Teen Lit Fest 2007

Teen Lit Fest, to be held February 24th, 2007, at Atascocita High School in Humble, TX, celebrates young adult fiction. Authors and illustrators attending include Chris Crutcher (keynote speaker), Gail Giles, Justine Larbalestier, Benjamin Saenz, Scott Westerfeld and Chris Yambar.

Here at SF Signal, we like to promote reading in young adults and kids. So, if you are in the area, check it out! [Looks at JP, Tim and self.]

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Charlie Huston’s Already Dead Heads to the Big Screen

Variety is reporting that Charlie Huston‘s Joe Pitt noir vampire novel, Already Dead, is headed for the big screen. There are five books planned in the series (two of which are released; No Dominion is the second one) that the producers are seeing as a potential franchise.

Let’s see…what the word I’m looking for? Oh yeah. Woot! I recently read Already Dead and its sequel, No Dominion, and this news has me giddy. As long as the keep the noir vampire feel that was so cool about the book, they should be OK. The plot should transfer to film with little or no changes. [Crosses fingers.]

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Free Classic Science Fiction

The website Free Speculative Fiction Online has just added a batch of newly available fiction that you can read online for free. Check out this juicy list:

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SF Tidbits for 2/22/07

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After I posted my review of Paul Levinson’s The Plot to Save Socrates, the author contacted me with an offer that readers may find hard to pass up.

Paul is offering to sign newly purchased copies of his book, The Plot to Save Socrates. All you have to do to minimize your shipping cost is:

  1. Buy a new copy of the book from any online source.
  2. Supply his address as the shipping address. Email Paul Levinson for his address and supply your own.
  3. He will sign it and ship it out to you at his expense.

Alternatively, you can purchase a new copy of the book at a physical bookstore and send it to him yourself. New copies only, please.

Hurry! This offer only expires in 30 days, March 21 2007.

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Does Science Fiction, in Fact, Suck?

Jay @ Kill The Goat hates science fiction, as evidenced by her recent rant Why Science Fiction Sucks the Big One. Jay’s main complaint is that science fiction writers lack imagination.

…science-fiction writers appear to be even less able to imagine the future than the average cat. In the eighteenth century, science fiction consisted of: we travel to places quite quickly with our new hover-horses, and we wear hoop skirts with many pockets in them, convenient for storing our super-cool gadgets, like the combination garlic press\candle stick that comes in handy ever so often and we have no idea how people used to live without them, and a loaf of bread costs a whole 90 cents these days! Science fiction today is pretty much the same crap, with different hover crafts, and slightly different gadgets, but never different by much, and slightly different spellings, like putting a K where a C belonged.

Obviously, most readers of SF Signal (sf fans) would disagree. Perhaps Jay needs a “gatewaytitle?

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SF Tidbits for 2/21/07

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REVIEW: Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett

REVIEW SUMMARY: Pratchett’s clever wit and humor throughout a story of time manipulation.

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Two Monks of History and the granddaughter of Death race to stop a young genius from completing the perfect clock – one that will halt time as we know it.

MY REVIEW:

PROS: Pratchett’s humor is in typical form – a chortle, guffaw or snort on practically every page; some light philosophy.

CONS: A bit of re-used humor.

BOTTOM LINE: Good additon to the Discworld line.

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Interview with Stuart Clark

Recently I had the chance to read Project U.L.F. by Stuart Clark. I enjoyed the book (as you can see in my review) and was pleased when Stuart agreed to a short interview with me. Read on to learn about this first-time author and his take on the genre and the writing process.

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REVIEW: The Plot to Save Socrates by Paul Levinson

REVIEW SUMMARY: Intricately-plotted time travel with a little philosophy thrown in for good measure.

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Graduate student Sierra Waters travels back in time to learn the true identity of Heron of Alexandria and to save the philosopher Socrates from his tragic appointment with a cup of hemlock.

MY REVIEW:

PROS: Wonderfully intricate plotting; historically accurate and, thus, unexpectedly educational.

CONS: Light on characterization; characters had little regard for safety or implications time travel.

BOTTOM LINE: A thinking person’s time travel story.

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It Came From Lake Michigan

We received an email from the Director of the It Came From Lake Michigan Film Fest which will be held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin between October 26th and 28th 2007.

This is their 2nd year of the independent genre film festival and they are trying to get the word out so more Sci-Fi films can entered. Any aspiring filmmakers out there may want to check them out.

Filed under: Movies

SF Tidbits for 2/20/07

Filed under: Tidbits

As I was perusing my collection of science fiction books, I thumbed open a copy of Cordwainer Smith’s short story collection Space Lords. The beginning pages had this dedication.

DEDICATED

to the memory of

ELEANOR JACKSON of LOUISA, VIRGINIA

20 February 1919 to 30 November 1964

Dear Eleanor:

You came out to my house to tend me, Eleanor, while I was sick and trying to finish this book. You died in the little guest room next to my bedroom. You spent the night there because you wanted to get a special breakfast for me, Eleanor, since I was sick at home while my wife had to be taken to a hospital, too.

You died there in my house, Eleanor; you looked very sleepy when you were dead, like one of the little “colored” dolls that they have at the department stores in America.

You were a Negro, Eleanor, and I have been called white. For seventeen years you shared my home, cooking, cleaning, and tending my things in America. You were a woman and I am a man. In seventeen years, we were thousands of times just the two of us in the house, and there was never an indecent gesture or an unchaste word from one of us to the other. I was kind, generous, courteous, and thoughtful toward you, and you were kind, generous, courteous and thoughtful toward me.

Only when the blue-clad police carried your little body away did I finally say to the morgue station wagon those words which I never said to you in life, “I love you, Eleanor. Where are you going, my little brown girl?”

I know where you are, Eleanor. Your little body is in a box somewhere on the other side of the world, in Virginia. I am back here In Australia again. But I can tell you this, Eleanor. I honor and remember the seventeen years of your intelligence and kindness, while I was called master and you were called servant. I’ll see the real you again, Eleanor, in a friendly place in Which we both believe.

Cordwainer Smith

Cordwainer Smith died in 1966, a little more than 1 year after this dedication first appeared in print.

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SF Tidbits for 2/19/07

Filed under: Tidbits

POLL RESULTS: Mr. Smith Goes to Hollywood

Here are the results of the latest SF Signal poll.

QUESTION
Wil Smith is currently filming I Am Legend. Which of these past Wil Smith sf movies is best?

RESULTS

(106 total votes)

A couple of comments this week:

“I went into I, Robot expecting nothing very much. Certainly not a faithful book adaptation. I came out delighted. I’ve always thought Will Smith had the capacity for solid and interesting acting. I, Robot was an example of why we need more sci-fi movies out of modern day Hollywood.” – Pete Tzinski

I-Robot shouldn’t even be in the running! That film is mostly effects. Asking to choose between Men in Black films is tough. The first is a great intro to the series but his performance in the second is just as funny because he gets to parody the MIB trope introduced in the first. Are you too scared to list Wild Wild West? Or are you suggesting that was a western?” – Richard

“Hey! John discovered comedy! Good job on the poll my friend!” – Trent

To respond:
Richard, it’s been a while since I saw Wild Wild West. Refresh my memory, does a giant, steam-powered spider make it sf? :)

Trent, does this increase my street cred?

Be sure to vote in this week’s poll on The Best Star Trek Movie!

Filed under: Polls

TOC: The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror #20

The contents of The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror #20, edited by by Kelly Link, Gavin Grant and Ellen Datlow and due in August 2007, has been posted:

Horror Section

  1. “La Profonde” by Terry Dowling
  2. “Sob in the Silence” by Gene Wolfe
  3. “A Pig’s Whisper” by Margo Lanagan
  4. “Winkie” by Margo Lanagan
  5. “Journey into the Kingdom” by M. Rickert
  6. “Father Muerte and the Flesh” by Lee Battersby
  7. “The Muldoon” by Glen Hirshberg
  8. “Ballade” by William Hope Hodgson (poem)
  9. “My Babe, My Babe” by William Hope Hodgson (poem)
  10. “31/10″ by Stephen Volk
  11. “Messages” by Brett Alexander
  12. “Raphael Stephen” by Graham Jones
  13. “The Last to be Found” by Christopher Harman
  14. “The Box” by Stephen Gallagher
  15. “Landfill” by Joyce Carol Oates
  16. “The Churring” by Nicholas Royle
  17. “First Kisses From Beyond the Grave” by Nik Houser
  18. “The Extraordinary Limits of Darkness” by Simon Clark
  19. “Drowning Palmer” by Sarah Monette
  20. “Dead Sea Fruit” by Kaaron Warren
  21. “Dog Person” by Scott Nicholson

Fantasy Section

  1. “Tell” by Nathalie Anderson (poem)
  2. “Is Rain My Bearskin?” by Jeanne Marie Beaumont (poem)
  3. “Yep, I Said Camel” by Josh Bell (poem)
  4. “Femavillle 29″ by Paul Di Filippo
  5. “The Night Whiskey” by Jeffrey Ford
  6. “Persephone and the Prince Meet Over Drinks” by Jeannine Hall Gailey (Poem)
  7. “Becoming The Villainess” by Jeannine Hall Gailey (Poem)
  8. “A Fearful Symmetry” by Minsoo Kang
  9. “In the House of the Seven Librarians” by Ellen Klages
  10. “Cup and Table” by Tim Pratt
  11. “Journey into the Kingdom” by M. Rickert
  12. “A Siege of Cranes” by Benjamin Rosenbaum
  13. “Another Word for Map Is Faith” by Christopher Rowe
  14. “Pol Pot’s Beautiful Daughter” by Geoff Ryman
  15. “Lionflower Hedge” by Ira Sher
  16. “La Fee Verte” by Delia Sherman
  17. “The Lineaments of Gratified Desire” by Ysabeau S. Wilce
  18. “Directions” by Caleb Wilson

[via Richard Larson via Jeffrey Ford]

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1967 Wonder Woman TV Pilot

Pistol Wimp has unearthed a copy of the 5-minute 1967 test-pilot for a Wonder Woman series. It appears to as campy as the producers’ other creation, Batman. It stars Ellie Wood Walker as Diana Prince, Linda Harrison as Wonder Woman and Maudie Prickett as her mother.

Is it me, or is Wonder Woman admiring herself a little too much in the mirror. I mean, sure, it was risqué back then to wear star-pattern blue knickers out in the open…but methinks Wonder Woman is a bit too narcissistic to be an effective heroine. Now that I think about it, she’s acting like she’s on heroin. That’s the only explanation I have for her gravity-defying no-way-she’s-hooked-up-to-wires leap into the nighttime sky.

Thanks you, O wise gods of 1960′s television programming, for waiting until Lynda Carter.

Filed under: TV

SF Tidbits for 2/17/07

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REVIEW: Larklight by Philip Reeve

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Art and Myrtle Mumby adventure throughout the solar system in search of the reasons behind a Sider attack on their home, Larklight.

PROS: Very cool setting, humor and wit abound, interesting characters, non-stop adventure!

CONS: Some violence and death.

BOTTOM LINE: Larklight is a fantastic novel for young and old readers alike. If you like anything Steampunk, you’ll love Larklight.

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This years 2006: A Year in Review issue of Locus magazine includes the always-interesting Book Summary filled with charts and figures. Since I did this last year, I thought I’d continue this year with:

Total Books Published by SF Imprint in 2006

  1. Tor (246)
  2. Science Fiction Book Club (216)
  3. Ace (103)
  4. Del Rey (67)
  5. Eos (64)
  6. Wizards of the Coast (61)
  7. Baen (56)
  8. (Tie) Daw (55)
  9. (Tie) Roc (55)
  10. Black Library US (41)
  11. Bantam Spectra (36)
  12. Night Shade (26)
  13. Luna (24)
  14. Subterranean (19)
  15. Pyr (16)

These numbers include both new books and reprints in all formats (hardcover, trade paperback and mass-market paperback).

For fun, here are the total number of genre books published per year, for the last 11 years. For each year, I list the total number published (new and reprint) with the percentage of new books in parentheses.

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