We are nothing if not a perpetuator of sci-fi babe posts – or rather, we are nothing and we are a perpetuator of sci-fi babe posts – so here is Asylum’s lists of The Hottest 13 Babes in Space. [via SciFi Scanner]
Grasping for the Wind interviews John Joseph Adams (Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse). “…post-apocalyptic fiction seems to be part of the zeitgeist right now. I mean, you’ve got Cormac McCarthy’s novel The Road not only winning the Pulitzer Prize, but appearing as an Oprah Book Club selection! If that’s not a sign of the apocalypse, I don’t know what is.”
This I Believe has Robert A. Heinlein reading his essayOur Noble, Essential Decency. “I believe that this hairless embryo with the aching oversized braincase and the opposable thumb–this animal barely up from the apes–will endure, will endure longer than his home planet, will spread out to the other planets–to the stars and beyond–carrying with him his honesty, his insatiable curiosity, his unlimited courage, and his noble essential decency. This I believe with all my heart.” [via Locus Online]
Penguin continues its look at the sub-genres of speculative fiction with this post on Military SF.
Fantasy Book Critic interviews Terry Goodkind. “The destruction of values leaves young people no outlet for how to learn about life, to learn about overcoming challenges. As a consequence, they turn away from reading because it doesn’t fulfill that basic human need. They turn to things like video games.”
A couple of years ago, we mentionedMonster Island, David Wellington’s novel (posted in blog format) set in Manhattan, one month after New York has been overrun by zombies. According to Shock Till You Drop, Monster Island is headed for the big screen.
The Fix Online interviews with Ellen Datlow. “I think the boundaries between the three fantastic fiction genres–sf, fantasy, and horror–have always been porous. Think of “fantasy” as the umbrella and sf/f/h as the spokes comprising that umbrella.”
Intergalactic Medicine Show interviews Robert J. Sawyer. “If hard SF is losing its market share, surely the only possible solution is BETTER SF to bring those readers back.”
William Shatner will receive the Jules Verne Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by Patrick Stewart on behalf of a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the natural bio-diversity of the planet. Here is some backstage video from the opening of the festival where the award will be presented.
Here’s a set of lists of The Best Science Fiction Films according to SF writers Robert Bloch, Arthur C. Clarke, Frederik Pohl, and directors John Carpenter and Robert Wise. (Excerpted from 1994’s The Variety Book of Movie Lists by Fred Lombardi.)
If you catch Richard Matheson’s classic horror story I Am Legend on an IMAX screen, you;ll get to see a 6-minute preview of Dark Knight, the sequel to Batman Begins.
Karen Miller interviews Trudi Canavan, author of The Black Magician trilogy and the Age of the Five trilogy. “There has been this chunky mega-book series phenomenon, which I don’t like as a reader. I prefer to wait until the last book of a series is available before I start reading the first one, and I must admit my interest in the Jordan and Martin mega-epics has waned from waiting so long to start them.” [via Eos Book Blog]
Author Bruce McAllister writes in to tell us that his first novel, Humanity Prime, is being reissued by Wildside Press. Originally published in 1971–and based on McAllister’s first published story, “The Faces Outside”– Humanity Prime is the story of a telepathic aquatic race of humans faced with annihilation on a distant planet thousands of years from now.
From a press release: “A signed copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and a rare hand-numbered signed limited edition of Margaret Atwood’s poetry collection, The Door, will be the eye-catching headline items in an AbeBooks.com’s online charity auction taking place between December 6 and 11.”
Apparently, the ending of I am Legend, based on the totally awesome Richard Matheson book, needed to be changed. Sigh…
Physics World interviews sf author (and former physicist) Alastair Reynolds. “I think the most important attribute for a science-fiction writer is to be fascinated by science – in all its manifestations. It’s not necessary to be able to understand all the details, but just to be inspired and stimulated.”
Amazon Blog interviews Steven Erikson, author of the Malazan series. “There is something mercenary in writers, something that others might view with faint disgust, and that is the terrible desire to feed off one’s own circumstances, using genuine emotions (including suffering) to infuse a fictional tale that is, at its core, meaningless.”
SFF Audio reports that Michael Enright of CBC Radio One did a revealing half-hour special on the life and work of C.S. Lewis. (Podcast link.)
Free audio fiction: The Time Traveler Show podcast #21 features readings of three stories: “Prone” by Mack Reynolds, “An Incident on Route 12″ by James H. Schmitz, and “Will You Wait?: by Alfred Bester.
Which Geek are you? A Trek Geek? A Jedi Geek? Pick from this Flickr photo set of 56 Geeks.
The latest Tor newsletter features the story behind Philip K. Dick’s previously unpublished novel, Voices From the Street, by the book’s Editor, David G. Hartwell, who says: “Over the next two decades, the posthumous film career of Philip K. Dick really took off and is still flying. And Vintage published everything, in the end, but the mainstream novels. So I have been able to fulfill one of my last personal goals by publishing trade editions of some of the mainstream novels at Tor, and indeed bringing the last unpublished one, Voices from the Street, out for the first time ever.” (Tor has an book excerpt.)
The Tor newsletter also interviews Richard Matheson, author of I Am Legend. “Yes, Stephen King has said that I Am Legend was one of his main influences – it got him thinking the way he does…”
Remember those old science fiction books that had cigarette advertisements in them? Here’s a New York Timesarticle that talks about them. [via BookNinja]
Blog@Nesarama has video of Al Roker visiting the set of The Dark Knight and interviewinmg stars Christian Bale (Batman/Bruce Wayne), Aaron Eckhart (Harvey Dent/Two Face) and Director Christopher Nolan.
SFX interviews George Takei (Star Trek, Heroes). “[Gene Rodenberry’s] philosophy was that television is a rich, wonderful medium that was being wasted. It can be certainly entertaining but it can also be informative.”
Science Fiction: The Other God That Failed. “Science fiction, it is often plausibly argued, is a literature about technology and what it does to humans. But what if this view of the genre is wrong? What if science fiction (SF) is not really about technology at all but something else. What if SF is at its core a religious genre, a literature about the search for transcendent meaning in a post-Christian world?”
George R.R. Martin shares his thoughts on the SFWA and some of the recent reactions to the latest copyright flap. “The part that really makes me gnash my teeth is where I see young writers saying that they don’t see what they can get out of joining SFWA, so why bother? Maybe it’s a generational thing, I don’t know… but as I see it, SFWA is not about what you can get out of it, and never has been.”
At SciFi Wire, John Joseph Adams profiles Tim Pratt, author of Blood Engines.
Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist interviews the writers of Wild Cards: Inside Straight. (George R.R. Martin, Melinda M. Snodgrass, Carrie Vaughn, Caroline Spector, Ian Tregillis, S. L. Farrell, Daniel Abraham, John Jos. Miller, Michael Cassutt.)
Jo Walton looks at SF and the human condition: “SF lets you talk about the human condition more widely and from different angles by contrasting it with the alien condition and the AI condition and the android condition, but really, the readers and writers are human.”
Wil Wheaton is looking for short fiction anthology recommendations. My pick: The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume 1 edited by Robert Silverberg. Hands down, the best anthology in existence. But then, I likes the classics…
Farah Mendlesohn says that Cambridge University Press has commissioned a collection of essays on Modern Fantasy Literature, with a lineup that includes Adam Roberts, Gary K. Wolfe, Paul Kincaid, David Hartwell, John Clute, M. John Harrison, Alex Irvine, Graham Sleight, and more.
Irene Gallo at The Art Department some cool book covers for The Edge of Reason by Melinda Snodgrass, Summer Palace by Lawrence Watt-Evans, An Autumn War by Daniel Abraham, and Mars Life by Ben Bova.
The 50’s SciFi Page looks at, well, scifi films of the 50’s. Duh. Insightful statistics abound, like: did you know in the 1951 version of The Thing, the phrase “Holy Cats!” is used 5 times? I didn’t think so.
John Scalzi rants against Dragon magazine’s call for fiction, which includes a lower than average pay and complete and total ownership of the writer’s work.
Movies online looks at The Great Misconception Of Science Fiction. “…science fiction is a setting and not a genre….the Gods of television have brainwashed us into thinking that science fiction and fantasy are the same thing.”
USA Today has an excerpt Jane Espenson’s non-fiction book, Serenity Found: More Unauthorized Essays on Joss Whedon’s Firefly Universe, a follow on to Finding Serenity. The excerpt is the humorous essay written by the Firefly star Nathan Fillion, “I, Malcolm“. [via Whedonesque]
Philip Pullman, author of The Golden Compass, hits back at critics who accuse him of peddling “candy-coated atheism”. “I am a story teller,” he said. “If I wanted to send a message I would have written a sermon.”
Has Amazon done away with mass-market paperback discounts? “Amazon’s pricing for mass market books has suddenly gone full retail, no discount since the release of the Kindle. When questioned in Newsweek about the low pricing, [Amazon CEO Jeff] Bezos said ‘low-margin and high-volume sale — you just have to make sure the mix [between discounted and higher-priced items] works.’ “
The Penguin Group blog interviews one of their own, writer/editor Ginjer Buchanan. “…what used to be considered hard science fiction is become almost mainstream, as real science catches up with the genre…”
Waggish reviews Gene Wolfe’s The Book of the New Sun. “Wolfe may not be any worse than Stephenson or Gibson, but his particular weaknesses are much more problematic for non-sf readers than theirs.”
Illusion TV interviews visual futurist Syd Mead, who worked on Blade Runner, Aliens and Tron. Syd takes questions from Illusion On Demand’s viewers and Jay Maynard The Tron Guy.
Over at Locus Online, Howard Waldrop and Lawrence Person review The Mist and Mark R. Kelly reviews Jerome Bixby’s The Man from Earth.
Shameless Plug-o’-the-Week thinly disguised as Pop Quiz: Which one of Charlie’s Angels has the least number of scifi-related roles? Check out the answer at the Charlie’s SciFi Angels post I wrote for SciFi Scanner.
Entertainment Weekly throws fan questions at George R.R. Martin. “I think I speak for virtually all fantasy and science-fiction writers that it’s a constant annoyance for anyone who works in these fields, that whenever a great piece of work is produced, you get reviewers saying, ‘Oh, this isn’t science fiction, it’s too good.'” [via John Joseph Adams]
IMAX has a short online video featuring a behind-the-scenes look at the next Batman movie, The Dark Knight.
SciFi Scanner has an Ultimate Blade Runner Fan Quiz. First person with all the correct answers wins…(no, not the recent suitcase-version of Blade Runner)….Close Encounters of the Third Kind (30th Anniversary Ultimate Edition).
Tor Podcasts latest episode is part 1 of the Blogging in SF panel from WorldCon.
Vector magazine interviews Richard K. Morgan. (Altered Carbon and Thirteen. “…there’s a lot of eloquent bollocks talked about what literature is (or should be) for, and I don’t have much patience with any of it.”
Seibertron interviews Alan Dean Foster. “…I developed quite a reputation as an adaptation writer. I do two or three a year, if it’s something that seems interesting. And I turn some down, sometimes I do spin-off books, too. But don’t do those often because, I didn’t really want to write about Han Solo’s second cousin in Correlia.”
The Alcove has a video-interview with Paul Levinson about the state and future of old and new media.