June 2005 Archives

June 30, 2005

There's a Jedi in parliment

This is pretty mad... A new MP, Jamie Reed, stood up in the House Of Commons during a debate on the "Racial and Religious Hatred Bill" and said he was a Jedi...
I crave the indulgence of the House in interrupting such an important and enjoyable debate to deliver my maiden speech. Furthermore, as the first Jedi Member of this place, I look forward to the protection under the law that will be provided to me by the Bill.
Boris Johnson then commented...
One hon. Member stood up for the Jedi and said that he was a Jedi knight. No one was sure whether to take him seriously. There were embarrassed grins on the faces of Labour Members. How do they know that he is not in earnest when he says that he is a Jedi knight and that his faith deserves respect? If religion is a nebulous idea, so too is hatred.

June 29, 2005

King Kong

King Kong trailer out now.

Looks entertaining but mindless.

June 28, 2005

Serenity on Must list

Where have the 1080p trailers gone?

During another one of my spells where I longingly wish that I could watch the Serenity trailer in super HD (my mac can't cope), I found myself back on the QuickTime - HD Gallery and noticed that the 1080p version of the trailers seem to have vanished? What's happened? Perhaps no one had a fast enough machine to watch them?

June 27, 2005

Spielberg and Cruise interview

Coming Soon! has a nice. long interview with Steven Spielberg and Tom Cruise. They are both complementary about Science Fiction.

June 26, 2005

Chewie and R2, the real heroes

This highly amusing essay made me laugh. It's about Chewbacca and R2D2, the real heroes of the rebellion, the undecover agents in all those dark years. Very funny.

BBC Cult site closes

Bummer, the BBC Cult website is closing.

Perhaps someone could grab all the content, move it to a new server and carry on maintaining it (somehow)? After all, that's the sort of thing that happens on the interweb isn't it?

Make Poverty History

Off topic, but I feel it deserves a mention anyway.

Last night watched The Girl In The Cafe which was an original drama by Richard Curtis. It starts as a witty romantic comedy but transcends that when for a weekend they go to the G8 conference. In the end it was all about trying to eradicate poverty, about the G8's power to able to do that if they really wanted to. And it really moved me.

I urge you all to check out http://www.makepovertyhistory.org/.

June 24, 2005

Yet more Who video diaries

BBC - Doctor Who - Bonus features

Three from director Joe Ahearne and one from The Mill's main man, Will Cohen.

I'm delighted by the extra effort that the BBC put in to produce all this extra content. Fortunately this seems to be the way they are going with all of their content at the moment. Keep it up Beeb.

June 23, 2005

Last Doctor Who press release for the season

BBC - Press Office - Doctor Who press pack phase eight

Includes an inerview with Russell T Davies..

Q: Were you surprised by the reaction to the new series?

RTD: The honest to God truth is I was shocked.

Also the BBC are showing the season one highlights trailer (including regeneration) at high repeat frequency. And of course it ends with a teaser for the Christmas special, only 6 months away!

Neal Asher interview

An interview with Neal Asher | Legends of the Sun Pig

Nice interview.

I still haven't typed up my Gridlinked review. Of course every day I wait the shorter it's bound to be. Doh.

June 22, 2005

The Onion goes futuristic

The Onion 2056 [Via BoingBoing]

Favourite story...

"Eyeing the upcoming 128th Academy Awards, industry insiders have high expectations for Frogger: Return To The Lily Pad, the third installment in the wildly successful Frogger trilogy based on the 1981 Sega video game. The film is nominated in an unprecedented 31 categories, including Best Adapted Screenplay, Best CG Actor, and Best Picture." (link)

Although wasn't Frogger an Atari game not a Sega one?

A review of Serenity

Human Iterations has a (spoiler free) review of Serenity from one of the pre-screenings. It sounds wonderful. I want to see it now. Pre-screenings in the UK please?

June 21, 2005

War of the Worlds comic

The first 12 pages of the War Of The Worlds eComic by Dark Horse are onlne. More will be added over time. [Via BoingBoing]

June 20, 2005

Interesting interview with Matthew Stover

Centre Daily Times | 06/19/2005 | 'Star Wars' novelist Matthew Stover challenges finicky readers

He's the guy who's done the 'The Revenge of the Sith' novellisation.

New Doctorow book online

Cory Doctorow's new book Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town, is now available for download and is completely free.

Once again (ala Accelerando) very cool, because it won't be out for ages in the UK.

Shuffle that TOREAD list again....

Neal Stephenson talks Star Wars

Turn On, Tune In, Veg Out - New York Times

"These newer films don't even pretend to tell the whole story; they are akin to PowerPoint presentations that summarize the main bullet points from a much more comprehensive body of work developed by and for a geek subculture."

As usual Mr. Stephenson makes speaks much sense, and yet takes the discussion off into an unforseeable tangent.

June 18, 2005

Early release of Serenity?

Serenity to be released early?.

The rumour on FireFlyFans.net is that Serenity is going to get an early release...

A Universal employee said...(allegedly).
"Oh. . .you guys probably won't even have to wait until September 30th anymore. Our test markets and advance screenings are off the charts. . .we had no idea. . .when you said, 'Big following', I didn't realize how big. . ."


Doctor Who 2005, a review of the season

A triumphant return.

Often full of crazy plot holes, yet carrying itself with such style and at such a frantic pace that it never failed to entertain.

Both Christopher Eccelstone and Billie Piper were fantastic, and the writing was top notch. Well done Russel T Davies.

One other major point, it's family orientated Science Fiction, on prime time Saturday night, on the biggest TV channel in the UK (BBC1), and it won the ratings war.

How wonderful.

Doctor Who - The Parting Of The Ways

Carrying on from last week (Bad Wolf) the Doctor is trying to rescue Rose from...the Daleks! BIG SPOILERS AHEAD!

Continue reading Doctor Who - The Parting Of The Ways.

June 17, 2005

The kids watching Who

This weeks Doctor Who Fear Forecast has a few spoilers so I skimmed it.

BBC - Doctor Who - Fear Forecast: Parting of the Ways

Good final reactions though...

"Samuel, Adam, Harry: Fantastic!
Amy: Can I have an ice cream now please?"

Some nice BSG season 2 pics

Battlestar Galactica - Dark-Thoughts.net

Slick photos of all your favourites...

Accelerando now available as free download

Accelerando, Charles Stross's latest book is now available for free download in a variety of formats. It's Creative Commons licensed and even has BitTorrent torrents for saving Charlie's bandwidth.

This is both excellent and a dilemma. Firstly the excellent bit, Accelerando is not released in the UK until August, and that's as a hardback, the paperback is scheduled for release June 2006! The dilemma is that I much prefer reading a book to a screen. So perhaps what I'll do is download it, print it out, read it and then buy the paperback when it comes out. What does anyone else think about this? Are you going to download it or buy it?

My reading list is now in disarray, with The Baroque Cycle and Jonathan Strange pushed back behind Revenge of the Sith and now this. As usual, so much reading, not enough time (but that's better than not having enough to read!).

June 16, 2005

Who is Bad Wolf

I had an idea last night, perhaps Bad Wolf is....da da daaaa.... The Master?

Oh and a third series has been commissioned.

June 15, 2005

Kidnapped Dalek found at Glastonbury

BBC NEWS | England | Somerset | Missing Dr Who Dalek found on Tor

Glastonbury. Of course. Home to the festival of festivals. Where else would a Dalek turn up?

Slate article on Lucas and Spielberg

Bad Wolf

That Russel T Davies is such a tease, apparently no one has figured out what Bad Wolf really is yet.

More at www.badwolf.org.uk

BTW if you're at work don't go here at the moment, unless you want everyone wondering why you have a 100 daleks screaming EXTERMINATE! on your computer.

New FPI magazine

Interesting, Forbidden Planet International is launching a new magazine, which is not only their catalogue but also a "cult entertainment magazine". The first issue includes interviews with Battlestar Galactica actors Tricia Helfer, James Callis and Richard Hatch. It will be available in Forbidden Planet stores.

Firefly reruns on US Sci-Fi Channel

Via Disembodied Brain, the Sci Fi Channel will be showing Firefly reruns at 7 p.m. Fridays starting on July 22. (and the UK SciFi channel is showing them now I think).

June 14, 2005

Russell T Davies interview in SFX

BBC - Doctor Who - Russell review

"Expect the 'same old mix' of stories for Series 2, some darker, some lighter. Some traditional – although if anything, the traditional stories are BBC Drama's least favourite, but I love them, so I'm gonna keep them in there."

He also says....

"To be blunt, this show is a success, and it's our job to maintain that success, not wander away from it."

Nice. I'm glad that someone as knowledgable/talented as Mr. Davies is in charge (of the stories at leats).

June 13, 2005

Avoid the internet!

This BBC page urges you to stay spoiler free for this season's Doctor Who finale by avoiding the internet.

Doctor Who - Bad Wolf

The Doctor wakes up in the Big Brother house, whilst Rose is suddenly a contestant in The Weakest Link and Captain Jack is getting a makeover....! SPOILERS AHEAD.

Continue reading Doctor Who - Bad Wolf.

PKD Essay

Philip K. Dick - How To Build A Universe That Doesn't Fall Apart Two Days Later (Essay)

"Science fiction writers, I am sorry to say, really do not know anything."

June's Ansible online

The June edition of of Dave Langford's newsletter is online: Ansible 215, June 2005

Accelerando the website

Accelerando! the webite for the Charles Stross book is now online and being updated.

Dalek kidnapped

Made me laugh...

BBC NEWS | England | Somerset | Dalek 'kidnappers' demand Doctor

The 5ft model, believed to be an original from the cult BBC Dr Who series, was taken from Wookey Hole Caves near Wells on Monday.

On Thursday, staff found the plunger arm and a ransom note on a doorstep.

The note read: "We are holding the Dalek captive. We demand further instructions from the Doctor."


But it'll take a day to catch up. Got a Doctor Who review and a review of Gridlinked to come....

June 6, 2005

Slow blogging

I'm in Majorca on business this week, with limited internet access, so blogging around here will be slow. Thank you for your patience!

Doctor Who - Boomtown

The TARDIS returns to Cardiff to park on the rift and recharge it's batteries(!)

Continue reading Doctor Who - Boomtown.

June 3, 2005

Comic movies a-go-go

I saw the trailers to Batman Begins and The Fantastic Four again at the cinema last night.

I'm somewhat underwhelmed by The Fantastic Four. It looks very derivative and will probably be slightly dull.

Batman Begins looks a lot better, but may just be darkly lit with lots of fights.

The problem is that neither of these comic franchises really mean much to me. Growing up in England the Marvel and DC comics always seemed expensive and hard to find (and had those weird American adverts for Sea Monkeys). Instead I grew up reading 2000AD and Judge Dredd. Of course Hollywood have already made the worst possible film of Judge Dredd that anyone could have imagined (why did Stallone need to make up a stupid catchphrase?). If that movie is your only exposure, please, please read some of the comics. They are indescribably better.

Sci-Fi Ranter Girl joins the Firefly legions

Sci-Fi Ranter Girl: OK, so I gave Firefly a chance

This seems like a familiar theme! Let's hope the movie goes interstellar and someone with half a brain commissions a new series (get your dosh out BBC!).

I have an excuse, it was apparently only aired in the UK on the UK Sci-Fi channel, and lets face it, no one watches that channel. Oh, in fact I think they're airing it now.

One more time

I went to see Revenge of the Sith again last night. I just couldn't stay away.

Once again I really enjoyed it, and left the cinema on a downer feeling sad, but with an overwhelming urge to watch A New Hope. (Which I didn't because it was 11pm when I got home).

A couple of things that seem to have been overlooked amidst the hype and (endless) reviews.

(1) It looks awesome. That first space battle is just amazing. It's the sort of space battle I have been reading about and dreaming of since I was a little kid. Brilliant. And then the detail in each shot is incredible, like A New Hope there are people in the background just doing stuff, whatever it is they do. Each shot is a wonderful painting, ILM have really outdone themselves.

(2) The music is great. I love the bit where Anakin is in the jedi council room and Padme is in her apartment and they are waiting for Mace Windu to confront Palpatine. The music drops down really quiet, but spooky. Another triumph Mr. Williams.

Ken MacLeod and Charles Stross appearance

Via the Orbit newsletter (which doesn't seem to be archived on the website)...

"Ken MacLeod and Charles Stross will be appearing at the 25th Annual Writer's Conference and Bookfair at University College, Winchester on Saturday 25th June. Mr Stross's special subject will be Building and Populating Worlds, while his colleague, Mr MacLeod, tackles Where Do You Get Your Ideas."

Looks interesting, but it's £75 just for the Saturday :-(

June 1, 2005

Are you my mummy?

Hugo Links

I can't remember whether I've mentioned this before, but anyway it's worth mentioning again. The links are online to the Hugo Nominees. Including full Novellas, Novelletes and short stories. Plenty to get stuck into.

Weird Tales on the move again

Via Locus Online

"Wildside Press announced today it will purchase Weird Tales magazine from DNA Publications. Wildside Press president John Gregory Betancourt will co-edit the magazine with current editors Darrell Schweitzer and George H. Scithers. The magazine will increase page count by 15%, will publish a double-sized issue late in the summer, and is planning theme issues spotlighting such popular genre authors as Jeff VanderMeer, Jeffrey Ford, and Harlan Ellison."

Maybe I'm wrong but didn't Weird Tales get sold not too long ago? Or was that Amazing Stories?

Boom Town Fear Forecast

It sounds like this weeks Doctor Who is a lot less creepy, allowing children everywhere to have fewer nightmares.

BBC - Doctor Who - Fear Forecast: Boom Town

Best quote:

"It's a baddie, it's a baddie!" warns Harry. Amy clutches the corner of her sleeping bag in anticipation.