SF Tidbits for 9/19/07

Filed under: Tidbits

REVIEW: Red Spikes by Margo Lanagan

REVIEW SUMMARY: Trying to put my finger on the magic ingredients that go into a good fantasy story.

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Ten short fantasy stories aimed at the young adult reader.

MY REVIEW:

PROS: Interesting premises; touches on numerous themes.

CONS: Odd language used at times, which slowed reading; some stories simply not that engaging.

BOTTOM LINE: Red Spikes offers a variety of themes that should appeal to fans of fantasy.

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Filed under: Book Review

SF Tidbits for 9/18/07

Filed under: Tidbits

Tube Bits For 09/18/07

  • We’ve mentioned that DC Comics is creating a hardcover novel of NBC’s online Heroes comic, but now we have a release date: Nov. 7, 2007. I actually like the online stuff, even though they do sometimes cover stuff that isn’t on the show.
  • Wil McCarthy at Sci Fi Weekly takes a look at the science behind the BBC mini-series Jekyl. I’ve never seen it, but the guy who plays Dr. Jekyll sure look psychotic in his Mr. Hyde mode. Yikes.
  • Michael at Left Cheek Sneak cautions the Sci Fi Channel that they are missing a huge opportunity to use the Internet as a medium for distributing shows and such. Its not just Sci Fi. None of the old media takes full advantage of the Internet.
  • Have you always wanted to fly through the air like Batman? Well German researchers are working on a strap on wing, called the Gryphon, that will allows its wearer to travel at up to 135 MPH. Bring. It On!
  • And from our own Tim, we learn that there is an adaptation of Terry Pratchett’s The Colour Of Magic in the works for TV broadcast in 2008. I’m guessing you lucky Brits get to see this first. Go go gadget Bittorrent!

Filed under: Tube Bits

SF Tidbits for 9/17/07

Filed under: Tidbits

John Is Guest-Blogging at SciFi Scanner

Starting today, I’ve got a temporary guest-blogging gig over at SciFi Scanner. That’s the science fiction blog at AMC TV‘s website.

I’ll be bringing my vast knowledge of supermodels – er…I mean, science fiction – to the movie watching masses. My postings will most likely be more frequent over there for the next several days, so if you need a bigger dose of me – and who doesn’t? – then stop by and check it out!

Filed under: MetaWeb Sites

Here are the results of the latest SF Signal poll.

QUESTION
Which of these new Fall TV shows are you most anticipating?

RESULTS

(150 total votes)

Like a boob, I left off Moonlight, which Kevin brought to my attention which much name-calling. One of these days, I’ll get poll building figured out. As it is, though, nearly 40% of respondents found nothing to get excited about. That does not sound promising for the new shows.

Comments this week:

“Isn’t Journeyman about time travel? Nuff said. :-D” – Rich

“None sound too exciting. ‘Dancing With the Stars’ may win by default.” – Richard Novak

Be sure to visit our front page and vote in this week’s poll on the remake of Tron!

Filed under: Polls

Sad news…

James Oliver Rigney, Jr., who wrote under the pen name of Robert Jordan, has passed away.

From Andrew Wheeler:

According to a post this evening on his blog, bestselling fantasy author Robert Jordan died this afternoon at his home in Charleston, South Carolina after a long battle with a form of cancer. He had been diagnosed with primary amyloidosis with cardiomyopathy in March of 2006 and had received several rounds of chemotherapy treatment at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota for his condition.

Jordan was best known for the still-unfinished “Wheel of Time” series: eleven novels and a prequel had been published before his illness. The status of the projected final novel, A Memory of Light, is unknown at this time. Jordan had also written a number of well-received “Conan” novels and a number of historical novels under the name Reagan O’Neill.

See also:

Official Robert Jordan website

Robert Jordan’s Wikipedia entry

Internet Speculative Fiction Database listing for Robert Jordan

Filed under: Books

Frazetta: Painting With Fire

Frazetta: Painting With Fire is a 2003 documentary on one of the genre’s most influential artists. As per the YouTube description: “This is the trailer for a documentary film on the life and art of legendary fantasy artist Frank Frazetta…More info can be found at www.cinemachine.net

For more Frazetta info, see:

[via sneakpeektv]

Tagged with:

Filed under: Movies

SF Tidbits for 9/16/07

Filed under: Tidbits

Songs of the Dying Earth

George R.R. Martin has announced that he and Gardner Dozois have put together a Jack Vance tribute anthology called Songs of the Dying Earth.

From GRRM’s news page:

I’m thrilled to be able to announce that we have just sold Songs of the Dying Earth, a tribute anthology dedicated to the genius of Jack Vance featuring brand new stories from twenty-one of today’s leading fantasists, set against the sinking lands and swollen red sun of Vance’s Dying Earth, a universe that ranks with Tolkien’s Middle Earth and Howard’s Hyborian Age among fantasy aficionados.

We’ve assembled an all-star lineup of contributors for the book, we think. Songs of the Dying Earth will feature original stories from Dan Simmons, Robert Silverberg, Michael Moorcock, Tanith Lee, Elizabeth Hand, John C. Wright, Glen Cook, Jeff Vandermeer, Neil Gaiman, Paula Volsky, Tad Williams, Howard Waldrop, Michael Shea, Mike Resnick, and a host of other terrific writers and hardcore Jack Vance junkies, some of whom offered us their firstborn children for the chance to be a part of this project. And yes, I plan on doing a story for the book myself (after I finish A Dance With Dragons). Jack Vance and his representatives have been so kind as to give us permission to use Jack’s characters as well, so longtime fans can expect to appearances from Cugel the Clever, Chun the Unavoidable, T’sain and T’sais, and other favorites.

Tor will be publishing the trade editions in the United States, and HarperCollins Voyager in the United Kingdom. In addition, Subterranean Press will produce two special editions for the collector’s market — a deluxe illustrated hardcover of 1500 copies, and an even-more-deluxe signed, numbered, limited, illustrated, slipcased edition of 500 copies. The numbered edition will be signed by both editors, all the participating writers, and Jack Vance himself. And I’m delighted to be able to announce that both Subterranean editions will include extensive interior illustration by the award-winning artist Charles Vess. A Dutch edition is also in the works, and we expect many more foreign editions; Jack Vance has fans and readers all over the world.

A project this big can’t be put together overnight, of course. Look for Songs of the Dying Earth some time in 2009.

Filed under: Books

SF Tidbits for 9/15/07

Filed under: Tidbits

Time Traveling Lately?

After watching NBC’s forgettable new show Journeyman, I started thinking about the premise and what I would do if I were suddenly thrust into the past.  Besides working to solve the obligatory problems of people so I could return to the present sometimes, would I do anything else?  Here are a few thoughts I had, some funny, some not so funny.

But what would you do?  Assume you couldn’t control your time travel but always went into the past in the country you are currently living in.

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Filed under: TV

Will you still love me if I admit to watching this show in my youth?

Filed under: TV

Still Even More Free Fiction, with Excerpts

…and the freebies from ManyBooks.net continues…

–And Devious the Line of Duty” by Tom Godwin (1962)

“We’re almost there, my boy.” The big, gray-haired man who would be Lieutenant Dale Hunter’s superior–Strategic Service’s Special Agent, George Rockford–opened another can of beer, his fifth. “There will be intrigue already under way when this helicopter sets down with us. Attempted homicide will soon follow. The former will be meat for me. You will be meat for the latter.”

Jubilation, U.S.A.” by G.L. Vandenburg (1959)

Toryl pointed the small crypterpreter toward the wooden, horseshoe-shaped sign. The sign’s legend was carved in bright yellow

letters. Sartan, Toryl’s companion, watched up and down the open highway for signs of life. In seconds the small cylindrical mechanism completed the translation.

The sign said: JUBILATION, U.S.A.!! The doggondest, cheeriest little town in America!

The two aliens smiled at each other. Unaccustomed to oral conversation, they exchanged thoughts.

Filed under: Free Fiction

SF Tidbits for 9/14/07

  • Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist interviews Jeff Somers, author of the way-cool The Electric Church. Here’s Jeff on the lack of respect of sf: “I like it this way. This way, we get to be ominous and disreputable. The Ominous and Disreputable Writers who Smoked and Drank Too Much. Want to join?”
  • John Scalzi interviews Jim C. Hines, author of Goblin Hero. “I’m sorry, but Shrek is no ogre. He’s a big, strong, ugly human with lousy table manners.” [via The Swivet]
  • StarWars.com has a video for the book The Legacy of the Force, which includes interviews with the book’s authors, Aaron Allston and Troy Denning.
  • That’s not Cthulhu…That’s a Martian! Bob Eggleton previews the cover of Mike Resnick’s upcoming anthology, Alternate Roosevelts.
  • SciFiChick rounds up a bunch of sf/f book excerpts.
  • James Nicoll talks about why modern sf writers should read Fred Hoyle’s science fiction.
  • Here’s another one for writers: How to Write Bad Science Fiction. “An article on how to write bad science fiction may seem to be at odds with the average writer’s ambition to write a science fiction novel that sells a few million copies before being adapted as a screenplay until you pause to consider that there hasn’t been a decent work of science fiction since the original screenplay for Planet of the Apes!” Discuss…
  • BoingBoing points us to a Welsh priest who is planning a Doctor-Who-themed service to attract the youngsters:
  • Look! Up in the Sky! It’s a bird…it’s a plane. No, it’s a Superman Laptop and coat hanger. [via Neatorama]

Filed under: Tidbits

There’s a Sale at PS Publishing!

PS Publishing has released their publishing schedule through 2008. And they are also having a sale:

SPECIAL OFFER – Free Postage on all pre-orders until September 31st, 2007

To mark our recent major schedule update announcement we’re making this special offer until the end of September 2007:

Free Postage on all pre-publication orders placed before October 1st 2007!

That’s right, if you pre-order any items from our list of forthcoming titles and complete your order by September 31st (full payment has to reach us by that date to qualify) then we won’t charge you our usual postal rates. The book(s) will be sent out as soon as they’re published by our usual first class / international airmail carriers (as applicable).

See the webiste for more details.

Filed under: Books

Tube Bits For 09/14/07

  • The DVD Lounge has a review of the 1966 Filmation The New Adventures Of Superman DVD set. I”m not sure I’ve ever seen these cartoons, but if they’re like the Star Trek animated series, you can expect a lot of no moving.
  • Have you missed an episode or two of Eureka? You’re in luck! On October 2nd, Sci Fi will be airing the entire second season back-to-back, starting at 9AM Eastern. I think we’re heading toward an interesting season ender.
  • Rumor has it that LOST may be moving to Mondays at 8PM EST. Luckily I have a DVR so I can watch LOST and Chuck then Heroes all in an orgy of genre television, after the kids are in bed of course.
  • In an effort to figure out how to harness the power of the Internet for production and delivery of TV shows, Hollywood turns to MySpace. Call me crazy, but I’m staying as far away from MySpace as possible. I’d rather see a show have its own dedicated site, at the very least be part of a ‘TV’ uber-site.
  • Just how ‘bad’ are current TV offerings? 62 percent of Americans say TV programs are getting worse. One excuse is the ‘good old days’ theory as people compare now to what they perceive to be good from the past. But then again, only 7 percent could name a new show they are looking forward to seeing. Ouch.

Filed under: Tube Bits

Journeyman Pilot Revists Past

There is one thing I can say about Journeyman, the new fall show on NBC about a man who travels back in the past without his control. The show is certainly revisiting the past. In fact, you might say you’ve seen this show before…when it was called Quantum Leap

I checked out the pilot tonight, and my impressions are below. Once again, avoid reading if you want to watch the show when it airs on broadcast TV and don’t want to have something spoiled for you.

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Filed under: TV

Can The Sci Fi Channel Be Saved?

In today’s Tube Bit post, we pointed to an article over on the Sy Fy Portal about how SF fans are being too complacent about the current state of SF on TV. Author Wayne Hall takes fans to task for being negative about SF on TV, especially the Sci Fi Channel, and says we should support SF TV regardless of a show’s quality. Indeed, he says this:

If you want science-fiction on television, you have to make it worthwhile for the people who bring it to you. It’s as simple as that.

I have to disagree. It is not up to us, the fans, to make it worthwhile for TV networks to bring us shows. It is their

job to bring us shows that we want to see. Blasting the fans for not supporting crap is, well, rather silly. And no where is that more obvious than on the Sci Fi Channel. Science fiction, as a genre, has a much smaller viewer base than other types of shows, for various reasons we don’t need to go into here. So it makes sense that a cable network dedicated to SF can be successful while drawing fewer viewers. SF fans should be flocking to the Sci Fi Channel. But they aren’t. And it’s not the fans’ fault.

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Filed under: TV

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