October 2007 Archives
October 31, 2007
The stories will be published on my newly minted writing sub-blog, imaginatively titled James Bloomer.
And never fear, that will be the last of it you'll hear from on this blog (apart from maybe a celebration at the end), and so I will return to normal service of random links and some reviews.
The BBC says she is going to play "Sylvia, a woman with cancer who appears in the visions of a record label executive."
I haven't read the story (one day I'll have read everything PKD wrote, but that day is a long way away), so can't comment if she's a good fit for the part, but more movies based on PKD stories has got to be a good thing, some of the previous adaptations have been great.
October 29, 2007
In an interview about an upcoming episode I heard Ewan say how when they visited the Star Wars set in Tunisia (well, okay, it's a place that the Star Wars films used, Lucasfilm doesn't own it. Yet.). Ewan was a bit worried that he might be mobbed by the Star Wars fan tourists, but wasn't recognised at all. At which point he started wondering why. he tells it better than I do.
October 26, 2007
October 25, 2007
Gattaca is a great film: atmospheric, beautiful, intelligent, some great acting (particularily Jude Law) and it doesn't pretend to not be Science Fiction.
Initially I wasn't sure about the infodumpy voice over at the start, but it's combined with some beautiful cinematic shots and I think in the end it works. The story does what good SF does, intelligently extrapolates an idea, the films core idea being that your genes will determine what you can do in the future. It's not a new idea, but it's handled stylishly.
The last quarter of the film has a large dose of crime thriller thrown in, but it still works.
Despite being generally downbeat and depressing there's a tinge of hope in the film, which is really nice. (Compare that to Children Of Men which was brilliant but left me thoroughly depressed.)
All in all, cool film. Recommended.
[Via Neil Gaiman]
October 24, 2007
October 23, 2007
Starwars.yahoo.com is a Web experience unlike any other: a media-rich, totally personalized, ever-expanding window into the world of Star Wars. Whether online or off, on Yahoo! or on the Internet at large, straight from the source or from the worldÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s most passionate fans, if itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s related to Star Wars, youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll find it here.It's like a Yahoo! social networking site based around Star Wars. You can upload videos, start a blog and do other stuff. It's all a bit frantic and messy for me and I'm not really sure how you use it. But I'm sure some people will.
If I were running the mags, I'd pick a bunch of sfnal bloggers and offer them advance looks at the mag, get them to vote on a favorite story to blog and put it online the week before the issue hits the stands. I'd podcast a second story, and run excerpts from the remaining stories in podcast. I'd get Evo Terra to interview the author of a third story for The Dragon Page. I'd make every issue of every magazine into an event that thousands of people talked about, sending them to the bookstores to demand copies -- and I'd offer commissions, bonuses, and recognition to bloggers who sold super-cheap-ass subscriptions to the print editions.[Via SF Signal]
I've been thinking a lot about SF magazines, and about their comparison to the music industry. There's been much discussion about how giving away free songs works in the music industry. The Artic Monkeys made a name without a record deal etc. The problematic difference that I see is that the music industry has radio stations to do marketing for them. Get your song played on Radio 1 a few times, and even with no record deal you've just had a few million people listen to your music. What's the equivalent for online fiction? There are no radio stations. Maybe it's blogs? Although I can't help feeling that blogs are too distributed, together they add up, but not many have vast audiences. So Cory's idea of aggregating bloggers reactions is, I think, a good idea.
I have a vague image in my mind of an uber-blog aggregating digg style fiction review site. Could that work?
October 22, 2007
October 20, 2007
My favourite depiction of a mist in film is the heat haze in The Day The Earth Caught Fire, a symptom mist rather than a cause, but done wonderfully.
October 19, 2007
"Can you do a Brian Blessed "Gordon's Alive!" impression?
Here's the list of cast and crew you can ask a question:
Eric Johnson (Flash Gordon)
Gina Holden (Dale Arden)
Jody Racicot (Dr Zarkov)
John Ralston (Ming)
Karen Cliche (Baylin)
Anna Van Hooft (Aura)
Johnathon Lloyd Walker (Rankol)
Tom Rowe (Executive Producer)
Pascal Verschooris (Producer)
Heidi Samuda (Costume Designer)
Peter Andringa (Production Designer)
Bobbi Allyn-Uhrich (Set Decorator)
David Perun (Prop Master)
The posters are quite large, and ideal if you like looking at the faces of Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig. See below.
If you fancy any of these, and are in the UK, send me an email or leave a comment below.
The audio books are 70 minutes long, presumably they have chapters so you can listen to ten minutes before bed? Or do you have to use old fashioned pause buttons? I've only heard the Doctor Who audio stuff on radio (BBC 7) where the shows were around 45 minutes long, which might be too much for a youngster to concentrate on in one go. (Although on a car journey it is probably okay.)
I was, btw, pleasantly surprised by the quality of the Doctor Who radio stories, very enjoyable.
[Via a BBC press release that I've just rescued from my spam folder. Surely all spam software must flag email from the BBC as pure and true?]
October 18, 2007
And if they hack back the world beating website(s) I'll be really annoyed.
October 17, 2007
October 16, 2007
"...we'll revisit Pod Races, and the characters and shenanigans/politics the events bring with them."Thanks to Dave for the tip-off (he reads Ain't It Cool so I don't have to).
"...the overall tone of the show is rather close to the adventurous nature of EPISODEs IV, V, and VIÃ¢â‚¬Â¦just a little edgier"
October 15, 2007
"Committed to the comprehensive coverage of short fiction, weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll review the full spectrum of magazines, webzines, anthologies, and single-author collections. The Fix will also publish feature articles, exclusive interviews, and regular columns on writing, speculative poetry, audiobooks, podcasts, and short film."And it has a feed, so no excuse to miss anything.
Loads to read.
October 12, 2007
Does anyone have any recommendations for which of her Science Fiction books I should read?
October 11, 2007
As ever Tony and Ciaran are entertaining, and talking from the perspective of real grass roots SF fans. Tony ventured the opinion that people were more likely to buy Interzone on a spur of the moment decision if they saw it on the shelf in WH Smiths than fork out the money for a 6 month subscription. The problem is of course that not all WH Smiths stock Interzone, so the suggestion was made to go to your local store and ask them to stock it. Which seems like an excellent idea.
- Top 10 books that I really mean to read but haven't yet.
- Top 10 shows I'm watching on TV at the moment.
- Top 10 opening paragraphs in SF books.
- Top 10 episodes of Red Dwarf.
- Top 10 SF film remakes that were actually good.
- Top 10 books yet to be released that I'm looking forward to.
- Top 10 SF blog entries of the month.
- Top 10 writing tips of the year.
- Top 10 SF podcasts that I listen to.
October 10, 2007
What does not sound encouraging is this:
"Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins will be the first in a proposed trilogy of films reinventing the cyborg saga."And it needs reinventing why? Because the original films were bad? Are dated? Erm no. So I think it means, we can't match the originals so we'll take the franchise and make something a bit rubbish but cash in because it's a reimagining.
October 9, 2007
October 8, 2007
I think it understates my survival chances, because I have a different set of skills, for I am a cyberpunk:Your chance of survival: Preparedness: 54%, City Skills: 57%, Survival Skills: 29%, Nature Skills: 0%
"If I kept watching this show, I'd need some bionic eyes to replace my own, which will have been gouged out."
Anyway, what did I think?
Well, I'm a sucker for apocalyptic stories, so even one mushroom cloud has enough pull to keep me watching. It's an interesting idea, the story of one town cut off in a (presumably) nuclear attack on the USA. However its execution was a bit too sickly sweet small town America for me. The inspirational speech at the end just made me laugh. But I'll still watch the next episode.
Quite a contrast to the British version, Threads, which is going to be reshown on BBC 4 on Wednesday 29 October 2003 10.40pm-12.35am.
October 5, 2007
October 4, 2007
- Surely Jaime Sommers would have seen the original Bionic Woman on TV and therefore know exactly what was going on?
- Jaime's angst. No legs or bionic legs? Hmmm. Tough decision.
- The fact that a genius scientist who works for a top secret project still lectures at a university.
- The bionic eye has really annoying head up display graphics that look like they're from the sniper rifle in Metal Gear Solid. Is that the best they could do?
- The super fast running through trees looked silly. Go go gadget legs! I was waiting to see her little arms pumping in a blur. It was like a cartoon. See Return Of The Jedi for how to do speeding through trees properly.
- Why do you have to put super weapon chips in her head just to give her new legs?
- The fight.
- That the secret military base is styled on Stargate. If I made a super-secret military base I'd paint it in bright colours, to make it look pretty.
- The "if we let her go it will be better" logic. Unlikely.
- The dialogue. The very bad dialogue:
- "Your hardwired for highly specialised warfare, yes."
- "Welcome to the game"
- "The anthracites in our blood can filter out any impurities in our lungs." (Best smoking excuse I've heard for a while.)
- "Technology is at the point where Science Fiction isn't fiction anymore." (Let me make you up a reading list...)
October 3, 2007
Today sees a perfect example of the artform of taking a mild comment and making it into a story, by The Guardian.
The BBC controller of fiction, Jane Tranter says:
"I would not rule out a film version of Doctor Who"...which seems very sensible and not really surprising. The Guardian says:
"BBC considers Doctor Who movie"...and writes an entire piece about it.
Are they that short for news?
October 2, 2007
"in-depth reviews of short form speculative fiction from the full spectrum of magazines, webzines, anthologies, and single-author collections in the industry, plus interviews, a range of features and columns, and insightful articles and observations."Eugie Foster, formerly of Tangent Online, will be the managing editor.
October 1, 2007
The Electric Church by Jeff Somers is one of the rare books that I knew absolutely nothing about before I read it: hand't heard of the author, hadn't read a review, hadn't heard any hype, which is quite a nice experience.
What The Electric Church has in buckets is style. Everything oozes style, the setting, the prose, the characters. The style overwhelms everything. And if you wanted to explain the style it is sort of post(ish)-apocalyptic cyberpunky.
The novel starts with some interesting action, and an interesting setting. Unfortunately things get repetitive quite quickly. The plot tries to drive forward, and kept me turning the page, but by the end it all felt rather empty. There was a lot of action, but that's about all. The ideas were more or less all set out in the first chapter and never developed. The setting can be summed up in a sentence. And apart from one twist near the end which I didn't (couldn't?) guess the plot is almost a Doctor Who episode.
The story is written in first person, which provides some immediacy, but gets tiring quite quickly. There's only so many times I want to hear about how bad the world is or how nasty the cops are, it's all very repetitive. And the main character swears incessantly, there's probably more uses of the word 'fuck' and it's derivatives than I have read in any book since Trainspotting, which again, becomes boring.
The action does reach a crescendo, but one which would be more suited to a Hollywood action film than a novel, lots happening but not much fun to read.
The epilogue chapter was irritating, all it did was set up a sequel. As for the appendix, I didn't even bother reading it.
So, disappointing, which is a shame, because I wanted to like it.
Here's the official website .