Steven Lyle Jordan

Author of original science fiction novels and commentary on science, sci-fi entertainment and futurist matters. 
5 novelsNovels are available in ebook formats at Amazon and at Barnes & Noble.
On Facebook: stevenlylejordan
On Twitter: @Steven_L_Jordan (#BringTheFuture)

Writing movies in book form

Expanse art“All my books start in my head as films or documentaries that I then have to adapt for a novel. If I can’t see it, I can’t write it,” says Karen Traviss, author of Going Grey. “In every scene, I’m walking the point of view character through a three-dimensional landscape and interacting with it through the characters’ eyes, seeing what they see and thinking what they think. Even my scene and chapter transitions are often pretty much the ones I learned making documentaries and features, almost to the point of dissolves and fades.”

I love this quote, from the IO9 article The Secret of Writing An Action Movie in Book Form.  The article and various comments from notable authors pretty accurately describe the way I wrote my novels, which I always self-described as akin to transcribing a movie to book form.  In my head, I would compose a scene, imagine dialogue and action that would look and sound good on-screen, and reconstruct that into words designed to capture that action and mood. Continue reading

The Book of Eli

Denzel Washington in The Book of EliI only just saw The Book of Eli for the first time on television last weekend.  Although I’d heard that it was a great movie, I’d missed catching it in the theaters, and then I never heard another word about it.

And no wonder: It’s a post-apocalyptic drama, but without fleets of cobbled-together vehicles, bald musclemen with feathered headsets and skull-makeup, buckets of blood and broken bones flying everywhere, world-spanning trains, robo-suited troops or zombie attacks.  In other words, it’s the kind of movie that critics would have spoken well of, but the public must have been bored to death watching.

Well, if you were one of those movie-goers who just skipped this one, or missed it when it came to town, I’m here to tell you now: If you like serious drama and realistic adventure in a post-apoc setting, you’re not going to do much any better than this one.  The Book of Eli kicks ass. Continue reading

The Player can’t be much more cynical about humanity

Philip Winchester

Philip Winchester, star of The Player.

This week’s premier of the new series The Player has given us that rare animal, the original TV show premise… which alone was enough to get my interest and, fresh after my high of watching the premier of Heroes Reborn, insured that I was going to give the new show a watch.

But although I liked the show, I have to admit that this series has got to have about the lowest opinion of humanity you can get without heading straight for the suicide booths.

It’s summed up in a comment made by the main character, Alex Kane: “All the resources you have, to help people… and you do this?” Continue reading

We’ll get to Mars—just maybe not soon.

The Martian's Watney, alone on MarsNext week’s premier of The Martian is going to show audiences, better than almost any other medium can, how incredibly hard it’s going to be to get to and live on our sister planet.  And for every problem is shows us, it is not inclusive of every danger Mars offers to human visitors.  Mars is just plain hazardous to human health.  But the public is already seeing this as a love-letter to the space program, an acceptance of the challenges involved, and the human desire to stand on another planet.

There are detractors and nay-sayers, it’s true, and some say we should never go to Mars.  But there always are opponents to any new idea, and for good reason: New ideas are often hard and dangerous things when first conceived of or attempted.

Yes, going to Mars now would be almost impossibly hard for us to pull it off.  But that’s how a lot of scientific progress goes: Conceived of in one era; pulled off in the next one. Continue reading

New (sort of): Unwelcome Guest

Unwelcome Guest coverNow available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble, Unwelcome Guest is the latest revision of my sexy detective noir novel, originally titled Despite Our Shadows:

In 2007, heiress Ellen Levinson vanishes from a downtown Washington hotel under mysterious circumstances. Four years later, a series of blackmail letters leads investigator Alain Guest to Nashville, digging into the local goth and bondage scene in search of the missing heiress. But things go wrong quickly, leaving Alain wondering who’s in more danger: The heiress; or himself…

This repackaging includes a fresh writing-proofing pass, a spanking (heh) new cover for your titillation and enjoyment, and the scandalously low price of $0.99 ($1.00 even on B&N… don’t ask).

Runaway: Decades ahead of its time

RunawayIt’s really a shame that, when Michael Crichton brought Runaway to the big screen, he wasn’t graced with a big budget or serious Hollywood support.  The lack of both shows in his film about an America filled with automation, including self-driving cars, robot maids, flying drones… and a terrorist dedicated to hacking those things in order to kill people.

Michael Crichton’s only mistake in creating this movie was giving it to us too early.  If he had brought this to Hollywood in the 2000s, it could have been his greatest hit. Continue reading

Under the skin

phone_comparisonFacebooker Roy Kristovski submitted this photo comparison of three cellphones to illustrate a point he was making:

Each of these are/were arguably the most popular phones of their time, each released around 8 years apart.

How come the advance between the first 2 are so much more than the second two. I’m only 22 so I may be bias but I feel like during the period say 2000-2007 the everyday advances we saw in technology were massive think CD walkman to iPod, VHS to DVD the difference ever year in cell phones and computers, Dial Up to broadband. In the last 8 years we have been given Wifi and Digital storage of movies/music, but I feel as tho these are just upgrades of preexisting items. So far wearable tech has failed to make an impact see google glass or apple watch…. Idk correct me if i’m wrong but compared to the first 7 or so years of the 21st century this second 7 has been pretty lacklustre in the terms of life changing tech…

I see Roy’s dilemma, but in this case, I think he’s allowed the mere appearance of the phones to cloud his impressions of advancing technology.  Here’s how I responded: Continue reading

“Why I love wearing hijab” (no, not me)

Ruqaiya Haris

Ruqaiya Haris

I love this post, from on Dazed. She’s found a solution to finding her personal comfort zone around the gender gap and the oppressive male gaze, and found a way to feel liberated and in control: She has adopted traditional Muslim hijab for daily wear.  From her post:

I grew up in a fairly relaxed Muslim household, in a pretty much all-white suburb of North London. Like a lot of diaspora kids I was somewhat culturally confused, as well as totally disengaged from Islam, which I generally associated with stifling restrictions and rules. And so in my early teenage years I began to take great pleasure in rebelling against my cultural upbringing in any way I could. I partied a lot and fell into long periods of reckless highs and consuming, depressive lows. By the age of 16 I began to mature into somebody considered attractive by mainstream beauty standards, and I noticed that I was getting a lot more male attention.

But Ruqaiya came to realize that the attention she was getting was not what she really wanted: Men were treating her as a sex object—and while that was flattering on one level, it also made her feel judged by her beauty alone and not treated by men as an equal, but solely as an object of desire. Continue reading

Are humans “hive-minds”?

mice hardwired to share thoughtsAn interesting IO9 article by George Dvorsky started an equally interesting discussion on Facebook about the subject:
How Much Longer Until Humanity Becomes A Hive Mind?

Much of the IO9 discussion centered around the idea that, for humans to become a true hive-mind, physical technology would have to be added to the brain, allowing people to communicate with each other and control each others’ actions.  A recent experiment where two lab rats were wired together to “share each other’s thoughts” was  cited as a logical next step in creating the hive-mind.  Much of the Facebook chatter agreed with this, and mostly debated when it was likely that we’d be wiring our brains to each other.

I say: Humans are already hive-minds.  We have been, in fact, since we invented society. Continue reading