Archive for July, 2009

Description: Teal’C’s mentor, Bra’tac arrives unexpectedly through the Stargate with shocking news: the Goa’uld Apophis survived the destruction of his ship and has now kidnapped Teal’C’s son, Rya’C.

Short and sweet tonight since I’m tired. Apophis isn’t dead, apparently he can survive a spaceship blowing up. The throwaway line explaining how he survived is just so ridiculous I can’t believe it. We see Daniel gate out jut seconds before the ship explodes and we’re supposed to believe there was enough time left for Apophis to transport over, re-dial the gate and pop on out? Please.

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[via Poe TV]

Free Fiction and Stuff for 7/31/09

Free Fiction and Stuff [courtesy of the valiant QuasarDragon]

SF Tidbits for 7/31/09

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William Shatner Reads Sarah Palin’s Tweets

Beat Poet Shatner makes another Tonight Show appearance, this time reading Sarah Palin’s tweets.

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

Books shown here:

NOTE: Bigger, better cover art images are available by clicking the images or title links…

Free Fiction and Stuff for 7/30/09

Free Fiction and Stuff [courtesy of your free fiction concierge, QuasarDragon]

SF Tidbits for 7/30/09

TIP: Follow SF Signal on Twitter and Facebook for additional tidbits not posted here!

Description: While exploring a now-dead planet, O’Neill and the SG-1 team find an orb that sends out electromagnetic signals. They think it is a time capsule of some sort and are intrigued by its power source, which seems to have lasted for millennia.

The mystery of the orb is the one interesting thing here and when we find out what it is, it’s rather anti-climactic. And why the addition of the guy with a crush on Carter? There’s not enough emotional heft here with O’Neill’s predicament that they had to add in some random guy we’ve never seen before (and don’t really care about) for Sam to worry over? Sure he shows up in later episodes, but for this episode, this subplot just seemed terribly extraneous.

Oh, and that pesky auto destruct, just laying around waiting to be hijacked by any random alien virus-like entity. Why did they set if three hours? Why not blow the mountain up immediately? That’s what I’d do if I were an alien virus.

This is a semi-interesting episode, but with major annoyances for me.

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Doctor Who: ‘The Waters of Mars’

I’m jonesin’ for some Doctor Who! Airing this week…

7 Reasons to Attend Worldcon

We’re a week out from Anticipation, the 67th World Science Fiction Convention, in my beloved Montreal.

Worldcons are fickle beasts, for the sole reason that there is just so damned much to do. We’re talking about thousands of people, hundreds of events, and every facet of this vast and ungainly thing we call “fandom” brought to light in some manner. Even after thirty years of attending cons, I still get little chills thinking about the singular experiences that never fail to pepper the long weekend: lucking into a Kaffeeklatsche; finding an unexpected pin next to my name on the Voodoo Message Board; encountering an author whose book I just happen to have on my person; having a wholly non-ironic conversation about broadcast engineering with a guy in an Elfquest outfit. Only at a Worldcon can you accidentally walk into a lecture about caring for your Stargate bobbleheads, wonder aloud why there are still Sailor Moon fans on the planet, and overhear extended passages from somebody’s “Me and Summer Glau Trapped on a Shuttlecraft in a Decaying Orbit” fan fiction while waiting for an elevator, all in one afternoon.

Even at their worst, Worldcons are magnificent.

I adroitly delude myself that I have the know-how and Con cred to efficiently maximize my enjoyment, but my plans, without exception, get tossed shortly after I grab my badge. Still, there are items and events that always tentpole the convention experience:

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TOC: The Poison Eaters and Other Stories by Holly Black

Small Beer Press has posted the table of contents for Holly Black’s upcoming collection The Poison Eaters and Other Stories, which Big Mouth House will publish in February 2010:

  1. “The Coldest Girl in Coldtown” (Eternal Kiss)
  2. “A Reversal of Fortune” (The Coyote Road)
  3. “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” (Troll’s Eye View)
  4. “The Night Market” (The Faery Reel)
  5. “The Dog King”
  6. “Virgin” (Magic in the Mirrorstone)
  7. “In Vodka Veritas” (21 Proms)
  8. “Coat of Stars” (So Fey)
  9. “Paper Cuts Scissors” (Realms of Fantasy)
  10. “Going Ironside” (Endicott Journal)
  11. “The Poison Eaters” (The Restless Dead)

Why is Captain Kirk Climbing the Mountain?

Captain Kirk is climbing a mountain. Why is he climbing a mountain? To make love to it, of course!

[via Poe TV]

Free Fiction and Stuff for 7/29/09

Free Fiction and Stuff [thanks to the Herculean efforts of QuasarDragon]

Description: he SG-1 team returns to the planet Cimmeria after learning the Goa’uld have invaded. Previously, the SG-1 team destroyed “Thor’s Hammer”, the planet’s instrument of defense against the Goa’uld. The team makes some remarkable discoveries on the planet.

As the description alludes to, SG-1’s previous actions on Cimmeria left that planet wide open to an eventual Goa’uld return. And return they do, in this episode. That’ll teach O’Neill and company to destroy the de-Goa’ulding device when they could have blow a hole in the wall, but hey, if they did that, we wouldn’t have this episode.

It turns out that being a former host to a Goa’uld really isn’t a bad thing. Not only can you use your mitichlorians to sense other Goa’ulds, you also have the ability to use the hand thingies. It’s a little convenient for me but makes some sense internal to the story.

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SF Tidbits for 7/29/09

TIP: Follow SF Signal on Twitter and Facebook for additional tidbits not posted here!

Tube Bits For 07/29/2009

  • Over the past several years we’ve seen just how important Comic Con has become, certainly to the movie and TV industry. How important? Important enough that the people behind LOST spent 4 months and over $25k dollars to put together the 1-hour panel. That’s nuts, but goes to show the power the ‘geeks’ among us have as influencers.
  • A while ago, the cast of Battlestar Galactica was invited to the United Nations. According to Edward James Olmos, as a result of their visit, the U.N. changed their charter to no longer use the word ‘race’ as a synonym for ‘culture’. Did that really happen? So far, the U.N. isn’t talking. Maybe they’ve been taken over by robots.
  • We didn’t post much about Chuck from Comic Con, but something did happen. A new fan-oriented site was launched over the weekend for the show. You can find it at Chuck Me Out. You can find the Chuck panel on NBC.
  • Lost in all the hoopla from CC 2009 was Fringe. Their news didn’t seem to make a big splash, but with LOST going out in style, everything else would be in their shadow. Still, the Fringe panel did lay some interesting nuggets on us: it’s possible the cast will meet their ‘other’ selves (with goatees perhaps?) and that J.J. Abrams will write the season opening episode. I find Fringe works best when they get off the ‘monster of the week’ stories. I really want the war to heat up. We’ll see.
  • Wired says Warehouse 13 needs to focus on more science fiction instead of using it’s devices only as episode-length McGuffins. I hadn’t thought about it that deep as I like it for what it is, but more exploration into the SF behind the warehouse would be cool.
  • SyFy is also bringing back the Amanda Tapping starrer, Sanctuary. Here’s the trailer for season 2:
  • Looks like Lucy Lawless will be returning to her sword and sorcery roots in Starz’ new fantasy epic Spartacus: Blood and Sand, the nude scenes in which forced her to hit the gym. Yes, you read that right (you can wake up now Tim). I’ll let producer Stephen DeKnights word say all that needs to be said: the show will have “a death toll like nothing you’ve seen on television before.” 300 meets Rome and Gladiator only on the small screen. Watch the trailer below and tell me the SFX are up to the task:

Palin’s final speech was a thing of poetic beauty…And who does poetry better than Shatner?

See? This is why we love Shatner.

REVIEW: Wireless by Charles Stross

REVIEW SUMMARY: A good collection of Stross’ short fiction.

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: A collection of 9 stories by Charles Stross.

MY REVIEW:

PROS: Stross tosses around imaginative concepts with comfortable regularity.

CONS: His affinity for politics and economics weighed down some of the stories.

BOTTOM LINE: This is good representative sampling of Stross’ fiction; a must-have for any Stross fan and a fine introduction for the uninitiated.

Wireless, a short fiction collection by Charles Stross, collects eight previously-released stories and one story new for this collection (the time travel story “Palimpsest”). Readers who are familiar with Stross work know that his writing often includes politics and economics – two subjects that, for me, are story-killers more often than not; they’re just not the reason I read science fiction. So it’s probably no surprise that the more enjoyable stories in this collection dialed those particular knobs down. The only standout story in the bunch is the excellent “Down on the Farm”, but that didn’t stop many others from winning awards and generally being well-received.

Individual story reviews follow…

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Free Fiction and Stuff for 7/28/09

Free Fiction and Stuff [courtesy of the magnificent QuasarDragon]

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