SF Tidbits for 10/11/07

Filed under: Tidbits

Tube Bits For 10/10/2007

  • The live-action Japanese film, Casshern gets released on DVD on October 16th. It’s based on the anime of the same name, and it has a very distinctive look to i but I’ve heard some so-so things about the plot. I haven’t had a chance to watch it yet as the version I have is sub-titles and, for this movie, I’m not sure I want to watch a sub.
  • The Sci Fi Channel is doing all it can to drum up viewers for Flash Gordon. From 10/05 – 11/16, they will be airing 2 minute Razor mini-sodes leading up to the November premier of the movie. Each episode focuses on a young Adama, and just in case you miss it on Friday night, you can see them on the web the next day.
  • Entertainment Weekly has a very nice article entitled Star Trek: TNG: An Oral History where they look back on the premier of TNG 20 years ago, and reminisce with many of the creators of that show. For me, TNG was really good for seasons 3-5, then went slowly downhill as technobabble and the particle of the week dominated the later shows. And I never liked the look of the Enterprise D.
  • Looks like NBC’s Monday night programming is really in decline. Even Heroes only managed a 5.0 rating, waaay down from its heyday. Chuck and Journeyman both struggled to get a 3. But then again, this may be the new range for ratings as fewer people are watching the networks.
  • And in case you hadn’t heard, remastered classic Trek episode ‘The Menagerie’ will be in theaters starting Nov. 13. You can check date and times in your area here. Now is your chance to see Cpt. Pike and his beepy chair on the big screen! Even if it will still be show in 4×3 format.

Filed under: Tube Bits

How Do You Like Heroes Season 2 So Far?

Three episodes into the new season of Heroes and I can’t seem to shake this love/hate relationship I have with the show. These episodes have done nothing to dispel my overall feeling of “good but not great” left over from Season 1.

Here’s why…

*** SPOILER WARNING ***

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Filed under: HeroesTV

SF Tidbits for 10/10/07

Filed under: Tidbits

According to Variety, the Halcyon Company has inked a 3 year first-look deal for all the works of Philip K. Dick that have not previously been adapted. Every. Single. One.

From the press release:

A joint announcement was made today by Halcyon co-CEOs Victor Kubicek and Derek Anderson, and Electric Shepherd Productions’ Isa Dick Hackett and Laura Leslie: Halcyon will have the first option to develop projects in conjunction with Electric Shepherd Productions, the Dick Estate’s multimedia production company. Based on material from Dick’s vast body of work, co-productions may include film adaptations, as well as television and other media projects. Details of the production slate are forthcoming.

Dick’s works include more than 120 short stories and 45 novels, including Ubik (recently described as the writer’s masterpiece by The New Yorker and deemed one of the “All-Time 100 Greatest Novels” by Time), The Man in the High Castle, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (adapted as Blade Runner), The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, and The Transmigration of Timothy Archer. Dick’s novels and short stories have been adapted into nine feature films including: Blade Runner, Total Recall, Minority Report and A Scanner Darkly. Together these titles have grossed over 1 billion dollars in revenue worldwide.

This begs the question: Which PKD work do you most want to see adapted to film? Do you care? (As a side project: provide a catchy headline for this post! :))

For reference, here is the list of adaptations of his work according to the Philip K. Dick website…

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Filed under: BooksMovies

Caption Challenge #6: Dr. Stephen Hawking Edition

Never let it be said that I discriminate against anybody, and I feel that the caption challenge should be open to all sorts of folks including those in the science community. With that, we have a LEGO version of Dr. Stephen Hawking grabbed from the folks over at Argh!. I will admit that the image did get a giggle out of me, and for that I have some guilt until I realized that Dr. Hawking would probably get a kick out of this too. So I look forward to your witty quotes. Now if we could find a LEGO version of Dr. Michio Kaku then we would be set.

Filed under: Humor

REVIEW: Amnesia Moon by Jonathan Lethem

REVIEW SUMMARY: Jonathan Lethem channels Philip K. Dick.

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: A man named Chaos, who may have the power to shape reality through his dreams, travels America in search of the truth behind the calamity that changed the world.

MY REVIEW:

PROS: Engaging, quickly-read prose; pocket versions of reality mix it up and keep it fun; well-drawn characters.

CONS: No definitive explanation given of the apocalypse so there is a partial feeling of being lost.

BOTTOM LINE: This is a well-written, reality-bending story that is perhaps more accessible than some of Philip K. Dick’s stranger novels that play on the same themes.

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Filed under: Book Review

Used Bookstores Have 10 Years to Live

Entrepreneur magazine, in the MSNBC article 10 businesses facing extinction in 10 years, says used bookstores have at most 10 years of life left, thanks to the Internet:

Used bookstores

They’ve been closing fast, and those that are still open are relying on what’s making them obsolete: the internet. A used bookstore used to be the place to find that beloved, out-of-print children’s book you used to read 17 times a day until your little sister flushed it down the toilet. Now you just type that title in a search engine and order it within minutes.

Odds of survival in 10 years: Some of them will still be eking out an existence, but the handwriting is on the wall.

Sadly, this is probably true. Some will say good riddance (Amazon fanatics? Publishers who see used books dinging sales? Hunters and not Gatherers?) but personally, I love trolling used bookstores for hidden treasures. Even when I find nothing it re-ignites my love of reading. I suppose I should enjoy it while I can…

Filed under: Books

Tuesday YouTube: Hollywood Actors Read Poe

Compare and Contrast these 3 readings of Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven”…

First, via Doc40, Christopher Walken:

Second, John Astin:

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Filed under: Books

SF Tidbits for 10/9/07

Filed under: Tidbits

What do you watch on TV? 2007 edition!

In the spirit of all the recent TV/movie ‘re-imaging’ of properties (Bionic Woman being the latest) I decided to recycle a post from way back in 2005. What TV shows do you watch regularly? Or maybe to update it – what’s on your TiVo? As before, here are the ones I watch with a short explanation of each and why I like it.

And before somebody mentions it – I don’t actually watch all these shows every week. Some I do, but many end up unwatched for weeks just saved on the TiVo until I either get around to finally watching them or I just delete them to free up space.

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Filed under: TV

Monday YouTube: Bender’s Big Score Trailer

[via kitsunenoir]

Filed under: Movies

Brewster Rockit: Space Guy!

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.

The latest story line involves an alien race called the Emoticons, who have lost the ability to communicate verbally.

See Also:

Go Comics, who publishes an RSS feed.

Wikipedia, for a character list.

[H/T Quasar Dragon]

Filed under: HumorWeb Sites

Tube Bits For 10/08/2007

  • 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.

QUESTION
Ridley Scott’s ultimate version of Blade Runner is being released in December. Will you buy it?

RESULTS

(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

Be sure to visit our front page and vote in this week’s poll about The Top 50 Dystopian Movies of All Time!

Filed under: Polls

SF Tidbits for 10/7/07

Filed under: Tidbits

Brian Aldiss on the Prophecies of Science Fiction

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

SF Tidbits for 10/6/07

Filed under: Tidbits

LOST Leaks And Other Bits

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: LOSTTV

Friday YouTube: Wash Plays with Dinosaurs

Filed under: Firefly

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