July 2006 Archives
July 30, 2006
To aid as a guide to those that haven't seen the 2006 (in the UK) season of Doctor Who here's my guide. I've kept it spoiler free except for the titles of the episodes. Instead I'm using my soon to be patented BDO Doctor Who scoring system...
Each factor is rated low or high, none of that 0-10 nonsense here. Here's a detailed explanation of the factors.
Nostalgia : High means that the episode plays on your love for old Doctor Who, be it style or monsters.
Running about : How much being chased down corridors is there?
Deus-ex-Machina : Any cop out escapes?
Scary : Is it scary? (Moderated to 7pm scariness levels obviously.)
Comedy : Any funny bits?
Hype : Did the episode make the front cover of the Radio Times, or the tabloids, or have 10 squillion TV adverts.
Emotional : Did it tug at the heart strings?
Overall : So is it any good?
Onto the episode by episode guide...
On starting the book I initially felt that the ideas had dated in the ten years since it was wrtiten. In the UK big department stores are being annhilated by smaller, nimble stores. The trend is towards value and all hours opening, driven by companies like Tesco. This is in contrast to Days, where owning an account is something to aspire to.
However the more I read the more I realised that the details were not what was important. The important statement is the satire about our consumer society, about our money driven class system and about work ruling our loves. And these messages are more relevant than ever.
I found the first half of the book very slow. It spends time building up the characters; there's the store detective who's thinking of leaving, there's the couple who've spent five years saving to get their Silver Days account, and there's the Day's brothers themselves, the owner of the store. Then in the last third of the book events begin to snowball and all of the characters collide in an entertaining and poignant ending.
The satire was quite brilliant, but the plot just a little too slow for me overall.
July 28, 2006
Neil Gaiman sums up succinctly why the new Doctor Who has been such a big...
"I love that Russell Davies and his team have built something I can watch with her [his daughter], that she cares enough about to shed tears over..."
Just found via delicious, some video of authors at the library of congress 2004 national book festival.
The list of SF&F authors is:
- Catherine Asaro
- Ben Bova
- Lois McMaster Bujold
- Neil Gaiman
- Frederik Pohl
- Neal Stephenson
- Connie Willis
- Patricia Wrede
...which is pretty nice.
Ron Moore actually posted an entry to his blog. Shock.
Here's the interesting bits:
- The new season will be 19 episodes. the first one being a two hour special.
- Jane Espenson is writing an episode. (She wrote for Buffy).
- "the naked Boomers were just a neat idea", don't look for any other reasons that they were naked!
- On Cylon numbering, "Number Six was specifically a homage to "The Prisoner," but the rest were assigned their numbers randomly".
July 27, 2006
The wikipedia entry for the SF Masterworks series contains a comprehensive list, with of course wiki links to authors and books.
For the record I've read 27/90. Plenty to read then.
Via SFSignal and from Comic-ConWB has JMS to do some more Babylon 5 stories. JMS wants full control, and to direct them. Tentively entitled "Babylon 5 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ The Lost Tales" they'd be a few stories that never made it onto TV. They might be shown on TV or straight to DVD. If all goes well they should arrive second quarter of 2007. Cool.
(But if only I could erase the memory of B5 season 4).
July 26, 2006
Via SCI FI Wire
ABC said that The Lost Experience will culminate with a series of revelations about the show's mysteries.
So despite orginally saying that the ARG will not cross with the TV show, it in fact will. Which is a bit annoying for those of us who don't have enough time in this reality let alone an alternative one.
So here's a request, someone please put neat, concise summaries of the revelations on a website please (bet there are already if I could be bothered to search for them.)
Filming Doctor Who in secret is a bit tricky these days, it evene makes the BBC NEWS website.
July 25, 2006
We felt like the work was really good and stuck with it till the end
Ahh, to be in the palms of the advertisers.
July 24, 2006
Here's the press release.
This autumn on BBC THREE sees a season of bold, contemporary programmes with Torchwood, the new drama from writer Russell T Davies, as its centrepiece.
Starring John Barrowman and Eve Myles, Torchwood is a sci-fi crime thriller which tells the story of a crack squad of secret agents, setting their own rules and operating above the law to protect the public from both human and alien threats.
Check out the picture. Oh yes. Excited. Lots.
Best Continuing Series
Astonishing X-Men, by Joss Whedon and John Cassaday (Marvel)
Best Limited Series
Seven Soldiers, by Grant Morrison and various artists (DC)
Best New Series
All Star Superman, by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely (DC)
During a Q&A session with Damen Lindelof at Comic-Con, Rachel Blake a character from the Lost ARG started heckling Lindelof.
Alvar Hanso is real, and I have ... proof of that, and my name is Rachel Blake, and I am real. And if you'd like the truth, you'll go to HansoExposed.com.
Which I think is very amusing and very clever.
Via SCI FI Wire, with some minor spoilers for season 3.
The full trailer for The Fountain is online.
It looks very cool, with the story set across 1500 AD, 2000 AD and 2500 AD. The shots of the future look nice, very stylised and bright, sort of anti-BladeRunner but with a decaying edge.
Via ComingSoon.net, Steve Swansweet announced at Comic-Con that the Star Wars animated series is due in 2008 and the live action series sometime before 2010.
The animated series is set late during the Clone Wars after Anakin Skywalker has achieved the rank of Jedi Knight, featuring characters such as Anakin, Obi-Wan, Yoda, Count Dooku, Palpatine, General Grievous and Asajj Ventress.
July 21, 2006
Wait! There's more!
Also within the cornucopia of the BBC's web presence are the latest review of Science Fiction films. (Latest released in the UK that is.)
The BBC website is a work of genius. Caling it a website does not justify it. Anyway, something I just discovered is that you can search for Science Fiction shows across all BBC stations (radio and TV), like this. And don't forget that the radio shows are archived online for a week.
Outpost Gallifrey reports that 8.22 million watched Doomsday, the last episode in this years Doctor Who series.
That's quite a lot considering that most people were watching football, in the pub getting ready to watch football, or out in the sun. (Sunshine in summertime seems to take everyone by surprise in the UK despite it happening every year.)
So what's it mean? Well hopefully many more series of Doctor Who to be made.
July 20, 2006
Via SCI FI Wire...
Fox Atomic, the youth-focused entertainment unit of Fox Filmed Entertainment, announced a partnership with HarperCollins to publish and distribute graphic novels from Fox Atomic Comics based on the films The Hills Have Eyes and 28 Days Later
Okay, what's the definition of youth here? Considering 28 Days later was an 18 certificate in the UK and in my opinion seriously scary (zombies that can run! Arrrggghh!).
Presumably by Youth they mean people under 30? either way some post apocalyptic Wyndhamesque 28 Days Later comic action could be fun.
July 19, 2006
July 17, 2006
The trailer for The Prestige is now online and in a multitude of sizes.
It's looking awesome. No I take that back, it's looking really, really awesome.
July 15, 2006
I've just upgraded to Movable Type 3.3. Is everything still working?!
Tags weren't working for a while. I deleted all of my old plugins and now it seems to work. I think it may have been Media Manager's alternative template overriding things. Now I just have to figure out how to get my categories turned into tags....
Almost there. Got the tags working which I've now swapped for categories and should make it easier to find posts. Most my templates have been changed. Still got to sort out some of my archive pages which are a bit wonky for some reason. There's probaby loads of other things but I'll catch them when I seem them (tired now!)
July 14, 2006
Movable Type 3.3 is out. Time to get fiddling (and probably mess up the whole blog!)
July 12, 2006
A very nice interview on the Forbidden Planet blog with Jonathan Oliver of Rebellion, talking about 2000AD past, present and future. It's coming up to the 30th anniversary of 2000AD.
Every time 2000AD gets mentioned I get the urge to dig out my old issues and sit there for a whole day reading them. Perhaps I'll treat myself to that soon.
Happy birthday to SF Signal!
Three years old. Presumably they'll start throwing huge tantrums soon, along with learning to count and becoming fussy about what they eat.
Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you etc.
July 11, 2006
Via Dave at Cool Stuff and Movies here's a YouTube version of an Entertainment Tonight preview of The Prestige trailer! Looks very cool.
Another very positive review of A Scanner Darkly by MaryAnn Johanson in The Internet Review Of Science Fiction...
Reeves's bone-dry sense of humor is, I think, reflective of how many a cerebral SF reader would confront the things that Neo faces in The Matrix we wouldn't whoop and yell and cheer: we'd go, well, "Whoa." And A Scanner Darkly is one long, dark, unpleasant, miserable, and yet thoroughly intriguing prompter of "whoa."
July 10, 2006
New York Times columnist Dave Itzkoff reviews Glasshouse by Charlie Stross and Living Next Door to the God of Love by Justina Robson.
"The winner of the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for best short science fiction story of 2005 was Paolo Bacigalupi for "The Calorie Man." The winner of the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for the best science-fiction novel of 2005 was Robert J. Sawyer for Mindscan."
Nice picture, Robert Sawyer wearing a nice cheesey grin, Paolo Bacigalupi looking distracted.
At Locus online Gary Westfahl reviews
A Scanner Darkly, "The film's success is even more surprising...[snip]...And yet, everything turned out remarkably well."
and Superman Returns, "...if you enjoyed the first two Christopher Reeve films Superman (1978) and Superman II (1980) then you will enjoy this new Superman film..."
Via Unofficial Battlestar Galactica Blog "The show's third season is set to kick
off on Friday, October 6 at 10:00/9:00c". (+1 hour bittorrent)
It also does that weird American thing where they show half the series (10 episodes) have a big break, then come back (in 2007) for 10 more episodes.
Cinematical review A Scanner Darkly and like it, saying "A Scanner Darkly is thought-provoking rather than entertaining". The reviewer hadn't read the book.
It's released in the UK on 18th August.
July 9, 2006
Vector, the critical journal of the British Science Fiction Association has put online an article from it's last issue, Confessions of a Short-Story Burnout. Notes from a survivor of the year 2005 by Matthew Cheney. Intelligent stuff as usual, with links to a few recommended stories.
July 8, 2006
Is it the end of the world? Series 2 ends with a bang. Well actually LOTS of BANGS. And very good it is too.
July 7, 2006
The BBC has been showing a new teaser for the DOctor Who series finale every day this week. They're all online follow the big "WATCH TEASERS ONLINE" link from the main Doctor Who page (it opens the media player). Probaby has spoilers, but so does the main site anyway. If you're in the US and you want to avoid spoilers you're probably doomed.DOOMED! DOOMED! etc. etc.
July 6, 2006
The Doctor and Rose return to Earth, meet ghosts and also, finally, meet Torchwood.
The Doctor's new companion Freema Agyeman gives her first interview to Doctor Who Magazine. Cunningly they pretended that she was auditioning for Torchwood, so even she didn't know about the role of companion until she got offered it. Sneaky.
SCI FI Wire/a> reports that James Cameron is not only planning his two SF films Project 880 (Avatar) and Battle Angel, but that he wants to make them both into trilogies! Cool.
July 5, 2006
Cinematical says that Johhny Depp has got the role of "Vampire Leader" presumably it's Ben Cortman if they stick to the (AWESOME!) book (please do). Now all they need to do is get rid of Will Smith as Neville. Please, please make it scary. Please.
Mr. Davies talks about the new comapnion in Doctor Who ans says....
"Martha won't be featured in this year's Christmas special; we've got another surprise in store for that."
July 4, 2006
A great article by Joe at Forbidden Planet, How 2000AD Changed My Life or How I Learned to Say Drokk and Love It.
I read 2000AD growing up. If you don't live in the UK it might be hard to understand its impact. It was (still is) the comic in the UK. I still have an old pile somewhere that I must dig out. (Oh, and if you've seen Judge Dredd the movie please forget it and read the comic).
Contains spoilers. But very cool, collect both! Doctor Who Radio Times covers.
July 3, 2006
In true soap, tabloid style.
SFX interviews Tracy Oberman, ex East Enders star and in the Doctor Who season finale. Apparenly she...
"...is quite a confirmed SF nut. She reads Asimov and her favourite film is Soylent Green."
Which is nice.
the Transformers Movie teaser trailer is live, but has a distinct lack of robots in disguise.
July 1, 2006
As Biz sensibly says...
If we let people kill the whales then we will be totally screwed in the future when a giant alien space probe descends into Earth's orbit looking for the only beings who can communicate with it.
I'm trying to write a story every week this year...
Stories written this year = 29
Target for end of June= 26
Words written = about 78,000
All going well. The only thing I need to work on is speeding up my first draft to submisison time, which at the moment is very slow. But I'm not worried, the idea of this challenge was to produce stories, and I'm doing that.