REVIEW: IASF August 2000

REVIEW SUMMARY: First-rate collection of short fiction.



PROS: Five superb stories

CONS: One mediocre story

BOTTOM LINE: Better than many anthologies!

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REVIEW: EverQuest:Lost Dungeons of Norrath

REVIEW SUMMARY: EQ:LDoN only makes EverQuest suck half as much as it used to.


BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Yet another expansion to the “popular” EverQuest franchise.


PROS: Private dungeons, enuff said.

CONS: Same old grind — nothing new.

BOTTOM LINE: Not surprisingly, once again, Sony takes a good idea, and implements it poorly.

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Paying Homage to SF

A Wired article today tell how the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame will demonstrate how sf literature has contributed to science and culture.

Man of Steel, Comedian of Gortex

American Express has paired Seinfeld with Superman for a series of web commercials. The only available full-length episode at this time, “Uniform”, features Superman hooking up Jerry’s DVD player. Funny stuff.


No, it’s not someting teenage elves get when solving math problems at the blackboard. Elfwood is a website community for sf and fantasy artists. It includes tons of galleries much of it quite good. And, for the artists who want to know, there are a few interesting tutorials such as how to draw hair. It also is home to lots of sf/f/horror fiction. As if that weren’t enough, there’s an accompanying e-zine.

I-Con and Time Bomb

SciFiWeekly editor Scott Edelman reflects on his recent award given to him at this year’s I-Con SF convention hosted at SUNY Stony Brook, my alma mater. This triggered a memory I had of their SF lending library, run by students. It was in a dark, dank basement room and featured an old throwaway couch. I wasn’t much involved in the local sf scene back then, though. I was just someone who liked to read sf books. I remember borrowing Wilson Tucker‘s Time Masters (or Time Bomb) whose central character, Gilgamesh, was immortal. A good read, if memory serves. That is all. Just thought I’d share :)

Google Gets Personal

Google now offers personalized search features. Specify what you like from a set of pre-recorded categories (computer programming, for example) and Google’s results will be tuned to your needs. Personalized results are marked and there is a tuner slider to turn up/down the personalization. Cool!

A Scanner Darkly…Woah!

Keanu Reeves is set to star in an animated version of Phillip K. Dick‘s A Scanner Darkly. Bogus!

Eve and Beyond

Hot on the heels of the announcement that Earth and Beyond will be closing up shop,EVE Online has begun a push to market itself to ex-E&B players. Along with the obligatory free trial, it looks like E&B’ers get an EVE volunteer to help them through the learning curve at the beginning of the game. That’s an interesting idea to say the least. A live tutor. Of course, your experience will vary depending on how good the tutor is. I may check this one out. I was in the beta at the very end and while very nice to look at, I wasn’t to impressed, but I didn’t play much more than an hour or two. Maybe they’ve updated the game.

Star Wars Trilogy DVD Packaging

Not that I ….you know the rest…[link]

Toy Story 3 sans Pixar?

Disney is leaning towards making a Toy Story 3 for theaters. In light of recent breakdowns in the relationship between Pixar and Disney, Disney studio chief Dick Cook said Pixar was unlikely to take part. Maybe they can give the Simpsons animators a shot?

Something Else for John…

…and me, for that matter. Here’s a blurb about our favorite cancelled-but soon-to-be-reborn series. No, it’s not “Sports Night,” scroll to the bottom of the page and look at #4.

So for all the nay-sayers out there who thinks this is a “stupid” show, maybe you’re just not bright enough to appreciate its humor and its message.

I wasn’t going to say it, but nyah! nyah! nyah! nyah!

For continuing coverage of this fantastic show, you can always go here.

Terraforming Mars

Tomorrow, as part of AbSciCon 2004 , Arthur C. Clarke, Kim Stanley Robinson and Greg Bear will join scientists in a debate about terraforming Mars. We just got there and already they’re talking about redecorating. What, was Christopher Lowell unavailable?

REVIEW: Blind Lake by Robert Charles Wilson



BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Scientists search for answers while quarantined at a remote government research facility set up to observe an alien on another planet.


PROS: Crystal clear writing; a quick read.

CONS: Light on the SF

BOTTOM LINE: A good book that’s 3 parts fiction, 1 part SF.

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Something For John…

Here‘s something you can use for your next birthday party…

Ghibli Goodness

*** The Next Ghibli Trifecta! ***

If you like Studio Ghibli’s movies (such as Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away) then you’ll be happy to hear that Disney has announced three more Ghibli films for DVD! Nausicaa: Valley of the Wind, Porco Rosso and My Neighbor Totoro (complete with original Japanese audio and a new dub) will all be released on August 31st, 2004.

Although I only have a passing familiarity with the other two films, I highly recommend Nausicaa. It’s one of my personal favorites from Studio Ghibli. News // Latest News //

Century City

Did Anyone catch any of the three aired episodes of Century City? I missed the first one, programmed Tivo for the second one, which was then preempted by the NBA, (D’oh! Damn you, Tivo-killing sporting events!) but I did catch the third one. My impression…?

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Robot? Not I!

Revolution SF posts some interesting behind-the-scenes info on the upcoming I, Robot movie starring Will Smith. The gist, as one might not expect in light of Peter Jackson’s near-perfect re-telling of Lord of the Rings, is that this movie has nothing – zip – to do with Asimov’s robot stories. The poster, Revolution SF editor Jayme Lynn Blaschke, even goes on to recite a hilarious re-telling of Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics. To wit:

First Law: A filmmaker may not injure source material, or, through inaction, allow source material to come to harm.

Second Law: A filmmaker must obey orders given it by the author of the source material, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.

Third Law: A filmmaker must protect its own artistic integrity as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

The Games of Infocom

Are online and can be downloaded from

Looks like all of the original Infocom text adventures are here and you can download the interpreter to play them. Sweet. This saves me the trouble of trying to find a 5 1/4″ drive so I can play my copies.

On a related note, here’s a Wired article discussing the fusion of AIM, an AIMbot, and the Infocom Z files to allow playing these files using AIM. Cool. Now there needs to be an MSN bot to do the same thing.

Tech TV and G4 Get Married

Comcast is set to acquire cable channel Tech TV. Comcast stated that it will merge Tech TV with the G4 Game channel. I haven’t seen Tech TV in a while. Has anyone seen G4?