Seth Green and Matthew Senreich, creators of Cartoon Network’s Robot Chicken, will develop Robot Chicken: Star Wars, a 30-minute stop-motion animation for the network’s Adult Swim programming block.

Here’s the kicker: Not only does Mark Hamill as the voice of Luke Skywalker in one sketch, but also George Lucas, who will voice the animated version of himself!

Has the world gone mad? First he helps out Fanboys…now this? If only he could go back in time and eradicate all traces of Jar Jar, he’d be golden.

Other voices in Robot Chicken: Star Wars include in Conan O’Brien, Seth MacFarlane, Robert Smigel, Malcolm McDowell, Hulk Hogan, James Van Der Beek, Donald Faison, Abraham Benrubi, Breckin Meyer and Joey Fatone. The special will premiere at 10 p.m. June 17 on Adult Swim.

Filed under: TV

Just a reminder that we are still taking suggestions for Reader Challenge #6 – The Harry Potter Outreach Program!

This is a chance to sprad the word about all that is good and holy about the genres we love to the unwashed masses who flock to mainstream genre books like Harry Potter and The Road. Since Harry Potter in particular appeals to readers of all ages, we ask for suggestions for different age groups.

Head on over to the Reader Challenge post and give us your picks!

Filed under: Books

Top 10 Science Fiction Movies with the Highest Body Count

  1. Equilibrium (2002) – 236
  2. Dune (1984) – 186
  3. Akira (1988) – 119
  4. Bridge of Dragons (1999) – 109
  5. Starship Troopers (1997) – 95
  6. Ritana (2002) – 91
  7. Fifth Element (1997) – 80
  8. Children of Men (2007) – 77
  9. Total Recall (1990) – 77
  10. Serenity (2005) – 74

[via Website at the End of the Universe]

Filed under: Movies

SF Tidbits for 4/26/07

Filed under: Tidbits

Flurb #3 Now Available

Rudy Ruker has posted the 3rd issue of his webzine, Flurb. Here’s what’s in it:

Postsingular Outtakes” by Rudy Rucker

Special Guest Stars” by Kris Saknussemm

That Certain Day With Magdalen” by John Shirley

The Last Young Person Alive Writes a Memoir” by Charlie Anders

No Place to Raise Kids” by Eileen Gunn

Up Around the Bend” by Paul Di Filippo

Four Milestones of Quantum Tantra” by Nick Herbert

One Hundred Years” by Mac Tonnies

Beloved Vampires of the Blood Comet” by Ian Watson and Roberto Quaglia

Seized by Meat” by Th. Metzger

An Evening’s Honest Peril” by Marc Laidlaw

How RU Sirius Slipped Into Another Dimension” – an interview by Frank Shook

Filed under: Web Sites

A New Habitable Planet?

NASA brings news of an amazing new discovery: a new extrasolar planet that could possibly harbor water and life:

An Earth-like planet spotted outside our solar system is the first found that could support liquid water and harbor life, scientists announced today.

Liquid water is a key ingredient for life as we know it. The newfound planet is located at the “Goldilocks” distance—not too close and not too far from its star to keep water on its surface from freezing or vaporizing away.

And while astronomers are not yet able to look for signs of biology on the planet, the discovery is a milestone in planet detection and the search for extraterrestrial life, one with the potential to profoundly change our outlook on the universe.

Gliese 581 C is the smallest extrasolar planet, or “exoplanet,” discovered to date. It is located about 15 times closer to its star than Earth is to the Sun; one year on the planet is equal to 13 Earth days. Because red dwarfs, also known as M dwarfs, are about 50 times dimmer than the Sun and much cooler, their planets can orbit much closer to them while still remaining within their habitable zones, the spherical region around a star within which a planet’s temperature can sustain liquid water on its surface.

This almost makes up for that whole Pluto thing

Filed under: Space

Cover Pr0n

Irene Gallo gets way cooler email than I do.

While I’m wading through emails about huge investment opportunities and “\/|/|GR/\”, Irene, an Art Director for Tor publishing, received the cover graphics for three upcoming novels from artist Stephan Martiniere. Take a look at these beauties.

The lucky books to receive these are Dragons of Babel by Michael Swanwick, An Autumn War, the next volume in Daniel Abraham’s The Long Price Quartet and Elom by William H. Drinkard.

Filed under: Books

Wofford College is holding a summer education program geared towards teenagers who are interested in the science fiction, fantasy and horror genres.

The Shared Worlds program is a “residential camp designed around a ‘shared world’ theme” where groups of students will learn and apply the skills of writing, illustration and game design, mentored by professionals. The curriculum includes classes in space travel and alien biology.

The list of visiting speakers includes Troy Denning, Jim C. Hines, Greg Keyes, Stephen Leigh, Jack McDevitt, Scott Nicholson, Laura Resnick and more. Faculty includes Jeff VanderMeer, Stephen Leigh, and Christie Golden.

Filed under: Events

SF Tidbits for 4/25/07

Filed under: Tidbits

REVIEW: 2007 Hugo Award Short Fiction Nominees

Like last year, I undertook a project to read the short fiction nominees for this year’s Hugo Award. (I undertook a similar Nebula short fiction reading project this year, too.) All the Hugo nominees were available online for free reading. Hooray for the Internets!

Overall, this was a fun project. However, I am still coming to terms with the fact that my tastes do not always mesh with those of the award-nominating populace. I guess I still have the misconception that award-nominated fiction represents the best of the best. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I expect all the stories to be 5-star knockouts. This just isn’t the case.

That said, all but one of the stories were good or better. I was somewhat disappointed by the McDonald story, especially in light of how much I enjoyed River of Gods, but otherwise this is a strong batch of stories; stronger, I believe, than this year’s Nebula nominees. Coincidentally, two of the Hugo-nominated novellas (by Melko and Shunn) are also 2006 Nebula nominees.

While I’m comparing, the 2007 Hugo nominees contain a much larger percentage of science fiction stories than the Nebula nominees, which is fantasy-heavy. Oddly, my usual indifference towards fantasy seems to have been overruled in the Hugo nominees. The few that are here made quite good impressions. The Nebula ballot had some stories that left something to be desired.

In a nutshell, then, here are my impressions of the stories in each category, sorted from most to least enjoyable, except where ties are indicated by rating. Linked story titles point to the online versions. My winning picks are the tops ones listed in each category.

NOVELLAS

Lord Weary’s Empire” by Michael Swanwick

The Walls of the Universe” by Paul Melko

Inclination” by William Shunn

Julian” by Robert Charles Wilson

A Billion Eves” by Robert Reed

NOVELLETTES

All the Things You Are” by Mike Resnick

Pol Pot’s Beautiful Daughter” by Geoff Ryman

Dawn, and Sunset, and the Colours of the Earth” by Michael F. Flynn

Yellow Card Man” by Paolo Bacigalupi

The Djinn’s Wife” by Ian McDonald

SHORT STORIES

Impossible Dreams” by Tim Pratt

The House Beyond the Sky” by Benjamin Rosenbaum

Kin” by Bruce McAllister

How to Talk to Girls at Parties” by Neil Gaiman

Eight Episodes” by Robert Reed

Reviewlettes of the stories follow….

Read the rest of this entry

Filed under: Book Review

SF Tidbits for 4/24/07

Filed under: Tidbits

Read Eifelheim for Free!

The Hugo-nominated novel Eifelheim by Michael Flynn is now freely available as a PDF file. [via]

Is it me, or is anyone else wondering if the trend to put award nominated fiction online is spreading from short works to novels? Watts’ Blindsight was already available but this is, I think, the first time a novel has been made available for free online reading after it was nominated for an award.

Filed under: Books

[UPDATED] Scalzi, Buckell and Stross, Oh My!

The Time Traveler Show has an interesting podcast of Charles Stross, John Scalzi, and Tobias Buckell explaining why they give away so much of their work, recorded on International Pixel-Stained Technopeasant Day Eve at Penguicon in Michigan (4-22-07).

Along those lines…

UPDATE: The SFBC Blog lists a bunch more free stuff!

Filed under: Books

Summer 2007 Sci-Fi Movie Slate

Here are this year’s pack of summer genre-related movies opening in the U.S.:

(U.S. release dates shown)

I should also mention:

Filed under: Movies

SF Tidbits for 4/23/07

Filed under: Tidbits

POLL RESULTS: Buying Free eBooks (Redux)

Here are the results of the latest SF Signal poll.

QUESTION
Have you ever purchased a book that you first sampled as a free eBook?

RESULTS

(103 total votes)

Comments this week:

“It’s all-or-nothing for me. Either I’m not interested in the e-book and don’t buy the book, or else I read part of the e-book and then definitely buy the book. There aren’t any books I’d just be content to read as ebooks. (Although there are still shelves of books I’m just content to read in paper form.)” – Pete Tzinski

“In fact I bought Accelerando by Charles Stross and read it both in e-book and in hard copy. It was very convenient, cause I could keep on reading it in my mobile phone even if I had not my hard copy with me. I plan to do the same with Blindsight by Peter Watts.” – odo

“Is the problem here that authors are giving away something that somebody thinks we should pay for? Not that I want to mention it, but isn’t the decision to give away the book up to the author that wrote it? I also would like to point out that this has similarities how video games drive demand through the use of demos or previews.” – Tim

“How about; ‘I liked the free ebook and I liked reading on a computer screen so much I bought more ebooks.’ Sorry but I like reading books on the PC more, physical books are now passé for me I guess?” – Trent

“I have purchased a significant number of Baen Books this way. First read as a free eBook, then bought the deadtree edition and then bought the eBook!” – Fred Kiesche

Be sure to vote in this week’s poll about 2007 Summer movies!

Filed under: Polls

Klausner Backlash?

Thanks to a commenter in our own Klausner Post, I have learned that there is a bit of a backlash ensuing for Amazon’s #1 reviewer. And the backlash might be having an impact:

So, what has happened since this little investigation was launched? Well, as of this moment, the prolific Harriet Klausner, has written only 2 reviews in the last 5 days. To put that number in perspective; Harriet has posted as many as 40 book reviews in one day in recent weeks. 2 reviews in 5 days is a significant reduction. Is this merely a coincidence? Hard to tell.

The scrutiny has caused people to look at other top reviewers:

John “Gunny” Matlock has admitted that his reviews were actually being produced by a consortium of 27 reviewers and he claims to be resigning as an Amazon reviewer. Grady Harp has suddenly started getting fewer votes of approval for his reviews.

Hmmmm…the plot thickens…

Filed under: Books

TOC: Best Short Novels: 2007

The Science Fiction Book Club has put up the page for Best Short Novels: 2007 edited by Jonathan Strahan, a collection of eight novellas. Here’s what’s in it:

  • “Where the Golden Apples Grow” by Kage Baker
  • A Billion Eves” by Robert Reed
  • “The Voyage of Night Shining White” by Chris Roberson
  • Julian: A Christmas Story” by Robert Charles Wilson
  • “The Lineaments of Gratified Desire” by Ysabeau Wilce
  • Lord Weary’s Empire” by Michael Swanwick
  • After the Siege” by Cory Doctorow
  • “Botch Town” by Jeffrey Ford

For those who are keeping score, this anthology boasts 3 Hugo nominees (by Reed, Wilson and Swanwick) and 1 Locus Award nominee (by Ford).

Filed under: Books

FINALISTS: 2007 Locus Award

The finalists for the 2007 Locus Award have been announced. Winners will be announced in June at the Locus Awards Ceremony in Seattle, June 16th, during the Science Fiction Museum’s Hall of Fame weekend.

Here are the nominees with review links. When available, title links to the online version.

BEST SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL

  • Blindsight, Peter Watts (Tor) [See SF Signal review]
  • Carnival, Elizabeth Bear (Bantam Spectra)
  • Farthing, Jo Walton (Tor)
  • Glasshouse, Charles Stross (Orbit; Ace)
  • Rainbows End, Vernor Vinge (Tor) [See SF Signal review]

BEST FANTASY NOVEL

  • The Jennifer Morgue, Charles Stross (Golden Gryphon Press; Ace)
  • The Last Witchfinder, James Morrow (Morrow)
  • The Privilege of the Sword, Ellen Kushner (Bantam Spectra)
  • Soldier of Sidon, Gene Wolfe (Tor)
  • Three Days to Never, Tim Powers (Subterranean Press; Morrow) [See SF Signal review]

Read the rest of this entry

Filed under: Awards

Final 2007 Hugo Short Fiction Nominee Available Online

Thanks to Jed Hartman, the final Hugo nominated story is available online.

The 2007 Hugo Award Nominees post has been updated and now contains links to all the short fiction stories.

Filed under: Awards

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