied an exhibit held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2008, which I unfortunately missed, so I'm intrigued to discover how this book explores the connection between superheroes and fashion.
Matt Dorville: While many Netflix series have garnered huge acclaim, and most rightly so, I haven't heard of Knights of Sidonia until a good friend of mine suggested it, but this might be my favorite Netflix original series. Earth has been destroyed by a mysterious monster called Gauna, and the last bit of humanity is aboard the starship Sidonia trying to find a way to survive. The white knuckle pace of the series combined with animation that is just plain awesome makes for the best manga series I've seen since Attack on Titan. Screenwriter Sadayuki Murai, who penned some of my favorite Cowboy Bebop episodes, wrote the screenplay, and the second season, called "The Battle for Planet Nine," is available on Netflix starting July 3rd. I know I'll get looks from the family when I watch a Japanese manga on July 4th, but I also know I'll get a lot of converts, as well.
Evan Hoovler: This three-day weekend, my wife and I are going to try Plants vs. Zombies on XBox. I know, I know: We're six years late to the party. We don't get a lot of time to game, or watch movies, or breathe deeply, because we have twin two year olds. But the marvelous free games that XBox Gold provides (two per month for 360 players) gave us this puzzle gem, and we're hoping it's one of the few games we can actually play in front of our kids (i.e. not too violent or mature). I'm also going to try Sense8 one more time. I used to love cerebral science-fiction shows with lots of mythos and in-depth plots but, these days, I can't concentrate on anything too deep, because my kids are making noise in the background. Whenever I'm not around my kids, I don't have the energy to pay attention much, because I'm too busy working, and drinking, and listening to Zeppelin. I'm going to try Sense8 one more time (I watched the first two episodes and was utterly confused), but I suspect it might go into the pile, with Orphan Black, of "amazing shows I just don't have the bandwidth for."
Adam Swiderski: I bought Pillars of Eternity a couple of months back, but I've honestly been a little afraid to play it, because I know it's going to eat my life. That said, a holiday weekend is the perfect time for me to dive in and scratch that old-school, isometric RPG itch (friends? Family? Sunlight? WHAT ARE THOSE?). I look forward to many hours rolling and re-rolling characters of different classes/races, pausing to issue commands for real-time combat to my minions, and looting everything that isn't locked down. Oh, sure, there's a fantasy world to save, and all that, but only once I'm fully kitted out with the best armor and weapons Eora has to offer. A hero has to have his priorities.
Carol Pinchefsky: Even though Batman: Arkham Knight has been disabled on one-stop-PC-game-shop Steam, for some reason, I was able to download it. It was buggy at first, but with the addition of a new graphics card, it's now playing flawlessly. This is the second time I've played a game that was theoretically riddled with bugs, yet has been issue-free for me. The first was Aliens: Colonial Marines, a game that I was vilified for liking, which I swear to this day never gave me a problem. Truth: Computers may hate me, but they obey my husband. Anyway, I'll be playing the hell out of Arkham Knight this geekend.
That's our list! What's on your plate this weekend (other than hot dogs and fireworks)? Let us know in the comments!