LabLit, a website whose tagline is “the culture of science in fiction and fact”, is “dedicated to real laboratory culture and to the portrayal and perceptions of that culture – science, scientists and labs – in fiction, the media and across popular culture.” They examine how science is portrayed in the media. Interesting article abound like Math on Film (ala Numb3rs), Child’s Play (books for the budding young scientist, nicely grouped by age range) and more. If you like science fiction for the science, check out what real scientists think!
Will you see films if Captain Kirk gives it two thumbs up?
William Shatner is starting his own DVD-of-the-month Club that features sci-fi movies. Sure, the movies are almost-unheard-of, but still it’s a, shall we say..enterprising…project? [Insert Austin Powers-like giggle here].
I have to say, I have grown to think highly of Shatman over the years. What started as a running punching bag joke has become a twisted form of respect. It’s not so much the success of Boston Legal (which I don’t watch anyway), or the hit-and-miss humor of Invasion Iowa, or the fact that I actually like Has Been (particularly his “Common People” duet with Joe Jackson.), or his humorous appearance on the Emmy Awards show, or his psycho TV Guide cover, or the kidney stone thing…
OK, maybe it was a combination of all these. (Except the kidney stone thing. That was just creepy.) It’s hard not to like a guy who schools you at making fun of the Shat, even if it is Shatner himself.
It seems that the UK release of Serenity will have more bonus features than the US release. Although released a scant 2 months later, the UK version of the DVD will feature A Filmmaker’s Journey, a 20-minute documentary on the making of the film.
I do and do and do for Joss and this is the thanks I get.
[Sent in by Fred at EternalGoldenBraid]
There are a couple of science fiction related contests going on right now
- SciFi Dimensions is giving away a King Kong cap and poster. Just sign up for their mailing list. (Winner selected December 31st)
- DVD Talk is giving away a Certified Original Alliance Trooper Helmet from the Serenity movie. (Ends December 27th)
The cool RetroFuture website answers the question (from their FAQ) “what happened to all that futuristic stuff which was supposed to change our lives by the year 2000?”
Marvel at the wonders of Yesteryear’s Tommorow! Things like: the 2-Way Wrist Radio, Smell-o-Vision, perpetual sunlight, rocketmail and, of course, flying cars.
By JP Frantz
| Thursday, December 15th, 2005 at
As some of you may have noticed, we’ve been having email problems with the ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ email address. Specifically, that email address appears to have been deleted, and it doesn’t work correctly if we re-create it. So, in the interim, our new temporary (and my temporary I mean until we can get the old one working, which may be never so temporary may actually mean forever) email address is (note, replace AT with @ below):
That is all! Carry on.
| Thursday, December 15th, 2005 at
REVIEW SUMMARY: Gene Wolfe continues the fantasy saga he began with The Knight and delivers more of the same.
BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Sir Able, now a man, continues to fight on the behalf of his adopted kingdom finding himself at odds with very unfantasy-like barbarians, dragons, and gods.
PROS: Unique, rich, fantasy setting. Fantastic language, solid engaging plot. Ending extremely well done.
CONS: Novel is a bit disjoint at the beginning as the narrative moves to third-person.
BOTTOM LINE: If you enjoyed The Knight you’ll find The Wizard well worth your reading time.
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By John DeNardo
| Wednesday, December 14th, 2005 at
Those who know me (aside from shaking their heads in a regretful sigh) are well aware of my addiction for books. Those who can stay awake long enough even know about my ever-growing collection of science fiction reference books. C’mon…who isn’t a better person for owning three copies of Clute’s Encyclopedia of Science Fiction? To be fair, one is on extended loan to…charity. [Looks at JP.]
Recently a brand new reference work was published: The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy: Themes, Works, and Wonders by sf scholar, author and critic Gary Westfahl. Awesome!
I’m salivating even as I type. [Pauses to clean keyboard.] I not only love reading science fiction, I also immensely enjoy reading about science fiction. This new reference work (3 volumes! One for every room in the trailer home I had to move into to support my book-buying habit.) covers 400 themes from 150 experts in the field. (Although, I don’t personally recall receiving a phone call… :)) These reference books are perfect for those little stolen moments when you can sneak in a 5-minute sf fix. I could spend hours endlessly trolling through the pages, following one connection to the next, soaking in all that tasty sf goodness.
The price tag is sadly a little steep for my personal use. However, if you’re in the market for a $350 present for yours truly…(H)
I’m just sayin’.
[Link via Locus Online]
From the Boston Globe:
Publisher HarperCollins said yesterday it plans to convert 20,000 books in its catalog into digital form in a bid to rein in potential copyright violations on the Internet.
Chief executive Jane Friedman said HarperCollins [...] had no immediate plan to raise revenue from the digital copies of the books but it had concluded it was a vital move to protect its authors’ rights.
Under the plan, HarperCollins will hold all of the digital copies of its books in a digital warehouse and it will allow companies such as Google, Yahoo, and Amazon.com to crawl the server to create an index, Murray said. This will allow Google and other search systems to offer what, in effect, amount to electronic card catalogs to help users locate the full work.
”If publishers don’t do this, there are going to be too many digital copies of books out there,” he said, noting that currently companies like Google, Yahoo, and others were all making their own copies, making it difficult for publishers to ensure their authors’ copyright is respected.
A CNet article explains a little more:
…there were no concrete plans in place to make money from the project, there were various possibilities down the line, from e-books to subscriptions or advertising.
It’s not clear to me how this “rein[s] in potential copyright violations”, as CNet puts it. Anyone care to shed some light?
Here are the results of the latest SF Signal poll.
How many hours each week do you listen to podcasts?
From Cinematical, and along the lines of our Introduction to SF via the Movies post, here are the 7 Sci-Fi Movies For People Who Don’t Like Sci-Fi Movies:
- Serenity (2005)
- Gattaca (1997
- Blade Runner (1982)
- Until The End Of The World (1991)
- Contact (1997)
- The Final Countdown (1980)
- Charly (1968)
REVIEW SUMMARY: A worthy sequel in a cool setting.
BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Skyborn outcast Welkin Quinn and his adopted Earthborn family must neutralize a genocidal threat from the Skyborn ship Colony.
PROS: Awesome setting and back story; lot’s of fast-paced action; unexpected plot twists.
CONS: Pacing issues; characters intuit too much.
BOTTOM LINE: A satisfying read that successfully maintains the good aspects of its predecessor.
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