Archive for August, 2004
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…
Wired is running an article discussing some of the larger names in Anime. It seems to be a pretty good read.
Well, I don’t necessarily agree with this guy‘s politics but it’s a pretty cool contraption he’s got there.
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.
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.
BBC hosts a game challenging you to Crack the SF Jargon. Rearrange letters to spell out science-fictiony words.
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.
- The Internet Top 100 SF/Fantasy List
- Top Science Fiction Books & Films from Sci-Fi Lists
- Top 100 SF Short Storiesfrom Sci-Fi Lists
- The Top 100 Science Fiction (thingies) of the 20th Century by the Prydonian Renegade
- 100 best Books from Phobos Web (duped at List of Bests)
- Top 50 SF/F Books by the Science Fiction Book Club
- China Miéville’s top 10 weird fiction from the Guardian
- Top 10 SF by Women Writers by SF author Gwyneth Jones (via the Guardian)
- Science Fiction Reading List for Those Who Don’t Read SF by SF author John Kessel (also shows his list of classics towards the bottom of the page)
- A Recommended SF Reading List by ex-Asimov’s SF Magazine editor and SF author/editor Gardner Dozois
- SFWA Recommended Reading List allows you to see recommended books by a certain author
- Top 100 SF Movies by the Online Film Critics Society
- 10 Dumb Moments in Sci-Fi Cinema
- Classics of Science Fiction Short Stories by James Wallace Harris
- The Classics of Science Fiction by James Wallace Harris
- 162 Classics of Science Fiction (1996) by James Wallace Harris
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
- 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).
who wields 4 (count ‘em) lightsabers at once.
REVIEW SUMMARY: Skip the stinkers but definitely read the two award nominees.
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.
REVIEW SUMMARY: This film was the original Vanilla Sky and was every bit as enjoyable as the Hollywood version.
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.
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.
You can find it here. ‘Nuff said.
Not from prison, but a free short story, tourism, from Amazon of all places…
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
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.
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…