Tidbits Archives

SF Tidbits for 11/13/07

SF Tidbits for 11/12/07

SF Tidbits for 11/10/07

SF Tidbits for 11/9/07

  • TeenReads interviews Scott Westerfeld. Scott talks about the latest book in his Uglies series, Extras, and also teases and taunts us with word of his upcoming semi-graphic-novel trilogy called Leviathan, set during World War I and featuring living airships and walking mechanical war machines. Sweet.
  • Matthew Jarpe rants against The Mundanes. “I’ve got to say, I feel the same way about the Mundane Manifesto as I do about all manifesti. It’s a pointless waste of time and energy, and all responses to the manifesto are likewise pointless wastes of time an energy. This being a blog, pointless wastes of time and energy are my meat and potatoes, so here we go…” A cracking read wight up to the killer pirate robots ending.
  • At Baen, Jim Minz interviews Lois McMaster Bujold. “I will say, at no time past age 12 have I ever believed in the idea of a wild west in space. Any culture critically dependent for people’s lives on complicated technology needs to be more controlled and rule-abiding, not less.” Hmmmm…wonder how she feels about Firefly, then? :) [via Fred K.]
  • At SciFi Wire, John Joseph Adams profiles Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu, author of Shadow Speaker, described as “African fantasy with elements of science fiction.”
  • Guardian lists favorite books to re-read.
  • GalleyCat is following the latest in the Digital vs. Paper debate: Christian Science Monitor reporter Clayton Collins talks about the survival of the printed page at AlterNet (“…books exhibit a remarkable resilience to the forces of technology”). Survival of the Book responds to the article: “The e-book is no more a threat, ultimately, than audio books…”
  • The Atlantic article How Hollywood Saved God discusses religion (or anti-religion) and the upcoming release of The Golden Compass. You need a subscription to read it in its entirety, but Bridge to the Stars has a nice summary.
  • Optical Popitude points us to this neat set of action figures: Doctor Who Cybercontroller with Guards.
  • Regarding the recent TV writers’ strike, Ray Richmond of Past Deadline says that Harlan Ellison Could Teach the WGA a Thing or Two About Negotiation.
  • StarWars.com lists 10 Star Wars Rip-Off Posters.
  • Discover magazine lists The 5 Best and Worst Science Based Movies of All Time. (Shameless plug: This is not to be confused with the completely different “Movies with Bad Science” list I recently posted at SciFi Scanner.)

SF Tidbits for 11/8/07

  • SF author Matthew Jarpe is giving away a free copy of his book Radio Freefall. (See SF Signal Review.)
  • James Patrick Kelly has finished podcasting his novel Look Into the Sun.
  • Over at Texas Best Grok, “Planet Stories” has a renewed appreciation for Clark Ashton Smith.
  • S. Andrew Swann responds to L.E. Modesitt’s recent singularity article. Says Swann: “But my main problem with Modesitt’s argument is that it is primarily an economic one, based on the assumption that the basic economic rules are somehow set in stone and aren’t manipulated by technological change.”
  • Rolling Stone interviews William Gibson. “People worry about the loss of individual privacy, but that comes with a new kind of unavoidable transparency.” [via Core Dump ]
  • The Kick-Ass Mystic Ninjas are talking about Ringworld by Larry Niven.
  • Bibliophile Stalker looks at the science fiction in Frank Herbert’s Dune and concludes that it’s more fantasy than science fiction.
  • Ellen Datlow and by Scott Edelman share their photos from the World Fantasy Convention. [via Locus Online]
  • Locus magazine’s Gary Westfahl reviews Martian Child. “While watching the first half of the film, with the novel very much on my mind, I was irritated by apparent efforts to dumb down and prettify Gerrold’s story in order to appeal to the masses; but gradually, I was able to accept the film on its own terms as effective entertainment, even if it did not conform to my expectations.”
  • According to the LA Times, the recent writers’ strike may impact book-to-movie deals too. “If the writers strike continues for a long period, some book agents fear that many option deals will be nixed, causing major disruptions in the business.”
  • Slice of SciFi interviews TV writer, Jane Espenson
  • A mere $59,000 will get you a cool-looking steampunk watch.
  • Cool Tools throws us a nice link with Book Darts. little reusable markers you can put in your books without damaging the book. For those obsessive compulsives who wince when cracking a binding. Whistles and looks up…]
  • Kevin Maher’s latest video post looks at why Netflix doesn’t carry some sci-fi classics.
  • Cracked lists 5 Awesome Sci-Fi Inventions That Would Actually Suck. Jet Pack fans should look away.

SF Tidbits for 11/7/07

SF Tidbits for 11/6/07

  • Finding Wonderland interviews Connie Willis, author of D.A. and The Winds of Marble Arch. “I love science fiction, and I can’t imagine calling myself anything but a science fiction writer, but I know people sometimes have a very odd idea of what it is. ‘Oh, you write science fiction,’ they say, sort of wrinkling up their nose as if they smelled something bad, laugh nervously, and ask, ‘So, have you ever been abducted by aliens?'” [via Edward Champion]
  • SFX interviews Stephen R. Donaldson (The Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant). “…I did not intend my work as polemics. I believe that as a story teller, it’s my job to serve the story. It’s not the story’s job to serve me.”
  • John Joseph Adams profiles David Moles. “It’s true that a woman in the developed world today has many more opportunities than she would have had a hundred years ago, or even fifty, but I also think that in American society particularly, we — men and women both — lie to ourselves about how much freedom and opportunity we have”
  • Free reads: Speculative fiction e-zine Heliotrope issue #3 has been posted with fiction by Brendan Connell, Tina Connolly and Rob Vagle; and articles by Jeffrey Ford, Michael Moorcock and Jeff Vandermeer.
  • More free fiction: Subterranean Online is serializing Daniel Abraham’s “The Support Technician Tango“.
  • At Information Week, Cory Doctorow explains why artists should worry less about piracy and more about how much it costs to publish online. “Artists are in the free expression business, and technology that helps free expression helps artists. When lowering the cost of copyright enforcement raises the cost of free speech, every artist has a duty to speak out.”
  • James Nicoll lists the complete catalog of the Pocketbooks Timescape line of books.
  • Make Me The King lists 10 things Science Fiction got wrong.
  • Cynical-C points us to a a bunch of Star Wars geeks who made their own life-sized version of Jabba the Hutt.

SF Tidbits for 11/4/07

SF Tidbits for 11/3/07

SF Tidbits for 11/2/07

SF Tidbits for 11/1/07

SF Tidbits for 10/31/07

SF Tidbits for 10/30/07

  • Solaris Books plans to serialize Three Unbroken (Chris Roberson‘s second novel in his Celestial Empire sequence, after The Dragon’s Nine Sons) on their website for free, at a rate of two chapters per week. Three Unbroken is based on the sixty-four elements of the I-Ching, and “follows the lives of three soldiers from their induction into the armed forces to their eventual fight for survival on the frontline.”
  • David Louis Edelman shows off the cool cover of Multireal, the sequel to Infoquake.
  • SciFi Wire profiles Brandon Sanderson, author of Mistborn: The Well of Ascension.
  • Jeff VanderMeer talks with George R.R. Martin (Dreamsongs). “Like any writer, I’d like to think I’ve gotten better. I know I’ve gotten longer.”
  • Neth Space has 5 questions each for Michael Moorcock (The Metatemporal Detective) and Joe Abercrombie (The Blade Itself).
  • John Joseph Adams has guest-edited the Pirate issue of Shimmer magazine.
  • The blog LiveJournal community for the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America asks: Which short fiction magazines do you read?
  • John Ringo is quoted in the article Science Fiction: How the Cult Became Mainstream, which says that it’s because sf “predicts the future of today’s hot-button issues.”
  • The Guild Cafe has the Charlie Stross article Life’s a Game and them You Die, which attempts to explain how online games will affect our culture over the next couple of decades.
  • L.E. Modesitt, Jr. explains why the singularity won’t happen. “It won’t happen. Not even close. Why not? First, because such visions are based on technology, not on humanity. Second, they’re based on a western European/North American cultural chauvinism.”

SF Tidbits for 10/29/07

SF Tidbits for 10/28/07

  • Here’s a 70-minute video of Charles Stross reading Halting State from a recent appearance in San Francisco.
  • The Dead Robots’ Society podcast-interviews A. Lee Martinez (In the Company of Ogres).
  • New/Updated at ManyBooks.net: “With No Strings Attached” by Gordon Randall Garrett, “No Great Magic” by Fritz Leiber and “Subversive” by Mack Reynolds.
  • More free fiction: Free Speculative Fiction Online has a whole slew of new additions from James Blish, Algis Budrys, Greg Egan, Eric Flint & Dave Freer, Jeffrey Ford, Theodora Goss, Harry Harrison, Jay Lake, Claude Lalumière, Jack McDevitt, Alan E. Nourse, Mike Resnick, John Ringo & Linda Evans, Chris Roberson, Bruce Sterling, Lavie Tidhar and Stanley G. Weinbaum.
  • Entertainment Weekly #962 lists Reaper and The Bionic Woman as two of 5 new shows to watch. They also list Heroes and one of 4 shows worth fixing. (Speaking of EW and Heroes, they’ve posted a dead-on review of Heroes season 2.
  • Yes But No But Yes asks “Where Are They Now?” in regards to the warriors from the Road Warrior films. My favorite: Bruce Spence…the Gyro Captain who became Tion Medon in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith.

SF Tidbits for 10/27/07

SF Tidbits for 10/26/07

  • Orbit Books has posted the first chapter of Devices and Desires by K.J. Parker.
  • At SciFi Wire, John Joseph Adams profiles Kristine Smith, author of Endgame, the latest and final book in the series that began with Code of Conduct.
  • Stanislaw Lem calls Philip K. Dick A Visionary Among the Charlatans: “…fans are attracted by the worst in Dick–the typical dash of American SF, reaching to the stars, and the headlong pace of action moving from one surprise to the next–but they hold it against him that, instead of unraveling puzzles, he leaves the reader at the end on the battlefield, enveloped in the aura of a mystery as grotesque as it is strange.”
  • Locus Online has excerpts from Locus magazine’s October Issue interviews with Bruce Sterling (“These days I’m like a gypsy scholar figure.”) and Walter Jon Williams (“SF has changed dramatically in the last half-century.”)
  • The Guardian Book Blog has an appreciation of J.G. Ballard. “To put it simply: Ballard understands that modernity has left us to our own basal needs – and we’re not coping too well.”
  • Jed Hartman is talking about anti-technological sf. “I’m sometimes surprised by how often sf stories are all about the evils of technology, and how much better unmodified humans are than technologically aided humans.”
  • Anyone else getting stoked over the new I Am Legend trailer? I loved the book and although this seems to differ greatly from that, the core concept is there. And it looks cool.
  • New at ThinkGeek: Battling Remote Control Daleks!
  • Star Wars humor: Optical Popitude points us to a deleted dinner scene from The Empire Strikes Back.

SF Tidbits for 10/25/07

  • SFX interviews Andy Remic (War Machine). “War Machine is a sizzling rollercoaster of a novel with a gratuitous excess of violence, sex, dark humour and exotic aliens all wrapped up in a high-octane cling-film plot concerning an elite military unit illegally reformed who must battle across alien planets to discover justice, truth and revenge.”
  • Amazon Daily has part 1 of a talks with hot, new fantasy authors Joe Abercrombie (The Blade Itself), Karen Miller (The Innocent Mage and The Awakened Mage), Brian Ruckley (Winterbirth), and Brandon Sanderson (The Final Empire and Well of Ascension). “There is so much of this genre that hasn’t been explored yet, and it’s thrilling to be part of the new wave of fantasy writers.”
  • James Patrick Kelly is podcasting his novel Look Into the Sun. Here’s Part 32.
  • New/Updated at Gutenberg: “Sodom and Gomorrah, Texas” by R.A. Lafferty and “The Creature from Cleveland Depths” by Fritz Leiber.
  • New/Updated at ManyBooks.net: “The Big Bounce” by Walter Tevis.
  • John C. Wright offers us the first chapter of Null-A Continuum.
  • Bloginhood covers VCon32/Canvention27, where the Aurora Awards were handed out.
  • SciFiChick lists 13 Lame Superpowers.
  • Bad news for Pete: The remake of Barbarella, has been shelved. [via Fimoculous]
  • Good news for Pete: Tricia Helfer posts some images from Spike TV’s 2007 Scream Awards. Check her out hangin’ with The Shat

SF Tidbits for 10/24/07

SF Tidbits for 10/23/07

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