Review – Absolution Gap!

SFSignal is proud to announce a very special guest review for Absolution Gap.

Hi, my name is Harriet Klausner. You may remember me from such 5 star reviews as: My Favorite Mistake, and Babes in Captivity, (that one’s for Pete). The SFSignal management gave me the opportunity to rebut the scurious propaganda spewed forth about me from ‘John’, if that is his real name, and show that I can write a ‘real’ review. I notice John doesn’t always give 4 or 5 stars. He must hate all books. Anyway, on with the review!

REVIEW SUMMARY: Awesomely, incredible space-opera. A must for all, even those who can’t read!


BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Spaceships fly, weapons discharge, people die, science is invoked.

MY REVIEW: Even people who hate books will like this one.

PROS: The best book ever written!

CONS: I don’t know anyone in jail, why is this here?

BOTTOM LINE: Oh my, is my bottom line is showing?

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The “New” Science Fiction

A Popular Science article titled Is Science Fiction About to Go Blind? talks about the science part of modern SF. It mentions how writers like Charles Stross and Cory Doctorow have embraced the singularity – SF author Vernor Vinge’s concept of rapid advances in technology whose technological peak will usher in the “posthuman” era. There are several mentions of Stross’ upcoming book Accelerando, a collection of his Manfred and Amber Macx stories set in a posthumanist future (One or two of which I’ve read and enjoyed).

Oh yeah, the article mentions Heinlein’s 1,000 monkeys quote!

[Link via Locus Online]

The Old Mail Box

Amidst the mountains of spam we receive here at the big blue SFS, we do, occasionally, get an actual email from an actual person. I thought I’d empty out the mailbox and pass the interesting stuff on to you. And, if you pass this on to 5 friends, you too can win fame, fortune, and a supermodel of Pete’s choice!


Not that I’m counting, but on July 28, 2004, Harriert Klausner posted EIGHTY-NINE book review, just one day after the last batch of crap. Can we create a category called Fraud?

I, Redux

For “completist” readers of Asimov’s robot stories, check out Johnny Pez’s Insanely Complete Asimov Fiction List which offers a time line on all of the Robot and Foundation stories.

RPG Space Saver

For those of you, like me, that have shelves and shelves of role-playing books at home, you may want to check out They offer RPG sourcebooks in PDF format from many of the industry’s larger companies, like Fantasy Flight Games, White Wolf and Dreampod 9. Of course, for books from smaller press companies, there’s always been

From the Batmobile to the Love Bug

The next project for Michael Keaton, star of the first two batman movies, will be a new installment of Disney’s Love Bug movies started 35 years ago. I’m sure there are some people who can’t wait. Probably the same people who bought the entire DVD collection. Me? I’d rather have this.

Chick Lit?

We’ve all heard of chick flicks, but I wonder, when the producer of the upcoming SciFi Channel miniseries Earthsea calls the books literature, is this really chick lit? I’ve never read Earthsea so I don’t now. I’m assuming things here based on John’s infactuation with The Mists of Avalon and my lack of knowledge of the Earthsea series.

But on a broader question (ha ha!), could you consider Earthsea to be literature? I’m not sure what ‘literature’ really is, other than something that’s dense, inaccessible and something only university English departments could love. I’m not sure Le Guin fits that mold.


The SciFi Channel has the Earthsea website up. Has anyone read the Earthsea books by Ursula K. LeGuin? What were your impressions? It would be nice if SciFi Channel broke their Dune/Riverwrold track record and produced an enjoyable adaptation.

Batman Begins

A trailer and artwork for Batman Begins. [From James at Big Dumb Object]

Faster Meep-Meep

Road Runner is offering Road Runner Premium which boasts download/upload speed of up to 6 Mbps/512 Kbps. For an extra fee, of course.

Zombie SciFi Western

Dark Horse Comics presents Lone, a comic about a gunslinging, zombie-fighting gal. Oh, and for the fanboi, there’s Star Wars too. Poke around. There are other neat finds.

I Bet They’re Talking Behind Our Backs

In the zoology department, researchers discover that squirrels can communicate with ultrsound.

Interesting. This just supports my theory that squirrels are trying to take over the world. Or at least my backyard. Oh sure, they’re cute…but they’re no badgers.

SF and the Cinema

This article, titled Where Do We Go From Here?, offers a nice look at sf at the movies, although it leans a bit heavily on the I, Robot walking stick.

I may not be a SW fanboi

but even I am a little scared of the Darth Vader Voice Changer. Not because it changes your voice to sound like Vader. No. Who couldn’t resist saying: This is CNN.

That would be cool.

No, the scary thing is that this fits over your head, thus proving just what a true geek you really are. One size fits all all geeks from age 5 to adult!

Why When I Was a Kid

We had to climb to infinity the old fashioned way, one rung at a time straight up! Not like that new fangled Infinity Climber kids have nowadays. Young whippersnappers probably don’t even now what a mobius strip is. What’s next? Klein Bottles in the trash cans? Darn kids and their litter…

Boing Boing calls this a mobius strip, but, upon closer inspection, it doesn’t look like a true Mobius strip. It doesn’t appear to be a single surface with a twist in it. It looks like an oddly shaped and twisted ring. Of course, the camera angle could screw with the perspective. In any case, that’s a rather neat piece of playground equipment.

He’s Not Dead Yet

Ok, he really is dead, but a holographic avatar of Sir Lawrence Olivier is set to appear in the much anticipated (by me anyway) movie, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow.

This reminds me of the Monty Python sketch where Marilyn Monroe ‘stars’ in a new film:

Interviewer: Ah, what sorts of things does she do in the film?

Carl French: Well, we had her lying on beds, lying on floors, falling out of cupboards, scaring the children, ahm…

Interviewer: But surely Miss Monroe was cremated?

Carl French: Well, we had to use a standin for some of the more visible shots.

Interviewer: Ah! Uh, another actress.

Carl French: Dead actress. But Monroe was in shot the whole time.

Interviewer: How?

Carl French: Oh, in the ash tray, in the fire grate and vacuum cleaner…

But on a more serious note, we’re quickly approaching the time where an actor, dead or alive, can be digitally created and placed in a movie, and done without the consent of that actor. I know several people who felt the main character in the Final Fantasy movie was a double of Ben Affleck. Also, President Clinton made an appearance in Contact, but much like Olivier, hecwas added by splicing different TV appearances together. So the question is: Because we can do this should we? Is it ok to take a famous person, create a digital likeness and use that in a new movie? Can you say Starring: Name of Famous Person? Does that person’s family have any rights in this at all?


The PC of Madness

Check out this sweet Cthulhu based casemod, The Case That Must Not Be Named.

Most excellent. I want two!

Its a Good Thing We aren’t SW Fanbois

Otherwise we wouldn’t want to see the new KotOR II: The Sith Lords trailer, now up at the KotOR site.

Looks like I’ll be shelling out $50 for another RPG…

Review – Ringworld’s Children

REVIEW SUMMARY: The latest installment in the Ringworld saga. This time, its war.


BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Louis Wu awakes after spending several months recovering in an autodoc to discover he has become an unwitting tool of the Protector Tunesmith. The Ringworld is threatened by the Fringe War occurring in its space between the Humans, Kzinti, Outsiders and Puppeteers. Louis Wu must help Tunesmith protect the Ringworld.

MY REVIEW: A worthy successor to the Ringworld series from a story standpoint that starts out fast and keeps going, with a couple of small nits that bothered me.

PROS: Its Ringworld. Its Niven. It has tons of cool science.

CONS: Incongruous use of ‘new’ technology. Things happen with little or no build up.

BOTTOM LINE: Certainly recommended if you are a fan of Ringworld and even if you aren’t for no other reason than to see what happens to the Ringworld.

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