May 2004 Archives

May 29, 2004

Stamping Butterflys

Also whilst on Amazon I noticed that Stamping Butterflies the new book by Jon Courtenay Grimwood is out on July 5. The synopsis sounds great.

Algebraist publish date

Algebraist by Iain M. Banks is up on Amazon. They seem to have dropped "The" from the title, not sure if that is official. The details are, Hardcover 368 pages, published October 7, 2004. I haven't heard yet if it's a Culture book, I need to do some more digging. Anyone know?

h2g2 screenwriter interviews himself

Including such great questions as
Full interview here.

May 28, 2004

Neil Gaiman dies

Finished Quicksilver

I forgot to say that I finally finished Quicksilver last weekend. It was a bit slow in the middle but I really enjoyed it overall, and I finished it wanting to read The Confusion straight away. However I'm going to read something a bit shorter first, Felaheen is next.

May 27, 2004


If you live in New York (New York) and can't be bothered to pay for cinema tickets to see The Chronicles Of Riddick then try and win some in The Village Voice. However I don't live in NewYork and probably wouldn'tbe bothered to enter the competition either. But if someone gave me free tickets I'd go. Clear? Haven't checked when it opens in the UK.

The Day before yesterday afternoon

UK launch for disaster film: Stars of disaster movie The Day After Tomorrow turn out in London for its European premiere.
The good news...
Writer and director Roland Emmerich, who also made Independence Day and Godzilla, said he would not be making any more disaster movies. "I know this will be my last disaster movie," he said.

Richard Biggs dies aged 44

Babylon 5 actor Biggs dies at 44: Actor Richard Biggs, one of the stars of the science fiction TV series Babylon 5, dies aged 44.

Back in space

Harrison Ford will be going back into outer space for Godspeed, an upcoming SF thriller under the guidance of James Cameron's Lightstorm Entertainment.[Via]

It's long and pointy

Physicist: Cosmos Is Shaped Like the Eiffel Tower - The universe looks like the Eiffel Tower topped with a never-ending spire, a German physicist said Wednesday.

May 26, 2004

Star Wars kids

Even though the release dates for Episode III have been about for ages Star Wars kids seems to only have just picked it up. Along with the (patronising?) line "Ask you parents where they were on May 25, 1977 and see what they say...". Personally I can't remember, I don't know the exact date I saw Star Wars. It was in the first week or so of release and the queue was all the way past Dudley Zoo. Oh yeah and I was 4.

May 25, 2004

Billie is new Doctor Who companion

The BBC Doctor Who site has all the details on Rose Tyler - a new type of companion for a new type of Doctor. Find out more with their guide to Billie Piper, the Doctor's companion in 2005. Also online an interview with Christopher Ecclestone.

May 24, 2004

THX1138 on DVD

The Official Star Wars site gives details about THX 1138 on DVD and in Theaters. Also check out the new THX1138 web site

A photo of Batman Begins shoot

CityOfSound has a sneaky phonecam pic of some location shooting for the new Batman movie

May 23, 2004

Bruce Sterling has a problem

A full transcript of Bruce Sterling's Lecture/Rant of the Moment in support of The Zenith Angle Book Tour at Microsoft Campus, 1:30 PM, May 21, 2004 [Via Vanguard Report]. Very entertaining and gets you thinking, would have cool to see him speak (has he been to the UK recently on a tour?).


Bond Girl Rachel Grant (Peaceful Fountains of Desire in Die Another Day) has landed a part in STARHYKE, a British Sci-Fi comedy scheduled for production in June 2004. [Via]
It's the first of heard of StarHyke and it sounds a bit dodgy. Hopefully they can produce something classy.

May 21, 2004

Star Wars rumours

The guys at SFSignal are worrying about Episode III rumours. But the rumours are in The Sun so I wouldn't worry too much, it never prints the truth. I'd imagine that anything that has been seen is blue/green screen. So for example the surfboards could be CGI rocks and they may be moving as the volcano erupts? I hope.

Enterprise renewed

So it was renewed even after the cautionary note on

More on A Scanner Darkly news

BoingBoing have news on the A Scanner Darkly film via Erik Davis who has been consulting on the screenplay. It sounds very exciting.

Star Wars Lego

May 20, 2004

Enterprise renewed?

Despite lots of sites saying that Enterprise has been renewed for a fourth season apparently the decision is being made right now according to

May 19, 2004


Via SFSignal here's a detailed list of SF TV in the US. Anyone got a similar list for the UK?

One year and counting

News: Episode III: A Year to Go: Mark your calendars if you haven't already. Here's where the fun begins.
Talking to my mate Dave last night got me excited (more than usual!) about the new Star Wars film. I fancy a long read of TheForce.Net which I have avoided for ages (I've been having a spolier debate with myself).

Guardian Arthur C Clarke Award page

The Guardian has a page devoted to the 2004 Arthur C Clarke award which includes links to Guardian's reviews of the books.

May 16, 2004

Ask Margaret Attwood a question

The Telegraph is offering to ask your questions to Margaret Attwood. So everyone mail them and ask her why she always makes excuses about her books not being Science Fiction.

New books by UK authors

Locus Online: Notable New Books, April 2004. Includes Neal Asher and Ken MacLeod.

Sorting out the Riddick sequel question

Pete Wanat, producer of the upcoming Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay video game, told SCI FI Wire that the title serves as a prequel to the 2000 film Pitch Black and offers insights into the film's upcoming follow-up, The Chronicles of Riddick. [Via Sci Fi Wire]
So that sorts that one out.

New Star Wars web documentary

Want to see what scares a Jedi? Creating General Grievous the web documentary is live at Get downloading.

A further expansion of the conservation of quality hypothesis

SFSignal have suggested that maybe my inverse trilogy theory is but a mere manifestation of a larger conservation of quality law. And so like the good experimental scientist that I am (well okay, used to be) I shall postulate a theory and provide empirical evidence. I think that proving the conversation of quality across the whole genre may be too much of a big step. So I will start with conservation of quality across trilogies (or quadrilogies or whatever).
Continue reading A further expansion of the conservation of quality hypothesis.

May 15, 2004

Arthur C Clarke award report

The official site for the Arthur C Clarke award has a report of the evening. Also online is the full speech from the Administrator, Paul Kincaid, praising all six of the shortlisted novels. About Quicksilver he says
If Gibson’s novel [Pattern Recognition] is about the moment that today turns into tomorrow, Neal Stephenson’s Quicksilver is about the moment that yesterday turned into today.

Trackbacks missing

I've noticed that the individual archive pages for my posts are broken, the trackbacks are missing, even though the correct number shows up on the main page. Sorry about that, I'll try and fix it shortly.

May 14, 2004

Inverse trilogy coolness hypothesis

I have a theory. The theory is that films in the Matrix trilogy and the Star Wars prequel trilogy are inversely cool to each other. Let me explain. The Matrix (1) was very, very cool and was released in the same year as The Phantom Menace. Despite having the best lightsaber fight the world had ever seen you could not describe The Phantom Menace as a "cool" film. Next... The Matrix Reloaded looked cool in places but somehow it had lost its edge and disappointment was beginning to set in. In the meantime The Attack Of The Clones clawed back some coolness with an almighty big fight with loads of Jedis. Finally... The Matrix Revolutions which was one of the worst films I have ever seen, right up there with Highlander 2. (What were they thinking?) See where I'm going? Star Wars Episode III is going to be as cool as The Matrix. It is. Trust me.

Build Star Wars in LEGO

"Have you ever wanted to reconstruct a Star Wars movie? Here's your chance to do it -- with LEGO building blocks! Fans are invited to build their favorite scene(s) from Episode IV: A New Hope with LEGO building bricks and submit images of their work to Selected images are being presented in the Episode IV Gallery, which will continue to grow until the entire movie is built!" [Via].
You know you want's the link to the LEGO site. The quality is pretty high so far.

May 13, 2004

H2G2 blog

Disney has launched the official site for its forthcoming film adaptation of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, with a running production blog. [Via BoingBoing]

Quicksilver wins Arthur C. Clarke Award

The winner for the 2004 Arthur C. Clarke Award has been announced as Neal Stephenson for his novel QUICKSILVER. [Via Write Hemisphere]. Well that might be a bit controversial, because even though Neal Stephenson insists that he writes SF, an epic, rambling, historical novel is not what many people consider Science Fiction. Not even sure about that myself. But then again it is a great book, and similar arguments could be made against previous winners. The most important thing is to recognise great books I think.
UPDATE: Some photos from the event [Via BoingBoing]

May 12, 2004

The Chronicles Of Riddick

The new trailer is up and available in gorgeous full screen. It's looking all nice and SFX and action stuff, hope there's a story. I actually really liked Pitch Black (to which this is a sequel), although the ending was rubbish, the low key, low budget washed out look was very cool.

A review of The Confusion on Slashdot

jmweeks writes "Neal Stephenson's The Confusion is an exhausting read--not simply in keeping track of the dozens of major characters, many with two or three names or titles or hyphenated titles; not due to its quite literal circumnavigation of the globe; not even, or at least not only, because of its interminable cycle of fortune and misfortune: Its 800-plus pages are much more taxing for what Stephenson leaves out than what he includes."
And it's given an 8 out of 10. I still haven't finished reading Quicksilver, in fact I read All Tomorrows Parties in between books 2 and 3 (the only Gibson book I hadn't read) as I needed a fix of future science fiction.

Rick Berman talks about the future of Enterprise

Star Trek: Enterprise executive producer Rick Berman told the official Star Trek Communicator magazine that he's confident UPN will pick up the ratings-challenged series for a fourth season. [Via SciFiWire]

Read Hugo nominated stories

A list of this year's Hugo Award nominees, with links to the full text of the nominated works for those that are online. [Via BoingBoing]

May 10, 2004

Babylon 5 on the big screen

Also via Dave, rumours of a Babylon 5 movie.

Batman Begins

My mate Dave alerts me to Batman Begins which I missed mainly because I thought, oh no not another Batman film. However in Dave's words...
Batman Begins is no Joel Schumacher pile of pants. The talent list is fantastic: Christopher Nolan directs Christian Bale as the caped one. Bruce Wayne is supported by Alfred (Michael Caine) and Katie Holmes playing, presumably, a babe. Also a personal favourite of mine is Ken Watanabe as a cool bad guy.
Hmmm...Christopher Nolan, maker of the stunning Memento. Sounds good.

James Cameron SF movie

Director James Cameron told SCI FI Wire that he will begin shooting his ambitious, as-yet-untitled SF movie as soon as this November with the 3-D high-definition video cameras he developed for his Titanic documentary Ghosts of the Abyss.[Via SciFiWire]
However the details are a bit vague.

Goodbye, Evil Robot; Hello, Kind Android

The New York Times gets deep about robots
The message of "A.I." is clear: little David might have been happier if he had abandoned his impossible dream of becoming a "real," "natural" human being ? if only he'd settled, as most of us do, for being a reasonable facsimile. We, robots? No, not yet. But if our movies are any indication, a lot of us are beginning to understand what our mechanical friends feel like.

May 7, 2004

Simon Pegg signing

Simon Pegg is signing at Forbidden Planet Megastore in London, this lunchtime [Via SFCrowsNest]. Doh, I'm not working in London today. Mind you I also have no idea how long it would take to get from the office to Forbidden Planet anyway. But if you are in London you have 1 hour....get going! And if you've never seen Spaced then get it, it's genius.

May 6, 2004

Babylon 5 reviews

As if by magic, no sooner had I mentioned Babylon 5 then find a nice review of all the seasons on DVDTalk.

Harry Who?

Apparently Harry Potter author JK Rowling was asked to write an episode of the new Dr Who TV series but she had to say no because she is too busy writing the teen wizard s next story [Via Irish Examiner]

May 5, 2004

The trouble with Star Trek

I watch Star Trek. I don't love it but I watch it (you have to take what SF you can get on terrestrial TV). Star Trek is real Science Fiction, there are no debates abut that (unlike Star Wars). But Star Trek has one big problem. It is predictable.
Continue reading The trouble with Star Trek.

May 4, 2004

Star Wars TV series?

Star Wars may become a TV series [Via The Website at the End of the Universe]
Quickly over to for a look at the source of the story. You can never tell with rumours on the web but Lucasfilm has experience in doing the TV series thing with Young Indy. Also the series is rumoured to be pre ANH with Vader in it. Very cool.

More cast for A Scanner Darkly

The cast of A Scanner Darkly is coming along nicely. The latest to join Keanu are Winona Ryder, Robert Downey Jr., Woody Harrelson and Rory Cochran. [Via SciFi Wire]

The Ten Best Science Fiction Film Directors

A cool article from Strange Horizons. Guess who's number one? Go on guess.

May 3, 2004

Christopher Priests Concourse speech

Ansible has a full transcript of Chris Priest's Concourse Guest of Honour Speech. Ansible itself is a must read as usual.

A lot of reading

I'm finding sfsignal entertaining at the moment. Also very impressive is that one of the guys is trying to read a science fiction short story each day for a year. Here's his update so far.

May 2, 2004

Futurama review

Locus review Futurama (the whole series) and summarise that it is indeed brilliant.

Bruce Sterling keynote and book review

Bruce Sterling will be giving the keynote address at SIGGRAPH 2004 (the 31st International Conference on Computer Graphics & Interactive Techniques). The address is titled "When Blobjects Rule the Earth," and will speculate on the future of graphic simulation when practical differences no longer exist between computer-generated models and physical, manufactured objects.[Via Digital Producer Magazine] Also on a Bruce Sterling track Salon review "The Zenith Angle". A nice review worth reading, even if nowadays you have to sit through an advert to read the full content of Salon articles. It's noted that "Starting today, Salon begins biweekly reviews of new science fiction and fantasy books." Cool.

Iain Banks' new SF book

The title for Ian Banks' new Science Fiction book is out. It's called "The Algebraist" and it is released in October, although Amazon still have it listed as "SF Novel".

May 1, 2004

Official Star Wars Fan Club

So Hyperspace has mutated into the fan club. Which is great, unless you live outside of North America. Yes once again Lucasfilm is ignoring most of the world.
Continue reading Official Star Wars Fan Club.


Just been working in Tenerife for a few days, hence the absence. Although we had a wifi connection I didn't get chance to do any blogging. The big thing that struck me about Tenerife was that its landscape is very science fiction in a post apocalyptic, Mad Max, Planet Of The Apes style. It was also very reminiscent of those orginal Star Trek episodes where Kirk would land on an alien planet looking suspiciously like southern California and (usually) have a fight and rip his short, Not sure exactly how many of those episodes there were but it felt like every other one.

Anyway, back in rainy England and blogging again.