August 2005 Archives

August 30, 2005

Battlestar Galactica 206 + 207 : Home

Adama tries to put the fleet back together.

Verdict : Without Baltar I'd call the episodes a disaster. Fortunately his scenes distract from the stilted cheeseyness of the rest of the episodes (just).

Continue reading Battlestar Galactica 206 + 207 : Home.

August 28, 2005

Patrick Stewart in Extras

Patrick Stewart was in episode six of Ricky Gervais' new show Extras (wikipedia entry) this week.
He had some very funny lines.

Patrick: "You've never seen Star Trek the Next Generation?"
Andy: "I haven't, no."
Patrick: "What, your wife won't let you have it on?"
Andy: "I'm not married."
Patrick: "Your girlfriend then?"
Andy: "I haven't got a girlfriend. I live alone."
Patrick: "You're not married, you don't have a girlfriend and you've never watched Star Trek?"
Andy: "No."
Patrick: "Good Lord."

August 27, 2005

Still messing with templates

Some if it has changed, some of it hasn't, some just looks weird now, some of the feeds may be screwed. Hang in there.

Template twiddling

Ok, next step is to tweak my templates.
Things may look weird for a while.

UPDATE
Hmmm. Sort of done. But I think it may be easier to revert to the new default templates and start again, trying to just change the css where possible.

UPDATE 2
Still twiddling.

August 26, 2005

Upgrade

I'm going to try and upgrade to Moveable Type 3.2 right now.
Fingers crossed.
See you on the other side.

UPDATE
Hmmm...well I think I'm done. The problem is that the Admin UI looks like it has no CSS. :-(

UPDATE AGAIN
Aha! A browser reload sorted it out, perhaps it was cached or something. Now I have to check out the spam controls and check that my templates aren't broken.

More Serenity reviews

Tom Coates reviews Serenity...


It's as good a film as the Lord of the Rings films at their best. All the recent Star Wars movies put together aren't fit to clean its boots. I can't think of a sci-fi film in my recent memory that can touch it, frankly.

...he liked it.

Also a review from Londonist...


Those enlightened souls who have already familiarised themselves with the show are in for a hell of a treat once this opens.

...they liked it too.


As Tom points out, currently Serenity has an IMDB rating of 9.1, which is quite good seeing as the top two rated movies of all time on there (The Godfather and The Shawshank Redemption) have a rating of 9.0

Anansi Boys audio clip

Perhaps you have to be a big celebrity blogger like Neil Gaiman to get away with this, but he's posted the first track from the new Anansi Boys audio book on his blog.

Perhaps I just haven't found them but I haven't heard of many authors/publishers doing this, and yet it seems an emminently sensible idea.

Oh and the book is read by Lenny Henry (best known in the UK as a comedian), [interesting fact for the day] who grew up not far from where I did.

August 25, 2005

Primer

I heard a review of Primer on Mark Kermode's moview review podcast and it sounds awesome. He said that he needed to see it again to understand it and that it was awesomely intelligent and clever. Sounds like my kind of SF. Anyone seen it?

August 24, 2005

K9 returns!

BBC - Doctor Who - K9 returns

!!!

Everyones favourite 70's style robot dog is coming back to Doctor Who.

Sit! Heel! Rollover! etc...

Doctor Who show on your mobile

BBC - Doctor Who - Doctor on call

"20th anniversary Doctor Who special The Five Doctors is to be offered to fans to watch on their mobile phones."

Along with some Red Dwarf episodes.

Will they be free? I doubt it, 3G services are so hideously expensive in the UK.

Viral marketing for Serenity

Two very cool video snippets have been discovered online. (one, two). It's clear from the second that they are very cool viral marketing for Serenity. Apparently the footage does not appear in the film.

[Via SciFi.Com ]

August 23, 2005

Serenity premiere reviews

Here's a few stories about the Serenity premiere.

(This one made me laugh)

I love Joss Wheedon's attitude...


"To be premiering here is exactly where I want to be," Whedon said. "Not just because I love it here, but because we do have fans who wouldn't expect to be the first people to see this. There's a lot of people in LA going, 'What?'"

And some reviews. Two from IOFilm one negative (saying that Blakes 7 did dystopia better) and one positive. One in the middle from The Movie Blog. And a positive spoiler filled one from Sci-Fi Heaven, which also has some very cool
video footage from the premiere (red carpets, stars and signings!).

August 22, 2005

Serenity Premiere

It's tonight, at the Edinburgh International Film Festival. That's in Edinburgh. Scotland.

It's all Sold Out.

Anyone going?

Superman footage

Bryan Singer's video journal #22 has some footage of the new Superman film. ::::: Blue Tights Adventure Network! :::::.

The Gene Wars

I've just stumbled upon Paul McAuley's really amazing short story Gene Wars online. And funnily enough it's on Paul's website.

The Hugo speech

A full transcript of Kim Newman and Paul McAuley 2005 Hugo Award Ceremony Script.

Trackback spam

Just realised that I had LOTS of trackback spam.
I've turned off trackbacks and zapped most of my Trackbacks.
If you want to see who is linking to me use Technorati.
I may turn trackbacks back on once I've upgraded to MT 3.2 (hurry up please SixApart!).

Come the revolution...

Magazine covers

Via BoingBoing, here's a web app that generates you a magazine cover based on a Flickr image.

magazine.jpg

August 20, 2005

The Time Travellers Wife

The Time Travellers Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (UK/US) is a love story of a man and a woman, where the man is a time traveller.

I must admit that I was very sceptical before reading this book. It had been marketed as a mainstream novel, it had even been recommended by Richard and Judy. Yet it was clearly SF, one of the protaganists is a time traveller! So I had pretty well set myself up to hate it and moan about mainstream novellists doing SF without knowing what they were doing and saying how everyone should read Slaughterhouse Five instead. But there was a doubt to this, the book had been nominated for an Arthur C Clarke award in 2005. And after reading it I agree. It is indeed a wonderful book. But aside your preconceptions and dive in.

The book starts in a fantastic disorientating swathe of diary style entries, switching times and viewpoints. The entire book is written in first person point of view, diary style, alternating between Henry and Clare. Each new chapter has dates to help you get orientated on the time frame quickly. The technical aspect of the time travelling story telling is very well done, mixing it up, yet staying consistent, foreshadowing, teasing and finally revealing.

However what won me over most of all was the characters and their realism and the way I came to love them despite their failures. The writing is wonderful, sucking you into Henry and Clare's lives and making you care.

My only criticism is that the third quarter of the book seemed a bit slow and the novel wouldn't have been less without it. However it recovered in the last quarter and finished in a wonderfully satisfying way.

Is it Science Fiction? I would say yes. The time travelling is essential to the story. There is no technobabble and paradoxes are dismissed in a wonderfully offhand manner, but it is a story based on a great SF cliche. And one that succeeds. I recommend it.

August 19, 2005

sci-fi, lesbian rock movement?!?

Ok, I admit it, the tag line pulled me in to read this article in some random US newspaper. But let's face it, it's a great teaser...

"This sci-fi, lesbian rock movement really has legs to it."

...and it's got loads to do with SF...

"The gay culture and the sci-fi culture kind of cross over at certain points. Gary always did write songs that had that cowboy/sci-fi setting, and this album started telling a story of a 23rd-century heroine girl, and traveling through time and space. That made it easy to put the songs together."

...see? There's some Rock band out there writing Firefly scripts.

Battlestar Galactica 205 - The Farm

Adama gets back to the job in hand whilst on Caprica the resistance gets busy.

My opinion : Could have been great but was spoiled by unnecessary exposition.

More (SPOILER!) details ahead...

Continue reading Battlestar Galactica 205 - The Farm.

David Tennat interview transcription

Check out the deep questions that David Tennant aka the new Doctor, got asked by a load of kids in a web chat.

One interesting snippet...

Q How long does it take to make an episode? (of Doctor Who) (From: Patrick, age 11)

A It takes between 3-4 weeks to film


August 18, 2005

Doctor Who Monster winner

Last night on Blue Peter they announced the design a Doctor Who monster winner. The competion had 44,000 entries. David Tennant was on the show as was the head of the creature design shop. The winner was around 9 years old and sounded suitably excited.

BBC NEWS | England | Essex | Boy's Doctor Who monster success

Cool Vader jpgs

Finding Serenity

john@SFSignal has a nice review of Finding Serenity (UK/US), which is a collection of essays about Firefly and a book I was unware of. It sounds interesting but I'm not sure I'd pay £9 quid for it, maybe one to get out of the library?

If you're not a Firefly fan yet then buy it!

Cool Star Wars T-Shirts

Either one will do if you feel like buying me something....



August 17, 2005

What's going on with the Serenity trailers?

The website now has trailer 1 and trailer 3. Where has trailer 2 gone? (And can I even remember it?)

Meanwhile both are available in Windows Media HD but the Quicktime HD trailer has disappeared from trace.

...and it's still over a month to the release date. The agony.

David Tennant webchat

The Guradian on Worldcon

Guardian Unlimited | The Guardian | Exploring frontiers of science fiction

More mainstream British press attention for Worldcon that I missed last week.

BSG Wikipedia entry grown

I've just noticed that the Battlestar Galactica (2003) Wikipedia entry has episode summaries now (whereas last time I looked it didn't). Lot's of good stuff there.

Lost

I watched the two-part pilot episode of Lost for the first time last night. I liked it a lot. I guess I'd categorise it as Slipstream? Not sure. There were just enough little hints and teases to lift it above your normal survival story.

Episode 3 airs on Channel 4 in the UK tonight.

August 16, 2005

Doctor Who monster competition results tomorrow

David Tennant will be on Blue Peter tomorrow to announce the winner of the design a monster competition. Fingers crossed.

[Via Outpost Gallifrey]

Justina Robson blogging

Justina Robson has a new blog entitled Musapaloosa.
(And for the software geeks among us it is running .Text. Which I dislike, but lets not go there.)

I've read Justina's novel silver screen and it was very good. Her other books are on my to buy list (once I've finished the foot tall stack of books on my to read list (and that's just 3 books) ).

[Via TAO]

August 15, 2005

Battlestar Galactica 204 - Resistance

Colonel Tigh lets things get even more out of control as he enforces marshall law.

SPOILERS AHEAD


Continue reading Battlestar Galactica 204 - Resistance.

Hugo a-go-go

I missed the Hugo winners last week. It seems like a lot of good choices (I say "seems" because I haven't read everything). Interesting that a fantasy novel (Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell) won. I'm reading it at the moment and like it but I think I'd have voted for River of Gods, which has been the best SF novel I've read this year.

Nice that Battlestar Galactica won one too. Oh and The Incredibles too, I love that film.

Serenity feature in yesterdays Sunday Times

Yesterday's Sunday Times had a two page spread about Serenity and Joss Wheedon. It's online here. Interesting that the mainstream press is picking up on the Firefly story. The article talks about how Hollywood are going back to good films for (relatively) low budgets, rather than throwing money at films (and the article slams The Island).

I think that the premiere in Edinburgh might get some more UK press attention...

August 14, 2005

Back to the blog...

Been on holiday hence the lack of blogging.

I think I may have missed a few things...

August 5, 2005

Doctor Who fasion disected

BBC NEWS | Magazine | Doctor Who, fashion icon

The BBC takes an in-depth look at the new Doctor's togs.

August 4, 2005

BSFA magazines

I finally got around to becoming a BSFA member and received my first magazine issues just the other day.

Matrix is the BSFA's news magazine. It looks like a fan kind of production, not the big, shiny magazines we're used to in the shops. It is however very professional and thoroughly enjoyable. I found all the articles (which ranged from recent film reviews to Stephen Baxter talking about the influence of WWII on various SF authors) well written, often witty, easy to read and entertaining. Worth picking up id you see it at a con.

Vector is the BSFA's critical journal, full of reviews and with a nice black and white shiny cover featuring Michael Moorcock over a typewriter. I've just started reading it, very interesting, much more intellectual.

BTW the Matrix website is quite nice, Vector doesn't have one and the BSFA site is pretty dreadful. I know it's done by volunteers so I hate to be critical, but....it looks a bit crap.

BBC mentions the Hugos

And gets carried away with a "Britain is leading the SF pack" story.

BBC NEWS | UK | Magazine | Why the future could be British

Quotes from Ian McDonald and Charlie Stross, which is nice.

Worldcon news coverage on BBC

BBC NEWS | UK | Scotland | Sci-fi fans gather for convention

With the token picture of someone wearing a space helmet.

August 3, 2005

365 tomorows

365tomorrows.com has launched...

"365 tomorrows is a collaborative project designed to present readers with one new piece of short speculative fiction each day for one year."

Sounds good, now we just need to judge the quality of the fiction.

Asnible August edition online

Ansible 217, August 2005

Terry Pratchett on top form...

Christopher Priest and Geoff Ryamn interview

If you can cope with the wird Flash page which they use instead of just text (WHY?!) The Herald has an article entitled Mind over matter. It spends a lot of time explaining why Christopher Priest doesn't call himself a SF writer anymore but prefers the label Slipstream, and then tries to explain slipstream.

Never mind, it's quite interesting.

And come off it Mr. Priest, we all know you write Science Fiction!

August 2, 2005

Joss Wheedon

The highly anticipated interview with Joss Wheedon is now online... In Focus | August/September 2005 |Serenity Now! Uncut

That says something for the man, that an interview with him is hyped.

Quick interview with David Tennant

The BBC has a quick news snippet about Doctor Who now they have started filming the new series, including a short chat with David Tennant (wearing an Atari T-Shirt, very cool).

Expensive thngs lightsabers

The force is still with Luke

The lightsaber used by intergalactic hero Luke Skywalker in Star Wars sold for $200 000

August 1, 2005

New Serenity trailer online!

Yes, that's right, the new Serenity trailer is online HERE. And it looks good.

Tip off via SFSignal. As JP says "...the execs at Fox must burn in eternal hell fire until the end of time." Er...unless they bring it back?

There's entries (and further links) in Wikipedia (that website of all knowledge) for both Firefly and Serenity.

There's no place I can be since I found Serenity...

Good news

Mr. William Gibson has started work on a new novel. Hoorah.