MIND MELD: The Best Aliens in Science Fiction

Aliens are a classic trope dating back to the earliest days of science fiction, so we asked this year’s panelists this question:

Q: What are some of the best aliens in science fiction? What makes them superior to other extraterrestrial creations?

Here’s what they said…

Tobias S. Buckell
Tobias S. Buckell is a Caribbean-born speculative fiction writer who grew up in Grenada, the British Virgin Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. He has published stories in various magazines and anthologies. His novels include Crystal Rain, Sly Mongoose, Ragamuffin, and Halo: The Cole Protocol. He also has a short story collection titled Tides from the New Worlds.

I always thought the alien in The Thing was great, because at its heart, it deviated from the ‘actors with bumps on their forehead’ sort of approach you get in movies so much. A parasite, with some intelligence (it builds that spaceship out of spare parts), it really is quite a fun stretch that you don’t see too much of. It never communicates (language is already such a gulf between us, let alone something truly alien). You get a strong sense out of that movie that you’ve encountered something truly alien.

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FINALISTS: 2010 Arthur C. Clarke Award

The finalists for the 2010 Arthur C. Clarke Award have been announced:

  • Spirit, Gwyneth Jones (Gollancz)
  • The City & The City, China Miéville (Macmillan)
  • Yellow Blue Tibia, Adam Roberts (Gollancz)
  • Galileo’s Dream, Kim Stanley Robinson (HarperCollins)
  • Far North, Marcel Theroux (Faber & Faber)
  • Retribution Falls, Chris Wooding (Gollancz)

The winning title will be announced at the SCI-FI-LONDON Film Festival on April 28, 2010, in London, UK.

[via Locus Online]

See also: past winners

Original TRON Trailer Re-made With Modern Style

Who knew this would be a banner week for original TRON trailers? First we had the Saul Bass take and now we have this terrific fan made trailer for the original film. DrewboiX “wanted to make a exciting trailer with a modern feel as oppose to its original marketing in the 80s.”

He succeeded so well I want to see the original film again. Luckily, I have the DVD!

For comparison, here is the original trailer:

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SciFi + Espionage = Project Arbiter

Project Arbiter is a sci-fi espionage story showing how a small, quiet victory tips the balance of power and foretells the outcome of World War II. Here’s the trailer:

SF Tidbits for 3/31/10


  • Suvudu interviews C.L. Anderson.
  • Jeff VanderMeer interviews S.J. Chambers.
  • Philip Pullman on censorship and free speech
  • Backroom Comics interviews Chris Roberson, who reveals he’s scripting a comic prequel to Philip k. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep.  Sweet!



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BOOK/T-SHIRT GIVEAWAY: ‘Bite Me’ by Christopher Moore

SF Signal has a 2 Book/T-Shirt Prize packages to give away to 2 SF Signal readers to help promote Christopher Moore’s new novel Bite Me. (Click the T-Shirt image above for a closer look.)

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REVIEW: Godkiller: Walk Among Us (Episode #2) directed by Matt Pizzolo

REVIEW SUMMARY: Episode #2 makes Godkiller more intriguing than episode #1 alone did.


BRIEF SYNOPSIS: The second episode of a new post-apocalyptic motion comic based on Matt Pizollo’s graphic novel.


PROS: Intriguing post-apocalyptic world; artwork is unique and appropriately dark.

CONS: Some elements seemed designed to shock instead of being there out of necessity.

BOTTOM LINE: An extreme Dystopian post-apocalyptic mashup.

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Edward M. Lerner’s ‘InterstellarNet: Origins’

Edward M. Lerner announced the publication of InterstellarNet: Origins, which collects updated and expanded versions of 5 stories (“Dangling Conversations”, “Creative Destruction”, “Hostile Takeover”, “Strange Bedfellows”, “Calculating Minds”) about the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) and First Contact. It begins in an era much like our own and rapidly expands into an open-ended star-spanning future history:

We are not alone. Now what?

Life changed for physicist Dean Matthews — and everyone else on Earth — the day astronomers heard the radio signal from a neighboring star.

First Contact brought more questions than answers. What were the aliens saying, and what did they want? What could humanity hope to gain — and what did we risk losing — if we replied? Did we dare trust one another? Did we dare not to? And who had any say in the matter?

By sorting out all that, Dean changed lives again. This time across two worlds.

And in the process he set the stage for crises yet more daunting that would bedevil his family — and an expanding number of interstellar civilizations — for generations to come.

Talking About Superheroes on The Ricky Gervais Show

From The Ricky Gervais Show, an animated version of Gervais’ podcasts, Karl Pilkington ponders what type of super power he’d like to have…

[via Bonniegrrl

Neal Barrett, Jr. Named 2010 SFWA Author Emeritus

From a press release:

COCO BEACH, FLA. – Neal Barrett, Jr., author of The Hereafter Gang, named by the Washington Post as “one of the great American novels,” and Interstate Dreams, recognized as an award-winner by the Texas Institute of Letters, will be honored as Author Emeritus by the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America for the 2010 Nebula Awards® Weekend in Coco Beach, Fla.

More after the jump…

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SF Tidbits for 3/30/10




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How Do You Organize Your Library?

How Do You Organize Your Library?

Are you the “throw ‘em anywhere” type, or are you the type of person to meticulously organize and sub-categorize books by genre/author/year? Or somewhere in between?

How Do You Organize Your Library?” was the question John Ottinger posed in his latest Inside the Blogosphere feature.

Along with several other bloggers, I was asked to participate. Head on over there to see what we said.

Classic Tron Trailer, Saul Bass Style

Because everything should be done Saul Bass style…

[via Disney Blog and SciFi Wire]

TRAILER: The Secret Of Kells

With the glut of animated 3D CGI movies you can be excused for thinking that traditional 2D animation is dead. It isn’t, as this visually stunning trailer for the movie The Secret Of The Kells shows.

But what’s it about? Check it:

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WINNERS: ‘Krod Mandoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire’ on DVD

The winners of our Krod Mandoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire on DVD giveaway have been notified:

  • Dennis H. from Traverse City, MI
  • Dan N. from Flower Mound, TX
  • Jeff Y. from Manchester, PA


Thanks to everyone who entered.

Books Received: March 29, 2010

In the interest of full disclosure, here are the books and magazines we received this week…

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SF Tidbits for 3/29/10




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WINNERS: Bram Stoker Awards

The results of this year’s Bram Stoker Awards, voted by members of the Horror Writer’s Association, have been announced:

  • Novel: Audrey’s Door, Sarah Langan (Harper)
  • First Novel: Damnable, Hank Schwaeble (Jove)
  • Long Fiction: The Lucid Dreaming, Lisa Morton (Bad Moon Books)
  • Short Fiction: “In The Porches Of My Ears“, Norman Prentiss (PS Publishing)
  • Anthology: He Is Legend: An Anthology Celebrating Richard Matheson, Christopher Conlon (ed.) (Gauntlet Press)
  • Collection: A Taste of Tenderloin, Gene O’Neill (Apex Book Company)
  • Non-Fiction: Writers Workshop of Horror, Michael Knost (Woodland Press)
  • Poetry: Chimeric Machines, Lucy A. Snyder (Creative Guy Publishing)

[via SF Awards Watch]

See also: Past winners

Sunday Cinema: A Trip to the Moon (1902)

The granddaddy of all science fiction films, by the french magician and filmmaker Georges Méliès, is loosely based on two popular novels of the time: From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne and The First Men in the Moon by H. G. Wells.

[via Divers and Sundry]

SF Tidbits for 3/28/10

Interviews & Profiles



Fun Stuff

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