June 2006 Archives

June 30, 2006

I am David Tennant. Honestly.

No, I and David Tennant. Don't trust the Interweb.

June 29, 2006

Jim Baen has died

Jim Baen has died, here's an obituary. He was famous for Baen Books but read his Wikipedia entry to see how much he had done.

(First saw this via SFSignal but I guess it'll we be everywhere soon)

My cool new T-Shirts

Two of my favourite Threadless designs finally got a reprint so I pounced on them. Been wearing them all week and smiling.

Cool retro style Rayguns and Captain Awesome!

Neal Asher talks on Forbidden Planet

Continuing their excellent What The Author Says series Forbidden Planet now adds Neal Asher, talking about his upcoming books (all based in his Polity universe).

The Scotsman talks Superman

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.

Forbidden Planet pseudo podcast

Forbidden Planet have a pseudo podcast online here. Hopefully they'll have it set up as a proper podcast (via a feed) soon.

Historically Significant SF Film trailers

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.

MemeTherapy Brain Parade featuring SF bloggers on spaceships

Meme Therapy has a new Brain Parade online, I Want to be a Spaceman Baby, featuring JP and John from SFSignal, Evo Terra from Slice of Sci-Fi and Dragon Page and Chris at MemePunks.

They talk abou spaceships. Of course.

June 28, 2006

Paul McAuley reviews A Scanner Darkly

Paul McAuley reviews A Scanner Darkly...

Fans of Dick’s work will almost certainly love it

Which makes me feel happy and confident that I'll like it. Coooool.

Spiderman 3 teaser trailer online

Courtesy of Apple here's the Spider-Man 3 teaser trailer. I just watched it...

...and it looks gooood.

June 27, 2006

Imagining Albion radio show

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!

Billie Piper on the cover of Radio Times

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.

Battlestar babes

Because it's law to link to every photoshoot involving a female cylon, here's Grace Park, Tricia Helfer and Lucy Lawless, all dressed up with just an Entertainment Weekly photoshoot to go to.

Via Unofficial Battlestar Galactica Blog

June 26, 2006

Lou Anders asks US readers to buy US versions of UK authors books

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).

Locus interview excerpts with Christopher Priest and Jay Lake online

The Locus interview exercpts with Christopher Priest and Jay Lake are now online and very interesting.

About The Prestige film version Priest says "How many fingers can you cross?"

They Fear Her - Doctor Who

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...


Spoilers ahead...

Continue reading They Fear Her - Doctor Who.

US gets Superman publicity blitz, meanwhile in the UK...

...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 by Justina Robson

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

Sunshine official website

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.

Futurama returns in 2008

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

Search for sci-fi and Yahoo! news, get wrestling

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.
Bemused.

Why SF is like Firefox

Quite bizzarely DeepGenre list 20 Ways Science Fiction and Fantasy Are Like Mozilla Firefox.

Nice icon.

BBC news investigates the secret of Superman's success

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | The secret of Superman's success

"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

Looks like no more Buffy movies

Joss says Buffy TV movies are dead.

Better to burn out than to fade away?

Lots of Superman Returns clips on YouTube

The list of 11 clips is on the Superman Returns site.

I think I'm suffering from Superman Returns hype overload.

June 20, 2006

Doctor Who - Love And Monsters

A funny, different Doctor Who episode, without too much of the Doctor, or Rose, but excellent none-the-less.

Spoilers ahead...

Continue reading Doctor Who - Love And Monsters.

June 19, 2006

First Superman Returns reviews very positive

Or as the BBC says,

Scott Edelman on why Sci-Fi is a word avoided in TV

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.

Locus Award Winners

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

The Day Of The Triffids - John Wyndham

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.

Continue reading The Day Of The Triffids - John Wyndham.

June 16, 2006

Peter Kay talks about his Doctor Who experience

Comedian Peter Kay talks about his Doctor Who experience, he's playing the monster that was designed by a Blue Peter competition winner.

Let's be honest, if you're going to be in Doctor Who, you either want to be Doctor Who or a baddie!

Wired interviews Dennis Muren

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....

SF Site on the US 2005 SF shows

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.

Spielberg's new SF film

Cinematical are reporting that Steven Spielberg is doing a new SF film "in the vein of 2001: A Space Odyssey."

Er... why?
Why not do a SF film in the vein of something new?

Absolute Sandman

I never read any of Neil Gaiman's Sandman, so Absolute Sandman looks like a great idea to me, except that it's £44, gulp.

Doctor Who season finale spoiler

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...

UPDATE
As predicted it's all over the BBC, including a feature item on Breakfast! (They don't care about spoilers obviously).

SPOILER!!

Continue reading Doctor Who season finale spoiler.

June 15, 2006

Want to play Cybermen?

Neal Asher has a shiny new blog

Via Tobias S. Buckell, Neal Asher has (finally) started a blog, The Skinner.

Welcome to the big wide world of interblogwebbing!

June 14, 2006

So what is slipstream, anyway?

John Joseph Adams asks James Patrick Kelly and John Kessel "So what is slipstream, anyway?"

UPDATE
From a while ago I think, Christopher Priest lists his top ten slipstream novels in the Guardian.

I knew I should have gone to the June Borders event

Heroes preview online

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.

Doctor Who a US hit

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.

Support Superman?

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?

Alt.Fiction blog

Alex Davis who organised Alt.Fiction 2006 has set up a blog for next year's event, cunningly titled alt.fiction 2007.

June 13, 2006

Juliet E. McKenna talks on the Forbidden Planet blog

The Forbidden Planet blog has posted another "What The Author Says", this time with Juliet E. McKenna, who talks about the decisions and challenges a writer has to make when writing a series. Interesting. I met Juliet at the BSFA AGM where she gave a great talk.

Tim Hildebrandt dies

Via Locus, Tim Hildebrandt died on June 11, 2006, at the age of 67.

With his brother he created (among other things) some of the awesome original artwork for Star Wars.


June 12, 2006

Doctor Who - Satan's Pit

Second part of the story that The Impossible Planet started, and the finest episode of the whole series.

Spoilers Ahead...

Continue reading Doctor Who - Satan's Pit.

New BSFA Vector website and blog

Vector The Critical Journal of the British Science Fiction Association has a new website and the editors have a blog. It's an excellent magazine, really worth checking out.

Jon Courtenay Grimwood's June review column online at The Guardian

Jon Courtenay Grimwood reviews some SF books...

The Waking by TM Jenkins
The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie
Working For the Devil by Lilith Saintcrow
Broken by Kelley Armstrong

Dave Iztkoff review the Nebula Awards Showcase 2006 anthology

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.

Transformers teaser site

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 - David Mitchell

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.

Docto Who 2006 Christmas Special confirmed

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.

Project 880 plot details

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...

The Children of Men

Via Cool Stuff and Movies, this is the first I've heard of The Children Of Men.

Clive Owen and Michael Caine in the year 2027 where no babie have been born for 18 years, directed by Alfonso Cuaron. Interesting.

June 8, 2006

Bjork vs THX1138

Wonderful mashup, Bjork Vs. THX 1138

Superman Returns World Premiere

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

The first chapter of Paul McAuley's Mind's Eye online

Via Paul McAuley's blog, the first chapter of his book Mind's Eye is online here and it's now out in paperback (in the UK).

Hugo Ballot online

If you're eligible to vote the Hugo and Campbell Award Ballot is online. So err... vote.

June 6, 2006

Christopher Priest talks about River Of Gods

Christopher Priest is interviewed in this months Locus. The interview exceprts are not online yet but Lou Anders has typed a quote in (go and read it).

Whoah. Christopher Priest is wowed by Ian McDonald's novel. Now that's a compliment. Here is CP's full review from the Guardian in June 2004.

SciFi Brain hates the first half of Bad Wolf

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.

Meme Therapy interview with Matthew Cheney

IROSF : The 2005 UK Small Press Review

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?"

Indeed.

End of the world on the wrong day

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 Ansible online

June 4, 2006

Doctor Who - The Impossible Planet

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.

Spoilers Ahead...

Continue reading Doctor Who - The Impossible Planet.

June 3, 2006

7th Dimension

Via SFSignal, BBC Radio 7 has a show called7th Dimension, which consists of readings of SF and Fantasy stories. This week is The Day Of The Triffids. Cool. Must listen.

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

First Jim Baen's Universe online

Via Emerald City, Jim Baen's Universe is online, I think it's the first issue. They've gone all out for the big names, just some of them are Alan Dean Foster, Gregory Benford, Charlie Stross, Elizabeth Bear, Gene Wolfe and David Brin.


June 2, 2006

Aussie Doctor Who new series news

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"

Superman stuff

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 on Radio1

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

Story challenge update

Stories written this year = 25
Target for end of May = 21

The international Superman Returns poster

Online at Empire