I was in Half Price Books tonight. (Oh, like you don’t take your young kids to the bookstore on a school night? What’s that? You don’t? Oh. Well…never mind then.) I found a bargain copy of A.A. Milne’s poetry called The World of Christopher Robin which is an omnibus of two of his works: When We Were Very Young and Now We Are Six.
Wouldn’t you know it? My daughter likes it a lot. In particular, she likes the poem called “The End“. As much as I thought I disliked poetry, I gotta say that it takes on a whole new light when you hear your child reading it.
Hmmm. That’s weird. Hey, maybe my mind is expanding. It feels kinda- [head explodes.]
Paul McCartney will broadcast a concert into space for the benefit of orbiting astronauts.
In a related story, the RIAA has initiated legal proceedings against two students on the planet Glarnak VII, who travelled forward in time to record the song and distribute it through BitTorrent.
Music • Space
Rumors abound of new scifi TV shows in development:
A couple of weeks ago, Smallville, not that I watch it [looks up and to the left], featured the character of Aquaman. Apparently, the high ratings for that show (whatever that means when passed through the WB filter) has spawned this idea. Personally, as a DC Comics reader growing up, I always thought Aquaman was the most limited, and therefore the lamest, character. (Sorry, fanboys and superfanboys.) Are there no other superheroes to bring to the small screen? How about a Justice League? How about a Legion of Superheroes ? Heck, even The Atom is better than Aquaman. Oh well, better than Hawkman, I guess. Hawkman makes Aquaman look like Superman but with only one-eighth of his powers.
Another rumor making the rounds concerns a TV series based on Robocop, the lovable, square-jawed cyborg hero of a violent future Detroit. This has been done before, twice if you count the animated series. Apparently, Hollywood feels that they can give it another go. Unless they can get past the censors with a weekly toxic-waste-bath scene like they had in the first movie, I’m afraid this is doomed to failure.
Lastly, from FanDominion, there’s word of a possible TV series based on the Terminator movies. It’s tentatively titled The Sarah Connor Chronicles and will focus on that character and her son John, who, as we know, grows up to send Arnold Schwarzeneggar back through time (although NOT as an undead, time-travelling Nazi as the licensing fees to SF Signal would run the project severely over budget).
The Guardian’s Technology blog has posted the results of their geek novel survey:
- The HitchHiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
- Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
- Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
- Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip Dick
- Neuromancer by William Gibson
- Dune by Frank Herbert
- I, Robot by Isaac Asimov
- Foundation by Isaac Asimov
- The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett
- Microserfs by Douglas Coupland
- Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
- Watchmen by Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons
- Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson
- Consider Phlebas by Iain M Banks
- Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein
- The Man in the High Castle by Philip K Dick
- American Gods by Neil Gaiman
- The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson
- The Illuminatus! Trilogy by Robert Shea & Robert Anton Wilson
- Trouble with Lichen by John Wyndham
Amazon has posted their editors’ Top 10 Science Fiction & Fantasy Books for 2005:
- The Algebraist by Iain M. Banks
- Accelerando by Charles Stross
- Looking for Jake : Stories by China Mieville
- Olympos by Dan Simmons
- Magic Street by Orson Scott Card
- Anansi Boys : A Novel by Neil Gaiman
- Knife of Dreams (The Wheel of Time, Book 11) by Robert Jordan
- A Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 4) by George R. R. Martin
- The Narrows by Alexander Irvine
- Woken Furies (Takeshi Kovacs Novels) by Richard K. Morgan
As usual, I wonder about the process of picking the titles. Not that these books are not worthy – they are. I did notice that the titles are all recent releases (between June 28 and November 8). What, was the first half of 2005 a crappy year for sf/f? Bah! Still, I love lists…
[Link via the always informative Locus Online. Also via Big Dumb Object, a blog that desrves to be on your blogroll. (Not mentioning anyone in particular.)]
Here’s a game of Risk that uses the Google Map API’s to render the board. It’s a bit cumbersome, but this is a cool application of the technology. Now, if they could only make the UI less clunky…
[link via LifeHacker]
By JP Frantz
| Monday, November 7th, 2005 at
Did you ever wish you could get all the Star Trek TV shows and movies in one, easy to use DVD collection? Well, now you can! For the low, low price of $2500 from Amazon (36% off list price no less), you can buy The Ultimate Star Trek Collection.
Now, I’m not sure what’s worse. Someone who would plunk down the $2500 to buy this or the reviewers who argue this isn’t the ‘ultimate’ collection because the animated series isn’t included. How much of a fanboy do you have to be to shell out that many clams for more Star Trek than you can stomach? This is just unbelievable.
Here are the results of the latest SF Signal poll.
How many TV series sets do you own on DVD?
I was all set to go on ranting about how buying DVDs of TV shows was a luxury since the shows usually live on in reruns somewhere. That was until I took stock of my own collection. I own slightly more than 10. Yikes! To be fair, some of them were gifts and one was even a contest win, but still. It’s people like me that make TV-based DVD sets so profitable. You’re welcome, Hollywood!
REVIEW SUMMARY: A well-imagined future is the breakout star for this character-driven story.
BRIEF SYNOPSIS: In a nanotech future, several factions attempt to gain possession of a cryogenically frozen head.
PROS: Outstanding, wondrous world-building; finely crafted; interesting characters.
CONS: The world-building slightly overshadows the character-driven plot.
BOTTOM LINE: An impressive debut novel.
Read the rest of this entry
You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to get a patent. Or do you?
Andrew Knight, a rocket engine inventor, filed a patent 2 years ago for a fictional storyline. This month’s Ansible points to an article about the recent publication of Knight’s patent. What’s his story?
The fictitious story, which Knight dubs “The Zombie Stare,” tells of an ambitious high school senior, consumed by anticipation of college admission, who prays one night to remain unconscious until receiving his MIT admissions letter. He consciously awakes 30 years later when he finally receives the letter, lost in the mail for so many years, and discovers that, to all external observers, he has lived an apparently normal life. He desperately seeks to regain 30 years’ worth of memories lost as an unconscious philosophical zombie.
Next year, Amazon is rolling out a new service called Pages. With it, you can purchase portions of a book for online viewing down to the page level. The cost for most books is expected to be a few cents per page.
Another program, Amazon Upgrade, will offer full online access when a traditional text is purchased. (Not sure how they accomplish that part, technically-speaking. Include an easy-to-publish key in the book?) Under this program, book owners will be able to access the full text online for a small additional fee. The article example is a $20 book would cost an extra $2 to view online.
I wonder, is this a project meant to appease the publishers who are in an uproar over the Google Print mess?
The DVD of Serenity will be available just in time for the holidays.
The December 20th release date comes threee months after its theatrical release. That’s a quick turnaround. The message boards in the link above contain speculations that there will be the inevitable Special Edition release sometime later.
| Thursday, November 3rd, 2005 at
I don’t really enjoy Penny Arcade (way too many naughty words), but they did a pretty stand-up thing a couple weeks ago by donating $10,000 to the charity Child’s Play when Jack Thompson had problems putting his money where his mouth was.
Yeah, this is old news, but I just found out about it last night while listening to Mur Lafferty’s Geek Fu Action Grip podcast.
SyFy Portal reports that CBS will be streaming episodes of Threshold in an effort to increase viewership. Episodes will only be available 3 days but they will be commercial free.
This is another big step for the networks. Where is it headed? I think SF Signalite Tim echoes the sentiments of many – bring us the $1-per-episode DRM-free downloads!
SF author James Patrick Kelly, known for the free, self-read audio versions of his stories, is dabbling in podcasting. A new entry, chapter one of a novella called “Burn” is described thusly:
This is Chapter One of an original novella, to be published soon by Tachyon Publications. On a distant planet in the far future, the last remaining true humans have come together to form a Utopia based on the principles of Walden. The posthuman population resists human encroachment by setting fire to their terraformed forests.
This podcasting experiment will continue for 15 more weeks, with each week seeing a new chapter. Tune in!
| Tuesday, November 1st, 2005 at
Finally, here’s a company catering to the vacation needs of the intellectually happ’nin, but socially challenged crowd.
geekcruises.com even has a section on how to convince your spouse to go.