SF Tidbits for 6/23/06

Filed under: Tidbits

The Return of Futurama

Futurama will return with at least 13 new episodes on Comedy Central by 2008!

Sweet! This will be the reason I needed to get hooked on the show. For some reason, I never took the time to warm up to it when it originally aired. (Maybe it was that awful musical-in-Hell episode? :) ) My loss. I’ve since seen a few and find it well worth the time.

[via Club Jade]

Filed under: TV

The Amazing Screw-On Head

The Amazing Screw-On Head is an award-winning graphic novel by Mike Mignola, the guy who brought us, among other things, some Hellboy books.

Comics Continuum is reporting that SciFi Channel is producing an animated version of The Amazing Screw-On Head tentatively slated to air July 27th. Voice work is provided by Paul Giamatti (who will always be Bitter Beer Face Guy to me, David Hyde Pierce, Molly Shannon and Patton Oswalt.

Details of the animated version are sketchy, but the comic is described like this:

When Emperor Zombie threatens the safety of all life on Earth, the president enlists the aid of a mechanical head. With Screw-On Head and Mr. Groin on the job, you just know there will be flying machines to be piloted, tombs to be robbed, and weird alien menaces to be thwarted — all that and talking dogs, too! It’s pure mayhem

I’m thinkin’ that anything with a character called Mr. Groin is bound to turn some heads. [Ba-dum, crash!]

[via Michael May]

Filed under: TV

SF Tidbits for 6/22/06

Star Trek 10 – hunting for a new Will?

The net is abuzz with rumors that the next Star Trek movie has been greenlighted. JJ Abrams, the creator of Lost is involved in some way – at least as producer and potentially as director. At least Variety claims he’s on board as director and that the story (being written by Abrans and writers from MI3) will focus on a young James T Kirk and Spock as they join the Star Fleet Academy. Rumors flew that Matt Damon has been asked to act as Kirk and that Abrams asked for and received blessings from William Shatner for Damon’s to take over playing the character that has so far only been played by Shatner.

However, Empire Online has news from Abrams himself stating that he’s not the director, that it’s not a story of a young crew, and that Damon isn’t involved.

I suppose we’ll all just have to hold on and wait to hear more and hopefully official news.

Filed under: Movies

Row, Row Row, I, Row-Boat

Cory Doctorow has begun podcasting his story “I, Row-Boat” described as “a story about a theological dispute between an artificially intelligent Asimov three-laws cultist and an uplifted coral reef.”

Interestingly, some commenters have pointed out that a similarly-named story, “I, Rowboat”, appeared at parody site The Onion. here’s a brief excerpt of The Onion’s Three Laws Of Rowboatics:

  1. A Rowboat may not immerse a human being or, through lack of flotation, allow a human to come to harm.
  2. A Rowboat must obey all commands and steering input given by its human Rower, except where such input would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A Rowboat must preserve its own flotation as long as such preservation does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

Filed under: Books

ApolloCon 2006

It’s time again for the annual Houston science fiction convention known as ApolloCon, taking place this weekend June 23-25, 2006.

The Guest of honor is Peter S. Beagle who was just nominated for a Hugo award for his short story “Two Hearts“. Other author guests include Bradley Denton, Jayme Lynn Blaschke and Martha Wells. (See the complete guest list.) The schedule contains a wide variety of talks and events.

[via Easter Lemming Notebook]

Filed under: Web Sites

Superman TV (And Other Shows)

So you’ve decided the new Superman is too much of a ‘pretty boy’ Hollywood type as we all know Supes would be the rugged type, not Mr. Smooth as portrayed in the new movie. If only you could somehow watch the old Max Fleischer Superman cartoons somewhere….

Well fear not, now you can! AOL’s IN2TV site is now showing Superman TV. Along with episodes of the Fleischer penned Superman, they have the orginal Superman TV show along with some of the newer incarnations. Too bad they don’t have any of the Cartoon Network Superman, but you can’t expect everything for free. Note that you will have to watch annoying ads before seeing the episodes and the resolution is rather small. But, if you’re really adventurous, you can download the Hi-Q plug-in and see them in full screen, if you’ve been beaten down by the Man and IE 6.0 or later. Those of us choosing to fight for a better tomorrow via Firefox are SOL. But, darn it, full screen episodes of Freakazoid is just soooo tempting,not to mention Brisco County Jr. and Babylon 5…

Filed under: TV

Shatner Nominated into TV Hall of Fame

From the press release:

One of pop culture’s most recognized figures, Shatner has cultivated a career as a professional actor, director, producer, screenwriter, recording artist, author, horseman, and Hollywood philanthropist.

Born in Montreal, he worked for the Canadian Broadcasting Company and later won the Tyron Guthrie Award for his efforts on stage. After moving to New York City, he become part of television’s Golden Age. Since making his film debut in 1957, Shatner has starred in several hundred television programs – including many classics.

In 1966, Shatner originated the role of Captain James T. Kirk in Star Trek. After the show was cancelled and relaunched in syndication, he reprised the role in seven Star Trek feature films. He played title role in the hit network series, TJ Hooker, was the host of CBS series Rescue 911 for six seasons and made his directorial film debut in 1989. In 2004, Shatner won his first Emmy Award for his role as “Denny Crane” on The Practice. That same year, he released the compilation record Has Been, comprised with several musical artists. In 2005, he won his first Golden Globe award and a second Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for his work on Boston Legal.

[via Slice of SciFi]

Filed under: TV

Channeling Marlon Brando

Or ‘How To Make Marlon Brando Appear In Superman Returns’. Rhythm & Hughes do the honors of bringing Brando back and now you can see how in this cool, if kinda creepy, short film on the FX behind the talking head.

I also see that people who have already seen the film are raving about how good it is. I may possibly have to move this up on my list and see it in the theater…

Filed under: Movies

Dear Science Fiction Anthologist,

I’ll keep this brief as I know you are very busy reading story submissions.

I enjoy reading short stories and love reading anthologies (keep ‘em coming!) so I am going to freely give you 2 killer annual anthology themes:

  1. All Nebula Award nominees for that year.
  2. All Hugo Award nominees for that year.

It surprises me that there is no anthology that does this (that I am aware of, anyway). True, there are other award-based anthologies like the Nebula Awards Showcase series, but oddly, it does not offer all of the nominees and even throws in non-fiction and other DVD-extra content (which is fine). However, I’ve been noticing that some websites, including SF Signal, have been undertaking award-nominated fiction reading projects. Wouldn’t be handy to have all the short fiction printed in one place? If we’re doing it, others must be.

Admittedly, I know relatively little about the publishing industry and even I could come up with reasons to not do this: obtaining rights; hitting the optimum selling window; book length; stories (especially these past couple of years) already freely available online. I’m hoping there is sufficient economic reason to do it anyway, like maybe people prefer a book over digital format; or maybe people want to own the best-of-the-best; or booksplitting the nominees to make it profitable.

A single editor’s “best of” picks are nice. So, too, would the shortlists that are chosen by multiple award voters.


John DeNardo

Filed under: Books

SF Tidbits for 6/20/06

Filed under: Tidbits

AFI’s Top 100 Inspiring Films

AFI has posted Top 100 Inspiring Films. Some entries of note to genre fans:

  1. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
  2. The Wizard of Oz
  3. Star Wars
  4. 2001: A Space Odyssey
  5. Close Encounters of the Third Kind
  6. The Day the Earth Stood Still

Filed under: Movies

Given the success of the re-imagined Galactica, could Star Trek, the original series, benefit from the same treatment? We may never know, but in 2004 Bryce Zabel (Dark Skies and JMS (Babylon 5), created a document that would effectively re-boot the Star Trek franchise, starting with the orignal series. New actors would be cast to fill the same character roles, and a new underlying mystery would have been added to the five-year mission. The document is linked in the middle of the post and gives more details. The actual over-arching five-year story arc is very Babylon 5-ish (not surprising) and the fact there is a mystery behind the mission has some X-Files and B5 flavor. It sounds intriguing, although I think the actual ‘mystery’ has been done to death in SF, but, if anyone can pull it off, it would have been Joe Straczynski.

Read the rest of this entry

Filed under: TV

SF Tidbits for 6/19/06

Filed under: Tidbits

100 Best First Lines from Novels

Remember our old post about The Best Opening Line For A SF/F Book?

Along those lines, Lit Line has posted 100 Best First Lines from Novels. Some entries of note to genre fans:

  1. A screaming comes across the sky. – Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow (1973)
  2. It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. – George Orwell, 1984 (1949)
  3. The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel. – William Gibson, Neuromancer (1984)
  4. All this happened, more or less. – Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five (1969)
  5. There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it. – C. S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (1952)
  6. It was a pleasure to burn. – Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451 (1953)

[via LitPundit]

Filed under: Books

POLL RESULTS: I’m a SF/F Fanboy!

Here are the results of the latest SF Signal poll.

Are you a science fiction or fantasy fanboy or fangirl?


(43 total votes)

What surprises is me is not that the majority of our readers are fanboys, but that they admit to being so. This shows an admirable level of self-awareness considering many (not us!) use the term in a derogatory way. To those who voted “no”, take it from a former fanboy-in-denial: you are. For those who voted “I don’t know”, read up on it and and take comfort among your brothers and sisters: you are too. :)

Be sure to vote in this week’s poll on book remainders!

Filed under: Polls

SF Tidbits for 6/18/06

Filed under: Tidbits

WINNERS: 2006 Locus Award

The winners of the the 2006 Locus Award have been announced:

  • BEST SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL: Accelerando by Charles Stross
  • BEST FANTASY NOVEL: Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
  • BEST FIRST NOVEL: Hammered/Scardown/Worldwired by Elizabeth Bear [see SF Signal reviews here/here/here]
  • BEST YOUNG ADULT BOOK: Pay the Piper by Jane Yolen & Adam Stemple
  • BEST NOVELLA: “Magic for Beginners” by Kelly Link [see SF Signal review]
  • BEST NOVELETTE: “I, Robot ” by Cory Doctorow [see SF Signal review]
  • BEST SHORT STORY: “Sunbird” by Neil Gaiman
  • BEST MAGAZINE: The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction
  • BEST ANTHOLOGY: The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror: Eighteenth Annual Collection by Ellen Datlow, Kelly Link & Gavin Grant, eds.
  • BEST COLLECTION: Magic for Beginners by Kelly Link (Small Beer Press)
  • BEST EDITOR: Ellen Datlow
  • BEST ARTIST: Michael Whelan
  • BEST NON-FICTION: Storyteller: Writing Lessons and More from 27 Years of the Clarion Writers’ Workshop by Kate Wilhelm
  • BEST ART BOOK: Cathy & Arnie Fenner, eds. Spectrum 12: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art

(See also the list of nominees)

Filed under: Awards

Upcoming Science Fiction Titles

I was surprised to see that I received my June Locus Magazine a mere 5 days into the month. (I guess my mailman is reading even faster than before.) The issue’s People and Publishing section contains some early previews into upcoming books being written and published:

  • Former game show producer Chuck Barris (yes, that Chuck Barris) sold The Big Question, a near-future satire of reality TV, to Simon & Schuster.
  • David Marusek sold Mind over Oship, set in the same universe as Counting Heads, to Tor.
  • Peter F. Hamilton sold his Void trilogy (The Dreaming Void, Life of Dreams and Evolution’s Dream) which is set in the same universe as Pandora’s Star and Judas Unchained, to Del Rey.
  • Mike Resnick sold Starship: Mercenary, sequel to Starship: Mutiny and Starship: Pirate, to Pyr. (The Starship series will conclude with Rebel and Flagship.) Resnick also resold Walpurgis III and The Branch to Pyr who will publish them as an omnibus called Blasphemy.
  • Kevin J. Anderson delivered Slan Hunter, the completion of A.E. van Vogt’s unfinshed final novel. Anderson also (with Brian Herbert) delivered Hunters of Dune, based on Frank Herbert’s outline for his final “Dune 7″ novel. Finally, Anderson also (with Rebecca Moesta) delivered the young adult fantasy Crystal Doors: Ocean Realm.

Filed under: Books

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