Friday YouTube: Man Plays Star Wars Cantina Song…With His Hands

[via John Scalzi]

Tube Bits for 04/11/2008

  • In case any of you were waiting, both Witchblade and Birds of Prey are about to be released on DVD. I never really got into Witchblade, partly because Yancy Butler just kind of annoys me for some reason. And Birds of Prey was here, then gone so I never saw it.
  • The writers’ strike forced the cancelation of at least 3 hours of this season’s LOST. Lindeloff and Cuse have stated they will find ways to spread that missing three hours out over the next few season. Now there is a rumor the ABC may order an additional hour for this season, which I am all for. With only 5 new episodes this season (starting up again April 24th), I’m dreading the long, dark interregnum between the end of this season, and the start of the next. Anything they can do to shorten that is alright with me.
  • Amazon’s Screening Room Blog has a nice interview with Michael Shanks, Dr. Daniel Jackson from Stargate: SG-1, about the new Stargate: The Ark of Truth movie. (If Stargate is so popular, why did they make a direct to DVD movie again? Heck, even Firefly got a feature film…) There’s even a clip!
  • In case anyone cares, NBC will be cranking out new Heroes comics, starting April 15th, to celebrate tax filing deadline day! Hooray!
  • We now have yet another MMO (massively multiplayer online) game joing that crowded market: Battlestar Galactica! Sadly, you can’t play as a Cylon. What’s the point to that? This version is being developed by Auran Games, who brought us the harshly criticized MMO Fury. On the other hand, my son loves their Trainz simulator, despite the misspelling.
  • And finally, Fantasy Flight Games announced they will be adapting Galactica into a board game. That’s right, apparently Sci Fi’s threat to move into the gaming space meant both computer/video games and boardgames. I’ve heard they are planning to turn this into a bits (tons of little plastic pieces) game. Let’s hope it’s a lot faster than the rules fest that is Twilight Imperium, which is fun even if it took 6 hours to play. Winning makes everything better as they say!
  • Here is a cool piece of info from Sci Fi: All season long, each new episode of Galactica will air first, online at Sci Fi.com. So if you just can’t wait, you can watch it over lunch. Cool!

SF Tidbits for 4/11/08

Thursday YouTube: George Takei Singing “On the Road Again”

Well, “singing” isn’t exactly the word I should use…

[via Neatorama]

SF Tidbits for 4/10/08

INTERVIEW: Dr. Michio Kaku

Michio Kaku, commonly referred to as a “popularizer of science”, is the Henry Semat Professor of Theoretical Physics at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He is the co-founder of string field theory. He has written several books, including Parallel Worlds and Beyond Einstein, and his bestseller, Hyperspace, was voted one of the best science books of the year by the New York Times and the Washington Post. He is a frequent guest on national TV, and his nationally syndicated radio program is heard in 130 cities. He lives in New York City.

SF Signal had the opportunity to ask Dr. Kaku some questions about his work, science fiction, and his latest book, Physics of the Impossible

Continue reading

Tube Bits for 04/09/2008

  • The Comics TV blog watches Serenity and Babylon 5: The Lost Tales. He wonders about the ‘certain death’ sequence in Serenity where, (SPOILERS!) aside from one totally lame death, all the cast walks away.(/SPOILERS) He also comments on the low budget look of B5. I haven’t seen it, but it doesn’t surprise me. No one ever gave the show what it deserved in the budget department.
  • Is Firefly coming to Blu-Ray? You’d think so after the death of HD DVD. Anyone out there interested in owning 4 different versions?
  • Filmonic provides us with a first look at the upcoming supermodel superhero mini-series Scarlett starring Natassia Malthe. I’m sorry, I lost my train of thought. Where was I?
  • Sci Fi Cool dishes out some more info on the new Stargate: Universe TV series. It seems that the show will take place on one of the Ancients’ ships that is roaming the galaxy, following a second ship that is seeding the galaxy with gates. Sounds kind of Star Trek-ish, but still rather interesting. I may have found a Stargate series that actually interests me.
  • Speaking of Stargate, Amazon has three of their favorite episodes available for free, via their Unbox service. You can’t beat free (for a short time), and you get to try out the Unbox service to boot. Sorry Mac users, no vids for you.
  • MSNBC says that Galactica gets their robots right. According to the experts interviewed, we should expect any aliens we find to be mechanical (So? It’s mechanical!) and not the soft, squishy kind of E.T.
  • And hoo boy, who cares if they’re mechanical, if they all look like the babes of Galactica decked out like Barbarella. You are very welcome Tim.
  • The premier episode of Galactica‘s season 4 achieved some really good ratings, breaking the 2 million viewer mark for the first time in a long time. And they hit their demographic, almost all of the viewers being between 18 and 49. Hey! That includes me!
  • Read Express profiles writer Marc Guggenheim (Eli Stone) and delves into his comics background. Guggenheim a creator-owned comic entitled Resurrection about an alien invasion. Sweet.
  • Will Comcast save Jericho? As odd as that sounds, it’s a possibility, if not likely. Is it even worth saving?
  • Is this the worst fight scene ever on TV? I agree it is rather lame…

SF Tidbits for 4/9/08

  • At B&N Review, Paul DiFilippo looks at the history of space opera through four novels: Space Vulture by Gary K. Wolf and John J. Myers, Pebble in the Sky by Isaac Asimov, Earthblood by Keith Laumer, and The Ruby Dice the latest book in Catherine Asaro’s Skolian Empire series. [via Locus Online]
  • Publishers Weekly has articles on alternate history, military SF, and Baen Books. [via Locus Online]
  • Free Fiction:
  • Kristine Kathryn Rusch posts her 1994 essay Confessions of an Editor. “I believe in the power of Fiction the way some people believe in the power of God.”
  • Salon sheds some light on how Slaughterhouse Five was born, gleaned from Vonnegut’s posthumous collection , Armageddon in Retrospect. [via Cynical-C Blog]
  • Here’s Rolling Stone‘s 40th Anniversary interview with William Gibson. “I find myself less pessimistic than I sometimes imagine I should be.”
  • Feminist SF rounds a nice collection of feminist sf links.
  • File 770 reminds Hugo voters that online voting will be available this year.
  • The latest edition of Stephen Euin Cobb’s The Future And You podcast features Greg Bear, who talks about “nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, technological immortality, mind uploading, and why he disagrees with some of the expectations of Transhumanists, and most of the expectations of Singularitarians.” But wait! There’s more! Greag also discusses physics, string theory, life on extrasolar planets, the celebration of Yuri Gagarin’s first human flight into space, Sir Arthur C. Clarke, how technology will change future battlefields, and how Russia seems to be heading back into the cold war.

Tuesday YouTube: The Hulk Cartoon Theme Song

Ah, the memories….

Sands of Oblivion Contest Winners!

The Sands Of Oblivion Giveaway contest is finally over! The winners are:

Maria Stahl, New Albin

Chuck Graham, Madison

Jeffrey Shumway, Dayton

Philip Chute

Larry Ketchersid, Tomball

Geraldine Rodriguez, Boca Raton

Jason Cordes, Cedar Rapids

Chris MacDonald

Dennis (no last name), of SBCGlobal.net

Marty Halpern, San Jose

For those of you who supplied mailing addresses, those have been provided to Honcho Media. You’re DVDs will be shipped on Thursday of this week.

For those who didn’t I’ve sent an email to you asking for you to supply them so Honcho Media can ship out your DVD. Please send that in as soon as you can, you don’t want to miss that first mailing…

Thank you to all who entered. Let us know how you enjoyed the movie!

TOC: The Living Dead edited by John Joseph Adams

Editor John Joseph Adams has posted the table of contents for his upcoming zombie anthology, The Living Dead:

  1. “This Year’s Class Picture” by Dan Simmons (1992)
  2. “Some Zombie Contingency Plans” by Kelly Link (2005)
  3. “Death and Suffrage” by Dale Bailey (2002)
  4. “Ghost Dance” by Sherman Alexie (2003)
  5. “Blossom” by David J. Schow (1989)
  6. “The Third Dead Body” by Nina Kiriki Hoffman (1993)
  7. “The Dead” by Michael Swanwick (1996)
  8. “The Dead Kid” by Darrell Schweitzer (2002)
  9. “Malthusian’s Zombie” by Jeffrey Ford (2000)
  10. “Beautiful Stuff” by Susan Palwick (2004)
  11. “Sex, Death and Starshine” by Clive Barker (1984)
  12. “Stockholm Syndrome” by David Tallerman (2007)
  13. “Bobby Conroy Comes Back From The Dead” by Joe Hill (2005)
  14. “Those Who Seek Forgiveness” by Laurell K. Hamilton (2006)
  15. “In Beauty, Like the Night” by Norman Partridge (1992)
  16. “Prairie” by Brian Evenson (1997)
  17. “Everything is Better with Zombies” by Hannah Wolf Bowen (2006)
  18. “Home Delivery” by Stephen King (1989)
  19. “Less than Zombie” by Douglas E. Winter (1989)
  20. “Sparks Fly Upward” by Lisa Morton (2006)
  21. “Meathouse Man” by George R. R. Martin (1976)
  22. “Deadman’s Road” by Joe Lansdale (2007)
  23. “The Skull-Faced Boy” by David Barr Kirtley (2002)
  24. “The Age of Sorrow” by Nancy Kilpatrick (2007)
  25. “Bitter Grounds” by Neil Gaiman (2003)
  26. “She’s Taking Her Tits to the Grave” by Catherine Cheek (2008)
  27. “Dead Like Me” by Adam-Troy Castro (2000)
  28. “Zora and the Zombie” by Andy Duncan (2004)
  29. “Calcutta, Lord of Nerves” by Poppy Z. Brite (1992)
  30. “Followed” by Will McIntosh (2006)
  31. “The Song the Zombie Sang” by Harlan Ellison & Robert Silverberg (1970)
  32. “Passion Play” by Nancy Holder (1992)
  33. “Almost the Last Story by Almost the Last Man” by Scott Edelman (2007)
  34. “How the Day Runs Down” by John Langan (2008)

That is a lot of zombie stories. (34 stories and more than 230,000 words.)

Tuesday Tune: “Put A Little Love In Your Heart” by Leonard Nimoy

How cold must you be inside when a Vulcan tells you to put a little love in your heart?

[via MilkandCookies]

SF Tidbits for 4/8/08

REVIEW: Matter by Iain Banks

REVIEW SUMMARY: Banks has written another very good book set in his Culture universe.

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: See JP’s excellent review for a synopsis.

MY REVIEW:

PROS: Great write-up with highly interesting characters and lots of good sci-fi ideas.

CONS: Hard to fault much, perhaps the ending was a bit of a surprise. It is deep in space opera concepts and so its hard to recommend to non-sci-fi fans.

BOTTOM LINE: Awesome book – science fiction fans of all types can certainly find a lot of like about this book.

Continue reading

Which Science Fiction Books Make Up the Perfect Library?

The Telegraph lists 110 Best Books for the Perfect Library.

Here are the science fiction titles:

  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  • Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
  • The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  • 1984 by George Orwell
  • The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham
  • Foundation by Isaac Asimov
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke
  • Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
  • Neuromancer by William Gibson

Other notables…Listed under “Childrens books”:

  • The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
  • The Lord of the Rings by J.R. R. Tolkien
  • His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
  • Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

Listed under “Books that changed your world”:

  • The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

REVIEW: Space Vulture by Gary K. Wolf and Archbishop John J. Meyers

REVIEW SUMMARY: A really fun throwback to the pulp science fiction of yesteryear.

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Space Marshal Victor Corsaire battles the legendary space pirate known as Space Vulture.

MY REVIEW:
PROS: Perfectly recaptures the pulp feel; fun sf adventure suitable for any age.
CONS: Believability stretched too far in the case of Gil, whose turnaround was marred by a contrived plot decision.
BOTTOM LINE: A welcome return to the stuff of old-time wonder.

Continue reading

Monday YouTube: William Shatner Visits Mork and Mindy

Not that I’m one to dance on the grave of my defeated enemies, but…oh, who am I kidding…

Tube Bits for 04/07/2008

  • The Stargate juggernaut keeps on moving. Not content with a feature film, two TV series and two direct-to-DVD movies, now we are getting 26 animated episodes in the 4 DVD set of Stargate: Infinity. This set will collect all the episodes from previous DVDs and place them in one convenient package. I’ve also heard that the show isn’t that great. Not being a fan, I can’t comment.
  • We’ve mentioned before that Sci Fi has ordered 13 episodes of the web series, Sanctuary. The show has finally gone into production and it will be the first TV series to use completely digital sets, a la Sky Captain. Certainly a distinct look that hopefully won’t hurt the show.
  • NBC will premier the third season of Heroes with a three-hour block of programming. Hour 1 will be a clips show, followed by a two-hour season premier. I know John will be watching the clips show so that he can re-run the scene of Nikki getting blown up over and over again.
  • BuddyTV remarks on the addictive qualities of LOST. I have to agree with the obsessive need to keep up. I have to watch every Thursday as soon as I can or I feel…left out. This break is killing me.
  • TheForce.net looks at all the media tie-ins surrounding the new Clone Wars movie and TV show. There is a lot of Star Wars goodness there.
  • Omahaster reminisces about Babylon 5 on his livejournal. I had no idea that the original seris pilot, ‘The Gatherning’ is no longer available in Region 1 in it’s original form. Makes me feel glad that I have the Japanese import Laserdisc version so I can watch it if I feel like. And I kinda of like the music for the pilot, even though it is completely different from the Christopher Franke compositions.
  • Adam Pieniazak list 10 reasons why Galactica is the best show ever. It’s a decent list, although I would take issue with the appearance of ‘All Along the Watchtower’ as being a good thing.
  • Supposedly, the creators of the new Knight Rider have learned the lessons of Bionic Woman‘s failure and are using them to make sure their series doesn’t suffer the same fate. Apparently that means taking 9 months from the movie premier to season premier to allow the show to ‘live up to audience expectations’. I’m not sure the expectations are all that high, really.
  • And now we close with a bit of humor. This past week’s episode of South Park took some serious shots at 10 huge YouTube memes. Visit the link to see how they did it. Included are swipes at Tron Guy and The Star Wars Kid.

POLL RESULTS: Flash, We Hardly Knew Ya’

Here are the results of the latest SF Signal poll.

QUESTION
The SciFi Channel canceled Flash Gordon. Do you care?

RESULTS

(107 total votes)

A couple of comments this week:

“You know it probably would have lasted longer if it embraced the thing that I like from the movie which is the cheesy factor. Either that or go for the whole golden era SF theme but that is not so politically correct. Also they could have added more Boomer (Mmmm Boomer)…” – Tim

“I am sure, in another couple of decades, someone else will try again to recreate Flash Gordon. SciFi simply dropped the ball here. I knew, as soon as I saw Ming and his ‘water treatment plant palace’ that this would end badly.” – Paul

“After watching the first three episodes, I realized it wasn’t Flash Gordon so much as teen angst with not-terribly-long long distance relationships (if they could jump back and forth from Earth to Mongo, how far was Mongo, really?). I didn’t realize the show had survived long enough for you to say NOW that it’s been canceled; I sort of figured it died out a few weeks after I gave up.” – Ian Randal Strock

“You should have had a fourth option: What the hell took them so long?” – Douglass Abramson

“They have to replace it with something new. Right? Not a rerun. Well if that something is a new BSG or Eureka then it will be great, at least I hope it will be better, though I am not holding my breath.” – General X

Be sure to visit our front page and vote in this week’s poll about Dan Simmons’ Hyperion heading to big screen!

TOC: The Best of Michael Swanwick

Even if it weren’t tempting to post the contents of the upcoming collection The Best of Michael Swanwick from Subterranean Press, this way-cool cover for the book by Lee Moyer is the clincher.

Here are the stories:

  1. “The Feast of St. Janis”
  2. “Ginungagap”
  3. “Trojan Horse”
  4. “A Midwinter’s Tale”
  5. “The Edge of the World”
  6. “Griffin’s Egg”
  7. “The Changeling’s Tale”
  8. “North of Diddy-Wah-Diddy”
  9. “Radio Waves”
  10. “The Dead”
  11. “Mother Grasshopper”
  12. “Radiant Doors”
  13. “The Very Pulse of the Machine”
  14. “Wild Minds”
  15. “Scherzo with Tyrannosaur”
  16. “The Raggle Taggle Gypsy-Ov”
  17. “The Dog Said Bow-Wow”
  18. “Slow Life”
  19. “Legions in Time”
  20. “Triceratops Summer”
  21. “From Babel’s Fall’n Glory We Fled…”

A science fiction blog featuring science fiction book reviews and with frequent ramblings on fantasy, computers and the web.