Sunday Cinema: 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

A classic. Obviously spawned from minds affected by mushrooms, but a classic nonetheless.

[via Divers and Sundry]

See also:

Free Fiction and Stuff for 5/31/09

Free Fiction and Stuff [courtesy of QuasarDragon]

  • The tenth issue of Shimmer, with fiction and articles by Stephanie Burgis, Caitlyn Paxson, Shweta Narayan, Nir Yaniv, Richard S. Crawford, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Caroline M. Yoachim, Jessica Paige Wick, Jen West, Becca De La Rosa, Claude Lalumiere, Alex Wilson, and Sara Genge, is avaialble as a free PDF download
  • The latest issue of Mirror Dance features fiction, nonfiction, and poetry by Molly Schwanz, Robert E. Keller, John Whitehouse, Henry F. Tonn, Sarah Wagner, Aurelio Rico Lopez III, Jay Mijares, and Jess C Scot
  • @Planet Magazine: “Mission Fail” by Michael Meyerhofer.
  • @Anotherealm: “Charon in Tahiti” by Leona Wisoker.
  • @Book View Cafe: “Somewhere in Dreamland Tonight” by Madeleine E.Robins (1994).
  • @Dark Worlds: links to numerous classic Charles R. Tanner stories with art and a brief bio.
  • @Mongoose Publishing: Signs and Portents #68 which, in addition to gaming aricles, features a Lone Wolf short story “The Siege of Amory” by Joe Dever.
  • Audio Fiction:
  • Graphic Fiction:

SF Tidbits for 5/31/09

  • It’s official: An Alien prequel has been confirmed. It’s being developed by Tony Scott and (ahem) Ridley Scott.
  • Jonathan Carroll answers reader questions at Joseph Mallozzi’s blog.
  • Should writers write about rape? Steven Francis Murphy openly and honestly ponders that question regarding his own fiction: “I argue that the best way to prevent harm is with knowledge and understanding, not sweeping the subject under the rug in much the same way the Victorians might have done.”
  • Real Science: The First Complete X-ray View Of A Galaxy Cluster. Though if you ask me, it looks more like a Christmas tree.
  • Surreal Science: Richard Feynman plays the bongos.

Harlan Ellison is Not a Science Fiction Writer

Late-breaking news! Harlan Ellison is not a science fiction writer!

So says the man himself in this audio interview with @Studio 360. Ellison (Dreams with Sharp Teeth) says he has “never written science fiction” but has “occasionally used some of the furniture from that genre”.

GIVEAWAY REMINDER: Win a Copy of Rachel Caine’s ‘Carpe Corpus’

SF Signal has 3 copies of Rachel Caine’s latest book, Carpe Corpus, to be given away FREE to three lucky readers!

The deadline, June 1st 2009, is approaching faster than a vampire bat!

Head on over to the original post to see the ridiculously easy entry details.

Free Fiction and Stuff for 5/30/09

Free Fiction and Stuff [courtesy of QuasarDragon]:

SF Tidbits for 5/30/09

Toy Story 3 Trailer

Pixar’s Up has just hit theaters this weekend and the reviews are stellar and I’ve seen a couple that say Up is Pixar’s best film yet. Wow. But what does Pixar choose to follow Up with? Toy Story 3! The teaser below doesn’t explain anything about story, but it sure is heavy on the characters.

Book Cover Smackdown! Terminal World vs. The Alchemy of Stone

More cool covers!

Your Mission (should you choose to accept it): Tell us which cover you like best and why. Go!

Books shown here:

NOTE: Click on the book images or title links to access bigger & better versions of the cover art…

Torchwood: Children of Earth Trailer

Torchwood: Children of Earth is premiering on BBC America this July and they’ve just released a trailer for the show. Children of Earth is a story told over 5 nights and and re-joins Captain Jack, Gwen Cooper and Ianto Jones as they face a threat to the human race.

It certainly has a creepy, Children of the Corn vibe to it but it looks interesting. Perhaps I’ll need to go watch the first season of Torchwood.

Free Fiction and Stuff for 5/29/09

Here’s a new batch of Free Fiction and Stuff [courtesy of QuasarDragon]:

Friday YouTube: Captain Kirk’s Backrub

Careful, Captain Kirk…your Freud is showing. Not that there’s anything wrong with that….

SF Tidbits for 5/29/09

The Cheap eBook Revolution: What’s your Dream Price for eBooks?

AT Cnet, Gordon Haff tells us Why e-books aren’t cheaper:

We’ve all heard the rant. With e-books, there’s no paper, printing, transportation, and so forth. So why should an e-book still cost $9.99 (typical for Kindle) or even more?

The idea of e-books being cheaper makes a lot of intuitive sense. If everything you physically hold in your hand and everything it took to deliver that physical good to your hand can be converted to a few megabytes worth of electrons, surely the cost of the book must be dramatically lower than a typical hardcover–and the price should reflect that fact.

The problem is that the costs aren’t nearly as much lower as you might believe.

…if you want the same level of professional preparation and promotion associated with a typical printed book–the $9.99 e-book price that a lot of people grumble about is probably pretty near the floor.

I wonder what the sweet spot is for eBooks. I’m not knowledgeable in the economics of books sales, but as a consumer I can’t help thinking that cheaper means more sales and thus more profit.

Here’s why:

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SF Tidbits for 5/28/09

Tube Bits For 05/28/2009

  • I fondly remember seeing The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai in the theaters during high school. Sure it’s part campy, silly and funny, but it’s also almost always awesome, especially John Lithgow. And how can you not like a film that has inscrutable watermelons and spawned endless ‘Bigbootay!’ jokes? Could you imagine how incredible a TV series based on the movie would be? Doug Drexler was approached to perform some development work on just such an idea and he’s posted his work for all to see. Sweet!
  • If you’ve ever wanted to see the original cast of MST3K perform live, here’s your chance. Joel, Frank and the gang are touring the country as part of their Cinematic Titanic venture, performing live! I know, very cool. Are they coming to your neck of the woods? Well, probably not, but you can check the schedule yourself. Dallas, really? Come on guys, you’re better than that!
  • Will Ferrell, you either love him or hate him. The same could be said about Bear Grylls, the ‘sleeping in a motel when he should be suffering through the night in the desert’ host of Man vs. Wild. Now, in honor of the impending release of Ferrell’s Land of the Lost, Will and Bear are starring in a very special episode of Man vs. Wild. Will and Bear will attempt to survive in the frozen reaches of northern Sweden, hopefully avoiding anything resembling an ‘after school special’.
  • TV Tyrant looks at the current state of SF on TV and declares Fox to be the winner! And in terms of quantity I have to agree. Quality, however, is more debatable. LOST gives ABC a huge lead and if Flash Forward is anywhere near as good as the book, ABC should take the crown back next year.
  • Andrew Probert has worked on several well know SF series, all during the late 70’s and through the 80’s. Here’s a video reel of sketches followed by the finished product (and I still love the original Battlestar Galactica theme):

MIND MELD: What Was the Last SF/F Book That Surprised You?

Some books are perfectly good but ultimately predictable. When you’ve been reading for a long time, more and more books fall into that category. We ask writers and critics of today what books still make you sit up and take notice.

Q: Sometimes it’s easy to become jaded when you’ve been reading genre books for a while. When was the last time a sf/f book really surprised you? Who/what/when/why/how?
Christopher Barzak

Christopher Barzak is the author of the Crawford Award winning novel One for Sorrow, and most recently The Love We Share Without Knowing. His short stories have appeared in a variety of venues, including The Years Best Fantasy and Horror, LCRW, Strange Horizons, Interfictions, and Asimov’s Science Fiction. He teaches fiction writing at Youngstown State University in Youngstown, Ohio.

The last sf/f book that really surprised me was Paul Park’s A Princess of Roumania. I read it in 2005, when it appeared. Some friends sent a copy of it to me in Japan as a gift. I’d heard good things already about it, but when I first started reading it, I wondered if it wasn’t perhaps only just hype, because for a good portion of the first few chapters it seems as if it was going to be any other YA teens get transported to another chintzy world novel. Then the story began to unfold in such a way that what kind of book you thought you were reading wasn’t actually that at all, but its inverse, a narrative that made the world you inhabit outside the reading of a book the fantasy, and the one inside the book reality. An alternate Roumania in which magic exists, and a political system that felt all too believable and beautifully contrived at the same time. In the foreground of this astonishing backdrop were these wonderful characters, too, some incredibly good, and others, like the Baroness, deliciously insane and evil. Reading this book took me back to my early days of reading fantasy novels, when I hadn’t read so many to grow bored yet by the vast amount of repetitive and derivative fantasy novels that flood bookstore shelves each year. In many ways, this novel is a very traditional fantasy with a few twists of the tale I hadn’t seen before, but it’s the uniqueness of the world and especially its characters that made me feel like I was finally reading an original fantasy novel again, for the first time in years.

Continue reading

TOC: Best Horror of the Year #1 edited by Ellen Datlow

Ellen Datlow has posted the table of contents of her upcoming best-of anthology Best Horror of the Year #1, along with the original source publication:

  1. “Cargo” by E. Michael Lewis (Shades of Darkness)
  2. “If Angels Fight” by Richard Bowes (F&SF February )
  3. “The Clay Party” by Steve Duffy (The Werewolf Pack)
  4. “Penguins of the Apocalypse” by William Browning Spencer (Subterranean)
  5. “Esmeralda” by Glen Hirshberg (Shades of Darkness)
  6. “The Hodag” by Trent Hergenrader(Black Static 7)
  7. “Very Low-Flying Aircraft” by Nicholas Royle (Exotic Gothic 2)
  8. “When the Gentlemen Go By” by Margaret Ronald (Clarkesworld #21 July)
  9. “The Lagerstätte” by Laird Barron (The Del Rey Book of SF & Fantasy)
  10. “Harry and the Monkey” by Euan Harvey (Realms of Fantasy December)
  11. “Dress Circle” by Miranda Siemienowicz (Hecate volume 34, No. 1)
  12. “The Rising River” by Daniel Kaysen (Black Static 5)
  13. “Sweeney Among the Straight Razors” by JoSelle Vanderhooft (Star*Line Sept/Oct)
  14. “Loup-garou” by R.B. Russell (The Werewolf Pack)
  15. “Girl in Pieces” by Graham Edwards (Realms of Fantasy, April)
  16. “It Washed Up” by Joe R. Lansdale (Subterranean)
  17. “The Thirteenth Hell” by Mike Allen (The Journey to Kailash)
  18. “The Goosle” by Margo Lanagan (The Del Rey Book of SF & F)
  19. “Beach Head” by Daniel LeMoal (On Spec summer #73)
  20. “The Man From the Peak” by Adam Golaski (Worse Than Myself)
  21. “The Narrows” by Simon Bestwick (We Fade to Grey)

My Favorite Sci Fi Movie Of All Time

College Humor explains what their favorite science fiction movie of all time is and now that they mention it, it’s uncanny, really.

Tube Bits For 05/27/2009

  • On July 7th you’ll be able to purchase the complete Moon Machines miniseries on DVD. This series originally aired on The Science Channel focuses on ” the efforts of the 400,000 people who created the equipment used to achieve the lunar landings”. If you’re like me, you loves you some space hardware and this series has a ton of it. Just check out that Saturn V, just like the one resting on its side down at the Johnson Space Center.
  • If you’ve got a bunch of old TV shows or movies on DVD that you want to get rid off but don’t really know what to do with them, Amazon is here to help. They just launched the beta for their Movie and TV Trade-In store where you can get Amazon gift cards for your unwanted Movies and TV shows on DVD. Right now the SF pickings are exceptionally slim: Firefly the series will net you a $10 gift card, but who would trade that in? Expect to see the store fill out in the coming months.
  • In July, Sci Fi will debut the new series Warehouse 13. The guys over at The Sci Fi Cast have posted a Warehouse 13 primer to get you up to speed on the show. I agree there is a lot of potential here based on what could be in the warehouse, but I was less than impressed with the trailer.
  • Annie Nau rants about people who feel their SF TV shows is the best evah! and look down on those who haven’t seen all the episodes or who fell other shows are better. She is quite correct, it’s all a matter of taste. Which is why I am not a fan of Stargate and think LOST is the best SF show on TV right now! Ahahahahahahaha!
  • You may think the upcoming TV series Flash Forward is based on science fiction. Ah, but UFO Digest explores the possibility there is current knowledge to support the idea of warped time and consciousness.
  • BBC America will be debuting a new series, Being Human, on July 25th. This new series explores the lives of three twentysomethings as a werewolf, a vampire and a ghost. Although, if you’re a ghost, can you really be said to have a ‘life’? Any of our UK friends care to comment on this show?
  • Dr. Who is a busy guy lately. Not only will the eponymous Doctor be appearing in an animated series, he’ll also be featured in 12 episodes of The Sarah Jane Adventures and possibly in a big screen movie! Although there may be yet another Doctor for the big screen adaptation.