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Welcome to GEEKchocolate

Ex Machina

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In the offices of Bluebook, programmer Caleb has won the “golden ticket” of the staff lottery, to spend a week with the owner of the software firm, the world‘s most popular search engine. Flown by helicopter over the rugged, snowy mountain landscape of the estate he walks the last leg to the isolated research facility where he finds the reclusive genius Nathan who tells him this will be a working holiday, that Caleb will be the human component in the Turing test of the artificial intelligence which Nathan has created which he feels will see him at the epicentre of the next evolution of the human race.

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Glasgow Film Festival 2015

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The programme for the Glasgow Film Festival has been announced, but while the official dates are from Wednesday 18th February to Sunday 1st March, featuring two major Scottish premieres of interest to genre fans, the action starts slightly before that with the opening night of the associated Glasgow Youth Film Festival, as on Friday 6th February the classic surround of the Glasgow Film Theatre hosts the premiere of The Signal.

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The Man in the High Castle

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An author of prolific but variable output, it seems as though the work of Philip Kindred Dick has become almost a film genre in its own right, though with over forty published novels and over a hundred and twenty short stories to his name before his death in 1982 aged fifty three, only three months before the release of the most famous adaptation of his work, Blade Runner (originally Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?), there is certainly sufficient source material.

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Late Phases

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“I feel like I’m dropping you off in prison,” Will says as he drives his father to the Crescent Bay retirement community in Rhineback, New York. Tight lipped and stubbornly self-sufficient, Ambrose McKinley doesn’t have a good relationship with his son, and with the recent death of his wife they have lost the buffer between them. A twenty year army veteran, blinded in action, all he has left is memories, meagre savings and Shadow, his loyal guide dog, yet he refuses Will’s offer to help him unpack.

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A Boy and His Dog

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A post-apocalypse jet-black comedy drama starring Don Johnson, then in his mid twenties but playing teenager Vic, scavenging in a desert landscape under which lie buried the remains of the USA, A Boy and His Dog is a largely forgotten and unjustly neglected dusty gem despite having won the 1976 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation. The year is 2024, a generation after the long cold war turned very hot in the five days of World War Four.

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Bill, the Galactic Hero

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It was in March 2013 that maverick director Alex Cox, best known to genre fans for 1984’s science fiction caper Repo Man and as the presenter of BBC2’s irregular Moviedrome slot (1987-1994), launched his Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for an adaptation of Harry Harrison’s novel Bill, the Galactic Hero, originally optioned thirty years before but never produced. A less ambitious vision than the initial concept of “a big budget comedic anti-war science fiction film”, it was to be produced in conjunction with the Film Studies and Theatre & Dance Departments of the University of Colorado as a student project, supervised by Cox and other industry professionals.

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Ant-Man trailer - reaction

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It's had a troubled production, with original writer Edgar Wright leaving shortly before principal photography began, replaced by Peyton Reed, best known for the comedies Down With Love and Yes Man. Starring Paul Rudd as Scott Lang and Michael Douglas as Doctor Hank Pym as his mentor from whom he will inherit the role of Ant-Man, the next film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe also stars The Hobbit's Evangeline Lilly, The Strain's Corey Stoll, Blue Jasmine's Bobby Cannavale and Riddick's Jordi Mollà. Based on the Stan Lee character who first appeared in Tales to Astonish in 1962, no doubt the great man will be making his traditional cameo. The team have seen the first trailer and opinion is split.

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12 Monkeys

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Television is the ultimate time machine, it would seem; the chance not only to visit moments of the past through re-runs, but also to change the past, remould it, shift the events to a more appealing outcome, in effect rewriting history. La Jetée is a twenty eight minute long black and white film by Chris Marker, released in 1962. 12 Monkeys is a hugely successful motion picture made by Terry Gilliam from a screenplay by David and Janet Peoples, released in 1995. 12 Monkeys is also a new television series created by Terry Matalas and Travis Fickett, first broadcast in 2015. And they are all echoes of the same story.

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The Providence of Fire - Brian Staveley

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Out this week on Tor, The Providence of Fire is the second instalment of Brian Staveley's epic fantasy series The Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne.

The first instalment, The Emperor's Blades, drew Staveley many a favourable comparison to Tolkien and current fantasy flavour-of-the-month, George R R Martin.

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Agent Carter

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It’s 1946. The war has ended and the men who fought have returned home to replace the women that were doing their jobs perfectly well whilst they were away. Peggy Carter, agent extraordinaire, leader of the Howling Commandos (as seen in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) and general badass, suddenly finds that she is relegated to the position of “the girl that answers the phones and makes the coffee,” despite the fact that she was an integral part of the team that defeated the Red Skull during the events of Captain America: The First Avenger.

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The Invisible Library - Genevieve Cogman

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The Invisible Library, by Genevieve CogmanThe Invisible Library is the first book in a series from Genevieve Cogman featuring female protagonist Irene and her handsome sidekick Kai.

Irene is a Librarian, attached to the titular organisation which is a secret society of book collectors, spies, and peacekeepers of many alternate Earths. The Invisible Library is an invisible-to-the-common-man collection which links and stabilises these alternate worlds via significant editions of influential literary works.

In her first adventure, we join Irene on the search for a particular copy of Grimm’s fairy tales and are introduced to the rules of the Library and its Librarians, of whose motivations we can never be entirely certain nor can be comfortably trusted.

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Turning the Pages – the comic book renaissance on film and television

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With the release schedule of 2015 brimming with Kingsman: The Secret Service, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ant Man and Fantastic Four to be followed by Superman v Batman: Dawn of Justice, Captain America: Civil War and X-Men: Apocalypse in only the first half of 2016, it seems unfathomable that the renaissance of geek culture truly began less than seven years ago in the spring of 2008.

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