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2002 Ernest Lilley / SFRevu
Editor:  Ernest Lilley
Associate Editor: Sharon Archer


Aug02 Contents
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Editorial License
US Books
UK Books
Can Books

CanVention 22 and the Aurora Awards
If It's Tuesday, this must be TOR

Feature Interview:
Ken Macleod

Feature Review: Cosmonaut Keep by Ken Macleod

BBook Reviews
The Alchemists Door
by Lisa Goldstein
Alternate Generals II
ed by Harry Turtledove
Argonaut by Stanley Schmidt
Fire Logic by Laurie J. Marks
The Iron Grail by John Woodstock
The Sacred Pool by L. Warren Douglas
The Sky So Big And Black by John Barnes
Spaceland by Rudy Rucker
Straw Men by
Michael Marshall Smith
Sisters of the Raven by Barbara Hambly
To Trade The Stars by Julie E. Czerneda
The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror
, Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling
Graphic Novel:
Murder Mysteries. Original short story and radio play by Neil Gaiman. Graphic story script and art by P. Craig Russell
Zine: The Journal of Pulse Pounding Narratives

Austin Powers: GoldMember

Metropolis (2002) Restoration
& Metropolis Essay
PowerPuff Girls
Reign of Fire



The most authentic star in Hollywood Today.

Simone / S1m0ne (USA 23 August 2002)
Official Site:
IMDB entry:
Preview by David Marsh

Directed by Andrew Niccol
Writing credits  Andrew Niccol 
Al Pacino .... Viktor Taransky / Catherine Keener .... Elaine / Evan Rachel Wood .... Lainey / Pruitt Taylor Vince / Rachel Roberts (III) .... Simone / Jay Mohr .... Hal / Tony Crane .... Lenny / Jason Schwartzman
Original Music: Carter Burwell
SFX: Tom Chesney (technician) Ron Trost (Coordinator)

When director Viktor Taransky (Al Pacino) has a leading lady walk out on him, he turns to cyberspace for a replacement, creating a simulation to fill the part. He must be really good at this too, since it's evidentially Simulation One, which he shortens to Simone...and presto, a star is made.

photoAl Pacino starsI haven't seen the script, but I'm betting that things get weird for Al when his creation shows up in the flesh. Ironically, like Max Headroom before, Simone actually is flesh, Rachel Roberts (III) to be exact. While Matt Frewer played the simulated TV persona by being filmed and then having frames dropped to make it look like a bad simulation, though, while Simone is supposed to be state of the art.

Too bad they couldn't get a few walk-ons to honor what is practically a genre in itself. Dustin Hoffman (Wag the Dog (1997)) could have played a friend in the news business, and Matt Frewer (Max Headroom, 1987) could have been a nosy investigative reporter. Not to mention the entire town of Stepford (Stepford Wives, The (1975), Revenge of the Stepford Wives (1980) (TV), Stepford Children, The (1987) (TV) Stepford Husbands, The (1996) (TV) Stepford Wives, The (2003), who could have all played extras. Of course, it always goes back to some Greek Tragedy in the end, and this one of course is Pygmalion, another story clearly written by a man. Maybe to round things out we should hope for a nice Peter Boyle (Young Frankenstein, (1974)) to do a walk on and shake his head.

I don't actually hold much hope for this being an especially interesting movie. Watching the trailer, I notice that Simone's characteristics appear to be selected from Pacino's personal wish list, which is fairly lame. I would have found it a lot more interesting if they had gotten some biometrics from audiences instead.

Of course, the technology to achieve a full simulation actor is pretty much here, and the legislation to prevent it can't be far off, if the Screen Actor's Guild has anything to say about it. There is the chance, however, that we've already been duped. I mean, how would you know?

I don't think the first attempt to pass off a simulation as an actor will actually be a sex-kitten though, the skin is too smooth to be any fun to produce.


David Marsh - David Marsh lives in the hope that someone will make a good SF movie.