From the micro to the macro, this week has seen some interesting developments in the wider science fiction world. Read on for the latest news…

Newscast 1: READY PLAYER ONE has a directorCover of Ready Player One

Have you read READY PLAYER ONE by Ernest Cline? Released in 2012, this book is a real gem. The word unique is often bandied around inappropriately, but for Ernest Cline’s debut novel the description is more than apt. Crammed with 1980s popular and geek references, I read this shortly after it was released and would recommend it wholeheartedly.

Steven Spielberg has now confirmed that he will direct READY PLAYER ONE the movie. Earlier this year, I’d heard a rumour that Christopher Nolan had expressed an interest. I’m a tremendous fan of Nolan’s work, but I don’t think that he would’ve been right for this project. Spielberg, on the other hand, is an excellent choice. I’m also very pleased that the book is receiving renewed attention in light of the news!

Lex LuthorNewscast 2: Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor

The slow trickle of news surrounding BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE continued this week, with the release of the first image of Eisenberg as Lex Luthor. It doesn’t really tell us much at all about his role, about his motivations or about the movie, but it has nonetheless been attracting significant attention.

The project intrigues me, but Warner Brothers has a lot to get right. The future of many of these heroes on the big screen is vested in one film. I wasn’t very convinced by Jason Mamoa’s Aquaman: DC has taken a character who is typically very bright, colourful and noble, and sapped all of those qualities from him. Luthor looks much more convincing, but the style of picture suits him better. I’ll await the release of the movie before I make final judgment…

Newscast 3: PREDATOR is in MORTAL KOMBAT X

There has been a persistent rumour that the classic PREDATOR character would feature as a playable selection in the upcoming MORTAL KOMBAT X. That has now been confirmed! Another playable choice is Jason Vorhees: that should be an interesting face-off.

There have been numerous ALIEN, PREDATOR and ALIEN VERSUS PREDATOR titles on video game platforms, but what I’d really like to see is a game based around the MORTAL KOMBAT engine featuring only these characters. No Marines, no humans: just full on battle between combat powerhouses…

Of course, PREDATOR is a chargeable DLC (did you expect any less!?!).

Agent ScullyNewscast 4: X-FILES returns

Many readers will probably recall X-FILES with great fondness. It snared numerous TV viewers into the wonderful worlds of conspiracy, governmental cover-ups and alien invasions: all wrapped in the cosy blanket of a love affair between two FBI agents.

In the face of a threatened reboot of the X-FILES premise, the latest update is that the original cast (David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson) will be returning alongside Chris Carter. Reports indicate that there will be a single 6-episode series, with production set to begin shortly. No news yet on the story arc, but there are more than enough to choose from! I think that it’s likely we’ll see a single plot developed over the short series, rather than a return to the more episodic “issue of the week” approach that X-FILES usually employed.

Newscast 5: ARTEFACT releasedLarge Blog Image

I honestly promise that I will not end every “This week is sci-fi” post with an update on my book, but this week is an exception: ARTEFACT has finally been released. Read more here!

Book 1 of THE LAZARUS WAR, ARTEFACT is a my first published novel and I’m eager to hear from readers! Feedback has been great so far; but if you enjoy the book, please do review it.

Orbit is releasing ARTEFACT and the follow-up – LEGION – as part of a digital-first initiative; with the hardcopy versions due for release next year. There will also be a novella set in THE LAZARUS WAR – titled REDEMPTION – released later this year.