Thursday YouTube: Trailer for War of the Worlds 2

…in all of its direct-to-DVD glory.

[via Cinematical]

SF Tidbits for 4/3/08

Would You Rather Read a New Book or Re-Read an Old One?

We had an interesting, if brief, discussion at lunch today. Trent mentioned how it was about time to re-read the Dune novels again. I asked why, when there are plenty of other things to read?

My comment stemmed from my recollection of re-reading Dune specifically. I enjoyed it immensely the first time, but the second time (which I did as a precursor to finally reading the sequels) was a much less enjoyable experience. I think in the case of Dune I derived pleasure from the plot details and surprises which were still vividly remembered on the re-read, thus resulting in a less enjoyable re-read.

It depends on the book, I suppose. I still want to go back and re-read The Man Who Fell to Earth by Walter Tevis. But there is an incredible backlog of books that I haven’t read yet want to. Seems like there is less reason to re-read old books when there are new ones to discover.

What about you? Do you like re-reading books? Which ones and how often?

SF Tidbits for 4/2/08

John is Crashing the Party at SciFi Scanner Again…

Just a quick note to sat that I’m blogging at AMC TV’s SciFi Scanner again this week.

My posting there will be light as this is a very busy week at work. (I do have a day job, tidbit monkeys.)

For now, you can check out my posts thus far:

(Mostly) Tube Bits for 04/02/2008

  • Great news for anyone who likes steampunk, Philip Reves’ novel, Larklight (SF Signal review) has been greenlit as a movie by Warner Bros. Shekah Kapu is the director and it will have a $200 million budget! Holy smoke. They must be going all out to get it to look right. If they do this right, this movie should rock as hard as the book did. It’s sequel, Starcross is just as awesome. You have to love time-traveling top hats… [via Sci Fi Scanner]
  • Lars Glenson of By Common Consent goes off on a rant against all the current writers of science fiction TV who happen to be former writers for Star Trek. He’s basically blaming the writers for the networks reluctance to make any SF show that isn’t, in some way, a reflection of Star Trek. I think that anger is misplaced. All he sees is what gets on the air, not what is pitched. Blame the studios. THEY are the ones calling the shots.
  • Did you know that Amazon has a new Sci-Fi store? It’s called Cosmotopia, and to celebrate, Amazon has picked seven influential retro SF movies. A nice list indeed, even picking John’s favorite movie, Blade Runner.
  • And if you haven’t seen it yet, you can view the Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull TV ad here. Not much different from the original trailer, but we do get a few new peeks. Continue ‘Operation Countdown to May 22nd’.

Top 10 SF Signal Posts for March 2008

Here are The Top 10 SF Signal Posts for March 2008:

  1. MIND MELD: Is Young Adult SF/F Too Explicit?
  2. MIND MELD: Is Science Fiction Antithetical to Religion?
  3. NOMINEES: 2008 Hugo Award
  4. Even Newer Speed Racer Trailer
  5. It’s Trailer Day! Final Wall E Trailer
  6. SF Site’s Best SF/F Books of 2007
  7. MIND MELD: Science Fiction Series
  8. Mind Meld Make-Up Test: Orson Scott Card on Young Adult Fiction
  9. RIP: Gary Gygax
  10. REVIEW: Galactic Empires edited by Gardner Dozois

Here are the top hits to posts from previous months.

  1. SF/F Writers Who Blog
  2. Heroes Season 3 Sneak Peek
  3. Battlestar Galactica’s Season 4 Start Date Revealed!
  4. Cthulhu Family Circus
  5. MIND MELD: Which SciFi Movie Ending Would You Change?
  6. Heroes Season 2 Officially Sucks
  7. FINALISTS: 2007 Nebula Awards
  8. Tube Bits for 07/17/2007
  9. The Top 10 Science Fiction Anime
  10. Solve Rubik’s Cube

Tube Bits For 04/01/2008

  • In case you hadn’t heard, Battlestar Galactica returns to TV this Friday night at 9pm ET. In celebration, Sci Fi is running a BSG marathon. It started yesterday and will run through Friday, every day from 8am to 6pm ET. Razor will not be shown. Anyone aside from me going to be watching the last season?
  • Staying with BSG for minute: Lucy Lawless says true fans don’t need spoilers and that she would rather lie than reveal anything about the upcoming season. I’m not sure how to feel about that. Of course, I try to avoid spoilers as much as I can covering the shows I’m interested in.
  • The show everyone loves to hate, the new Flash Gordon has apparently been canceled. No official word, which seems to be par for the course with Sci Fi and canceling shows these days.
  • Fans of Knight Rider, both new and old, will be happy to know that the new movie did well enough to earn a Knight Rider series! Hoo. Ray. Debuting this fall, you can look forward to the continuing adventures of the Michael Knight clan and their fetish for souped-up, A.I. driven hot-rods. I’m on the fence here. The movie was just ok. I’m sure this news has David Hasselhoff jumping for joy:

SF Tidbits for 4/1/08

TOC: Baen’s Universe 2.6, April 2008

Volume 2, Issue 6 (April 2008) of Jim Baen’s Universe has been posted. Here are the contents:

Science Fiction Stories:

  • “Manumission” by Tobias S. Buckell
  • “Virtually, A Cat” by Jody Lynn Nye
  • “Indomitable” by Jack McDevitt
  • “Honorable Enemies: A Jake Masters Mystery” by Mike Resnick

Fantasy Stories:

  • “Scraps of Fog” by Sarah A. Hoyt
  • “The Witch of Waxahachie” by Lou Antonelli
  • “Knight of Coins” by Margaret Ronald


  • “Countdown to Armageddon, Episode Four” by Edward M. Lerner
  • “Fish Story, Episode Twelve” by Eric Flint, Dave Freer and Andrew Dennis


  • Becoming Stewards of Our World: The Great Theme of the 21st Century, Part Two, Editing the Sun: A Way Out Way Out by Gregory Benford
  • Earth’s Next Schism by Stephen Euin Cobb

Introducing Stories:

  • “Red Tape and Cold Iron, or A Proposal for the Reintroduction of the Faery Folk to the United Kingdom” by Lucy Bond
  • “Extreme Reservations” by R. J. Ortega


  • “Born of the Sun” by Jack Williamson


  • Attending Worldcon by Mike Resnick
  • A Matter of Symbiosis by Eric Flint
  • The Matrix and the Star Maker by Mike Resnick
  • The Toy Shop by Barry N. Malzberg
  • April 2008, What’s New in The Future And You by Stephen Euin Cobb

TOC: The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror 2008: 21st Annual Collection edited by Datlow/Gavin/Grant

Editor Ellen Datlow has posted the contents of The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror 2008: Twenty-first Annual Collection, the anthology she coedits with Kelly Link & Gavin J. Grant:

  1. “The Cambist and Lord Iron: A Fairy Tale of Economics” by Daniel Abraham
  2. “The Gray Boy’s Work” by M.T. Anderson
  3. “Troll” by (poem) Nathalie Anderson
  4. “The Monsters of Heaven” by Nathan Ballingrud
  5. “The Forest” by Laird Barron
  6. “Reversal of Fortune” by Holly Black
  7. “The House of Mechanical Pain” by Chaz Brenchley
  8. “The Merchant and the Alchemist’s Gate” by Ted Chiang
  9. “Scenes of Hell” by (poem) Billy Collins
  10. “Toother” by Terry Dowling
  11. “The Drowned Life” by Jeffrey Ford
  12. “The Last Worders” by Karen Joy Fowler
  13. “Monkey” by (poem) Eliza Griswold
  14. “Up the Fire Road” by Eileen Gunn
  15. “Winter’s Wife” by Elizabeth Hand
  16. “A Perfect and Unmappable Grace” by Jack Haringa
  17. “The Evolution of Trickster Stories Among the Dogs of North Park After the Change” by Kij Johnson
  18. “The Boulder” by Lucy Kemnitzer
  19. “The Hill” by Tanith Lee
  20. “The Ape Man” by Alexander MacBride
  21. “Lovers (Jafaar the Winged)” by (poem) Khaled Mattawa
  22. “Hum Drum” by Gary McMahon
  23. “A Thing Forbidden” by Donald Mead
  24. “England and Nowhere” by Tim Nickels
  25. “Sir Hereward and Mister Fitz Go to War Again” by Garth Nix
  26. “Valentine, July Heat Wave” by Joyce Carol Oates
  27. “Mr. Poo Poo” by Reggie Oliver
  28. “Fragrant Goddess” by Paul Park
  29. “Holiday” by M. Rickert
  30. “Vampires in the Lemon Grove” by Karen Russell
  31. “Rats” by Veronica Schanoes
  32. “The Fiddler of Bayou Teche” by Delia Sherman
  33. “Village Smart” by (poem) Maggie Smith
  34. “The Tenth Muse” by William Browning Spencer
  35. “Follow Me Home” by Sonya Taaffe
  36. “The Swing” by Don Tumasonis
  37. “Closet Dreams” by Lisa Tuttle
  38. “The Seven Devils of Central California” by Catherynne M. Valente
  39. “Splitfoot” by Paul Walther
  40. “The Hide” by Liz Williams

TOC: Flurb #5

Rudy Rucker has posted the contents of Flurb #5:

  • “Tangiers Routines” by Rudy Rucker
  • “Black Glass Samples” by John Shirley
  • “We’re awake, let’s talk.” by Nathaniel Hellerstein
  • “Cathedrals” by Alex Hardison
  • “Captain Ordinary” by Terry Bisson
  • “Uganda” by Lavie Tidhar
  • “The Masonic Dream Engine” by Thom Metzger
  • “Donald A$$hole and Los Elementos de Rock ” by Brendan Byrne

REVIEW: Spectrum 14 edited by Cathy and Arnie Fenner

REVIEW SUMMARY: An eye candy extravaganza.


BRIEF SYNOPSIS: A showcase of contemporary sf/fantasy art.


PROS: Every page is stuffed with sense of wonder; a variety of styles to suit any taste; excellent book production.

CONS: Some styles might not appeal to some tastes.

BOTTOM LINE: Highly recommended to anyone who has a love for sf/fantasy art.

I confess. I’m a science fiction and fantasy art junkie. Yes, I have bought books based solely on book cover art. Some book covers stoke my fire as much as the books they illustrate; sometimes more so. Therefore, an art book like Spectrum 14, the 2007 edition of the annual showcase of contemporary sf/fantasy art, is like a drug for someone like me. Every single page is brimming with the fantastic and imaginative by a variety of artists producing work in various sectors: advertising, books, comics, concept art, three-dimensional, editorial, and institutional. Even the previously unpublished works show outstanding talent.

Excerpted artwork from Brom, Shaun Tan, Robert Carter, and Glen Orbik.

Continue reading

SF Tidbits for 3/31/08

  • Fantasybookspot interviews Neal Asher (The Shadow of the Scorpion). “…I come from the Arnold Schwarzenegger school of SF.” [via The Bodhisattva]
  • Free Audio Fiction: Starborn by Andre Norton. Read by Mark Douglas Nelson or a computer…I can’t tell which. [via SFFaudio]
  • The fourth episode of Shadow Unit is Will Shetterly’s “A Handful of Dust“. [via Elizabeth Bear]
  • Recently-free fiction at “Control Group” by Roger Dee (Roger D. Aycock, 1960)
  • SciFiRama is looking for blog feedback.
  • Locus Online has posted the table of contents for the April 2008 issue of Locus Magazine, which includes interviews with Terry Pratchett and Sarah Monette and the obituary of Arthur C. Clarke.

Tube Bits for 03/31/2008

  • The 2004 movie, Casshern, billed as a ‘live-action anime’ movie, was actually based on the 1970’s era anime Shinzo Nigen Casshern. Now, animation studio Madhouse is resurrecting the 70’s show and will create a new modern anime TV show. Having not watched the movie yet, I can’t say for certain if this is a good thing. Although the movie does look incredible.
  • Tired of trying to figure out the heck is going on with LOST? Too many competing theories making your head hurt? Then check out this Timeloop Theory of LOST and marvel at all the thought that has gone into it. Simply amazing, and nicely presented too. Is it close to the truth? I guess we’ll just have to keep watching to find out. But still, a job well done.
  • Chris Carter recently dropped a few minor spoilers about the upcoming X-Files movie: It will be standalone, we will learn more about Fox and Mulder’s baby William (they had a baby?? What? When? Stupid season 9), and it takes place six years after the last season. I know I’m interested, even if I did quit watching around season 7.
  • Tim’s arch-nemesis, Tahmoh Penikett (Helo on Galactica and Boomer’s baby’s daddy), has been cast in Joss Whedon’s new TV project, Dollhouse. Penikett will play FBI agent Paul Smith who becomes romantically linked with Eliza Dushku’s character. Dushku + Grace Park = One lucky guy.
  • Edward James Olmos on a potential ending for Galactica: Everybody dies. Olmos said this is a possibility if the writers stay true to form and he would be O.K. with that. Of course, the fans wouldn’t be… Remember, April 4th at 10pm ET marks the return of Galactica.
  • The Stargate themed MMO, Stargate Worlds continues to release trickles of information. This time it’s in the form of four new screenshots depicting the decidedly Egyptian motif from the movie. This game certainly looks cool.
  • The Vuze platform (based on Bittorrent), now has the Sci Fi series Afterworld available for download.
  • The alternate reality hopping detective story Charlie Jade will be making its way to the Sci Fi Channel. I’ll say this, it certainly looks interesting. Hmm, may have to check this out soon.

WINNERS: 2007 Bram Stoker Awards

The winners of the Bram Stoker Awards (for superior achievement in horror) have been announced:

  • NOVEL: The Missing by Sarah Langan
  • FIRST NOVEL: Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill
  • LONG FICTION: “Afterward, There Will Be a Hallway” by Gary Braunbeck
  • SHORT FICTION: “The Gentle Brush of Wings” by David Niall Wilson
  • ANTHOLOGY: Five Strokes to Midnight edited by Gary Braunbeck & Hank Schwaeble
  • COLLECTION (Tie): Proverbs for Monsters by Michael A. Arnzen and 5 Stories by Peter Straub
  • NON-FICTION: The Cryptopedia: A Dictionary of the Weird, Strange & Downright Bizarre edited by Jonathan Maberry & David F. Kramer
  • POETRY (Tie): Being Full of Light, Insubstantial by Linda Addison and Vectors: A Week in the Death of a Planet by Charlee Jacob & Marge B. Simon

Congratulations to all the winners!

See also:

List of nominees

Past winners

[via Locus Online]

POLL RESULTS: The Best Captain of the Enterprise

Here are the results of the latest SF Signal poll.

Who is your favorite Captain of the Enterprise?


(148 total votes)

Only one vote for Pike? If he read SF Signal, he’d be beeping in anger like there’s no tomorrow.

A couple of comments this week:

“What about Capt Janeway?” – David
[And the John sez: I’m not a Trek expert, but wasn’t she the Captain of the Voyager?]

“Hmmm, that was a tough decision. I voted for Belushi since I feel Star Trek always needed a little more humor :) Why not add Kevin Pollack to the list since he does an excellent James Kirk imitation.” – Tim
[John sez: Good idea!]

“Hey! What about Decker, Spock, Harriman, Riker, Jellico… (do I know a little too much about Star Trek?). Props to Jellico for being a bad-ass, but there’s something appealing about Harriman’s “Tuesday”.” – Ian Randal Strock
[John sez: OK, you’re obviously a Trek expert. I decided to keep it to the mainstays. Besides, everyone knows that Spock’s stint as captain was the result of affirmative action pressure…]

“I just know I would get ragged on for suggesting that Jonathan Archer is the best Captain of the Enterprise, but the obvious favorite Jean-Luc Picard was just too cerebral for me. Jean-Luc never made any mistakes, even when he did, while Jonathan Archer seems more real. Besides if he can set of enough things right in time, he can finally make the leap home.” – Richard
[John sez: Hiyo!]

“To a point it is like comparing apples and oranges. Different overarching missions and ships call for different skill sets and abilities. Overall, though, there is only one and he drinks Earl Gray, Hot.” – General X
[John sez: I hope by “hot” you mean the tea!]

Be sure to visit our front page and vote in this week’s poll about the cancellation of Flash Gordon!

Sunday YouTube: Frank Herbert Talks about Dune

[via World in a Satin Bag]

SF Tidbits for 3/30/08

Ellison to attend N.Y. Premiere of Dreams with Sharp Teeth

The Film Society of Lincoln Center sent us word that Harlan Ellison will be attending the April 8th 7:00 PM premiere screening of Dreams with Sharp Teeth, the documentary that follows the legendary author’s life and career.

From the press release:

Erik Nelson’s engaging portrait of Ellison catches the 70-something author in his full cantankerous glory, offering his thoughts and opinions on a dizzying array of subjects. It also shows us the other, lesser known sides of Ellison–from his political activism in the Civil Rights era to altercations with Barbra Streisand and pelvis shattering battles with network executives. Younger writers discuss Ellison’s influence on their work, and even actor Robin Williams is on hand to offer his tribute to Ellison. Director Erik Nelson and Harlan Ellison are expected to attend this screening.

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