POLL RESULTS: 2008 Movies We’d Like to See

Here are the results of the latest SF Signal poll.

QUESTION
Which of these films based on comics are you looking forward to the most in 2008?

RESULTS

(131 total votes)

Comments this week:

“Tough choice! I wanted to vote for three of those!” – Chris Johnston

“Hulk 2 is gonna be a SciFi Channel original, right?” – platyjoe

“50% (so far) voted for “The Dark Knight?” Don’t people ever get tired of Batman movies??” – PY

“Hellboy was enjoyable, and the trailer for the second looked great. Iron Man is a good franchise, and Robert Downey Jr. seems to be doing good things with it in that trailer. But Batman Begins was an absolute revelation when it came out, and Dark Knight easily looks to match – if not surpass – that brilliant, dark intensity of the first. Christian Bale has taken Batman away from the purely popcorn level of the first four movies and given him real punch. As for Hulk 2, well… let’s be honest, after Hulk 1, no matter how much they promise things have changed, it’s gonna take a lot of work for them to get my ass in that cinema seat. Just my four cents.” – Matt Dovey

“Mr. Bale brought none of the camp, and all of the gravitas that Bats can offer. Let’s hope the Joker doesn’t pooch it all up for us!” – Dark Knight (Jeff)

“It’s a tough choice for me between Iron Man and the Dark Knight, since both star actors who really should have gotten Oscars by now (Robert Downey Jr. and Heath Ledger, respectively). Iron Man wins by default, since I’m a born-and-raised Marvel kid and never really cared that much about Batman.” – Gabriel Mckee

Be sure to visit our front page and vote in this week’s poll about Journeyman!

Filed under: Polls

Sunday Cinema: Firefly – ‘Bushwhacked’

Continuing in our series of Firefly posts, today we bring you ‘Bushwhacked‘ (John?).

The parts I remember about this are the dead guy smacking into the windshield and the Alliance interviewing the crew. That’s some fun stuff right there.

Filed under: FireflyTV

SF Tidbits for 1/6/08

Filed under: Tidbits

Sunday YouTube: Neil Gaiman Talks About H.P. Lovecraft

[via Cynical-C]

Filed under: Books

SF Tidbits for 1/5/08

Filed under: Tidbits

REVIEW: Killswitch by Joel Shephard

MY RATING:

Killswitch is the final volume, at this time, in the Cassandra Kresnov series and it wraps things up with a bang. Where the previous novel, Breakaway, was mired down with political intrigue, Killswitch dumps the politics, mostly, in favor of letting Cassandra do what she does best: Kick bad guy butt at breakneck pace. I urge all Kresnov fans to pick this book up at your earliest convenience and enjoy the ride. If you’re on the fence, and if movies or TV shows like Ghost in the Shell of Bionic Woman appeal to you, the Cassandra Kresnov novels are well worth your time. In fact, if NBC had been smart, they would have dumped the Bionic Woman re-boot and optioned Cassandra’s stories from Shephard. These books cry out for some type of screen (big or small) time. (I’m looking at you Sci Fi Channel. Convince Kate Beckinsale to play Cassandra and you won’t be able to keep the SF fans from storming the channel.)

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Filed under: Book Review

More Free Fiction For Friday

Besides those stories listed in today’s tidbits, here are some more pieces of free short fiction seen ’round the web…

Filed under: Free Fiction

We have quite a few trailers for you this time, so let’s get cracking!

First up we have Eden Log, a French film that has a very Decsent-ish feel, with bonus amnesia!

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Filed under: Movies

Compare and contrast…

[via The Percy Tour]

Filed under: Movies

SF Tidbits for 1/4/08

Filed under: Tidbits

Fox will post the pilot episode of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles exclusively on Yahoo! for 24 hours beginning Jan. 4 at 12 a.m. ET. The premiere features an introduction by star Lena Headey (Sarah Connor) and will be commercial-free.

The series officially debuts on Fox over two nights: Jan. 13th and 14th.

[via SciFi Wire]

Filed under: TV

James Cameron’s Avatar in 3D

You probably know by now that James Cameron is hard at work on his new movie, Avatar. We have the supposed teaser poster to the right, and our Bevy of Blue and Green Babes post even has a picture of the Avatar alien. But did you know that Cameron is filming Avatar in 3D? Yes, 3D.

Not the crappy red/blue 3D of yesteryear, and not even the new fangled polarized 3D you see every now and then. No, Cameron created a brand new 3D camera, that works like a pair of human eyes, and shot the entire thing using this new camera. You’ll still have to wear polarizing glasses though. You may wonder how/why this is different. I know I did. Then, thanks to the magic of the Internet, I found this explanation on 5Min.com.

From a technical standpoint, this is really cool, watching the camera in action is interesting. Of course, we can’t really see how the film looks because the Internet isn’t in 3D. Yet. Now I’m even more curious about this movie, aside from the SF-nal aspects and is Sigourney Weaver the hardest working actress in the SF genre? Although, since I wear glasses, I hate wearing yet another pair over them to get the 3D effect. Summer 2009 seems quite a ways off though. Must be all the post-production work.

Has anyone seen Cameron’s Titanic documentaries that are in 3D? I’m assuming they use the same 3D camera as Avatar. Maybe the new Imax theater down the street will show them when it opens.

Filed under: Movies

REVIEW SUMMARY: A very good compendium of end-of-the-world stories.

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Anthology of 22 post-apocalyptic stories.

MY REVIEW:

PROS: 19 stories good or better stories, 6 of them excellent.

CONS: The Gene Wolfe story escapes my meager brain.

BOTTOM LINE: More entertaining than the average “Best of” annual anthology.

Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse offers a great selection of end-of-the-world stories proving that stories in a single setting (or a single subgenre of science fiction) need not be similar. While the prevailing theme, as would be expected, is one of hope, the stories are presented with unique focus and voice. But the mood is as dark as it should be with such serious subject matter. With rare exception (Neal Barrett, Jr.’s comical “Ginny Sweethips’ Flying Circus”) these stories are gloomy indeed. But isn’t that the appeal of post-apocalyptic fiction after all?

John Joseph Adams has culled a great selection of stories here dating back to 1973, with more than half of those written in the last seven years. He also offers a super-handy index of post-apocalyptic stories and books for further reading, just in case you start jonesin’ for more.

Only three stories from the book’s roster of twenty-two failed to impress me. Perhaps the most glaring of those is the Gene Wolfe story, “Mute”, because Wolfe’s reputation is one of greatness and this story left me cold. But there were plenty of other stories to suit my tastes; a huge majority in fact. This is impressive since the variety of styles and stories that populate an anthology means there are bound to be some misses. But three out of twenty-two is a relatively low ratio when comparing it against my anthology consumption of years past. In then end, Wastelands proved to be more entertaining than the average yearly “Best of”.

Standout stories in this cant-miss volume include “The People of Sand and Slag” by Paolo Bacigalupi, “When Sysadmins Ruled the Earth” by Cory Doctorow, “Judgment Passed” by Jerry Oltion, “Inertia” by Nancy Kress, “Speech Sounds” by Octavia E. Butler and “The End of the World as We Know It” by Dale Bailey.

Reviews of the individual stories follow…

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Filed under: Book Review

SF Tidbits for 1/3/08

Filed under: Tidbits

Tube Bits for 01/03/2008

  • Mark Wilson at About.com looks at the scattershot second-half of the 2007-2008 SF TV season. Some shows will be all new: Jericho, New Amseterdam; while others are carry overs with a few more episodes left in the tank: Chuck, Flash Gordon and others. Inexplicably, LOST isn’t on the list, even though it starts Jan. 31st.
  • Blogcritics Magazine analyzes the Canadian SF show, Regenesis. They look at how the creators of the show want it to be as accurate as possible when it comes to the science. None of the instant lab reports or absolute certainty of other shows. I had no idea this was starting it’s fourth season. I, uh, can watch the first season if I want to. Any of our Canadian friends want to weigh in on this show?
  • Alan Stepinwall from The Star Ledger gives us TV worth watching a second time. The angle being that, with writers on strike, what shows merit a second watching, instead of forcing yourself to consume yet another ‘reality’ show. The genre shows here being LOST and Galactica. Follow the link to find out why.
  • John Kenneth Muir reflects on the old British/German SF TV show, Star Maidens. He gives us a nice run down of the opening episode. Surely the Space Princess Movement has found it’s TV show? And of course, YouTube has video, albeit very short.

Filed under: Tube Bits

Gawker Does SF

The long-awaited science fiction blog from the Gawker Media empire is ginally here and it’s called io9.

Io9 is edited by Annalee Newitz (of Wired and Popular Science fame) and says this about io9:

“We don’t see it as a niche entertainment site. We see it as a pop culture site. So much of our mainstream culture is now talked about and thought about in science-fictional terms. I think that’s why people like William Gibson and Brian Aldiss are saying there’s no more science fiction because we are now living in the future. The present is thinking of itself in science-fictional terms. You get things like George Bush taking stem cell policy from reading parts of Brave New World. That’s part of what we are playing with. We are living in world that now thinks of itself in terms of sci-fi and in terms of the future.”

Posts so far range from the snarky (Six Reasons Why Star Trek Should Stay Dead) to the interesting (Post-Apocalyptic Movie Chart) to the…err…helpful (How To Sh*t In Space).

Filed under: Web Sites

REVIEW: Hurricane Moon by Alexis Glynn Latner

MY RATING:

I’d have to place Hurricane Moon squarely into the ‘not what I was expecting’ category. The book description sounds really good: the last hope for humanity, several thousand colonists leave Earth in cold-sleep to find and establish a new colony on an Earth-like world, moon required. They eventually find two world sized planets orbiting each other. One has an abundance of land, “Green”, and one is mostly water, covered with hurricanes, “Blue”. However, the effects of cold-sleep have caused tremendous damage to the colonists’ genes, and it’s up to brilliant microbiologist Joseph Devreze to fix it.

Ms. Latner has written several short-stories, mostly of the hard SF variety. Because of this, and the description, I was expecting more of an emphasis on the science, especially with respect to “Blue” than what I found.

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Filed under: Book Review

In our Mind Meld posts, we pose a single question to a slice of the sf/f community and, depending on the question, other folks as well.

This week, we address the the (possibly) misguided efforts of Hollywood to produce quality science fiction.

With most television shows on hiatus due to the writers strike, it’s a good time to reflect on the quality of the genre shows of this past TV season. If you ran Hollywood, what changes would you make? What would stay the same?
Chris Roberson
Chris Roberson’s novels include Here, There & Everywhere, The Voyage of Night Shining White, Paragaea: A Planetary Romance, X-Men: The Return, Set the Seas on Fire, The Dragon’s Nine Sons, and the forthcoming End of the Century, Iron Jaw and Hummingbird, and Three Unbroken. His short stories have appeared in such magazines as Asimov’s, Interzone, Postscripts, and Subterranean, and in anthologies such as Live Without a Net, FutureShocks, and Forbidden Planets. Along with his business partner and spouse Allison Baker, he is the publisher of MonkeyBrain Books, an independent publishing house specializing in genre fiction and nonfiction genre studies, and he is the editor of anthology Adventure Vol. 1. He has been a finalist for the World Fantasy Award three times-once each for writing, publishing, and editing-twice a finalist for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, and twice for the Sidewise Award for Best Alternate History Short Form (winning in 2004 with his story “O One”). Chris and Allison live in Austin, Texas with their daughter Georgia. Visit him online at www.chrisroberson.net.

The facile answer is to say that there should be fewer crappy shows and more good ones. Just what makes a show “good” or “crappy” is, of course, purely subjective (with the caveat that anyone who disagrees with me about Heroes being crap is just kidding themselves), but I think most viewers can agree about a certain level of objective quality. Or can they?

I think when it comes to genre shows, fans are often like abused girlfriends. “He doesn’t hit me much!” They approach a show that incorporates fantastic or sfnal elements with a certain set of expectations, some of which depend on the show’s quality as a television show–writing, acting, directing, even wardrobe and sets–and some of which involve its use of the “furniture” of genre–originality of concept, execution of ideas, etc. Often, sf/f fans will excuse a considerable amount of failing in the former category if a show does reasonably well in the latter. And if the deplorable quality of writing, or the wooden acting, or the lumpen directing is called out, fans will often respond with “It could be worse” or “At least it isn’t as bad as X,” or they’ll squint and say “Yes, but look at the story arc” or “check out the orbital physics of that starfighter.”

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Filed under: Mind Meld

Tube Bits For 01/02/2008

  • All you Galactica fans can rest easy now. Universal has announced a release date for the Season 3 DVDs. They will be available on March 25th, 2008. And the even better news is that all the episodes will be included. No more goody split seasons like Season 2. The start of the final season looks to have been pushed back to March as well, so if you’re hoping to catch up, well, you won’t be able to do it via the DVDs.
  • Like Stargate SG-1? Like to play MMORPGs? Then this contest may be for you. Beginning with this season of Stargate Atlantis, Sci Fi will be air a ‘gate code’ which, when entered at the contest’s web site will give you another entry to win. The winner will receive their likeness place somewhere within the Stargate Worlds MMO game, which will release this fall.
  • Film.com lists their Worst Sci Fi TV of 2007. Basically, it’s an anti-Sci Fi channel rant, and takes them to task for ECW and the ‘reality’ shows. Although I think they might have gone off the rails a bit with Tin Man, as I found that to be quite watchable, especially with the spousal overunit. Flash Gordon, not so watchable, so we agree there. We also disagree on how ‘good’ Bionic Woman was. Me: not so good.
  • TVJab lists their Best and Worst of 2007. As far as the genre show go, I have to agree. I do think that Zach Levi of Chuck has done a fine job as the lovable nerd at the Buy More and I think Pushing Daisies and Chuck are the two best of the new genre shows.
  • TVJab also lists their 5 Worst Sci Fi TV Series of all Time and wow, there are some terrible shows there. If you thought Automan was bad, just watch some of these. I do remember seeing The Man From Atlantis when it first aired though. What can I say? I was young and stupid.

Filed under: Tube Bits

SF Tidbits for 1/2/08

Filed under: Tidbits

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