TOC: Seeds of Change edited by John Joseph Adams

John Joseph Adams has posted the Table of Contents of Seeds of Change, his upcoming anthogy of original fiction about world-changing events:

  1. Introduction by John Joseph Adams
  2. “N-Words” by Ted Kosmatka
  3. “The Future by Degrees” by Jay Lake
  4. “Drinking Problem” by K. D. Wentworth
  5. “Endosymbiont” by Blake Charlton
  6. “A Dance Called Armageddon” by Ken MacLeod
  7. “Arties Aren’t Stupid” by Jeremiah Tolbert
  8. “Faceless in Gethsemane” by Mark Budz
  9. “Spider the Artist” by Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu
  10. “Resistance” by Tobias S. Buckell

Filed under: Books

The Religious Experience Of Philip K. Dick

In 1974 after having his wisdom teeth removed, Philip K. Dick experienced a profound religious experience. Pumped full of Sodium Pentathol, Dick answered the door to meet a girl from the pharmacy who was delivering his pain medications (if only they delivered now) and, upon seeing her golden fish pendant, experienced what he called ‘anamnesis’.

This experience led to his ‘discovery’ of the ‘Black Iron Prison’ and, slowly, Dick would believe that he was a Christian from Roman times. Often times assuming the personality of that person.

If you’ve ever wondered what that might be like, then look no further than The Religious Experience of Philip K. Dick, as illustrated and written by R. Crumb. There’s something about reading this in comic form that works extremely well and gives us a great sense of what it must have been like to slowly loose touch with reality. Or did he?

Filed under: Web Sites

LOST, The Best SF Show on TV

As I write this, I just finished watching the latest episode of LOST, called ‘The Constant’. To all those who poo-pooed the idea that LOST was not science fiction, watch this episode. After hinting and teasing, the writers finally pulled out the stops and gave us a full-bore science fiction episode.

‘The Constant’ is a Desmond-centric episode, which is great because Desmond is a great character, but what set it apart was that, depending on how you look at it, it was either a flash-forward episode, or a flash-back. Why? Because, due to forces only hinted at (of course), Desmond becomes unstuck in time, and oscillates between 1996 and 2004. He must find Penny in both periods (she is the constant) to ground him, or else he will die as his consciousness will be unable to handle the ever increasing time shifts. Yes, we get the paradoxical infomational loops, but they are handled pretty well, although there were a couple of areas that were glossed over. But that’s ok, because:

Not only do we get some heavy duty SF tossed into the show, it only took the writers 4 seasons to smack people over the head with it, we also got a terrific character story centered on Desmond and Penny. Now we see what prompted Penny to start, and continue, her search for Desmond. We see the lengths Desmond will go to try and reconnect with Penny, ultimately ending with a very emotional, and powerful, reunion. This was, by far, the best episode this season and might be the best overall. An awesome job by all those involved.

I won’t say much more then you simply have to watch it for yourself. If you gave up on LOST, I think you owe it to yourself to catch up (fulls eps available on ABC’s website). If you’ve never seen it, all seasons are online at ABC, what are you waiting for? It should be one incredible run to the series finale in 2010.

Filed under: LOSTTV

Friday YouTube: Arthur C. Clarke & The Sea Monsters

Arthur C. Clarke talks about sea monsters…

This video is from the 70’s. Compare and contrast that with this video from the 70’s kids’ show Sigmund and the Sea Monsters.

[via raincoaster]

Filed under: TV

More Free Stuff From Tor

Tor’s latest free eBook is the 2006 Hugo Award-winning Spin by Robert Charles Wilson.

Have you signed up yet?

They’ve also posted a couple of cool desktop wallpapers: Todd Lockwood‘s cover for To Light a Candle by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory, and Stephan Martiniere‘s cover for Escapement by Jay Lake. Get them quickly! They will be rotated out every week.

[via The Art Department]

Filed under: Free Fiction

SF Tidbits for 2/29/08

Filed under: Tidbits

Tube Bits for 02/29/2008

  • Marc Wade, former director of production at StarTrek.com, has landed a weekly column over at Roddenberry.com. His first column takes a look at Star Trek: The Tour.
  • Cine Fantastique Online has a very long, in-depth interview with George Takei. The cover a wide range of topics including Star Trek, William Shatner, Heroes, Howard Stern and a lot more. Part 1 here. Part 2 here. This interview happened some time last year, but only recently posted, so some of the information is out of date.
  • At last week’s WonderCon, Chris Carter dropped some hints about the upcoming X-Files movie. It will be stand alone and won’t deal with the mythology of the show, instead it will focus on the scarier stories that peppered the show during its original run. Rumor has it there may be werewolves involved.
  • If you really can’t wait for the last season of Galactica and don’t mind being very spoiled, then head on over to IO9 ans see thier BG video clips for season 4.
  • In case you weren’t planning on playing the new video game, LOST: Via Domus, now you can watch TyndelM play through the entire game! In fact, it looks like he has several video walkthroughs. I find this, odd.
  • The fine folks over at RavenStake have released their second LOST parody video, using actual LOST action figures. Check it:

Filed under: Tube Bits

Michael Moorcock Named SFWA Grand Master

From the Science Fiction Writers of America:

The SFWA® Board of Directors and President Michael Capobianco are pleased to announce that writer and editor Michael Moorcock has been named Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master for 2008. The Grand Master represents SFWA’s highest accolade and recognizes excellence for a lifetime of contributions to the genres of science fiction and fantasy.

Mr. Moorcock is the twenty-fifth writer recognized by Science FIction and Fantasy Writers of America as a Grand Master. He joins Robert A. Heinlein (1974), Jack Williamson (1975), Clifford D. Simak (1976), L. Sprague de Camp (1978), Fritz Leiber(1981), Andre Norton (1983), Arthur C. Clarke (1985), Isaac Asimov (1986), Alfred Bester (1987), Ray Bradbury (1988), Lester del Rey (1990), Frederik Pohl (1992), Damon Knight (1994), A. E. van Vogt (1995), Jack Vance (1996), Poul Anderson (1997), Hal Clement (1998), Brian Aldiss (1999), Philip Jose Farmer (2000), Ursula K. LeGuin (2003), and Robert Silverberg (2004), Anne McCaffrey (2005), Harlan Ellison (2006), and James Gunn (2007).

The award is presented at Nebula Awards weekend, April 25-27.

Filed under: Awards

Thursday YouTube: Starship Troopers 3

Call me silly, I liked the first movie. I never saw the supposed suckfest that was Starship Troopers 2. And now this? I dunno. Your thoughts?

Filed under: Movies

SF Tidbits for 2/28/08

Filed under: Tidbits

MIND MELD: Which SciFi Movie Ending Would You Change?

Common sense and statistics say that, even when you think you’re watching a decent SciFi film, you should refrain from celebration until after the end credits – because sometimes movie endings suck. We asked a host of luminaries the following question.

Q: Which SciFi movie ending do you wish you could change?

*** SPOILER WARNING! ***

Some of these answers (and accompanying videos) contain spoilers. But in this case, the answers are more entertaining than the end of the movie anyway, so…spoiler warning redacted. :)

Mike Brotherton
Mike Brotherton is the author of the hard science fiction novels Spider Star (2008) and Star Dragon (2003), the latter being a finalist for the Campbell award. He’s also a professor of astronomy at the University of Wyoming, Clarion West graduate, and founder of the Launch Pad Astronomy Workshop for Writers (www.launchpadworkshop.org). He blogs at www.mikebrotherton.com.

First, what makes for a good ending? The hallmark of a great movie ending is that it’s impossible to anticipate while watching it, but seems like the only ending possible in hindsight. It shouldn’t fall prey to sentimentality, at least not overly so, and should follow through with the power of the premise. Surprising, inevitable, memorable; some examples that come to mind include: A Boy and His Dog, 12 Monkeys, The Thing, Planet of the Apes (1968). I guess I like the shocking sci-fi horror ending! A lot of sf movies have conventional endings, a little too pat and expected, but not weird or ugly.

I decided to start with a list of movies I think have endings flawed one way or another, a list that includes a lot of movies I truly like. 2001 is pretty confusing. Contact is a bit of a let down and the government cover-up seemed unnecessary. AI goes for the weird alien happy ending. The Hulk ending is a dark mess. The finale of Sphere sucks. Changing the ending of Armageddon sure couldn’t hurt it. Return of the Jedi is full of Ewoks and happy happy joy joy Darth Vader. Ridley Scott himself has changed the ending of Blade Runner several times.

And then there’s the movie I finally settled on: Signs

Read the rest of this entry

Filed under: Mind MeldMovies

Wednesday YouTube: 1968 J.R.R. Tolkien Interview

MilkandCookies Middle-Unearths this 1968 interview with J.R.R. Tolkien and grandson Adam (2007).

Filed under: Books

SF Tidbits for 2/27/08

Filed under: Tidbits

REVIEW: Deep Inside by Polly Frost

REVIEW SUMMARY: A collection of well-written erotic science fiction short stories.

MY RATING: See the text below.

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: 10 erotic science fiction short stories written by Polly Frost.

MY REVIEW:

PROS: An interesting collection of stories that makes fun of science fiction tropes occasionally but also contains some interesting ideas. Most of the stories involve a last-minute twist (ironic or otherwise) that I enjoy most in short fiction.

CONS: Some stories are just strange as opposed to interesting.

BOTTOM LINE: If you find erotic fiction to be your cup of tea, I think you’ll enjoy this collection of stories that Polly has written.

Because I’m not sure how sensitive our readers are to this sort of thing, I’m putting the rest of my review and an analysis of each of the stories after the jump. Read on if you dare!

Read the rest of this entry

Filed under: Book Review

John Jude Palencar Wins 2008 Spectrum Grand Master Award

John Jude Palencar has been presented with the 2008 Spectrum Grand Master Award.

From the press release:

Cathy and Arnie Fenner, the directors for Spectrum: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art, announced that this year’s Grand Master Award has been presented to John Jude Palencar. The Spectrum Advisory Board–consisting of Rick Berry, Brom, Mark Chiarello, Leo and Diane Dillon, Harlan Ellison, Irene Gallo, Bud Plant, Don Ivan Punchatz, Tim Underwood, and Michael Whelan–reviewed a list of eligible artists and reached a consensus to confer the honor.

The Spectrum Grand Master Award is presented annually to a living artist whose career has spanned at least twenty years, whose work has achieved and maintained a high-level of skill and imagination, and who has inspired others with their art and attitude.

Previous recipients of the award are Frank Frazetta, Don Ivan Punchatz, Leo and Diane Dillon, James E. Bama, John Berkey, Alan Lee, Jean Giraud, Kinuko Y. Craft, Michael William Kaluta, Michael Whelan, H.R. Giger, Jeffrey Jones, and Syd Mead.

Congratulation, John!

The Spectrum site has more winners of the Spectrum 15 Awards.

Filed under: ArtAwards

Daily Monster

Stefan G. Bucher’s Daily Monster website operates with a simple premise: every day he posts a short, high-speed video of him drawing a new monster.

A simple idea, yes, but the results are awesome.

The website has also spawned a book: 100 Days Of Monsters, which also comes with a DVD that features videos from the website. Now why didn’t I think of that? Oh yeah, no-talent @$$-clown. (With apologies to Michael Bolton…)

[via Boing^2]

Filed under: Web Sites

Can You Name This Story? (Part 3)

Another reader writes in with a story description looking for a title. Do any of our readers out there know the title of this story?

When I was a kid in the 1970s, I read what was probably a short story (probably in an anthology for young readers) about a bunch of children who lived in a controlled environment with a minder looking after them from a voice in the wall. In fact that’s what they called this person, “Voice.” All the children have names like Emelen and Emanee (those are the two I can remember). One very bright child figures out that “Voice” is actually more than one person, as the personality changes over time, and this child eventually organises an escape, in which all the children discover a huge world outside their home and that they have been kept prisoners. They also learn that they are all mutations of some sort, with extra limbs or misshapen facial features, and that that was why they were separated from the rest of humanity. Their names turn out to be 3-letter codes, MLN and MNE, in the examples above, and the M stands for “monster.”

I remember this story hitting me very hard as a youngster and I’d like to reread it if anyone remembers it.

- Maria S.

Can you name this story?

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Filed under: Books

SF Tidbits for 2/26/08

Filed under: Tidbits

Flash Gordon Read-Along Books

Way back when I was a young geek, science fiction took many forms, one of which was a precursor to audio books: I’m talking about the 45 RPM Read-Along comic books. I personally owned my very own copy of a Spiderman read-along comic called Mark of the Werewolf, much to the endless amusement of my much-cooler imaginary friends.

Now you can once again experience the unique joy of reading along with these Flash Gordon read-along MP3s. Well, almost experience….you don’t actually get to see the books, they’re just MP3s. But you do get to hear the awesome “turn page now” chime. Man, that sends chills down the place where my spine used to be.

[Note: the download links for these MP3s use the MegaUpload website which makes you (1) type in a captcha code, and (2) wait 45 seconds for the “free” download. Very Lame.]

[via Cool-Mo-Dee]

Filed under: Books

Tube Bits for 02/25/2008

  • Toy2R and Diamond Comics Distributors unveiled their upcoming Futurama Qees figures in ToyFare magazine. Check out the sweet Fry pic on the right, and click through to see Bender. They will be released sometime this summer, with a promise of more figures in the future.
  • Lots of J. Michael Straczynski news from WonderCon: JMS has signed a deal with DC Comics, but he was tight-lipped about what that entails. His first major motion picture, The Changeling (starring Angelina Jolie and John Malkovich, directed by Clint Eastwood) has just wrapped. In news sure to warm Tim’s heart, he has been tapped by Plan B to adapt World War Z for the big screen. He also hints at Lensmen, the movie, and a possible Babylon 5 feature movie. Go read.
  • The Telegraph has a long piece cover Bionic Woman actress, Michelle Ryan. Interesting tidbit from the story: Jennifer Aniston was up for the role of Jamie Sommers. That would have been, bad.
  • From the ‘What are they thinking’ file: Did you know Sony Pictures is producing Starship Troopers 3 – Marauder? Casper Van Dien is back, this time bringing with him…Jolene Blalock. Why won’t this series die? When the trailer hits (today, supposedly) we’ll let you in in all the gory details.
  • Recently, ReelzChannel caught up to J.J. Abrams and asked him a few questions about the new Star Trek movie and the possibility of Cloverfield 2. Here’s what he had to say:

Filed under: Tube Bits

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