Tube Bits For 12/10/2007

  • We still have a month and a half until LOST re-appears on our TVs (Feb. 6th). However, producers Cuse and Lindeloff offer up some information about season 4. Since it now has an end date, we will see more flash forwards as the story now becomes more of a mosaic, with each episode filling in missing pieces. This just serves to whet the appetite for more episodes. Sadly, with the writers’ strike still in progress, we’ll only get 8 or so episodes before a forced hiatus.
  • Just in case you ever wanted to make your own Sci Fi papercraft, Sci-Fi & PC Game Card Models has you covered. They have links to paper models for Space: Above and Beyond, Galactica, and Babylon 5, among others. It’s amazing what you can do with paper now days…[Via Papercraft Paradise]
  • If you aren’t watching Chuck, not only are you missing a very funny, geeky show, you’re also missing the return to the small screen of Adam Baldwin, as Agent John Casey. BuddyTV has an article with Baldwin where he discusses the show and his co-star Zach Levi.
  • And if you hadn’t heard, the upcoming live-action re-make of Speed Racer finally has a trailer available. Thanks to YouTube, you can see it below. It certainly has a very unique look, and I’m very interested in seeing this, especially since it is supposed to have a ‘G’ rating. Now I can take me kids.

SF Tidbits for 12/10/07

POLL RESULTS: Blue Sci-Fi Babes

Here are the results of the latest SF Signal poll.

Who is your favorite blue sci-fi babe?


(140 total votes)

Comments this week:

“I only go green.” – Christian J.

“A while back there was a porno called “Project Uranus” and it featured, among other things people having sex with blue women. How come they are not on the list?” – GeneralX
[John replies: Had I known about it, General X, I would have. Do you think I would intentionally miss the opportunity to put Uranus on a poll, as it were?]

Be sure to visit our front page and vote in this week’s poll about your favorite Joker!

The Star Wars Christmas Album

Apologies in advance, but there is a price to pay for having us troll the web for tidbits. Now it’s time for you to pay the piper, so man up and take your medicine like a good little geek…

Most fans remember the monstrosity that was The Star Wars Holiday Special, but how many remember a Star Wars Christmas album?

In 1980, someone had the audacity to release Christmas in the Stars, a painful sound assault by Meco & the cast of Star Wars. Feast your ears on “What Can You Get a Wookie For Christmas (When He Already Owns a Comb)“. And, if you’re still alive afterwards, check out R2D2 singing “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”. Listen to more samples at Amazon. I bet it will have you wishing you were in a galaxy far, far away.

In all my life I thought I would never actually prefer listening to Leonard Nimoy.

[via About:Blank]

SF Tidbits for 12/09/07

  • A couple of years ago, we mentioned Monster Island, David Wellington’s novel (posted in blog format) set in Manhattan, one month after New York has been overrun by zombies. According to Shock Till You Drop, Monster Island is headed for the big screen.
  • The Fix Online interviews with Ellen Datlow. “I think the boundaries between the three fantastic fiction genres–sf, fantasy, and horror–have always been porous. Think of “fantasy” as the umbrella and sf/f/h as the spokes comprising that umbrella.”
  • Intergalactic Medicine Show interviews Robert J. Sawyer. “If hard SF is losing its market share, surely the only possible solution is BETTER SF to bring those readers back.”
  • Elizabeth Bear is a short story writer at heart.
  • James Killus has inherited a lot of unpublished work of sf author Edgar Pangborn, author of Davy and A Mirror for Observers.
  • William Shatner will receive the Jules Verne Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by Patrick Stewart on behalf of a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the natural bio-diversity of the planet. Here is some backstage video from the opening of the festival where the award will be presented.
  • Sentient Developments explains the problem with 99.9 % of so-called ‘solutions’ to the Fermi Paradox: “Sure everyone has a convenient answer to the Fermi Paradox, but nearly all of them fail the non-exclusivity test.”
  • New free fiction at “Blessed Are the Meek” by G.C. Edmondson and “The Bramble Bush” by Gordon Randall Garrett.

Jeffrey Thomas News

A trio of Thomas Tidbits for ya’…Earlier this year, I read Deadstock by Jeffrey Thomas, a book whose setting (the “crime-infested future city” of Punktown) makes you want more. In March of 2008, Solaris will be making Deadstock available as a free download just in time for the release of the sequel, Blue War.

Fantasy Book Critic interviews Jeffrey Thomas:

Anything can happen in Punktown. Behind every window of every apartment there is someone plotting a murder or mourning a loved one, beginning a romance or contemplating a crime. So many different alien races coexist there with the Earth colonists who established that vast city, and their cultural interactions are a fascinating topic for me. Punktown is ultimately a distorted mirror reflection of our own world, today, and how can one tire of that? I don’t want to be constrained to only my Punktown setting, but if I was forced by some ironclad (and lucrative) contract, I could still deal with it easily. I can set any type of story within Punktown’s borders.

Jeffrey Thomas was also interviewed by SciFi Chick:

My experiences in Vietnam inspired me greatly through the writing of Blue War, as will be very apparent to its readers. The similarities to Vietnam of the novel’s setting are not a lazy device I’m trying to sneak past the reader, but something I chose very deliberately to do for thematic reasons. And you know, in the end I just want to share my great enthusiasm for that country. I want to shake your arm and say, “Hey, I saw this place that’s so different from here — let me tell you about it!” It’s that impulse that makes me a writer in the first place.

Burt Steps Down from SFWA Committee, Replaced by Davis

Amidst another controversy, Andrew Burt has stepped down as head of SFWA’s Copyright Committee, to be replaced by Russell Davis. (See also Davis’s statement on the matter.)

Many have been vocal about Burt’s removal, so I found interesting this perspective from Peter Glaskowsky at CNet, who likens Burt to the persecuted Spiderman:

So there we have it. Burt doesn’t look anything like Spider-Man, but he’s had about the same effect–the streets get cleaned up at the cost of a few sticky bits left hanging around. And what’s his reward? A few loudmouths are demanding his arrest and summary execution.

If you aren’t impressed by this analogy yet, you have to compare this drawing of J. Jonah Jameson with this photo of Cory Doctorow.

Doctorow ought to know better. Even if he prefers to distribute his writings free of charge and make his living another way, he should show more respect for the right of other writers to sell their work. He should be supporting SFWA, not book pirates and those who protect them. And that goes for all the other SFWA members who’ve been giving SFWA grief over Burt’s actions, too.

[Initial links via John Scalzi and Andrew Wheeler]

SF Tidbits for 12/08/07

GIVEAWAY WINNERS: I Am Legend Tickets, A Winner Is You!

We now have our two winners for the I Am Legend premiere tickets for Tuesday evening. They are:

Andrew W.

Joshua L.

Congratulations guys, your tickets should be winging their way to you very shortly. Have fun at the premiere and if you take pictures, let us know where they are so we can all oogle them.

I want to thank everyone who participated. Hopefully we’ll have more of this sort of thing in the future.

Friday YouTube: Yoda and Jar Jar Do “Who’s on First?”

[via SciFi Scanner]

SF Tidbits for 12/07/07

Tube Bits For 12/07/2007

  • Apparently, the Sci Fi Channel has green lit a new ‘reality’ series called Run For Money. Here is the description: “Based on a successful Japanese format from Fuji Television, the action takes place over 60 minutes of real time in various landmark locations. As the clock winds down, the competition gets harder as more hunters appear on the streets, the game perimeter gets smaller, and tasks are assigned that test fraying nerves. Contestants earn money for every second they “stay alive” and may opt out at their choosing.” Sadly, no word on whether Richard Dawson will be the host, and no live ammunition will be used. Arnie won’t be happy.
  • Trashonistas has posted an interview with writer/producer Jane Espenson (Buffy, Firefly) on the occasion of the release of Serenity Found, more essays about Firefly, which Jane edited. For a show that lasted less than one season, its amazing that more has been written about Firefly than was actually written for the show.
  • Variety reviews the ratings for recent genre shows on TV. Tin Man averaged an amazing 5.3 million viewers, with a 50/50 split between male and female. I’m not surprised. Any show that gets my wife to ask me to record it is on to something. The season finale of Heroes declined a bit to a 5 rating, which is still higher than earlier episodes, but a far cry for the highs of last year.
  • USA Today has a first look on the upcoming live-action remake of Speed Racer. We’ve seen the Mach 5 before (and it still looks sweet), but USA Today has a few more pictures from the set. The costumes look dead on and the film will try to mimic the look of the animation, only in live action format. There will also be something called ‘car-fu’, that, of course, will have to use CGI to accomplish. I’m still interested, even if it it ends up being cheesy. Heck, the anime was kinda cheesy anyway. And with a G rating, I can take my kids to see it.

GIVEAWAY: Reminder, Not Much Time Left!

Our contest to giveaway tickets to the premiere (for you, John) of Will Smith’s I Am Legend is going strong. But time is running out. If you want to win tickets, follow the instructions in our original post and good luck!

If you don’t win, and for those of us not lucky enough to live around NYC, Gabriel Mckee has an interesting look at I Am Legend and The Omega Man on his blog. It’s called SF Gospel: I Am Legend and The Omega Man: Realized eschatology in the kingdom of the vampires, and its an interesting read. Thanks to Gabriel for pointing this out.

Heroes Continues Online

I know that many fans, and most of us here, were disappointed with the second season of Heroes. However, I continue to be impressed with the way NBC is using the internet to continue to generate interest in Heroes. Of course they have the nice online comics

that give more depth to the stories, and the are continuing to add to the Create Your Hero section. And now they are delving into Alternate Reality Gaming (ARG) as well with their Heroes Evolutions game.

Evolutions is the story of Hana Gitelman’s attempt to track down the mysterious Richard Drucker. ‘Hana’ has her own blog where she leaves clues for people to decipher. And Primatech Paper has it’s own website, with views from its security cameras for all to see.

I’m not big on ARGs myself as I’m not much of a puzzle guy, but LOST ran a successful one a year ago and now Heroes is following suit. If this is your thing, or if you want to learn more of the Heroes story, you should check it out.

GIVEAWAY: Win Tickets To The I Am Legend NY City Premier

If you’ve been wanting to see, or are on the fence, I Am Legend, we have the opportunity to give away 2 sets of tickets (each set has 2 tickets, 1 for the winner and 1 for a guest) to two lucky readers who can be in New York City for the premier of I Am Legend. (You must provide your own transportation.) The movie will be shown on Dec. 11th at 7pm Eastern Time at Madison Square Garden.

Even if you’re undecided about the movie, the cost to you is free, which is a good thing. Unless, of course, you don’t live anywhere near NYC. So, any of our readers who would like to go to the premier, send us an email with your name and mailing address so we can send the tickets out to you. The bad news is we were notified late last night about the availability, so the contest has to be short and quick. The deadline is tomorrow (Friday 12/7) at 10:30 am Central Time. You have just over 24 hours to get send in your information.

Send the email with name and address to: legend (at) sfsignal dot com.

We’ll randomly select two names to receive tickets which will be sent to the winners overnight. Then you’ll be on your way to rubbing shoulders with Will Smith and the rest of the cast and making the rest of us green with envy. So send in your emails!

SF Tidbits for 12/06/07

  • Bob Eggleton continues his renditions of the classics with this awesome cover art for Heinlein’s The Man Who Sold The Moon.
  • Over at UKSF Book News, Andy Remic talks about the…unbelievable…process of writing his novel War Machine.
  • New free fiction at “A Martian Odyssey” by Stanley G. Weinbaum.
  • Karen Miller interviews Trudi Canavan, author of The Black Magician trilogy and the Age of the Five trilogy. “There has been this chunky mega-book series phenomenon, which I don’t like as a reader. I prefer to wait until the last book of a series is available before I start reading the first one, and I must admit my interest in the Jordan and Martin mega-epics has waned from waiting so long to start them.” [via Eos Book Blog]
  • Author Bruce McAllister writes in to tell us that his first novel, Humanity Prime, is being reissued by Wildside Press. Originally published in 1971–and based on McAllister’s first published story, “The Faces Outside”– Humanity Prime is the story of a telepathic aquatic race of humans faced with annihilation on a distant planet thousands of years from now.
  • From a press release: “A signed copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and a rare hand-numbered signed limited edition of Margaret Atwood’s poetry collection, The Door, will be the eye-catching headline items in an’s online charity auction taking place between December 6 and 11.”
  • Here’s the trailer for Prince Caspian, the second installment of The Chronicles of Narnia. [via SciFi Chick]
  • Drivers and Sundry collates a bunch of genre-related short films.
  • Good news…I think…Riff Trax is doing the Star Wars Holiday Special. [via E.E. Knight]
  • Warning to expectant fathers: The purchase of the book Baby Sci-Fi Names will be something she’ll bring up for years to come. “From Anakin to Zardoz” indeed…

Tube Bits For 12/06/2007

  • If you need a limo, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire The A Team Limo! Now you can be chauffeured around in your very own replica A Team van for your next night on the town. Although I’m not sure Hannibal would approve of the 6 plasma TV’s or full bar. Being drunk makes it hard for a plan to come together. Then again, that may explain Murdock’s behavior. Can anyone explain to me why this service is in England? Was the A Team a big hit over there? Oh, and I want one. Oh again. If you’re wondering why this is on a science fiction blog, I defy you to come up with a rational explanation for why case loads of ammunition could be discharged each episode, and no one got hit.
  • IGN sits down with Futurama writer/producer David Cohen and talk about Bender’s Big Score. They cover the differences between the movie and TV episodes, taking SF seriously in a comedy show, and a bunch of other stuff. I’m going to have to buy me some Bender’s Big Score. And remember, Everybody loves Hypnotoad!
  • Chalk up another independent SF series that is on the internet. Out Of Darkness is a SF cop drama that is trying to move into the broadcast space by seeking a recognizable face for it’s lead character. Currently, the show airs on DirecTV and Time Warner, and you can see some of their output on YouTube. It’s billed as being in the vein of The X-Files. I haven’t really watched any of it, I was more interested in how technology and the internet are making things like this easier for people to put together and promote.
  • Sadly, not all Cylons look like Tricia Helfer or Grace Park (sorry Tim!). So how can you tell when the person you are dealing with is a Cylon? Why with Forbidden Planet’s How to spot a Cylon poster of course! And while you’re there, check out the Blue Sun Travel posters for places from around the ‘Verse.
  • Now you can win fabulous prizes for supporting the writers during the writers’ strike. Ron Moore is offering a chance to win prizes to those who donate at Pencils2MediaMoguls. If you send pencils to the moguls running the big media companies, you could win: a night at a hockey game with Chief Tyrol, a phone call from Mary McDonnell, Tricia Helfer (Hellooooo nurse!), or Michael Trucco, or, the grand prize, one of three towels actually worn by Jamie Bamber on set. Moore also hints that other fabulous prizes are may appear in the future.

Tom Doherty Talks about Mass-Market Paperbacks

Tom Doherty,President and Publisher of Tor Books, talks about the business behind mass-market paperbacks:

Trade paper has never done better for us. It’s been growing steadily for years and it’s certainly nice to see two of our books on nationally respected trade paperback bestseller lists in any one week, but I am worried about mass market. So much of mass market is impulse and impulse is so important to the creation of new readers. The person buying a book from a wire revolving rack in a drugstore as he waits for a prescription, the person who buys a book from an attractive in-line display in a supermarket, in a shop in the hotel lobby, or at a newsstand in an airport or a train station is not necessarily a committed and regular reader. But numerous surveys have shown that if you please them often enough in impulse situations a meaningful number will be converted. These impulse sales are an important part of our outreach and we need to be sure there is a selection which will tempt that consumer. Nielsen surveys have shown science fiction and fantasy as high as 12.4% of fiction sales. If no science fiction is displayed a significant number of potential customers may not be tempted, the same is true of many other categories and in each case new readers will be lost.

[via Irene Gallo]

Wednesday YouTube: Papal Ceremony Star Wars Mashup

[via Miniature Brainwave]

SF Tidbits for 12/05/07

  • Holy Dark Knight teaser poster, Batman!
  • Apparently, the ending of I am Legend, based on the totally awesome Richard Matheson book, needed to be changed. Sigh…
  • Physics World interviews sf author (and former physicist) Alastair Reynolds. “I think the most important attribute for a science-fiction writer is to be fascinated by science – in all its manifestations. It’s not necessary to be able to understand all the details, but just to be inspired and stimulated.”
  • Amazon Blog interviews Steven Erikson, author of the Malazan series. “There is something mercenary in writers, something that others might view with faint disgust, and that is the terrible desire to feed off one’s own circumstances, using genuine emotions (including suffering) to infuse a fictional tale that is, at its core, meaningless.”
  • At SciFi Wire, John Joseph Adams profiles Matthew Hughes, author of The Commons, and Cherie Priest, author of Not Flesh Nor Feathers (read the first chapter!).
  • Artists Bob Eggleton shows us some artwork for Stanislaw Lem’s Solaris.
  • SFF Audio reports that Michael Enright of CBC Radio One did a revealing half-hour special on the life and work of C.S. Lewis. (Podcast link.)
  • Free audio fiction: The Time Traveler Show podcast #21 features readings of three stories: “Prone” by Mack Reynolds, “An Incident on Route 12″ by James H. Schmitz, and “Will You Wait?: by Alfred Bester.
  • Which Geek are you? A Trek Geek? A Jedi Geek? Pick from this Flickr photo set of 56 Geeks.
  • Are you reading Brewster Rockit: Space Guy yet? The latest strip shows the ultimate usage of the TARDIS.

A science fiction blog featuring science fiction book reviews and with frequent ramblings on fantasy, computers and the web.