Tidbits Archives

SF Tidbits for 8/8/07

  • Silicon.com interviews William Gibson, who has given up writing about the future. “The trouble is there are enough crazy factors and wild cards on the table now that I can’t convince myself of where a future might be in 10 to 15 years.” [via Tai-Chi Policy]
  • Reuters also has a William Gibson interview: “Personally I think that contemporary reality is sufficiently science fiction for me. Some critics are already maintaining that science fiction is a sort of historical category and it is not possible any more.”
  • Premiere.com has an interview with special effects legend Ray Harryhausen and author Ray Bradbury.
  • CBC interviews Robert J. Sawyer. “My purpose is to shake up complacency, to get people thinking, to talk about issues–abortion, evolution vs. creationism, capital punishment, the genetic revolution, unequal access to health care, you name it. Note that I’m not writing to preach: it’s honestly irrelevant what I think about those issues. What I do is contrive scenarios in which those issues go from being abstract to concrete, so that we can get at the underlying ethics and philosophy.”
  • Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist interviews Daniel Abraham. (A Betrayal in Winter).
  • The Reduced Shakespeare Company Podcast episode for August 3 features an interview with Jasper Fforde. [via Michael A. Burstein]
  • Amazon has an audio-interview (WMA format) with Joss Whedon.
  • Fantasy Book Critic has an excerpt from Joe Haldeman’s The Accidental Time Machine .
  • Awards news: The British Fantasy Society has announced the short-listed nominees for this year’s BFS Awards, for work published or created during 2006. [via UKSFBookNews]
  • Free fiction: “The Right’s Tough” by Robert J. Sawyer, originally published in the Visions of Liberty anthology. [via Robert J. Sawyer]
  • The film adaptation of Jumper, a young adult novel by Steven Gould, has a website. [via Cinematical]
  • SciFi Scanner lists Five Implausible Sci-Fi Robots. Spot on regarding the AT-ATs.

SF Tidbits for 8/7/07

  • The Colorado Springs Gazette profiles Kevin J. Anderson, author of Slan Hunter, sequel to the A.E. van Vogt book Slan.
  • David Louis Edelman has finished writing MultiReal, the sequel to InfoQuake.
  • SciFi Weekly interviews Neil Gaiman.
  • At Strange Horizons, Adam Roberts reviews Doctor Who Season 3 (with some spoilers for U.S. fans). “Not only is Doctor Who a kids’ show, its great glory inheres in that fact.” [via Big Dumb Object and Nicholas Whyte]
  • Also at Strange Horizons, free fiction from Tim Pratt: “Artifice and Intelligence“.
  • At SciFi Wire, John Joseph Adams profiles Matthew Jarpe, author of Radio Freefall.
  • At the newly-redesigned site SF Novelists, Tobias Buckell asks: “Is the novel dead?” — “The exact form of the novel may change, but the act of writing words in order to create an experience in a reader’s head offers an advantage in fiction you won’t find in movies: the ability to live in someone else’s mind for the duration of a story.”
  • Heavy Reading: The Mathematics Behind Quantum Computing in two parts. [via arsTechnica]
  • Real science: Scientists have discovered a new way of levitating tiny objects – paving the way for future applications in nanotechnology. Cool. Now where’s my jetpack?
  • Deadstock author Jeffrey Thomas is “always a bridesmaid and never a bride”.

SF Tidbits for 8/6/07

  • Boston.com has a Q&A with Doris Lessing. “With Shikasta (1979), Lessing branched out into science fiction, occasioning the sort of condemnation from certain quarters that Bob Dylan elicited when he went electric.”
  • New website: Sci-Fi for Women, whose mission is “to provide a place that provides a ‘Gender Trancendent’ view of characters and stories.” Registration required.
  • PS Publishing shows off the new cover of Starship Summer by Eric Brown.
  • Entertainment Weekly issue #947 (August 10, 2007) reviews William Gibson’s Spook Country (Rating: B) and the SCiFi Channel’s Flash Gordon premiere (Rating: C)
  • Orbiting Frog lists The 10 Strangest (Real) Things in Space.

SF Tidbits for 8/5/07

  • Award news: The winners of the Sidewise Awards for Alternate History are Charles Stross for The Family Trade, The Hidden Family, and The Clan Corporate (Tor 2004-2006) and Gardner Dozois for “Counterfactual” from The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, June 2006. [via James Nicoll]
  • StarWars.com has a new subsite dedicated to The Clone Wars. [via TheForce.net]
  • Author Karen Miller has a three-part interview with Lois McMaster Bujold. “Tolkien and Pratchett are two other writers who, notably, have come the long way around to get home: the landscapes of Tolkien’s own late 19th Century childhood informing aspects of his tales, Pratchett most recently with the Chalk, home turf of Tiffany Aching and himself. And not just home ground: it’s the lost place, the refuge of distant memory.”
  • Only interviews William Gibson (Spook Country). “I think that I’m pretty much a complete urban life-form at this point. The distinction between being urban and not being urban has more to do with bandwidth than where you live. Your little kids in Omaha with their bedrooms are totally urban creatures, but there’s no city outside their window.”
  • Marissa Lingen talks about what she wants from science fiction. “I would like more upbeat-cool futures we could get to from here. [...] FTL all you want, but don’t pretend that we have a working space program at the moment or, y’know, in my lifetime.”

SF Tidbits for 8/4/07

SF Tidbits for 8/3/07

SF Tidbits for 8/2/07

SF Tidbits for 8/1/07

SF Tidbits for 7/31/07

SF Tidbits for 7/30/07

SF Tidbits for 7/29/07

  • New free fiction: “Creatures of Vibration” by Harl Vincent. “Carr Parker sat day-dreaming at the Nomad‘s controls. More than a week of Earth time had passed since the self-styled “vagabonds of space” had left Europa, and now they were fast approaching the great ringed orb of Saturn with the intention of exploring her satellites.”
  • From the July issue of Locus, Locus Online has excerpts from interviews with Peter S. Beagle and Paolo Bacigalupi.
  • Chronotopicality in SF in 2006. Colin Harvey reflects upon reading David Hartwell’s & Kathryn Cramer’s Year’s Best SF 12. “Is it any wonder that the defining emotion in SF in 2006 was anxiety?”
  • Warren Ellis interviews William Gibson at Wired. [via Gravity Lens]
  • Quiz: Cite the source…Scientology or Weekly World News?

SF Tidbits for 7/28/07

SF Tidbits for 7/27/07

  • At SciFi Wire, John Joseph Adams profiles Chris Roberson, author of Set the Seas on Fire.
  • Matthew Jarpe is a hack. “One of the common epithets people throw at a writer they don’t like is ‘hack.’ That’s ‘a writer who exploits his or her ability primarily for money.’ As if producing a product of art with commercial potential is wrong. Well, here’s the thing, I’m a hack.”
  • Jeff VanderMeer has posted mystery excerpts from his New Weird Anthology. The first person to correctly guess the author who wrote them wins a copy of the book.
  • Over at Amazon’s blog, VanderMeer lists 13 Reasons to Read Richard Morgan’s Thirteen. See also the SF Signal review.
  • The Wall Street Journal profiles Robert A. Heinlein. [via Cynical-C]
  • JK Rowling says she will publish a Harry Potter Encyclopedia. [via No Blasters]
  • Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist interviews Peter F. Hamilton (The Dreaming Void). “As a species we’re just not psychologically adjusted to living for more than a century, yet billions are being poured into research that leads to increased life expectancy. Suppose it works out, and we can live for three of ten times longer than today. That’s the kind of question which SF exists for.”
  • Over at his AOL gig, John Scazli looks at overrated books and cited Catcher in the Rye as his pick. “Tell us of one piece of culture — book, movie, album, painting, play, architectural “masterpiece,” whatever — that you think is wildly overrated.”
  • Lou Anders responds to Discover magazine’s “Blinded by Science: Fictional Reality” article.
  • Borders bookstores has cut back their soft seating by 30%. Ed Champion comes to the defense of sitting in bookstores.
  • It’s official: J.J. Abrams, director the upcoming Star Trek movie, confirmed the casting of Heroes star Zachary Quinto as a young Spock and surprised the audience with the announcement that original Spock actor Leonard Nimoy would also appear in the film.
  • The Avalanche Software Art Blog is still going strong with nearly very post offering up some cool, artsy goodness by their very talented staff. Their latest entry is is a caricature of Qui-Gon Jinn.

SF Tidbits for 7/26/07

SF Tidbits for 7/25/07

SF Tidbits for 7/24/07

SF Tidbits for 7/23/07

  • Pan Macmillan is releasing an Exclusive Boxed Edition of Peter F. Hamilton’s Dreaming Void. [via Peter F. Hamilton]
  • SFFaudio has started a campaign to get the shelved J. Michael Straczynski radio drama “The Adventures of Apocalypse Al” onto the air.
  • It’s not just science fiction, comic books are dying, too. Or are they? [via Gravity Lens]
  • Ian Sales tells us Why Television Sci-Fi Sucks. “Television sf may be the intellectually-challenged brother of written sf, but if it wants to be “good” then it’s still bound by the same rules, it should still use the same techniques.”
  • Bloomberg reports that sales of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows reached 8.3 million copies on the day of its release. [via GalleyCat]

SF Tidbits for 7/22/07

SF Tidbits for 7/21/07

  • At SciFi Wire, John Joseph Adams profiles Ben Peek, author of Black Sheep.
  • Amazon Blog has pasted part 2 of an interview with William Gibson, author of Spook Country.
  • Artist Bob Eggleton shows us the cover art for an upcoming Neal Asher book.
  • New/Updated at Gutenberg: “The Hills of Home” by Alfred Coppel.
  • Edward Champion offers 7 Additional Ways to Cultivate a Lifetime Reading Habit, following LifeParticles’ 14 Ways to Cultivate a Lifetime Reading Habit.
  • The Book Tour connects authors and readers. See when authors are coming to your area with a Google Map mashup! [via Booksquare]
  • Paul DiFillipo posts his essay on sf author Michael Bishop as it appeared in the 2003 reference work The Scribner Writers Series: Supernatural Fiction Writers. “A talent capable of being decanted into many different molds, genre and otherwise, Bishop’s skills and vision translate from one medium to another without diminishment or concealment.” [via Matt Cheney]
  • The Great Eric muses about The Sin of High School English Class, or Why He Hates Classic Literature. “Starship Troopers taught me more about fascism than pretty much anything else I’ve ever read, because it’s the only book that forced me to think about it on a higher level than ‘Hitler is evil!’ “
  • Kylopod discusses the myth of the fantasy genre. ” ‘Fantasy’ is a funny name for a genre. The word suggests make-believe. All fiction is make-believe, but fantasy deals specifically with events that not only didn’t happen, but couldn’t happen. We, the readers, allow our minds to enter a universe that we know could never exist. The books tap into some part of our subconscious where rationality has not penetrated, and for a brief period of time we “believe” in magic. The genre is not about exploring possibilities, as science fiction does, but about losing ourselves in impossibilities. As Orson Scott Card put it in his book How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy, ‘science fiction is about what could be but isn’t; fantasy is about what couldn’t be’ “
  • Here’s John C. Wright on Ursula K LeGuin. (HEL-lo!)
  • Check out this cool Robbie the Robot bank/alarm clock combo.
  • Holy Calamity looks at Dan Dare, Pilot of the Paleo-Future. “Dan Dare went on to have as massive an impact on British science fiction and comic as you’d expect from a magazine selling two million copies a week.”
  • Submitted without comment: The Fat Wonder Woman Blog. [via Neatorama]
  • SciFi Scanner shows us John Cleese meeting Doctor Who.
  • BoingBoing points us to a Worth1000 Photoshop contest with the topic of If Trekkies Ruled.
  • This is what happens when Zombies go vegetarian. [via Dark Roast]

SF Tidbits for 7/20/07

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