July 2006 Archives

July 30, 2006

Doctor Who 2006 - The Spoiler Free Guide

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...

Continue reading Doctor Who 2006 - The Spoiler Free Guide.

Days - James Lovegrove

Days by James Lovegrove is a sharp SF staire about Days, the worlds first (and possibly best) Gigastore.

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 Doctor Who's appeal

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..."

Video of SF&F author talks

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.

BSG teasers from Ron Moore

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

SF Masterworks on wikipedia

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.

John Clute doesn't get a blog

Despite what SFSignal says, John Clute doesn't get a blog.

There is no LiveJournal on this site, no blog, no section full of Exciting News!!!!

More Babylon 5 due 2007

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 – 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

John Jarrold has a LiveJournal

Via Emerald City, John Jarrold, agent and editor extroidinaire has a LiveJournal.

Lost ARG to reveal secrets

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.)

Spidey blog!

The Spider-Man 3 Official Movie Blog [Via SFSignal]. So far the content is slim. Can they make a movie promo blog that is actually interesting?

No secrets filming Doctor Who anymore

Filming Doctor Who in secret is a bit tricky these days, it evene makes the BBC NEWS website.

July 25, 2006

Invasion dropped reluctantly

Well it seems that a lot of people really loved Invasion. Maybe even ABC. Via SCI FI Wire, apparently ABC really wanted to keep showing Invasion, but 10 million viewers weren't enough for them.

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

Torchwood is centrepiece of BBC3 Autumn schedule

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.

New Star Trek movie poster

Doesn't give much away.

Eisner Awards announced

Forbidden Planet has the full list of The Eisner Award 2006 winners.

Highlights include:

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)

Lost ARG tangles with Lindelof

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 Fountain trailer online

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.

New Star Wars in 2008

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.

Sounds promising.

July 21, 2006

Science Fiction films reviewed on the BBC website

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.)

Science Fiction programmes on the BBC

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.

Lots of people watch Doctor Who despite it being sunny

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

James Lovegrove talks British Comics

James Lovegrove, whom I recently saw talk at Alt.Fiction, and who's book Days I'm currently reading, talks to Forbidden Planet about his British Comics Memories.

Action. 2000AD. Starlord.

Dinosaurs eating people? Comics for children? Oh yes.

Scary comics based on films, for the kids

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

John Barrowman talks Torchwood and Doctor Who 2007

Via Outpost Gallifrey, John Barrowman's site has a transcript of his sessions from the London Film and Comic Con. He talks about Torchwood a little and confirms that he will be appearing in the 2007 series of Doctor Who.

He also answers the question "Would you rather implode or explode? "

The first 24 minutes of A Scanner Darkly online

For some reason IGN have the first 24 minutes of A Scanner Darkly online. Along with video interviews of Keanue, Winona and Linklater. [Via Cool Stuff And Movies]

July 17, 2006

The Prestige official trailer out now

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.

John Simm talks Life On Mars

BBC America is to show Life On Mars, and John Simm talks about it to SciFi Wire.

Just a warning, although it's a decent show, it is really just a 70's cop show.

July 15, 2006

Upgrade Successful?

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

New Movable Type out

Movable Type 3.3 is out. Time to get fiddling (and probably mess up the whole blog!)

July 12, 2006

Paul Di Filippo reviews Glasshouse by Charles Stross and gives it an A+

Paul Di Filippo reviews Glasshouse by Charles Stross for Science Fiction Weekly and gives it an A+.

Wow, firstly you don't see many A+ reviews, secondly it's a writer as great as Paul Di Filippo reviewing.

Adding it to my To Buy list, although the UK paperback isn't out until March 2007.

Forbidden Planet interview Jonathan Oliver of Rebellion (home of 2000AD)

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.

SF Signal turns 3

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.

Vote for Doctor Who in the National Television Awards

Voting is now open online for The National Television Awards. Vote for  Doctor Who, David Tennant and Billie Piper. [Via Outpost Gallifrey]

Irene Gallo's SF Art blog

Irene Gallo, Art Director for Tor/Forge books since 1994, and Starscape books since it's launch in 2001 has a new blog. Including a useful post giving advice on what to put in your portfolio. [Via BoingBoing]

July 11, 2006

First Look at The Prestige trailer

Via Dave at Cool Stuff and Movies here's a YouTube version of an Entertainment Tonight preview of The Prestige trailer! Looks very cool.

IROSF reviews A Scanner Darkly

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

Lost theory generator

Via scifi.uk.com, the "Lost" Theory Generator made me laugh. Reload for a new theory!

Itzkoff reviews book and avoids contoversy shock!

New York Times columnist Dave Itzkoff reviews Glasshouse by Charlie Stross and Living Next Door to the God of Love by Justina Robson.

Sturgeon and Campbell winners

Sawyer and Bacigalupi win Campbell and Sturgeon Awards

"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.

Gary Westfahl reviews A Scanner Darkly and Superman Returns

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..."

Battlestar Galactica season 3 date confirmed

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.

Image leaked from The Prestige

Here's an image from The Prestige. Not too much to go on, but I like what I see. [Via Cinematical]

Cinematical reviews A Scanner Darkly

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.

Football Finished, Films Please

Okay, the World Cup is over, now Hollywood can we have some films please?

Superman Returns is released on the 14th July.

Cars is released on the 28th July.

July 9, 2006

Matthew Cheney's 2005 Short Story review for Vector

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

Doctor Who - Doomsday

Is it the end of the world? Series 2 ends with a bang. Well actually LOTS of BANGS. And very good it is too.


Continue reading Doctor Who - Doomsday.

July 7, 2006

2006 Series Finale Teasers inline

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.

SciFi.UK.Com interviews Christopher Priest

Richard Hawkins from SciFi UK Review (SciFi.UK.com) interviews Christopher Priest.

I'm still very excited about The Prestige movie, I have faith in the Nolans! (But not The Nolans)

July 6, 2006

Doctor Who - Army of Ghosts

The Doctor and Rose return to Earth, meet ghosts and also, finally, meet Torchwood.

Spoilers ahead

Continue reading Doctor Who - Army of Ghosts.

July's Ansible online

Doctor Who magazine interviews Freema Agyeman

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.

Cameron wants to make Project 880 and Battle Angel into trilogies

July 5, 2006

Johnny Depp in I Am Legend?

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.

Russell talks about the new companion

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."


Doctor Who 2007 season news

I've given up trying to not mention the spoiler about how Doctor Who ends this series. I bet everyone knows by now. So... here Doctor Who's next assistant named. It's Freema Agyeman, who will be playing Martha Jones. Didn't The Sun actually get this right? (Shock!)

July 4, 2006

Joe at Forbidden Planet talks 2000AD

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).

Cool Doctor Who covers on the Radio Times

Contains spoilers. But very cool, collect both! Doctor Who Radio Times covers.

July 3, 2006

East Enders actress reads Asimov shock!

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.

Charity Doctor Who auction to meet writers

Doctor Who writers Paul Cornett and Steve Moffat are taking part in a charity auction. You could win a night out with them and a signed episode 8 "Fathers’ Day" script.

Transformers teaser live

the Transformers Movie teaser trailer is live, but has a distinct lack of robots in disguise.

July 1, 2006

Remix Whale music, save the planet

Via Biz Stone at the Odeo blog comes IFAW'S WHALE REMIX MUSIC MASHER (they like capitals in their titles).

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.

...of course.

Short Story challenge update

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.