March 2007 Archives
March 26, 2007
It's funny reading a book after it has won awards, especially one that's done the UK SF double of the Arthur C Clarke award and the BSFA award. That sets high expectations. Can Air live up to those expectations?
March 24, 2007
So, Primeval has finished. Six episodes is all you get in the UK for a first series, but apparently a second series has been commisioned.
I was very surprised how much I enjoyed this show. I was expecting it to be sub-standard Jurassic Park, especially after the let-down that was Torchwood. But I really, honestly liked it, quite a lot.
So here are my 10 Reasons Why I Loved Primeval
- It had Monsters! TV standard CGI SFX, but still not bad, and different every week.
- It didn't take itself too seriously.
- It had self referential geeky jokes, not all the time, but now and again.
- They killed a character. Always a good sign.
- Hannah from S-Club appeared in her underwear because of a genius plot contrivance.
- It had a cliff hanger ending to the series, with time continium changes. I love a bit of time travelling nonsense.
- It didn't hang about on the plot front, that's what only having six episodes makes you do.
- It had characters I liked. Ben Miller gets a special shout for being a witty, slimy government official.
- It was shown on Saturday tea time.
- It used contemporary music throughout the series. Lets rock!
March 23, 2007
Ariel has a nice interview with Richard Morgan (on uksfbooknews.net), talking about his new book Black Man. I always enjoy hearing/reading Richard Morgan talk, he gives interesting interviews.
Fixed the link, ta Ariel.
Shaun reviews the first season of Primeval on Neverscapes.
My review coming soon.
Hal Duncan will be interviewed at the monthly BSFA meeting next week, Wednesday 28th March.
Paul has announced the results of the The Velcro City Tourist Board Glorifying Terrorism competition. The post announcing the short list sparked a good discussion in the comments.
Google Reader has a nice UI. However when any of my folders reaches 100+ I start thinking, "hmmm, that will take me ages to read, instead I'll read the three posts about cricket instead." Consequently the number of unread posts climbs and climbs. There could be millions inside that 100+ folder.
However, I've just caught up, so here comes a selection of posts about stuff from this week.
On the plus side, Bruce Sterling's comments about web logs dying out has made me feel that web-logging is indeed a valid thing to spend my time doing. Hurrah, bring on the links.
March 22, 2007
- The new series starts on Saturday 31st March, that's just over a week away.
- A fourth series has been commisioned, no surprise there.
- David Tennant won't confirm if he is staying for another series.
- Guest atcors will include Sir Derek Jacobi, comedian Ardal O'Hanlon, Michelle Collins and John Simm(!).
- There'll be new monsters, the Daleks and a Patrick Troughton era monster.
- Some (very cool) video clips from the premiere and the new series
- A new trailer
March 19, 2007
March 15, 2007
300 director Zack Snyder has confirmed that Watchmen will be his next film.
I'm very wary of Watchmen the film. How will they cram all of the legendary comic into a two hour film? How will they keep the density, the characters, the style? Probably not very well.
"'I'm doing Watchmen next for sure. That's what we're focusing all our attention on,"
March 14, 2007
Osama Phone Home is a new story from David Marusek, online courtesy of Technology Review
Cory joins in the Ebook debate (again), withYou <i>Do</i> Like Reading Off a Computer Screen
Interesting. But I still want my magic 'looks like a book but can hold a billion novels' device.
"The problem, then, isn't that screens aren't sharp enough to read novels off of. The problem is that novels aren't screeny enough to warrant protracted, regular reading on screens."
March 12, 2007
"No corporation in its right mind would put the R&D money into
developing such a product. Producing a specific-use device for a tiny
niche market ainÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t exactly the recipe for success."
Ooh, so negative. Surely however, similar thoughts were said about MP3 players, but somebody started making them. I have faith, it will come, I read it in The Diamond Age.
John Scalzi has posted the first chapter of his book The Android's Dream online.
More good stuff from the BBC, John Simm's Life On Mars Video Diary 1.
I'm quite excited to discover how Life On Mars ends. Please don't let me down.
Teaser trailers for the new series of Doctor Who have been blipping up on the BBC and are online.
Very short, but still cool.
March 9, 2007
This (Inappropriate" scene cut from script TV Series News (March 6, 2007)), made me laugh. A scene from the new series has been cut because Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman) was in just her underwear. Apparently it was unappropriate.
I reckon that is a thinly veiled reference to Primeval, which through a genius convoluted plot has ensured that Abby (Hannah from S-Club 7) is in her underwear every single time you see her at home! Last episode she even answered the door in knickers and a short t-shirt. For the ladies, that geek student was also in boxer shorts, a vest and socks. Not quite the same. I'm sure the other male characters would have been preferential.
(If you don't know, Abby is secretly looking after a pet dinosaur which looks like the thing from Surface. The dinosaur needs a very hot climate, therefore Hannah has to have her flat very hot, and therefore has to wear just underwear. Of course.)
Intellectual television at its finest.
March 8, 2007
Paul has a great post at Velcro City Tourist Board, entitled Science fiction Magazines Dont Have To Die.
I agree with pretty much all of it, electronic media has to be the way forward, and embedded adverts does seem a "better" method than micro-payments.
This reminds me of the initial discussion at the BSFA AGM last year, where the discussion was along the lines of "if we give away our magazine content why would people join the BSFA?". It was, however, lead from a Science Fiction Foundation angle, which is somewhat academic, and therefore, in my opinion, somewhat removed from the real world. I sat there shaking my head, thinking "you have your heads in the sand!". Behind me Bruce Sterling sat scribbling in his notebook, then at the end of the day he exploded everything I was thinking into an hour long tour-de-force of why you can't run from how things are now. Not the future, now. We use Google, Wikipedia, You Tube, Technorati and so on...you can't run from it.
(Yes, Bruce Sterling agreed with my thoughts, but history will probably say that I agreed with him.)
All of this seems so obvious, and so talked about, why are we still talking about it? Why isn't something happening? (Or why is it happening so slowly?)
The one downside to electronic print, for me personally, is that I prefer reading from paper. Everything electronic gets filed on my harddisk or in delicious and my "to read" queue gets bigger and bigger. For some reason I just never print things out to read (paper costs!). So maybe that's the technical hurdle we have to overcome, the true paper electronic screen? (Get your act together Sony et al.) As stated many times, the killer app for electronic print is a book version of an iPod (done well). After that would everything be different?
March 7, 2007
March 5, 2007
March 2, 2007
"Auxiliary power mode is a power mode which can only be enabled whilst landed, as it provides only a minimal artron trickle to the power drive. The majority of incoming artron energy is converted directly to electrical current and channeled through the power banks."
Torque Control has a post about SF awards in which Niall posed a few questions. The answers in the comments thread are interesting, and provide a, mainly, UK centric view of SF awards. I'll provide my own thoughts here...
Does the sf field have too many awards, or do they all serve valid audiences?
Personally I don't mind if there are a lot, I'll just pick the ones I care about to take notice of.
Is a shortlist more valuable than a final award, as a guide to what to read?
Well, maybe. I use the Clarke and BSFA awards to inform my reading picks. However, I feel fine not reading a book on the shortlist that I don't fancy, but feel I should always read the winners.
Should an award recognise what seems most vital now, or what seems most likely to last?
Now. You can't second guess the future.
In theory, juried awards take a longer/more contextualised view; does this mean they have a better chance of getting it Ã¢â‚¬Å“rightÃ¢â‚¬??
No idea. The Clarke often throws up books that I never would have considered, which must be good. I like the balance of both the Clarke and the BSFA awards together.
Juried awards Ã¢â‚¬â€ allegedly Ã¢â‚¬â€ tend to favour compromise candidates. But is that a bad thing?
Don't know, looking back at the Clarke winners however it seems to have got it right most of he time (if there is such thing as "right").
The BBC have struck a deal with Google to show some content on YouTube. They will mainly just be clips, but could also include extras, eg.
"...for example, video diaries of David Tennant showing viewers around the set of Dr Who..."
Could full episodes be too far away?
March 1, 2007
If you can suffer the horror of web design and fanboy whining that is Ain't It Cool News they are reviewing SF books now, including Pyr's, Fast Forward 1
edited by Lou Anders.
Another Locus online feature, Yesterday's Tomorrows: Philip K. Dick, where Graham Sleight talks about Vintage PKD, a book of extracts from PKD books.
Extracts?! Read the full books!
Yesterday's Tomorrows: Philip K. Dick
by Graham Sleight
Just foudn Darker Matter, a Free Online Science Fiction Magazine. The first issue (March 2007) has stories from David D. Levine, Ken Brady, Edward M. Lerner and Bud Sparhawk, and an interview with Douglas Adams, based on recently rediscovered tapes, recorded in 1979 and never before made public.
7 Reasons to Nominate SF Signal for Best Fanzine by SF Signal.
I have another reason:
#8 SF Signal is a blog. Not a newspaper or a magazine disguised as a blog, not an author's promotional tool, but a proper, old skool blog. A blog where they write whatever the fell like writing about. Becaus they can. And it's fun. So I think a vote for SF Signal is a vote for the grass roots SF blogosphere.
Unfortunately I'm not eligible to vote. (But I'd have probably voted for myself if I could anyway...)