Finding older movies is surprisingly difficult in the age of online streaming. Netflix has severely cut down on their movie catalogue, focusing on their own original television series, and most other streaming services do the same. Amazon has a decent collection of movies, as does the new HBO Max, and I’ve also found some rare gems on Vudu and Tubi, streaming services that are free with ads. JustWatch has become essential in figuring out where and how to watch any given movie. I wish the streaming services would focus more on making original movies rather than television series, but it’s…

The theme this year is that, due to the abundance of streaming services, there is simply too many good TV shows to keep up with. I don’t have time to watch shows that are merely “good” — they must be great. Perhaps it’s just me, and other people (especially during COVID lockdowns) have more free time to devote to television. I used to have lots of time to waste watching TV before I became a writer. These days, the vast majority of my time is spent writing and doing other writing-related business. The second-most amount of time is spent reading…

The most valuable ability of humans — what separates us from other species — is our ability to predict the future. To anticipate the repercussions of our actions. To imagine potential consequences. To plan for the future. Prediction is what makes humans more intelligent and thereby more successful at survival than other animals. Likewise those humans who are best at prediction are more successful in life than their fellow humans.

When you don’t use your prediction ability and act before thinking, bad things tend to happen. Most criminals are criminals because they don’t think before they act. They see money…

Self-driving cars are inevitable. Tesla, Ford, BMW, Nissan, GM, Google, Baidu, Apple, Amazon, Uber, Lyft, and many more companies are all working on developing autonomous driving systems for their vehicles. It is not a matter of if, but when. Self-driving automobiles will be ubiquitous in the future. There is one core conundrum with self-driving cars, however. Self-driving cars will only work if there are only self-driving cars.

So much of driving is being able to know, understand, and predict the behavior of other drivers-something humans can do moderately well with other humans, and artificial intelligence (AI) can do extremely will…

My first foray into creative writing was through screenplays. I always loved movies and thought in moving images, so screenwriting came naturally to me. After about four years of writing roughly ten screenplays, I decided to try shifting to prose. I decided to adapt my best screenplay into a novel. I already had all the plot and characters and world-building done. It should have been easy, right?

Wrong. My first novel was a total mess-though I didn’t realize it at the time. I was a novel-writing newbie. I didn’t know what I didn’t know. It wasn’t until years later, after…

In The Shifting Realities of Philip K. Dick: Selected Literary and Philosophical Writing, PKD wrote about his struggles with loneliness during his career as an author. In the following quotes, he explains how writing and loneliness are and aren’t related.

“Writing is a lonely way of life. You shut yourself up in your study and work and work. For instance, I have had the same agent for twenty-seven years and I’ve never met him.”

Being an author requires spending many hours reading, writing, and editing, which leaves little time for a social or family life.

“That’s another of the ills…

There have been many great television shows since, and the ending wasn’t perfect, but I’ve never had more fun watching a TV show than LOST. The finale was extremely divisive at the time, with many fans claiming it ruined the entire series for them. I won’t spoil any details of the ending other than to say that the dissatisfaction came from frustration that it didn’t provide enough answers to the many mysteries set up over the years. …

Writing is not the hardest thing in the world to do, but the easiest thing to do is not write. A nice thing about being a writer is the freedom to set your own hours, but that freedom can also be a curse. It’s difficult to stay focused and avoid procrastination and distractions, especially today with the internet, when the tool you write with (a computer) is connected to all the information in the world, including email, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Reddit, and other applications designed to waste time.

So many times, I’ll have the whole day free to write, and…

The future of movies will be the present of books. Filmmaking will become like self-publishing today in the sense that anybody can easily do it entirely by themselves.

Computer-generated imagery (CGI) and speech synthesis will become so advanced that it will be indistinguishable from live action video. With time, the technology will become so inexpensive that anyone will be able to make a fully CGI movie, complete with CGI actors. It’ll essentially be an animated movie except it will look 100% realistic. Everyone will have their own personal Industrial Light & Magic to “self-produce” their own movies where they (…

I’ve been a vegetarian my entire life. No one in my family or anyone I knew was vegetarian; it was something I came to on my own. When I was a child, people would often ask me why I didn’t eat meat, as if there was some moment or reason that precipitated it, but I never had an answer. Today I can name a whole host of reasons to be a vegetarian — ethical, health-related, and environmental — but I wasn’t aware of those benefits of vegetarianism when I was four years old. Yet as far back as I can…

T.Z. Barry

Fictioneer of sci-fi, horror, and noir. tzbarry.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store