Here are a set of websites offering many free online games for your enjoyment.
This is not an exhaustive list, but it does offer a website for each letter in the word Moop.
Games • Web Sites
By JP Frantz
| Thursday, November 17th, 2005 at
WTH is Hasbro thinking? In 2006 they will be releasing a line of Star Wars Transformer toys. Vader turns into a TIE Fighter. Grievous turns into a free roaming table saw blade and Luke turns into an X-Wing. Seriously, WTH? Are transforming robots a big thing again?
File under: Disturbing Trend.
The late, great Rod Serling will be incorporated into a 3D episode of the NBC supernatural drama Medium. Serling will introduce the episode and inform viewers how to use 3D glasses which are being widely distributed by the network. The use of the Serling video is sanctioned by Serling’s estate and wife.
What’s up with the using dead people in current movies and TV shows? Aside from using Twilight Zone‘s creator in Medium, last year we saw the use of Sir Laurence Olivier in Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. Next year, we’ll see Marlon Brando in Superman Returns.
Does this bother the Hollywood actors who are losing jobs to the dead. Might I suggest to Hollywood the use of time-traveling zombies to fill these roles? They come cheaper; instead of paying some estate you only have to pay licensing fees to SF Signal. Zombie actors are the wave of the future!
| Thursday, November 17th, 2005 at
Back on October 24th, a player in Project Entropia paid $100,00 of actual US dollars for the rights to online space. Literally space in this case – the rights to own an asteroid space resort.
The virtual construct has 1000 Apartment complex, Commercial Space Ship Docking, Themed Shopping Mall, Mega Stadium for championship sporting events, Nightclub with multiple Dance floors, Live Amphitheater, lounges, and 10 Hunting Biodomes. I don’t know what all that means in PE, but it sounds like a lot.
Jon can do anything he wants with this space – charging admission to the stadiums and hunting domes, selling or renting access to the apartment complex, selling advertising space (real life commercial advertising) and more. I know that PE allows players to write code and create other games within it, and it looks like Jon believes this will be a good investment for him.
You might remember that this isn’t the first time PE has sold online space for real dollars. About a year ago, a guy paid $27k for a virtual island. At the time, the press and blogs panned this as a waste of money. But lo and behold, the PE team announced recently that the virtual island guy has made all his money back through various means (by selling parts of it, mostly.) This year, he’s going to focus on ways to get people to pay for things as a way of making a living.
This isn’t for me I don’t think but it is an interesting development.
The winds of change are blowing in the world of publishing, as evidenced by another interesting article from the Book Standard.
On the heels of the Google Print lawsuit initiated by publishers, Google is exploring a plan to let users rent books for a small fee; about 10% of the book’s cover price. This also comes not long after Amazon’s recent announcement of their Pages service that allows you buy books by the page for online viewing.
I like that people are trying to find a business model that works for them as time marches on. I can’t personally say that any of these models appeal to me. Online reading is OK, but cannot surpass the physicality of holding a book. Buying by the page? Whatever for? Maybe grabbing a story from an anthology or for some text from some research books, but otherwise I see no purpose. Even so, it’s not something I’m likely to do. But that’s just me.
| Monday, November 14th, 2005 at
Wow this looks good. The trailer doesn’t give a whole lot of details except that it’s the first movie in a trilogy which is based on a series of fantasy novels. Made in Russia, I think.
Danny Boyle and Quentin Tarantino are putting it on par with LotR and the Matrix trilogies.
Robert Silverberg once said that the novella is the best length for a science fiction story:
I have said the novella is the perfect form for science fiction in the introduction to practically every collection of my novellas, and I do believe it. The novella allows the detailed working out of a complex science-fictional idea, the portrayal of a culture, the complexities of the character who is enmeshed within that culture. The exploration that I think is at the heart of a good science-fiction story can be done in great detail. At the same time, you don’t have the exhausting and sometimes stultifying process of spinning the thing out to book length. In modern science-fiction publishing, very big novels are expected — for that matter, whole trilogies are expected. In the novella, you can move around within the 80 or 90 manuscript pages and achieve quite a lot. I believe Edgar Allan Poe’s old dictum: one thing happens in a short story. Everything that happens in a short story should depend on that one thing. In a novella, two or three things can happen (or five or six sometimes).
Around 18 months ago, I ranted briefly on the bloat of science fiction. Now, a new discussion talking about the same thing has a brutally honest, by-the-numbers analysis by Charles Stross, who summarizes:
Until the book publishers figure out how to package collections of novellas and pay the authors pro-rata sums competitive with what they’d get for a novel, novellas are going to remain the dumping-ground for failed short novel ideas and special exhibition projects. And they’re going to be in short supply compared to the (much more lucrative) novels.
Sad, but true, I fear.
From Media Daily and CNEt:
America Online and Warner Bros. Today will announce an ambitious initiative to make scores of old WB programs available on demand on the Web. Streams of the programs will be available for free to all online users.
The service, dubbed “In2TV”, will offer six channels including a superheroes/villains channel. Shows available through the service include Wonder Woman, Babylon 5, Eight is Enough, Welcome Back Kotter and Growing Pains.
Does anyone see themselves ordering up an epsiode of old TV?
UPDATE: The complete list of shows is:
- Adventures of Brisco County Jr.
- Babylon 5
- Chico and the Man
- Dark Justice
- Eight is Enough
- F Troop
- The F.B.I.
- Falcon Crest
- Freddy’s Nightmares
- The Fugitive
- Growing Pains
- Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper
- Head of the Class
- Kung Fu
- La Femme Nikita
- Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman
- The New Adventures of Batman
- Perfect Strangers
- Pinky and the Brain
- Scarecrow and Mrs. King
- Spenser: For Hire
- Welcome Back, Kotter
- Wonder Woman
Here are the results of the latest SF Signal poll.
Has Lost jumped the shark?
Of the people who do tune in, Lost is clearly still doing the right thing. Then again, less than half of the voters watch it…
REVIEW SUMMARY: Better than Snow Crash.
BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Cyberpunk thriller in which Marid Audran must track down a psychopathic killer loose in the Budayeen, a place fueled by cheap thrills, drugs and plug-in personality modules.
PROS: Excellent writing style; taut thriller; fast-paced; satisfying.
CONS: Sequels are currently out of print. But only for a little while more.
BOTTOM LINE: A must-read for cyberpunk fans and for anyone who wants to see firsthand what cyberpunk could be.
Read the rest of this entry
By JP Frantz
| Saturday, November 12th, 2005 at
Two quick blog related updates for you today.
- I’ve changed the RSS feeds to run through Feedburner. Feedburner gives us lots of cool stats related to our RSS feeds which is why I decided to switch over. The swap should be transparent to our readers. The old feed has been redirected to Feedburner so there’s no need for anyone to change any links. If you do have problems, let us know.
- Please welcome SpecFicWorld to our blogroll. SFW is an online resource guide for readers and writers of SF, Fantasy and Horror.
That’s it for today! Enjoy.
Locus Online is reporting that SciFi.com, the website of the SciFi Channel, has announced its intent to “discontinue Sci Fiction, the Hugo Award winning fiction site edited by Ellen Datlow, at the end of 2005.”
This is sad news for sf fans and authors alike.
Aside from the recent improvements the SciFi Channel has made with the airing of Battlestar Galactica, SciFiction was the one bright spot in an otherwise weak lineup of offerings. Sure, 24 hours a day is a lot of programming to fill, but seriously, SciFi Channel programming department, Interceptor Force 2? You have become the laughing stock of fanboys and fangirls who would gladly watch your shows if they contained even 1 measly ounce of quality. The one thing you did right was provide quality fiction via the Internet (The Wave of the Future!); fiction that not only won awards, but was increasingly the source of stories included in Year’s Best anthologies. It’s a damn shame you couldn’t find a business model that worked. I suspect your image will suffer more than the savings can buy back in publicity.
The creative team (read: non-executives) behind SciFiction should be commended for an outstanding job in bringing quality sf to the fore. Heck, even bringing us the classic stuff was a great win for the sf community.
| Saturday, November 12th, 2005 at
Today, MS finally announced the backward compatibility list and they also indicated the software to do the emulation will be free. It can either be downloaded from the xbox website or the console itself will download it. The list is not a bad list, but it is lacking several games that would even make buying one palatable for me. That means no Burnout (revenge or 3) and no Lego Star Wars. My guess is that Burnout will have an XBox360 specific version, but not sure about some of the other properties. This does at least give us some idea of the capabilities of the emulation software.
At a lunch table discussion the other day, we got to talking about the recent news about CBS and NBC offering some of their shows for $1 or $2. I wondered whether torrent users (specifically those that download currently airing TV shows) would change their tune. The reasons I hear for downloading essentially boil down to “They don’t support the business model I want. I want on-demand TV viewing.” Well, now the business model is taking shape, albeit with a limited number of shows. So I wonder: will torrent users stop downloading the shows that are available for a couple of bucks?
(A comment was also made during this discussion that downloading TV shows that have aired is legal, which would make the point moot. However, stories like this BBC article lead me to believe otherwise…)