"Let's do those drive-in totals. We have: Nineteen dead bodies (plus fragments). Ten breasts (shame on you, TNT censors). Two zombie breasts. One-hundred twenty-five zombies. Mummy dogs. One-half zombie dog. Ten gallons blood. Brain-eating. Gratuitous embalming. Zombie fu. Nekkid punk-rocker fondue. Gratuitous midget zombie. Torso S&M. One motor vehicle chase (totalled by zombies). Pool cue fu. No aardvarking. Heads roll. Brains roll. Arms roll. Hands roll. Joe Bob says, Check It Out." Only on MonsterVision. [more inside]
Show The Monster : "Guillermo del Toro’s quest to get amazing creatures onscreen." Video: Monsters in the Making. (Via)
Ivan Yakovlevich Bilibin had an eye for bold lines, vivid colors and hypnotic patterns but he also comfortable working in shades of gray, and he wasn't above making a buck. His early work illustrating fairy tales led naturally to his later engagement in the theater as a costume and set designer. [more inside]
"The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear. And the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown."
Lovecraft: Fear of the Unknown - A 90 minute documentary on HP Lovecraft with contributions by Neil Gaiman, John Carpenter and Guillermo Del Toro.
Richard Matheson—Storyteller - To mark the publication of a book of tribute stories writer and editor Richard Bradley has been blogging about the author's 60 year writing career- covering I Am Legend, Duel, and The Incredible Shrinking Man, not to mention Somewhere in Time (full index here). Of course Matheson is probably most famous for his contributions to the Twilight Zone, being one of it's three major writers and scripting Nightmare at 20,000 feet. Twice.
Ted Chiang is perhaps the finest author in contemporary science fiction -- and the most rarefied. A technical writer by trade and a graduate of the distinguished Clarion Writers Workshop, Chiang has published only twelve short stories in the last twenty years, one dozen masterpieces of the genre whose insightful, precise, often poetic language confronts fundamental ideas -- intelligence, consciousness, the nature of God -- and thrusts them into a dazzling new light. Click inside for a complete listing of Chiang's work, with links to online reprints or audio recordings where available, as well as a collection of one-on-one interviews, links to his nonfiction essays, and a few other related sites and articles. [more inside]
Fritz Leiber Jr. was born 100 years ago today. An actor (and son of an actor) and writer, he is best known for his characters Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser (old school website). Project Gutenberg has some stories. Previously on Metafilter. [more inside]
Don't know what to buy your sexy nerd for Christmas? Maybe he/she would enjoy a customizable Cthulhu sex-toy. Or a "fully interactive" Na'vi experience. Or a steampunk death-ray. Or a ride on a silicone Gryphon. (All links NSFW)
The December Lights Project: A short story archive An archive of fanciful, feel-good stories that will keep updating throughout December. These are tremendous fun if you like scifi, magic and fantasy. One of my favorites so far is Queen of the Kitchen, by Karen Healey.
An Illustrated History of Games Workshop and Fighting Fantasy - Jackson and Livingstone - audio, sans illustrations. The story of how Steve Jackson (not that Steve Jackson) and Ian Livingstone kickstarted tabletop roleplaying in the UK and founded a gaming behemoth that is very different today.
Jeff Vandermeer discusses Amazons top 10 SF/Fantasy books of the year, which he selected in consultation with Amazon editors : Part 1, Part 2.
OMNI was launched (PDF) by Kathy Keeton, long-time companion and later wife of Penthouse magazine publisher Bob Guccione, who described the magazine in its first issue as "an original if not controversial mixture of science fact, fiction, fantasy and the paranormal". [more inside]
On Tor.com, Mefi'sown Patrick Garcon (smoke) is writing lively essays on Victorian fantasy illustration, from the Pre-Raphaelites to Orientalism. [via mefi projects]
The Lone Wolf 'choose your own adventure' series [previously] is considered by many to have been the best of its kind. Author Joe Dever licensed the books in 1999 to be distributed for free online. Project Aon, the organization which distributes the books has now released a dedicated client for playing Lone Wolf, automating all record keeping and randomization. Kieron Gillen, comic book writer and games journalist, writes an appreciation of the series and review of the new client. If you don't want take the time to go through it on your own, rpg.net had a 'let's play' series starting here (index here). But go play it yourself, epic fantasy adventure awaits!
The annual Orbit books survey of Fantasy cover art: Fantasy Art, The Changing Fashion of Urban Fantasy Heroines, Color trends in Dragons, Title Trends and Fonts.
Umineko no Naku Koro ni (warning: that entire description is possibly a lie) is a dojin visual novel (or, as the creators prefer, a sound novel) that has recently reached its seventh chapter Japanese. In addition, a group called the Witch Hunt has recently released an English patch for the sixth chapter. Forming the third and fourth part of the When They Cry series that began with Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, Umineko cranks the concept of metanarrative up to 11 and then breaks the knob. [more inside]
Inspired by the cage matches between popular characters over at Suvudu, Random House's SF/fantasy blog, Heather Zundel and friends have started a YA Fantasy version. At least 3 of the characters' authors are involved in the fight write-ups, although one author reacted differently. All I know is that I have a lot of books to check out.
Are you an aspiring writer of genre fiction? Would you like to workshop your stuff before submitting it to magazines and publishers, but you don't happen to have a group of local friends that you can workshop with? Critters.org is an online, highly automated fiction workshop. You submit your manuscript, it waits in a queue until its time comes up, and then it gets sent out to all the active subscribers, some of whom will hopefully send you some helpful feedback! Make sure to critique at least one story every week, though, or you lose your privileges to post your own stories to the queue. [more inside]
War of the words - Science fiction was once driven by a faith in human ability to change the world. These days, the genre seeks to expose the illusions of everyday life. cf. near-future science fiction [1,2] & radical presentism  (via mr)
John Jannuzzi of Textbook pulls together fresh-off-the-runway, high-fashion looks for fictional characters and historical figures, answering that eternal question: What Would Holden Caulfield Wear? Or Eleanor of Aquitaine? Or Zelda? Or Rasputin? Or an assortment of Pokemon?
Fans of Neal Stephenson and Greg Bear please take note: they are designing some kind of iPhone App. [more inside]
LARP - what is it? - a comprehensive guide in comicbook form.
Frank Frazetta, was born in Brooklyn, NY, in 1928. He rose to fame first for his work with comic books in the 1940s and 50s, then for his iconic fantasy art from the 1960s on. Frazetta was the inspiration behind Zelda artist Yusuke Nakano, and Frazetta's artwork for the "Famous Funnies" were an inspiration for Star Wars. Frank Frazetta died today, at the age of 82. More history, eulogies and links inside. [more inside]
Apollo Gauntlet is an independent cartoon created by Winnipeg animator Myles Langlois, with contributions from Drue Langlois and Hollie Dzama. All 10 episodes are available on YouTube: [more inside]
China Miéville has won his third Arthur C Clarke award for his crime/weird fiction novel The City and The City - making him the first person to win the prize three times. Somewhat emotional video of him accepting the prize, where he thanks one special crime reader in particular, his mum, who passed away before it's publication. 10 Questions about China Miéville. An A-Z of China Miéville - 1, 2. An extract from his next novel, Kraken. A Bas Lag Wiki. A discussion of the best genre crossovers. An out of season Christmas tale.
The European map is outdated and illogical. Here's how it should look.
Good Show Sir - a blog of the worst science fiction and fantasy book covers from the deepest depths of second hand bookstores around the world.
After being beaten into a brain-damaging coma by five men outside a bar, Mark Hogancamp built a 1/6th scale World War II-era town in his backyard. Mark populated the town he dubbed "Marwencol" with dolls representing his friends and family and created life-like photographs detailing the town's many relationships and dramas. Playing in the town and photographing the action helped Mark to recover his hand-eye coordination and deal with the psychic wounds from the attack. [more inside]
He invented or popularized a startling array of the fundamental elements of film: the dissolve, the fade-in and fade-out, slow motion, fast motion, stop motion, double exposures and multiple exposures, miniatures, the in-camera matte, time-lapse photography, color film (albeit hand-painted), artificial film lighting, production sketches and storyboards, and the whole idea of narrative film.
By 1897, in a studio of his own design and construction – the first complete movie studio – his hand forged virtually everything on his screen. Norman McLaren writes, "He was not only his own producer, ideas man, script writer, but he was his own set-builder, scene painter, choreographer, deviser of mechanical contrivances, special effects man, costume designer, model maker, actor, multiple actor, editor and distributor." Also, his own cinematographer, and the inventor of cameras to suit his special conceptions. Not even auteur directors such as Charles Chaplin, Orson Welles, John Cassavetes, and Stanley Kubrick would personally author so many aspects of their films."Inside: 57 films by Georges Méliès, the Grandfather of Visual Effects. [more inside]
SciFiGuy.ca explores the infinite wonder and beauty of the Urban fantasy book cover (youtube, bad music) (via).
Lev Grossman (wiki) has picked the six greatest fantasy novels of all time to This Weeks "Best Books...chosen by" series. Grossman blogs that each one"absolute indisputable classic" that "completely changed the game." [more inside]
RIP Robert Holdstock, writer of the Mythago Wood series and many other award winning fantasy novels.
Although it's commonplace nowadays to assume that J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings was the primary source of inspiration for Dave Arneson and Gary Gygax when they created the world's first tabletop roleplaying game, Dungeons & Dragons, a careful examination of the game suggests otherwise... James Maliszewski on The Books That Founded D&D. Some disagreement.
The now-defunct Bang Barstal tells the story of a man and his baseball bat after everything went wrong at once.
Concept Art World - For example: Michael Kutsche, Marek Okoń, 25 Inspiring Examples of Spaceships and Aircraft, Star Trek XI Concept Art by Ryan Church plus lots more.
John Anealio records songs inspired by science fiction and fantasy. Sing along about Cylons, Summer Glau (Firefly/Serenity), Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, and about how "George R.R. Martin is not your bitch" (previously).
Where I Write 'Fantasy & Science Fiction authors in their creative spaces' Photography by Kyle Cassidy
The New York Times profiles Jack Vance (but fails to mention Vancian Magic. (Curse you Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition!)
According to the BBC, US fantasy author David Eddings has died at 77 due to natural causes. More coverage at the Guardian. (via bureau42)