February 2007 Archives
February 28, 2007
February 27, 2007
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 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
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."
February 26, 2007
Pyr has posted the first four chapters of Gradisil, by Adam Roberts, online.
February 24, 2007
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
I predict that he will be no good, no mater how good the film is.
February 20, 2007
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 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?
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?
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 IainÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s agent, Mic Cheetham, who showed me what was wrong with it by asking: Ã¢â‚¬ËœIf it was a film, what would you put on the poster?Ã¢â‚¬â„¢
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I replied, Ã¢â‚¬ËœItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s about a man who gets killed but his gun goes on fighting.Ã¢â‚¬â„¢
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Ã¢â‚¬ËœGo and write *that* book,Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ she said.
February 18, 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.
Paul McAuley tells what Interzone means to him, and how he met Kim Newman at a pre-Hugo Award party.
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
Just added some more comment spam protection, so if you have a problem mail me.
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 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).
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 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 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
Life On Mars returns for its second, and last, series with a great episode that has everything we've come to expect.
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 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 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.
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)
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
February 9, 2007
- 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).
- 12 Monkeys - Missed it, keep missing it. Film 4 please show it.
- Gattaca - Seen half of it at a friend's house when DVD's were new, then had to leave. Now on my amazon wishlist.
- The Prestige - I was very excited about it, and then never got to see it. Waiting for the DVD.
- Brazil - Saw some of it when I was younger, didn't like it, would probably like it now.
- Donnie Darko - Have it on DVD, see (1).
- Invasion Of The Body Snatchers - Seen a cheap/rubbish remake, haven't seen the original. Once again, Film 4, please oblige.
- Solaris - The original. I liked the Clooney remake.
- When Worlds Collide - just never seen it
- Gojira/Godzilla - never seen the original, although seen lots of clips of Godzilla fighting giant Moths etc.
Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind review
The Prestige, no review (but loved it)
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!
William Gibson has the UK cover of Spook Country. For once I think I prefer the US version.
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
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
If for some bizzare reason you want to see Star Trek Enterprise again, 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.
 I'm assuming that if you haven't seen an episode before you wont want to start now.
February 6, 2007
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...
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 3, 2007
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."
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
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 MiÃƒÂ©ville. 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.)
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...
- Doctor Who 2007 season news
- John Barrowman talks Torchwood and Doctor Who 2007
- Watch Lost online in the UK
- Darth Vader birthday cakes
- Battlestar Galactica ratings okay
- The Sarah Jane Adventures webiste is live
- Invasion cancelled by ABC
- Firefly Chinese translations
- All the Lost Season 3 promos
- 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.
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
Catchy. I think they need a nickname.
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 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?