Some people [looks at JP] like reading multiple books in parallel. JP is currently reading two (three?) books in the same genre (sf). One guy I know (let’s call him “Ralmon”) reads multiple books in parallel, but only when they are different types – a sf book, a non-fiction book, etc.
I’m more of a serial reader myself. Well, maybe not entirely, since I do tend to sneak in some short fiction stories while reading novel-length stuff. Like Ralmon, reading two science fiction books in parallel is out of the question. I’m sure to confuse universes or essential plot elements. I’d constantly be asking myself why Paul Atreides just doesn’t slip off his VR mask to get off that accursed planet.
The Alien Online has an update from Kevin J. Anderson on his progress in writing the sequel to A.E. van Vogt’s classic novel, Slan:
“When I read the outline and partial manuscript, and reread Slan, I decided to take on the project. My primary goal is to make a sequel that all fans of the original novel will enjoy. It carries forward many of the original ideas, with plenty of additional twists and turns, lots of action, even one of Van’s signature surprise endings. I think it’s very important to call more attention to one of the great early writers of the genre and to acknowledge the contribution he made to all of science fiction.
“Because Slan was originally published in 1940, the writing style is somewhat dated and pulpy for modern readers. Nevertheless, the feel of the book, the super-science, the vast ideas, the plot twists, the surprise ending, the spectacular setting – everything is perfectly compatible to a current audience. I worked hard to maintain the ‘flavor’ of van Vogt, while still polishing the manuscript so that the prose is equal to the very best I can do.
| Thursday, May 4th, 2006 at
G4TV comes out with some hilarious Star Trek stop motion animation from 72andSunny to help G4TV advertise for Star Trek 2.0 the networks attempt to breathe life back in to the troubled G4TV channel. The animations feature the original Star Trek figurines (dolls?) with revised voices for the characters who speak using modern urban language in an attempt to bring a little “street cred” to the otherwise stiff dialog from the original TV series. They are very inventive commercials that I find truly hilarious, especially the one called “Star Trek Cribs” which features Spock having a house party. If you would like to view them they can be seen in a few video hosting sites. Youtube is where I’m sending you for a gander. Youtube search “Star Trek G4TV”
If you’ve come to this website because your interests are in science fiction and fantasy, chances are that you feel at home on the Internet. I would bet that many of you have already trolled the web looking for the websites or blogs of your favorite sf/f authors. Did you find them?
More and more authors are turning to the Internet to publicize their work and increase their profiles. (See the Publishers Weekly article Innovative PR in SF/Fantasy, the piece that initiated this one.) But are web-savvy authors precluding the need for publicists? No, they are supplementing their publicists’ efforts. And why not? Getting noticed is the biggest hurdle for an author to overcome. In one of the simplest but most insightful quotes (in this case regarding copyright violations of books, but still appropriate here), Cory Doctorow says “The biggest threat [authors] face isn’t piracy, it’s obscurity.”
Getting your name out there, then, is the name of the game. But how many authors take advantage of the Internet? Relatively few. Some of those few are longtime Internet mainstays [looks at Bruce Sterling] but several-up-and coming genre authors have also become big names; at least in the blogosphere. The relatively recent boom in electronic self-publishing – blogs – has allowed these innovative upstarts to become their own publicists. To name-drop a few genre authors who have reaped the popularity benefits that blogs can bring, there’s Doctorow, John Scalzi, Charles Stross and Jeff VanderMeer. And still many others are hot on their heels.
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Christmas comes early for JP this year.
This September, in response to overwhelming demand (to be read: huge market potential), Lucasfilm will release “the long-awaited DVD release of the original theatrical incarnations of the classic Star Wars trilogy.”
You heard me. The original “Han Shot First” versions. (StarWarsShop even has Han shot first t-shirts for the occasion.)
From their website:
In response to overwhelming demand, Lucasfilm Ltd. and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment will release attractively priced individual two-disc releases of Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Each release includes the 2004 digitally remastered version of the movie, as well as the original theatrical edition of the film. That means you’ll be able to enjoy Star Wars as it first appeared in 1977, Empire in 1980, and Jedi in 1983.
See the title crawl to Star Wars before it was known as Episode IV; see the pioneering, if dated, motion control model work on the attack on the Death Star; groove to Lapti Nek or the Ewok Celebration song like you did when you were a kid; and yes, see Han Solo shoot first.
[via Club Jade]
This is the April 2006 update of my New Year’s Resolution.
STARTING SF-POINTS©: 98
SF-POINTS© EARNED THIS MONTH: 56 (QUOTA: 30)
YEAR-TO-DATE SF-POINTS©: 154 (YTD QUOTA: 120)
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Here are the results of the latest SF Signal poll.
Which of the following film aliens is the most hideous?
Does anyone else find it humorous that Jar Jar is as hideous as H.R. Giger’s Alien?
Be sure to vote in this week’s poll on 2006 Summer Movies.
I’m finally getting around to reading the April 2006 issue of Locus Magazine. I would’ve started sooner but…oh, never mind.
In this issue, Harlan Ellison®‘s name comes up a few times in two places: his tribute to Octavia E. Butler (never leave off the “E”, he warns) and in Gary K. Wolfe’s review of The Best of Philip José Farmer, in which he talks about Farmer’s “Riders of the Purple Wage” which first appeared in Ellison®‘s landmark anthology Dangerous Visions.
Do you know what all of these mentions of Ellison® has in common? They are all followed by the Registered Trademark symbol.
Ellison®, whose defense of his stories’ copyrights are legendary, has apparently squeezed his copyrights so tightly that a trademark symbol popped out of his name. More power to him, I say. If Harlan Ellison® wants all instances of Harlan Ellison®‘s name to be suffixed with the symbol, then Harlan Ellison® should get exactly what Harlan Ellison® wants. At the very least, it’s fun to look at in print. It’s like this decade’s Prince Rogers Nelson name debacle, only this time its “The Author Formerly Known as Harlan Ellison.”
Yet another TOC…
Jonathan Strahan has announced the (mostly complete) table of contents for his upcomingh anthology Best Short Novels: 2006 to be published by the Science Fiction Book Club.
- “The Little Goddess” by Ian McDonald
- “The Gist Hunter” by Matthew Hughes
- “Human Readable” by Cory Doctorow (Now available in a seven part podcast.)
- “Audubon in Atlantis” by Harry Turtledove (excerpt)
- “Magic For Beginners” by Kelly Link
- “Fishin’ With Grandma Matchie” by Steven Erikson
- “The Policeman’s Daughter” by Wil McCarthy (excerpt)
- “Inside Job” by Connie Willis
- Not yet announced
From Asimov’s Forum here is the table of contents for The Year’s Best Science Fiction #23 edited by Gardner Dozois.
- “The Little Goddess” by Ian Mcdonald
- “The Calorie Man” By Paolo Bacigalupi
- “Beyond The Aquila Rift” By Alastair Reynolds
- “Second Person, Present Tense” By Daryl Gregory
- “The Canadian Who Came Almost All The Way Home From The Stars” By Jay Lake And Ruth Nestvold
- “Triceratops Summer” By Michael Swanwick
- “Camouflage [*Great Ship]” By Robert Reed
- “A Case of Consilience” By Ken Macleod
- “The Blemmye’s Strategem” By Bruce Sterling
- “Amba” By William Sanders
- “Search Engine” By Mary Rosenblum
- “Piccadilly Circus” By Chris Beckett
- “In The Quake Zone” By David Gerrold
- “La Malcontenta” By Liz Williams
- “The Children of Time” By Stephen Baxter
- “Little Faces” by vonda n. Mcintyre
- “Comber” By Gene Wolfe
- “Audubon in Atlantis” By Harry Turtledove
- “Deus Ex Homine” By Hannu Rajaniemi
- “The Great Caruso” By Steven Popkes
- “Softly Spoke the Gabbleduck” By Neal Asher
- “Zima Blue [*Carrie Clay]” By Alastair Reynolds
- “Planet of the Amazon Women” By David Moles
- “The Clockwork Atom Bomb” By Dominic Green
- “Gold Mountain” By Chris Roberson
- “The Fulcrum” By Gwyneth Jones
- “Mayfly” By Peter Watts and Derryl Murphy
- “Two Dreams on Trains” By Elizabeth Bear
- “Angel of Light” By Joe Haldeman
- “Burn” By James Patrick Kelly
Tagged with: Year's Best
Editor Jonathan Strahan has posted the udated tables of contents (see the old ones) for the two annual anthologies he formerly published through iBooks, but now (since iBooks went belly-up) will be published through Locus Press.
Some of the stories are available online and there are quite a few Hugo, Nebula and Locus Award nominees in the bunch – all noted below.
SCIENCE FICTION: THE VERY BEST OF 2005
- “Triceratops Summer” by Michael Swanwick (Locus nominee)
- “Little Faces” by Vonda N. McIntyre
- “The Second Coming of Charles Darwin” by James Morrow
- “Is There Life After Rehab?” by Pat Cadigan
- “Understanding Space and Time” by Alastair Reynolds
- “The Fulcrum” by Gwyneth Jones
- “The Blemmye’s Dilemma” by Bruce Sterling
- “They Will Raise You in a Box” by Wil McCarthy
- “Finished” by Robert Reed
- “The King of Where-I-Go” by Howard Waldrop (Hugo and Locus nominee)
- “The Calorie Man” by Paolo Bacigalupi (Hugo nominee)
- “The Fate of Mice” by Susan Palwick
- “I Robot” by Cory Doctorow (Hugo and Locus nominee)
- “The Little Goddess” by Ian McDonald (Hugo nominee)
FANTASY: THE VERY BEST OF 2005
- “Two Hearts” by Peter S. Beagle (Hugo and Locus nominee)
- “Snowball’s Chance” by Charles Stross
- “Sunbird” by Neil Gaiman (Locus nominee)
- “A Knot of Toads” by Jane Yolen (Locus nominee)
- “Boatman’s Holiday” by Jeffrey Ford (Locus nominee)
- “The Language of Moths” by Christopher Barzak
- “Anyway” by M Rickert
- “The Emperor of Gondwanaland” by Paul Di Filippo (Locus nominee)
- “The Pirate’s True Love” by Seana Graham
- “Intelligent Design” by Ellen Klages
- “Pip and the Fairies” by Theodora Goss
- “Leviathan” by Simon Brown
- “The Denial” by Bruce Sterling
- “The Farmer’s Cat” by Jeff VanderMeer
- “There’s a Hole in the City” by Richard Bowes (Nebula nominee)
- “Monster” by Kelly Link
REVIEW SUMMARY: Some well-tread sf tropes packaged into an entertaining story.
BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Human ex-agent Frank Compton is hired by the mechanical Spiders to locate the threat to the Quadrail train system that allows alien races to quickly travel throughout the galaxy.
PROS: Fun action-adventure; detailed plot; satisfying conclusion.
CONS: Reader kept in the dark too long; some events too coincidental.
BOTTOM LINE: A fun ride.
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| Saturday, April 29th, 2006 at
BRIEF SYNOPSIS: 99% of the Earth’s population is wiped out in two weeks thanks to a pandemic plague (origin unknown.) The action centers around a survivor named Ish and his coming to grips with the new world he finds himself in – both the changes in technology and the changes in society.
PROS: Written in 1949, it is the seminal book on post-apocalyptic society, this book has an fantastic sci-fi insight on nearly every page.
CONS: The ending is a bit tedious and some parts are melodramatic.
BOTTOM LINE: If you’ve never read this book, you’ll soon learn where all the other writers of post-apocalyptic fiction got their ideas from. The third person narrative is straight forward and easy to read, and the physical and emotional trials of Ish are presented in a powerful way.
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From the April 2006 issue of SciFi Magazine:
10 Most Disgusting Movie Moments
- Scanners (1981) – Exploding Head.
- The Fly (1986) – BrundleFly, The Enzyme Guy.
- Bad Taste (1987) – Massive Head Trauma.
- Re-Animator (1985) – Zombies Running Riot.
- The Thing (1982) – Defibrillator Scene.
- The Blob (1988) – Digested Jock.
- Starship Troopers (1997) – Brain Bug.
- Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) – Pod replication.
- Alien (1979) – The Chestburster.
- Dawn of the Dead (1978) – Assault on the housing project.