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

JK Rowling!

So says a Book Magazine poll voted upon by readers.

As noted previously, Rowling was (yay us) one of the few genre authors who was nominated. At the time, I think the only other authors somehow connected with the genre were Terry Pratchett, Doris Lessing, Ian McEwan, A.S. Byatt and Kazuo Ishiguro. (See Andrew Wheeler’s originating post.) Now, it seems like votes were received for Iain M. Banks, Philip Pullman, Martin Amis, Neil Gaiman, J.G. Ballard, Diana Wynne Jones and Michael Moorcock.

[via BlogCritics, who now humorously questions the usefulness of Democracy.]

Filed under: Books

Review Criteria

John has asked that I publish my review criteria, so here it is. Note that this only really counts for books I’ve read this year (2006) and beyond – in years past I wasn’t quite as critical as I am now.

I have to admit I’m seriously thinking of changing my rating to simply ‘Worth it’ or ‘Avoid it’ since that’s all I’m really trying to convey, but at least for now here is what my rating system is.

Read the rest of this entry

Filed under: Meta

How to Become a Fanboy

The NY Daily News offers Fanboy 101 for would-be fanboys. They cover the essential comics, sci-fi movies, Hong Kong movies and horror movies one would need to consume to be considered a fanboy. (Anime, television series and sci-fi and fantasy books to come in a later article.)

Here’s the list of sci-fi movies:

  • The original Star Wars trilogy
  • Blade Runner
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey
  • Alien/Aliens
  • The Matrix
  • Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
  • The Day the Earth Stood Still
  • Close Encounters of the Third Kind
  • The Terminator
  • A Clockwork Orange
  • Jurassic Park
  • Things to Come

Pop Quiz! How many were based on science fiction stories?

[link via Emerald City]

Filed under: Movies

NOMINEES: International Horror Guild Award

The nominees for the International Horror Guild Award, which recognizes achievement in the field of horror/dark fantasy during 2005, have been announced. Also, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro is recipient of its annual Living Legend Award. Awards are presented during the World Fantasy Convention in Austin, TX on July 31st.

NOVEL

  • Lunar Park by Brett Easton Ellis
  • The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
  • Beyond Black by Hilary Mantel
  • The Stone Ship by Peter Raftos
  • The Horrific Sufferings of the Mind-Reading Monster Hercules Barefoot, His Wonderful Love and His Terrible Hatred by Carl-Johan Vallgren (Translated by Paul Britten-Austin)
SHORT FICTIONMID-LENGTH FICTION
  • “Proboscis” by Laird Barron
  • “Boatman’s Holiday” by Jeffrey Ford
  • “My Father’s Mask” by Joe Hill
  • “La Peau Verte” by Caitlin Kiernan
LONG FICTION
  • “The Imago Sequence” by Laird Barron
  • “Kiss of the Mudman” by Gary Braunbeck
  • “Voluntary Committal” by Joe Hill
  • The Serial Murders” by Kim Newman
COLLECTION (Single Author)
  • Specimen Days by Michael Cunningham
  • 20th Century Ghostsby Joe Hill
  • To Charles Fort, with Love by Caitlin Kiernan
  • Magic for Beginners by Kelly Link
ANTHOLOGY
  • No Award
Interesting. There’s some crossover for sf/f award nominees (“Invisible”, “Boatman’s Holiday”, “There’s a Hole in the City”, Magic for Beginners). Is it me or are genre lines becoming more and more blurred.

And no award for anthology? What’s up with that?

[Link via SFBC Blog]

Filed under: Awards

SF Tidbits for 6/8/06

Filed under: Tidbits

Wear Me You Will

I don’t know whether to be scared or not, but now you can buy your very own Jedi Master and re-create your own personal Dagobah with Think Geek’s Yoda Plush Backpack. This is perfect for the Star Wars Enthusiasts among us (you know who you are, ok, I’ll give you a hint, his initials are ‘Scott’) or perhaps even their kids.

No real info on how much crap you can stuff into Yoda’s stomach, or on how long it will take for you to start talking in Yoda-speak. About 5 seconds I’m guessing.

Filed under: Star Wars

REVIEW: Century Rain by Alastair Reynolds

REVIEW SUMMARY: Fine hard science fiction from a very capable author that could have been so much more.

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Earth as been rendered devoid of life thanks to nanotech gone awry, and humankind has been split between those that eschew nanotech and hope to repopulate Earth the old fashion way (the Threshers or those who want to stand up to the threshold of nano use) and those who have embraced nanotech throughout their bodies and would like to terraform Earth with more nanos (the Slashers, named after those who use Slashdot – I’m not kidding.) An archaeologist from the Threshers Verity Auger becomes embroiled in interstellar intrigue when she discovers a duplicate Earth, held in stasis by alien technology, has become active and in fact can now be visited.

MY REVIEW:

PROS: Great use of science fiction staples like nanotech, wormholes, and the unique concept of a giant sphere big enough to hold a copy of a world in quantum stasis.

CONS: Slow story in parts. Reynold’s characters seem cold and lifeless.

BOTTOM LINE: Still a good read, but I had expected more from Reynolds.

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Filed under: Book Review

SF Tidbits for 6/7/06

Filed under: Tidbits

Are Books Dying?

Over at the Guardian, Jeff Jarvis is contemplating the limited lifespan of the book in his article Books will disappear. Print is where words go to die. [Link via BookNinja]

The article gives a nice 50,000-foot view of the situation between the capabilities and pressure of The Digital Age vs. the limited vision of The Old Ways:

…[E]fforts to update the book are hampered because, culturally, we give extreme reverence to the form for the form’s sake. We hold books holy: children are taught there is no better use of time than reading a book. Academics perish if they do not publish. We tolerate censors regulating and snipping television but would never allow them to black out books. We even ignore the undeniable truth that too many books, and far too many bestsellers, are pap or crap. All this might seem to be the medium’s greatest advantage: respect. But that is what is holding books back from the progress that could save and spread the gospel of the written word.

This is an interesting observation: Respect for books – the very thing we have been taught and try to teach others – is what’s hindering its evolution. I’ll have to give that chewy morsel some more thought. At least Jeff agrees that there is value in holding a fiction book: “fiction, especially, is best delivered one-way and on portable paper.” That gives me something to hold onto before books go the way of the 8-Track tape.

I still wonder, though, is this an insightful prognostication, or just malarky?

Filed under: Books

SF Tidbits for 6/6/06

Filed under: Tidbits

The Coode Street Podcast

Jonathan Strahan has launched The Coode Street Podcast to promote work that he feels is “worthwhile, noteworthy, or just neat in some way.”

The first podcast is “Stealing Free” by by Deborah Biancotti, winner of the Aurealis Award for Best Horror Story, the Ditmar Award for Best New Talent, and the Ditmar for Best Short Story, She describes “Stealing Free” thusly:

“This story is one of those, begun late at night, the broad brush stroked added over several days between work and Life and other projects, but the real guts of it, the meat of the tale, so to speak, requiring another late night to pull itself together. And here – for what it’s worth – is an unusual piece on the dutiful Salamander and his odd mixed bag of friends and enemies. Kingfisher. Pelicans. Empress. Monster. Sea Snake. And all their attendants.”

[via Locus Online]

Filed under: Web Sites

Confessions of a Biblioholic

Newer readers may be wondering what I mean when I drop occasional mentions of my biblioholism. Allow me to elaborate. But before you start with the ridicule, know that I am aware I am opening myself up to it by doing this. So, if you insist on poking fun, exceed my expectations, will ya’, and make it really funny. As defined by me.

I regularly visit used bookstores. They are the best places to browse out-of-print science fiction and fortunately (or unfortunately) for me, Houston has an inordinate number of them. It used to be just me but in the past couple of years, the family has taken a shining to it. (Red Rum!)

My collection already contains more books than I could possibly read in my lifetime unless I was, say, augmented with Klausner-like nanotech, which has yet to be invented (sadly). I am honestly not bragging here – this behavior is illogical and, some would say, on the wrong side of sane. I think the affliction is the result of growing up in Long Island which is essentially a 100-mile-long strip mall. (Note to self: add “strip mall’ to list of phrases that make me giggle.)

I was doing well for a while. I think I went three whole weeks without stepping foot inside a bookstore. My recent visit to the awesome Borderlands Bookstore in San Francisco put the kibosh on that dry spell. I dare anyone with even a remote fondness for science fiction to step into that store without wanting to walk out with oodles and caboodles of crunchy, sf goodness. I couldn’t do it.

Anywho, in recent weeks, I found some good (to me) treasures that, while they are things I wanted, were not really things I needed. These titles fall into distinct categories. (Like Jeff from Gravity Lens once said, sf fans love to categorize.)

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Filed under: Books

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