Author Archive

In episode 202 of the SF Signal Podcast, Patrick Hester welcomes Lynne M. Thomas (2013 Hugo Award winner – Best Fancast), Michael Damian Thomas (2013 Hugo Award Nominee – Semi-Prozine – APEX Magazine, and John Kilma (Hugo Award Winner – Electric Velocipede 2009) to discuss the genesis and journey of the Glitter & Mayhem (APEX Books) anthology from conception to publication launch party at Worldcon in San Antonio, Texas.

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VIDEO: The Making of Pacific Rim’s Prologue

John D. showed this to me, and it’s worth sharing. Say what you want about Pacific Rim - go on, it’s okay – but you have to admit, the giant Jaegers (mech) and Kaijus were fairly awesome. This was the first film that made me think two very cool, live-action adaptations were now possible: a Mechwarrior film, and a Robotech film.

In the video below, we see how the FX for both Jaegers and Kaijus were put together. The layers and detail is just awesome. Check it out after the jump.

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The SF Signal Podcast (Episode 200!): 2013 WorldCon Wrap-Up

In episode 200 of the SF Signal Podcast, Patrick Hester, Gail Carriger, Matthew Sanborn Smith, Karen Burnham and John DeNardo chat about their adventures at this year’s WorldCon in San Antonio, Texas.
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Sunday Cinema: From The Future With Love (A Short Film)


This comes to us via GeekyTyrant – a very well done short film from director K-Michel Parandi about privatized police forces in New York City, 2095. Don’t have the right coverage plan? Better upgrade, or the police might not be able to help you. The production value on this film makes it look slick and solid, on par with what we’ve seen from Hollywood these days. The concept reminds me (a little) of Judge Dredd.

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Saga, Vol. 1

In honor of it winning the 2013 Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story, I thought I’d go ahead and take a look at Saga: Volume 1 this week on the Kirkus Blog.

From the post:

From the mind of Brian K. Vaughan (Y: The Last Man) and illustrated by Fiona Staples (Mystery Society, North 40), Saga: Volume 1 (978-1607066019) tells the tale of two star-crossed lovers out to leave their past behind and start a new life together.  Alana is a winged-being from the world known as Landfall.  Her world is at war with the inhabitants of their moon, called Wreath.  Drafted to fight in that war, Alana eventually found herself working as a prison guard where she met Marko.  Born of Wreath, Marko, too, was a soldier.  His race has horns and can wield magic, whereas the people of Landfall are technologically superior.  Somehow, the two fell in love and decided to desert their respective armies and build a new life together.  That new life is complicated by the arrival of Hazel, their child, who represents something neither side of the war thought possible; genetic compatibility.

Click on over to the Kirkus Blog to read the rest of my review.

Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files: Welcome to the Jungle and Storm Front

Today at the Kirkus blog, I take a look at three graphic novels based on Jim Butcher’s smart, sarcastic and difficult to kill private eye/Wizard, Harry Dresden.

From the post:

The idea of adapting novels into comics has been around for a little while now, and quite frankly, is the source of my column here at the Kirkus blog (most weeks). Not everyone approaches it the same way. Butcher launched his adaptations with a brand new story written specifically for the comics – Welcome to the Jungle (978-0345507464), which takes place immediately before the first Dresden Files novel – Storm Front. More on that in a minute. Welcome to the Jungle sets up the Dresden Files universe. Karrin Murphy is the head of Chicago PD’s Special Investigation unit. Ron Carmichael is her partner. Whenever anything weird comes up, they call in one Harry Dresden, Wizard. On this particular day, a mysterious death at the zoo is weird enough to make that call.

To read the rest of the post, click on over to the Kirkus Reviews blog. Go on. Do it. I dare you…

REVIEW SUMMARY: A decent offering marred by an art style so grotesque as to be horribly distracting.
BRIEF SYNOPSIS: After battling a menagerie of his enemies, The Flash (Barry Allen), wakes up to find the world has changed. Atlantis is at war with the Amazon’s of Themyscira, who have destroyed Europe, and claimed the United Kingdom as their own. In this alternate world, it’s up to Barry Allen and this world’s version of The Batman to set things right again, or die trying.

MY REVIEW:
PROS: Decent story; nice to see Barry’s version of The Flash in an animated feature; this Batman is interesting (not all alternates have been); another fun romp through the ‘what if’ catalogue of stories.
CONS: The physical representations of the heroes (the art) is weird, grotesque and distracting; even without having read the original comics, the twist was predictable.
BOTTOM LINE: As a fan of the animated movies DC has been pumping out, this one is much better than the previous few and well worth your time.

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In episode 199 of the SF Signal Podcast, Patrick Hester chats with SF Fan, Podcaster and Media personality Tom Merritt.

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Astounding Space Thrills: Argosy Smith and the Codex Reckoning

Over on the Kirkus Blog, I’m taking a look at Astounding Space Thrills: Argosy Smith and the Codex Reckoning.  From the post:

Astounding Space Thrills: Argosy Smith and the Codex Reckoning begins with an explanation: “A few short years into the 21st century, the laws governing the universe change – time flows at a different angle, space folds against the grain and positive particles aren’t so sure.” This lays out what can only be described as a wild ride. Aliens. Space monkeys. Robots. Little Green Mercenaries who love to kill humans. A man with three brains (didn’t Steve Martin make a movie like that?). Rayguns. Adventure. Astounding Space thrills has it all, plus more.

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VIDEO: Thanos Crashes Comic-Con

This is what happens when Thanos, the Mad Titan, decides to invade Comic-Con.

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Fables: Legends in Exile

Over on the Kirkus Reviews blog this week, I take a look at the first three volumes of the Fables graphic novels from DC/Vertigo.

From the post:

Before Emma showed up in Storybrooke to shake things up on Once Upon A Time (ABC), or Nick found out his family had a certain, special heritage on Grimm (NBC), fairy tale characters were making a come back in a comic book series called Fables, written by Bill Willingham and published by DC Vertigo. Quickly growing in popularity with comic book readers, the book has kept going for over a decade, and has spawned several spin-offs. Up until now, I’ve avoided reviewing Fables simply due to the sheer volume of material available. I mean – where do you start? Turns out, you just have to start at the beginning.

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In episode 197 of the SF Signal Podcast, Patrick Hester asks our group of stalwart panelists their thoughts on this summer’s movies.

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The Manhattan Projects: Science Bad

Science is bad, m’kay?Over on the Kirkus Reviews Blog today, i have a piece on The Manhattan Projects Vol 1: Science Bad.

Here’s an excerpt from the post:

You know the names; Oppenheimer -‘father of the atomic bomb’, Einstein – the most influential physicist of the 20th century, Roosevelt – President of the United States during both the Great Depression and World War II, Truman – Roosevelt’s Vice President and successor, who dropped the bomb on Japan to end the war, von Braun – former Nazi and ‘father of Rocket Science’, Feynman, genius and theoretical physicist. You should also remember The Manhattan Project; America’s top-secret research and development project located in Los Alamos, NM. They produced the first atomic bomb. Now, add in flying saucers, aliens, wormholes, Japanese kamikaze robots, artificial intelligences, alternate realities, evil twins and galactic war.

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In episode 196 of the SF Signal Podcast, Patrick Hester invites Daniel Haight and Stephen Haffner to talk about Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

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In episode 195 of the SF Signal Podcast, Patrick Hester re-assembles a panel (Karen Burnham, Gail Carriger and Fred Kiesche) to discuss a ton of stuff including:
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Flash Gordon: Zeitgeist

On the Kirkus Blog this week, I take a look at Flash Gordon: Zeitgeist, a graphic novel from Dynamite that captures the heyday of pulp in 200 pages.

From the post:

One of the most enduring pulp characters from the 1930’s, Flash Gordon has stayed in the public consciousness through daily strips – translated into many different languages – radio and film serials, multiple cartoons and live-action television shows, novels, comics, and a cult-classic movie.  Alex Raymond’s original Sunday comic strip ran from 1934-1943, with other artists taking the reins all the way through 2003.  For most people, the 1980’s movie, starring Sam J. Jones as the title character, Melody Anderson as Dale Arden, Topol as Doctor Hans Zarkov, Max von Sydow as Ming, Timothy Dalton as Prince Barin, Brian Blessed as Vultan, and Ornella Muti as Princess Aura, comes to mind when you mention Flash Gordon.  But a lot of comic books starring the character have been produced from publishers small and large, including King Comics, Gold Key, Charlton, Marvel, Dark Horse, Ardden Entertainment, and DC – who produced one of my favorite incarnations in the late 80’s.  Now, Dynamite has brought the character full circle with Flash Gordon: Zeitgeist (978-1606903339), a throwback to the heady days when pulp was king, and characters were large than life.

Click over to the Kirkus Blog to read the rest of the piece.

In episode 194 of the SF Signal Podcast, Patrick Hester chats with Author Michael J. Martinez, author of The Daedalus Incident.

About Michael:

Michael is a husband, father and writer living the dream in the Garden State. He has spent nearly 20 years as a professional writer and journalist, including stints at The Associated Press and ABCNEWS.com. After telling other people’s stories for the bulk of his career, he is happy that he can now be telling a few of his own creations. He is also a member of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America. When not being a husband, parent or writer, Michael enjoys beer and homebrewing, cooking and eating, the outdoors and travel. If you’re curious about their travels, his wife does a far better job of describing their adventures, so check out her blog at katrinawoznicki.com.

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Today over on the Kirkus blog, I talk about The Legend of Drizzt: A Neverwinter Tale by R.A. Salvatore.

From the post:

It’s difficult to imagine Dungeons & Dragons without The Forgotten Realms, a campaign/expansion setting created by Ed Greenwood in 1967, and brought into the D&D canon fully in 1987.  The setting has proven a fruitful one for players and authors alike.  At least twenty-four books have included R.A. Salvatore’s Dark Elf hero, Drizzt.  Few authors have contributed as much to the Dungeons & Dragons canon as Ed Greenwood and R.A. Salvatore.  I actually had the opportunity to chat with Salvatore for the SFSignal.com podcast, and we talked extensively about his Neverwinter Saga and Drizzt himself.  The history and world building in that series is carried over and expanded in the comics which make up the new graphic novel.

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In episode 192 of the SF Signal Podcast, Patrick Hester chats with Author Michaelbrent Collings.

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Terry Pratchett’s The Discworld Graphic Novels

Today over on the Kirkus Reviews Blog, I take a look at a graphic novel that comprises the adaptations of Terry Pratchett’s The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic.

From the post:

The Colour of Magic.  Rincewind is a wizard.  Unfortunately, he is not a very good wizard.  He never got high marks during his time attending the Unseen University.  As such, he doesn’t have many prospects.  He does have a penchant for running away and escaping danger.  Enter Twoflower, the Discworld’s first ever tourist, who has travelled from the Counterweight Continent all the way to the city of Ankh-Morpork to ‘look at things’.  This odd behavior attracts a lot of attention, as does the fact that Twoflower carries a lot of gold and doesn’t seem to understand how much that gold is worth in Ankh-Morpork versus his homeland.  Rincewind is tasked with showing Twoflower around, and seeing him safely back to his home with a pleasant story that will bring more of these ‘tourists’ to Ankh-Morpork to spend their gold.

Click over and check out the rest of the post.

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