Here are the results of the latest SF Signal poll.

QUESTION
Where do you think surveillance technology will take us?

RESULTS

(88 total votes)

Comments this week:

“The multis are already much more efficient mining our biometric and geographic data. They’ll only get better… ’till the hackers strike back.” – Jeff

“‘Will’ take us? We’re already there!” – Paul Harper

“They’re gonna put a little camera in toilet bowls to see what kind of tp we use. Assign each brand a numeric value and plug it into a logarythmic formula along with the results from the breakfast cereal camera, the gas cap camera and the lead paint camera, and send me a 10% off coupon for Long John Silvers…” – platyjoe

Be sure to visit our front page and vote in this week’s poll about The Books of Philip José Farmer!

Filed under: Polls

Sunday Cinema: Firefly – “Our Mrs. Reynolds”

Today we have very interesting episode, “Our Mrs. Reynolds”, wherein Mal winds up getting married to a mystery woman. Hilarity and angst ensue! Of course, this entire episode is just a setup for seeing a nekkid Mal in a later episode.

Filed under: Firefly

The Books That Make You Dumb website correlates the most-read books by college students with the average SAT/ACT scores listed for that college. The result is a pretty chart that shows books (color coded by genre) on a “dumb/smart” scale.

I’ve taken the science fiction & Fantasy results from the sorted graph and show them here. Perpetuating the unscientific method that the website uses, the resulting list of science fiction books, from “Dumb” to “Not-so-Dumb”, are:

  1. Wicked by Gregory Maguire.
  2. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis.
  3. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien.
  4. Dune by Frank Herbert.
  5. Eragon by Christopher Paolini.
  6. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley.
  7. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling.
  8. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien.
  9. Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut.
  10. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card.
  11. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.

[via O'Reilly Radar]

Filed under: Books

SF Tidbits for 1/27/08

Filed under: Tidbits

Free Audio Fiction and More at Starship Sofa

Starship Sofa is a science fiction audio podcast that offers up lots of free stories and in-depth profiles. Check out their latest offerings, “The Crystal Spheres” by David Brin and a profile of L. Sprague De Camp.

Tony writes in to let us know that upcoming audio renditions include fiction from Ian Watson, Pat Cadigan, Peter Watts, Harry Harrison, Joe Haldeman, Joan D Vinge, Norman Spinrad, Michael Moorcock, Ian MacDonald, J D Nordley, Bruce Sterling, Gweneth Jones, David Brin, Alastair Reynolds, Jerry Pournelle, Landon Jones, John Varley, Pat Murphy, John Kessel, Laurel Winter, Jeff Vanermeer, Kevin J Anderson, Jonathan Carroll, Bradley Denton, and Matthew Hughes.

Also coming up is a video documentary with Michael Moorcock.

There’s a lot going on, so keep an ear out!

Filed under: Web Sites

WINNERS: 2007 Aurealis Awards

The winners of the 2007 Aurealis Awards (given to works of SF, fantasy, and horror by Australians) have been announced:

  • BEST SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL: David Kowalski, The Company of the Dead, Pan Macmillan
  • BEST SCIENCE FICTION SHORT STORY: Cat Sparks, ‘Hollywood Roadkill’, On Spec, #69
  • BEST FANTASY NOVEL: Lian Hearn, Heaven’s Net is Wide, Tales of the Otori The First Book, Hachette Livre
  • BEST FANTASY SHORT STORY: Garth Nix, ‘Sir Hereward and Mister Fitz go to War Again’, Jim Baen’s Universe, April 2007
  • BEST HORROR NOVEL: Susan Parisi, Blood of Dreams, Penguin Group (Australia)
  • BEST HORROR SHORT STORY: Anna Tambour, ‘The Jeweller of Second-Hand Roe’, Subterranean, #7
  • BEST YOUNG ADULT NOVEL: Anthony Eaton, Skyfall, UQP
  • BEST YOUNG ADULT SHORT STORY: Deborah Biancotti, ‘A Scar for Leida’, Fantastic Wonder Stories, Ticonderoga Publications
  • BEST CHILDREN’S (8-12 YEARS) LONG FICTION:
    • Kate Forsyth, The Silver Horse, The Chain of Charms 2, Pan Macmillan
    • Kate Forsyth, The Herb of Grace, The Chain of Charms 3, Pan Macmillan
    • Kate Forsyth, The Cat’s Eye Shell, The Chain of Charms 4, Pan Macmillan
    • Kate Forsyth, The Lightning Bolt, The Chain of Charms 5, Pan Macmillan
    • Kate Forsyth, The Butterfly in Amber, The Chain of Charms 6, Pan Macmillan
  • BEST CHILDREN’S (8-12 YEARS) SHORT FICTION (tie): Marc McBride, World of Monsters, Scholastic Australia
  • BEST CHILDREN’S (8-12 YEARS) SHORT FICTION (tie): Briony Stewart, Kumiko and the Dragon, UQP
  • PETER MCNAMARA CONVENORS’ AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE: Terry Dowling, Rynemonn, Coeur de Lion Publications
  • GOLDEN AUREALIS (Novel): David Kowalski fir The Company of the Dead, Pan Macmillan
  • GOLDEN AUREALIS (Short Story): Cat Sparks, ‘Hollywood Roadkill’, On Spec, #69

Filed under: Awards

Philip K. Dick: A Day in the Afterlife

PKD: A Day in the Afterlife, directed by Nicola Roberts, is an hour-long documentary about SF Author Philip K. Dick.

[via Milk & Cookies]

Filed under: BooksMovies

Tube Bits for 01/26/2008

  • TheNewsTribune has asked a bunch of people to hypothesize on the upcoming season of LOST. You can find their answers here. We are now less then a week away from the premier (Jan. 31st, 9ET) and you can just feel the anticipation building. Or it could be dinner.
  • Are you a Trek fan but have to work in a suit and tie? Never fear! The TieGuys have you covered with these cool Star Trek themed ties. I don’t know about you, but I’d spring for the Enterprise tie myself. Wearing someone else’s face on my chest seems wrong.
  • All you Dead Like Me fans can start speculating. After the release of the movie, the show itself my be resurrected. And Brian Fuller, the creator, also created Pushing Daisies, which every one of you should watch, if for no other reason than to listen to the silky smooth, dulcet tones of Jim Dale, the narrator.
  • InZero is an independent SF series being filmed in Detroit. It’s only a matter of time before one of these independent shows breaks out.
  • Just when you thought you could avoid MySpace completely, the BBC has launched a video channel on MySpace TV. You can watch clips of Torchwood, Dr. Who (new and classic) and Red Dwarf.

Filed under: Tube Bits

The American Library Association’s first Reading List Awards (winners as DOC link) for genre fiction includes many SF/F/H titles as chosen by a coucil of “ten librarians who are experts in readers’ advisory and collection development”. The list (with special distinction given to the first title listed in each category) goes like this:

SCIENCE FICTION

  • In War Times by Kathleen Ann Goonan (Tor, 2007)
  • Spook Country by William Gibson (G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 2007)
  • Bright of the Sky by Kay Kenyon (Pyr, 2007)
  • Phytosphere by Scott Mackay (New American Library, 2007)
  • Brasyl by Ian McDonald (Pyr, 2007)
  • Thirteen by Richard Morgan (Del Rey/Ballantine, 2007)
  • Rollback by Robert J. Sawyer (Tor, 2007)
  • The Last Colony by John Scalzi (Tor, 2007)
  • One Jump Ahead by Mark L. Van Name (Baen, 2007)
  • Axis by Robert Charles Wilson (Tor, 2007)

FANTASY

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Filed under: Awards

SF Tidbits for 1/26/08

Filed under: Tidbits

Free Read: Deadstock by Jeffrey Thomas

As promised, Solaris has made Deadstock by Jeffrey Thomas available online for free.

This is being done to promote the upcoming release of the book’s sequel, Blue War. (Solaris also offers as a free read the first chapter of Blue War.)

Deadstock was one of my best reads last year. The setting setting (the “crime-infested future city” of Punktown) was really appealing makes you want more. Check it out. How can you beat free?

Tagged with:

Filed under: Free Fiction

The Star Trek Jukebox

Online radio station Last.fm has agreements with all four major music labels to offer their titles in their catalog. You can’t download the music – you can only stream it. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t good things to be found.

For instance, take this selection of tunes by the cast of Star Trek: The Original Series. Please.

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Filed under: MusicStar Trek

Friday YouTube: The Giant Monster Insurance People

[via Fantasy SF Blog]

Filed under: HumorMovies

Tube Bits for 01/25/2008

  • Many of you may remember the USA Network show Swamp Thing, starring Adrienne Barbeau and some guy in a rubber suit (Dick Durock). The first season is now available on DVD. For those Sliders fans out there, Kari Wuhrer also appears in this season.
  • The corporate monolith of gaming that is IGN has scored an interview with the developers of the upcoming science fiction MMO, Stargate Worlds. There’s a lot of good stuff here, well worht the read if you are even remotely interested. I’m actually looking forward to this game, which is odd since I’m not a fan of the show. Huh.
  • Product placement is a fact of life on today’s televisions. But how about a TV show being ‘product placed’ in a comic? That’s exactly what LOST will be doing with Marvel Comics. The next Marvel book you open just may have images and references to LOST inside. I find this, odd.
  • What do you do when your premier series doesn’t start for another 3 months? If you’re Sci Fi Channel, you air two Battlestar Galactica specials in advance. The first, “Revisited”, is basically a recap of the first three seasons. The second, “The Phenomenon” (not starring John Travolta), looks at Galactica’s reception among fans and critics. Hopefully they will stoke the fires of interest, although I know John is on the ‘hater’ wagon. I’m not. I’ll be watching.
  • If you’re in Philadelphi tonight (1/25/08), why not head on over to the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society and hear Paul Levinson talk about Science Fiction in the Current Golden Age of Television. If you can’t make it, you can read his thoughts on his website, Infinite Regress. Hey Paul, any way you can a make podcast out of this talk?

Filed under: Tube Bits

SF Tidbits for 1/25/08

  • Rick Kleffel from The Agony Column podcast-interviews Jeff and Ann VanderMeer, co-editors of The New Weird anthology.
  • MilSciFi interviews John C. Wright: “A.E. van Vogt had the greatest influence on my work: I steal all my ideas from him. He captures the ‘sense of wonder’ that is to science fiction what the sense of horror is to horror writing.”
  • The latest episode of the always-entertaining Cult Pop has another great video interview posted, this time with Tobias Buckell and SciFi artist Carl Lundgren.
  • Fear Zone interviews editor Ellen Datlow: “The best writers can take the traditional horror tropes of serial killers, zombies, vampires, werewolves, ghouls, children in danger, “bad” houses or places — and make something new out of them by their skills at storytelling and use of language.”
  • At SciFi Wire, John Joseph Adams profiles Daniel Abraham, co-author of Hunter’s Run with George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois.
  • Fantasy Book Critic interviews Gail Z. Martin: “There are some people who oddly believe that if you write about something you must actually be like that in real life, which would make every crime writer a cop or a murderer. There are folks who will make amazing assumptions about your religious beliefs (or lack thereof) and the status of your immortal soul. Oh well. And there’s our culture, which thinks it’s way more cool to be able to throw a football than to write a book. I did a radio interview last year and the host kept trying to get me to talk about how “weird” SF conventions were. I asked him if he’d ever been to a Big Ten college football game or a NASCAR race–the frizzy wigs, the body paint, the costumes, the tailgate craziness. It would be nice if we’d let people have fun in their own way without needing to judge.”
  • Free Fiction:
  • io9 lists The Scariest Settings Ever Created in Scifi Movies.
  • Real science, Part 1: Sf author Daryl Gregory doesn’t believe in aliens…as portrayed in sf, that is. Biology in Science Fiction responds by asking “How alien should science fiction aliens be?
  • Real science, Part 2: In case you get lost, here’s a map of the universe within 1 billion Light Years. [via The Daily Galaxy]

Filed under: Tidbits

SF Tidbits for 1/24/08

Filed under: Tidbits

The Time Machine Materializes On Stage

En route to its historical trip to the year 802,701, H.G. Wells’s Time Machine is making a stop in Hollywood.

A stage play version of The Time Machine is set to appear at Women’s Club of Hollywood between January 25th and March 14th, 2008. From the press release:

For the first time ever, however, fans of H.G. Wells will be able experience the work live!

Adapted to the stage by Julian Bane (Lead/Producer) and Phil Abatecola (Writer/Director), “The Time Machine” promises to transport audiences into the future where they will encounter a new world, populated by creatures who are at once both strange and strangely familiar.

“We’ve created an experience that will take theatre goers through multiple periods and settings in one fantastic evening,” says Bane. “This independent show is visually inspiring and experientially entertaining.

While widely acknowledged as an influential literary work, “The Time Machine” has never before been adapted for the Los Angeles stage because in general theater producers tend to shy away from the sci fi genre. “There’s this hesitation that a stage production could never live up to the visual imagery of a sci fi novel, yet the world of theatre is filled with successful adaptations of fables and fantasies,” notes Bane.

If someone goes to this, I’d be interested to know your impressions.

Filed under: Events

Tube Bits for 01/24/2008

  • Carol Barbee, executive producer of Jericho, speculates that the ultimate fate of the series to live beyond seven episodes will be known around episode three. Remember, if you want to see a season three, CBS will looking at airtime ratings so tune in when it’s broadcast. None of that nasty time shifting.
  • But if Jericho is canned, you’ll be glad to know that the Sci Fi Channel has acquired the rights to air the re-runs starting in February. And as an aside, I’ve often wondered why Sci Fi wasn’t in HD. Turns out there is a Sci Fi HD channel. So much for getting that news out to people.
  • Mostlikely2 has posted an interesting look at Bionic Woman, Galactica and The Sarah Connor Chronicles. He wonders why one show should succeed over the others and gives some thoughts.
  • Chuch of the Masses wonders if Galactica is a good show? Good in this case being of the ‘morally good’ sense, not of the ‘good TV’ sense. There are some interestings observations/guesses on the Cylons.
  • Who says media tie-ins should just be books? Videogamer.com has a preview of the upcoming LOST: Via Domus video game for the 360, PS3 and PC. I don’t know about you, but I have yet to see a really good game based on any kind of TV show or movie.

Filed under: Tube Bits

INTERVIEW: Andy Remic

Andy Remic is the author of the novel War Machine. We liked the book so much, we wanted to do an interview with Andy. So we did. This interview was almost two months in the making, what with the holidays and various other interruptions cutting into our time. I’d like to thank Andy for being a gracious and accomodating interviewee. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did putting it together.


SF Signal: For those readers who don’t know who you are, could you give us some information about yourself and your writing?

Andy Remic: I’m 36 years old, started writing in primary school at the age of 5, then moved on to novels when I was 17. Writing is all I’ve ever wanted to do, career-wise. I was an English teacher for ten years, which was great until bureaucracy took over and made me hate the education system. I also hate many head teachers. What a bunch of egotistical apotheosized morons! However, kids are always guaranteed to make you laugh- which was the simple pleasure of the job!! Recently, I was able to write full time, although I still do some exam marking and university lecturing, so I took the plunge and am beavering away hard on my sixth novel, Sick World. The fifth, a nano-tech zombie novel called Biohell, containing your favourite Combat-K psychotic triumvirate, is due out November 2008.

I wrote a trilogy of hardcore military thrillers for Orbit in 2003, beginning with Spiral, then Quake, then Warhead. With each successive novel they storyline became more and more SF orientated, until Warhead explodes with a post-apocalyptic setting. The main character here is Carter, who is a deeply disturbed schizophrenic with an evil psychopath in his brain called Kade. When the going gets tough Kade takes over business, and performs horrible acts Carter would never dream of. Unfortunately, sometimes Kade can take over without Carter’s permission- a kind of mind-rape- and bad things happen. The Spiral novels are like a twisted version of James Bond, globe-hopping and with lots of guns, murder, and black humour in the interaction between Carter and his East-European sidekick, Mongrel- and basically a little bit of a tongue-in-cheek stab at blockbuster action fests like Bond, Andy McNab and Matthew Reilly.

Then I wrote War Machine for Solaris Books. War Machine is a hardcore sizzling rollercoaster of a novel with a gratuitous excess of violence, sex, dark humour and exotic aliens all wrapped up in a high-octane cling-film plot concerning an elite military unit illegally reformed who must battle across alien planets to discover justice, truth and revenge. Initially, the story begins with a quest to find an artefact which will reveal to Keenan the person who killed his wife and children…through the mean streets of the bustling, lawless dystopian planet known as The City – because the city has consumed the planet – to the humid jungles of Ket and the technologically advanced savages who inhabit the City of Bone, Combat K, through adventure and action and many bullets, arrive at their destination to find the hunted artefact holds a terrible secret…which in turn spins the story on its head, and has the unholy Combat K trio sent to Teller’s World, a dead planet, and home to the extinct GodRace Leviathan. There, Keenan must find answers to his deepest nightmares…and face a terror more ancient than anything before witnessed across The Four Galaxies!!

In my spare time I read, mountain climb, I love motorbikes and have two great little boys, Joe who’s 5, and Oliver, who’s 2. They’re little buggers and we scrap a lot, and I enjoy taking them places (such as Alnwick Castle near Newcastle, where they filmed the first few Harry Potter films).

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Filed under: Interviews

Let Ursula K. Le Guin Read You Her Fiction

Ursula K. Le Guin has begun making mp3 audio versions of her fiction, accessible at her “Read by the Author” page.

The first offering is “The Open Sea“, an excerpt from Chapter 10 of her classic A Wizard of Earthsea.

Also available is “Three Poems from Wild Angels” (available in multiple parts). Coming soon is “She Unnames Them” from Buffalo Gals and Other Animal Presences and “A Book of Songs: Twelve Poems” from Incredible Good Fortune.

[via SF Scope and SFWA]

Filed under: Books

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