DID YOU READ

Portland: The Science Fiction Capital of America?

ursulaportlandia

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While Portlandia just taught us that Ronald D. Moore definitely doesn’t live in Portland, that doesn’t mean that the Rose City isn’t the science fiction capitol of America.

Perhaps it’s the woodsy gloom of our winter months—after all, we can’t see the sky clearly for two-thirds of the year—that has us dreaming of the stars and beyond. Perhaps the high concentration of unabashed geeks, open-source developers, and tech-savvy residents of our so-called “silicon forest” has normalized Battlestar Galactica fandom and Trekkie nitpicking for all Portlanders. Or maybe we just have a lot of time on our hands.

In any case, the greater Northwest area is a veritable vortex of science fictional energy. Don’t believe us? Please, we have the cred in spades. For one, Portland lays claim to the grand dame of science fiction and fantasy, the great Ursula K. Le Guin, who has lived in the Rose City, penning Hugo and Nebula award-winning novels since 1958. Frank Herbert, author of the formidable Dune series, cut his teeth writing for the Oregon Statesman Journal—and, little-known fact—found inspiration for the desert planet Dune while writing an article about the sand dunes of Florence, Oregon. These heads and countless of their brethren, are celebrated at the Science Fiction Hall of Fame, which, OK, fine…is in Seattle.

For lovers of the more macabre end of the spectrum, Portland’s Hollywood Theater plays host yearly to the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival and Cthulu Con, an event as amazingly improbable—how can there even be enough H.P. Lovecraft-inspired short films to populate a festival that grows yearly?—as its cousin institution, the Lovecraft Bar in SE Portland. Yeah, we have an H.P. Lovecraft bar, complete with tarot readings, sci-fi theme DJ sets, and horror movie nights.

To the 80s children: oh yeah, Short Circuit was filmed partly in Portland.

Dark Horse Comics, the largest independent comic book and manga publisher in America, has been plying its particular breed of pulp wizardry from the Portland ‘burb of Milwaukie since the 80s. Hottest selling titles? Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Star Wars, and Mass Effect comic book adaptations, as well as their own invention, Hellboy.

If all this is making you itch to pull the homemade Starship Enterprise costume out of your mom’s closet, don’t fear—you’re not alone. Science fiction nerds in Portland ample opportunities to mingle. If not at the H.P. Lovecraft fest’s “Mall of Cthulhu,” then at OryCon, a convention that has been a staple event of the Oregon science fiction scene for 29 years, growing from a small, one-day symposium on the Portland State campus cobbled together by the then-nascent Portland Science Fiction Society (PorSFiS) in November of 1978, into an elaborate, highly-costumed affair with attendance numbering in the thousands.

John Lorentz, secretary of Oregon Science Fiction Conventions, Inc (OSFCI), the fan-run nonprofit that handles the dirty work of convention organizing, once told me that, “OryCon really has become the nexus of science fiction in Oregon. There are writer groups…gamers, costumers, artists and readers all over the state and many of them come to OryCon each fall. I’ve been amazed at how many people will hop in their car, and drive hundreds of miles to attend. Which…of course. With a “gaming room” well-stocked with men in Utilikilts rolling dice, and late nights of pagan ceremony and hearty rounds of Filking (trust me, you’re gonna want to Google that), it’s the place us Battlestar Galactica victims end up when there just isn’t one moore episode to watch.

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Too Many Scotts

Watch All 100 Episodes of Comedy Bang! Bang! At Once

Comedy Bang! Bang! celebrates 100 episodes Friday, July 1st with back-to-back episodes starting at 11P.

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It’s hard to believe that Comedy Bang! Bang! has made it to its 100th episode. It seems like just yesterday Zach Galifianakis was christening the couch with his daydreams about what dogs would say if they could talk. But after five seasons, three bandleaders and countless nicknames, host Scott Aukerman (Hurt Lockerman) and his team have finally arrived at the magic number.

To celebrate the feat, we put together a video of every single episode of the show running at once. Like that mischievous knife-wielding scamp Fourvel, this video is more than a little nightmare-inducing. Listen closely and you may hear the secrets of the universe. How long can you watch?

Catch back-to-back Comedy Bang! Bang! episodes Fridays at 11P. This week Scott welcomes Kristen Schaal and Zach Galifianakis. 

 

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Let's Get Weird

10 Times Kristen Schaal Was Your Awkward Spirit Animal

Kristen Schaal stops by Comedy Bang! Bang! this Friday at 11P on IFC.

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Move over Zooey Deschanel — when it comes to “adorkable,” there’s only one playa in town, and that’s Kristen Schaal. She’s nerdy. She’s weird. She’s fierce. And we love it! She’s what all us oddballs dream of being when we grow up. In honor of her appearance on Scott’s couch this week on Comedy Bang! Bang!, here are a few times she owned the situation like we wish we could.

10. She’s Always Ladylike.

Kristen Schaal
Comedy Central


9. Because She Knows What She Wants.

Kristen Schaal
Broadway Video


8. And How To Get It.

Kristen Schaal
Comedy Central


7. Even in animated form, she’s got big plans.

Louise Belcher
FOX


6. Because She Knows She’ll Deliver The Goods.

Kristen Schaal
Comedy Central


5. She Knows How To Celebrate.

Kristen Schaal
20th Century Fox Television


4. Even If She Can Still Be A Picky Eater.

Kristen Schaal
20th Century Fox Television


3. She Has A Way With Words.

Kristen Schaal


2. Do Not Ever Cross This Girl.

Kristen Schaal
Broadway Video


1. Seriously, we need her this election season.

Kristen Schaal Daily Show
Comedy Central

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Evil is Rising

Get to Know Stan Against Evil With a New Teaser and Set Photos

Stan Against Evil premieres this fall on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Ed Martin/Twitter

We’re still a few months away from the fall premiere of Stan Against Evil, IFC’s new horror comedy series from the mind of Dana Gould (The Simpsons) and starring John C. McGinley (Scrubs) and Janet Varney (The Legend of Korra). Luckily we’ve got a special treat for the curious.

IFC today released a special teaser for the show that offers a peek of the scares and laughs in store. Check it out below…if you dare!

Stan Against Evil follows Stanley Miller (McGinley), a sour, aging bulldog of a New England police sheriff who has recently lost his position as head honcho due to an angry outburst at a most inappropriate moment — his wife’s funeral.  Impatient and judgmental, he’s not exactly accepting or kind towards people from different walks of life. When the new, strong-willed sheriff Evie Barret (Varney) opens his eyes to the plague of angry demons haunting their small New Hampshire town, Stan begrudgingly joins an alliance with her to fight them off.

Also this week, journalists visited the Stan set in Atlanta and got a look at some of the scarifying creations the special effects team is cooking up. Take a look at the photos they Tweeted from the set below. Buzz is already building for Murgatroyd the Demon Pig to be the breakout character of fall 2016.

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