July 2005 Archives
July 30, 2005
Apollo launches a mission from Galactica to rescue the crew of the downed raptor on Kobol.
July 29, 2005
15 or under?
Get over to the Blue Peter site and design a Doctor Who monster!
The winning monster design will be used in the second series of 'Doctor Who'. It has to be a prosthetic monster, that means that an actor has to be able to wear a mask or costume, no computer special effects required.
The overall winner will not only have their design brought to life by the 'Doctor Who' team and see their monster appear in one of the episodes of the new series, but they will also be taken to visit the 'Doctor Who' film set in Wales!
How cool is that?!
Channel 4 is showing trailers for Lost on heavy repeat. (It's already been shown on Sky). I have to say the trailer looks very good and I'm definitely going to watch it despite mixed reviews....my brother says it starts good but runs out of ideas, which sounds to me like the typical good pitch but no arc scenario.
Not SF exactly I know, but I appreciate anything slightly offbeat.
I've just watched Stargate Atlantis for the first time. It was around episode 3 of the first season I think. Channel Five are showing it at 8pm Friday night, so sort of primetime if you ignore the fact that it's Channel Five (the newest and least watched of the UK's terrestrial channels (ie. non digital channels)).
Anyway, Stargate Atlantis. It was rubbish! The story was weak, ooh a black monster, it was like something out of Start Trek OT, but not as funny. And the dialogue was terrible, just about every word spoken was exposition, nothing was natural at all. The acting was also awful.
The orginal Stargate series was never one of my favourites but I used to watch it if it was on and it usually kept me entertained. At least SG1 had ok actors who were sort of funny (full of compliments aren't I?). But Atlantis? No thanks.
The BBC site has some cool wallpaper pics of the new Doctor and Rose here. David Tennant is looking cool and mysterious, whilst Billie Piper is looking quite sexy.
LucasArts - Empire At War looks good, a trailer is out now. Well, the cuts scenes look good anyway!
So now's the time to read the Worldcon programme and wish you were going. I really should, Glasgow is the nearest it will ever be to where I live. But I'm not. :-(
Presumably there'll be a few blogs covering it.
Anyway, there's some great panels. Here's my favourites (forget the content, check out the writers!)
Sunday 10.00, L(Carron) - AI: the Aliens We Make?
Aliens and AI are both Other, but where one comes from Out There, the other lives Down Here. Are they really the same thing -- and either way, what difference does it make?
Cory Doctorow, David Gerrold, Ian McDonald, Charles Stross, Tricia Sullivan
Sunday 12.00, L(Lomond) - Genre Killing Ideas
"The Singularity is this enormous turd that Vernor Vinge crapped into the punchbowl of SF writing, and now nobody wanting to take a drink can ignore it." [Charlie Stross] What other ideas have had the same effect on the genre?
Ian McDonald, Alastair Reynolds, Karl Schroeder, Charles Stross
Friday 10.00, L(Dochart) - John Brunner Retrospective
Without a doubt, the most distressing event of the 1995 Worldcon was the death of John Brunner. Our distinguished panellists will pay tribute to his work, considering the legacy he left for science fiction.
Brian Aldiss OBE, Joe Haldeman, Christopher Priest, Robert Silverberg
July 28, 2005
Some photos taen during the shooting of the new DOctor Who episode are online, the details are on
Nothing too much to see (apart from the zombie-alien Father Christmas's!). And they all have annoying watermarks too. Booo.
July 27, 2005
July 26, 2005
The crew of the Battlestar Galactica fight a Cylon boarding party.
1st November 2005, coming your way.
I might wait for the 6 DVD box set.
Something I missed whilst admiring the Doctor's new clothes, filming of the Christmas special has started.
Mainly focuses on his EFF work.
July 25, 2005
Last Friday I went to Alton Towers Theme Park and rode Rita, Queen of Speed. I got a front seat and I don't think anything on this planet will be more like launching a Viper out of the Battlestar Galactica. 0-100mph in 2.5 seconds. Awesome.
My brother has one of these very cool, Darth Vader gardening T-Shirts...
...which he bought from Threadless.com. That got me looking to see if there were any other SF style T-Shirts. I found these two...
..which are cool. And a couple still in submission that I like...
July 21, 2005
The BBC nick parts of the Doctor Who magazine.
July 20, 2005
"When I first got asked, I just laughed!"
Unfortunately the whole thing is not online but in the Doctor Who magazine.
Bye bye. You were good. Cost cutting with no regard for site traffic :-(
July 19, 2005
So things were pretty bad at the end of last season right?
Adama was shot. Starbuck was fighting for her life on Caprica. Apollo and the President were in the brig. Baltar and a team were downed on Kobol.
Where on earth (err in space) could it go from there?
July 14, 2005
I can decide if time has gone quickly or slowly. I think slowly. But Firefly helped me forget for a while.
I missed this amidst everything last week.
Market Forces by Richard K. Morgan won the John W. Campbell Award for best science fiction novel of 2004.
If my research is correct he's the first British author to win that award since Paul McAuley won it in 1997 (for the excellent Fairyland)
July 12, 2005
A nice article on battling SF perceptions, talking about the new Battlestar Galactica : Science fiction's biggest battle is its image - 07/09/05
"A vice president in the TV industry recently asked me what TV shows I watch for enjoyment. I mentioned my favorite is "Battlestar Galactica" on Sci Fi Channel. She laughed. I asked if she'd seen it. No, she said, and laughed again"
And guess what? It's the same in literature.
The Aeon Flux Movie - Official Site: AeonFlux.com is very flashtastic and lovely, groovy, spacey cool. I imagine the film has a high chance of being extremely rubbish, but let's hope not.
July 11, 2005
July 8, 2005
The new season is one week away. In the USA.
Good job I have a very large satellite dish that can legally pick up the US Sci-Fi Channel.
Also just noticed that the Season 1 Finale is online.
I didn't blog much yesterday. I was in Central London when the terrorist attacks took place. I'm fine. Got home late.
Maybe some SF today to take my mind off it?
July 6, 2005
In the same issue of Wired as the William Gibson piece is and interview with the Gorillaz, Wired 13.07: Keeping It (Un)real. So Neil Gaiman is interviewing a cartoon band. Nice.
BTW the Wired issue is entitled Remix Planet. Lots of great stuff.
On my way out of Ansible I discovered that most of Dave Langford's SFX columns are online here. Cool. Plenty to read.
May's starts with...
"It's a great tradition of space opera that no matter what high-tech weaponry abounds in the Galactic Empire, heroes still love to buckle on their swashes for a spot of romantic swordplay. Every well-appointed Galactic Empire therefore includes staircases to fight on, chandeliers to swing from, and a wide range of flashing blades. Sometimes, just to be different, these are called light sabres ..."
SF Newsletter extrioidinaire, Ansible 216, July 2005 is online.
This made me laugh...
As Doctor Who Sees Itself. Journalist Nick Griffiths interviews Russell T Davies (Radio Times, 4-10 June). NG: `Why do you think the show has been a success?' RTD: `... Our greatest decision was not to "science fiction" it too much.' [HS] Thus, with austere understatement, Earth is attacked by mere millions of Daleks rather than billions of talking squid from outer space.
I missed this until the Orbit Ezine (via email) reminded me, The Algebraist by Ian M Banks is now out in paperback.
July 5, 2005
screenonline has a list of UK SF TV series, including a description of each, full cast and crew and video clips, with some complete episodes. The downside?
"Video and audio material on screenonline is only accessible from schools, colleges and public libraries in the United Kingdom."
And I bet you're not in one of those places are you? Nope, me neither.
"Doctor Who stars Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper are in the running for best actor and actress honours at this year's National Television Awards."
They're very much a populist award (the soaps have entire categories), which must be a good thing for Doctor Who. It appears that anyone can vote....hmmm....
July 4, 2005
Gridlinked kicks off in high action mode, following a recent mission of Ian Cormac, ECS (Earth Central Security) super agent. Cormac is Gridlinked, that is linked in to all of the AI's allowing instant access to a vast array of information in his head. (It's like the internet but without all the crap). The story follows Cormac dealing with an alien intelligence whilst "the one that got away" terrorist Pelter plans vengeance.
Some news on Highlander 5.
You took one of the best films ever (Highlander) and made a sequel that was so bad it ruined the original film for everyone and now you're making the 5th in the series?! Stop! Delete them all expect the first one. Rewind our memories. Please.
SF NOVEL - The Baroque Cycle: The Confusion; The System of the World, Neal Stephenson (Morrow).
July 1, 2005
Here's a silly little quiz on MSN Encarta. (Scholar may be too strong a word here.)
I got 8/11.
I have excuses.
(1) I've never read any Edgar Rice Burroughs.
(2) I've never read Dune (I saw the film when I was young and it put me off. I know, yes I should read it...)
(3) I really don't care about Star Trek.
Ok, more pressure on writing up my three book reviews from the (very good) Matthew Cheney aka The Mumpsimus in his post A Perfect Example of Bad Reviewing...
One of the problems in the SF field is that, in general, the reviewing is just so bad -- not negative, but cautious, general, fueled by hype, uncritical, and useless as anything other than a statement of, "I liked it," or "I didn't like it".
Jason Kottke, one of those "A List Bloggers" and interestingly now funding himself via MicroPatronage., read Snow Crash (Bantam Spectra Book) by Neal Stephenson.
He liked it. Of course.
Snow Crash is one of my favourite books. The first few chapters are amazing and then it goes off into typical Neal Stephenson tangental wanderings, whilst maintaining a fast pace and being cool. Very cool.
Hmm. I have three new book reviews to write and instead I post about a book that I must have mentioned a squillion times before. Subconscious avoidance....