Tidbits Archives

SF Tidbits for 11/18/07

  • Here’s a 1982 interview with John Sladek by David Langford. “To my mind, the best SF addresses itself to problems of the here and now, or even to problems which have never been solved and never will be solved — I’m thinking of Philip K. Dick’s work here, dealing with questions of reality…”
  • Jay Tomio lists his Best Reads of 2007.
  • This holiday, bake your own Dalek Cupcake Army. [via Evil Mad Scientists Laboratories]
  • Something Awful offers more Photoshop chuckles with Anagrammed Video Games Part 2.
  • The List Universe lists Top 10 Dragons. How Puff the Magic Dragon (#1) beats out Smaug (#4) is beyond me…

SF Tidbits for 11/17/07

SF Tidbits for 11/16/07

SF Tidbits for 11/15/07

  • SciFi Chick interviews Eric Brown, author of Helix and the upcoming Kéthani. “I write – I like to think – SF for people who don’t read much SF. It’s character-driven, eventful, economical – certainly not hard SF, which I don’t care for. I’m not bothered about explanations of science and technology in SF, nor about predictions; I like to empathise with human beings, and a good story.”
  • Fantasy Book Critic interviews Joel Shepherd, author of Killswitch. “I think the trend of human progress has been generally to the positive, with some nasty hiccups, and I don’t expect that to change. I also think some of the attraction of dystopian worlds is that a lot of writers either aren’t interested in politics, or can’t see a way to use it excitingly in their plots. Dystopian worlds usually preclude politics as we understand it…so it’s a bit of a cop out.”
  • SFFWorld interviews Hal Duncan (Vellum and Ink). “I’m Scottish, so socialism is in my blood.”
  • Cinematical interviews the Producers and Directors of the Futurama movie. “Ultimately, Futurama relies on a fair amount of sci-fi conventions. From the beginning, we knew space, the ships, and the battles had to look awesome — or suffer the fans’ wrath.”
  • Comic book publishers Dabel Brothers Publishing (The Hedge Knight) is teaming up with Del Rey to distribute graphic-novel editions of the Dabel Brothers’ comics. The first three projects to be announced are full-color comic adaptations of Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files, Dean Koontz’s Frankenstein: Prodigal Son, and Wild Cards, edited by George R.R. Martin.
  • Ellen Datlow writes in to tell us that The Horror Writers Association supports the Writers Guild of America strike.
  • Daniel Keys Moran has been added to the list of sf/f authors who blog. See also: his free fiction. [via Fred K.]
  • PS Publishing has extended their 50% Discount Sale through December 31st 2007.
  • SF Diplomat looks at Mundane Vs. Hard SF. “Mudane SF is [fueled] by the aspects of science that are all about empirical adequacy. It’s about only saying things that are strictly likely to be true. Hard SF, on the other hand, is [fueled] by the parts of the scientific process that are all about the beauty of a scientific concept. Hard SF is about picking up a scientific idea and playing with it purely for the pleasure of thinking about the universe in that way.”
  • Blue Sun Corp (heh-heh) lists its Top Ten Science Fiction Novels using the criteria of good ideas, good characters and good writing.
  • Jay G. at Geekend asks: When did Star Trek jump the shark?
  • Genre characters overwhelm this list of Top 10 Evil Movie Villains.
  • SciFi Scanner lists some Sci-Fi Geek Pick Up Lines. “Why don’t we head to my bedroom, peel back my Star Wars sheets, and discover what a true Jedi can do with his light saber?” I’m thinking the clincher to that line would be if this velvet painting of Admiral Ackbar was hanging on the wall of the bedroom in the geek’s mother’s basement.

SF Tidbits for 11/14/07

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.
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