Archive for May, 2004

REVIEW: Saga of Seven Suns, Books I and II

REVIEW SUMMARY: A rather pedestrian space opera that nonetheless, has some cool ideas.

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: In the far future, Humanity unwittingly instigates a galaxy-wide conflict when they use a piece of alien technology to turn a gas giant planet into a star.

MY REVIEW:

PROS: Some interesting ideas and sense of wonder.

CONS: Workman-like writing, cardboard characters, illogical happenings and plot contrivances.

BOTTOM LINE: As space opera, these books come up far short of The Night’s Dawn Trilogy or the Revelation Space books. However, there is enough cool SF ideas to keep going.

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Speaking of Really Cool RC Airplanes

Check outthis German modeler’s site. This guy obviously loves the hobby. Check out the Concorde model (probably more financially succesful than its big brother…) and the 747 in flight (good lord that’s HUGE!).

Space Marine Needs Food, Badly

Check out Alien Swarm, a new mod for UT2K4. Its a top-down, coop tactical shooter that really reminds of Gauntlet in Spaaaaaaace…..

It looks cool too.

Interview with a Hitchhiker

The screenwriter for the upcoming HHGttG movie has interviewed himself.

Some rather interesting stuff. I found the “Strangest Note” section to be particularly amusing.

Showgirls in the VIP

In the ‘no, I’m not making this up’ category comes news of a special VIP edition DVD set of the movie Showgirls. Now I know what some of you are saying – ‘Scott, Showgirls is one of the seminal films of our time – why shouldn’t it get a special VIP edition DVD complete with special audio tracks and behind the scenes photos?’

Well for those of you who could see past the adolescent-fantasy-come-true of seeing Elizabeth Berkley from Saved By The Bell naked, you noticed that this movie was terrible. Apparently it is so bad that it has moved into ‘cult classic terrible’ and people have been picking it up just to make fun of it – hence the newly created VIP edition with all the things you need to host a Showgirls party of your own! Just look at all you get:

  • ‘The Greatest Movie Ever Made’ – a commentary by David Schmader (needless to say, this guy is a commedian)
  • Lap-dance tutorial by the girls of Scores (making this a potential anniversary gift your wife would never forget!)
  • Set of Showgirls shot glasses (after all, this movie is best seen through the filter of sweet, sweet booze)
  • Deck of Showgirls playing cards (because you’ll want to play cards to entertain yourself during the film)
  • Showgirls party games (including a drinking game based on the film – once again reminding us that this movie should been seen the way the screenwriter authored it – under the influence)

And best of all:

  • “Pin the Pasties on the Showgirl” game with pasties and blindfold

No commentary on that item – it stands by itself (well, I guess that would be the rare Showgirls blow-up doll, but I digress.)

Preorder your copy today!

REVIEW: Analog Science Fiction & Fact – December 2000

REVIEW SUMMARY: Three or four worthwhile stories.

MY RATING:

MY REVIEW:

PROS: Two standout stories

CONS: Too many mediocre longer tales

BOTTOM LINE: A few good finds.

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New City of Heroes Update

Coming soon they say. In any case, check out the sweet, sweeet screenshots at GameSpy.

Those mechs look sweet as does the new faction, the Nemesis. They look very Prussian, and cool.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled blogging.

New Riddick Cartoon

[Via SFcrowsnest] Riddick is getting his own cartoon series, ala Animatrix. Just in case you can’t get enough Diesel.

China is seeking to meet the hi-tech future on its own terms – at least according to this article. Seems the move to adopt Chinese-created standards is being pushed by the government as a promotion of cultural pride or “techno-nationalism” (+3 Lix). Perhaps our “native Texan” has a comment? :)

What The F*nt?

Ever since I started playing City Of Heroes, I’ve been looking for that comic book-like font that they use in the game. After browsing pages and pages of fonts on those “free” font sites, I had no luck whatsoever, until I came across these two sites: IdentiFont.com and MyFonts.com.

Identifont works by asking you a series a questions about the font to isolate the typeface. For the CoH font, it came pretty close.

The WhatTheFont search engine on MyFonts.com is even cooler, you point it at a sample of the typeface, like here, and it recognizes the individual characters and asks you what letter they should be or whether they should be included in the process.

Both engines identified the font as one called “Morgan Big,” a commercial font. I believe they have a bias on commercial fonts because I’m sure that’s how they make their money — selling fonts.

Alas, “Morgan Big” is still not the exactly font since the one in CoH has extended crossbars in many of the letter, nonetheless it’s pretty cool. Even though OCR has been around for quite some time, but I’ve never seen it used this way.

PS: If anyone reading this blog can identify that font for me, I would be most appreciative.

Now THAT’S a rocket.

While my kids were watching TV the other day, an add for the SUPER SOAKER MONSTER ROCKET came on and immediately the cries of ‘ I want that! I want that!’ could be heard. Shortly thereafter, my kids joined in as well….

Come on! A 7ft. tall, water-propelled rocket that can reach 100ft? Who wouldn’t want that? I could time its launch to scare the crap out of the airline pilots as their planes fly over my house! Sweeeeeet!

Just imaging what Estes (this link brought to you in-browser for the multiple window impaired…) could do with a 7ft. rocket and clearance from the Department of Homeland Security….

Its….Remarkable Guy!

The Adventures of Seinfeld & Superman has been updated with the latest short, ‘Hindsight’.

What’s up with the pistachios (is that on your list John)? You’re Superman, pistachios shouldn’t give you a problem.

Another well done and humorus flick.

Time Travel Bibliography

Time Travel Bibliography Search is not very user-friendly, but it sure is comprehensive. Type in an author’s name to see all the time travel related stories they have written.

Halfway Home

Well, I hit the halfway point with my New Year’s Resoultion this week. The last week of May and I passed 183 SF-POINTS© out of the target 366 for 2004. As I stated in my First 100 days post, I sure am enjoying it quite a bit. I’ve discovered several new lesser-known authors who I might not have read before (Robert F. Young, Maureen McHugh, John Kessel), or at least would have discovered much later had I not started this task. All in all, Lots of fun for me. Yay!

SW: EPIII Release Dates Announced

Not that Tim trolls Star Wars sites or anything, but the Episode III release dates have been announced.

An interesting pair

This isn’t a review per se because the 3 books in question aren’t Sci Fi (or even fantasy) and as such aren’t topics for this blog. However, the authors are established Sci Fi writers so I thought I’d share my thoughts on the two – Dan Simmons and Robert Shockley – and their books that are decidedly not Sci Fi.

What is interesting to me is that both authors have been succesful in Sci Fi (Simmons’ Hyperion and Sheckley’s Immortality, Inc.) and crossed over into other genres – both into detective fiction in this case. Both are also very solid writers who know how to develop characters and stories along with the best of them.

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The FCC Song

Does anyone like musical SF?

And now for something completely different. Here’s a humorous Eric Idle song that’s a bit on the political side, but still humorous. [via Python Online]

FYI, don’t play this in your office…

Ok, try this one then Pete!

Star Hyke is a new, British SF TV series that is set to start production next month. It features Rachel Grant as the scurity officer, and Claudia Christian, of Babylon 5 fame, as the Captain.

I wonder if this will show on BBC America?

A little something for Pete

RevolutionSF is listing the Top 75 Heroines of Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Horror. This is part 1 and goes to #56. The mega-babes will show up later, Pete!

Although look out for Electra Woman!

With a Bang and a Whimper

SignOnSanDiego has a review of the DVD set of Space:1999 called,

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