I would say that you can’t call yourself a science fiction fan if you don’t enjoy every aspect of the immortal H.A.L. 9000 from Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). From his apathetic monotone voice, to the multicolored systems monitors, to the ominous red eye - the presence of H.A.L. is the metaphorical rug that brings 2001’s story and set deign together. Now, H.A.L. can grace us with his presence within our own computers, using The HAL Project desktop screensaver designed by Joe Mackenzie and a system monitoring desktop theme designed by ts-looney of Deviant Art.
The screensaver can be downloaded in two forms, one as a set of panel displays with H.A.L. staring at you in the center, or as the single panels expanded across your whole screen. The first form works great if you have a large monitor, while the second form is very cool when projected across multiple monitors. The type font, color tones, and miscellaneous navigational graphics perfectly resemble the film.
The desktop theme matches the screensaver’s first form, except the desktop animates and the panels each display information that you designate: RSS feed, notes, internet shortcuts, various system meters, time, etc.
The question is, how long can you keep this great desktop theme before your computer has a conscience of its own?
It is a rainy, dreary day in New York. Many people have music set aside for offsetting the melancholy that comes from days like this. I for one tend to embrace it, and have a playlist that matches the tone. One such artist, Berlin-based electronic musician Kuedo, is heavily influenced by the tone of dystopian science fiction, especially one of my favorites, Blade Runner (1984). Checking up on my Facebook feed, I was happy to discover a playlist he has come out with for the publishing company Motto, as part of a collection of playlists meant for reading books to. This playlist, titled “Sinking in the Datatank,” also matches the tone of our blog, so we encourage you to stream the playlist while you peruse the posts on Stasis Chamber. Also, check out and follow Kuedo’s music on his Soundcloud, Mixcloud, Tumblr, Facebook, and Twitter.
Under varying projects, the UK born / Berlin based artist has been an instrumental figure in the evolution of electronic music in the UK and beyond for just under a decade. He most recently released his critically acclaimed debut album ‘Severant’ on the prevalent British label, Planet Mu.
Kuedo has curated this playlist entitled ‘Sinking in the Datatank’ specifically with the act of reading in mind, delving into a hypnotic modern history of avant-garde electronics and rousing soundscapes.
Project: Foster is a sci-fi story concept about a small group of explorers’ discovery of an alien planet’s collective-consiousness known as the Foster. Still in its early stages of development, the creator, Ian Mayhew, is asking for help from all fields to contribute to his story. As the plot starts to clarify, he will begin to create artwork to accompany the developing story, illustrating as many aspects of the adventure as he possibly can.
Altered Zones was a Pitchfork-curated blog that has some sweet backgrounds for getting your computer desktop background all prettied up. They’re extremely high resolution, but that just means you get to pick the part you like best. Strange compounds under a microscope, strange alien landscapes, or a landscape, curving upward, as though it were one of the space stations in Mobile Suit Gundam.
If you covet the background images on Altered Zones anywhere near as much as I do (read: a lot), here’s the master list of background images as of today. Holy excellent wallpaper batman (some assembly may be required…)!
Spotify has yielded a convenient (and legal) trove of hard-to-find music, including film scores and soundtracks. To my surprise, a good collection of science fiction film music is available for listening, either in film soundtrack form or as part of a compilation. Scouring the far reaches of Spotify, I managed to put together a good sampler playlist of some of my favorite classic science fiction film soundtracks, as well as some video games and songs featured in films incidentally outside of the soundtrack, available to listen to on Spotify! Below is the list of songs included, as well as the film they are featured in.
- Also Sprach Zarathustra, 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
- Alien Theme, Alien (1979)
- Main Titles, Blade Runner (1984)
- The Phantom Plains, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001)
- Arena, Tron: Legacy (2010)
- He’s Still Alive / Romero, Escape From New York (1981)
- Our Gang Goes To Cyberdyne, Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)
- Hand Covers Bruise, The Social Network (2010)
- The Rendez-vous, Birth (2004)
- Remembrance, Halo 2 (2004)
- Stay With Me, The Fountain (2006)
- Lacrimosa (Day of Tears), The Tree of Life (2011)
- Tristan und Isolde: Vorspiel und Isoldes Liebestod, Prelude and Isolde’s Love Death, Melancholia (2011)
- To Heal, Sunshine (2007)
- Opening Theme, Total Recall (1990)
- Old Souls, Inception (2010)
- Theme, Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan (1982)
- The Nursery, Moon (2009)
- An Ending (Ascent), 28 Days Later (2002)
- End Credits, Contact (1997)
STASIS CHAMBER could not be launched without owing due credit to the inspiration for the blog, the upcoming release of Ridley Scott’s return to the science fiction genre, Prometheus (2012). The film will be released in theaters on June 8th, and this blog will be happy to show its progress as we inch closer to the release.