POLL RESULTS: I’m a SF/F Fanboy!

Here are the results of the latest SF Signal poll.

QUESTION
Are you a science fiction or fantasy fanboy or fangirl?

RESULTS

(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 PUBLISHER: Tor
  • 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

Free Beer! (Well, Sample Chapters Anyway)

Author Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn) is working on a new book in the works called Warbreaker. You can find sample chapters here.

Additionally, author Chris Roberson is also working on a new book, Beyond The Threshold. He has also posted sample chapters.

I’m glad to see this happening. Now, potential book buyers can ‘try before they buy’ and decide whether the full book will be worth their time. Sort of the book version of a game demo. Sweet.

Oh, and, BYOB.

Filed under: Books

REVIEW: 2006 Hugo Award Short Fiction Nominees

Like the previous project to read the 2005 Nebula Nominees for short fiction, I undertook the task to read the short fiction nominees for the 2006 Hugo Award. Once again, all of the nominees were available online this year. Thanks, Al Gore!

Overall, the stories were very good and stronger than the Nebula nominees. Indeed, many of these stories have already been chosen to appear in one “Best of…” anthology or another due out this year. Three of the Hugo nominated stories (“Identity Theft”, “Magic for Beginners” and “Singing My Sister Down”) are also recent Nebula nominees. Besides those stories, a couple of authors appear on both ballots as well: namely James Patrick Kelly and Paolo Bacigalupi. Michael A. Burstein has the distinct honor of having two stories on the Hugo ballot this year.

Most of the nominees’ names are familiar through previous award wins and nominations, so I was expecting some good things. For the most part, I was not disappointed. The two least enjoyable Hugo nominated stories for me were not bad, but somewhat mediocre. This was unexpected as Waldrop is considered as master of the short form (I loved “Calling Your Name“) and, if this is any indication, he’s had 10 stories chosen for the first 23 volumes of Gardner Dozois’ Year’s Best Science Fiction anthology series. The other mediocre story was by Michael Burstein – surprising since I thought his other story, “TelePresence”, was the best novelette in the bunch and most deserving of the win.

So, in a nutshell, here are my impressions of the stories in each category, sorted from most to least enjoyable. Obviously, the winning picks are the tops ones listed in each category.

Novella

Burn” by James Patrick Kelly

Identity Theft” by Robert J. Sawyer

Inside Job” by Connie Willis

The Little Goddess” by Ian McDonald

Magic for Beginners” by Kelly Link

Novelette

TelePresence” by Michael A. Burstein

I, Robot” by Cory Doctorow

Two Hearts” by Peter S. Beagle

The Calorie Man” by Paolo Bacigalupi

The King of Where-I-Go” by Howard Waldrop

Short Story

Singing My Sister Down” by Margo Lanagan

Down Memory Lane” by Mike Resnick

Tk’tk’tk” by David D. Levine

The Clockwork Atom Bomb” by Dominic Green

Seventy-Five Years” by Michael A. Burstein

Reviewlettes follow…

Read the rest of this entry

Filed under: Book Review

SF Tidbits for 6/16/06

Filed under: Tidbits

Superman vs. Muhammad Ali

Another old comic book memory…

In the throes of my DC Comics phase, I bought (with my hard-earned lawn-mowing money, I imagine) one of DC’s Giant comics. These were just jumbo-sized version of the regular comic; bigger pages with bigger art. One of the few I had was Superman vs. Muhammad Ali, which, thanks to Dial B for Blog, has once again come to my attention. This is the second time in the past month, actually. I saw a copy of it at Dog Eared Books in San Francisco, which is just down the street from Borderlands. It must be destiny. Or something.

Note the celebrities on the cover. They had a key inside that showed who everyone was. Is that Jimmy Carter? Sonny Bono? Lucille Ball? Yeah, put Sonny and Lucy into the ring, that’s the match I’d really like to see.

[via Backwards City]

Filed under: Books

Book Remainders

J.A. Konrath from A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing offers up an great post on book remainders, the unsold copies that publishers sell at a discount – the ones you find at discount bookstores. One of the downsides he lists as a “remaindered” author is:

Being in the bargain bin has a stigma that isn’t pleasant.

I must admit that way back when, I was one of those who frowned upon bargain books. Who wants a book that couldn’t sell at full price? There must be something wrong with the book! Obviously, these notions are entirely false. The reasons have more to do with the publishing business than the quality of the work.

I’ve since wizened up. In fact, during several biblioholic bouts, I’ve found many good remaindered books. One of the most fortunate finds was a hardback copy of (dare I say “SF Signal fanboy”?) John C. Wright’s The Golden Age. I’ve since gone on to buy and read the rest of that very worthwhile trilogy. As Konrath notes, I might not have found him through other means. (Let alone buying another mass-market copy of the first book and the Science Fiction Book Club omnibus of all three books. Hel-LO? Biblioholic here!)

Upon reflection, my initial stigma against remainders was due to ignorance. I just didn’t understand how it could could be possible that something worth buying could be offered at such a huge discount. That was my loss. But I’m debatably smarter now!

Filed under: Books

Burning Safari

GOBELINS is a French animation school that has produced several well done and humorous animated shorts. Burning Safari is one such short, made for the Annecy 2006 international animated film festival. It has spaceships, an exploratory feel, cute robots and monkeys. What’s not to like? Take a look!

Update: The YouTube link no longer functions. They must have removed the video. Fear not! I found a link on the Gobelins site and added the link above.

Filed under: Web Sites

SF Tidbits for 6/15/06

  • Billie Piper (Rose Tyler) is leaving Doctor Who.
  • New sf/f website: Deep Genre, a group blog by authors David Louis Edelman, Carol Berg, Constance Ash, Kate Elliott, Katharine Kerr and Lois Tilton.
  • William Shatner DVD Club Contest: If you win, the Shat will record a personalized outgoing voice message for your answering machine or voice mail. [via Slice of SciFi]
  • The Written Mashup: Books and band names. [via Sarcasmo]
  • SciFi Wire profile Tim Pratt, author of The Strange Adventures of Rangergirl, which was just nominated for the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award. [via John Joseph Adams]
  • Now blogging: Neal Asher, author of Gridlinked and The Voyage of the Sable Keech. [via Jose at MemeTherapy]
  • SciFi Wire profiles Mike Resnick and his latest collection, New Dreams for Old, which inlcudes 10 stories that won or were nominated for awards.

Filed under: Tidbits

TOC: The Space Opera Renaissance

A post on the Asimov’s forum lists the table of contents for next month’s space opera anthology The Space Opera Renaissance, edited by David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer. As I said before…[Homer gurgle]. Check out this juicy lineup:

I. Redefined Writers

“The Star Stealers” by Edmond Hamilton

“The Prince of Space” by Jack Williamson

“Enchantress of Venus” by Leigh Brackett

“The Swordsman of Varnis” by Clive Jackson

II. Draftees (1960s)

“The Game of Rat & Dragon” by Cordwainer Smith

“Empire Star” by Samuel R. Delany

“Zirn Left Unguarded, the Jenjik Palace in Flames, Jon Westerly Dead” by Robert Sheckley

III. Transitions/Redefiners (late 1970s to late 1980s)

“Temptation” by David Brin

“Ranks of Bronze” by David Drake

“Weatherman” by Lois McMaster Bujold

“A Gift from the Culture” by Iain M. Banks

IV. Volunteers”Revisionaries (early 90s)

“Orphans of the Helix” by Dan Simmons

“The Well Wishers” by Colin Greenland

“Escape Route” by Peter Hamilton

“Ms Midshipwoman Harrington” by David Weber

“Aurora in Four Voices” by Catherine Asaro

“Ring Rats” by R. Garcia y Robertson

“The Death of Captain Future” by Allen Steele

V. Mixed Signals/ Mixed Categories (to the late 1990s)

“A Worm in the Well” by Gregory Benford

“The Survivor” by Donald Kingsbury

“Fools Errand” by Sarah Zettel

“The Shobies Story” by Ursula K. Le Guin

“The Remoras” by Robert Reed

“Recording Angel” by Paul McAuley

“The Great Game” by Steven Baxter

“Lost Sorceress of the Silent Citadel” by Michael Moorcock

“Space Opera” by Michael Kandel

VI. Next Wave/21st Century

“Grist” by Tony Daniel

“The Movements of her Eyes” by Scott Westerfeld

“Spirey and the Queen” by Alastair Reynolds

“Bear Trap” by Charles Stross

“Guest Law” by John C. Wright

Filed under: Books

Look, Up in the Sky…It’s…a Bunny!

Those Angry Alien guys are at it again, this time with Superman: The Movie in 30 seconds, as re-enacted by bunnies. (The way it was meant to be seen.) I love these clips. “C’mon Dad, I’ll race you!”

Notice that the Angry Alien Superman clip is being hosted by the Starz channel. There’s a success story, huh? Why, I remember them when they were young whippersnappers! I also see that some upcoming productions include parodies of Office Space and Raiders of the Lost Ark. Sweet!

[Link via Backwards City]

Filed under: Web Sites

SF Tidbits for 6/13/06

Filed under: Tidbits

POLL RESULTS: Science Fiction Awards

Well, I was all set to show the results of the latest poll, and FreeBlogPoll is down. Does anyone know if FreeAndReliableBlogPoll.com is available? I’ll keep checking to see if comes back and update accordingly.

But in the meantime, if memory serves, we were about 50/50 on whether there were too many science fiction awards. About half of the voters thought there were too many and the other half thought there were not. Go figure.

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

Filed under: Polls

According to CNN, Entertainment Weekly has voted Stanley Kubrick’s 1971 film A Clockwork Orange, based on the sf novel by Anthony Burgess, the 2nd all-time most controversial movie. (Coming in first was Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ.)

I saw that movie a long, long time ago and some of the imagery still remains vivid. (Besides the aforementioned eyes-wide-open scene, I seem to remember a shoe-licking and somebody being bludgeoned with a giant, porcelain…ummm…oh, never mind.) I would like to see the movie again, but I’d like to wait until I read the book, which waits patiently in a box somewhere.

Filed under: Movies

SF Tidbits for 6/11/06

Filed under: Tidbits

Zombies, Zombies, Zombies

SF Signal blogger Tim has been on vacation and I think he returns this weekend. To welcome him back, I offer you a slice of zombie cake.

But what, dear friends, is cake without accompanying music? Well…it’s still cake, but the point is I also offer unto you the undead equivalent of the Badger^3 song: Zombies^3!

Now eat cake and dance!

[Links via GailyColouredPlasticBag]

Filed under: Humor

SF Tidbits for 6/10/06

Filed under: Tidbits

Doctor Who: A Parting of The Ways

I just finished watching the season/series 1 finale of Doctor Who with the episode “A Parting of The Ways”. I thought it was pretty darned good; one of the better episodes this season, although I did miss a few. (TV Squad liked it too and has a full summary.) There were moments of questionable logic, but Doctor Who was always about the fun, not necessarily the flawless plotting.

I liked Chris Eccleston as The Doctor. He always played it with a bit of well-placed humor. I knew there was a new Doctor coming in the next season, but I didn’t know the switch happened in this episode! The brief glimpse I got of the new guy (David Tennant, who for some reason reminded me of Davy Jones) left a good impression, though.

Since this was a late night viewing, I’ll need to re-watch this episode with my daughter, who like the series. Ah, nothin’ like getteng them hooked on sci-fi at a young age!

Filed under: Doctor Who

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