From the Nevada Appeal:

Fantasy writer David Eddings, 75, said he was using water to flush out the gas tank of his broken-down Excalibur sports car, when some fluid leaked. In a lapse of judgment he readily admitted, Eddings lit a piece of paper and threw into the puddle to test if it was still flammable. The answer came in an orange torrent.

[via Eternal Golden Braid]

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SF Tidbits for 1/29/07

Filed under: Tidbits

Here are the results of the latest SF Signal poll.

With all the excitement on the possibility of an HBO adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s SONG OF ICE AND FIRE series, it’s time to sound off. Which of the books do you like best?


(119 total votes)

One comment this week:

“I simply can’t pick a favorite. Least favorite is A Feast For Crows, but only because I would have rather waited for the whole damn’ book instead of getting half the story lines and having to wait at least as long again as for the second half. But I do understand Martin’s desire to get _something_ in the readers’ hands before fannish hit men began stalking him.” – Tim Morris

Be sure to vote in this week’s poll on Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels!

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Ice Planet

A new science fiction series and mobile video game called Ice Planet are only in co-development, but already has an “Unofficial” fan site. (Read: Official fan site meant to generate buzz.) Ice Planet, to be shot in High Definition video, involves aliens, alien artifacts and Armageddon and stars everyone’s favorite bad guy, Michael Ironside (Scanners, Total Recall).

The series marks the second time a science fiction series will be shot in HD. (The first was The 4400.) This is good news. If anything deserves to be shot in high definition, it’s science fiction. At least since Baywatch went off the air. Additionally, the producers plan to shoot the show as a five-season story arc.

More info on the story line comes from a press release:

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SF Tidbits for 1/28/07

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WINNERS: 2006 Aurealis Awards

Talking Squid is reporting (via Jonathan Strahan) that the winners of the 2006 Aurealis Awards are as follows:


NOVEL: The Pilo Family Circus by Will Elliott

SHORT STORY: “The Arrival” by Shaun Tan


NOVEL: K-Machines by Damien Broderick

SHORT STORY: “The Seventh Letter” by Sean Williams


NOVEL (split): The Pilo Family Circus by Will Elliott and Prismatic by Edwina Grey

SHORT STORY: “Dead of Winter”, Stephen Dedman


NOVEL: Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier

SHORT STORY: “A Fine Magic” by Margo Lanagan


NOVEL: Monster Blood Tattoo: Book One. Foundling by D.M. Cornish

SHORT STORY: “The Arrival” by Shaun Tan


NOVEL: Melissa Queen of Evil by Mardi McConnochie

SHORT FICTION (split): “The True Story of Mary Who Wanted to Stand on Her Head” by Jane Godwin and “Woolvs in the Sitee” by Margaret Wild and Anne Spudvilas

See also: this year’s nominees and past winners.

Filed under: Awards

Best American Fantasy

As mentioned last year, Prime Books is publishing a new annual anthology called Best American Fantasy guest-edited by Ann & Jeff VanderMeer with Matthew Cheney serving as series editor.

This week, Jeff VanderMeer offers up some more information. Initial story selections have been made and stories will be included by Elizabeth Hand, Kelly Link, Peter LaSalle, Brian Evenson, Sarah Monette and 20+ others.

We’ll know more when the table of contents is finalized.

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New Issue of Farmerphile

Issue #7 of Farmerphile: The Magazine of Philip José Farmer is now available with these offerings:

  • “Riverworld in Parody” by Walt Liebscher
  • “The Roller Coaster Ride with Phil Farmer” by Bette Farmer
  • “Excerpt from The City Beyond Play” by Philip José Farmer & Danny Adams
  • Farmerphile Interviews Danny Adams and Philip José Farmer
  • “The Frames”by Philip José Farmer
  • “The Light-Hog Incident” by Philip José Farmer
  • “A Letter from Farmer” by David Bischoff
  • “Creative Mythography” by Dennis E. Power
  • “Bibliophile”by Paul Spiteri
  • “Up from the Bottomless Pit (part 7)” by Philip José Farmer

Also: check out Christopher Paul Carey’s interview with Philip José Farmer at The Zone.

Filed under: Web Sites

Gardner Dozois has posted the table of contents for his annual Year’s Best anthology:

The Year’s Best Science Fiction, Twenty-Fourth Annual Collection

  1. I, Row-Boat” by Cory Doctorow
  2. “Julian: A Christmas Story” by Robert Charles Wilson
  3. “Tin Marsh” by Michael Swanwick (Read excerpt)
  4. “The Djinn’s Wife” by Ian McDonald (Read excerpt)
  5. The House Beyond Your Sky” by Benjamin Rosenbaum
  6. “Where the Golden Apples Grow” by Kage Baker [See SF Signal review]
  7. “Kin” by Bruce Mcallister
  8. “Signal to Noise” by Alastair Reynolds [See SF Signal review]
  9. “The Big Ice” by Jay Lake and Ruth Nestvold (Read excerpt)
  10. “Bow Shock” by Gregory Benford (Read excerpt)
  11. “In The River” by Justin Stanchfield
  12. “Incarnation Day” by Walter Jon Williams [See SF Signal review]
  13. “Far As You Can Go” by Greg Van Eekhout
  14. “Good Mountain” by Robert Reed [See SF Signal Review]
  15. I Hold My Father’s Paws” by David D. Levine
  16. “Dead Men Walking” by Paul J. Mcauley (Read excerpt)
  17. “Home Movies” by Mary Rosenblum
  18. “Damascus” by Daryl Gregory
  19. “Life on the Preservation” by Jack Skillingstead
  20. “Yellow Card Man” by Paolo Bacigalupi (Read excerpt)
  21. “Riding the Crocodile” by Greg Egan [See SF Signal Review]
  22. “The Ile of Dogges” by Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette
  23. “The Highway Men” by Ken Macleod
  24. “The Pacific Mystery” by Stephen Baxter
  25. “Okanoggan Falls” by Carolyn Ives Gilman
  26. “Every Hole Is Outlined” by John Barnes (Read excerpt)
  27. The Town on Blighted Sea” by A.M. Dellamonica
  28. “Nightingale” by Alastair Reynolds
[via Year's Best SF Info]

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TOC: 2007 Year’s Best series by Rich Horton

Rich Horton has released the tables of contents for the three anthologies he’s working on for Prime Books.

Science Fiction: The Best of the Year 2007 Edition

  1. “Another Word for Map is Faith” by Christopher Rowe (Read excerpt)
  2. “Okanoggan Falls” by Carolyn Ives Gilman
  3. “Saving for a Sunny Day” by Ian Watson
  4. “The Cartesian Theater” by Robert Charles Wilson
  5. “Hesperia and Glory” by Ann Leckie
  6. “Incarnation Day” by Walter Jon Williams [See SF Signal review]
  7. “Exit Before Saving” by Ruth Nestvold
  8. “Inclination” by William Shunn (Read excerpt)
  9. “Life on the Preservation” by Jack Skillingstead
  10. “Me-Topia” by Adam Roberts
  11. The House Beyond Your Sky” by Benjamin Rosenbaum
  12. “A Billion Eves” by Robert Reed

Fantasy: The Best of the Year 2007 Edition

(One author response pending)

  1. “Journey Into the Kingdom” by M. Rickert
  2. The Water Poet and the Four Seasons” by by David J. Schwartz
  3. “Pol Pot’s Beautiful Daughter (Fantasy)” by Geoff Ryman
  4. “The Osteomancer’s Son” by Greg van Eekhout
  5. “Salt Wine” by Peter Beagle
  6. The Original Word for Rain” by Peter Higgins
  7. “The Lineaments of Gratified Desire” by Ysabeau Wilce
  8. “Journey to Gantica” by by Matthew Corradi
  9. “Irregular Verbs” by Matthew Johnson
  10. “A Fish Story” by Sarah Totton
  11. “The Night Whiskey” by Jeffrey Ford
  12. “A Fine Magic” by Margo Lanagan
  13. “Moon Viewing at Shijo Bridge” by Richard Parks
  14. “Citrine: A Fable” by Elise Moser
  15. “A Siege of Cranes” by Benjamin Rosenbaum

Space Opera 2007 Edition

(One author response pending)

  1. “Have You Any Wool” by Alan De Niro
  2. “Lehr, Rex” by Jay Lake
  3. “Lady Be Good” by John G. Hemry
  4. “Every Hole is Outlined” by John Barnes (Read excerpt)
  5. “The Plurality of Worlds” by Brian Stableford (Read excerpt)
  6. “Dead Men Walking” by Paul J. Mcauley (Read excerpt)
  7. “The Muse of Empires Lost” by Paul Berger
  8. “Catastrophe Baker and the Cold Equations” by Mike Resnick
  9. “Thousandth Night” by Alastair Reynolds [See SF Signal review]

[via Year's Best SF Info]

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SF Tidbits for 1/26/07

Filed under: Tidbits

The Top 10 Science Fiction Anime

After reading this news blurb on SciFi about a proposed live action Ghost In The Shell movie (which I thought was called The Matrix), I thought I’d list my personal favorite top 10 science fiction themed anime shows/movies (which you should watch before watching a remake…). Some notes before hand. First, if you’re into anime, you’ll noticed that one, maybe two popular anime series aren’t on the list. I’ll explain afterwards why. Second, this list is heavily weighted toward TV series, and newer series at that. Those are the ones I typically get from Netflix. If there are movies I’ve missed, then please enlighten me. I haven’t been keeping up with the anime scene recently as I used to, I have too many other things to occupy my time. Third, if you don’t see your favorites here, remember this is my list. Feel free to comment on what you like. Flames will be ruthlessly ridiculed. And last, I’ve rated them pretty much on the “Would I watch them again if I saw them on TV?” criteria. Hence the ordering.

With that out of the way, on to the list!

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Popular Mechanics “asked industry insiders to pinpoint the biggest breakthroughs in digital F/X history.” This is the list they came up with.

Top 10 F/X Scenes in Movie History

  1. Star Wars (1977)
  2. Tron (1982)
  3. Terminator 2 (1991)
  4. Cliffhanger (1993)
  5. Jurassic Park (1993)
  6. Forrest Gump (1994)
  7. The Perfect Storm (2000)
  8. Lord of the Rings (2001)
  9. The Polar Express (2004)
  10. The Day After Tomorrow (2004)

Some of these look suspicious…The Polar Express was just plain creepy. And the only thing I remember about Cliffhanger‘s special effects was how they forgot to digitally erase the wires that help the upside-down helicopter to the side of the mountain. Also, as noted by Cinema Blend (the link source), The Matrix is nowhere to be seen.

Filed under: Movies

SF Tidbits for 1/25/07

Filed under: Tidbits

REVIEW SUMMARY: Someone please tell me this series gets better!


BRIEF SYNOPSIS: The misadventures of incompetent magician Rincewind who acts as a guide for the rich-but-naïve tourist named Twoflower.


PROS: “The Lure of the Wyrm” was the strongest story; well-conceived world.

CONS: Not as funny as expected; uneven stories, some of which hovered near mediocrity.

BOTTOM LINE: Considering the expectations fueled by the series hype, this was a letdown.

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REVIEW: The Brass Man by Neal Asher


BRIEF SYNOPSIS: The continuing adventures of Polity Agent Ian Cormac as he tries apprehend the terrorist Skellor, deals with remnants of Dragon and meets an old foe thought destroyed in Mr. Crane, the brass man of the title.

PROS: Interesting universe and characters.

CONS: Very violent, choppy story threads, somewhat overcomplicated and long, plot centered at expense of characters.

BOTTOM LINE: A decent entry into the Polity universe, but doesn’t quite live up to Gridlinked.

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WEBCAST: Joe Haldeman on The Craft of Science Fiction

Hear Joe Haldeman speak about The Craft of Science Fiction in an MIT podcast from his talk that we mentioned last November. From the intro:

The thing about science fiction,” says Haldeman, “is that it’s a form of writing but it’s also a way of looking at things – a mode of thought.” Early sci-fi writers sought to educate young people, and direct them toward careers as scientists or engineers. Not all of the writing was stellar. Some of the “old stuff can be ugly stuff,” he says. Haldeman can’t read the Foundation trilogy now – “My eyes lock,” the writing’s so bad. But some of the stories from the 1930s inspired the scientists on both sides of World War 2, those behind radar, the atom bomb and Germany’s V1 and V2 rockets. Today, as fewer people read novels, Haldeman says, science fiction has become less important. “The idea that science fiction can educate isn’t there anymore.”

[via Resource Shelf]

Filed under: BooksWeb Sites

Get Your Rare Science Fiction Books Valued by The Book Guys

Michael A. Burstein writes in to tell us about an opportunity to get your rare science fiction books valued in a program sponsored by AbeBooks and a show on NPR called The Book Guys. is looking for booklovers who have a rare science fiction book they would like to get valued. We have a partnership with an NPR radio show called the Book Guys and each week they take callers from AbeBooks customers who have a rare book they want valued. On Tuesday February 6, they are recording a science fiction special so if you’ve got a rare sci-fi book and want it valued, this is your chance.

See the AbeBooks blog for more information.

Filed under: Books

From AlterNet comes a look at religion in a popular fantasy series. The article is called The Anti-Christian Mythology of Phillip Pullman. Here’s an excerpt…

Perhaps the West is so steeped in Christian mythology that we can’t imagine an outside to Christianity. Pullman gets to be antireligious simply because he criticizes one aspect of Christianity. Instead of pushing hierarchy and sexual repression, he celebrates individualism and sexual expression — as long as everybody is heterosexual, in love, and conforms to appropriate gender roles.


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SF Tidbits for 1/24/07

Filed under: Tidbits

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