December 2007 Archives
December 31, 2007
December 30, 2007
December 29, 2007
- Wii Sports
- Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz (Wii)
December 28, 2007
Notabley Battlestar Galactica is missing, that's because the judges got bored, decied the Cylons plan was non existent and stopped watching.
Otherwise, TV was okay, not amazing. In fact the general trend was that shows failed to live up to their potential. (Although Primeval actually exceeded expectations.) In fact, from that list there is only one show which I wouldn't have changed.
A special mentions hould go to Flight Of The Conchords, which is the funniest thing that I've seen on TV for ages, and has a song called The Humans Are Dead (they were killed by robots).
December 27, 2007
- The Prestige
- The Fountain
- Deja Vu
- Stranger Than Fiction
- Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind
- 28 Weeks Later
- The Golden Compass
- The Nines
Interestingly, only The Golden Compass could be classified as straight-ahead blockbuster SF, and maybe Deja Vu. Everything else is a bit quirkier (or in the case of The Fountain, completely mental), a bit indie, and very, very cool. In fact 70% of the films are Woah!++, with three of them being genuine SF classics.
It should also be noted that one of the films of the year was not SF, and so is not eligible, the incredible The Bourne Ultimatum. Non-stop awesome action.
December 26, 2007
Firstly the nominations for Non-Fiction books are:
- You Can Draw Star Wars
- Star Wars The Ultimate Visual Guide Special Edition
- James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon by Julie Phillips
- Brave New Words, The Oxford Dictionary Of Science Fiction
And now the Fiction books:
- The System Of The World - Neal Stephenson
- Air - Geoff Ryman
- The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Attwood
- Infoquake - David Louis Edelman
- Brasyl - Ian McDonald
- Glasshouse - Charles Stross
- Nova Swing - M. John Harrison
- Halting State - Charles Stross
- The Attrocity Archives - Charles Stross
- Crystal Rain - Tobias Buckell
- Ragamuffin - Tobias Buckell
- The Electric Church - Jeff Somers
- Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows - J K Rowling
- Magic For Beginners - Kelly Link
- Stamping Butterflies - Jon Courtenay Grimwood
- The Jennifer Morgue - Charles Stross
- Matter - Iain M Banks
A good year of reading.
December 25, 2007
Today's agenda is:
- Open presents
- Play with new toys
- Eat turkey
- Watch Doctor Who
December 24, 2007
Big Dumb Object is pleased to announced the third annual Big Dumb Object awards, known as The Dumbies.
The awards follow the same format as last year (thanks to cut and paste)...
Media are eligible for nomination if they have been seen or read by the judges panel in the year of 2007, no matter when they were released. Categories include Best Film, Best Book, Best Television Series, Best Comic and Best Videogame. There are no worst awards in The Dumbies, life is too short to consume bad media and the judges therefore try to avoid such matters.
The nominations will be announced over a few days (for no other reason than to string it out a bit and provide content when the judges are in fact eating and drinking). After the nominations have been announced the judges will be open for bribes for an unspecified period of time. Once they are satisfied that the best offers have arrived and have cogitated on the nominations, the judges will then make their decision and announce the awards in a grand ceremony that involves a single, but important, blog post.
Please feel free to speculate on the nominations until they are announced.
December 21, 2007
A couple of SF novels I've read that deal explicitly with religion come immediately to mind:
- A Case Of Conscience by Jame Blish, which I thought was boring.
- The Sparrow which is truly brilliant and the not quite as good Children Of God, both by Mary Doria Russell.
December 20, 2007
December 19, 2007
I like number 4...
4. Does your child read hacking manuals?So that's 4 of my favourite ever books, another one I've read and one I gave up reading. I'll leave it to you to guess which is which.
There are, unfortunately, many hacking manuals available in bookshops today. A few titles to be on the lookout for are: "Snow Crash" and "Cryptonomicon" by Neal Stephenson; "Neuromancer" by William Gibson; "Programming with Perl" by Timothy O'Reilly; "Geeks" by Jon Katz; "The Hacker Crackdown" by Bruce Sterling; "Microserfs" by Douglas Coupland; "Hackers" by Steven Levy; and "The Cathedral and the Bazaar" by Eric S. Raymond.
December 18, 2007
I have an exclusive image of one of the show's upcoming monsters:
A sabre tooth tiger! Cool.
I was pleasantly surprised by Primeval, it was fun, didn't take itself too seriously, had action packed episodes and an interesting main story arc, which turned at a tangent at the end of the series. (Oh, and it had Hannah from S-Club 7 dancing in knickers).
Primer is a film which I somehow missed from my Top Ten SF Films I haven't seen. So, long overdue, I finally watched it.
It's very cool. This films shows how you can make low budget intelligent Science Fiction. But don't be put off by the tag "low budget", it never looks cheap, I never once thought "if only they had some money". In fact the whole film looks awesome, with tremendous style and panache. In some ways it reminds of the atmospheric cinematography of Gattaca.
And intelligent. Oh yes. The plot revolves around time travelling. It will hurt your brain, as true time travelling stories should. Watch it, then watch it again to try and make more sense, then watch it again. It's a beautifully paced plot.
The acting is also great, completely believable.
There's nothing bad about Primer, it's a truly awesome film.
December 17, 2007
How about a cover for I Am Legend?
- The Body Snatchers
- Donovan's Brain
- Forbidden Planet
- Farenheit 451
- Immortality, Inc.
- I, Robot
- Little Fuzzy
- Ralph 124C 41+
- Reach For Tomorrow
- Rogue Queen
- The Sirens Of Titan
- The Stainless Steel Rat
- Utopia 14
- Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury
- Heart-Shaped Box and 20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill
- Brasyl by Ian McDonald
- Rainbows End by Vernor Vinge
I should also mention that The Dumbies are on their way. Yes, the prestigious, annual, Big Dumb Object awards are back again for a third year. The judges are getting ready, the world of SF is waiting on baited breath.... not long now.
December 16, 2007
December 15, 2007
"Beginning with FictionwiseÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s regular release of new titles on Monday, December 17, 2007, readers will have the option of purchasing single issues or a one-year subscription. The eBooks will debut with the three latest issues of Interzone: 211, 212, & 213. Future issues will appear alongside the arrival of the print edition. At this time, there are no plans to offer any issues before 211."That's great news, not only for overseas readers but also for UK readers who want to sample an issue, because at the moment it's quite hard to find Interzone in magazine shops (so single issue impulse buys are not likely).
I've thought about giving up blogging just about every year since I started, about 100 years ago. But instead I just let the blog idle, prune my feeds and find some new inspiration. Although this blog is severally lacking inspiration at the moment, and I can't see that changing this year. So bear with me whilst BDO idles into the new year.
December 14, 2007
So, now you can watch all those Doctor Who repeats (almost) whenever you want. It's still a bit hit and miss, I've been using it to watch Spooks this series, and the last episode hasn't appeared yet. I also haven't compared the resolution between the downloads and the streamed versions, but it's a step in the right direction.
December 13, 2007
December 10, 2007
There are some good things about the film though. Firstly it looks gorgeous, I loved the twisted, parallel world vistas of Oxford and London, and also liked all the airships type contraptions, and the daemons were fantastic. As for the polar bears, well, they could have been real. I thought the atcing was pretty good too, Nicole Kidman was scary, Daniel Craig didn't have too much screen time to prove himself, and all the daemons acted well too. Plus it gets bonus points for having Derek Jacobi and Christopher Lee in the same scene.
Hopefully the next two films will get made and we can watch the true, full, story of His Dark Materials, whereupon all of the plot hints and subcontext will become more exposed.
Anyway, I liked it. Metaphysics for adults, fighting polar bears for kids.
December 7, 2007
December 6, 2007
It missed being 45.45% Woah! by having a rubbish ending. Sounds familiar.
It should be noted that all of those Whoah! scores came from the last 50% of the Volume. Slow starting. Sounds familiar.
"The first couple of weeks we were still coming up to speed, figuring out how to control the interocular and convergence for all different types of shooting situations. But we've got that dialed in now."Oh.
December 5, 2007
Firstly the rather lovely Blue Sun Travel posters which are tourist posters for Serenity Valley, Persephone, Londinium, Sihnon and Miranda. All destinations from the Firefly / Serenity universe.
Secondly the very funny How to spot a Cylon poster. I like number 2: Red Dress + glowing spine == trouble.
I used to have Physics World delivered to me in the past, when I was a physicist. In fact probably still got some knocking around somewhere. I don't remember any interviews with SF authors! Interesting to see things from the physicist becoming writer angle.
What advice do you have for physics students thinking of a career in science-fiction writing?
Write short fiction, and keep working at it until you break into the science-fiction magazine market. Many of the big names made an initial splash in the magazine market, and it's often how they caught the eye of editors and publishers. I published my first stories when I was working towards my PhD and the contacts I established from those early days eventually led to my getting a contract to write novels. Also, make the most of your scientific literacy. Editors like to see "hard science-fiction" stories Ã¢â‚¬â€ fiction where the science plays a strong role in the narrative, even if it's wildly speculative. They never see enough of this type of story, and so are more than willing to forgive minor deficiencies in characterization, plotting, style and so on, provided the ideas are fascinating. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't work hard at those things as well Ã¢â‚¬â€ no one gets a get-out-of-jail-free card!
What next? Turkey sandwhiches?
Well, yes, but also Doctor Who.
Christmas Day, BBC1, 6.50pm for 71 minutes - Voyage of the Damned.
That's about as prime time as you get in the UK. And also the longest episode of new Doctor Who yet created.
The Christmas trailer is online now too.
December 4, 2007
"The new site will launch shortly with a brand new design and with all new content. There will be more than 50 exclusive behind the scenes videos, including video diaries produced by the main cast members. We'll have interviews with the guest stars, all the new monsters and the crew. We've also commissioned rich media 'case files' for every episode which will enable viewers to delve deeper into the Torchwood world. These will include unseen footage and completely new material that will be unavailable anywhere else."Via Torchwood.Tv
December 3, 2007
If nothing else I Am Legend has some cool looking marketing assets. See here for a selection of global banners the London one is shown above, or here for even more.
Despite being vehemently wary about this film, I'll still go and see it, mainly to see if I was right. It's released on 21st December in the UK (and a week earlier in the US), just in time for some cheery Christmas apocalypse.
The most interesting part of the release is this sentence...
"In response to audience demand, younger fans will now have the opportunity of watching a specially edited pre-watershed repeat."Which I choose to interpret as "all that adult sex and violence stuff was a bit rubbish so we'll cut it down, plus the younger viewers are a lot less fussy so maybe we can hook them in."
Guest stars include James Marsters (Buffy something),Alan Dale (Neighbours), Freema Agyeman (Martha Jones), Richard Briers (The Good Life), Nerys Hughes (The Liver Birds) and Ruth Jones (Gavin And Stacey).
The series will have 13 episodes.
I hope it won't be as dreadful as series one.