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Happy Birthday to Us, Part 5

We’re five years old this week! Yay us!

It’s been another fine year here at SF Signal: our readership is still increasing, we’ve taken on new bloggers, we managed to not kill off James Earl Jones. (Whaddya want? We take what we can get.)

The most significant thing we did this past year – and by “significant”, I mean something that does not involve supermodels – was starting a new weekly feature: The SF Signal Mind Meld. This is where we throw a single question to some folks in the science fiction community and beyond. Popular Mind Meld book-related topics included controversial novels, tomorrow’s big genre stars, Golden Age sf predictions, definitions of science fiction, the purpose of short fiction and whether it’s in trouble (it ain’t), and the job of book covers. We also wondered whether young adult fiction is too explicit and which YA books were also good for adults. We asked which authors were underrated and which books have the best & worst endings. We talked about the impact of the Internet and online reviews on the publishing world. And because we were feeling particularly daring, we asked about gender imbalance in publishing. On the TV and movie Mind Meld fronts, we asked about better SciFi movie endings, the best superhero movies and TV shows, stories Hollywood should film, and whether TV or Film is the driving force behind SciFi. We also attacked the more cerebral, technological and scientific aspects of field. The Mind Meld feature is popular with our readers (that’s you) and we thank you for taking the time to consume them. We also would like to thank the panelists who have participated and continue to put up with out fanboy pestering. Without them, you would be listening to us whine all day about Heroes and Battlestar Galactica.

And whine we did. (Well, I did anyway). OK, sure, we gave you an occasional Heroes season 3 sneak peek, but this was the year that I personally jumped off the Heroes train. (Short version: Heroes season 2 officially sucks.) I had already given up on Battlestar Galactica, but this year JP hung in there with BSG and Razor. JP also opined the future of TV science fiction. Me? I was too busy hating Flash Gordon and Masters of Science Fiction.

It wasn’t all small-screen, though. We did talk about upcoming sf/f movies and watching SciFi movies over and over. JP started a new feature called “At the Trailer Park” where he showcases movie trailers. We also memed the list of Top 50 Dystopian Movies of All Time because nothing is more memable than a big fat list. And we asked “Who’s the Best Joker?“, a post enjoying another spike in popularity thanks to the release of The Dark Knight last week. Thanks, Batman!

Believe it or not, we did find time to talk intelligently about books outside our Mind Meld posts… like our post about sf/f books that make you dumb. OK, well maybe a more intelligent post was JP’s examination on mundane sf or Scott’s post about new Hard SF. More my speed was putting together a big-@$$ collection of Robert A. Heinlein links. We also asked you about authors you’ll buy sight unseen, eagerly awaited and long overdue sf/f books, and books we couldn’t finish. The last Harry Potter book was a topic of much discussion, though not as much as the contents of the Eclipse 2 sf anthology. We also continue to pump out book reviews, some of the most popular being for Matter by Iain M. Banks, Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse edited by John Joseph Adams, The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year Volume 1 edited by Jonathan Strahan, and The Dragon’s Nine Sons by Chris Roberson. Life isn’t all tidbits and tube bits, you know!

On the lighter side (in case the previously mentioned content wasn’t light enough), we did present 21 SF/F Books Whose Titles Would Be Funnier if They Used the Word “Pants”, because the world needs more books with “pants” in their titles. It also needs more video humor, which is why we post YouTube and other videos, passing along the laughs of Death Star Canteen, for example. (The Amazing Adventures of Little Batman is still popular!) For homework, we pointed you towards weekend Doctor Who projects. We also had some fun with a string of Can You Name This Story? posts. For his part, Tim ran a series of caption challenges. Submitted without comment is our presentation of a bevy of blue (and green) babes, a holdover from our younger supermodel infatuation days. At least, I think it’s a holdover.

And there you have it. Another year older. We’ve come a long way. As promised/threatened last year, we threw some advertising up on the site, and it has succeeded in spades. We make just enough money to pay the web hosts who suspend our account at the slightest sign of traffic increase. (I kid! They’ve been very helpful. But only if they are reading this.)

Seriously, we really want to thank you, dear reader, for returning to our humble blog-thingie and taking the time to comment. And usually without spelling or grammatical errors! Which is moor then fore us I can say. 🙂

About John DeNardo (13012 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.

14 Comments on Happy Birthday to Us, Part 5

  1. Happy Birthday!

  2. Happy birthday, gang! Keep up the great work!

  3. Jim Shannon // July 24, 2008 at 2:00 am //

    Happy Birthday SF Signal

    Wuu Whoo!

  4. Here’s to you! Congrats from across the Atlantic and keep up the great work!

  5. Happy Birthday, SF Signal!

    Thank YOU so much for all your hard work. I enjoy reading this blog daily.

    Best wishes!

  6. Bring back the purple pages!!

  7. Happy Birthday! I really enjoy this site very much.

  8. Happy Birthday! Yours is the only SFF blog I read every single day. Keep it going!

  9. Dennis Sorensen // July 24, 2008 at 12:45 pm //

    Congratulations you guys!

    Thanks for all the great work you’re doing.. although, you’re also to ‘blame’ for me buying quite a few more books than I would otherwise :).

    I have only been reading the site for 5-6 months but can’t really imagine a day without reading your blog now.

  10. Thanks for the kind wishes and words, everybody! 😛

    @Dennis: Yes, we’re like crack that way. 🙂

  11. Happy Birthday – amazing how fast you became the first SF news site that I check each morning.

  12. D.Fowler // July 24, 2008 at 6:55 pm //

    Happy Birthday! You are my #1 source for sf&f news. So thanks.

  13. John Picacio // July 24, 2008 at 6:59 pm //

    Happy b-day, folks! Keep being a daily essential. You’re much appreciated! Here’s to you guys getting a Hugo nom for Best Fanzine sometime in the near future.

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