August 2004 Archives

August 27, 2004

Ansible E-ditions

Just stumbled upon Ansible E-ditions which is a company run by David Langford and Christopher Priest. They started off doing ebooks, concentrating on classics that have become unavailable in book form, but now also do some print-on-demand books.

More SF in the Guardian

A handful of great SF articles in the Guardian. Including an extract from Ian M Banks's The Algebraist.

[Via SFSignall]

Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell nominated for Booker Prize

Susanna Clark's novel "Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell" is joint second favourite to win the Booker Prize at 10/1.

The Guardian's Top 10 Sci-Fi films

Here's the Guardian's Top 10 sci-fi films. No complaints really, pretty spot on. There's also a discussion thread for the article.

August 25, 2004

Star Wars Galaxies protests

Not ever having played Star Wars Galaxies is a good thing for my life, I know I would be sucked in. It's beginning to resemble the real world in there too, after a bug allowed some people to forge credits....which led to the cops taking action and innocent players protesting. Whoah.

China Miéville interview

An interview with China Miéville is in the San Francisco Bay Guardian . Nice quote..

"In Britain nobody bats an eye if you say you're a socialist. In the States it's kind of like saying you eat babies."

August 24, 2004

Neal Stephenson interview

It's a spaceship

August 23, 2004

Doctor Who pictures

Just discovered this, a new spy picture from the Doctor Who filiming every day. Currently on week 5, so a few to catch up on.

Monster mash

Yes I've been catching up with the StarWars.com feed first this morning. There's a good feature on Dave Elsey who is the Creature Shop supervisor for Revenge Of The Sith which includes doing Anakin/Vader, the Emperor and some Wookies. He also used to work on Farscape where he designed all the creatures. Nice job.

Next Star Wars web documentary online

Star Wars: Episode III | Epic Designs for an Expanding Universe

Stuff about costumes with Trisha Bigger (who always sounds to me like she belongs on Tatooine).

August 20, 2004

Star Wars Licensees

You want Star Wars stuff? You're going to get Star Wars stuff.

Including:

Springs Industries: Fabric sold by the continuous yard
CDM / LEGO Writing Systems: LEGO writing instruments

err...

August 18, 2004

Slashdot Star Wars DVD thread

Read lots of Slashdotters moan about the new Star Wars DVD's. Or don't.

August 17, 2004

This isn't the carousel you are looking for

Bruce Sterling SIGGRAPH speech

The full text of (science fiction writer) Bruce Sterling's SIGGRAPH 2004 speech is up on BoingBoing entitled "When Blobjects Rule the Earth"

The Art Of Revenge

Starting next week StarWars.com has a picture series entitled The Art of Revenge

Art of Revenge explores the amazing wealth of concept art generated by the Art Department.

Nice.

August 16, 2004

Popular Science talks Singularity with Vinge, Doctorow and Stross

I don't know how long this has been up but the Popular Science article Is Science Fiction About To Go Blind? is a great discussion of modern Science Fiction (and great plugs for Charlie and Cory). I also recommend reading Vinge's original Singularity paper.

August 15, 2004

Ansible 205, August 2004

The August edition of Ansible is out and funny as usual.

August 13, 2004

Jude Law in Watchmen?

Now this would be cool, Jude Law wants a part in the Watchmen movie. [Via The Alien Online]

Just the thought of a Watchmen movie strikes me with terror but uncertain joy. Could it been done in a credible way?

The Chronicles of Riddick UK premiere

The Chronicles of Riddick finally had its UK premiere this week, but The Evening Standard claims that it was a bit of a flop. Normally a big delay between the US release and the UK release indicates that it didn't do very well in the US, and consequently the film studio stops caring. I haven't seen any TV adverts or posters for the film, which means that it's going to flop here too. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy.

August 12, 2004

42 T-Shirt

[Via BoingBoing]

August 11, 2004

Barbarella Sexiest Sci-Fi Babe

Not exactly surprising but Barbarella Sexiest has been voted Sci-Fi Babe in a poll for Film Review magazine. Of course these polls never give the number of votes cast so it may have only been 3 people....but probably not. The big shock (to me) was that Princess Leia was only number 4, I mean come on!

Comic Overload! - Ultimate Spiderman

As part of my ongoing quest to read all of the graphic novels in my local library I have recently finished the first two Ultimate Spiderman collections, Power and Responsibility and Learning Curve. The Ultimate Spiderman comic is basically a republishing of the original Spiderman stories, but updated for the 21st century. The first two books take us up to about issue #15 and cover Spiderman's begginings, including that spider moment, the Green Goblin's creation, the wrestling chapter, the first encounters with Kingpin, Mary Jane finding out the truth etc. It's great stuff and I've really enjoyed it. I love the whole Peter Parker being a teenager, which kind of got lost over the years of rubbish cartoon spinoffs (but happily has been recaptured in the films). I'd recommend this to anyone who has seen the films but not read any of the comics, you'll enjoy them.

August 10, 2004

Why we want paper books

Charlie Stross has a very good theory on why allowing free downloads of novels increases their sales.

My theory is this: reading online sucks, but those of us who are readers do it anyway, up to the point at which it gets too painful to continue.

If we see a novel with an online sample that looks interesting, we may look at the sample. But if it's limited to, say, two chapters, we hit a brick wall: we have to put the book down unless and until we stumble across a copy of it in a bookshop and remember reading it. Whereas if we run across a complete online ebook we can begin reading it and, if we like it, we keep on going. Because reading online sucks, the pain slowly increases -- but we get more and more hooked. Some of us get so hooked that we finish the ebook, but in a large number of cases we get hooked enough to want to finish it badly, but pained enough to be motivated to buy the hardcopy. And in those cases, the motivation to go out and buy a copy and finish the story is a much stronger one than in the cases where the experience is artificially truncated at the end of chapter #2.

And that makes sense to me. I've been dipping in and out of Eastern Standard Tribe for a month now and I'm beggining to just want the paper book, just because it's nicer to read.

August 9, 2004

A survival guide for newbie con-goers

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell

The New York Times has a great article/interview with Susanna Clarke "I wanted to write about magicians"

Fantasy rather than SF but it sounds interesting.

August 8, 2004

I, Robot

I really liked I,Robot too. It's not in the same league as Spidey 2 but I still enjoyed it. I loved the way that Will Smith restrained his jokey side a bit, the serious side of him at the start of the film was great. I also loved the way that the robots swarmed, awesome sfx. I've read quite a bit of criticism about the film not being true to Asimov's stories. Well, I guess that's true, although I thought it captured the essence of many of the robot stories...a whodunnit where the robot is a suspect but how can they be because of the three laws... However the logic that was the root of the whole mystery seemed a bit weak and badly explained. Overall though a good film. See the film then read the stories.

Spiderman 2

I thought Spiderman 2 was great. The thing that makes it a great film is...well...that it's a great film. I mean that it's not just a load of sfx strung together in a pale imitation of a comic book. It's true to the comic, the characters are real, they have personalities, you care for them. Then Doc Oc is a great villain, not just evil for the sake of it, but a tortured genius. Great stuff. And the fights with Spidey are brilliant, lots of really amazing falling through the air while fighting stuff. Fantastic.

Another way that you can tell it's a great film is that my wife, who knows nothing about Spiderman and is not into genre stuff at all, really liked it. Can't wait for Spiderman 3.

Back from a holiday

Been on holiday. Had a great time and got to do some cool things. I saw Spiderman 2 and I,Robot. I also read Ultimate Spiderman book 1 (Power and Responsibility), Top 10 book 1 (by Alan Moore) and Star Wars Tales book 1. More in following posts.