June 2006 Archives
June 30, 2006
June 29, 2006
The superman hype hasn't really begun in the UK, but to tie in with the US release The Scotsman has an article entitled Superman flies again.
John at SFSignal has done a great job of filtering The University of Houston's Trailers of Historically Significant Films into a list of SF, Fantasy and Horror trailers of Historically Significant Films. Nice one John. Some great stuff there.
Of course I checked out the Barbarella trailer, which I urge you to do. Over the famouse striptease the voiceover says (in best cheesey late 60's style)...
"Here name is Barbarella and she makes Science Fiction, something else."
...err, yes, you're right there.
June 28, 2006
Paul McAuley reviews A Scanner Darkly...
Fans of Dickâ€™s work will almost certainly love it
Which makes me feel happy and confident that I'll like it. Coooool.
Courtesy of Apple here's the Spider-Man 3 teaser trailer. I just watched it...
...and it looks gooood.
June 27, 2006
I've just listened to Imagining Albion: The Great British Future which is being broadcast on BBC Radio 4 (and kept online for a week).
The first episode was excellent, all about Utopia. Lots of discussion about HG Wells and Huxley's Brave New World. Also comments by China Mieville, Gywneth Jones, Iain Banks and Ian McDonald with the last three having paragraphs of their fiction read and discussed.
Next week, Invasion!
If you're trying to avoid spoilers for the end of this Doctor Who series I'd give up, there's a huge one on the cover of the Radio Times.
June 26, 2006
Interesting, Lou Anders of Pyr, is urging the US SF book buying community to buy the US editions of SF novels written by UK authors, rather than buying the UK editions through Amazon. Because then the US sales get attributed correctly and the authors have more chance of getting a better US deal etc.
So why not do simultaneous releases? Why is there the lag? (Never understood that for films either).
The Doctor and Rose take a trip to what looks like the set of Brookside in time for the 2012 olympics in London. And kids are disappearing...
...we're all too busy watching the football to go to the cinema. Everything seems to have had it's release date pushed back until after the footy. Including Superman, which the studio seem intent on making the most expensive film ever by doing stuff like this...
"In a promotion called "Look! Up in the sky!" the studio will project the Man of Steel's iconic S shield, accompanied by a countdown to opening day, on popular landmarks around the country, including Niagara Falls, the Time Warner Center in New York, the Queen Mary in Southern California's Long Beach Harbor, the new Fantasy Tower of the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Chicago's Sears Tower and the giant Mall of America in Minneapolis. "
From SCI FI Wire
They have too much money. Forget the marketing and send the budget to Africa.
SFX reviews Keeping It Real - Quantum Gravity, Book One and gives it 4 stars, saying "this is by far the most entertaining and, yes, fun book that Robson has written..."
I like the sound of it.
June 23, 2006
The Danny Boyle / Alex Garland film Sunshine has an official site with loads of cool stuff on it, including a blog, videos, sneak peaks, images (on Flickr). Cool site.
Sunshine is the film about rebooting the sun, which sounds cliched, but I'm banking on style to give it a fresh twist ala 28 Days Later.
Via TV Squad
"the show [Futurama] is coming back to Comedy Central in 2008 for at least 13 episodes."
Cool. I've never been a Futurama geek, mainly because Channel 4 always showed it at random times, but eveyr episode I've watched has been funny.
June 22, 2006
This probably won't work if you do this any other day, but check out the list of stories returned from Yahoo! News Search Results for sci-fi.
It's all about wrestling on the US Sci-Fi channel.
Quite bizzarely DeepGenre list 20 Ways Science Fiction and Fantasy Are Like Mozilla Firefox.
"The release of Superman Returns marks a new chapter in the legendary superhero's remarkable career. But what is the secret behind his lasting popularity?"
With a selection of edited video interviews.
June 21, 2006
Better to burn out than to fade away?
The list of 11 clips is on the Superman Returns site.
I think I'm suffering from Superman Returns hype overload.
June 20, 2006
A funny, different Doctor Who episode, without too much of the Doctor, or Rose, but excellent none-the-less.
June 19, 2006
Scott Edelman has an article on SCI FI Weekly about why US TV series are going out of their way to avoid a science fiction label. (With many "As Others See Us" contenders). I reckon he's got it spot on.
The Locus Awards Winners were announced on Saturday, the highlights include...
Best Science Fiction Novel - Accelerando, Charles Stross (Ace; Orbit)
Best Fantasy Novel - Anansi Boys, Neil Gaiman (Morrow; Review)
Best Novella - "Magic for Beginners", Kelly Link (Magic for Beginners, F&SF 9/05)
Best Novelette - "I, Robot", Cory Doctorow (The Infinite Matrix, 2/15/05)
Best Short Story - "Sunbird", Neil Gaiman (Noisy Outlaws etc.)
(And I've actually read three of them!). Check out the link to Locus for the full list.
June 17, 2006
I saw the TV adaptation of The Day Of The Triffids when I was young and all I remember is that it was terrifying (there's a couple of clips here on the BBC cult site). I thought it was about time I read the book by John Wyndham, especially since I discovered a third edition hardback at my parent's house.
June 16, 2006
Wired interviews Dennis Muren who is a senior visual effects supervisor at George Lucas' Industrial Light & Magic, and a pioneer of computer-generated imagery.
WN: Was there a eureka moment when you said to yourself, "The future is digital"?
Muren: Yeah, there was, when we were doing The Abyss....
Rick Norwoodasks "What happened to the six new SF and fantasy shows that premiered in Fall 2005?" and then gives a brief summary of the outcome of each show.
Cinematical are reporting that Steven Spielberg is doing a new SF film "in the vein of 2001: A Space Odyssey."
Why not do a SF film in the vein of something new?
I never read any of Neil Gaiman's Sandman, so Absolute Sandman looks like a great idea to me, except that it's Â£44, gulp.
There's a big spoiler on the BBC Doctor Who website about this seasons finale. You'll probably not be able to avoid it if you're in the UK, but it's after a click here just in case...
As predicted it's all over the BBC, including a feature item on Breakfast! (They don't care about spoilers obviously).
June 15, 2006
June 14, 2006
NBC has a preview of Heroes the upcoming TV series in their video player. Unfortunately the player doesn't seem to work in Safari and has an annoying US advert at the start. Also there's a cheesey voiceover hyping it beyond belief and rubbish talking head interviews with the cast who try and convince themselves that it's not SF.
Maybe wait for the edit of just the action to appear on YouTube? The clips of the actual show looked good.
SCI FI Wire reports that "The new updated Doctor Who boosted SCI FI Channel's ratings on Friday nights by double digits"
Which is good if you care about statistics (and believe statistics produced by SciFi) or want SciFi to show the next series of Doctor Who.
Apparently Superman needs support. Who'd have thought it? And why does a film as big as Superman need to resort to viral style marketing tricks and a MySpace site?
June 13, 2006
June 12, 2006
Second part of the story that The Impossible Planet started, and the finest episode of the whole series.
The Waking by TM Jenkins
The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie
Working For the Devil by Lilith Saintcrow
Broken by Kelley Armstrong
Via Locus, Dave Iztkoff review the Nebula Awards Showcase 2006 anthology. He's the guy who caused much discussion with his review of Counting Heads and the discussion of SF being too geeky.
Considering they're robots in disguise the Transformers are not exactly keeping a low profile, they now have an official site, which is teasing the teaser trailer.
June 9, 2006
Cloud Atlas is one of those clutch of mainstream novels bordering on SF that has been release within the last few years. It made the shortlist for the Arthur C Clarke award in 2005 (along with another mainstream novel The Time Travellers Wife).
The novel is six plots, and is structured so that we read the first half of each in chronological order and the last halves in reverse chronological order. The plots are a 19th century sea voyage, post WWI composer, a 1970s nuclear power station conspiracy thriller, a contemporary publisher's tale of woes, a near future story of an exceptional clone and a far(ish) future tale of a boy on an islander which has regressed to tribalism after "the fall". Not only does time change across the plots but also the style, which garnered much praise in literary reviews.
The plots are supposed to be intertwined, but to say that is tenous at best. It felt to me like six separate novellas, sprinkled with a handful of names and references that link them. I was expecting the plots to smash together at some point, like Mona Lisa Overdrive or River Of Gods, but that never happened. The "intertwining" of the plots added nothing for me.
In fact I felt let down by the whole book. None of the plots second halves lived up to my expectations, they all dissolved in to so-so stories. My favourite plot was the nuclear power station conspiracy thriller, my least favourite the island boy story which was written in an annoying colloquial style, like Feersum Endjinn but without the plot. The clone plot I was looking forward to, it being obviously SF. Unfortunately the story offered nothing new and descended into "clones are slaves" cliche. Compared to the last book I read, Counting Heads, it's treatment of clones seems horribly one dimensional.
In summary, a disappointment.
Via the BBC, Executive Producer Julie Gardner confirms that there will be a Christmas special on 2006 and that in the series next year the Doctor will meet Shakespeare. They'll be filming for 34 weeks for the next series.
Cinematicalhas some plot details for James Cameron's new film, currently entitled Project 880.
" [The]story will surround a paraplegic war veteran who travels to a different planet, complete with its own language and culture. ...its name is Pandora, home to the Na'vi. ...The rest of the plot description goes on to say that those from Earth don't exactly "connect" with the folks up on Pandora. "
Erm, not much to go on then. Alien planet with human's on it trope...
June 8, 2006
THis is cruel, advertising the Superman Returns World Premiere, yet stating clearly "The screening is by invitation only". Yeah, cheers, just want me to join the crowds to make you look popular I suppose?
June 7, 2006
If you're eligible to vote the Hugo and Campbell Award Ballot is online. So err... vote.
June 6, 2006
SciFi Brain hates the first half of the Doctor Who episode Bad Wolf, and doesn't find it funny. Unlike me. However, like me, they love the second half.
The new issue of Internet Review of Science Fiction is online and has a nice review of the UK small press in 2005.
Lots of other good stuff in there too including...
Hollywood Eats Its Own Brain! The Demise of Real SF Movies by MaryAnn Johanson.
"How did we go from The Day the Earth Stood Still to The Day After Tomorrow, from Westworld to I, Robot, from When Worlds Collide to Armageddon?"
In the things I learned today section...
There are some who argue that the number of the beast was mistranslated and should be 616. In which case the date of the apocalypse is open to discussion depending on your country.
June 5, 2006
June 4, 2006
Once again the Doctor and Rose arrive somewhere new with high spirits and frequent jokes, this time in the far reaches of the galaxy, but things soon start to turn bad. A nice episode, with good FX and a deep space, eery feel and of course a big cliffhanger for part 2.
June 3, 2006
BBC Radio 7 is the new(ish) digital station, a mix of the best of BBC comedy, drama, and books. And it's available in all the usual digital places in the UK, DAB Digital Radio, Freeview, Digital Satellite, Digital Cable and of course, the internet
June 2, 2006
Good news if you're in Oz, via Outpost Gallifrey
"ABC has recently completed negotiations for rights to show the second series, which will begin on Saturday 8 July at 7.30pm"
Via Cinematical, a nice, long interview with Superman Returns screenwriters (which tries to get them to criticise Superman 3 and 4. Personally my favourite Superman film is number 3, Richard Pryor and Atari 2600 graphics!).
Another trailer. (Losing track of all these now).
And a Wired article, The Myth of Superman by Neil Gaiman & Adam Rogers. which contains an interesting observation, "Compared to most A-list comic characters, he has almost no memorable villains".
Billie Piper is being interviewed on Chris Moyles's Radio 1 show this morning, right now in fact. And she comes across very nice.
A few little Doctor Who snippets. Asked why it takes so long to film the series she said, "K9 always cuts you up when you're running" and "The daleks took ages to film".
June 1, 2006
Stories written this year = 25
Target for end of May = 21