The ‘High Life’ of books and film

The NZIFF 2019 has well and truly kicked off and there's been some stunning films already shown. I love this festival for its broad and varied themes, its willingness to show us movies that we may not generally get to see without some serious digging, and showcasing the imaginative creations of many great directors - not to mention the performances from some of the actors involved! Last night's offering was 'High Life'; a gritty science fiction tale of humanity's struggle between aspirations and reality. Condemned criminals are sent into space to do a data gathering exercise around a neighbourhood black hole.  Robert Pattinson is great in this - he's the sole survivor of a series of events that unfold throughout a crossing timeline, and he's left with an infant to raise in the absence of all other human inhabitants.

This film showed some themes that are often depicted in science fiction books; the slow breaking down of societal taboos, the exploitation of those parts of society deemed obsolete, the ingenuity of humans in the fight for survival - it's all in there, plus some sinister methods in a breeding program at the hands of Juliet Binoche!

If you like your sci-fi books with a bit of grit and grime, even a little bit of "adult content", you will definitely find your next read within our new Science Fiction Genre Guide. Within this guide we breakdown what we love so much about sci-fi and deliver to you a selection of title lists under the most popular subgenres.

So what appealed to you about 'High Life'??

If it was the idea of sending the condemned into space you might like S.J. Morden's 'One Way'; a similar premise but more of an action adventure locked room mystery.

One Way

Was it the eerie otherworldness of interracting with an unknowable force - try the sci-fi classic 'Solaris' by Stanislaw Lem, truly a story that stands the test of time.


Or perhaps you were drawn to the idea of and individual fighting for survival against the odds in an inhospitable environment - if you haven't read Andy Weir's 'The Martian' yet you're missing a treat.

The Martian

Whatever flavour your preferred sci-fi, we've got you covered. Dive in and explore strange new lands, high tech escapades, and humanity's spread across the universe. And if you love sci-fi films, try our newest movie streaming service; Kanopy - just log in with your library card number and PIN and you've got access to a huge variety of outstanding cinema!

Happy reading and watching,


We welcome your respectful and on-topic comments and questions in this limited public forum. To find out more, please see Appropriate Use When Posting Content. Community-contributed content represents the views of the user, not those of Christchurch City Libraries