First contact: The Faculty (1998)

1998 saw the release of The Faculty, directed by Robert Rodriguez. Recognized as a mix of classic sci-fi films—including Invasion Of The Body Snatchers and The Thing—and in the self-aware style of Scream, The Faculty explores the invasion of a high school by alien beings who first assimilate the teachers, then the student body.

The Faculty touches on a fear of conformity and assimilation into an inauthentic life. The film is set in a high school, perhaps the most appropriate setting for such themes. High school is widely recognized as the time in which adolescents begin exploring different groups in order to define themselves as individuals. Wrapped up in this phase is the fear of conformity, of succumbing to peer pressure and placing the will of the group over the individual. For The Faculty, this fear is symbolically reflected in the threat of assimilation by aliens.

The Faculty (1998) Football team

Continue reading

Breaking down the Independence Day: Resurgence trailer

If you recall my post from earlier this year, I am a big fan of the 1996 film Independence Day, or ID4 as it was stylized for its release. So, you can imagine my excitement now that the trailer for the new film is out. The sequel, titled Independence Day: Resurgence, or IDR, is set 20 years after the initial film—allowing for the aging of the original cast members—and focuses on the return of the alien threat.

Independence Day: Resurgence (2016)

Haven’t seen the Independence Day: Resurgence trailer yet? Let’s fix that:

No joke: I got a touch of goosebumps watching that the first time. I blame it on Whitmore’s speech . Really a nice touch to include the most iconic bit of the first film in this trailer.

Okay, now that we’re all on the same page, let’s go through it and see what we can deduce.

Continue reading

“The Hunt” is available for pre-order today

What’s new?

Since I had so much fun with the novelette contest in February, I’ve been keeping my eyes peeled for other contests. There’s nothing quite like a deadline to light a fire under my ass and get me motivated.

/r/WritingPrompts is in the middle of another contest, but this time for flash fiction. Flash fiction presents the challenge of finding the perfect story to be written in a limited number of words. For someone who likes to tell stories, it means cutting back on embellishments and detours, and getting back to the brass tacks of a tale. Such limitations can be frustrating, but also rewarding when a story turns out right.

Experimentation for this contest resulted in “The Copse” and you can read it here.

If flash fiction’s too short for you, keep an eye out for my next Amazon Kindle release: “The Hunt.” From the description:

"The Hunt" by J. H. Dierking

“The Hunt” is a science fiction short story of 7,000 words.

An expedition to another world. A group of alien hunters. Malcolm thinks he is prepared, but the hunt will be more savage than he expected.

“The Hunt” is available for pre-order as a Kindle e-Book from Amazon. It is scheduled for release on August 15th.

What’s next?

First, I want to focus on editing Two in the Bush by expanding it a bit and polishing up some rough spots. And since the story was left so open-ended, I have a sequel in the works. I think I will keep it a novelette/novella length and develop an episodic series. A series will be fun to work on. I have no firm plan for when the novelette and its sequel will be released, but I would like to aim for December.

What comes after that? We’ll see. I’m kicking around a few short stories in various stages between just-started to mostly-done. I also have the first draft of another novella simmering on the back burner, waiting to be eviscerated before giving it to my firstline reader for feedback.

Stay tuned.

– J

First contact: Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

Last year saw the release of Edge of Tomorrow, directed by Doug Liman, and subsequently rebranded as Live. Die. Repeat. It is an adaption of the Japenese light novel All You Need is Kill by Sakurazaka Hiroshi.1

Edge of Tomorrow (2014)Edge of Tomorrow follows William Cage (Tom Cruise) as he is forced to fight on the front lines against the alien Mimics. In a disastrous battle, Cage is cornered by a Mimic and he detonates an explosive, killing them both. This would be the end for our brave protagonist in most other films, but instead Cage wakes from death at the beginning of the previous day only to return to the same battle to fight and die again as the film’s tagline suggests. Cage quickly discovers he is trapped in a time loop, the most recognizable example of which is most likely Groundhog Day (1993).

Continue reading