In episode 266 of the SF Signal Podcast Patrick Hester is LIVE from MileHiCon 46 in the Denver Tech Center with SF&F/H author Ed Bryant, Riley Carbaugh of Canine Hybrid, artist Chaz Kemp and Hard SF writer Mike Brotherton.
[Do you have an idea for a future Mind Meld? Let us know!]
Where and how people (fans, reviewers and authors alike) were first introduced to genre often gives insight into how they think and write about genre. With that in mind, we asked this week’s panelists…
Here’s what they said…
My dad introduced me to genre. He’d been what I guess you’d call a fan since the 1920s. The specific incident I recall was when he took me to the White Plains (New York) Public Library, back when I was in first or second grade, and we checked out Have Space Suit Will Travel and Sea Siege.
“Best of the Year” lists start appearing as early as November, so we are perhaps a little late in asking folks around the community:
[Also added was this note: They don’t have to have been released in 2009. Feel free to choose any combination of genres (science fiction/fantasy/horror) and media (books/movies/shows) you wish to include.]
I was totally blown away by Robert Charles Wilson’s book Julian Comstock, which is about a post-peak-oil future in which Canada and the USA are ruled by a totalitarian family of religious fanatics, and the black sheep scion of a discredited branch of the family wants to–
Well, make movies, actually.
Other than that, my genre reading has been kind of sparse this year. I very much enjoyed Nisi Shawl’s Filter House and Christopher Barzak’s The Love We Share Without Knowing. I also like Margaret Ronald’s Spiral Hunt, which is light but satisfying
We’ve already talked about literary villains, so we asked this week’s panelists about bad guys (and gals) of the big screen:
Read on to see their responses (and the videos I included, unbeknownst to them)…
- The Joker (The Dark Knight): The crazy bastard put a phone-triggered bomb in the stomach of one of his own henchman. ‘Nuff said.
- Agent Smith (Matrix Trilogy): He really hates humans – especially our smell. Every time he growls “Mr. Anderson…” I think, “How inconsiderate! His name is Neo! He wants to be called Neo!”
- Gollum (Lord of the Rings Trilogy): Screw Sauron, even simple Samwise Gamgee knows who the real villain is in Tolkien’s epic. Seriously, the split personality once known as Smeagol is so thoroughly made of betrayal he evens betrays himself at one point (“Go away, and never come back!”) …Hate that guy.
Honorable mentions: T-1000 (Terminator 2), HAL 9000 (2001: A Space Odyssey), and the obnoxious Scottish guy with dreadlocks (Children of Men).
- Here’s Total Dick-Head‘s First Look At Radio Free Albemuth – The Movie.
- At Asimov’s, Mary Robinette Kowal interviews Dr. Michio Kaku. [via Bibliophile Stalker]
- Scott Westerfeld has posted Leviathan artwork.
- Joseph Mallozzi names his November Book of the Month Club selection: Emissaries from the Dead by Adam-Troy Castro. Hmmm…might be a good excuse to read this. I’ve heard good things and have put it off far too long.
- Jeff and Ann VanderMeer announce the finalists for The First Annual Last Drink Bird Head Award.
- Andrew Wheeler celebrates his blog’s 4th Anniversary.
- Mike Brotherton is looking for Science Fiction Words in the Mainstream.
- For the writers: Vonda N. McIntyre’s Pitfalls of Writing SF & Fantasy.
- Gary Westfahl reviews Pandorum: “In order to appreciate Pandorum, then, one must ignore those silly mutants and instead focus solely on the shorter, better film they are viciously struggling to conceal.”
- SCI FI Wire lists 10 theories on what caused the flash forward in FlashForward.
- Reminder: You can listen to the Free Podcast of Transition by Iain M. Banks, courtesy of Orbit Books.
- British Fantasy Society admits ‘lazy sexism’ over male-only horror book. [via Tobias Buckell]
- One for the writers: At The Swivet, Agent Marlene Stringer asks: What’s the Deal with Book Promotion? “Promotion is not only about the book, it is about the author.”
- @Publishers Weekly, Josh Jasper talks about Real World Settings in Genre Fiction.
- Mike Brotherton knows Why Science Fiction is Hard to Read
- Charles Tan talks about The Paradox of Book Reviewing.
- DreamWorks is in negotiations with Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci to adapt a live action feature of James Farr’s Xombie, the sci-fi/horror adventure that began as an online flash-animated series and expanded into a comic book as well as an “illustrated-film” currently in pre-production by Halo-8 Entertainment.
- Bored? You could Be a Jetpack Test Pilot!
- Nuketown lists 6 Things Heroes Must Do to Save Itself. Oddly, I don’t see “Give up and go home” anywhere on the list. But that’s just me.
- Interviews & Profiles:
- John Scalzi turns the Whatever mike over to Malinda Lo, author of Ash.
- Agony Column podcast-interviews Peter S. Beagle, Karen Joy Fowler, Michael Swanwick, and M. Rickert.
- War Rocket Ajax podcast-interviews Jess Nevins.
- The latest BookBanter podcast features Seanan McGuire (Rosemary and Rue).
- AWARDS NEWS: Pawel Dembowski writes in to tell us that the Polish Janusz A. Zajdel Award for 2008 was awarded on Saturday at Polcon in Lodz. The winners are: Kameleon (Chameleon) by Rafal Kosik (novel), and “Swiaty Dantego” (“Dante’s Worlds”) by Anna Kantoch (Short story).
- Over at Dear Author, Heather Massey makes the case for Steampunk Romance.
- Wired: Why E-Books Look So Ugly. [via MobileRead Forums]
- @Centauri Dreams: Science Fiction and Interstellar Thinking: “…science fiction’s clout doesn’t come so much from prediction as much as from the ability to try out new ideas by remodeling the world so as to accommodate them.”
- David Langford has posted Ansible 266 for September 2009.
- Lena Headey (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) lands the last major part in HBO’s Game of Thrones pilot.
- Nicole at Geekend is on a quest for the ultimate geek movie.
- Stan Lee (and … Jack Kirby?) on the Marvel/Disney deal.
- Real Science: Mike Brotherton is Rethinking Pluto.
- Not Real Science: New Species Of Lobster May Have Come From Outer Space.
- Look at This has a handy graphic on how to tell the difference between swine flu, bird flu…and zombie flu.
- A Venn Diagram of Mythical Creatures. [via MonkeyFilter and Cynical-C Blog]
- It’s back to school time. And what better way to celebrate your inner geekness than with these Star Wars Text Book Covers. Of course, doing so means it’s no longer “inner” but “outer” which may subject you to extended periods of time inside a locker. Cover you books at your own risk!
- Cyberpunk Review lists Cyberpunk Movies by Decade. (Old list but still useful.)
- @Magical Words, Misty Massey lists 5 Things You Ought To Know About Writers.
- @SciFi Scanner: The 10 Most Dastardly Supervillain Quotes.
Much of the general populace believes that SciFi films are nothing more than dumb fun, but genre fans know better. Science fiction offers filmmakers a unique opportunity to be thought-provoking and meaningful, or at least something more cerebral than, say, Santa Claus Conquers the Martians.
We asked this week’s panelists the following:
Read on to see the responses…
Some fairly obvious choices come to mind – 2001, Blade Runner, Contact, Gattaca, Children of Men – and while I wholeheartedly agree that they should make the list, I’d like to offer up five not so obvious candidates: