July 2005 Archives

July 30, 2005

Battlestar Galactica 203 - Fragged

Apollo launches a mission from Galactica to rescue the crew of the downed raptor on Kobol.


Continue reading Battlestar Galactica 203 - Fragged.

July 29, 2005

Design a Doctor Who monster

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.

Stargate Atlantis

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.

Doctor Who pics

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.

Empire at War

LucasArts - Empire At War looks good, a trailer is out now. Well, the cuts scenes look good anyway!

Worldcon programme

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

Doctor Who shooting photos

Some photos taen during the shooting of the new DOctor Who episode are online, the details are on
Outpost Gallifrey.

Nothing too much to see (apart from the zombie-alien Father Christmas's!). And they all have annoying watermarks too. Booo.

July 27, 2005

A Dalek bottle opener

When used to open a beer or soda sound is activated "Alert! Alert! It has been exterminated!"

Every home needs one.

July 26, 2005

Battlestar Galactica 202 - Valley of Darkness

The crew of the Battlestar Galactica fight a Cylon boarding party.


Continue reading Battlestar Galactica 202 - Valley of Darkness.

Revenge of the Sith DVD

Star Wars: Episode III | Nov 1: Experience Episode III on DVD and Star Wars Battlefront II

1st November 2005, coming your way.
I might wait for the 6 DVD box set.

Doctor Who starts filming for next season

BBC - Doctor Who - Filming starts

Something I missed whilst admiring the Doctor's new clothes, filming of the Christmas special has started.

Cory Doctorow profile on the BBC

July 25, 2005

Rita Queen of Speed

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.

The Doctor goes back to a suit

The BBC has some new info on the new Doctor Who series, including old companions and Cybermen...


My brother has one of these very cool, Darth Vader gardening T-Shirts...

Threadless.com Product - Dark side of the Garden

...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...

Threadless.com Product - Distant Future

Threadless.com Product - My Pet Human

..which are cool. And a couple still in submission that I like...

Threadless.com Submission - Vader\'s New Ride

Threadless.com Submission - Bar Trekkin'

July 21, 2005

More excerpts from the David Tennant interview

July 20, 2005

David Tennant's first interview as the Doctor

BBC - Doctor Who - Tennant's first interview

"When I first got asked, I just laughed!"

Unfortunately the whole thing is not online but in the Doctor Who magazine.

BBC Cult site closes

BBC - Cult Television - Homepage

Bye bye. You were good. Cost cutting with no regard for site traffic :-(

July 19, 2005

Battlestar Galactica 201 - Scattered

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?


Continue reading Battlestar Galactica 201 - Scattered.

July 14, 2005

Battlestar Galactica Season 2

Showing tomorrow.
I can decide if time has gone quickly or slowly. I think slowly. But Firefly helped me forget for a while.

John W. Campbell Award

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.

[Via Sci Fi Wire -- The News Service of the Sci Fi Channel]

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

It's SF. Watch it.

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.

(Thanks Dave)

SF Signal is two

Happy birthday to SF Signal who are two years old. It got me thinking that blogs are a funny old thing. You post random stuff, some people read it, you read other people's random stuff and somehow a sort of community evolves. I read a load of blogs but I feel a kinship most with the SF blogs, which is weird when you could think of them as rivals if you were in a non-bloggy frame of mind (which for me is never). My enthusiasm for blogging has often been cyclic, lots of ups and downs, but SF blogging has been more ups than downs for some reason. Blog about what you like is I think the lesson.

July 11, 2005

An FAQ on The Culture

July 8, 2005

A kiss

Battlestar Galactica

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.

Lack of blogging

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

Neil Gaiman interviews Gorillaz

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.

William Gibson on copying stuff

Wired 13.07: God's Little Toys

William Gibson talks about copying, remixing, mashups, collages....

[Via BoingBoing]

Firefly DVD selling well on Amazon.com

Amazon.com: Top Sellers

Wow, the Firefly DVD is the number two seller on Amazon.com today. It's nowhere on Amazon.co.uk though.

Star War props going under the hammer

Empire: Film Reviews, Movie News and Interviews

"if you've got a spare USD$100,000 lying around, you're in with a shot at obtaining Luke Skywalker's Jedi weapon"

[Thanks Dave]

More from the BBC

Dave Langford's SFX column

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 ..."

July's Ansible

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.

The Algebraist in paperback

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

UK SF TV series

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 cast up for awards

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | TV and Radio | Doctor Who stars up for TV awards

"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 by Neal Asher

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.

Continue reading Gridlinked by Neal Asher.

Highlander 5

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.

Locus Award Winners

Locus Online News: Locus Awards Winners

SF NOVEL - The Baroque Cycle: The Confusion; The System of the World, Neal Stephenson (Morrow).


July 1, 2005

Are You a Science-Fiction Scholar?

Here's a silly little quiz on MSN Encarta. (Scholar may be too strong a word here.)

I got 8/11.

I have excuses.

They are....
(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.

More pressure

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".


Kottke likes Snow Crash

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....