Archive for October, 2010

WINNERS: 2010 World Fantasy Awards

The winners of the World Fantasy Awards for books published in 2009 have been announced:

  • NOVEL: The City & The City, China Miéville (Macmillan UK/ Del Rey)
  • NOVELLA: “Sea-Hearts” by Margo Lanagan (X6 )
  • SHORT STORY: “The Pelican Bar” by Karen Joy Fowler (Eclipse Three)
  • ANTHOLOGY: American Fantastic Tales: Terror and the Uncanny: From Poe to the Pulps/From the 1940s to Now edited by Peter Straub (Library of America)
  • COLLECTION (TIE):
    • There Once Lived a Woman Who Tried To Kill Her Neighbor’s Baby: Scary Fairy Tales by Ludmilla Petrushevskaya (Penguin)
    • The Very Best of Gene Wolfe/The Best of Gene Wolfe by Gene Wolfe (PS /Tor)
  • ARTIST: Charles Vess
  • SPECIAL AWARD – PROFESSIONAL: Jonathan Strahan for editing anthologies
  • SPECIAL AWARD – NON-PROFESSIONAL: Susan Marie Groppi for Strange Horizons
  • WORLD FANTASY LIFE ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS: Brian Lumley, Terry Pratchett, and Peter Straub.

Congratulations to all the winners!

Daily Science Fiction has announced its November 2010 line-up of stories.

  • 11/1/2010: “Faith” by Mario Milosevic
  • 11/2/2010: “The Value of Folding Space” by Tim Patterson
  • 11/3/2010: “Over Tea” by T. M. Thomas
  • 11/4/2010: “Dragon Dreams on Cardboard Wings and Tiny Scraps of Yellow” by Christopher Kastensmidt
  • 11/5/2010: “Essence of Truth” by Erin M. Hartshorn
  • 11/8/2010: “The Closer” by Ari B. Goelman,
  • 11/9/2010: “Chaos theory” by Shannon Luke Ryan
  • 11/10/2010: “Winning Streak” by Nicky Drayden
  • 11/11/2010: “One Year Later” by K.J. Kabza,
  • 11/12/2010: “Outside the Box” by Brian Winfrey
  • 11/15/2010: “Cruel Mountain” by T.D. Carroll
  • 11/16/2010: “Supply and Demand” by William Meikle
  • 11/17/2010: “Hypotheticals” by Darren Latta
  • 11/18/2010: “What Lies Between the…” by Greg van Eekhout
  • 11/19/2010: “The Piper” by Mai L. Lee
  • 11/22/2010: “Some Day My Prince Will…” by Sheila Crosby
  • 11/23/2010: “Dear Ms Moon” by Liz Argall
  • 11/24/2010: “A Day Like No Other” by Shawn Wade
  • 11/25/2010: “Lottery” by Nathan Wellman
  • 11/26/2010: “Flashback” by Melissa Mead
  • 11/29/2010: “Questions” by Jacob A.Boyd
  • 11/30/2010: “Appalled Science” by Andrew Kaye

Catching Up on SciFi Movies (Part 12)

As I’ve done before, here are my quick takes on the genre-related films I’ve watched in the last few weeks.

  • Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief (2010) – Standard Hero’s Journey fare augmented with decent special effects and updated mythology. Bonus points for (hopefully) getting the young one interested in mythology and/or reading the book.
  • 2012 (2009) – One unbelievable narrow escape after another not only tests suspension of disbelief, it shoots it out of the sky with scientifically inaccurate surface-to-air missiles.
  • Repo Men (2010) – A poor adaptation of Eric Garcia’s wonderful book, The Repossession Mambo; inadequate world building and a bit slow paced, though I must admit to liking the ending.
  • The Road (2009) – Having read the book, I knew this would be a slow moving, post-apocalyptic vehicle. But like the book, there was little to impress the sf fan who has seen this type of thing before.
  • Iron Man 2 (2010) – Even when you don’t consider how enjoyable Iron Man was, this was just terrible. A story that never seemed to get above a crawl, action sequences that favored aesthetics over logic, and — worst of all – it’s jut not fun.

Free Fiction for 10/30/10

Stargate Universe Recap: ‘Cloverdale’

Stargate Universe’s episode “Cloverdale” finally provides something so many viewers have been asking for from the Destiny crew: teamwork. While season one episodes depicted a crew fracturing rather than pulling together to obtain basic resources, this week’s episode showed us a crew pulling together to save Lt. Scott after he was infected by a sentient plant bite on an away mission.

Much of the episode took place in a hallucinatory world of Scott’s where he is preparing to marry Chloe in the town of Cloverdale. Evidently, this episode was actually shot in the town of Cloverdale, British Columbia where much of Stargate is taped. This tactic portrayed Scott in a much more dynamic way than we’re used to seeing him. Instead of the monolithic duty-driven soldier, viewers got to see that Scott is actually a little conflicted over his relationship with Chloe. At one point he wonders if they’re truly compatible because they come from very different worlds. If not for being stranded on Destiny, these two probably would not have become a couple. The hallucination also showed us that Scott considers Greer to be a close enough friend to be his best man — and that, LOL funny, Greer likes trance music. No surprise, the hallucination also confirmed that Scott looks at Young as a father figure and is well aware of his current alcohol problem.

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Each year when autumn arrives, I’m drawn by a kind of inner gravity to revisit the work of Ray Bradbury, and to recharge his fictional vision within me. This is always inextricably intertwined with the transcendent longing that I mentioned in my previous (just-published) column, Fantasy, Horror, and Infinite Longing.

There I talked about the sense of transcendent yearning that I’ve experienced intermittently since childhood, and that often comes to me as a companion to the autumn season. I speculated about its profound significance for both human consciousness and the fantasy and horror genres, and I talked about some of the authors — C.S. Lewis, H.P. Lovecraft, Colin Wilson — who have known it and focused directly on it in their work.

Here I focus on the fact that Bradbury is a master at both arousing and confirming this experience of heightened inner intensity. My first readings of The October Country, The Illustrated Man and Something Wicked This Way Comes as an early adolescent left a permanent mark on me, both intellectually and emotionally. More than just the sum of their parts, his books and stories conveyed to me then, and convey to me now, an entire vision of the world in which darkness and light both intensify to new heights and depths of vividness, and all the daily details of life assume a kind of mythic numinosity. Which is to say that his work exemplified then, and still exemplifies now, what I take to be the deep raison d’être of fantasy and horror.

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Hey-Hey! We’re back from an extended holiday (Did you even notice we were gone?) with a new episode of the podcast that melts in your ears, Beware The Hairy Mango! This week we have two (2) (II) stories for you which explore the intersection of technology and Our Bodies, Ourselves. Please enjoy and bring a rag to wipe up after yourselves.

Warning! Recommended for immature adults due to descriptions of ooky bodily functions.

SF Tidbits for 10/29/10

Interviews/Profiles

Articles

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Want More? See SF Signal’s Twitter and Facebook pages for additional tidbits not posted here!

Fantasy, Horror, and Infinite Longing

It’s currently October, the spiritual heart of autumn, season of darkening skies and shivering shadows, when death and life, fantasy and reality, night and day, bleed briefly into each other to generate a sense of infinite vistas lying just beyond our ability to grasp. Or at least that’s how it unfolds in the Missouri Ozarks, my lifelong home until a couple of years ago. In 2008 my family and I relocated to Central Texas, and down here in my new native country, daytime temps are still climbing into the 80s. There’s nary a red or golden leaf in sight. The forecast for Halloween itself, the spiritual focal point of the whole month, calls for sunny skies and a high of 85. I don’t often quote Charles Schulz, but since he conceived of the Great Pumpkin, it seems appropriate under current circumstances: Rats.

Still, none of this means the season is failing to inspire its archetypal mood, a pungent emotional coloration composed of equal parts wistful longing, melancholy brooding, and shadowy fascination. And this has got me to reflecting seriously on the significance of this mood for the religion-spirituality-speculative fiction crossover arena that’s my focus here at Stained Glass Gothic. To cut to the chase: The archetypal mood that I and millions of other people have come to associate with autumn in general and October in particular touches on a peculiar emotional/spiritual upwelling that’s central to the concerns of fantasy and horror, and that I first began consciously experiencing as an early adolescent.

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See New Tron Legacy Scenes In Daft Punk’s Video ‘Derezzed’

The Tron Legacy goodies continue to drop every Tuesday in the run up to the Dec. 19th release. This week’s surprise was a music video for Daft Punk’s track, from the movie score, called ‘Derezzed’. What’s cool about this video is that we get to see some more clips from the film.

I totally love the look of the Tron world (love, love, love the new Recognizers). So sharp, clean and computer-y. I really think they captured the feel of the original and have updated it for today. I can’t wait to see it on the big screen. You simply must watch the video in 1080p, it’s awesome. That said, the white haired DJ-ish guy seems cheesy and out of place. Hopefully he’s not in the movie for very long.

Headed to World Fantasy Con

I’ll be to World Fantasy Con over the weekend. Besides hanging out with SF Signal contributors Karen Burnham, John Anealio and Patrick Hester, I hope to finally meet the scores of folks who I know only through email.

I apologize in advance for any drunken tweets…

I kid!

(Or do I…?)

SF Tidbits for 10/28/10

Interviews/Profiles

News

Articles

Book

Trailers

More Fun Stuff

Want More? See SF Signal’s Twitter and Facebook pages for additional tidbits not posted here!

MIND MELD: Underrated Anime (With Videos!)

[Do you have an idea for a future Mind Meld? Let us know!]

Everyone looking to watch some good anime knows the popular ones: Ghost in the Shell, Akira, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, My Neighbor Tototro, Battle Angel OVA, Grave of the Fireflies, Howl’s Moving Castle, Serial Experiments Lain, etc. But what about anime that falls below the usual radar? We asked this week’s esteemed panelists:

Q: Which anime titles are underrated and deserve more attention?

Here’s what they said…

Joseph Mallozzi
Joseph Mallozzi, along with his partner Paul Mullie, is the executive produce/showrunner for Stargate Universe. He also runs a Book Of The Month discussion at his website.

Cowboy Bebop, Evangelion, Escaflowne, Berserk, Rurouni Kenshin, Samurai Champloo, GTO, Azumanga Daioh, Patlabor, and Death Note. I just wanted to make mention of these terrific AND popular anime than didn’t make your intro list because I don’t want to catch any flak for seemingly overlooking them in my list.

Some ten years ago, when I was preparing for professional life after Stargate, I started picking up anime with an eye to finding a potential property that would make a good live action film or television series. The idea was to come up with a couple of titles, option them, and eventually set one up at a studio or network. Well, turned out my plans for that next project had to wait as, ten years later, I’m still working on Stargate. In the meantime, my anime collection has swelled to about a thousand titles.

That initial research gave way to a respect and love for the genre and, today, I watch an anime episode a day in a bid to keep current, improve my Japanese language skills and, of course, find that next big project in preparation for life after Stargate.

What follows is a list of my personal underrated favorites:

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SF Tidbits for 10/27/10

Interviews/Profiles

News

Articles

More Fun Stuff

Want More? See SF Signal’s Twitter and Facebook pages for additional tidbits not posted here!

If ever there was a sign that zombies have jumped the shark, it’s gotta be that Sears has a marketing campaign around them…

[via Lisa Paitz Spindler and Neatorama]

REVIEW: Except the Music by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

MY RATING:

Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s novelette Except the Music is about a middle-aged classical musician playing a concert series in small coastal town in Oregon. Max was once a child prodigy, wowing audiences for years, but these days his popularity has waned and so, too, has his connection to the music. This does not go unnoticed by two people in his life: Otto, a classical music celebrity and Max’s mentor, and an enigmatic woman groupie with whom Max has a one night stand.

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Ben Kenobi, Private Eye

Hey, even Ben Kenobi had to pay the bills…

[via Blastr]

New in the Suvudu Free Library: Star Wars: Lost Tribe of the Sith part 5: Purgatory, the latest entry in John Jackson Miller’s eight-part free eBook novella series The Lost Tribe of the Sith.

Note: John Jackson Miller’s other Lost Tribe of the Sith book are also available for free from the Free Library and from Amazon:

Here’s the book description for Purgatory:

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