Archive for August, 2004

Scotty gets a Star

Today, James Doohan recieved a star on the Walk of Fame. He has some serious health issues and apparently this is his final public appearance.

The Infinite Cat Project

Today’s entry in the “Useless Link That’s NOT Science Fiction” category is The Infinite Cat Project, a website devoted to pictures of cats watching cats watching cats…etc.

[Link via Alien Online Editor's Blog]

RPG Documentary

What do RPG gamers do when they’re not gaming? They watch documentaries about gaming, of course! in this case, it’s Life With the Dice Bag on DVD. There’s a relatively extensive review of the DVD here.

Upcoming Anime

Wired has a nice article on the explosion of anime in the US, and some thoughts on the upcoming anime releases (true release to cineplex theaters and not art houses) called The Giants of Anime are Coming.

After the review of my brother, who saw it in Japan the luck SOB, I really want to see Steamboy. Hayao Miyazaki’s latest film, Howl’s Moving Castle is another one I want to see, along with his earlier stuff that is being released on DVD, although they didn’t mention which films, I’m assuming Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind and Porco Rosso. I’ll probably see Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence as well, although I’m not as interested in that one as I found the first one not as great as people said.

I’m still waiting for Appleseed

Anime Movies and the US Big Screen

Wired is running an article discussing some of the larger names in Anime. It seems to be a pretty good read.

Maybe This Guy Will Help Sell More Ink…

Well, I don’t necessarily agree with this guy‘s politics but it’s a pretty cool contraption he’s got there.

Old school gaming

Lately I’ve been playing some old games on the PC – those that used to be great but have fallen by the wayside because the platforms they run on aren’t readily available. There were plenty of great games back in the days of the Apple ][+, Nintendo, and classic arcade and pinball games. Some are games you can play quickly and easily when you have a few moments to kill, others can take hours of involved gameplay. What most of them have is good gameplay – either quality puzzles, an engaging story, a high level of excitement, or just some plain old nostalgia. Of course, being able to play without using real money (quarters) is good too.

Here are a few ways you can reconnect with your youth OR try these classics out for the first time. The best part is, rarely do they require the latest fastest PC to play – so fire up that old system and have a go.

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Enterprise Season Premiere Info

Sci Fi Wire posts some details about the fourth season premiere of Enterprise. It’s got time travel, nazis and a new Friday night time slot.

Crack the SF Jargon Game

BBC hosts a game challenging you to Crack the SF Jargon. Rearrange letters to spell out science-fictiony words.

Top 17 SF Lists

It occurred to me (after finding yet another top whatever list of SF books) that many a SF list has crossed my path. So, I thought I’d collate them here. Many of these have been posted on SF Signal before, but never all in the same place. I just wish I had the time to rate each list.

SW Episode III “Spoilers”

Not that I troll magazines that mention Star Wars or anything, but Entertainment Weekly (the mag you love to hate) is posting some “spoilers” (actually a collation of info mentioned on StarWars.com) about Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. To wit (or witless, as the case may be):

  • Chewbacca’s back. We get to see warring wookies on Chewbacca’s home world.
  • The opening space battle, appearing after the famous 70’s rolling intro, is 20 minutes long and marks the end of the Clone Wars as documented in the Cartoon Network miniseries.
  • The new bad guy is the half-alien, half-robot (and all CGI) General Grievous
  • who wields 4 (count ‘em) lightsabers at once.

  • A 12 minute lightsaber fight between Anakin and Obi Wan pits Jedi against Jedi.
  • Anakin dons the big, black suit to hide his disfigurement from the lightsaber duels with Obi Wan. (Rumors are the scarring comes from a dunk in a pool of lava).

REVIEW: IASFM February 1990

REVIEW SUMMARY: Skip the stinkers but definitely read the two award nominees.

MY RATING:

MY REVIEW:

PROS: 2 excellent award finalists

CONS: 2 mediocre stories and 1 bad story by Bruce Sterling.

BOTTOM LINE: Another decent issue of IASFM.

Although this February 1990 issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine was slightly marred by a couple of not-so-great stories (including one dud by Bruce Sterling), the issue was redeemed by the excellent stories by Pat Cadigan and Charles Sheffield.

Following are the individual reviewlettes for each story in this issue.

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REVIEW: Abre los Ojos (Open Your Eyes)

REVIEW SUMMARY: This film was the original Vanilla Sky and was every bit as enjoyable as the Hollywood version.

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Handsome womanizer Cesar finally found the woman of his dreams. However, an ex-girlfriend wants to make sure his life doesn’t end up happily ever after.

MY REVIEW:

PROS: Excellent story, Penelope Cruz does even better than in Vanilla Sky

CONS: The psycho ex-girlfriend in Vanilla Sky (Cameron Diaz) was a more frightening character.

BOTTOM LINE: If you’ve seen Vanilla Sky and loved it, like I did, then rent this film. If you saw it and didn’t like it, then don’t bother with this version. If you haven’t seen either version, then Open Your Eyes is a slightly better film in my opinion, but you have to want to read subtitles.

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Best D&D Website Ever!

You can find it here. ‘Nuff said.

Free M. John Harrison

Not from prison, but a free short story, tourism, from Amazon of all places…

Half-life 2 gold on Monday?

Perhaps as this link alludes to. The game is already being preloaded into Steam, and this statement would not be too far of a stretch. If so, look for lots of Halflife 2 starting September 2 or so…

2004 National Book Festival

Just in case you’re in the D.C. area on October 9th, go see the following SF authors at the 2004 National Book Festival hosted by the Library of Congress.

  • Catherine Asaro
  • Ben Bova
  • Lois McMaster Bujold
  • Neil Gaiman
  • Frederik Pohl
  • Neal Stephenson
  • Connie Willis
  • Patricia Wrede

What Better Way to Start the Weekend

Than with The Misadventures of Hello Cthulhu! Oh yes, its as terrifying and horrible as you think…

A study shows that people are watching a lot less TV than they did last year and are instead playing video games. Not only that, last year people played more console video games than PC game, for the first time! Of course there are three console platforms and only essentially 1 PC platform. And maybe 2003 was a slow year for PC games. I’m trying to think of what great title came out last year besides KOTOR, which was near year-end and probably didn’t significantly affect the numbers.

What really baffles me is why people are playing games on their phones. Maybe other systems have better games than the lame-o titles available with Sprint (which is what I have), or maybe there are just a lot of masochists out there. I know I sure wouldn’t pay money to play games on my phone.

Fear and Loathing as a MORPG

Its multiplayer, I don’t know how massive so its just a MORPG, but The Kingdom of Loathing looks like a fun, humorous RPG to try. Its aim, really is comedy, with your avatar being a stick figure, but with such classes as ‘Seal Clubber’ and ‘Accordian Thief’. Another unique aspect is that each player gets a certain number of turns each day to do things in. With these turns you can visit the Bugbear Bakery, fight Ninja Snowmen and loot their melting corpses for phat loot like Meatloaf Helmet.

I’m going to try and create a character called ‘Biggus Stickus’. Look for me online…

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