INTERVIEW: Paul Melko

[Editor’s Note: A while back, SF Signal published a Mind Meld feature on Tomorrow’s Big Genre Stars. Patrick at Stomping on Yeti has been profiling these writers and has agreed to cross-post them here.]

This week we are Keeping An Eye On Paul Melko. Like so many of the authors on SF Signal’s Watchlist, Melko has debuted with a bang. His first novel, Singularity’s Ring, was a SciFi essential book and ,even more impressively, he managed to take home the 2009 Locus Award for Best First Novel. Since then he’s published an unrelated second novel, The Walls of the Universe, based on a Hugo-,Nebula-,and Sturgeon-nominated novella of the same name. He’s also got a short story collection out from Fairwood Press, chock full of the best and hard-to-find short fiction Paul has authored. One of the members of the surprisingly large Ohioan SF Revolution, Paul is also one of the relatively newer names of the watchlist and one of the names that SF Signal helped me discover.

Since then, Paul’s been on my Watchlist and it was a pleasure to see what he’s going to be up to in the immediate future. Click through to find out for yourself.


Continue reading

REVIEW: Carpe Corpus by Rachel Caine

REVIEW SUMMARY: While Carpe Corpus is the sixth installment in the Morganville Vampire series and I have not read any previous books, the story and characters immediately engaged my attention. While not a superhuman vampire slayer, teenage protagonist and brainiac Claire Danvers helps fill the void left by Buffy Summers.

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Under the rule of the evil vampire Bishop, the tense peace between vampires and humans in the small college town of Morganiville, Texas, has been broken. An underground resistance is brewing led by the town’s former vampire leader Amelie, but all protagonist Claire Danvers can think of is the fate of her boyfriend Shane, who Bishop holds prisoner. Claire risks everything to rescue Shane from Bishop’s grasp and set the town of Morganville to rights.

MY REVIEW

PROS: A prolific writer, Rachel Caine easily filled this newbie in on what’s up with Morganville without an infodump even though I had not read the previous five novels in this series. This tightly paced story grabbed my attention right away, and I especially enjoyed both main character Claire Danvers and the enigmatic Myrnin.

CONS: If I had to pick a con for this novel, I’d say Claire’s Goth sidekick Eve seemed a little predictable.

BOTTOM LINE: I read this book in preparation for a fun interview with Rachel Caine for SF Signal in June. I would definitely recommend this novel to other readers interested in reading a Young Adult novel with a Buffy vibe.

Continue reading

GIVEAWAY: Win a Free Digital Copy of the Shatner/Nimoy Mind Meld Documentary

Courtesy of New Video, SF Signal is giving away 2 digital copies of the documentary Mind Meld from iTunes.

Read on to see how you can win…

Continue reading

Stargate SG-1 Watchathon – ‘A Hundred Days’ (S03E17)

Description: Jack O’Neill becomes trapped on a planet. This is a Microsoft customer service description: Technically accurate but totally useless. O’Neill is trapped on a planet when a meteorite destroys the stargate during a meteor shower.

Wow, after showing us they can write humor, the writers turn in this really good O’Neill centric episode. Anderson gets to stretch his acting legs a bit here and shows us the loss, grief and acceptance that O’Neill would have to go through once realizing he is trapped, quite possibly for the rest of his life, on another planet. It’s quite natural he’d forge a relationship with Laira and try to put his old life behind him.

Continue reading

Books Received: August 31, 2009

In the interest of full disclosure and artificially adding to our post count, here are the books we received this past week.


SF Tidbits for 8/31/09

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

Stargate SG-1 Watchathon – ‘Urgo’ (S03E16)

Description: An alien invades the minds of SG-1 members.

Ooooooh, another episode played mostly for laughs. As if you couldn’t tell from the teaser act, the appearance of Dom Deluise should cement the fact for you. Once again, the SG-1 writers show that they can do comedy quite well. Too bad they don’t do it more often.

DeLuise does a great job of Urgo, talking non-stop and being very funny. In fact, you should watch the extras in the background who are not supposed to see Urgo. Many times they look like they are trying to keep from laughing. I can only imagine what the takes for each scene were like.

In any case, this is a fun episode, even if it isn’t that deep (although they do hit on the whole ‘what is a lifeform’ thing near the end).

Continue reading

Free Fiction and Stuff for 8/30/09

Free Fiction and Stuff [courtesy of that the Qwazy QuasarDragon]

Sunday Cinema: The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)

The Curse of Frankenstein is noted for being the first color film of Hammer Film Productions and the first of their popular Frankenstein series. It also veers from the original material in that it focuses on the Doctor more than his creation. It stars Peter Cushing as Victor Frankenstein and Christopher Lee as the creature…

[via Divers and Sundry: The Curse of Frankenstein]

Whatchoo Talkin’ ‘Bout, Buck?

A sarcastic thanks to A. Lee Martinez for making me remember that Gary Coleman was in an episode of Buck Rogers.

REVIEW: Ashes of Midnight by Lara Adrian

REVIEW SUMMARY: Ashes of Midnight is a Paranormal Romance novel that continues Adrian’s Midnight Breed series depicting vampires descended from beings from another planet.

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: As the Order fights to stop Dragos and his second-in-command Wilhelm Roth from taking control of the Breed world, Roth’s estranged wife and Breedmate Claire reignites an attraction thought long forgotten with German vampire Andreas Reichen.

MY REVIEW:

PROS: While action-packed, this novel doesn’t scrimp on portraying not only Andre’s emotional turmoil over the tragic loss of his family, but also the obstacles Claire and Andre must face in reconnecting to each other. I also appreciate how in each installment of this series Adrian provides a deeper look into the Breed world.

CONS: While I enjoyed reading Claire and Andre’s story, I found myself drawn more to revisiting Renata and Nikolai’s relationship. The level of character development for these two characters in this book would have made their own novel, Veil of Midnight, that much better. My favorite installment of this series remains Midnight Awakening.

BOTTOM LINE: Ashes of Midnight is a well-written story that integrates the complex world-building and plot development evident in the rest of Adrian’s Midnight Breed series.

Continue reading

Stargate SG-1 Watchathon – ‘Pretense’ (S03E15)

Description: Shaara/Klorel face a life-or-death trial (Hulu) or The iris brings surprise visitors to Starbase: the cat Schrödinger as sign of friendliness, next Narim, the Tollan admirer Sam gave him to, who brings a unique invitation from the curia, the highest Tollan authority (IMDB).

Well, we start with an unconventional teaser act for SG-1. Instead of focusing on SG-1 the team, we get a very short space battle as two Goa’uld ships are completely destroyed by fire from the ground. A lone Death Glider crashes on the planet and we see the pilot is Skaara. Yet another reason for not using C4 to destroy a spaceship. Too many people survive the destruction.

Continue reading

SF Tidbits for 8/29/09

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

INTERVIEW: Chris Roberson

[Editor’s Note: A while back, SF Signal published a Mind Meld feature on Tomorrow’s Big Genre Stars. Patrick at Stomping on Yeti has been profiling these writers and has agreed to cross-post them here.]

Chris Roberson is the subject of this week’s Keeping An Eye On… interview. Unlike my first two interviews, Mr. Roberson has had no problem making the leap to novels, releasing books like Michael Phelps wins gold medals. In 2009 alone, Roberson is releasing Three Unbroken, End of the Century, Book of Secrets, and two Warhammer novels. That’s 5 books in 1 year! Not to mention the fact that he also dabbles in comics and manages to crank out the occasional short story from time to time. I only wish I could be that creative. I can write an almost humorous interview introduction once a week, and that’s good for me. Roberson manages to not only write, and not only to write a lot, but to write a lot and write it well. Hmph.

Creative jealousy aside, Chris’s answers are as plentiful as his work so I won’t waste any more space.

Continue reading

Free Online eBook: Moxyland by Lauren Beukes

Cool news for writers: In association with Authonomy, Angry Robot is running a competition to write a short story set in Lauren Beukes’ Moxyland universe.

Cool news for readers: While the competition is running (until September 25th), you can read Moxyland online for free.

REVIEW: Stardust by Neil Gaiman

REVIEW SUMMARY: Disappointing effort at a fairy tale by one of my favorite authors. This story is filled with good prose, but the plot and character issues sink the book.

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Tristan Thorn adventures into the land of Faerie to recover a fallen star for his sweetheart. However, he gets far more than he bargains for when he finds he isn’t the only one who wants to find the star.

MY REVIEW:

PROS: Gaiman can write and his use of language is excellent

CONS: Plot is wildly disjoint, and strangely most characters are uninteresting and unimportant.

BOTTOM LINE: I’d give this story a pass.

Continue reading

Free Fiction and Stuff for 8/28/09

Free Fiction and Stuff [courtesy of the stupendous QuasarDragon]

Stargate SG-1 Watchathon – ‘Foothold’ (S03E14)

Description: The team returns from a mission to find that all at SGC are not who they seem to be.

Just when you thought the writing was getting better, we get “Foothold”. This episode is about an alien invasion of Earth where the aliens take over just SGC to ‘investigate’ whether Earth is worth it for them or not. Once again showing the security precautions at the base are rather…weak.

There are just so many issues here for me to like this one. The aforementioned crappy security of the base, the existence of an ‘escape’ shaft in and out of the mountain that is apparently unguarded and unmonitored, the aliens keep everyone they impersonate alive and hanging from the ceiling (ostensibly to connect with their minds), the need to ‘test’ Earthlings to see if Earth would be a good homeworld for the aliens (what?) and the aliens also have crappy security, allowing Carter to infiltrate the base, wake up SG-1 and help take SGC back from the aliens.

Continue reading

Friday YouTube: Star Trek Dance Epidemic

Now is the time on Star Trek when we…dance!

[via Poe TV]

SF Tidbits for 8/28/09

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