TOC: The Del Rey Book of Science Fiction and Fantasy

Ellen Datlow shows off the cover of her upcoming (April 2008) original anthology The Del Rey Book of Science Fiction and Fantasy.

Elizabeth Bear posts these contents:

  1. “The Elephant Ironclads” by Jason Stoddard.
  2. “Ardent Clouds” by Lucy Sussex.
  3. “Gather” by Christopher Rowe.
  4. “Sonny Liston Takes the Fall” by Elizabeth Bear.
  5. “North American Lake Monsters” by Nathan Ballingrud.
  6. “All Washed Up While Looking for a Better World” by Carol Emshwiller.
  7. “Special Economics” by Maureen McHugh.
  8. “Aka Saint Marks Place” by Richard Bowes.
  9. “The Goosle” by Margo Lanagan.
  10. “Shira” by Lavie Tidhar.
  11. “The Passion of Azazel” by Barry N. Malzberg.
  12. “The Lagerstätte” by Laird Barron.
  13. “Gladiolus Exposed” by Anna Tambour.
  14. “Daltharee” by Jeffrey Ford.
  15. “Jimmy” by Pat Cadigan.
  16. “Prisoners of the Action” by Paul McAuley and Kim Newman.

SF Tidbits for 11/30/07

The Latest SFWA Copyright Brouhaha

A recent motion by the Science Fiction Writers of America (SFWA) regarding the reinstatement of its Copyright Committee (formerly known as the Electronic Piracy Committee) has some folks speaking out. The issue stems from a couple of months back when Andrew Burt of the SFWA took issue with some fiction posted at the text file sharing website, Scribd. (See history here.) The end result was that Burt was removed from the Committee. With the recent motion, Burton has been reinstated to the newly-named Committee.

Charlie Stross has something to say about that (expletive masking done by me):

To say that this is a f***witted decision is an understatement. Under Dr Burt, the new copyright committee will almost inevitably devolve into a reincarnation of the old piracy committee. If I thought it’d do any good I’d be resigning in protest right now; only the expense of a life membership purchased a couple of years ago is restraining me right now. Clearly the current executive of SFWA is making damaging decisions and ignoring input from committees it appointed, and and in view of this I call on SFWA president Mike Capobianco and the rest of the SFWA executive — including Andrew Burt — to resign immediately. Meanwhile, I’d like to call on all other SFWA members who don’t want to see their organization commit public relations suicide to make their voices heard.

John Scalzi also had some comments:

I think the board choose puzzlingly, to use as polite a word as possible, in its choice of chairman for the new committee, for some of the reasons which Charlie outlines in incendiary but not unreasonable fashion.

See also: Comments from Cory Doctorow.

SF Tidbits for 11/29/07

Tube Bits For 11/29/2007

  • December 2nd is fast approaching, which means the premier of Sci Fi’s Tin Man mini-series. SF Universe has some new promo pics for your viewing pleasure. If only all wicked witches looked like Kathleen Roberston, I’m sure we’d all welcome our new witch overladies. Speaking of Tin Man, MySanAntonio.com covers the series and says it has “an edgy science-fiction feel and intriguingly complex storylines that will keep viewers guessing.” No mention of the bad dialog or cliched situations as the review in yesterday’s post mentioned. Still, I’m feeling compelled to watch it.
  • Ron D. Moore, executive producer of Battlestar Galactica has a new blog. Not much there yet, but he does reminisce about his days on Star Trek: The Next Generation and he has posted a podcast for Razor. Hopefully he’ll keep this one up to date better than his section on the Galactica page on SciFi. [via Trek Today]
  • Sticking with Star Trek, TV Guide recently released their 2007 Online Video Awards. One of the categories was for Sci-Fi Webisodes, and included the fan produced Star Trek: New Voyages. Amazingly, New Voyages won, beating out the professionally produced webisodes for Battlestar Galactica and The 4400. Good job guys. Now I really must watch this, the teaser on the TV Guide site looks promising. [also via Trek Today]
  • Sci Fi Japan let’s us know that Appleseed: Ex Machina will be appearing in a limited run in the U.S. starting in December, with the DVD appearing in March. I saw the first movie, Appleseed, and thought it was pretty good, aside from the plastic-y look to the characters. John Woo directed the movie, so get ready for loads of CGI doves. If it comes near Houston, I may check it out.
  • And finally, Sci Fi Scanner points us to this clip from the newly released Futurama DVD, Bender’s Big Score. Enjoy.

Read Chris Roberson’s Three Unbroken Online for Free

Solaris Books is serializing Chris Roberson’s second Celestial Empire novel, Three Unbroken, online for free. (The first novel, The Dragon’s Nine Sons, is reviewed here.)

Here’s a more detailed description of Three Unbroken from the press release:

Three Unbroken is the next epic novel in the Celestial Empire sequence and details the explosive war between the Chinese and Aztec empires as they battle for control of the red planet, Fire Star.

Based on the sixty-four elements of the I-Ching, Three Unbroken follows the lives of three soldiers from their induction into the armed forces to their eventual fight for survival on the frontline. The events of the novel are contemporaneous with those of The Dragon’s Nine Sons, the first novel in the sequence, set to be published by Solaris in February 2008.

New chapters of Three Unbroken will be posted twice a week, on Wednesday and Friday. The first chapter has already been posted. You can be notified of upcoming chapters by subscribing to their RSS feed.

The End Of Heroes Season 2

Kristin over at E! Online recaps Monday’s Heroes episode in Continue reading

A Bevy of Blue (and Green) Babes

I usually shy away from rumors these days, but this recent rendition of a blue alien reportedly from James Cameron’s upcoming Avatar is timely.

To honor our resident supermodel expert Peter Y. (if for no other reason than keeping Maxim in business), I submit a bevy of blue & green scifi babes.

On the blue team, we have Zhaan from Farscape, Plavalaguna the Diva from The Fifth Element, X-Men‘s Mystique, and the new Avatar alien.

blueBabes.jpg

Perhaps you like to go green? May I interest you in a She-Hulk or that green alien chick from Star Trek?

greenBabes.jpg

Who’s your favorite? There may be a poll on this, if you know what I mean.

SF Tidbits for 11/28/07

Tube Bits For 11/28/2007

  • NBC has ordered a full season of Chuck. They have an unknown number of episodes already produce and the full commitment is for 22. No real word on how the extra episodes will be made due to the writers strike.
  • Another show the writers strike won’t affect is the pilot episode for J.J. Abrams’ new series, Fringe. The pilot is already written and Journeyman director Alex Graves is set to direct. I know many people think J.J. Abrams can do no wrong, but I’m not so sure after seeing Mission Impossible 3. Can he bring some magic to the paranormal genre?
  • Film.com over-analyzes Razor and they sure do. I’m not sure why it’s a good thing to be morally ambiguous, ‘especially with what’s going on in the larger world’. They also talk sharp jumpage, Admiral Cain’s character and other stuff.
  • Many of us here really like the show Futurama, but how many of you knew the name was a riff on a ride at the 1939-40 New York World’s Fair? Wired explains in detail a bunch of interesting things about the ride, the fair, and the power of SF to predict the future. Also making an appearance is Cory Doctorow, sans goggles, cape and balloon.

Star Wars Toys Madness

I’m sure most of us have had, at one time or another, assorted Star Wars toys and other memorabilia. My brother and I had many action figures and vehicles which we would take outside and play with all the time. My favorite was the Yoda figure with snake twined around his neck. There was even a Hoth playset one of my mom’s craft magazines had plans for that I wanted to make, but never got around to. But even those hours spent playing with our figures doesn’t compare to this giant Star Wars collectibles auction on Ebay.

Over 1600 Star Wars figures, and a ton of other stuff. The seller wants to be rid of them to ‘accomplish a new plan I have for my future.’ I bet. The starting bid is $25,450, with $950 for shipping. Unbelievable. This sort of obsessive collecting just doesn’t resonate with me. I’m of the ‘rip it out of the box and play with it’ school. Call me crazy. So act fast, the auction ends on Nov. 28th at 2am CT. Oh, and the next bid will be the first.

For a much cooler, and geekier, collection, check out Joshua Budich’s collection. Although much smaller than the Ebay collection, Joshua has indulged his inner code monkey and created a really cool Flash front end to his figures. Not only did he create little images for each figure, he’s linked them to a picture of the corresponding package. Add to that all the filtering options and you have one cool interface. This is one case where obsessive comes in handy. Nicely done Joshua.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I must go mourn all my lost Star Wars figures and cards, and try no think about what they’d be worth today.

REVIEW: The Commons by Matthew Hughes

REVIEW SUMMARY: An interesting blend of science fiction and fantasy elements.

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Guth Bandar explores the world of the human collective unconscious, which is becoming not so unconscious after all.

MY REVIEW:

PROS: Intriguing world with mind-expanding ideas; cool science-fantasy setting; deals heavily with archetypes yet avoids cliché.

CONS: Needed stronger characters; some adventures weaker than others.

BOTTOM LINE: A good read that’s piqued my interest in other stories set in this universe.

Continue reading

SF Tidbits for 11/27/07

TOC: The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, Volume 2

Night Shade has posted the contents of The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, Volume 2 edited by Jonathan Strahan, to be publishd in March 2008.

  1. The Merchant and the Alchemist’s Gate” by Ted Chiang
  2. “The Last and Only Mr. Moskowitz Becomes French” by Peter S. Beagle
  3. “Trunk and Disorderly” by Charles Stross
  4. “Glory” by Greg Egan
  5. “Dead Horse Point” by Daryl Gregory
  6. “The Dreaming Wind” by Jeffrey Ford
  7. “The Coat of Stars” by Holly Black
  8. “The Prophet of Flores” by Ted Kosmatka
  9. “Wizard’s Six” by Alex Irvine
  10. “The Cambist and Lord Iron: A Fairy Tale of Economics” by Daniel Abraham
  11. “By Fools Like Me” by Nancy Kress
  12. Kiosk” by Bruce Sterling
  13. “Singing of Mount Abora” by Theodora Goss
  14. “The Witch’s Headstone” by Neil Gaiman
  15. “Last Contact” by Stephen Baxter
  16. “Jesus Christ, Reanimator” by Ken Macleod
  17. “Sorrel’s Heart” by Susan Palwick
  18. “Urdumheim” by Michael Swanwick
  19. “Holiday” by M. Rickert
  20. “The Valley of the Gardens” by Tony Daniel
  21. “Winter’s Wife” by Elizabeth Hand
  22. The Sky is Large and the Earth is Small” by Chris Roberson
  23. “Orm the Beautiful” by Elizabeth Bear
  24. “The Constable of Abal” by Kelly Link

Tube Bits For 11/27/2007

  • On Dec. 2nd, Sci Fi will premier it’s new mini-series Tin Man. Unlike Razor, so far it hasn’t been leaked onto the torrent networks. However, Multichannel News has seen a screener and has a review entitled: SCI FI Channel’s ‘Tin Man': If It Only Had A Heart. The verdict: Great production values, terrible dialog and cliched situations. Who knew George Lucas was involved?
  • The casualties of the writers’ strike keep coming. First it looks like Bionic Woman will be canceled, and now Journeyman may suffer the same fate. And with the new TV series reaching the end of their produced episodes, it may be a long, cold winter of re-runs.
  • Lance Henriksen has appeared in many science fiction TV shows and films. Henriksen recently appeared at a con in the U.K. and gave a non-answer answer to the question ‘Will Frank Black appear in the new X-Files movie?” It seems to me he will. Bonus info: Did you know Henriksen is the voice of Brainiac in Superman: Brainiac Attacks? Me neither.
  • Who doesn’t like LEGOs? No one that’s who. Those of us who have Comcast as our cable providers will have the opportunity to watch the LEGO ON DEMAND channel, starting Dec. 3rd. There is also a companion website where viewers can rate the programming. Could be good, could be just an involved commercial. I think it’s at least worth a look.

REVIEW: Queen of Candesce by Karl Schroeder

REVIEW SUMMARY: Schroeder’s sequel to Sun of Suns is an even better book – a focus on characters against a fanastic hard sci-fi backdrop. This is one sequel that surpasses the original.

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Following the events of the first book, Venera Fanning inadvertently lands on Spyre, a decaying cylinder station on the verge of collapse, and realizes that the Key to Candesce she liberated from the pirate horde could destroy the entire world that lives in Virga. Her arrival sparks a change in the insular little community and sets in motion a chain of events that disrupts not only the political stability of the region but also the way Venera sees herself.

MY REVIEW:

PROS: Can be read standalone, excellent characterization – Venera’s Machiavellian nature is a perfect canvas on which to paint the experiences she has, hard sci-fi is always there in the background having a real impact on the book.

CONS: As with the first book, this one is a bit too sci-fi for non-fans to stomach.

BOTTOM LINE: Great book that I recommend easily.

Continue reading

Ridley Scott Still Hates SciFi

Here is an anti-scifi rant by Ridley Scott. Again. This time it’s a minor one, taken from a to BBC interview where he is talking about Blade Runner and scifi.

Why do you think it’s stood the test of time?

MTV started around 1980, and I used to watch it. I think in its early days it was more interesting – these little filmlets cooked up by the bands and the director that were four, five minutes of really great entertainment. I’d get a lot of ideas off them. But then I started to notice bits of Blade Runner in there.

I thought, ‘Where the hell did they get that? My god – someone’s copying me!’ It was a huge influence in a lot of rock videos: wet streets, smoke, funny people. There was an evolution occurring. That generation only really watched MTV, and that would be the generation we’re talking about now.

How do you feel about the future of science-fiction?

Everyone and their mother are making science-fiction movies, and for the most part they all really lack story. The tail is wagging the dog – the special effects, instead of being the means to an end, are the end in itself.

Where do all the writers go? Writing is the single hardest thing to do. Once you get your design on paper, everything else is pretty straightforward.

Yeah, Ridley Scott invented wet streets. Please…

Note to filmmakers: If your movie features wet streets, streets with a sheen that may suggest wetness, or any pavement whatsoever that is not 100% dry, please forward royalties to Sir Ridley Scott, c/o Fantasyland.

Oh, and Blade Runner is overrated.

Tube Bits For 11/26/2007

  • Wizard Universe has a short interview with David X. Cohen on the pending release (Nov. 27th, tomorrow!) of Bender’s Big Score. The movie will involve time travel, and if it’s anything like ‘Roswell That End’s Well’, it should rock. Although making a feature length film that will later be split into four separate episodes is a bit weird.
  • The Denver Post reviews the Star Trek The Original Series — The Complete First Season DVD set, just recently released. As you would expect, the real draw are the episodes themselves, while the extras are hit and miss. Is it worth $140 to buy these episodes? Again?
  • AOL News says Battlestar Galactica is the best political show on TV. He praises it for its “unblinking examinations of such hot-button issues as genocide, torture, suicide bombers, villainous occupiers and heroic insurgents.” He then says that SF TV has a history, when being politcal, of being “long on preachy, short on entertainment.” Which is ironic considering the third season of BG was exactly that. When they went for entertainment it worked, otherwise the politics became boring. There is also a short list of additional ‘good political SF’.
  • Associated Content interviews Stephanie Jacobson about her role as Major Kendra Shaw on Razor. I see, according to IMDB, that Jacobson is in line to play Maya for David Kelley’s American adaptation of Life On Mars.
  • And finally, for Pete and others like him, HavadisNet has the goods on Hayden Panettiere’s GQ photo shoot. Once you hit 18, apparently the high style men’s magazines come calling.

SF Tidbits for 11/26/07

POLL RESULTS: The Sarah Connor Chronicles Posters

Here are the results of the latest SF Signal poll.

QUESTION
Do the new posters for The Sarah Connor Chronicles make you want to see the show?

RESULTS

(92 total votes)

A couple of comments this week:

“Come one – hot chicks with guns and mechanical bits? I am in… Now if only Grace Park would make a cameo… A man can dream.” – Tim

“I watched the pilot at Comic Con in San Diego and am very conflicted about this show. Let’s just say breaking into a bank to find a time travel device in a safe deposit box is a weird idea.” – Christian Johnson

Be sure to visit our front page and vote in this week’s poll about when Star Wars jumped the shark!

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