February 2007 Archives

February 28, 2007


Why does this Writers of the Future Writing Contest read like a dodgy Reader's Digest scam? Does signing up include a lifetime membership to Scientology too?

Via starmerrow.

February 27, 2007

Doctor Who 2007 season air date

Outpost Gallifrey says that Dreamwatch SciFi reckons that that season three of the new Doctor Who will commence on 31st March.

The only people to truly believe is the BBC Press Office, who as far as I can tell have said nothing yet.

BBC website profiles 2000AD

Via FPI blog, the BBC web magazine has a great profile of 2000AD at the grand old age of 30. As I've said here before, 2000AD is brilliant. I might buy the anniversary issue for nostalgia's sake, although then I might get hooked back in to buying it every week (when I was a kid it was easier because my grandmother bought it for me).

Iain Banks on SF

Iain Banks is doing publicity for his latest mainstream novel at the moment. He did an interview on the BBC's The Culture Show which was quite interesting and he's quoted in
The Herald:

Banks also delivered a robust defence of the science fiction genre which, he said, was "one of the most important genres in literature, certainly since the industrial revolution". It was, he added, essential reading for "anyone who finds technology and the pace of change exciting."

[Via Uncle Zip’s Window]

February 26, 2007

Subterranean magazine is moving online

Yet more stuff to read,Subterranean Press is moving their magazine onlineand apparently, free.

The issue online now, Winter 2007, contains fiction from Norman Partridge, John Scalzi, Lucius Shepard and Poppy Z. Brite.

Gradisil chapters 1-4 online

Pyr has posted the first four chapters of Gradisil, by Adam Roberts, online.

February 24, 2007

Resident Evil : Extinction trailer

The Resident Evil : Extinction trailer (is that number 3? Why have sequels stopped having numbers?) looks like Mad Max in Las Vegas, with zombies. Nice.

Next trailer online

The trailer for Next looks okay, although firmly based in the action thriller mould. It's based on a Philip K Dick story, which I haven't read, but I bet the story doesn't have as many explosions.

February 23, 2007

Time Pieces reviewed by Strange Horizons

Strange Horizons Reviews: Time Pieces edited by Ian Whates, which has BSFA nominated artwork on the cover and stories inside by Stephen Baxter, Jon Courtenay Grimwood plus others.

Another pointless SF movie remake

I'm glad that someone else stays on top of all the stupid Hollywood gossip, because I just wouldn't ever believe it. But, yes, The Day the Earth Stood Still is being remade.

One of the greatest SF films ever. Remade. Fifty odd years later. Why oh why oh why oh why. Capitalism has a lot to answer for.


SFScope is a new SF blog, because you can never have too many. Although saying "Think of SFScope as the online trade journal of the speculative fiction fields" is aiming rather high, because that journal is surely Locus.

Gazza to do a SF film

Via Cinematical, Gazza will be starring in Final Run, a $2.5-million dollar film in which he will play a survivor of an alien invasion.

Yes, that Gazza. The well known footballer, not well known actor. Football players do not make good actors, look at Vinnie Jones.

I predict that he will be no good, no mater how good the film is.

February 20, 2007

Primeval - Episode 2

Primeval episode 2 was a bit silly, but still incredible fun.

  • It had geeky quotes from students about Star Wars and The Matrix
  • It had guns and big bugs
  • It had Hannah from S-Club dancing in a pair of knickers

What else do you need?


Arrggghhh. From my hosting company....

Today your account (bigdumbobject.co.uk) suffered a hack attempt, focused on the exploit of your FTP account. The attacker/s used your FTP details to access your account and upload a malicious iframe that in turn linked to an external site hosting the following file:


We took immediate steps to identify and block the source of the attack. The file was removed and your standard index pages restored. We believe your account was affected for no more than five hours

I hope no one was affected.

February 19, 2007

Heroes starts in the UK tonight, and online now

Heroes starts on SCI FI UK tonight at 10pm, for everyone with cable or satellite. For everyone else either wait for the BBC to show it later in the year, or watch the first episode online now! Just follow the "watch online" link and register with a fake email address. Cool. Although surely if anyone is going to watch it online they will have seen it already by now?

Torchwood in trouble

Via Torchwood.TV, Elisabeth Sladen has stated that The Sarah Jane Adventures is being delayed because of production problems on Torchwood. There are also rumours that Torchwood won't be returning until 2008. Or if the problems are large, never?

More of the Ken MacLeod interview

Paul at Velcro City Tourist Board has the offcuts from his SF Site interview of Ken MacLeod. Quite a bit of extra content there. Some good advice on finding the core of a novel...

I sent a second draft to Iain’s agent, Mic Cheetham, who showed me what was wrong with it by asking: ‘If it was a film, what would you put on the poster?’

“I replied, ‘It’s about a man who gets killed but his gun goes on fighting.’

“‘Go and write *that* book,’ she said.

February 18, 2007

Picocon 2007

Went to Picocon yesterday, in London.

Logistically the con was not the best as the talks were in a lecture theatre, not in the union building where the bar, booksale and LAN were, which meant that the atmosphere was diluted somewhat.

However, saw Ken MacLeod, Farah Mendlesohn and Charlie Stross speak. Interesting to hear Ken talk about his books, including what he had in mind and how he had some of the ideas. (He thought of the idea for Learning The World on the way to the pub.) Charlie was very entertaining, talking about crazy cold war weaponry and how he pretended to write a fantasy series for legal publication reasons. On the panel all three talked about the new Glorifying Terrorism anthology which Farah has edited and both Ken and Charlie contributed to.

Also said hello to Niall and Graham, and had a good chat with Shaun about writing.

Paul McAuley on Interzone and meeting Kim Newman

"that was how I met Kim Newman"

Paul McAuley tells what Interzone means to him, and how he met Kim Newman at a pre-Hugo Award party.

Locus list of books by editor

Locus Onlines has published 2006 Books by Editor,

"Locus Online has compiled a directory of 2006 books arranged by book editor, as a source of information for Hugo Awards nominators in this first year of the new "Editor - Long Form" category. "

Interesting to see who edited what.

February 16, 2007

More comment protection

Just added some more comment spam protection, so if you have a problem mail me.
(Reloading the page may help to refresh the javascript).


Needed to RTFM, only works with dynamic pages. Must change to MT dynamic publishing at some point. Tried once but it didn't work, so I gave up. Anyone got any real world practical experience of converting a MT blog to dynamic (PHP) publishing?


Trying another plugin, so go back to the original post and mail me if you have a problem commenting.

Picocon tomorrow

Picocon is tomorrow in London (right behind the Albert Hall in the Imperial College Union Building), with Charles Stross and Ken MacLeod as guests.

I'm going. Anyone else? Say hello if you see me.

I'll report back on Sunday (probably).

Full size Star Wars helmets

Alway wanted to be Jango Fett? Forbidden Planet has full size Star Wars helmets, including C3P0, Boba Fett, Jango Fett, Clone Trooper, and my favourite, Naboo Starfighter pilot....

I wonder if he got paid for modelling that?

February 15, 2007

SF Site interviews Ken MacLeod

SF Site interviews Ken MacLeod who talks about his new book The Execution Channel:

"My initial pitch for the book, to myself, was: we've done New Space Opera. Now let's try New British Catastrophe. "

SF Site's best of 2006 lists

SF Site has two best of 2006 lists online
The Best SF of 2006 by Greg L. Johnson and Editors' Choice - The Official SF Site Best SF and Fantasy Books of 2006.

Some interesting things:

  • The winner of the editor's choice is the non-fiction biography Alice Sheldon/James Tiptree , which also got a mention on the BSFA shortlist.

  • Air by Geoff Ryman was a near miss on the editor's list.

  • End of the World Blues by Jon Courtenay Grimwood came top of the SF list.
  • As usual, I haven't read many of the list but they're going on my wishlist.

February 14, 2007

Sunshine pictures

IESB has new pictures from Danny Boyle's Sunshine.

Nice suit.

Life On Mars - Season 2, Episode 1

Life On Mars returns for its second, and last, series with a great episode that has everything we've come to expect.

Spoilers ahead...

Continue reading Life On Mars - Season 2, Episode 1.

BSG gets another season (number 4)

SCI FI Wire goes stats-tastic, trying to pad out the news that takes just one sentence....

"SCI FI Channel announced that it has renewed its Peabody-winning original series Battlestar Galactica, ordering 13 new episodes."

Even that sentence is padded! I have no idea what the Peabody award is, but it sounds funny.

February 12, 2007

Life On Mars series 2 starts tommorow

Life On Mars returns tomorrow on BBC 1 at 9pm for its second and final series.

Lots of publicity around at the moment, interviews, trailers etc. It seems highly anticipated by a lot of people, most of whom seem to love the 70s cop angle, but hopefully it will pull them into the SF side of things.

Primeval - first episode

Primeval is a new series from ITV. The media has hyped it up as ITV's answer to Doctor Who, although it is being shown whilst Doctor Who is not running, and at a later time of 7.45pm.

I was prepared for the worst, the trailers made it look like a Dinosaur based Torchwood. Yeah, exactly.

I'm going to reveal some plot, from now on, but to be honest, I bet you could guess it from the trailers, so I wouldn't worry.

Continue reading Primeval - first episode.

The FT previews SF courtesy of James Lovegrove

Wow, via Lou Anders, the FT talks SF. Or more accurately, James Lovegrove has an article entitled They walk among us which summarises several state of the art SF novels, including one out now and three upcoming:

  • AIR by Geoff Ryman (Gollancz)
  • THE EXECUTION CHANNEL by Ken MacLeod (Orbit)
  • BLACK MAN by Richard Morgan (Gollancz)
  • BRASYL by Ian McDonald (Gollancz)
All of them sound fantastic. Added to my wishlist...

Heroes starts on UK SciFi on Monday

Heroes starts on SCI FI UK on Monday, 19th February at 10pm. With BBC2 following a long, long time after (no date yet).

SciFi UK is available on digital satellite or cable, but not Freeview, unfortunately.

February 10, 2007

Cosmos fiction online

I've just discovered, probably rather belatedly, that COSMOS magazine not only has its fiction online, but also has a RSS feed for it. Cool.

Fiction from Gregory Benford, Charles Stross, Paul Di Filippo, Joe Haldeman and Jay Lake amongst others.

February 9, 2007

The Top 10 SF films that I haven't seen

There seems to be a load of top 10 SF film lists going around at the moment. So here's a personal list of The Top 10 SF films that I haven't seen. The list to choose from seems to be getting longer rapidly as I get worse at actually getting to the cinema. I used to see everything that came out, not just SF, now I'm lucky to see 3 films a year. Oh well.

  1. Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind - Got it on DVD for Christmas, still waiting for a quiet evening when I'm not tired (which is not very often due to getting up early to write every day).
  2. 12 Monkeys - Missed it, keep missing it. Film 4 please show it.
  3. Gattaca - Seen half of it at a friend's house when DVD's were new, then had to leave. Now on my amazon wishlist.
  4. The Prestige - I was very excited about it, and then never got to see it. Waiting for the DVD.
  5. Brazil - Saw some of it when I was younger, didn't like it, would probably like it now.
  6. Donnie Darko - Have it on DVD, see (1).
  7. Invasion Of The Body Snatchers - Seen a cheap/rubbish remake, haven't seen the original. Once again, Film 4, please oblige.
  8. Solaris - The original. I liked the Clooney remake.
  9. When Worlds Collide - just never seen it
  10. Gojira/Godzilla - never seen the original, although seen lots of clips of Godzilla fighting giant Moths etc.

Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind review
Gattaca review
The Prestige,  no review (but loved it)

Locus Award index updated

The Locus Index to Science Fiction Awards, compiled by Mark R. Kelly is now bang up to date. Use it to make your to-read lists!

The UK cover of Spook Country

William Gibson has the UK cover of Spook Country. For once I think I prefer the US version.

Nostalgia and Comics

Richard Brunton has a series of posts about what it was like to work at fictions: Nostalgia And Comics, which is a comic shop in Birmingham (the real Birmingham, not the fake Alabama one). I used to go there a lot myself. I remember the first time I stepped inside, I was a bit nervous, it felt like a big shop with lots of people who really new about comics. Whereas I was "just" looking for the most recent 2000AD graphic novel. But it had a great atmosphere, helped by the fact that it was almost underground due a concrete monstrosity of a flyover, which has since been demolished. It also felt a bit of a secret, tucked away out of the main shopping centre (along with my favourite guita music shop).

I haven't been for years, but I've got the urge to visit now.

February 8, 2007

February IROSF online

The February edition of The Internet Review of Science Fictionis online. Including "Genre Tropes and the Transmissibility of Story by Jay Lake & Ruth Nestvold" amongst other fine articles and reviews.

February 7, 2007

Star Trek Enterprise now available on iTunes

If for some bizzare reason you want to see Star Trek Enterprise again[1], then it's on iTunes now, if you're in the US, of course. If you're in the UK you can download the video of Michael Jackson's Thriller, and that's about it.

[1] I'm assuming that if you haven't seen an episode before you wont want to start now.

February 6, 2007

The Slush God has a Google Group

The Slush God Speaketh is a (yellow!) Google Group, in place of a comments system on his blog (which is overwhelmed with spam). Nice idea.

...must resist the urge to ask what "The tale didn't grab my interest" really means...

Players by Paul McAuley is out in the UK

Paul McAuley's new novel Players is out in the UK now. However Paul says "there are no plans for a U.S. edition, so amazon.co.uk is your friend". Another Brit for Pyr to sign up?

February 4, 2007

February's Ansible online

Ansible 235, February 2007

Always worth reading.

February 3, 2007

Locus 2007 Poll and Survey online

Locus Online: 2007 Locus Poll and Survey ballot.

Vote for stuff you liked last year.
"Locus Awards are open to publications or work that first appeared, anywhere in the world, during calendar year 2006."

Spook Country, by Wiliam Gibson, the cover

William Gibson has put up the cover of his new novel Spook Country. And seeing as the image is on Amazon I think I should put it up here too!

Now, anyone want to send me a review copy?

February 2, 2007

BBC7 SF&F series

The UK SF Book News Network has news of a new BBC7 (radio) series called Blood Lines.

Blood Lines will be broadcast on BBC7 in the 7th Dimension slot between Monday 26th February and Friday 9th March, 2007 at 6.30 p.m.

Can't find the release on the press office site yet.

Charlie Stross and Simon Spanton interviewd by SFRevu

SFRevu Review has interviews with Charlie Stross and Simon Spanton (co-Editorial Director of Gollancz along with Jo Fletcher)

SFRevu: Way back in 2003 you said "British SF is currently fermenting like a weird yeast culture created by a deranged genetic engineer in search of the ultimate grey goo. It's positively scary this decade! ... I'm just the leading edge of a wave that's reaching the US publishing field relatively slowly because first it has to cross the Atlantic."

So, how's the surfing? Who's hanging on the beach with you and any other beach metaphors you can throw in.

CS: Um, let's see: Liz Williams. Tricia Sullivan. Paul McAuley. Iain M. Banks. Ken MacLeod. John Meaney. Jon Courtenay Grimwood. Stephen Baxter. Peter F. Hamilton. Eugene Byrne. Mike Cobley. Hal Duncan. Neal Asher. Richard Morgan. Geoff Ryman. Ian MacDonald. Alastair Reynolds. China Miéville. Do any of these names sound familiar?

(Via SFSignal, because i can't find a feed for the site and mailing lists are too last century for me.)

Top Posts for January 2007

I've decided that a list of the most visited posts to this site each month is a "good thing". Plus SF Signal are doing it, and it therefore makes me feel lazy if I don't. Oh yeah and there's all that exit, bounce rates, link to your own stuff, SEO type theory too.

So, weapon of choice, Google Analytics, naturally. The top visited posts in January were...

  1. Doctor Who 2007 season news
  2. John Barrowman talks Torchwood and Doctor Who 2007
  3. Watch Lost online in the UK
  4. Darth Vader birthday cakes
  5. Battlestar Galactica ratings okay
  6. The Sarah Jane Adventures webiste is live
  7. Invasion cancelled by ABC
  8. Firefly Chinese translations
  9. All the Lost Season 3 promos
  10. Dirk Benedict in Celebrity Big Brother

No surprise at number one, mainly because if you search for "doctor who 2007" in Google, that post is top, somehow being ahead of the official BBC site. The comments thread has amusingly turned into an unofficial pleading ground for spoilers.

Good to see the Darth Vader birthday cakes are still popular too.

Also notable, some people are still complaining about invasion being cancelled! Really! Not sure why.

Abe Books SF room

Scott at Abe Books has let me know about their new Science Fiction Room. Their site is nice, including a handy page of the major awards and their shortlists.

Their marketing blurb says "Find first editions, out-of-print, new releases, bestsellers, complete series, novellas, anthologies, pulp, and award-winning books - spanning all genres, from alternate history to cyberpunk to space opera."

How about a $2500 USD 1992 edition of Snow Crash?

February 1, 2007

Vote for SF Site's 9th annual Readers' Choice Best of the Year Awards

SF Site's 9th annual Readers' Choice Best of the Year Awards.

Catchy. I think they need a nickname.

Life On Mars series 2 details

The BBC have a press release about the second, and last, series of Life On Mars.

"...expect some shocking revelations along the way. We have even filmed two endings because we want to keep everyone guessing until the very end."

I love the fact tat they're ending it properly. If there was going to be another series I probably wouldn't bother watching, but now I know it ends, I will, because it means that the episodes won't just be one trick 70's cop show reruns.

Locus's 2006 recommended reading list

Locus have their Recommended Reading: 2006 online. Which is enough to keep me going until next year.

Is this books published in the US in 2006? If so is there a UK equivalent?

Star Wars, with hands

The first Star Wars Death Star battle, made using only hands.