The Sci-Fi Sampler is a very loving tribute to the genre by Outpost 31. It’s playing at the Victoria Fringe Festival, and it is a collection of stories inspired by cinema, fiction, and television! The set design is minimal, and to help audiences see what’s going on, the backgrounds are projected onto a huge movie theatre sized screen. The video production that goes with the first story is very snazzy and more often than not, I kept on being reminded of Frank Miller’s splashy Sin City design.
In act one, “The Back with Two Beasts” (written by David Elendune), we meet Blair, the host to a virtual reality video game which Emma and Dave play in to solve their marital problems. The software helps them out, but when we get a huge self-aware in-joke (regarding the name of the game) referring to what to expect, I had to chuckle as these tales are intermixed with their story.
These narratives look at existentialism in clones and robots. In another work, we are watching what some alien race is planning. The last two narratives hint at a thread linking all these narratives together. Although they were written independently, the writer in me senses a greater scheme which unites everything in The Sci-Fi Sampler.
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