Archive for November, 2010

The Big Bang Theory Recap: ‘The Boyfriend Complexity’

Show: The Big Bang Theory

Episode Title: The Boyfriend Complexity

Air Date: November 18th, 2010

Network: CBS

Penny’s father (Keith Carradine) is in town and to get him off her back about her love life, she tells him that she’s back with the only boyfriend he has ever approved of: Leonard.

Warning: Spoilers abound…

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BOOK REVIEW: Is Anybody out There? edited by Nick Gevers and Marty Halpern

REVIEW SUMMARY: A good collection of stories that examine the Fermi Paradox.

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: 15 stories that explore the Fermi Paradox.

MY REVIEW:
PROS: Three standout stories plus ten other good ones.
CONS: Two stories mediocre or worse.
BOTTOM LINE: A good collection overall.

Is Earth the only home to intelligent life in the universe? Statistically speaking, it’s improbable, and yet there are no signs of alien life on other planets. This contradiction, known as the Fermi paradox, is the theme of an anthology edited by Nick Gevers and Marty Halpern, Is Anybody out There? It collects fifteen stories that involve the Fermi Paradox in a variety of ways: some offering explanations, some portraying first contact, many involving a mystery, and still others taking a less-than-serious approach. Although all the stories adequately use the theme, they work (as can be expected) to varying degrees.

Standout stories in this anthology include:

  • “Where Two or Three” by Sheila Finch
  • “Timmy, Come Home” by Matthew Hughes
  • “The Vampires of Paradox” by James Morrow

Individual story reviews follow…
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Daily Science Fiction has announced its December 2010 line-up of stories:

  • 12/1/10: “Delusional” by Ross Willard
  • 12/2/10: “Journey’s End” by Christine Lucas
  • 12/3/10: “Never the Twain” by Lon Prater
  • 12/6/10: “Sheila” by A Merc. Rustad
  • 12/7/10: “Heartbeat” by Erin M. Hartshorn
  • 12/8/10: “Surprise Party” by Steven Saus
  • 12/9/10: “Flood Myth” by Brian Dolton
  • 12/10/10: “Perfect Black” by Will McIntosh
  • 12/13/10: “Drink” by Tara Barnett
  • 12/14/10: “Buy You a Mockingbird” by Eric James Stone
  • 12/15/10: “Maker of the Twenty-first Moon” by Sean Patrick Hannifin
  • 12/16/10: “Grocery Games” by Anne Patterson Friedman
  • 12/17/10: “No Spaceships Go” by Annie Bellet
  • 12/20/10: “The God Solution” by M.E. Castle
  • 12/21/10: “Nothing but the Truth” by Stephen V. Ramey
  • 12/22/10: “The Pillow Zone” by Scott Lininger
  • 12/23/10: “A Christmas Frost” by Robert Edward Keller
  • 12/24/10: “The Two of Us, After” by Steven Popkes
  • 12/27/10: “Not the Chosen One” by Amber D. Sistla
  • 12/28/10: “Palindrome” by Will Arthur
  • 12/29/10: “The Plum Pudding Paradox” by Jay Werkheiser
  • 12/30/10: “Variety” by Jill Zeller
  • 12/31/10: “A Matter of Time” by Jaime Lee Moyer

Game Of Thrones Trailer

Well, sort of a trailer and kind of a preview, but filled with clips from the show we haven’t seen before. Until now. Feast your eyes:

Looks pretty good! And with Boromir Sean Bean involved, it simply has to be good. Plus, one book = one season gives Martin plenty of time to write the next book in the series!

Almost worth it to get HBO. Almost.

TOC: ‘Starship Vectors’ edited by Allan Kaster

InfiniVox has posted the table of contents for their new audio anthology Starship Vectors edited by Allan Kaster, available on December 21st:

  1. “Mayflower II” by Stephen Baxter
  2. “Boojum” by Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette
  3. “The Political Officer” by Charles Coleman Finlay
  4. “The Tomb Wife” by Gwyneth Jones
  5. “Shiva in Shadow” by Nancy Kress
  6. “The Remoras” by Robert Reed

SF Tidbits for 11/30/10

Interviews/Profiles

News

Articles

Art

More Fun Stuff

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

The SyFy Re-Branding Hasn’t Helped Them One Bit

Way back in March 2009, the SciFi Channel announced that it was changing its name to Syfy in an attempt to be ‘less geeky’ (this according to the president of the channel, David Howe) and to open up the channel’s programming to a broader audience.

I’ve talked, several times in fact, about how horribly stupid this whole thing was so I won’t rehash it all here and now. But I would like to talk about how the name change / re-branding hasn’t really helped them.

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In the 18th episode of the SF Signal Podcast, Patrick Hester asks the SF Signal contributors & irregulars:

Why are your favorite Science Fiction stories so hard to adapt to film and television?

Jeff Patterson, Fred Kiesche, Lisa Paitz Spindler & John Anealio all share their thoughts.

Later, Patrick Hester & John DeNardo sit down to chat with Vonda N. McIntyre about BookViewCafe.com, her long and illustrious career and that time she gave Lt. Sulu a first name.

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Funny Video: So You Want to Write a Novel…

[via everyone with any interest whatsoever in writing, but I caught it via [via Mary Robinette Kowal]]

Books Received: November 29, 2010

In the interest of full disclosure, here are the review items we received this week.

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SF Tidbits for 11/29/10

Interviews

News

Articles

More Fun Stuff

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

RIP: John Steakley

Sad news…

Author John Steakley has passed away after a long illness. He was 60 years old.

John is perhaps best known for his 1984 novel Armor and his 1990 novel Vampires which was adapted into a film by John Carpenter in 1998.

See also:

[via the John Steakley site]

Sunday Cinema: Cosmos – War of the Planets (1977)

From IMDB:

A strange signal arrives on the Earth disturbing all communications, while a UFO appears above the Antarctic sea. Captain Alex Hamilton is sent with his spaceship and crew to the space outside the Solar System to find the origin of that signal. They reach an unknown planet where a giant robot enslaved a whole population of humanoids by taking their psychic energies. The robot’s got his eyes on the Earth, too

As a point of reference, this film was released in the same year as Star Wars.

TOC: Interzone #231

The contents of Interzone #231 have been posted:

Stories

  • “The Shoe Factory” by Matthew Cook
  • “The Shipmaker” by Aliette de Bodard
  • “Peacemaker, Peacemaker, Little Bo Peep” by Jason Sanford
  • “Memoria” by Jason Sanford
  • “Millisent Ka Plays in Realtime” by Jason Sanford

Features

  • Jason Sanford interview by Andy Hedgecock
  • Ansible Link by David Langford
  • Mutant Popcorn by Nick Lowe
  • Laser Fodder by Tony Lee

[Cover Art by Warwick Fraser-Coombe is the 6th panel of larger 6-panel image]

A Bevvy of Silver Screen Introductions

Contains more sf/f clips than you can shake a lightsaber/sword at…

[via Geekosystem]

SF Tidbits for 11/28/10

News

Articles

More Fun Stuff

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

Here’s a batch of some upcoming films that may interest sf/f fans….

Gulliver’s Travels

In a contemporary re-imagining of the classic tale, Jack Black stars as Gulliver, a big-talking mailroom clerk who, after he’s mistakenly assigned a travel piece on the Bermuda Triangle, suddenly finds himself a giant among men when he washes ashore on the hidden island of Lilliput, home to a population of very tiny people. At first enslaved by the diminutive and industrious Liliputians, and later declared their hero, Gulliver comes to learn that it’s how big you are on the inside that counts.

Release: December 22, 2010

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Free Fiction for 11/27/10

  • @Lightspeed Magazine: “Ej-Es” by Nancy Kress
  • @Strange Horizons: “Blood, Blood” by Abbey Mei Otis (part 2 of 2)
  • @The World SF Blog: “Eustace Albert” by Anil Menon
  • @ManyBooks.net:
  • Riya’s Foundling” by Algirdas Jonas Budrys (John A. Sentry)
  • Audio
  • Serialized
    • Kat & Mouse: “Pop Quiz” (Part Eleven, end of season 1)
    • @Craphound: “Jury Service” (Conclusion) by Cory Doctorow

SF Tidbits for 11/27/10

Interviews & Profiles

News

Articles

More Fun Stuff

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

Great Black Friday Game Sales

Black Friday is here and, as usual, stores everywhere try their best to get you into their stores by pricing items you may want at insane prices (not to mention opening in the wee hours and offering those insane prices only before the sun is shining…). But online stores are in on the act too and as a bonus, you don’t have to get out of your jammies to buy some really good stuff at great prices. First up, Amazon’s list (go here to get the deals, all are while supplies and time last):

  


Halo: Reach – The Halo saga, as produced by Bungie, comes to a conclusion with this game, which is actually a prequel to all the other Halo games out there. In Reach, you are thrust in the middle of the events that lead to the Pillar of Autumn‘s fleeing Covenant Forces and ending up at the first Halo. Even with no Master Chief, Reach is a terrific FPS game in it’s own right and the story is paced exceptionally well, even if you know how it ends. Only $30(!) while supplies last.

Fallout New Vegas – While many people consider New Vegas to be nothing more than an expansion pack for Fallout 3 (it uses the same engine and assets), I think this is still a very fun game. There’s a whole new storyline set in the desert in and around New Vegas and there is a ton of stuff to do and see. If you liked Fallout 3 you should enjoy New Vegas. I’ve had it for a month and a half and I’m maybe halfway done, but then again, I am a completest. $30 – $35 depending on your platform of choice.

Fable III – The latest entry in the Fable series from Lionhead Studios and Peter Molyneaux, III is set 50 years after II and the world of Albion is in the midst of an industrial revolution. Your actions as the ‘hero’ are reflected in the world at large and you get to decide what kind of King or Queen you’ll be and what type of world you’ll create. Know for giving players a large array of actions for a given event, Fable III looks no different and $30 is a great price for a recently release game.

Not to be outdone, Valve Software’s (Half-Life, Portal, etc) Steam service (digital downloads) has their own Thanksgiving sale going on and today they have a really fun game at a very small price:

Torchlight – If you love action RPGs, like Diablo or Titan’s Quest, you really owe it to yourself to try Torchlight, which has all the addicting gameplay you expect with a couple of nice additions, all wrapped up in a very shiny and polished wrapper. Seriously, you can’t go wrong with Torchlight at $20, but at today’s price for only $5, it’s almost like stealing candy from a baby. Only without all the crying or cavities.

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