Tuesday YouTube: Patton Oswalt on Star Wars

NSFW language. But funny…

[via SciFi Scanner]

Filed under: HumorStar Wars

F&SF Gets a Blog

The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction now has a blog.

Posting will be done by editor Gordon Van Gelder and assistant editor John Joseph Adams.

They’re off to a great start with

Check it out.

Filed under: Web Sites

The Internet Review of Science Fiction Returns!

After a long hiatus, The Internet Review of Science Fiction returns! It’s got a spiffy new redesign and has a bunch of new content:

  • Editorial: Notes on Resurrection by Bluejack
  • Interview: Peter Watts by J. G. Stinson
  • Feature:Cyborgs Then and Now by Jay Lake and Ruth Nestvold
  • Essay: Dodos, Wooly Mammoths, and Other Erudite Obsessions in the Fiction of Howard Waldrop by Robert Bee
  • Criticism: The Magic Mundane: Re-examining the Supernatural in Marion Zimmer Bradley’s The Mists of Avalon by Darin C. Bradley
  • Reviews: The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya by Michael Andre-Driussi, January 2008: Short Fiction by Lois Tilton, Ancestor by Scott Sigler by Mur Lafferty.

Filed under: Web Sites

Tube Bits for 02/19/2008

  • Check out this sweet Minimate Classic Cylon Centurion (as seen on Razor), set to hit store this July as part of Diamond Select Toys’ Series 3 of Galactica figures. And while I’m perusing the Diamond Select Toys site, I see Back to the Future minmates too. Sweet!
  • Sticking with Galactica, Sy Fy Portal informs us that the last remaining episodes of season 4 are set to start shooting in Vancouver at the end of March. “We will finish the story, and I think the fans will be satisfied,” says Edward James Olmos. I hope so.
  • Sy Fy Portal also reviews Knight Rider and gives it a mostly good review, saying if the ratings are good, we can expect to see a series sometime in the fall. I thought it was ok, not great. Maybe it’s a sign of the times, but I thought there was too much cheese, but still kinda fun. I also am not a fan of Val Kilmer as KITT. But if it goes to a series, I’ll probably give it a shot.
  • The fan run Star Trek: New Voyages production is changing it’s name. Henceforth let it be known the new name will be Star Trek: Phase II. Now they just need to work on their official web site name.
  • Jim Werdell, the chairman of MENSA, has picked his smartest TV shows of all time. Mad About You? Really? Where is LOST? Twilight Zone? No science fiction at all?
  • Check out this, err, interesting photoshoot of Summer Glau. Seriously, WTF? And, sorry John, this is SFW.
  • We leave you with this extemely sweet picture of the new Mindstyle toy series, Mechtorians, created by figure artist extraordinaire, Doktor A. There will be six figures, and they will be available in the fall. Just, wow. [via Toys R Evil]

Filed under: Tube Bits

SF Tidbits for 2/19/08

Filed under: Tidbits

Bibliophile Stalker Interviews…Us!

Charles Tan, proprietor of Bibliophile Stalker (a blog you may recognize from our tidbit posts), contacted JP and me recently about doing an interview. Once our heads deflated a bit, we agreed.

The interview has been posted here: Bibliophile Stalker interviews SF Signal.

Filed under: Interviews

REVIEW: Jim Baen’s Universe #11

MY RATING:

The February 2008 issue of Jim Baen’s Universe (Issue #11, also known as Volume 2, Number 5) contains 12 pieces of short fiction and 6 non-fiction articles. Nine of the stories are reviewed below. I did not partake of the classic reprint “Unprofessional” by Rudyard Kipling and two of the three serials: “Fish Story” by Dave Freer, Eric Flint and Andrew Dennis, now in its tenth episode; and ” The Ancient Ones” by David Brin, now in it’s fifth episode. I suspect it would be easier for hesitant readers like me if each episode came with an “Our Story So Far…” intro.

Considering the nine stories I did read, this is another solid issue. I prefer science fiction over fantasy so maybe it’s not surprising that the weakest story for me was a fantasy story. But the good outweighed the bad overall, with the standout stories being David Brin’s “The Smartest Mob” (airships!) and Holly Messinger’s “End of the Line” (Vampires in the Old West!).

Individual story/article reviews follow…

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Filed under: Book Review

SF Tidbits for 2/18/08

Filed under: Tidbits

Tube Bits for 02/18/2008

  • Bla Blah! Tech wonders how close are we to Star Trek technology? The answers may surprise you.
  • If any of our readers attend Harvey Mudd College, this is just for you. The commencement speaker for this year will be none other than Bill Nye! Sing it with me: Bill Nye the science guy! (Bill! Bill! Bill!) I’m not sure how I’d feel about this, but apparently he has spoken before to great success. I guess we don’t have to wonder what Bill is up to anymore.
  • Paul Levinson’s latest podcast is up. This time he’s discussing science fiction in the new golden age of television. The podcast is available at the link.
  • Can’t keep up with all the latest SF show news? TwinCities.com has you covered. Nothing really new here, although it is interesting to see what, ostensibly, non-sf fans think is news.
  • You’ve probably heard of a little show called LOST, but did you ever wonder how J.J. Abrams came up with the idea? Well, the guys over at Lost Casts discovered the following short film that is apparently the inspiration behind the TV show. It’s titles, appropriately enough, Lost.

Filed under: Tube Bits

POLL RESULTS: TV Shows We Miss Because of the Writers’ Strike

Here are the results of the latest SF Signal poll.

QUESTION
Thanks to the writers’ strike, shows are on hiatus. Which one do you miss the most?

RESULTS

(110 total votes)

Of those who even miss any shows, BSG has a huge lead.

Comments this week:

“The Big Bang Theory and House…I know, House is not SF, per se, but it’s really just the only show I care about.” – PeterY

“Just because The Big Bang Theory isn’t remotely close to being realistic or make sense, doesn’t mean it should be in a list of SF&F shows. And Lost just released a couple of episodes, so it would be very hard for people to miss it. I wonder if either of those would get more than 0 votes. :-)” – Yaron

“Pushing Daisies is the freshest show on TV today. I’d really like to see where it goes.” – Michael A. Burstein

“CSI. I am in Iraq though, so I am now just able to see the early episodes of some of this season’s shows. Thanks to spoilers, I know the CSI writers are going to screw up a relationship. For geek cred, I’d like to say BSG, but, once it goes into season break I kind of forget about it until it returns. Some of these other shows I haven’t even seen yet.” – SF Fangirl

“There is nothing SF about The Big Bang Theory, nothing. Not even one thing you can point to and say: “Aha, that is science fiction.” Yet, still I miss it the most. BSG I will watch, and a week or so prior I might get excited but there has been just so much time I have spent waiting that any heat I might have had is just not there anymore. They say distance makes the heart grow fonder, but they also say that time heals all wounds (alert, cliche overload). These other shows I just don’t watch that much of to get excited about. Bring on TBBT! So say we all!” – General X

Be sure to visit our front page and vote in this week’s poll about the final 2007 Stoker Award ballot!

Filed under: Polls

Sunday Cinema: Firefly – “Ariel”

The number of episodes remaining keeps getting smaller, but we keep bringing them to you. This time it’s ‘Ariel’, where Simon smuggles River into a hospital to figure out what happened to her.

Enjoy.

Filed under: FireflyTV

SF Tidbits for 2/17/08

Filed under: Tidbits

SF Tidbits for 2/16/08

Filed under: Tidbits

Final 2007 Stoker Ballot

Ellen Datlow writes in to tell us that the 2007 Stoker Ballot (presented by the Horror Writers Association) has gone final:

SUPERIOR ACHIEVEMENT IN A NOVEL

  • The Guardener’s Tale by Bruce Boston
  • Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill
  • The Missing by Sarah Langan
  • The Terror by Dan Simmons

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Filed under: Awards

Attention All SF/F Book Reviewers!

S.M. Duke is undertaking a project that needs your participation: determining social/religious/ethnic biases in SF/F:

What I’m asking is this: For every book you read in the SF or F genre, take a note of which ethnic, religious, social groups are present within a work in a significant way. What this means is if the main character or a significant character is White, Black, or Asian, then write that down. The same applies to religions and significant social groups (feminists, ACLU types, etc.). They must be significant presences, not just a mention. If there is a strong Catholic presence, say so. If you don’t know what religion is present, but there is one, just say unknown…I’d like to address gender too. Mention main characters that are male or female and secondary, but significant characters that are male or female (make them separate to differentiate). This will allow me to gather as much data as I can on this.

Filed under: Books

Tube Bits For 02/15/2008

  • The Deadbolt has some comments by Matthew Fox on the upcoming Speed Racer movie. Anyone else have this on their ‘to see’ list?
  • Staying with Speed Racer, Gizmodo gives us this really cool Race-A-Round Sound Helmet. Now you can look like Speed! But that’s not all, check out these awesome Dark Knight and Speed Racer toys. For me? Give me the original Batmobile and then all the Speed cars. Thanks.
  • The new Knight Rider debuts this Sunday (set your DVRs!), and now you can see what KITT’s interior looks like. There is also a link there to a few minutes from the actual movie. I have to say, I was not impressed with Val Kilmer as the voice of KITT.
  • The Misfits of Sci-Fi bring us: Sci-fi’s most engrossing shows. I’m not sure I’d cast Buffy or Twin Peaks as science fiction. They should replace them with something else.
  • In case you were wondering, it looks like the Galactica season 4 DVDs will be, again, split into two sets, both with 10 episodes each, and both costing upwards of $45. Way to let greed get in the way of a good series, Sci Fi.

Filed under: Tube Bits

Friday YouTube: Space 1999 Intro

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Filed under: TV

Locus Online lists 10 SF/F books with the Most Citations on Year’s Best Books lists:

  1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
  2. The Yiddish Policemen’s Union by Michael Chabon
  3. The Terror by Dan Simmons
  4. Brasyl by Ian McDonald
  5. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
  6. Territory by Emma Bull
  7. Thirteen by Richard K. Morgan
  8. Acacia by David Anthony Durham
  9. Bright of the Sky by Kay Kenyon
  10. Bad Monkeys by Matt Ruff
  11. The Arrival by Shaun Tan

You will note (once again) that JP is the SF Signal reader with the most notable books under his misshapen hat, which means that he is a good prognosticator of well-received books, or I am the Kiss of Death.

Filed under: Books

SF Tidbits for 2/15/08

Filed under: Tidbits

Top Couples in Science Fiction

Ah, Valentines Day…a time when people can stop and appreciate those they love the most. Or, in the case of geeks like us, a time to think about fictional couples in science fiction…

  1. Leeloo and Corbin Dallas (The Fifth Element)
    The romantic themes of “true love conquers all” is still alive and well in the future. Of course it helps if you fall in love with a hot, scantily-clad, god-like being. Mooltipass indeed. (No we didn’t show a picture of both Leeloo and Corbin — see aforementioned note about “hot, scantily-clad, god-like being”.)
  2. Fry and Bender (Futurama)
    Futurama shows us that metal and flesh can be a great combination. And who said relationships have to be between two humans? Fry always wanted to get with the one-eyed Leela, but he always wound up with Bender. In the end.
  3. Princess Leia and Han Solo (Star Wars)
    Their on-screen chemistry was top notch…especially considering Lucas was suggesting Leia hook up with her brother. Ewww. Harrison Ford’s “I know” ad-lib in The Empire Strikes Back has become the stuff of legend. Geek legend, to be sure, but legend nonetheless.
  4. John Perry and Jane Sagan (The Last Colony by John Scalzi)
    Scalzi’s old-guy-in-young-man’s-body protagonist John Perry is quick to quip and immediately likable. It’s almost enough to be jealous of his independent wife, Jane, who gets to have him…jealous in a non-touching man-love sort of way. Jane can hold her own against any adversary. Together they support and respect each other in a picture-perfect relationship that manages to stay realistic.
  5. Zoe and Wash (Firefly/Serenity)
    Tough female characters are hot, and I don’t mean “all the rage”. The fact that this one falls for the class clown fulfills the fantasies of every geek who thinks he’s funny, which is to say, every geek. Those archetypes would be enough, but throw in Joss Whedon’s dialogue and you have a ménage a tois of brilliance.
  6. R2D2 and C3PO (Star Wars)
    Laurel and Hardy, Fred and Ginger, Roy and Trigger. You can’t think of one without the other. For SF fans, you can’t think of R2 without thinking of C3PO. They’re like a bickering couple that’s been together forever, but can’t live apart. They just happen to be robots. And I think we all know who wears the pants in this relationship. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Filed under: BooksFireflyMoviesStar WarsTV

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