Saturday YouTube: Spock Baffled? Illogical!

Here’s the opening sequence for a failed 1973 pilot starring Leonard Nimoy. “Nimoy stars as All-American race car driver Tom Kovack who tackles mystery and adventure after he is endowed with psychic powers in a racing accident.” Um, ok. Check out the slo-mo run at 0:40.

Fanboy.com

Filed under: TV

SF Tidbits for 4/5/08

Filed under: Tidbits

[Via Cinematical]

Yesterday, Warner Bros. announced they had greenlit a movie adaptation of Dan Simmons’ Hyperion Cantos (Hyperion, The Fall of Hyperion).

My first reaction to hearing this was, “Wow! Awesome!” But on further reflection, I have to ask, “How in the hell are they going to do that without gutting the story?”

There is a lot of story in those two books, I don’t see how you can make a comprehensible movie that comes in at even 2 hours out of it, short of removing much that makes the novels so good. I’m guessing that most of the ‘backstory’, i.e. – the entire first novel, will most likely be condensed into either short flashbacks or, worse still, a couple of lines of dialog.

This sounds like something that deserves either a series of films, or even a mini-series on TV. One film just doesn’t seem to cut it. Still, think of all the cool stuff that we’ll get to see: the Time Tombs, the Shrike, the Labyrinth, the Ousters, and the Farcasters, just to name a few. Then there’s all the SF-nal goodness that I really like that may have to be removed to make it palatable for general audiences. There is a lot of heavy metaphysics in these books, plus ruminations on A.I., U.I., quantum physics and such. How in the world can they pare this down?

Just thinking here, but, to me, these books fall in the category of “I’d love to see a movie of them, but they’re probably better off not ever being a movie”. Comments?

But it’s never too early to start the casting game! Who gets to play:

The Consul

Brawne Lamia

Sol Weintraub and his daughter Rachel

Marting Silenus

Colonel Kassad

Father Hoyt

Have at it!

Filed under: Movies

Sands Of Oblivion Giveaway – Last Chance

Just a quick reminder that our Sands Of Oblivion giveaway is winding down. This Sunday (4/6) is the last day we’ll be accepting entries. If you’d like a free copy of the DVD, and who doesn’t like free?, send us an email at:

contest AT sfsignal DOT com

You still have a decent chance at winning your very own DVD with Adam Baldwin and Morena Baccarin.

Filed under: Contest

Tube Bits for04/04/2008

  • It’s Battlestar Galactica day today. Tonight is the premier of season 4, which starts at 10pm ET. I believe Sci Fi is also streaming the season 4 opener online beginning at noon today if you just can’t wait. But, what if you’re hoplessly out of touch but want to catch up quickly? Salon has the answer! They’ve posted a nicely detailed guide entitled: Everything you were afraid to ask about Battlestar Galactica. And yes, the ask a lot of questions and cover all the previous seasons.
  • Perhaps you just love spoilers and can’t wait to find out if Starbuck is a Cylon or not. If so, then mosey on over to Amazon’s Screening Room and listen their interview with Katee Sackhoff where she answers the question definitively. Thanks, but I think I’ll wait.
  • NBC has released their list of new shows for the coming season. Included are a few genre-ish shows. They are: Knight Rider, My Own Worst Enemy – a Jekyll/Hyde story, and Merlin – follows Merlin and Arthur as young men (The Once and Future King anyone?). I have to say I am intrigued by Merlin. If it’s anything like the first part of TOaFK, it could be really good. And Merlin has to live backwards in time, otherwise it’s not quite as interesting. But probably easier to write.
  • Along with detailing their new shows, NBC also announced their plans to produce short webisodes for Heroes and Chuck. Apparently the resolution of the strike has freed the writers to work on these types of projects with the knowledge they will be compensated for them. In any case, it’s nice to see a big network using the ‘net to expand their offerings.
  • Thanks to Christian Wagner and his LiveJournal, we can bring you this early SF TV show, Captain Video!:

Filed under: Tube Bits

REVIEW: Elom by William H. Drinkard

REVIEW SUMMARY: It’s Elom 90210.

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: A group of teenagers must save their world, but first they have to figure out their relationship problems.

MY REVIEW:

PROS: Intriguing world-building, realistic characters.

CONS: The realistic characters are teenagers with over-active hormones.

BOTTOM LINE: Too much soap, not enough space in this opera.

Read the rest of this entry

Filed under: Book Review

Friday YouTube: Riker Destroys the Enterprise

Nice going, Riker.

Poe TV

Filed under: Star Trek

SF Tidbits for 4/4/08

  • Yahoo has the new trailer for Hellboy II: The Golden Army. The first movie was a pleasant surprise…I’m crossing my fingers on this one.
  • ActuSf interviews David Brin, whose latest book is Sky Horizon.
  • At Omnivoracious, Jeff VanderMeer interviews Paolo Bacigalupi, author of the collection Pump Six an Other Stories. “like that there’s a clarity to short stories that tends to get lost when you write to a longer form.”
  • LCRW noticed this short interview in ForeWord Magazine with John Kessel and calls the money quote: “Q: If you could have any five people over for dinner, who would they be? A: Herman Melville, Jane Austen, Orson Welles, Richard Feynman, and Kate Beckinsale.”
  • Stainless Steel Droppings has A Baker’s Dozen of Neil Gaiman videos.
  • Speaking of Neil Gaiman, Subterranean Press has announced the young adult novel Interworld written by Gaiman and Michael Reaves. All of the profits from this limited edition will go to Mr. Reaves to help with his medical and daily living expenses.
  • Today’s cover Pr0n: Chris Roberson’s End of the Century with a cover by Dan Dos Santos. The book blends Dark Ages fantasy, gaslit mystery, and a modern-day jewel heist.
  • Make-Believe for Grown-Ups offers A Quick and Unofficial History of F&SF. [via F&SF Blog]
  • Richard Larson makes with the linkage and points us to this all-sf issue of Kirkus [PDF link].
  • Vulpes Libris looks at Genre Wars; as in “Science Fiction Versus Literary Fiction”. “In the quarrel between Genre and Literary Fiction, the stacks are weighed in the Literary Fiction’s favour if those writing in their genre who are respected by the literary establishment are ‘stolen away’ by Literary Fiction.”
  • Wil Wheaton agrees with John Scalzi on his general advice for meeting writers.
  • >Wired interviews BSG‘s Tricia Helfer.
  • The Daily P.O.P. shares a sneak peek at Doctor Who‘s new season.
  • Boston Globe‘s Joshua Glenn takes an in-depth look at the connection between Iron Man and the Black Sabbath song of the same name in his article We are Iron Man! A lowbrow literary mystery.

Filed under: Tidbits

MIND MELD: Keeping Space Opera Relevant [UPDATED]

This week we tackle one of our favorite science fiction sub-genres, Space Opera. Specifically for this question, we are going to be taking our cue from Alan DeNiro’s review of The New Space Opera over at Rain Taxi. (You can view the book online here). The question posed to our panel this week is:

Q: In his review of The New Space Opera, Alan DeNiro observes that, while much of science fiction in general has moved into the mainstream, the space opera sub-genre is still firmly entrenched with the confines of the science fiction field. Given this, how do authors of space opera respond to the challenge of keeping the form relevant?
Kage Baker
Kage Baker was born in Hollywood, California and has lived there and in Pismo Beach most of her life. Before becoming a professional writer she spent many years in theater, including teaching Elizabethan English as a second language. She is best known for her Company series of historical time travel science fiction.

Relevant? Today’s news will be dated tomorrow. Why bother with relevance? You might as well demand that Tolkien be politically correct. Space Opera being a retro style, it should be indulged in with mucho retro gusto. Human passions on alien worlds! Action! Adventure! Really Wild Things! The big evolutionary drama played out against the universe in a timeless way. It makes for good stories, and good storytelling stands the test of time. The Wild West vanished long ago, but no one ever remarks that western stories are irrelevant. If I’m going to write genre stuff I will revel in it, not cringe and worry whether I’m relevant enough for today’s tastes.

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Filed under: Mind Meld

Thursday YouTube: Trailer for War of the Worlds 2

…in all of its direct-to-DVD glory.

[via Cinematical]

Filed under: Movies

SF Tidbits for 4/3/08

Filed under: Tidbits

We had an interesting, if brief, discussion at lunch today. Trent mentioned how it was about time to re-read the Dune novels again. I asked why, when there are plenty of other things to read?

My comment stemmed from my recollection of re-reading Dune specifically. I enjoyed it immensely the first time, but the second time (which I did as a precursor to finally reading the sequels) was a much less enjoyable experience. I think in the case of Dune I derived pleasure from the plot details and surprises which were still vividly remembered on the re-read, thus resulting in a less enjoyable re-read.

It depends on the book, I suppose. I still want to go back and re-read The Man Who Fell to Earth by Walter Tevis. But there is an incredible backlog of books that I haven’t read yet want to. Seems like there is less reason to re-read old books when there are new ones to discover.

What about you? Do you like re-reading books? Which ones and how often?

Filed under: Books

SF Tidbits for 4/2/08

Filed under: Tidbits

John is Crashing the Party at SciFi Scanner Again…

Just a quick note to sat that I’m blogging at AMC TV’s SciFi Scanner again this week.

My posting there will be light as this is a very busy week at work. (I do have a day job, tidbit monkeys.)

For now, you can check out my posts thus far:

Filed under: Web Sites

(Mostly) Tube Bits for 04/02/2008

  • Great news for anyone who likes steampunk, Philip Reves’ novel, Larklight (SF Signal review) has been greenlit as a movie by Warner Bros. Shekah Kapu is the director and it will have a $200 million budget! Holy smoke. They must be going all out to get it to look right. If they do this right, this movie should rock as hard as the book did. It’s sequel, Starcross is just as awesome. You have to love time-traveling top hats… [via Sci Fi Scanner]
  • Lars Glenson of By Common Consent goes off on a rant against all the current writers of science fiction TV who happen to be former writers for Star Trek. He’s basically blaming the writers for the networks reluctance to make any SF show that isn’t, in some way, a reflection of Star Trek. I think that anger is misplaced. All he sees is what gets on the air, not what is pitched. Blame the studios. THEY are the ones calling the shots.
  • Did you know that Amazon has a new Sci-Fi store? It’s called Cosmotopia, and to celebrate, Amazon has picked seven influential retro SF movies. A nice list indeed, even picking John’s favorite movie, Blade Runner.
  • And if you haven’t seen it yet, you can view the Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull TV ad here. Not much different from the original trailer, but we do get a few new peeks. Continue ‘Operation Countdown to May 22nd’.

Filed under: Tube Bits

Top 10 SF Signal Posts for March 2008

Here are The Top 10 SF Signal Posts for March 2008:

  1. MIND MELD: Is Young Adult SF/F Too Explicit?
  2. MIND MELD: Is Science Fiction Antithetical to Religion?
  3. NOMINEES: 2008 Hugo Award
  4. Even Newer Speed Racer Trailer
  5. It’s Trailer Day! Final Wall E Trailer
  6. SF Site’s Best SF/F Books of 2007
  7. MIND MELD: Science Fiction Series
  8. Mind Meld Make-Up Test: Orson Scott Card on Young Adult Fiction
  9. RIP: Gary Gygax
  10. REVIEW: Galactic Empires edited by Gardner Dozois

Here are the top hits to posts from previous months.

  1. SF/F Writers Who Blog
  2. Heroes Season 3 Sneak Peek
  3. Battlestar Galactica’s Season 4 Start Date Revealed!
  4. Cthulhu Family Circus
  5. MIND MELD: Which SciFi Movie Ending Would You Change?
  6. Heroes Season 2 Officially Sucks
  7. FINALISTS: 2007 Nebula Awards
  8. Tube Bits for 07/17/2007
  9. The Top 10 Science Fiction Anime
  10. Solve Rubik’s Cube

Filed under: Meta

Tube Bits For 04/01/2008

  • In case you hadn’t heard, Battlestar Galactica returns to TV this Friday night at 9pm ET. In celebration, Sci Fi is running a BSG marathon. It started yesterday and will run through Friday, every day from 8am to 6pm ET. Razor will not be shown. Anyone aside from me going to be watching the last season?
  • Staying with BSG for minute: Lucy Lawless says true fans don’t need spoilers and that she would rather lie than reveal anything about the upcoming season. I’m not sure how to feel about that. Of course, I try to avoid spoilers as much as I can covering the shows I’m interested in.
  • The show everyone loves to hate, the new Flash Gordon has apparently been canceled. No official word, which seems to be par for the course with Sci Fi and canceling shows these days.
  • Fans of Knight Rider, both new and old, will be happy to know that the new movie did well enough to earn a Knight Rider series! Hoo. Ray. Debuting this fall, you can look forward to the continuing adventures of the Michael Knight clan and their fetish for souped-up, A.I. driven hot-rods. I’m on the fence here. The movie was just ok. I’m sure this news has David Hasselhoff jumping for joy:

Filed under: Tube Bits

SF Tidbits for 4/1/08

Filed under: Tidbits

TOC: Baen’s Universe 2.6, April 2008

Volume 2, Issue 6 (April 2008) of Jim Baen’s Universe has been posted. Here are the contents:

Science Fiction Stories:

  • “Manumission” by Tobias S. Buckell
  • “Virtually, A Cat” by Jody Lynn Nye
  • “Indomitable” by Jack McDevitt
  • “Honorable Enemies: A Jake Masters Mystery” by Mike Resnick

Fantasy Stories:

  • “Scraps of Fog” by Sarah A. Hoyt
  • “The Witch of Waxahachie” by Lou Antonelli
  • “Knight of Coins” by Margaret Ronald

Serials:

  • “Countdown to Armageddon, Episode Four” by Edward M. Lerner
  • “Fish Story, Episode Twelve” by Eric Flint, Dave Freer and Andrew Dennis

Nonfiction:

  • Becoming Stewards of Our World: The Great Theme of the 21st Century, Part Two, Editing the Sun: A Way Out Way Out by Gregory Benford
  • Earth’s Next Schism by Stephen Euin Cobb

Introducing Stories:

  • “Red Tape and Cold Iron, or A Proposal for the Reintroduction of the Faery Folk to the United Kingdom” by Lucy Bond
  • “Extreme Reservations” by R. J. Ortega

Classic:

  • “Born of the Sun” by Jack Williamson

Columns:

  • Attending Worldcon by Mike Resnick
  • A Matter of Symbiosis by Eric Flint
  • The Matrix and the Star Maker by Mike Resnick
  • The Toy Shop by Barry N. Malzberg
  • April 2008, What’s New in The Future And You by Stephen Euin Cobb

Filed under: Web Sites

Editor Ellen Datlow has posted the contents of The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror 2008: Twenty-first Annual Collection, the anthology she coedits with Kelly Link & Gavin J. Grant:

  1. “The Cambist and Lord Iron: A Fairy Tale of Economics” by Daniel Abraham
  2. “The Gray Boy’s Work” by M.T. Anderson
  3. “Troll” by (poem) Nathalie Anderson
  4. “The Monsters of Heaven” by Nathan Ballingrud
  5. “The Forest” by Laird Barron
  6. “Reversal of Fortune” by Holly Black
  7. “The House of Mechanical Pain” by Chaz Brenchley
  8. “The Merchant and the Alchemist’s Gate” by Ted Chiang
  9. “Scenes of Hell” by (poem) Billy Collins
  10. “Toother” by Terry Dowling
  11. “The Drowned Life” by Jeffrey Ford
  12. “The Last Worders” by Karen Joy Fowler
  13. “Monkey” by (poem) Eliza Griswold
  14. “Up the Fire Road” by Eileen Gunn
  15. “Winter’s Wife” by Elizabeth Hand
  16. “A Perfect and Unmappable Grace” by Jack Haringa
  17. “The Evolution of Trickster Stories Among the Dogs of North Park After the Change” by Kij Johnson
  18. “The Boulder” by Lucy Kemnitzer
  19. “The Hill” by Tanith Lee
  20. “The Ape Man” by Alexander MacBride
  21. “Lovers (Jafaar the Winged)” by (poem) Khaled Mattawa
  22. “Hum Drum” by Gary McMahon
  23. “A Thing Forbidden” by Donald Mead
  24. “England and Nowhere” by Tim Nickels
  25. “Sir Hereward and Mister Fitz Go to War Again” by Garth Nix
  26. “Valentine, July Heat Wave” by Joyce Carol Oates
  27. “Mr. Poo Poo” by Reggie Oliver
  28. “Fragrant Goddess” by Paul Park
  29. “Holiday” by M. Rickert
  30. “Vampires in the Lemon Grove” by Karen Russell
  31. “Rats” by Veronica Schanoes
  32. “The Fiddler of Bayou Teche” by Delia Sherman
  33. “Village Smart” by (poem) Maggie Smith
  34. “The Tenth Muse” by William Browning Spencer
  35. “Follow Me Home” by Sonya Taaffe
  36. “The Swing” by Don Tumasonis
  37. “Closet Dreams” by Lisa Tuttle
  38. “The Seven Devils of Central California” by Catherynne M. Valente
  39. “Splitfoot” by Paul Walther
  40. “The Hide” by Liz Williams

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Filed under: Books

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