WINNERS: 2007 Locus Awards

The winners of the 2007 Locus Awards have been announced (Links go to SF Signal reviews):

  • BEST SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL: Rainbows End, Vernor Vinge (Tor)
  • BEST FANTASY NOVEL: The Privilege of the Sword, Ellen Kushner (Bantam Spectra)
  • BEST FIRST NOVEL: Temeraire: His Majesty’s Dragon/Throne of Jade/Black Powder War, Naomi Novik (Del Rey; Voyager); also as Temeraire: In the Service of the King (SFBC)
  • BEST YOUNG ADULT BOOK: Wintersmith, Terry Pratchett (Doubleday UK; HarperTempest)
  • BEST NOVELLA: “Missile Gap”, Charles Stross (One Million A.D.)
  • BEST NOVELETTE: “When Sysadmins Ruled the Earth”, Cory Doctorow (Baen’s Universe 8/06)
  • BEST SHORT STORY: “How to Talk to Girls at Parties“, Neil Gaiman (Fragile Things)
  • BEST MAGAZINE: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction
  • BEST PUBLISHER: Tor
  • BEST ANTHOLOGY: The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Third Annual Collection, Gardner Dozois, ed. (St. Martin’s)
  • BEST COLLECTION: Fragile Things, Neil Gaiman (Morrow; Headline Review)
  • BEST EDITOR: Ellen Datlow
  • BEST ARTIST: John Picacio
  • BEST NON-FICTION: James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon, Julie Phillips (St. Martin’s)
  • BEST ART BOOK: Cathy & Arnie Fenner, eds. Spectrum 13: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art (Underwood)

See also: Finalists

See also: Past winners

Filed under: Awards

[via Pistol Wimp]

Filed under: Humor

SF Tidbits For 6/15/07

  • Check out these cool, wooden SF-ish toys from Japan. Can you call something woodpunk? Reminds me of my Mecha Panda.
  • Marvel has decided which superhero will be next on the big screen. It’s Captain America! Make of that what you will.
  • The Season 1 DVD set of Heroes goes on sale on August 28th. It’s 7 DVDs, with 50+ deleted scenes (perhaps we’ll see the one where Peter forgets he can fly) and a never aired version of the pilot. And all this for only $60 ($40 at Amazon). Start saving now.
  • Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, will be getting her own reality show on Fox (of course!). They will be looking for the next ‘Elvira’, to help the current one with her obviously heavy work load. Although the plan of having an Elvira in malls across America at Halloween smacks of pure evil.

Filed under: Tidbits

Bill Murray To Star In City Of Ember

Continuing the tradition of bringing recent children’s books to the big screen, it seems that Tom Hanks will be shooting a movie version of The City Of Ember, and Bill Murry is set to star as the Mayor of Ember. This role seems perfect for Murray as it the Mayor is an older gentleman, with some comedic tendencies.

The story itself isn’t really anything new SF-wise. Basically, a group of people moved themselves underground to escape a worldwide catastrophe. They left instructions on how to leave Ember on a certain date. Those instructions were lost, however, and now the city is falling apart. Two teenagers lead the charge to find a better way of life, but must fight against tradition and the Mayor to make their escape form the city. It’s a decent enough book, certainly worthwhile for ages 8+ to pick up and read.

Filed under: Movies

REVIEW: The Making Of Star Wars by J.W. Rinzler

MY RATING:

The Making Of Star Wars is billed as ‘The definitive story behind the original film’ and I’d definitely agree with that. I’d also add exhaustive and awesome as well. Seeing the cover took me back to 1977, when I was 9, as I eagerly stood in line to see Star Wars for the first time. Little did I know then the long, twisting story behind the first film. This book covers that story in detail, starting in 1968 and ending ten years later, as Lucas and company bask in the glow of mega-success.

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Filed under: Book Review

Isaac Asimov’s Robots, The VCR Party Game!

[via Poe TV]

Filed under: BooksGames

How LOST Won’t End

300px-Lost-season2.jpg

The blogsphere is aswarm with negative reaction to the last episode of The Sopranos. In reaction to that, Carleton Cuse and Damon Lindeloff recently went on record as saying that LOST won’t end ambiguously like The Sopranos did.

Recognizing they can’t please everyone, Cuse said:

Our hope is that the ending will be … the logical conclusion of the story.

Now, given that Lindeloff and Cuse have stated that the island’s mysteries will be explained using science and pseudo-science, I can guarantee some people won’t like the answers. Hopefully, though, the explanations will fit together and give us a decent ending. I’m not sure when the last decent ending to a popular TV show was. For me, it goes back to the end of Cheers. I would have said Babylon 5, but JMS suddenly had a 5th season he didn’t think he’d get, and the show suffered for it. If the last episode if season 5 was actually the last episode of season 4, that would have been perfect.

In any case, I’m back into LOST as show, given the great writing on display during the last 16 episodes of season 3. With a clear end in sight, I expect this level of writing to continue, and I’m expecting some interesting resolutions to the mysteries. I don’t have any pet theories, although I think that the hatch named ‘The Looking Glass’ and the ‘twist’ from the last episode might could possibly have something to do with quantum mechanics and the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. At least, if I was writing the show it would.

Filed under: TV

Bad Spock Drawings

You like Spock. You like drawing. You like drawing Spock. Hopefully, you can do a better job than the drawings highlighted on the Bad Spock Drawings.

Man, those are really bad. But not as bad as Spock’s Brain. I guess the only thing worse than that would be for the guys at BSD to draw Spock’s Brain.

Filed under: Humor

A New Hero On Heroes

aishwarya rai91m.jpg

Heroes is set to gain a new hero next season. Aishwarya Rai is set to appear as Mohinder’s sister, complete with an unannounced power.

You may remember that Mohinder’s mother told him his sister, Shanti, was dead. Did she really die or does death have something to do with the nature of her power, sort of a reverse of Claire’s power? The character of Shanti will appear in 8 episodes next season, which leads me to believe that, if she isn’t dead, then she will be. It should be interesting to see anyway.

Aishwarya Rai is a Bollywood actress and former Miss World, so I expect huge ratings when Heroes hits India.

Filed under: HeroesTV

Thursday YouTube: MAD Heroes

A parody of Heroes from MAD TV.

Filed under: HeroesHumor

SF Tidbits for 6/14/07

Filed under: Tidbits

Inane-cast #2: Darned Zombies and Me…

Sorry for a short entry here but I am afraid there is little time left given the state of things. I managed to record this Inane-cast to recount at least part of the days events. My hope is that tomorrow will be better…

Get the MP3 here.

Subscribe to the feed here.

Filed under: Meta

INTERVIEW: Zombie John Scalzi

Continuing our hard hitting series of interviews with recently undead authors, we recently (as in this morning) caught up to John Scalzi, which wasn’t hard as he was sort of shambling aimlessly up and down the road. Figuring we’d never get the chance to speak to him again, since we live in Houston, we took the opportunity to as him a few questions.


SF Signal: How did you become a zombie?

Zombie John Scalzi: First, we prefer the term Undead-American.

It’s embarrassing, really. As you know, there was the zombie apocalypse — how could you miss it, right? And yet, well, I kinda did. I was wrapping up a writing project, and you know how it is. The world could end and you’d only hear about it afterward. So there I was, putting the finishing touches on the novel, and there’s this knock on the door, and it’s my neighbor Jerry. I open the door and take a look at him and start to make a comment about him really letting his hygiene go, and the next thing I know he’s gnawing on my intestine. And then he starts on my brain. But, you know, I’m using that. So I slapped him away from my skull. Basically, I survived the attack and became a zombie. As for Jerry, well. I took care of him. Piece of advice: Don’t open any of the barrels in the basement. You won’t like what you find.

SFS: Do you have any thoughts on how being a zombie will affect your future writing? Any hints you can give us on upcoming novels?

ZJS: Well, it’s harder to type with rotting fingers, for one thing. I tried some voice recognition software, but for some reason everything comes out as “wwwwuuuuuuagggghnnnngghh.” So my productivity is probably going to slip.

When I became an Undead-American, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, my editor, made the obvious joke that my next book should be called “Dead Man’s War.” I had to eat his brain for that one. Also, clearly, I’m going to have to start writing about the prejudices the pre-dead have against us. Yes, we’re rotting. Yes, we’ll eat your brains. Yes, we slur our words. That doesn’t mean we don’t want your love. And your pancreas. and I suspect I’ll make that a theme of future novels. Especially about the pancreas. Mmmm… sweetmeats.

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INTERVIEW: Zombie John C. Wright

Zombie John C. Wright is the author of The Last Zombie of Everness and the Zombies of Chaos trilogy. SF Signal had a chance to catch up with him (which wasn’t all that difficult since he’s the moseying kind of zombie) and ask him a few questions.


SF Signal: Hi John. What is a zombie?

Zombie John C. Wright: When a person dies and is buried, it seems that certain voodoo priests have the power to bring them back to life! It’s worse than horrible, because a zombie has no will of his own. You see zombies sometimes walking around blindly with dead eyes, following orders, not knowing what they do, not caring. Like Democrats.

SFS: How did you become a zombie?

ZJCW: In the usual way. I was space-napped by a Mi-go, the horrid fungi from Yuggoth, and brought alive in a containment jar to the planet Pluto, where I was drained of my vital essence by the Dark Crystal and reduced to mindless servitude to the Nine Infinite Beings of Pluto, darkest of worlds. I was returned to Earth by Zeta Ray, and immediately set about writing lurid pulp novels, in order to help destroy the literary conventions and tastes of mankind: once all sense of civility vanishes from a culture, it is relatively easy to turn them into zombies.

SFS: Are you particular about the brains you eat and how you eat them?

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Wednesday YouTube: A Guy’s Guide to Zombies

An educational newsreel that might help you today…

[via Wired]

Filed under: Movies

Zombie Tidbits

Filed under: Tidbits

BREAKING NEWS! Braaains!

Even as I frantically type this, zombies are breaking in to the SF Signal headquarters in Mom’s basement. If there’s anyone listening, contact the authorities and —

Braaains!!!

Filed under: Events

The Next Harry Potter

Barry Cunningham, the editor responsible for bring us Harry Potter, says he has found the next Harry Potter in the form of a young boy archaeologist, from the book Tunnels.

Apparently authors Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams self-published Tunnels awhile ago which is were Cunningham discovered it. Tunnels tells of the adventures 14-year old Will Burrows has while exploring a hidden world deep below London, and it will be a series (of course).

“I knew from page one that Harry Potter was magic. Reading ‘Tunnels’ gave me the same thrill…Tunnels has it all: a boy archaeologist, merciless villains, a lost world and an extraordinary journey to the centre of the earth,” Cunningham said.

As you can see, the hype machine is in full force here. And why not? Considering the money machine the Potter series has become, it’s no wonder the person who ‘discovered’ Potter would be hyping his next find. I’m not saying this new series won’t be as good, or better, than Potter; we’ll have to wait and see (July 2007 in the UK). But can’t a book stand on its own merits without having to be compared to Harry Potter to drum up attention? After all, Harry came out of nowhere without any large quantities of hype, at least for the first book. And what about other books already out that should be compared to Potter and read by his fans? I’m thinking of the Artemis Fowl books and the Bartimaeus Trilogy among several others.

I’ll certainly give Tunnels a try when it gets here. I’m just annoyed at the hype.

Filed under: Books

Disney’s Mars And Beyond

For those of you old enough to remember, and I’m not one of them, Disney used to air specials on TV whose theme would be tied in with one of the ‘Lands’ at Disneyland. Frontierland, Adventureland, Fantasyland and Tomorrowland. Disney was original when it really counted. Well today, trolling the intertubes, I chanced up this neat little special, Mars And Beyond, on YouTube. It’s in 6 parts and its really kinda cool to see what Disney thought of space exploration circa 1957. In part 1, around 3:50, we see GreatA’Tuin and his elephants. And in part 5, we see a rather foliated Mars. Good stuff. Enjoy!

I have to give it up to the animators, this series is well done. It has funny stuff and serious stuff, an it makes space exploration interesting. Too bad we don’t have any of those kick @$$ rocketships around today. I guess our imagination outstrips our government’s desire to actually explore the solar system. I think the time is ripe for some enterprising internet person to update this series for the modern era.

Filed under: Science and Technology

SF Tidbits for 6/12/07

Filed under: Tidbits

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