Back in the day, comic strips were a place for artists to showcase their talents with, you know, actual artwork. These days, with everyone jumping on the web comic bandwagon, it seems that all is required is one scene cut-and-pasted into multiple frames.
Not so with the Tim Rickard’s syndicated sci-fi comic Brewster Rockit: Space Guy! It’s an honest-to-goodness comic strip that even delivers some funny. I’ll let wikipedia give the description:
Brewster Rockit is the Captain of the R.U. Sirius (a spoof of the phrase “are you serious?”), a space station orbiting earth that acts as both an embassy for visiting aliens as well as a first line of defense against hostile aliens. The comic often goes off into long story lines based upon different science fiction movies and books, with Brewster and his crew typically coming out victorious over the countless evil villains they face.
Go Comics, who publishes an RSS feed.
Wikipedia, for a character list.
[H/T Quasar Dragon]
- Can’t wait for Jericho to return? Then maybe you should be rooting for one one of CBS’ new shows to fail, as Jericho may get the axed show’s time slot, instead of having to wait till mid-season. Also, the creators have ‘packed’ a full season of stuff into 7 episodes, in case it isn’t renewed again. So, if they can cram 22 into 7 when pressured, just how much fluff is there in a full season?
- St. Louis Today columnist Gail Pennington looks at Pushing Daisies. Did you know it was envisioned as a spin-off of Dead Like Me? I missed the premier, did any see it? How was it?
- Speaking of Pushing Daisies, NPR’s Fresh Air has posted their interview with creators Bryan Fuller and Barry Sonnenfeld. I heard part of this yesterday morning, and they talk quite a bit about the SF influences of both men. Interesting.
- J.J. Abrams has signed up with FOX to create a new SF pilot, called Fringe. The pilot will cost about $10 million to produce, will focus on the ‘dark side of science’ (as if SF TV ever focuses on the good side of science), and will involve an FBI agent investigating paranormal activity. I don’t know. I was skeptical about The X-Files and that turned out rather well. On the plus side, the lead will be a female, and we know how well Alias was in that regard (well, the first season anyway).
Filed under: Tube Bits
Here are the results of the latest SF Signal poll.
Ridley Scott’s ultimate version of Blade Runner is being released in December. Will you buy it?
|(95 total votes)|
Several comments this week:
“Why is there no: ‘Yes, I will most definitely download it from a favorite p2p site.’ Not that I would choose that you understand.” – General X
“I’ve bought it so many times already, what’s one more version?” – Fred Kiesche
“Too much versions, I’m bored. The wikipedia says it was seven different versions, and this one is the eighth!. I don’t want to play de game of buying ‘the ultimatest-ultimate version’. For me, it’s an abuse because they know the film is a ‘cult movie’ and they are taking advantage of this. It’s a good SF movie and that’s all. As I know, I have the first ultimate version. In 1992 this version was named ‘the director’s cut’. I’m not a collector and I don’t want to buy more versions of the same movie (And for me, it doesn’t matter if Mr. Rick Deckard was a replicant or not!)” – girotix
“One of my favorite movies of all time. Which is why I bought it when first released on DVD. Perfect in every way!!! I waited too long for Aliens and now am stuck with the over long, extended edition. I fell in love with these movies in the theater and that is how I want to watch them. JUST LIKE I DID IN THE THEATER… Please Hollywood, just stop! PS With HBO, SciFi, and various other outlets those ‘extras’ will be on some special at some point, or I can just netflix them and save myself $100…” – Bryan
Filed under: Polls
- The Bat Segundo Show catches up with Brian Francis Slattery (Spaceman Blues).
- Gutenberg has new/updated stories from Stanley G. Weinbaum: “The Ideal“, “The Point of View“, “Pygmalion’s Spectacles” and “The Worlds of If“.
- Paul Di Filippo wonders: Where’s todays Science Fiction League?
- The Guardian’s Alastair Harper wonders how long it will be before a computer wins the Booker prize?
- Waiting for Speedway Fowler lists 100 Most Underrated/Never Seen TV Shows
- SciFI Catholic briefly envisions a scene from a play with Charles Stross, John C. Wright and Robert Heinlein.
Filed under: Tidbits
Over at Times Online, Brian Aldiss examines the prophecies of science fiction, particularly in the area of space travel.
In July 1969, Nasa’s Apollo 11 achieved the first landing on the moon. What excitement! Like millions of others, the Aldiss family watched the event on television. Meanwhile, through our living-room windows, we could see the moon itself. A strange double vision. Prayers may indeed have been said, but it was science that got us there.
While I had always been an ardent believer in space travel, my hope was less for conquest than for the chance to understand ourselves better.
I do believe there is confusion everywhere on Earth – confusion probably caused by deficiencies in the human brain. Supposing we encountered a species of unruffled benevolence, it might act as our tutor – or possibly our psychoanalyst. It’s only natural for us to dream of other kinds of lives, better lives. A disturbing question (not discussed among our leaders) haunts us: the doubt that human consciousness is fit for purpose.
Filed under: Books
- Adventures in Scifi Publishing podcasts Michael Moorcock (The Metatemporal Detective). [via Pyr-o-mania]
- At SciFi Wire, John Joseph Adams profiles Steven Gould, author of Jumper and Reflex, the basis for an upcoming movie.
- Chris Roberson offers free fiction from his book Paragaea.
- David Langford has posted Ansible #243 for October 2007.
- Times Online lists The 40 most memorable aliens.
- /Film lists Top 10 Superhero Movies.
- Geekend lists The Top 20 Sci-Fi Starship Captains of All Time.
- L.E. Modesitt asks Why Doesn’t Society Catch Up to Science Fiction? “I’d submit that there’s a conflict between what’s likely technically and what’s likely socially, and social change will be far slower than predicted. In fact, that’s already occurred.”
- Author Mark Chadbourn asks: Are RPGs Killing Fantasy? SF Diplomat responds.
- M. John Harrison offers advice for fantasy writers: “Substitute imagination for exhaustiveness, and inventiveness for research. As a reader I’m not interested in a ‘fully worked out’ world. I’m not interested in ‘self consistency’…Tear this one up, & start again with that very good sentence from p50, ‘I didn’t know what was happening.'” [via Jeff VanderMeer]
- Entertainment Weekly looks at the possibility of Peter Jackson directing The Hobbit after all. [via MarketSaw]
- A.R.Yngve points us to Teresa Nilsen Hayden’s Random Plot Generator.
Filed under: Tidbits
I’ve been collecting a few links of interest for LOST fans, like me, and I thought I’d share them with you. Note that there may be potential spoilers here so read at your own risk.
First up, Buddy TV, via Sci Fi Wire, has Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindeloff dropping some information on season 4. Things that are already well guessed at, if not know: flash backs and flash forwards will be mixed throughout the episodes, Michael is back, and we’ll get to ‘see’ Jacob in some form of fashion. I’m intrigued to see how the flash backs/forwards will work and how they’ll add to the show’s story. Reading the actual story at Sci Fi Wire, we learn that Walt will make an appearance during the show, and that Lindelof and Cuse had already planned for Malcom David Kelley’s inevitable aging during filming. In other words, Walt will look older and the producers have already taken that into account for the story. This leads some credence to my theory that the island is behind some sort of event horizon, and time runs slower for those on the island.
While pimping the Season 3 DVD set of LOST, L&C let it be known that, yes, they do listen to the fans and they do make changes to the show based on that feedback. As evidence, they point out the expanded role of Niki and Paolo last season, and their untimely burial, all as a result of fans reactions (read: whining). As for this season, Cuse played the smart @$$ card: “Yes, got any?”
And finally, Lindelof says he’s always known how LOST will end, and even has the final shot in mind, and no, it’s not a black screen. Thank goodness. Cuse also stated, “it would be wrong to think that the flash-forward you saw is the end of the series.” My take: the future can be changed, the flash forwards are possible outcomes given the current island situation. Mark your calendars for Feb. 6th for LOST‘s return.
After the strong finish to last season, I can’t wait for this season!
Filed under: Firefly
- Charles Stross has begun posting the opening chapters from his latest novel, Halting State. See prologue and Chapter 1. More to come. [via Big Dumb Object]
- SFRevu interviews Jon Courtenay Grimwood, Edward M. Lerner, and Frank Beddor. [via Locus Online]
- SF Gospel has some quotes by Theodore Sturgeon on science and religion. “There is no secret sect of guys with test-tubes out to destroy the temples. There are more anti-religionists outside Science than in it…and if God [thinks] about this at all, He probably feels that He made a cosmos quite roomy enough to contain them all.”
- Norman Spinrad has decided to release his latest and as-yet-unpublished novel, Osama The Gun, as free-to-read sections online at Scribd. [via Velcro City Tourist Board]
- New/Updated at Gutenberg…Free fiction from Alan E. Nourse: “The Link“, “Meeting of the Board” and “My Friend Bobby“.
- Reemixx asks: Is sci-fi becoming mainstream? I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that Mr. Average Joe is just starting to realize that science fiction works contain a lot of content that he can relate to, increasing his interest in it somewhat. This realization may occur on a subconscious level.”
- Something Awful lists The 22 Most Awful Moments in Science Fiction.
- Big Dumb Object lists 10 Things that are stupid about The Bionic Woman.
- Chris Roberson unearths a commercial for the WALL-E robot.
- Obsessed with Film has the new teaser poster for Iron Man.
- Holy lecturing, Batman! Neatorama points us to quotes from the old Batman TV show, focusing on quotes where Batman lectures Robin. “Even crimefighters need their sleep, Robin.”
Filed under: Tidbits
Two book-related websites crossed my path today…
First up is BookJetty, a “user-friendly book cataloging system, where you can catalog, tag, rate and review your books, and check your books availability seamlessly from 300 libraries worldwide.”
Second is WorldCat, “a publicly accessible online interface to the holdings of all types of libraries throughout the world: currently 57,000 libraries in 112 countries. Tell it what book you’re looking for and your zip code or city, and it will pinpoint the nearest library that has the book.”
This are neat ideas. I’m not sure I’ll personally use them (borrow from a library instead of own?!?!) but it’s nice to know that, not only is there an LP of Theodore Sturgeon reading his stories, but the nearest one to me is 1800 miles away. (For those too young to know what an LP is, it’s like a giant, black CD that scratches easily.)
Filed under: Web Sites
- Forbes takes a look at the ratings for the current fall TV season and says So Far, So OK. They go on to explain that the reason the networks may be reluctant to yank a show quickly this season is that Nielsen will be adding DVR viewers into the ratings. The catch: these DVR’ed ratings won’t be available until mid-October.
- Illusion On-Demand, the first VOD channel dedicated to SF and Fantasy, has officially launched in North America. Currently available, for free to digital subscribers, in only 20 states, head on over to their site to see if they are on your cable network, and to check out video previews of the shows they will have available. Sadly, Comcast isn’t one of them.
- Cinema Blend, with the help of Alan Tudyk, is rumor mongering the possible go ahead for a Serenity 2, with all the cast returning. Tudyk says the current Serenity DVD is selling out, getting Universal’s attention. Didn’t we do that already to get the first movie made? My guess: Any new Serenity will be direct to DVD.
- Ground Report has a bunch of SF anime reviews up. You might find one you like
Filed under: Tube Bits
Scientific American has a nice little article covering an area of astronomy you probably don’t think much about: When a new extrasolar planet is discovered, how do the artists illustrate a planet they’ve never seen?
Turns out, there’s a lot of science behind the illustrations, of course. Things like planetary size determine whether the planet is a gas giant or ball of rock. Composition can determine the colors of the atmosphere, and distance from the star can give dramatic artistic visualization to an illustration. It’s all covered.
As a bonus, the article also mentions Lynette Cook as one of the artists NASA contacts to create an illustration. Check out her website for some really nice pictures. Heck, go check out the Spitzer Space Telescope’s Artist’s Conception page for even more eye candy, many wallpaper worthy.
Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing and FanLib, an online fan creativity hub, are having a fan fiction writing contest centered around Scott Westerfelds latest book in the Uglies series: Extras. The winning prize is a one-of-a-kind Playstation 3 reskinned with the cover artwork of the book.
The Uglies series has been described as “a dystopian futuristic series that is a mix of Logan’s Run and The Twilight Zone episode “Number 12 Looks Just Like You”, with teens required to get plastic surgery at the age of 16 to become physically perfect, and what happens when some teens resist the process. Dark science-fiction with razor-sharp social commentary.”
I met Westerfeld earlier this year at the local Teen Lit Fest 2007. (Can you say “creepy old guy hanging out at a high school event”?) He talked about Uglies and the ideas behind it and it does sound really cool, in a classic sf way. I loved Westerfeld’s Succession books, but his wild popularity with this series (and others) in the young adult market probably means he won’t be returning anytime soon.
Filed under: Books
The website for Honorverse: The Online Game has just launched.
The game is based on David Weber’s Honor Harrington series of books and allows players to design and build space stations and fleets of ships, implement battle tactics, optionally set economic policies, and more. You can even create your own flags, insignia and national anthem.
The game itself is not due until the Fall of 2008. For now, check out the game’s trailer.
[Yet-another-h/t to Fred K.]
- Entertainment Weekly‘s PopWatch tells us why we should be watching BBC’s Jekyll: “Done on a budget that would barely cover the catering on Heroes, this BBC series is a reinvention of the Jekyll-and-Hyde legend that crackles with wit, suspense, and genuine terror.” They also offer a YouTube preview.
- ArmadilloCon 2008 has lined up John Scalzi as Guest of Honor and have mocked up their site to resemble Scalzi’s The Android’s Dream. [via Irene Gallo, Tor's Art Director]
- Eleanor Arnason discusses Romance and SF: “Complaining about romance in SF is ultimately complaining that there are too many women in SF.”
- Remoting Future has countdowns to science fictional events that have yet to occur. [via Gravity Lens]
- SciFi Chick lists 13 SciFi Mental Illnesses.
- Geek wardrobe: Star Wars line-art tees. [via BoingBoing]
- Geek decoration: An ornament of Inara’s shuttle from Firefly. [Sent in via Fred K.]
Filed under: Tidbits
And you thought model rocketry consisted of those Estes kits you can buy in stores. Silly you. After seeing the above pic, don’t you wish you knew more about rocketry so you could build your own 21-ft. X-Wing Fighter and then launch it, powered by 4 M class solid rocket boosters. Those are pretty big, in case you were wondering. And that’s exactly what Polecat Aerospace has done. Fresh off building and launching a 1/16 scale model of the Soviet N1 rocket (analogous to the Saturn V), they turned their project eyes towards something much more fantastical: The X-Wing.
As if just building and launching an X-Wing isn’t cool enough, Polecat didn’t stop there. Oh no. These Star Wars fanatics went even farther. The wings actually split apart in flight, as seen in the movies, and they added an RC R2-D2, complete with sound. Awesome.
As for recovery, this sucker uses three remote deployed man-rated parachutes to waft gently to the ground. They hope. Keep your eyes open on October 6th, that’s the day scheduled for launch. Let’s hope all their hard work isn’t for naught.
[H/T to Kotaku for the link.]
Filed under: Star Wars
- James Patrick Kelly interviews William Gibson (Spook Country).
- John Picacio shares an early sketch of the cover he is doing for Pyr’s reprint of Robert Silverberg’s Son of Man.
- Ellen Datlow lists the table of contents for The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror 2007: Twentieth Annual Collection, released this week.
- TTA Press will be re-launching The Fix – a defunct magazine with reviews, interviews, columns, and articles – as an online venture. [via Big Dumb Object]
- Fantasy Book Critic interviews Brandon Sanderson (The Mistborn books).
- L.E. Modesitt, Jr. looks at how the fantasy genre became so popular. “As a society, we act as though almost all our physical needs are met by magic.”
- Through Lou Anders, Mike Resnick shares a Batman fan video based on his short story “Neutral Ground” that appeared in The Further Adventures of Batman edited by Martin H. Greenberg.
- Technolvelgy has The Ministry of Silly (Robot) Walks.
- An asteroid has been named after George Takei. Better him than Jar-Jar…
- The Star lists 20 things they love about Star Trek: The Next Generation.
- Miniature Brainwave whows us how Cthulhu eats Spaghetti-Ohs…with a Cthulhu fork.
Filed under: Tidbits