October 2009 Archives

October 31, 2009

Thieves Of Silence - Holly Phillips

This weeks Torque Control Short Story Club story is Thieves Of Silence by Holly Phillips, published in Beneath Ceaseless Skies. Beneath Ceaseless Skies is an online magazine dedicated to publishing the best in literary adventure fantasy, so not at all the sort of story I would usually read.

The story is about a thief who stumbles upon some witches. The writing is nice with some evocative description, but I just don't get on with this style of Fantasy story. It does nothing for me. I'm reminded of one-off bespoke RPGs that I played many (many) years ago, with thieves and masters and servants. Nothing ever seems to surprise me in this style of story, nothing ever keeps me hooked. I miss the ideas and invention and provocation that a great SF story can deliver.

Yes, I know someone out there will be saying that Fantasy can deliver that, in which case please point me at a story to do that and I'll be happy to change my mind.

October 29, 2009

The Doctor Appears In The Sarah Jane Adventures Tonight

In case you were getting Doctor withdrawal symptoms he’s popping up in The Sarah Jane Adventures tonight, just to keep us going until Christmas. BBC1, 4:35pm, today.

Six World Tales

Stiles White has a blog of illustrated microfiction called Six-Word Tales. And yes the stories are six words long. There's some great art and micro-stories there. Worth checking out.

October 28, 2009

Being Human Cast Give Halloween Dressing Tips

The second series of the rather good Being Human starts next year. In the meantime the cast is here to give you some tips for dressing up at Halloween.

International Science Fiction Reshelving Day

Here’s a bit of mischief that made me chuckle: International Science Fiction Reshelving Day.

Join us this November in a new and unique celebration of science fiction and fantasy literature. Many books from our fine genre are regularly placed in the wrong section of bookstores. This not only hides the books from us, but it prevents readers of those books from discovering the rich tradition to which they belong.

On November 18th that changes. We will go to bookstores around the world and move science fiction and fantasy books from wherever they might be to their proper place in the “Science Fiction” section. We hope that this quiet act of protest will raise awareness of this problem and inspire new readers to explore our thought-provoking genre.

I suppose it will give bookshop workers something to do! [ducks]

Misfits, Teenage Superheroes Coming To E4

The Guardian has news of a new show called Misfits coming to E4. The drama follows a group of five teenagers who develop superhero powers after being caught in a storm.

Interestingly the cast members will be tweeting live in character on Twitter when it is aired next month:

Tweets for episode one have been written in advance by a team headed by the drama's lead writer, Howard Overman, and will be posted throughout the hour-long airing of the programme, which starts on 12 November on E4.

The Misfits writing team will meet throughout the six-episode run of the series to construct more tweets for Simon and Kelly's characters.

Dollhouse Season Two, First Impressions

Dollhouse always had the best pedigree of all the recent SF TV shows: its creator is Joss Whedon who has created Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Firefly and Dr. Horrible. A rather good back catalogue.

And I've always felt that Dollhouse had the best raw Science Fictional material of all the recent SF TV shows: mind transfer, that classic SF trope which can still source many a new story.

Yet the beginnings of Dollhouse were poor, nothing more that what you'd expect from the rather dodgy title sequence, an adult version of Joe-90. Things began to change around the midpoint of season one, it became more interesting, things started going wrong, questions began to be asked. Season one peaked rather nicely, and then topped itself with the DVD only Epitaph One.

Season two, I'm happy to say, is, so far, pretty good. Rather than the dull and predictable  problems with a doll's engagement (such as The Target), the story lines are focussing on greater problems: problems with the technology and the people, moral problems and personal problems. And how the technology affects people, not just using it as a backdrop, but bringing it into the core essence of the story. And the show is much, much better for it. The characters are becoming human and rounded, the stories are intriguing, and it feels like there is much more to come.

If you were put off by the first few episodes of season one then you should give it another chance.

I think it's the best Science Fiction show on TV at the moment (that I'm watching!), and has the potential to get even better.

October 27, 2009

The Village, Old And New

The Prisoner was/is set in The Village.

Here's the old village.

Here's the new village.

October 26, 2009

A Culture Movie, Finally?

Lots of people have been wishing for a movie based on one of Iain M. Banks’ Culture novels. I even heard Banks himself say that he wished Spielberg to get a move on and film Consider Phlebas (well, of course).

Most people assumed that Consider Phlebas would be the natural Culture novel to film.

However it appears that may not be the case. Empire says:

The British production company Film and Music Entertainment, in partnership with director Dominic Murphy (White Lightnin'), have just announced several future projects, including an untitled Bronte film (Charlotte? Emily? Anne?) and Jesus Christ Airlines, about a heroic pilot in Biafra. But most tantalising is A Gift From the Culture, based on a short story by Iain M. Banks, originally published in Interzone and collected in Banks' The State of the Art.

That could be interesting. With a short story there’s enough room to wriggle and satisfy the studio execs and whoever else needs pacifying these days to get a film made. And yet if the core ideas are retained…oooh. Could be good. Let’s hope it emerges from production hell.

Thanks to Andy for the link.

October 24, 2009

From The Lost Diary Of TreeFrog7 by Nnedi Okorafor

This weeks Torque Control short story reading club story is “From the Lost Diary of TreeFrog7” by Nnedi Okorafor.

It’s the story of two explorers in a jungle, trying to complete a field guide and searching for a mythical plant.

The story is arranged in diary entries (written in first person), with additional field guide entries, and bookended with extra software style messages. Also, interestingly, each entry has a link to an audio reading, podcast style, with chirping “futuristic” sound effects.

The language is evocative of the jungle and eventually reveals the characters. However the plot didn’t do enough for me, it was more or less the standard alien exploration story. And I’m not really a big fan of zoological or botanical style stories, I think it might be because I gave up Biology at school as soon as I could and did Physics instead, so the descriptions of the creatures didn’t really do anything for me.

In the end, I kept waiting for the story to go somewhere else, somewhere promised by hints in the story. Instead all we got was a tantalising glimpse of that.

October 23, 2009

Interview With Morena Baccarin About V

The Wall Street Journal has an interview with Morena Baccarin. Some of the questions asked are quite good:

Why is this story worth telling again?

However the answers are typical press junket fodder:

Because we’re all interested in life outside of Earth. We all have a fascination with what’s out there because we don’t really know. The storyline lends itself to explore a lot of things—like fear, and blind devotion and terrorism.

There’s also a clip of the new series embedded on that post, which doesn’t bode well: a spaceship that doesn’t look as cool as the one in District 9 appears over cities. Everyone in a US city looks up and stares and screams but doesn’t run. Have they learnt nothing? And then I see an actor who should be in Lost. Argghhh! Is that a spoiler?

October 22, 2009

The Very Difficult Diwali of Sub-Inspector Gurushankar Rajaram by Jeff Soesbe

The first story published in DayBreak Magazine is The Very Difficult Diwali of Sub-Inspector Gurushankar Rajaram by Jeff Soesbe and it’s a story I thoroughly enjoyed.

Set in India and following a day in Raja’s life. But not an ordinary day!

It’s jam-packed with groovy ideas, feels exotic (to me) because of the Indian setting, captures some great atmosphere and most of all left me feeling happy. I won’t give any more away, much of the delight of the story is its cascade of ideas. Just go and read it.

A great start to DayBreak, Shine and their optimistic SF.

New Magazine, Lightspeed

Another new Science Fiction magazine! Always good news. Also note that John Joseph Adams will be leaving F&SF (where he's currently Assistant Editor) to move to this role.

Prime Books is launching a new online magazine called Lightspeed in June 2010. Lightspeed will publish four science fiction short stories every month, along with an assortment of non-fiction features. It will be edited by John Joseph Adams and Andrea Kail; Adams will select and edit the fiction, while Kail will handle the non-fiction.

Lightspeed will focus exclusively on science fiction. It will feature all types of sf, from near-future, sociological soft sf, to far-future, star-spanning hard sf, and anything and everything in between. No subject will be considered off-limits, and writers will be encouraged to take chances with their fiction and push the envelope. Each week, they'll post one piece of fiction and one piece of non-fiction. They'll debut with four original stories, and then move to two new and two reprint stories each month thereafter (all of the non-fiction will be original).

October 21, 2009

Incoming PR

The BDO mailbox is always full of PR, but this week quite a bit of it was actually relevant and interesting, here’s the list for your information:

  • See the re-imagined version of V for the first time in the UK - a week ahead of its US launch – at the MCM Expo. The exclusive will be shown at 12.15pm on Saturday 24th October and 1pm on Sunday 25th October, courtesy of the UK Sci-Fi channel.
  • SciFinal is a website / directory showcasing the best in sci-fi web series online.
  • Trade&Row, a nonprofit community organization in LA, has it’s second annual Saturday Fantasy Film Festival Fundraiser on Saturday, October 24, 2009 from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.   Independent short films from around the world and discussions will address the role of science fiction, fantasy and horror in examining social issues.
  • Archangel promise to be a Sci-Fi/Action short film, although the trailer is lots of violence (too much for me) and not much SF unfortunately.
  • Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling are creating music inspired by The Prisoner (the original series, of course). “Our intent is to record 17 songs all inspired by the episodes following the KTEH order of the series.” The first three songs are available for download.

Splice, First Glimpse

Splice is a Science Fiction movie due for release next year by director Vincenzo Natali and executive producer Guillermo del Toro. It looks interesting, and if del Toro is involved it provides hope that it will deliver. Here's the blurb:

Clive and Elsa are young, brilliant and ambitious. The new animal species they engineered have made them rebel superstars of the scientific world. In secret, they introduce human DNA into the experiment. The result is something that is greater than the sum of its parts: a female animal-human hybrid that may be a step up on the evolutionary ladder.

Embedded below is a video that includes some interviews, behind the scenes shots and a clip of the film.

October 20, 2009

Dollhouse Season Two Starts Tonight In The UK

The first two episodes of Dollhouse season two are shown for the first time in the UK tonight, on Sci-Fi UK at 10pm. That’s three episodes behind the US I believe.

I haven’t heard any news on when it will make its way onto Freeview (Sci-Fi UK is available on satellite and cable only).

Flying Saucer Attack T-Shirt

Another awesome Threadless T-Shirt that I just noticed. I have enough T-Shirts…. but I’m tempted.

The Politburo Explains - Threadless, Best T-shirts Ever

Cast And Creator Of Being Human Appearing At Mayhem Horror Film Festival

Being Human news:

The cast of BBC3's Being Human, along with the creator/writer Toby Whithouse and producer Matt Bouch will be at the Mayhem Film Festival on October 31st. The event will include a preview of the 2010 series which is currently being filmed.

The Mayhem Film Festival is based at the Broadway cinema in Nottingham.

The first series of Being Human was of course rather good.

October 19, 2009

Zombie Horde T-Shirt

It’s Halloween soon, so Threadless has lots of relevant and groovy T-Shirts. They’re also $10 at the moment (ending 10am CT tomorrow == 4pm GMT == 5pm BST). I particularly like this one:

The Horde - Threadless, Best T-shirts Ever

 

Zombies! Arggggh!

JMS Interview

Republibot has an interview with J. Michael Straczynski aka JMS, the creator of Babylon 5 where he talks about Jeremiah and his upcoming novel.

October 18, 2009

DayBreak Magazine, Optimistic Science Fiction

DayBreak Magazine has been launched and is online. It’s the online part of the Shine anthology, which has been causing all sorts of discussion with its near-future optimistic Science Fiction theme. Here’s what the editor Jetse de Vries has to say about the new online magazine:

DayBreak Magazine is the online fiction part of the Shine anthology. Starting Friday October 16, it will feature a story every second Friday until the print Shine anthology appears (and maybe a bit beyond).

For the moment, the Shine anthology is slated for an April 2010 release.

Please note that that the stories featured in DayBreak Magazine are notappearing in the print anthology: these are different stories. They were also submitted to Shine, and while I couldn’t include them in the print anthology, I liked them so much that I’m featuring them here.

The first story is online and is called “The Very Difficult Diwali of Sub-Inspector Gurushankar Rajaram” by Jeff Soesbe. The second story will be released on Friday October 30, one the eve of Halloween: “Horrorhouse” by David D. Levine.

A Tulip for Lucretius by Ken MacLeod

This weeks Torque Control short story club story is A Tulip for Lucretius by Ken MacLeod published in Subterranean Magazine.

The story tackles religion, which is not surprise if you are aware of MacLeod’s work. It also tackles the subject of slavery, cloning and human rights. There’s a lot to think about, and I’m not sure yet what to make of the story, I need to think about it more.

As I can’t, as yet, put down my thought in a coherent sense, I’ll resort to lists. Please forgive me.

The downsides of the story in my opinion are:

  • Large chunks of infodumpy-ness. It’s a short show, with a lot of tell.
  • Complicated religious arguments. For someone not versed in religion, or even used to thinking about religion, it can be difficult to follow.

The upsides:

  • It made me think!
  • Some great ideas.

I recommend reading it.

October 15, 2009

The Sarah Jane Adventures Starts A New Series Tonight

The Sarah Jane Adventures starts its third series tonight. Well, not quite night, seeing as it’s a kid’s show it’s on at 4.35pm on BBC1.

I think I’m far to old for TSJA, I found it a bit boring, lots of kids, reusing the same old Doctor Who monsters and large dollops of deus ex machina (often in the form of the sonic lipstick). However, I am not the target audience! And the show seems to be doing well on BBC and repeated lots on the children’s channel CBBC.

The big news for this series is that The Doctor is in it (in his David Tennant form).

The trailer is here.

October 14, 2009

The Clone Wars, Decide Your Destiny Books

The Decide Your Destiny Clone Wars series take the formula of picking your own storyline (I still think of it as the Fighting Fantasy approach) and apply it to the Star Wars universe, with a bit of a twist: adding online content. The first two in the series are The Way Of The Jedi and Tethan Battle Adventure, with at least two more on the way.

The books are aimed at kids, the Ladybird site giving a recommended reading age of 6+, so the font is not tiny and there are interspersed black and white pictures.  The story is written in second person point of view, in other words you are the hero and the book tells you what you are doing.

Each entry (some of which are more than a page but not often much more) ends with a page to turn to, or pages if there is a choice. Not every entry has a choice, but hopping around the book does add a sense of adventure (eg. page 24 to page 101 to page 37). The choices are summarised concisely at the end of each entry. Some of the choices are clever, I particularly liked the one where Yoda tests you, and starts with “think of a number” then does division, addition, subtraction and turn to the result, which of course has Yoda there waiting for you.

Also interesting is the use of online content. Some of the choices direct you to the Decide Your Destiny website, where you can click on the relevant box. Of the options of seen these have been animated cut-scenes which add a nice atmosphere to the book. I say, the ones I’ve seen, because I haven’t read every single page of these books, which is a bit unusual for a review. Instead I’ve read a couple of different paths for each book. Yes I died the first time! Yes I wanted to go back and find a happy ending. I’ll probably read some more paths through the books too.

All in all these are great books for kids. If they’re fans of Star Wars they’ll probably be fans of The Clone Wars TV series and I’m sure they’ll enjoy these books. In a time when there seems to be complaints about kids not reading as much as they used these books try a little bit harder than average to appeal. Which is great. I wish I’d had Decide Your Destiny Star Wars books when I was learning to read.

October 13, 2009

Stargate Universe First Impressions

I have never been a huge fan of the Stargate franchise.

The film was mildly entertaining with that whole Pyramid Egyptian alien thing.

SG-1 I watched if I just happened to be in front of the TV and it was on. It was a bit cheesey, and did the whole Sliders / Otherworld trope in a less interesting manner (and usually in a forest in Vancouver). Somehow it kept going and eventually I lost track of the adhoc organic Mythos. I now have no idea what’s going on if I see an episode.

Atlantis I watched one episode of and thought it was awful so never watched another. Bad acting, bad story.

Stargate Universe however, I have some hope for, mainly due to the inclusion of Robert Carlyle but it’s also nice to see that they have a consultant SF writer on the team (John Scalzi).

The first two episodes set up the story, and it’s not terribly bad. Here’s the good and bad:

Bad

  • Eli. The young slacker who plays computer games and then gets beamed up to a starship. Like The Last Starfighter, but not as good. He’s clearly the show’s comic character. But why? Why does it need a comic character. I found him intensely annoying.
  • The derivative styling of the SF trappings: the spaceship, the FTL travel effect, the corridors, panels… All the scenery basically. Nothing is new or even has a slight twist.
  • The handheld shaky camera shots feel gratuitous.
  • The plot. It’s not going to be too radical is it? Aboard a spaceship, far from home, visiting alien planets. Hmmm.

 

Good

  • Robert Carlyle is great. His character Dr. Rush is clearly looking after his own interests, but manages to do it in a way that’s not clichéd evil scientist. He’s trying to win people onto his side, whilst doing exactly what he wants. I’m also holding out hope that Carlyle is after more than a regular pay check and has seen something good in the upcoming story.
  • The style shows promise. They’ve clearly tried to create a modern feeling show, hopefully the grittiness will stay.

In the end the story must create a good programme. If the plot can somehow transcend the standard exploration trope, somehow give us characters we care about and somehow add a little bit more than you’d expect from Stargate, then maybe it will be good.

October 12, 2009

FlashForward First Impressions

So a big new TV series based on a novel by a Hugo and Nebula winner. Recipe for success or disaster?

Well, my initial reaction is hmmmmm.

The pitch: everyone blanks out for a couple of minutes and sees the future.

The future scenes were disappointingly dull: in a meeting, on the toilet, in the office, at home. Well, wow. The aftermath of the blackout had a reasonable amount of carnage but compare it to the first episode of Lost and it looks immensely thin.

The plot from then on is full of paradoxes and holes. One FBI guy saw something useful, a note board full of notes and pictures, and tries to reconstruct it. Except reconstructing it means that all the stuff he saw meant nothing except that he saw it in the future, so clues they are not. Meanwhile his wife is worried that she’ll be having an affair in six months.

Everyone is worried it will happen again. There’s a couple of shadowy people who didn’t black out and someone connected had an office in a doll factory. Ho hum.

I’m betting that there won’t be an in-depth examination of whether destiny is written or malleable.

The acting wasn’t particularly great. The characters weren’t particularly interesting. Don’t think I care much what happens.

I’ll give it a few more episodes, just to be fair.

October 11, 2009

Trembling Blue Stars - Richard Kadrey

This week’s short story for the Torque Control Short Story Reading Club is Trembling Blue Stars by Richard Kadrey.

The story is a conversation between and cosmonaut and his ex-lover. It starts in a deliberately confusing manner and eventually reveals what’s happened. It’s a conversation which reads like a real post-breakup conversation – substitute space for a foreign country and aliens for another obsession. For a moment I thought it might degenerate into an argument with nowhere left to go, but it recovered and surprised me.

There’s brilliant sentences and language in the story. The start is so great I’m going to quote it here:

I was sitting at the counter, drinking espresso and smoking Gauloises at the Hellas Basin Cafe on Rozhdestvenka Street in Moscow.

The day before, we’d been riding the veer, ferrying supplies to an ASEAN research facility deep in the Oort Cloud. It was pleasant to be back on Earth. During each veer run, when time-space turned psychotic and the heavy rad poured in, we would go null and let our guests do the driving. These petit morts moments were necessary for deep space travel. Dying wasn’t such a bad thing if you knew that cigarettes and strong coffee would be waiting for you when it was over.

Nice.

I also particularly like:

“I think you love your alien more than ever you loved me.”

Followed shortly by:

“I didn’t stop loving you. I just loved the stars more.”

When I reached the end I wanted to go back to the start and read it again.

It’s probably a story which is divides readers depending on their taste for the style, but it was my kind of thing. Stylish, cool and with a surprising upward lurch of emotion at the end.

Currently Reading

I haven’t done a book review for a while and that’s because I’m reading a mish-mash of stuff at the moment.

I am currently reading:

I may even finish some of them, at some point.

October 10, 2009

Virtual Echo

Fancy Echo from Dollhouse on your desktop?

Then check out Virtual Echo. She has interchangeable clothes, like Barbie. You can use Augmented Reality to do stuff.

etc.

Thanks to Will for the tip.

Dollhouse, Epitaph One

I finally got around to watching Dollhouse episode 13, Epitaph One, the near legendary post-apocalyptic DVD only episode.

Apparently it was produced on a smaller budget than the other episodes, but you wouldn’t really know it, because it manages to distil the entire Dollhouse plot into one very cool story. The start of season one suffered from a lack of major plot arc, a lack of imagination when dealing with the core idea, and a repetitive episodic nature. However Epitaph One reveals that Joss Whedon knew all along where he wanted to go.

In Epitaph One the doll technology has broken free, let loose in the world and causing no end of havoc. No one can be trusted, their body might not be their own, and the world has slipped into apocalyptic chaos.

It’s a great episode. I recommend seeing it. I’m not going to give anymore away.

The downside? Where does Dollhouse go from here? It’s an episode which stylishly sums up the entire story arc. Season two is heading back to the same timeframe as season one. But why?

October 9, 2009

Robert Carlyle Interview About Stargate Universe

Embedded below is an interview with Robert Carlyle about Stargate Universe. He seems genuinely happy to be working on the show. I always find it interesting to hear actors talk about their characters, especially good actors who put so much work into understanding that character.

Contains minor spoilers if you haven't seen the first two episodes.

The Clone Wars, Season 2 First Impressions

When the Star Wars opening crawl first set the scene and threw us straight into the story it was quite a shock. A very old school, infodump, shock, but in a good way. No messing about, straight into a spaceship chase. The Clone Wars takes this style to a new level, instead of an opening crawl there’s a fast slew of cut-scenes, like a recap of another episode. Except that there was no episode. If you’re not paying attention you can feel as if you’ve missed something. But no, it’s a technique for getting straight to the action.

And that’s what The Clone Wars delivers, lots of action. Like the cartoon version before it, the CGI version is full of space battles and fighting and enemies. This season the enemies are the bounty hunters, in particular Cad Bane. On one hand you could just say that the bad guys have been swapped in and out, but it’s a nice change from all the encounters with Count Dooku and Asajj Ventress.

The first two episodes are entitled Holocron Heist and Cargo Of Doom. Nice titles. It feels like Cad Bane is not only unafraid of the Jedi, but also a match for them, using cunning and brute force and general nastiness. And all the while Darth Sidious is behind/above, pulling the strings.

In many ways The Clone Wars is the pure essence of the Star Wars that George Lucas first imagined: a Saturday morning serial for the kids, full of adventure and heroes and villains. And I like it.

October 8, 2009

More Reactions To "The City Is A Battlesuit"

Matt Jones links to some reactions to his io9 piece The City Is A Battlesuit For Surviving The Future. Some really interesting stuff there, I particularly like Ben Hammerlsey's post:

It's not a battlesuit, because this isn't a battle. Much as one might want to be Bourne or Batman or the dude from Mission: Impossible, at the end of the day, none of us are. The layers of modern life aren't grand missions to vanquish evil, or the preparation for the time that we'll be called to action, activated by the Global Frequency. Instead our cities are made of, and our lives build up, layers and layers of soft actions.

Note that Ben is the Editor At Large of Wired UK whose new issue focuses on cities. Should be interesting.

In response to the battlesuit word, Matt clarifies:

The most important part of the sentence for me was 'surviving the future' - for which I still believe cities are the key.

Personally I'm not convinced, having been living outside of a city for more than a decade now. I've recently written a story about what the future could be like living in a Village, because maybe cities aren't the future. I don't have a date yet for when the story will be published, but I'm looking forward to people reading it.

Meanwhile another member of The Berg, Matt Webb, has given a talk for which the bibliography contains Geoff Ryman, Bruce Sterling, The Argos Catalogue and Olaf Stapledon amongst others. Now that's a talk I'd like to hear.

October 7, 2009

Stories Direct From Authors

Despite the publishing industry turning like a super-tanker, some authors are beginning to take the Music Artist route and experiment with selling stories direct to readers. It’s probably been going on for a while, under the radar somewhere (well, apart from the high publicity Stephen King experiment), but a few cases have highlighted it recently.

First of all Hal Duncan asked for donations for a story, promising to send it to everyone who donated, and put it online if payments reached a certain amount. Well, donations have exceeded $100 so it is online. Hal has some interesting thoughts on what’s happening and what might happen.

Next, Gareth Powell is offering his story What Would Nicolas Cage Have Done? to anyone who donates, leaving the price up to the buyer in Radiohead In Rainbows style. The story has previously appeared in the Future Bristol anthology from Swimming Kangaroo Books.

And then Cory Doctorow’s next project With A Little Help is a short story collection that’s going to try a whole raft of different self-publishing ideas, including special limited editions.

None of this feels like self-publishing in the, old, derogatory sense, more like how musicians have been dealing with the change in access to music.

My outstanding question for all of this is whether an unknown author can make it using these techniques, rather than one with a following?

October 6, 2009

Stargate Universe On Sky1 HD Tonight

Stargate Universe starts in the UK tonight on Sky1 and Sky1 HD at 8pm.

Most of the publicity has been about how Robert Carlyle is in it. I hope the story matches up to the class of actor. Here’s a clip to whet your appetite, it looks suitably modern and post-BSG in style.

Best Science Fiction Soundtrack?

What do you think is the best Science Fiction movie soundtrack?

Total Sci-Fi Online has conducted a poll in which Star Wars won. Which is hard to argue with.

What’s the best soundtrack of this year though? My vote goes to the stunning music from Moon, written by Clint Mansell formely of Pop Will Eat Itself. The music is moody and atmospheric and perfect for the film, which is also really great.

October 5, 2009

Star Wars Uncut

Want to remake Star Wars? Star Wars Uncut is a site organising a co-operative fan based remake.

You and 472 other people have the chance to recreate Star Wars: A New Hope. Below is the entire movie split up into 15 second clips. Click on one of the scenes to claim it, film it, and upload it. You can have up to three scenes! When we're all done, we'll stitch it all together and watch the magic happen.

The trailer looks pretty funny and cool and stylish, lots of great stuff in there.

Via Dave via Topless Robot

Star Wars: Uncut Trailer from Casey Pugh on Vimeo.

Future Cities, Classic Book

Matt Jones follows up his io9 post with a reference to David Jefferis and his book The World Of Future Cities, of which there is a Flickr set. I recommend perusing the images, there were some great predictions, many have come true, although, alas, no floating pyramid cities or orbital space stations.

Image from wiless on Flickr

NBC Shows In The UK

Three NBC show’s have been signed up by the UK Sci Fi Channel and the Hallmark Channel.

V and Human Target go to Sci Fi UK.

Eastwick goes to Hallmark.

Both the channels are only available on pay satellite or cable. I couldn’t find any mentions of which free channels they will be shown on (if any). Usually the free channels get to show the programmes after the pay for channels have shown them.

October 4, 2009

Torque Control Short Story Reading Club : Oh He Is

This week’s story for the Torque Control Short Story Reading Club is Oh He Is by Karen Heuler, published in Fantasy Magazine.

It’s a take on The Pied Piper, returning after leaving the kids in a coma state. There’s some quite nice description in the story but the plot just didn’t grab me. I was just left thinking “And?” and unfortunately the language was fine but not enough to keep me interested.

Stories like this need to grab me emotionally, or do something off-beat, or have language that I want to read again and again, or have some wonderful ideas.

Not one for me.

October 2, 2009

Minimalist Science Fiction Posters

Graphic Nothing has a great set of minimalist movie posters, including some classic Science Fiction films.

 

Via @brainpicker.

Hitchcon 09

Penguin are launching the official Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy sequel, And Another Thing… with a day long conference at the Royal Festival Hall, Hitchcon ‘09.

It’s on Sunday 11th October, at London’s Southbank Centre and special guests include Clive Anderson, Andrew Sachs, Dirk Maggs , Simon Jones  and Harry Shearer, and the original Hitchhiker's cast of the Radio series will be recreating a Hitchhiker episode live on stage.  Eoin Colfer will be introduced by Ireland's multi-platinum selling band The Blizzards, playing their single inspired by And Another Thing...

October's Ansible Is Online

New month, new Ansible:

Ansible 267, October 2009

Ken Livingstone opened his New Statesman interview of Iain Banks with the key question that must be in every reader's mind: 'I remember meeting you at the Brighton Science Fiction Festival in 1987. There were a lot of people walking round in Vulcan costumes. Were you dressed as a Wookie?' Banks: 'Absolutely not!'

Clone Wars, Bounty Hunter Teasers

The second season of the Clone Wars starts tonight in the US, subtitled Rise Of The Bounty Hunters it looks like good fun again, with Jedis, fighting, battles and Bounty Hunters.

I like this poster:

October 1, 2009

AVTR online

Can’t wait for Avatar? Want more? Check out the AVTR site: video clips, stylish art cloak what is essentially a teaser blog.

Via Dave.