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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Filed under: Interviews

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


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 —


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

REVIEW: A Thousand Deaths by George Alec Effinger

REVIEW SUMMARY: More good reading from Effinger.


BRIEF SYNOPSIS: A collection comprised of the novel The Wolves of Memory and seven stories. In the novel, Courane is unceremoniously exiled to a struggling colony planet by the somewhat flighty TECT computer.

PROS: Effinger’s writing style and storytelling; semi-autobiographical character lends the stories some poignancy and weight. Non-sequitur narrative made it more interesting.
CONS: The stories never quite reach the level of the novel.
BOTTOM LINE: An important collection, if only because the long-out-of-print novel deserves some notice.

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Filed under: Book Review

Are You a Superfan?

You might think you’re a big fan of science fiction or of a particular franchised universe, but are you in line with the folks who are actively demonstrating they are at the top of the heap?

This thought occurred to me as I watched a guy drive away from the parking lot at work with a license plate that read ‘DR WHO 4′ (and me without a camera!) Now, I’m not sure why he had the 4 in there – it could be he has 4 cars all with that plate, or it could be he’s the 4th person with a DR WHO plate here in Massachusetts. But regardless I started realizing that no matter how much I loved Dr Who there is little chance I’d get a license plate like that. But then I thought – what would I be willing to get a license plate for? Frankly, nothing sci fi. And that’s when I came to grips with the fact that I am not a superfan.

A few clicks of the mouse have turned up the real superfans. Let’s take a look at how far somebody is willing to geek out about a creative sci-fi property they love.

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Filed under: Humor

SF Tidbits for 6/11/07

  • Maurizio Manzieri shows off the awesome illustration appearing on the cover of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction for Marta Randall’s story “L├ízaro y Antonio”.
  • Free Speculative Fiction‘s latest batch of additions includes fiction from Forrest Aguirre, Tobias S. Buckell, A. Bertram Chandler, Paul Di Filippo, David Drake, Eileen Gunn, Michael Jasper & Tim Pratt & Greg van Eekhout, Marc Laidlaw, Jay Lake, Keith Laumer, Jack McDevitt, Gareth L. Powell, Robert Reed, Benjamin Rosenbaum, Rudy Rucker, Lucius Shepard, Charles Stross, Steve Rasnic Tem, Harry Turtledove, Steven Utley, Vernor Vinge, Jo Walton, Zoran Zivcovic and more.
  • New/Updated at Gutenberg: “The Yillian Way” by Keith Laumer.
  • OF Blog of the Fallen interviews Patrick Rothfuss (Part I).
  • Top 5 SciFi lists The Top 10 Changes in the New Bionic Woman.

Filed under: Tidbits

Here are the results of the latest SF Signal poll.

Battlestar Galactica is ending after one more season. Your reaction?


(85 total votes)

One comment this week:

“If ‘It’s gone downhill, but I will be sad to see it go’ were an option, I would vote for that. I still enjoy it in spite of the uneven quality of the past season.” – Bill

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

Filed under: Polls

Top 10 Songs from the Young Frankenstein Musical:

  1. My, That’s an Enormous Schwanzstucker!
  2. It’s Fronkensteen, Fronkensteen
  3. Roll in Ze Hay
  4. Hello, Blücher!
  5. Walk This Way (Aerosmith version)
  6. Where’s My Hump?
  7. There, I’ve Touched It
  8. Give Him a Seda-Give
  9. Destiny! Destiny!
  10. The Ballad of Abby Normal

Bonus Track: Damn Your Eyes! (Too Late)

Filed under: Movies

SF Tidbits for 6/9/07

Filed under: Tidbits

Young Frankenstein.jpg

If you’re like us, and you are reading this so you must be close, you likes you some Young Frankenstein. Well, if you happen to also like musical theater, you can know combine your two likes into one tasty Broadway treat, Young Frankenstein: The Musical.

Oh my. I guess the success of Spamalot (which is now playing in Houston till June 17th) will now lead to Broadway foregoing any original plays, and instead re-hashing old comedy movies into musicals. Which may not be a bad thing. YF is a funny movie, and Mel Brooks will be working on the production, although, not being a theater/musical person, I have no idea what a ‘book’ is in this context, analogous to a screenplay? Would that be a a playplay?

Anyway, there’s a lot of star power behind this production (well, Broadway star power) which may or may not be a bad thing. I hope its good, even though I’ll probably never see it.

Personally, I’m holding out for Schindler’s List: The Musical.

Filed under: Movies

I, Sequel

I thought I wouldn’t get another chance to munge the name “I, Robot” again. Hollywood is nothing if not a source of the unexpected…

Over at Collider, Ronald D. Moore (Battlestar Galactica) says in an interview that he is working on a script to a sequel to the 2004 Will Smith film I, Robot.

I can already hear the collective groan of the sci-fi community, but I liked I, Robot. No, it wasn’t a true adaptation of any of Asimov’s stories, but it was still a decent movie. I still haven’t read Harlan Ellison’s I, Robot: The Illustrated Screenplay, and I still suspect it would have made a better film adaptation of the book, but we have what we have. I hope Moore will be more faithful to the source material.


Filed under: Movies

Nice job on this fan film which is officially titled Batman: Dead End. See the Collora Studios site for a better quality version.

Filed under: Movies

SF Tidbits for 6/8/07

Filed under: Tidbits

The announcement last week of the creation of “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Resort” has created quite a stir in the Pottersphere. You can imagine the interest that exists as to what rides and attractions will be built for the park. Now, thanks to our inside man at Universal, we proudly bring you this soon to be released Press Release:

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Filed under: Books

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