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Blade Runner News Archive - 2003 (Jan-Jun)

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Please note that most links are not revised. Although correct when originally written, the nature of news means that I cannot guarantee that any particular link will still be valid today.

30 Jun 2003

Secret Asian Man has something humorous to say about Blade Runner. (Note: This SAM strip is now in our own BR-Fun section and the link points there instead.)

29 Jun 2003

It has been slow news recently, but here today is one of those articles that addresses the central issues of Blade Runner, titled "Man And The Machine" at This is one of those articles every BR fan should read.

16 Jun 2003

Sci-fi films: Where's the magic gone? That is the question posed by Saibal Chatterjee who laments the CGI sci-fi extravaganzas that prevail today. They just don't make films like Blade Runner any more.

16 Jun 2003

Are you in the UK and interested in starting or changing to a career in Visual Effects or Animation? If so, then you really want to know about the Ridley Scott Awards. In association with Escape Studios and several film and game industry sponsors, this is an initiative "to seek out and support new and undiscovered creative talent." All you need is a pencil... Or, as Ridley is wont to say, "Just f##king do it!"

16 Jun 2003

Watch the long and fascinating Ridley Scott interview at Fox Searchlab Lecture Series. "Presented in three parts, Mr. Scott talks about his career, technique and inspirations among many other insightful anecdotes from the past thirty years."

16 Jun 2003

Read about the Bradbury Estate and the renovation to the Oak Avenue Bridge that used to lead there. Lewis Leonard Bradbury is the man who commissioned the Bradbury Building used so extensively in film and TV and very notably in Blade Runner. Also read about renovation to and revival of downtown Los Angeles.

13 Jun 2003

Proof that Blade Runner has had a more lasting effect on Harrison Ford than he would like to admit...? He says acting is about 'empathy'. "Once you understand how a character might feel under certain circumstances, then there's the secondary task of being able to replicate that behavior that would attend that feeling." Hmmm.... so he's replicating human behaviour with empathy - does that make HF a Nexus-7 perhaps?

12 Jun 2003

In related-to-BR news, it is not often the Voight-Kampff machine gets mentioned, but the New Zealand Herald tells us of the development of a computer-linked machine to tell if e-learning students are paying attention! Leader of the research team, Dr Abdolhossein Sarrafzadeh says, "The new system will be able to keep track of facial expressions, body movements and biological cues such as heart rate to determine whether students are learning." If the student starts drifting, the system can then change its approach to try to pull them back.

11 Jun 2003

"I got the St. Louis Blues" - Blade Runner - Andrei Tarkovsky (the acclaimed Russian filmmaker who made the original Solaris)? What is the connection? This news report on the upcoming retrospective on Tarkovsky's work in St. Louis and a particular comparison that I found most interesting: "...vaguely futuristic settings and fantastic premises provide a seedy setting for the director's musings on the power of love and humanity in a soulless, mechanized world." ~ Solaris, Stalker or Blade Runner? - well all of them, actually.

11 Jun 2003

Harrison Ford's latest movie Hollywood Homicide is in the spotlight this week. This AP report/interview is well used in papers and is worth reading as it gives a little insight into Harrison.

11 Jun 2003

I like to bring you the occasional odd news story, extracted from the kipple that flows by every day, caught in the Blade Runner net, (although not actually anything to do with BR as such). And here is one: A lesson in enthusiasm and following that desire to make movies that many of us may have but are too 'sensible' to pursue.

08 Jun 2003

I have just read the umpteen thousandth movie news report that says that the Mars cityscape in Cowboy Bebop: The Movie has a look heavily inspired by Blade Runner. So, if you didn't know before, now you do.

03 Jun 2003

Have you seen the fascinating biography series called "Directors"? The Ridley Scott programme (2002) was most interesting - particularly as it was introduced by none other than Harrison Ford! And when they got to Blade Runner, Harrison actually said some nice things about Ridley! Some reconciliation at last! And with Ford's acknowledgement that Blade Runner is indeed a great film, perhaps he could be asked to do 10 minutes for the BR:SE DVD set (should that ever get started again...)
Read my transcription of the BR part of the programme.

03 Jun 2003

Thanks to czf sending me the magazine, I can now bring you that new picture of Daryl Hannah recreating her Pris image I mentioned on 23MAY was in Entertainment Weekly. Along with my 'review' of the article.

31 May 2003

So why do Ridley and Tony Scott go to Calgary (in Canada). If you're just dying to know, then Canoe News will tell you.

31 May 2003

Is it raining where you are? It seems it has been a little wet in Washington for certain, prompting Ken Ringle to write in the Post about the rain, poetry and film. A picture of Deckard in Blade Runner adorns the article with a line claiming that in BR, "the rain seems never ending." Silly note - the photo is a publicity shot of a scene not actually in the film and it doesn't appear to be raining at that moment...

27 May 2003

Paradise Cracked seems an interesting game. Certainly has the elements to make it a good one for BR fans to keep an eye on.

25 May 2003

There is no need to read this article in SF Gate unless you're particularly interested in architecture in San Francisco. I mention it for its use of the phrase 'Blade Runner-esque'. Now I am certainly not going to claim I invented that phrase (though I did indeed come up with it myself) - because I'm sure it has been independently thought of by many, but I am certainly fond of using it. And I want everyone else to use it too! So go out today and try to slip it into your everyday conversation! And why not write in and tell me of your success (or otherwise).

25 May 2003

I make no apology for including yet another ostensibly Matrix review as this one looks at the much wider issue of robots versus humans across SF films. And of course this draws on the essence of Blade Runner. Ultimately, if the robots/AI are so good and not really different to humans except where they are better, then perhaps we should root for the robots instead ...

23 May 2003

The current edition of US magazine Entertainment Weekly has a big article on the top 50 cult movies, and they've illustrated it with a couple of new pictures of Daryl Hannah, recreating her role as Pris! On their site they say, "Harrison Ford was never cooler than when he was hunting replicants." I'll get the pics of Daryl up next week.

23 May 2003

This article is pretty nice to Blade Runner while calling Matrix Reloaded gibberish and overloaded with SFX.

18 May 2003

Next time you're in Tokyo, you really must pop into this boutique. The Busy Work Shop apparently seems to evoke a BladeRunneresque inspiration. One of a series of boutique interiors designed by Masamichi Katayama, where, ''You're not just buying the product, you're also buying the time you spend.'' This is, of course, in a fashionable part of Tokyo and aimed at the youth for whom shopping has become a cultural experience. How much the shop really looks like BR, I wouldn't know, but sounds like a cool shopping experience anyway! (Not that you'll probably actually buy a T-shirt in a perspex box...) Check the NY Times article to see his other shopping interiors, such as the Clockwork Orange type environment.

16 May 2003

Here is the follow-up report on yesterday's screening of the BR OV at UCLA, including comments by Chris Nolan who notably says about how well BR has aged, particularly the SFX, "I'm amazed how much better it looks than films that are being made now even. "We're in an age where the digital effects aren't quite good enough yet -- but we're being told they are."

15 May 2003

When people consider films worth watching multiple times, there are some that top the list where multiple viewing is almost a requirement. Even many who are not fanatical about BR would still put it in that category. And here is one of them, putting BR as number one of those films so good they are worth dedicating another two hours of a busy life to see again.

15 May 2003

Probably too late to arrange to see it, even if you live in L.A., but UCLA are screening the original version of Blade Runner tonight. I mention this for the Zap2It article about it and for fans of the OV to know you are not alone...

14 May 2003

Mostly a somewhat negative review of the Enter the Matrix computer game, this NY Times article does highlight what is so good about the Blade Runner Game that is so lacking in many other Film tie-in games.

14 May 2003

Oh the irony! An article talking about the Matrix clothes and the fashion following (and that Neo's "leather" coat was actually wool), etc. comments on the clothes being original and not SciFi tin foil (although I think that is really only a comment on the 60's and 70's and was not true by the 90's) and then this quote, "This whole Matrix thing is almost at a cult status and then this whole trend of future and techno-future and Blade Runner clothes is huge in Fall 2003." Just cracks me up really. Its so original and exciting that it can be described in terms of a 21 year old film. But we already knew that.
Almost as ironic as a comment by Carrie-Anne Moss that the Wachowski Brothers got irritated at the endless copying of the style of their film - despite them having copied from every other good thing including Blade Runner. (Perhaps guys, some of those people are still copying from the same place you got your ideas and not actually from you?)

14 May 2003

Have you got a flying car yet? They've been possible and even invented for decades now, but where are they? Well, a few minutes thought about the reality of ordinary people (as opposed to the fictionally competent in SF movies) actually driving standard cars on the ground and the amount of accidents and sheer stupidity that can be witnessed on a daily basis in overcrowded urban areas and motorways should bring up a few quick answers. Slate has a look at this and why flying cars are not too likely to be seen in the skies anytime in the near future.

13 May 2003

21 years ago, in the same year as Blade Runner, there was another great film released - Tron. Not quite BR, but still remarkably watchable now (on sparkly DVD), particularly given its extensive computer references that still stand up well today despite the advances in technology. One reason for the excellent virtual vision of course is the participation of Syd Mead, Visual Futurist on BR. This year, while we impatiently await the continuingly delayed BR:SE DVD, we can at least look forward to the Tron 2.0 PC game. And that man Syd Mead joins with some of the original Tron cast to make this quite an appealing prospect.

07 May 2003 has an interview with Joanna Cassidy (who played Zhora in Blade Runner) about her career. Of course BR is mentioned, particularly about her snake. Unfortunately she has no new info on the BR:SE.

04 May 2003

Of course you know the two Matrix sequels are coming out this year and many of you will be looking forward to this, whille some diehard critics are still shaking their heads. No judgements being made here. Just to recognise that inevitably, there will be references made in various reports to BR, even if it is only as SF culture and style influences or milestones in moviedom. I won't bother listing the numerous articles that make such references, but might pick out the odd one, such as this NY Newsday preview by Gene Seymour that actually expresses some interesting thoughts. Or this NY Daily News look at the dystopian, Dickian "What is Real" view.

03 May 2003

There is an obvious tendency for BR fans to be general SF fans but also a widespread interest in the sub-genre of Cyberpunk (no matter how one chooses to define that). One can't mention this without reference to William Gibson and we have links on this site to previous Gibson articles. His seeing Blade Runner in 1982 and seeing some of his as yet unpublished visions on the screen was initially a shock to him, but anyone who reads Gibson should soon find that the emphasis in his novels is on the characters rather than the futuristic SF surroundings. As we are now in the 21st Century and Cyberpunk and Cyberspace have become reality, but evolved, Gibson is now writing in the present. Here is an in-depth profile of Gibson for those who are interested in his story.

01 May 2003

Another poll, this one by the other major UK cinema chain, UCI, asked moviegoers to vote on movies with the best style (of clothes). In the poll (in preparation for the release of Matrix Reloaded later this month), The Matrix (12%) took third place after Breakfast at Tiffany's (15%) and winner Rebel without a Cause (with 19% of votes). Blade Runner took ninth place with 5% of votes.

01 May 2003

Edward James Olmos, (who played Gaff in BR), speaks of his role in the new Battlestar Galactica, warning people that it is very different to the original and if people don't like that idea, then please don't even watch the new series. Quite a refreshing honesty really.

26 Apr 2003

So, just how "Blade Runner" is your world? I ask this in a cynical voice after a flood of Blade Runner references in the 'news' that are not about Blade Runner and sometimes are not even relevant. Instead, this is "Blade Runner" used as an adjective, often simply for reference to a futuristic world containing certain elements. There is no need to actually read these stories, but I include the links for completeness: In the past 24 hours, I find news stories:
- referencing Andrew Bird's music having "an eerie, mechanized feel, like something out of the movie Blade Runner."
- "Futurama is a science-fiction fan's dream cartoon, as it lampoons everything from Star Trek to Blade Runner yet does so with obvious affection for the source material." (Could someone tell me the BR reference in Futurama as I seem to have missed it.)
- "Street Graphics: Tokyo (book) ... should ... have something to say in the captions other than references to Blade Runner..."
- "Essentially a piece of black rubber, Slab could be a leftover from the set of Blade Runner"
Just another Blade Runner day. Perhaps everything is being described as Blade Runner because we're rapidly becoming a Blade Runner world. So for my birthday, please get me a Slab and for Christmas could you order me one of those Nexus 6 things please...

22 Apr 2003

James Hong is a busy man. Since starring as Chew in Blade Runner, he has been in literally dozens of films and TV shows. Of course he reprised his role as the voice of Chew in the Blade Runner Game and now joins a string of A-List actors that will be heard on upcoming video game, True Crime: Streets of L.A.

21 Apr 2003

Arnie tops the list of most remembered parting words in movie history with "I'll be back." Not altogether surprising. However, what is infinitely more interesting is that in this survey by a major cinema chain in the UK, Roy Batty's "I've seen things..." speech made it into the Top Ten. Of course we BR fans recognise this as a terrific moment of movie history, but it is yet more evidence of just how much Blade Runner is part of the public consciousness now.

18 Apr 2003

So. Here is a nice one for all of us who have put up with the nonsense from non-SF people. Paul Allen is one of the supernerds that founded Microsoft. Now he has billions of dollars and can do ... well pretty much anything he likes really. Such as create the "Science Fiction Experience" - a $20 million museum dedicated to SF. Great stuff! Paul's favourite SF movie is, of course, Blade Runner. What an intelligent fellow he is!

18 Apr 2003

Tokyo, New York, Los Angeles, Toronto... Yep. Latest city to be turning Blade Runneresque is apparently Toronto, especially Yonge Street. Well, according to the Toronto Star anyway. I've been to Toronto. I've been to Tokyo, NY and LA as well. Toronto seemed quite nice.

16 Apr 2003

After the 04APR article the best I can come up with is an article on artnet written by Jerry Saltz, originally for that Village Voice again... It severely rips into a couple of arty architect types and yet while exposing their pretentiousness, is rather pretentious in its own right! You probably won't want to read this at all and I'm not sure I even understand the Blade Runner reference, but hey, somebody out there might be amused...

11 Apr 2003

So. You're a big toy company. You think it would be pretty cool to issue a licensed Spinner model, but there is a problem. Getting anything official from the BRP is nigh on impossible. So what do you do?
What do you do?
Answer: You create a model of the Spinner as used in Back to the Future! Call it "Future Car" from BttF and get Universal to license it, which they are quite happy to do.
It is available in September at estimated price of 7800 Yen. Oh yes, shoulda mentioned, this is a Japanese toy company...

But wait a minute! Those nice folks at ToySyndicate are making it available to the Western World for $89.95. (Oh, and for the metrically illiterate of you, 270mm = 10.6 inches.)

04 Apr 2003

I'm not sure you'll actually want to read this 'arty' discourse on photographer Steven Klein in The Village Voice. What it boils down to in the end is a comparison of Madonna in artsy photo-shoot compared to Pris as dying marionette... <ahem>

25 Mar 2003

Lawrence G. Paull, the Production Designer on Blade Runner, makes some comments on the BR sets, etc. in a CNN Design look at the future through the visions of Cinema.

24 Mar 2003

If you would like a book to read that invokes some of the sense of Blade Runner, then perhaps this recommendation by Mike Snider for USA TODAY for 'Altered Carbon' might pique your interest.

22 Mar 2003

I would like to keep the news here away from Iraq, but when someone makes very direct references to Blade Runner including quotes and is talking about the vision we see in the media and the future, not talking about the politics, I think it worth providing the link. This is James P. Pinkerton writing in Today at abs-cbnNEWS.

19 Mar 2003

So what do you eat when watching Blade Runner? According to this Italian book, Laura Delli Colli's Il Gusto In 100 Ricette Del Cinema Internazionale, it is of course sashimi. This S.F. Examiner article looks at "taking dinner and a movie to the next level".

11 Mar 2003

David McNeill writes in The Japan Times of the strange Blade Runner real estate development in Tokyo in the midst of a recession. The spectre of a JF living alone in a large building outside the centre of a bustling city seems to be hovering in the background.

07 Mar 2003

MSNBC/Newsweek Futurist Michael Rogers looks at an exhibition of primarily 30s-50s illustrations of the future by A.C. Radebaugh and mentions the optimism that existed in the decades before films like Blade Runner brought a darker view of our future.

06 Mar 2003

I wasn't going to mention this as it was just an AFP report printed in a number of papers about the Oscars and lists some of the films Ford has been in, but it is the description they use for BR that is most interesting as it is effectively presented as the one of the biggest highlights of his career! It was never actually a blockbuster, even though it is now one of the world's favourite films. After mentioning Witness, SW and IJ they say, "Also among the 30 film credits Ford has racked up during his 37-year career are the 1982 science fiction blockbuster Blade Runner, Presumed Innocent in 1990, Patriot Games in 1992 and The Fugitive in 1993."

05 Mar 2003

In the tradition of this page, where I occasionally bring you news snippets where the look of Blade Runner is referenced in unusual places, today I take you to the fashion catwalks of Milan. First up is Roberto Cavalli - designer of very sexy clothes, (particularly lingerie). The International Herald Tribune reviews the Milan collections and says "Roberto Cavalli is a conviction designer. His look was, as ever, sexy dominatrix, but this season she was an urban animal, appearing in front of a giant screen where cityscapes flickered like a remake of 'Blade Runner'."
The Boston Globe has a report on Tom Ford - designer for Gucci and YSL. He says (in light of the current international situation), ''Instead of saying 'Everyone's depressed, let's make orange clothes,'" he prefers to dress his customers in pieces with a '''Blade Runner' quality'' that make them feel strong, as though wearing a new kind of armor.
The Washington Post makes a more obscure reference to Tom Ford, but we still know they are referring to BR, "Coats have collars that stand up and cup not just the nape of the neck but the entire head ... sleeves...ready for a fistfight. The coats make a dramatic impression on the runway -- on a busy street corner they would make the wearer look like an extra in a Ridley Scott film ..."
Check out the slide show at to see the Fall 2003 Gucci collection and see for yourself the BR influences.

03 Mar 2003 The Science Fiction Book Club (a Doubleday store offshoot) has chosen its Top 50 SF&F books. Of course LotR is top, as it should be, but interestingly they've got DADoES in 8th place.
27 Feb 2003 Message for Rutger Hauer fans from the Rutger Hauer Starfish staff:
Rutger and his Staff are happy to announce that the promised opening of The Rutger Hauer Official Website is completed. No ID nor Password is required any longer to access the site and all the wonderful information contained within. Please feel free to go to the site and have a look at the many changes that have taken place with the re-opening as well!.
Rutger Hauer's official site
23 Feb 2003

With actual Blade Runner news so thin on the ground I thought I'd have a look at what all the old BR people are up to. So here is a quick roundup:
Ridley Scott has finished directing Nicolas Cage in Matchstick Men and is now in negotiations to do Tripoli with Russell Crowe. It will be expensive, so the studio is looking for more funding.
Harrison Ford stars with Josh Hartnett in Hollywood Homicide to be released in the Summer. He should start filming on A Walk Among the Tombstones soon. And of course another Indiana Jones movie is lined up.
Rutger Hauer dropped in on hit TV show Alias. Is doing lots of Dracula and meets up with Sean Young again in In the Shadow of the Cobra. Rutger made a strong impression next to George Clooney, Drew Barrymore and Julia Roberts in Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. Rutger remains active with the Starfish Foundation.
Edward James Olmos has been awarded the 2003 LAEF Sol Trujillo National Lifetime Leadership Award for his efforts on behalf of children and Hispanics worldwide. See report. Also found time to be producer, director and star of Jack and Marilyn.
Sean Young has fought her way back into Hollywood's good books in recent years - she crops up this week in TV movie 1st to Die. She has completed filming her starring role in action thriller In the Shadow of the Cobra and is now filming a lead role in The Drop.
James Hong is now in his mid-70s, but still seems very busy, appearing in many top TV shows and still doing big films - particularly getting the starring role in L'Idole.
M. Emmet Walsh did Snow Dogs last year with Cuba Gooding Jr.
Daryl Hannah appears in the Robbie Williams music video 'Feel' - but embarrassingly she admitted she thought she was signing up to appear in a film with Robin Williams - oops! Perhaps of more significance is her role in Kill Bill - the new Quentin Tarantino film.
William Sanderson is very busy creating interesting characters in numerous movies every year, including some science fiction curiosities.
Joanna Cassidy was in John Carpenter's Ghosts of Mars and is a regular on TV movies and shows - particularly with recurring role on Six Feet Under.

Philip K Dick may have died before Blade Runner was released, but he is now one of the hottest properties in Hollywood. PKD stories recently made into films were Impostor starring Gary Sinise and Minority Report directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Cruise. Next is Paycheck, set to start filming soon, directed by John Woo and starring Ben Affleck, (though expectation is PKD will be Hollywoodized again, just like in the last two films). Rumours and news of A Scanner Darkly are still murky. Looks like it won't be done by Terry Gilliam though, which is a shame as I think he is probably the only director around at the moment who could do a faithful job of adapting a PKD story to film.

18 Feb 2003 New Scientist reports on a robot with facial expressions! The robot's face smiles, sneers and frowns. It has flexible 'skin' and camera eyes so it can respond to humans in front of it. Obviously a long way from SF androids yet, but important for research into adaptive intelligence systems (computer recognition of and response to humans).
14 Feb 2003 Dolly the sheep has snuffed it. It is a dead sheep. It has ceased to be. Yep, the cloned sheep Dolly had to be put down after developing lung disease. The BBC says the first Australian cloned sheep also died recently. Sheep generally live 10-16 years, so 6 years is early to die. Dolly's "mother" was 6, so were Dolly's cells actually thinking they were 12? This is just the latest in a huge pile of evidence that cloning is still very flawed and that attempting to clone humans is complete madness.
14 Feb 2003 The past, present and future of robots in SF looks like it is well represented in forthcoming animated movie called Robota: Reign of Machines, with associated video game and graphic novel. This project is the dream of Doug Chiang (Director of Concept Design for Star Wars 1 and 2). Orson Scott Card wrote the final text of the book, which of course influences the film. Check out the new trailer at Apple and see Phobos Web for more info and visit Doug's site. Clone Wars this is not.
04 Feb 2003 In the Tufts Daily, Taylor Shann talks about comic book films (prior to the forthcoming Daredevil). He singles out Dick Tracy when talking of cityscapes, but comments, as we all know, that precious few futuristic films can get away from the Metropolis and Blade Runner visions of the city.
31 Jan 2003 In a way, this is "future news" because from my perspective in England this afternoon, it is already "tomorrow" (1st February) in Australia. I mention that not just out of interest for the international nature of the Web and BR fandom, but also because this story in the Sydney Morning Herald is looking at the present extrapolated into the future - specifically at body consciousness and alteration to perceived ideals. Brief mention of BR in example, but more generally is talking about subject matter that is at least partially related to some ideas in BR, so is worth a read.
19 Jan 2003

Kenn has written in to say that there was a 25 minute BR special after the showing of Blade Runner on TVOntario last night. It featured clips of interviews with Joanna Cassidy, EJ Almos, M Emmet Walsh, Sean Young, Syd Mead, Bud Yorkin and several Toronto-based film critics and authors. All the interviews were new, except for Mead, which was from 1982.
One of the more interesting revelations was from Toronto film critic Rob Salem, who revealed that once, when interviewing Terry Jones of Monty Python, Jones claimed that he co-wrote some of the voiceover dialogue for the 'original' version of BR! Salem was amazed at this, but seemed to think Jones' claim was absolutely genuine... [Though he is quite capable of joking about such a thing!] Also of interest was Sean Young bravely (and good-humouredly) confessing that she didn't understand the BR script when she first read it and the 'revelation' that Scott had not read all of DADoES, [which is quite true].

14 Jan 2003 If you are in the USA, then there is some game or other called the "Superbowl" being planned. What is far more interesting as reported in the New York Post is the episode of Alias shown after this little game, on ABC. In a little rescheduling, apparently the episode that is now being shown introduces us to the new director of SD-6 played by "Blade Runner baddie" Rutger Hauer.
13 Jan 2003 The one film that Blade Runner can be said to owe a debt to is Metropolis - a film made by Fritz Lang in 1927. A best-possible restored version finally came out last year. Here is one article that has a look at the Grandfather of Science Fiction films. 17 Jan - another good article in the Toronto Star.
07 Jan 2003 In the search for the more unusual BR references, I chanced upon "consumer behaviorism". Yes, it is an advertising term and one of the gurus in the field is David Wolfe who the Kansas City Ad Club reports has been described as "a cultural blade runner and middle-aged bomb thrower". Wow!
06 Jan 2003 Australian film critic Rob Lowing chooses her Top 100 films and obviously has excellent taste because she has put Blade Runner in top position! Her eclectic list is reported by The Sydney Morning Herald.

If you see a Blade Runner article not listed, please send me the link so I can add it.