Archive for June, 2004

Cassini Nearing Saturn Orbit

Not that CNN is the best source for space news, but there is where I first saw the news that the Cassini probe is about to enter an orbit at Saturn. Saturn! How cool is that?

Two Interesting SF Tidbits

From SciFi Weekly briefly noted section:

Gary Oldman may be voicing a SW EPIII character. Potentially General Grievous. Could be interesting. As long as he gets to say “My personal favorite”, it’ll be cool.

JM Straczynski is developing a theatrical movie (as noted before) based on B5. What’s new is the title, “Babylon 5: The Memory of Shadows”. Sounds cool! There was so much that could have been done with the B5 universe if the SciFi Channel suits hadn’t got involved…

Oh, and on last little tidbit, Robert Culp, along with a host of others, will be a voice actor in Tim’s favorite piece of vapor-ware, Half-Life 2. All I have to say is “Garbanzos!“. And along that line, supposedly Anchor Bay will be releasing a DVD set of all GAH episodes in 2005…

It’s Free Again…

Check it out, you can play it for free for 30 days again… I wonder if they’re getting desperate. And I know what Tim is going to say already…

Singularity

This Asimov’s SF article is the launch point for for tons of information about “The Singularity”? What is that? There are a few definitions floating around, but can be summed up as the point when artificial intelligence surpasses human intelligence. (Personally, I think that depends on the human involved, but I digress…) This is the crux of the transhumanist movement, or, more accurately, it is the point when humans enter a post-human phase of existence.

That assumes we are still here, of course. Need a reason to fear the future? How about the this quote from a Singularity paper written more than ten years ago by SF author Vernor Vinge:

Within thirty years, we will have the technological means to create superhuman intelligence. Shortly after, the human era will be ended.

- Abstract of a paper given by Vernor Vinge at the VISION-21 Symposium, March 30-31,1993

Thanks, Verne. Like I need another reason to stay in bed tomorrow.

New ‘Sky Captain’ Trailer

Yahoo has posted a new trailer Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. I’m liking the look of this movie.

Trip Books

I’ll be taking a trip later this week. I am hesitant to say “vacation” because, inevitably, a trip back to see the family is filled with “have-tos” and “gottas”. Anyway, for those who care (a number I estimate to be exactly one. Including myself.) here are the books I will be taking:

  • Chasm City by Alastair Reynolds – I am hoping I’ll be able to get through this sequel to Revelation Space; it’s big. Although I thought Revelation Space was a good first novel, I have really come to enjoy Reynolds through his short stories.
  • Genesis Quest by Donald Moffitt – In case I do get through Chasm City, this one looks interesting. It’s been sitting on my “to read soon” shelf for a while without being demoted to my “to read in the very near future” pile or the “to read this year” box or the “to read in my lifetime” room. (sigh)
  • Year’s Best SF #1 edited by David G. Hartwell – Can’t slack off on the short story reading just because I’ll be away! In the intro to Volume 1, his favorites from 1995, Hartwell states that this series promises to be a collection of true (hard?) sf, and will not include fantasy or any stories of questionable genre. This, an apparent beef he has with some other anthology series.
  • Year’s Best SF #2 edited by David G. Hartwell – I think I decided that I would like to read this sf anthology series in publication order, unlike Dozois Year’s Best series (the first, an only, one I read was the latest, #20.

I don’t expect to read them all, but you never know. A change of scenery may just stimulate my Klausner reflex. Did I just use the words “stimulate” and “Klausner” in the same sentence?

Sleestacks R Us

Land of the Lost – The Complete First Season is now out on DVD! This is the good season, with stories by Niven and Gerrold, among others, and before it jumped the apatosaurus. $28 bucks isn’t bad either….

Klausner Gives Book Only 3 Stars!

I finally figured out how to read my sf signal mail. Apologies to all the spammers whose promises of huge genitalia fell on deaf ears.

Anyway, there was an awesome email from Human Oddities and Mishaps blog author Amanda who also shares my…let’s say “less-than-healthy viewpoint”…on Harriet Klausner. It’s nice to have someone with whom I can commiserate, as Amanda puts it. Check out Amanda’s Klausner observations (search each archive page for “Klausner” to see the multiple mentions). Amanda has even found something more scarce than girls at a Star Trek convention – she found a 3 star review by Klausner! How much must that book suck to get only 3 stars by Klausner? Or maybe, as Amanda suggests, Klausner accidentally clicked the wrong radio button (assuming that, by now, Klausner does not have a computer application that generates here generic-adjective-laden reviews).

REVIEW SUMMARY: An entertaining classic alien invasion story.

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Small-town doctor stumbles on an alien invasion in which the aliens assume the form of people.

MY REVIEW:

PROS: Fun story; quick read; entertaining and well-written.

CONS: Characters slow to react and sometimes do inexplicable things.

BOTTOM LINE: A quick enjoyable read.

Read the rest of this entry

One thing you can’t say about Lucas

Is that he doesn’t know design. Check out the

DVD packaging for the upcoming DVD release. This looks really cool. And I like the early take of Star Wars on the fourth dvd. Of course, we still get the ‘special edition’ crap he added in. Oh well, at least I have the laserdiscs of the original movies, before Lucas lost his mind…

Conspiracy Theory?

I know you’ve all wondered:

“How, exactly, could Greedo miss?”

Me too. Bad luck? Poor eyesite? Or something else?

Ringworld’s Children

By now, we probably all know that Larry Niven has written a fourth Ringworld novel. Here is the Tor website about the book.

I read the third and wasn’t too impressed by it. I have reservations about this one as well. However, its a good excuse to go back and re-read the first three. That is, as soon as I can borrow them from John….

GITS 2 – September 2004

Ghost in the Shell 2 will be coming to American theaters in September 2004 as seen in /. and they have a english website as linked here. I know some folks didn’t like Ghost 1, but I did enjoy it and I very much look forward to Ghost 2 – although with some dread since the US version is never quite the same as the original…

Who’s Confused?

Mervius, at Fantastica Daily, has written a 4 star review of Neal Stephenson’s The Confusion. Which prompts me to ask:

Who is confused? Mervius, who obviously likes the series, or our own Scott, who didn’t even finish the first book?

Curious minds want to know!

Still More Shat

CNN is reporting that Ben Folds will put his upcoming album on hold to help produce William Shatner’s upcoming CD collection “Has Been” his full attention. I don’t even know where to begin.

You know you’re a SW fanboy when…

You dream about you and your friends being Jedi, with some kick-a$$ lightsabers. That’s all I remember, the lightsabers. I blame all the reading I’ve been forced to do since I ‘volunteered’ to be the gamemaster for a Star Wars roleplaying game. Sheesh, who knew there was so much SW stuff they could milk?

And now, one of the best PC RPGs, heck, games, of all time has succumbed to the lure of the dark side that is starwars.com. Truly firghtening, although Knights of the Old Republic is a truly outstanding game.

On a side note, check out the music video for Stuck in a Room with R2. Nicely done parody song. What is also interesting is that the live-action scenes in the video are from a fan film called Imperial Dogs, a parody of Reservoir Dogs, only with a lot less blood. Unfortunately, the creators realized that several scenes were filmed with not a enough light and couldn’t work around it in editing, so we’ll never get to see the whole thing. Too bad, since I think its hysterical to see Stormtroopers running around with the words, “Pink”, “Black”, etc written on their helmets….

You’ve Got Spam!

From CNET News and elsewhere: An AOL worker was arrested for selling 92 million subscriber email addresses to a spammer.

I was all set to quip: “Now what’s this ass-clown supposed to do?” However, the intended link to the aforementioned ass-clown now requires a login to the Wall Street Journal. That’s two times in two days that BugMeNot has failed me. Bummer.

Not that I troll for Paris Hilton news but…

I was over at Gaming Report, and checking the latest news about gaming things and all thats good. But what do my poor eyes notice – this news. Thats right Paris Hilton is considering a role in the DnD 2 movie – not that DnD 1 was not crappy enough. So to boost sales numbers – lets put a little slutty hotel vixen in the movie – genious I say. Better yet, lets get her to do some great movie versions of sci-fi stories that have nothing to do with the actual novels – oh wait they are already doing that with I, Robot (notice the key tie in here…)

Inconcievable, DOOM3 has a firm release date…

But according to Gamestop, the DOOM3 release date is now confirmed as Aug 3, 2004. So preorder and get a goofy little metal figure to put on your desk and show how l33t you truely are…

Rise of the Machines

SF and BoingBoing author Cory Doctorow wrote a Wired article called Rise of the Machines discussing Isaac Asimov’s robots and the new movie that bears the title of Asimov’s robot story collection, I, Robot. Director Alex Proyas’ quotes about this being a definitive adaption collide with what is reported by Revolution SF, which essentially states that the movie is simply “skinned” with the look and feel of Asimovian robotica. (Is anyone else aroused by that word? Er…yeah…me neither.)

[Via Big Dumb Object proxying for BoingBoing]

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