January 2005 Archives

January 31, 2005

Breathing the Blogosphere by James Patrick Kelly

Congratulations to the guys at SFSignal who made it onto Jim Kelly's 40 blogs list. Watch that traffic spike!

Locus 2004 recommended reading

Via just about everyone else , here'sLocus Online: 2004 Recommended Reading.

The problem with a lot of these lists is that the books are only out in hardback. And I just can't afford to buy everything in hardback. So what I'd like to read when they're out in paperback (some of them may be now?)...

# The Algebraist, Iain M. Banks (Orbit)
# Stamping Butterflies, Jon Courtenay Grimwood (Gollancz)
# Newton's Wake, Ken MacLeod (Orbit; Tor)
# White Devils, Paul McAuley (Simon & Schuster UK; Tor)
# Century Rain, Alastair Reynolds (Gollancz; Ace 2005)
# Forty Signs of Rain, Kim Stanley Robinson (HarperCollins UK; Bantam)
# Air, Geoff Ryman (St. Martin’s)
# The Baroque Cycle: The Confusion; The System of the World, Neal Stephenson (Morrow)
# The Zenith Angle, Bruce Sterling (Del Rey)
# Iron Sunrise, Charles Stross (Ace)

and I really should finish reading Eastern Standard Tribe, Cory Doctorow (Tor) but I have it on my computer in pdf and so never get around to it.

Of course, that will take me all year to read those. So little time...

MirrorMask trailer

A trailer to Mirror Mask is up on the web (under previews).

It looks pretty cool.
[Via Neil Gaiman]

Revenge of the Sith release dates

All the global Episode III Release Dates.

Hmm France get it a day early on 18th May. I feel a plan forming...

January 28, 2005

Article about Revenge of the Sith set construction

Interesting interview with Greg Hajdu, which includes a few crumbs of information about the new film.

January 27, 2005

Get those lyrics

This made me laugh, Sci-Fi Ranter Girl finding the lyrics to the Enterprise Theme Song, via Google Video search.

The video search will be great when all shows are indexed.

BTW, so far only the Battlestar Galactica miniseries is up there.

Revenge of the Sith opening crawl

What starts off as an incredibly interesting article about how John Knoll has created all of the prequel crawls on his home computer, called How It Begins, turns into a WHOAH! moment as you get to the second page. Because there is the crawl for Revenge of the Sith.

Here it is...

Continue reading Revenge of the Sith opening crawl.

January 26, 2005

Battlestar Galactica wikis

The Wikipedia has an entry for Battlestar Galactica and its episodes. And also links to BattlestarWiki which has more detailed plot summaries, unanswered questions etc. Be warned there are spoilers.

BSFA nominated short fiction

I've just been looking at the BSFA shortlist for "Best Short Fiction" again. Here it is...

  • 'Delhi' – Vandana Singh (in So Long Been Dreaming: Postcolonial Visions of the Future, ed. Nalo Hopkinson and Uppinder Mehan)
  • 'Mayflower II' – Stephen Baxter (PS Publishing)
  • 'Point of No Return' – Jon Courtenay Grimwood (New Scientist, Christmas/New Year)
  • 'The Faery Handbag' – Kelly Link (The Faery Reel: Tales from the Twilight Realm, ed. Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling)
  • 'The Wolf-Man of Alcatraz' – Howard Waldrop (Scifiction, 22 September)

What's interesting? Nothing from Interzone, nothing from Asimov's. One online mag. One mainstream scientific journal. Two anthologies. One "small" publisher. It seems quite atypical to how these things usually go. I wonder what this says about short fiction reading habits by BSFA members? Not sure, draw your own conclusions.

After the storm

There's lots of Battlestar Galactica thoughts rumbling around my head, upon which I may post soon. For example: Where will it go? How will things be resolved? Unanswered questions. etc. etc. etc.

The first season already feels like a taster, an appetiser perhaps. I'm ready for the main course. Greenlight season 2 and let us feast!

Battlestar Galactica - Season 1 - Episode 13 - "The Gleaming of Kobol Part 2"

Full details of the episode (that's SPOILERS!) can be found on the Sky One Battlestar Galactica episode guide

The season finale. I can't really sum this episode up in one sentence. It was just too awesome. Multiple plots. Breakneck speed. Great directing and editing. Some wonderfully iconic scenes. Just brilliant.

What am I going to do now? Perhaps I'll watch the entire series again?!

Want to know more? Spoilers ahead...

Continue reading Battlestar Galactica - Season 1 - Episode 13 - "The Gleaming of Kobol Part 2".

January 25, 2005

Interzone 196

I've finished reading Interzone 196. A couple of the stories were really good (Winning Mars and Totems), and "Lost Things Saved in Boxes" has grown on me as I've thought about it. The rest were a bit forgettable.

January 24, 2005

BSFA shortlists out

Via SFSignal, the final BSFA short list is out.

A pretty impressive novel list...

* Century Rain – Alastair Reynolds (Gollancz SF)
* Forty Signs of Rain – Kim Stanley Robinson (HarperCollins)
* Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell – Susanna Clarke (Bloomsbury)
* Newton's Wake – Ken MacLeod (Orbit)
* River of Gods – Ian McDonald (Simon and Schuster)
* Stamping Butterflies – Jon Courtenay Grimwood (Gollancz SF)

Very appealing. River of Gods is next up for me, then Jonathan Strange. After the reviews in this month's Interzone I think I'll get Century Rain and Stamping Butterflies too. In fact, perhaps I should try and read them all this year.

Battlestar Galactica series 1 finale tonight

On Sky One.

I'm excited and also a little upset, because it's the end of the series.

Neal Asher interview

Via Solar Flare, Infinity Plus now has an interview online with the excellent Neal Asher. Plus there are extracts from his books (see near the bottomof the page). If you haven't heard of him I suggest you check it out (and if you have heard of him you'll probably be there by now).

January 23, 2005

New Star Wars webdoc online

For non-Hyperspace members the new Star Wars webdoc is now online here. It's all about the pickups and reshoots that took place a Shepperton Studios last August. Lots of teasing Revenge Of The Sith glimpses in there too (although you may have to step through the quicktime frame by frame (not that I did, honestly)).

January 21, 2005

Amazing Stories has been put on hiatus

Solar Flare mentions that Amazing Stories has been put on hiatus. I discovered this yesterday when I was checking my outstanding short story submissions. They'd had one of my stories for 5 months(!) so I checked their web site and there it was. Very annoying, not about the magazine but the time that the story has been languishing there.

Next Revenge of the Sith trailer on 11th March

TheForce.Net reckon that the next Revenge of the Sith trailer will be released on 11th March. No doubt generating the same bittorrent frenzy as last time.

Revenge of the Sith tidbits

The Star Wars Homing Beacon newsletter (#127) talks about the comic adaptation of the film and has some interesting SPOILERS about Revenge of the Sith. (Not sure where the newsletters are archived online).

Continue reading Revenge of the Sith tidbits.

January 20, 2005

Stephen Fry to voice the book in Hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy

Fry set for role in Hitchhiker's. He is quoted in typical style as saying...

"Being asked to do the voice of The Guide is like having your birthday on Christmas Day, discovering a winning lottery ticket in your stocking and having chocolate poured all over you."

Excellent casting.

Video of SF authors

Via Neil Gaiman, some videos of SF and fantasy authors, from the library of congress 2004 national book festival .

Including,
Catherine Asaro
Ben Bova
Lois McMaster Bujold
Neil Gaiman
Frederik Pohl
Neal Stephenson
Connie Willis
Patricia Wrede

Needs something that reads Real streams (so use MPlayer on Linux instead of the evil RealPlayer!)

Battlestar Galactica - Season 1 - Episode 12 - "Kobol's Last Gleaming: Part 1"

Full details of the episode (that's SPOILERS!) can be found on the Sky One Battlestar Galactica episode guide

The Galactica finds a habitable planet and proceeds to investigate. Spoilers ahead...

Continue reading Battlestar Galactica - Season 1 - Episode 12 - "Kobol's Last Gleaming: Part 1".

January 19, 2005

Short stories from BBC Cult

Via Notes from Coode Street, BBC Cult have released 5 Sherlock Holmes stories including one by Jon Courtenay Grimwood.

Battlestar Galactica ratings okay

So what was the worry about bad ratings due to everyone watching it via BitTorrent? Apparently it did well. Although 3.1 million viewers across the entire population of the USA sounds a bit small to me? Didn't Buffy used to get that on BBC2?

UPDATE : Check out the trackbacks for explanations from SFSignal and Solar Flare as to why 3.1 million viewers is pretty good.

Science Fiction for children

Neil Gaiman points to TheInter-Galactic Playground "A web site dedicated to children's literature and particularly children's science fiction." Which looks interesting. There's also an associated questionnaire "which will provide material for a book called (provisionally), The Inter-Galactic Playground of Children's Science Fiction to be published by McFarland Press." So if you have a minute (and can remember back as far as your childhood!) go and fill it out.

The war on comment spam - bring out the big guns

This blog has been suffering a barrage of comment spam for a while now, like most MoveableType blogs. I use MT-Blacklist to try and control it but it's still a pain. I know that there are even more methods of trying to stem the flow (thanks for the offer of help John!) but to be honest I have been contemplating switching to Blogger. Because Blogger is owned by Google all of the links in the comments go through a page-rank stripping redirect. Consequently I've had no comment spam in my other blogs.

Now Google announce a new value for the "rel" attribute on HTML anchor tags. It goes like this...

<a href="http://a.linl.somewhere" rel="nofollow">A link that won't be followed</a>.

Everyone is on board, all the blog engines plus Google, Yahoo! and MSN. (Here's the plugin for MT). Nice. Lets hope it makes a difference.

Continue reading The war on comment spam - bring out the big guns.

January 18, 2005

Consensus Building by by Tom Doyle

Just read Consensus Building by by Tom Doyle over at Furturismic.

I liked it. There was enough twists to make the memory riff work without seeming cliched. Worth spending 10 minutes to read it.

Upcoming Jon Courtenay Grimwood interview

One for the diary...

As part of the monthly BSFA meetings:
23rd February 2005 -- Jon Courtenay Grimwood, interviewed by Claire Weaver at The Star Tavern (London). Further details at the BSFA site.

If you haven't read any JCG I recommend the stunning Pashazade: The First Arabesk, very fresh, very cool, very brilliant.

BTW what is up with the BSFA site? It's really rubbish!

Star Wars fan has no life so starts queueing

Oh dear, someone has started queueing for Revenge Of The Sith. He has a blog too.

Even I'm not that dedicated to Star Wars (although I did fly to New York to see The Phantom Menace).

January 17, 2005

Interzone 196

My January/February copy of Interzone arrived this morning, looking stunning as I have come to expect from TTA Press. The web site doesn't seem to have been updated yet so you can't see the artwork, but it's great. Seems like a nice selection of stories, lots of book reviews, Ansible, an interview with China Mieville and a discussion piece of fantasy stories (and labelling them).

Looks good.

Slashdot talks Battlestar Galactica

If you have the time/patience the thread is here.

3 things, all via Solar Flare

3 things, all via Solar Flare...

Some Doctor Who news. The BBC site seems a bit quiet on the news front, more gossip please!

Tom Cruise and Steven Spielberg getting pally chummy and hyping War of the Worlds.

The poster for Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy, which is a bit "so what?". Also the teaser trailer on the revamped-since-I-was-last-there web site is okay bar for the truly terrible straplines.

Battlestar Galactica 1980

Okay, this is what I was on about. John@SFSignal has suffered so that we do not need to.

Another quote

Another quote, this time from John@SFSignal.

"The website with it's finger on the pulse of UK science fiction."

Which made me laugh as it is not really very true at all. But it's something I can strive for! Anyway, what can I say about SFSignal?

"SFSignal is a joy to read. It is everything that a SF blog should be."

More SF blog love to share!

Revenge Of The Sith book covers

StarWars.com has the final covers for some of the Episode III books. Lots of silhouettes of Anakin and Obi-Wan fighting. Cool.

January 14, 2005

BSFA nominations online

The The British Science Fiction Association Awards have their nominations online . They're incomplete as BSFA members have until the 22nd to nominate.

Early bets? Hmmm tricky. Maybe Singularity Sky by Charles Stross?

Battlestar Galactica's creator has a blog

From this SciFi.com interview, Ronald D. Moore, creator and executive of the new Battlestar Galactica series, mentions that he has a blog. And here it is. Very nice.

He also mentions that the first season ends on "multiple cliffhangers". Groan. Cheer! Confused feelings...

Hugh Laurie as Perry White?!

Just heard a rumour on the radio that Hugh Laurie has been cast as Perry White in the new Superman movie! Cool.

January 13, 2005

First quote!

To be honest I didn't actually expect anyone to write a quote for me! But Eoghann at Solar Flare has done just that. He says:

Big Dumb Object provides intelligent and wide ranging coverage of the science fiction genre.

Blimey.

I do enjoy reading Solar Flare, there always seems to be something on it that I haven't heard about. So here's my quote

"Solar Flare is an essential read on my feed list, interesting commentary and a great source of SF news."


Share the SciFi love ;-)

An interview with Tricia Helfer

Jam! Showbiz has an interview with Tricia Helfer who plays the wonderful Number Six in the new Battlestar Galactica series.

An interview with Jamie Bamber

UnderGroundOnline has an interview with Jamie Bamber, who plays Apollo in the new Battlestar Galactica series (and still looks like Tim Henman).

NY Times talks Battlestar Galactica

Even the New York Times is talking about Battlestar Galactica, with the article Retooling a 70's Sci-Fi Relic for the Age of Terror.

Nice article even if they do say that the original only had one season. Don't they remember the horror of the Galactica finding Earth and the crew being able to jump really high?! Either that was classified as a different show or they have quite rightly erased it from their memory.

Disney remaking Tron

Disney are going to remake Tron. I have mixed feelings about this. I loved the original Tron, mainly because at the time I really wanted to be a hacker (I love Wargames too). Oh yeah and the arcade game was cool and the CGI was state of the art and the Lightcycles were soooo cool. (I really wanted a Lightcycle). So a remake could be cool. Or it could turn into a sub-Lawnmower man disaster. Bets?

January 12, 2005

Review quotes wanted!

I've noticed that SciFiDaily have a selection of "reviews" in their about text. Not sure if they're meant to be serious or even real but I like the idea.

So my request is for people to post reviews of this blog in the comments for this post, and I will use some of them (probably...!). In return I will do a reciprocal glowing review for your very own blog. Any takers?

Upcoming novels

Want to see what books are coming out this year? Check out Locus's 2005 Book Directory [Via Views from Medina Road]

Light by M. John Harrison

I've just finished reading Light by M. John Harison (one of my Christmas presents). It's a pretty amazing book, for the first ten chapters I had no idea what was going on. Then I figured it out but had no idea how the three plots were related. Then it came together at the end, and I think I understand it.

One plot is contemporary and has a horror-ish feel to it, the other two plots are far future and have that cool "don't braindump everything just live in the place for a bit" feel that I love so much (like William Gibson does in the Sprawl series).

In summary, I really enjoyed it and thoroughly recommend it.

January 11, 2005

Battlestar Galactica - Season 1 - Episode 11 - "Colonial Day"

Full details of the episode (that's SPOILERS!) can be found on the Sky One Battlestar Galactica episode guide.

The quorum of 12 are elected and meet for the first time. Spoilers ahead...

Continue reading Battlestar Galactica - Season 1 - Episode 11 - "Colonial Day".

More Star Wars pictures

More from the Annie Leibovitz Vanity Fair shoot, here. Great behind the scenes photos from the Revenge Of The Sith set.

(Thanks Dave).

Do you prefer the old Battlestar Galactica?

Yahoo! News (via Variety) give a summary of Battlestar Galactica in the run up to the airing of the first episode in the US this Friday (What took you so long?)

But check out this comment...

"The producers have thrown a bone to die-hard fans..."

Err hello? Would anyone really prefer the original, dated, Star Wars rip-off series? No, I don't think so.

Cyber Claus

I've finally got round to reading Cyber Claus by William Gibson (posted on 24th Dec but hey I'm still catching up). It's a super short but it's very cool, hyper dense Gibson not taking things too seriously.

January 10, 2005

Star Destroyer effect is the best

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Film | Star Wars voted top for effects

"The opening sequence to the original 1977 Star Wars movie has been voted the best special effect in cinema history."


Naturally.

Spacey as Lex

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Film | Actor Spacey 'to play Lex Luthor'

Oscar-winner Kevin Spacey, 45, has been signed up to play Lex Luthor in the Superman sequel, due out in 2006.

Very groovy, I like Kevin Spacey, he's cool.

A Scanner Darkly images

Ken Macleod interview

About Ken Macleod's Newton's Wake from the Orbit newsletter. Sounds good.....


With NEWTON'S WAKE you've returned to writing stand-alone volumes - was that a deliberate decision, and is that the path you're likely to take with future novels? Do you prefer to tell the whole tale in one sitting?

KM: Yes, yes, and yes.

Were there any particular influences for this novel - and was the theme of man against machine something you've wanted to explore for a while?

KM: I've done so before, in The Cassini Division especially, but this one is more definitely a post-Singularity story, influenced by lots of conversations with Charlie Stross. You can also see traces of the year I wrote it, 2003, if you look very carefully.

January 8, 2005

Battlestar Galactica - Season 1 - Episode 10 - "The Hand of God"

Full details of the episode (that's SPOILERS!) can be found on the Sky One Battlestar Galactica episode guide.

Galactica and the fleet need fuel for their FTL jumps. They find an asteroid rich in fuel but the cylons already have a base there. Spoilers ahead...

Continue reading Battlestar Galactica - Season 1 - Episode 10 - "The Hand of God".

January 7, 2005

The Star Wars cast

What better way to start the new year then a big picture of the Star Wars cast?

Star Wars: Episode III | Lucas Reveals Vader's True Side to Vanity Fair

Happy New Year

A belated Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to every body. I hope you had a good time in the last few weeks and that the new year is groovy for you all.

Back to normal

Phone back. ADSL back.

Working my way back to full blogging speed (and through 5 gazillion unread posts in my feed reader).

January 4, 2005

Landline still broken

I still can't get incoming calls and I have no ADSL.

BT suck.

January 1, 2005

Still disconnected

My phone line is still broken :-(