New York's Real-Estate Bubble Goes Literal

Aliens scoop up Manhattan, stick it in a giant bubble, and drag it into deep space. No, it's not another post-9/11 New York-destruction fantasy, it's the plot of Manhattan Transfer, the 1993 novel by John E. Stith. And now it's being made into an ultra-low-budget movie by the makers of a couple of Star Trek-related films. Click through for more details.

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A gigantic spaceship pops out of a wormhole near Saturn and swoops down on New York without anybody seeing it coming, somehow. And then, once it has New York in a bubble in its hold, here's what happens according to one reviewer:

The dazed denizens of New York find their city ensconced within the vast alien vessel, its dome one among many others containing similarly captured cities from many other alien worlds. It's a vast menagerie. A team of explorers led by stalwart Army colonel Matt Sheehan tunnels its way out of the Manhattan dome towards the other domes, to learn more not only about the other captive species, but most importantly about their captors. And what they discover leads to a race against time to avert an even worse tragedy.

It turns out some of the other aliens whose cities have been stolen are even nastier than the ones who grabbed New York. It's a fast-paced story (New York gets bubbled in chapter one) and it's full of rugged Hollywood-y heroes. And the movie will be awesome, says production company Renegade Studios:

Renowned Science Fiction author John E. Stith has written a rockin' screenplay which is based on his best selling book of the same title. It also received the "Hugo Award Honorable Mention". The script is completed and we are in active Pre-Production.....Casting many of your favorite Actors.

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In this context, "your favorite actors" probably means "actors who've been on Star Trek. Renegade has been involved in two direct-to-Web movies so far: InAlienable, written and directed by Chekhov actor Walter Koenig (who also stars); and Star Trek: Of Gods and Men, a fan film that stars just about every minor actor from the various Trek shows and movies. (BTW, I just noticed you can't watch Gods and Men until the producers harvest your email address. WTF?) What's the status of the Manhattan movie? As recently as November, Stith was posting on his site that he's cautiously optimistic, and Renegade says pre-production is finished. [Renegade Studios]

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