SF Tidbits for 10/2/07

Filed under: Tidbits

Now with 100% more Lyle Waggoner!

Filed under: TV

Tube Bits For 10/02/07

  • Animation Insider has a short article about Stephen Colbert’s Tek Jensen animated series. Apparently the adventures of Tek Jensen appear on Colbert’s TV show. It sounds like a hoot. Has anyone seen these?
  • AdWeek has a very interesting article detailing the ad rates for various prime time shows. American Idol is far and away the most expensive show to advertise on, going for $700k per 30 second ad. Heroes clocks in at $330k and Bionic Woman goes for $185k. I’m in the wrong business.
  • Dr. John Lynn has several articles online covering science fiction TV. He has essays on Kolchak and The X-Files, among others.
  • Good news for fans of Eureka. Sci Fi has picked it up for 13 more episodes starting sometime next year. I’ve really liked this season and i’ll definitely be watching next season.

Filed under: Tube Bits

Tube Bits For 10/01/07

  • MovieWeb has an interview with both Amanda Tapping and Jewel Staite about the upcoming fourth season of Stargate: Atlantis. Maybe it’s time to catch up on the show…
  • Starpulse is reporting that Patrick Stewart is ‘upset’ the producers of Dr. Who haven’t asked him to guest star. Stewart is a big fan of the show and really wants to be on it. Buck up little trooper! Maybe they’re working on a new spin-off just for you, ‘Cpt. Who’!
  • Karen Cliche, Bayliss from Flash Gordron, sounds off on the poor reception the show has received. She says that at the half-way point there’s a big plot twist and that the show writers have been getting better and that people should tune back in. Color me unconvinced. Is anyone still watching?
  • BoardGameGeek member Swandive78 reviews the $10 Babylon 5: A Call To Arms Starter Set, which is an introduction to a miniature figure game based on Babylon 5. If you like it, you can move up to the full version from Mongoose Publishing.
  • BuddyTV has a preview of the second Heroes episode tonight, called ‘Lizards’. Sounds kinda cool. No word on how long the Nikki storyline stays off the air.

Filed under: Tube Bits

SF Tidbits for 10/1/07

Filed under: Tidbits

POLL RESULTS: Your Favorite David Cronenberg Film

Here are the results of the latest SF Signal poll.

QUESTION
Which of the following is your favorite David Cronenberg movie?

RESULTS

(92 total votes)

A bunch of comments this week:

“Stephen King’s ‘The Dead Zone’ is one of my favorite Top Five novels. Not just in scifi, or any genre sub-category — but in all the novels I have read. I thought the movie did an admirable job in bringing the story to the screen. Christopher Walker was awesome — he brought Johnny Smith to life. I had hopes for the TV Series…but that didn’t last long.” – Morjana

“I will always have a weak spot for eXistenZ. I even adapted the tagline ‘Death to the Demoness!’ as a way of relieving tension at my (then) hellish boss.” – Paul

“Crash. I’m surprised Dead Zone is getting many votes, it’s the least Cronenberg of all his films!” – James Grebmops

“Clive Barker’s Nightbreed or Crash (1996)” – Allan

“The year 1999 was good. It was three movies about virtual reality: Matrix, The Thirteenth Floor and eXistenZ. For me, all are very good SF movies.” – girotix

“I had to vote for Videodrome, although ExistenZ was a close second. Christopher Eccleston is like icing – everything is better with him added to it.” – Misty

“Dead Ringers: Emotionally powerful, intelligent horror. Unique.” – Matte Lozenge

“Tough question really Cronenberg has done a lot of good movies, but my favorite is non-SF, A History of Violence. As far as SF goes, The Dead Zone wins.” – Jim

“I picked ‘The Fly’ simply because it was the only one of the six that I remember actually having a plot.” – joshua corning

“Favourite Cronenberg is ‘A History of Violence’. I hear the new one is quite good as well.” – Wes

Be sure to visit our front page and vote in this week’s poll on Blade Runner: The Final Cut DVD!

Filed under: Polls

Cult Pop

The Cult-Pop website is unassumingly cool. It’s a simple web page; there are no links and there’s no navigation because there are no sub-pages. There’s just a giant TV screen. The website is the online companion to the TV show that airs on Michigan cable.

What do they show? Their play list includes video interviews with authors like John Scalzi, Elizabeth Bear, Tobias Buckell, Karl Schroeder, Brad Meltzer, Nick Sagan and more. They also have a ComicCon report. The videos are cool, so hang in there through each show’s too-long intro.

There only seem to be about 8 video podcasts at this time, but the subject list promises good things to come. Check it out!

Filed under: Web Sites

MEME: Top 50 Dystopian Movies of All Time

Below is Snarkerati’s list of Top 50 Dystopian Movies of All Time. A great topic for a meme!

You know the drill…copy the list and BOLD the movies you have seen. Post yours in the comments, or on your own blog (a link back here would be appreciated!)

  1. Metropolis (1927)
  2. A Clockwork Orange (1971)
  3. Brazil (1985)
  4. Wings of Desire (1987)
  5. Blade Runner (1982)
  6. Children of Men (2006)
  7. The Matrix (1999)
  8. Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)
  9. Minority Report (2002)
  10. Delicatessen (1991)
  11. Sleeper (1973)
  12. The Trial (1962)
  13. Alphaville (1965)
  14. Twelve Monkeys (1995)
  15. Serenity (2005)
  16. Pleasantville (1998)
  17. Ghost in the Shell (1995)
  18. Battle Royale (2000)
  19. RoboCop (1987)
  20. Akira (1988)
  21. The City of Lost Children (1995)
  22. Planet of the Apes (1968)
  23. V for Vendetta (2005)
  24. Metropolis (2001)
  25. Gattaca (1997)
  26. Fahrenheit 451 (1966)
  27. On The Beach (1959)
  28. Mad Max (1979)
  29. Total Recall (1990)
  30. Dark City (1998)
  31. War Of the Worlds (1953)
  32. District 13 (2004)
  33. They Live (1988)
  34. THX 1138 (1971)
  35. Escape from New York (1981)
  36. A Scanner Darkly (2006)
  37. Silent Running (1972)
  38. Artificial Intelligence: AI (2001)
  39. Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984)
  40. A Boy and His Dog (1975)
  41. Soylent Green (1973)
  42. I Robot (2004)
  43. Logan’s Run (1976)
  44. Strange Days (1995)
  45. Idiocracy (2006)
  46. Death Race 2000 (1975)
  47. Rollerball (1975)
  48. Starship Troopers (1997)
  49. One Point O (2004)
  50. Equilibrium (2002)

Filed under: Movies

SF Tidbits for 9/29/07

Filed under: Tidbits

New Philip K. Dick Volume Due

Confirming what was reported earlier, the Library of America will be releasing a second collection of Philip K. Dick’s work. The original collection included The Man in the High Castle, The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and Ubik. The second collection will include:

  • Martian Time-Slip
  • Dr. Bloodmoney
  • Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said
  • A Scanner Darkly
  • Now Wait for Last Year

Also: Gabriel Mckee (SF Gospel) and Matt Cheney (Mumpsimus) have reports of the event where this was announced by Jonathan Lethem, LOA’s PKD series editor.

Filed under: Books

REVIEW SUMMARY: Still a great story.

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: The rebellious Harlequin causes mischief in a society that is strictly punctual.

MY REVIEW:
PROS: Engaging prose; interesting premise; a parable that’s effective 40 years after it was written.
CONS: If I think of any, I’ll let you know.
BOTTOM LINE: A classic short story that deserves its great reputation.

In 1965, Harlan Ellison sat down to write a story for submission to a writers’ workshop. The result after a mere 6 hours was “‘Repent, Harlequin!’ Said the Ticktockman”, a story that went on to win both the Hugo and Nebula Awards and is reported to be one of the most reprinted stories ever. Underwood Press published a nice-looking, 48-page commemorative anniversary edition in 1997 – aptly late considering the story’s premise – to celebrate the story’s initial publication. This hardback edition comes with some nice looking illustrations by Rick Berry. You know what? Forty two years later, the original story holds up remarkably well.
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SF Tidbits for 9/28/07

  • Apparently he will be back…sort of. DVD Review reports that we can expect not just another sequel, but a whole new second Terminator trilogy! One of the films is likely to focus on the war of the machines.
  • Wired has an interview with Ridley Scott, director of Blade Runner, the last sci-fi film to be made before sci-fi died. “You know, Alien is a C film elevated to an A film, honestly, by a great monster.” “I honestly couldn’t get into [Philip K. Dick's book, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep]. It’s so dense, by page 32 there’s about 17 story lines.
  • Cinema Blend News has the teaser poster for Pixar’s WALL-E.
  • File under “Why, God, why?”: Tom Green and Crispin Glover have been cast in the sci-fi comedy film, Freezer Burn: the Invasion of Laxdale, which tells the story of aliens from outer space disguised as Dutch oil company executives who buy a local grain silo and promise to create jobs for a failing farm town, but secretly plan to use crop circles to heat up the temperature of the planet and turn Earth into a Club Med for extraterrestrials.
  • Interviews (The first 3 snagged from Swivet):
    • CHUD interviews Richard K. Morgan (Thirteen). “I’m about telling the story, and I’ll create whatever backdrop I need to do that as I go along. I don’t like info-dumping, and I try to avoid it.”
    • Columbus Dispatch interviews Tim Powers (The Anubis Gates). “I’ve never sympathized with the idea of covertly commenting on the social and political issues of today. That’s a fatal error. As soon as the reader notices the parallel, it prevents the suspension of disbelief.”
    • A Dribble of Ink interviews Brandon Sanderson (Elantris). “In my opinion a good book is a balance be-tween character, setting, and plot with character being the most important of the three. You can have the coolest magic system in the world, but if readers don’t care about the characters who are using that magic system, the book won’t be very fun to read.”
    • Simon Haynes interviews Tim Pratt (Blood Engines). “I’m not sure SF/Fantasy has a particular purpose that’s different from the purpose(s) of all literature, which are variously to edify, to entertain, and to illuminate the human condition.”
    • Amazon Daily interviews M. John Harrison (Nova Swing). “SF is an opportunity to have an intense relationship with your own imagination. It’s a kind of drive-by poetry, trashy and addictive; it’s fun.”
  • In response to their earlier post Does Literary Fiction Suffer from Dysfunctional Pricing?, LitKicks looks at the pleasures of paperbacks.
  • At SciFi Wire, John Joseph Adams profiles Ben Bova, author of The Aftermath, the fourth and final book in his Asteroid Wars series.
  • New at ManyBooks.net: “Pagan Passions” by Gordon Randall Garrett. “Adult Science Fiction, with the supernatural making complete sense.”
  • Del Rey will be publishing new Indiana Jones books.
  • Besides a mini-Seinfeld reunion, the video for Brad Paisley’s song “Online” features a cameo by William Shatner (at 3:14). [via Big Dumb Object via Deanna Hoak, who are hereby put on notice for making me listen to country music.]

Filed under: Tidbits

Friday YouTube: Robot Insurance

OK, this is already a repeat tidbit, but Geekend reminded me of it gaian and I had a good giggle, so I’m going for a video three-fer.

Filed under: Humor

Tube Bits For 09/28/07

  • The premier of Bionic Woman pulled in decent ratings, especially considering it was scheduled against ratings juggernaut, Dancing With The Stars. It even managed to best Heroes ratings for Monday. We’ll see how well it keeps its viewers next week.
  • Speaking of Heroes, haven’t had the time to read all of the online comics for the season? Well, no you don’t have to. George from OnOurTV has done the work for you and gives us the quick summaries for all 52 online comics. Truly a dedicated Heroes fan, and a heck of a developer too.
  • NBC’s Digital Insights and Innovations team has done some research about viewer habits for online content. They found that a high number of people who watched Heroes online for the first time continued to watch the show later, both online and off. The take away being that there is an ‘opportunity’ for cross platform marketing to reach more people. In other words, viewers will be bombarded with more targeted ads on the NBC site. Just what we need. But I still think NBC’s online viewing capabilities are the best of the major networks.
  • Michael Wentz gives us his review of Journeyman. In it, he takes to task those who compare it to Quantum Leap. Not having seen it yet, all I can say is the synopsis makes it sound like a personal QL.
  • Blog Critics Magazine also has a review of CBS’ Moonlight, which premiers tonight at 9pm ET. Sounds bad.

Filed under: Tube Bits

Thursday YouTube: The Space Elevator

Here’s a quick intro to space elevators courtesy of ISR and NASA.

[via Imagi-Nation]

Filed under: Space

SF Tidbits for 9/27/07

Filed under: Tidbits

Pilot Night In America: Wednesday, 09/26/07

Premier week marches on! Today we have only one interesting genre (and real SF) pilot, the oft mentioned Bionic Woman at 9/8C. SF Signal Scott kinda liked what he saw of the pilot and will be watching at least for a few more episodes. I haven’t seen the pilot yet, but I have it from Amazon’s Unbox so I won’t be recording it tonight. I’d be interested in seeing what others think of the show.

Again, if anyone is interested in talking about the show while it is on, or any time after, I’ll embed the chat room below the jump.

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Filed under: TV

I was going to title this post as “You, a Deserted Island and 5 Sc-Fi Movies…GO!”, but I wanted to bypass the “Is there a DVD player and electricity on the island?” snarkiness. :)

You know what to do here. Name the five sci-fi movies you would most want to have with you if you could only choose 5. These are not necessarily the ones you think of as “the best”, but rather the ones you can (or would like to) watch over and over again….

Here are mine:

  • Aliens
  • Independence Day
  • Star Wars (Episode 4)
  • The Day the Earth Stood Still
  • The Matrix

There were so many others to choose from that I had to leave off this list because I have only seen them once (Serenity) or they were just overflow (Terminator 2, Back to The Future).

Now let’s hear from you!

Filed under: Movies

SciFi Scanner Post Roundup #3

As previously mentioned, yours truly had a guest-blogging gig at AMC TV’s SciFi Scanner blog. Here’s the final roundup of the posts I did there.

  1. Ender’s Game Not Dead Yet
  2. 7 Sci-Fi Movies For Parents to Share with Their Kids
  3. Mmmmm…Rayguns…
  4. Playthings for the Serious Doctor Who Fan
  5. Bill Pullman’s Theatrical Space Odyssey
  6. The Sci-Fi Blockbuster From Russia
  7. Sci-Fi Scanner Weekly Roundup
  8. Michael Bay Attached to 2012?
  9. Geek T-Shirts
  10. Avatar News
  11. Two Stargate Direct-To-DVD Movies Due
  12. 7 Superior Sci-Fi Sequels

There’s also another one that they are holding off until publishing until November so they can tie it in with a promotion.

See also: SciFi Scanner Post Roundup #1 and SciFi Scanner Post Roundup #2.

Filed under: Web Sites

H.G. Wells’ Things to Come

Here’s the video for the 1936 production of Things to Come. H.G. Wells wrote the screenplay (!) which is loosely based on his story, “The Shape of Things to Come“.

[via Drivers and Sundry]

Filed under: Movies

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