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The Genesis of Doctor Who

"A frail old man lost in space and time. They give him this name because they don't know who he is. He seems not to remember where he has come from; he is suspicious and capable of sudden malignance; he seems to have some undefined energy; he is searching for something as well as fleeing from something. He has a 'machine' which enables them to travel together through time, through space, and through matter." The Genesis of Doctor Who.
posted by Knappster on Nov 19, 2008 - 49 comments

Not suitable for children, or those of you who may have a nervous disposition

The Kneale Tapes (1, 2, 3, 4) documentary about British science fiction screenwriter Nigel Kneale. [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Nov 16, 2008 - 8 comments

Overhead, without any fuss, the stars were going out

New Scientist kicks off it's science fiction special by asking "Is science fiction dying?", with answers by Margaret Atwood, William Gibson and Ursula K Le Guin amongst others. Meanwhile on the Nebula Awards site Geoff Ryman talks about Mundane SF, and how it was a reaction to a phenomenon he noticed in new SF coming through the Clarion workshop: A lot of it doesn't have much science fiction in it.
posted by Artw on Nov 14, 2008 - 70 comments

PARA 00-34-24 WASHINGTON. JOHN MCCAIN ELECTED PRESIDENT

Thirty years ago 'probably the single most influential graphic novel to have come out of Britain to date' was published, The Adventures Of Luther Arkwright by Bryan Talbot. Interview - Part 1, Part 2.
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Nov 5, 2008 - 23 comments

Speculative Poetry

When we think of contemporary poetry, what comes to mind is difficult footnotes, scorching confessions, bardic combat, or maybe a new translation of a classic. Look to the land of children and you spy the sidewalk's end or a pack of Thneeds. Somewhere between the gravid and the childlike is the realm of speculative poetry. [more inside]
posted by cupcakeninja on Nov 2, 2008 - 31 comments

David Tennant Calls Time On Dr Who

The Doctor is set to regenerate once again as David Tennant calls time on Doctor Who. "When Doctor Who returns in 2010 it won’t be with me" Tennant, widely acknowledged as one of the most popular actors ever to play the Doctor, said. "Now don’t make me cry. The 2009 shows will be my last playing the doctor.” [more inside]
posted by Effigy2000 on Oct 29, 2008 - 160 comments

Web of Horror!

Web of Horror #1 (December 1969): Re-presenting the short-lived and impossibly obscure horror comics magazine that featured early work from such luminaries as Ralph Reese, Jeff Jones and Bernie Wrightson. Link via Journalista (may be NSFW). [more inside]
posted by kittens for breakfast on Oct 24, 2008 - 23 comments

Post(modern)-Apocalypse

'We are in (a period of) intense turbulence - fasten your seatbelts,' Gonzalez-Foerster told reporters. So why not shelter from the coming apocalypse in the Turbine Hall of Tate Modern, lying back on a bunk bed, listening to the rain, reading or watching some SF, looking at art.
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Oct 13, 2008 - 22 comments

The Ghosts of Futures Past

"We are living in interesting times; in fact, they're so interesting that it is not currently possible to write near-future SF" – why Charles Stross might have to market his next novel as fantasy.
posted by Artw on Sep 30, 2008 - 65 comments

While I lay dreaming of you...

The Earth Dies Screaming [Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3] [Part 4] [Part 5] [Part 6] [Part 7] [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu on Sep 26, 2008 - 20 comments

Rosenbaum, The Plausible-Fabulist

Like others before him Benjamin Rosenbaum is making his debut short story collection, The Ant King And Other Stories, available from his publishers, Small Beer, as a free download. More than this though, he is holding a competition to find the best derivative work inspired by it. These include "translations, plays, movies, radio plays, audiobooks, flashmob happenings, horticultural installations, visual artworks, slash fanfic epics, robot operas, sequels, webcomics, ASCII art, text adventure games, roleplaying campaigns, knitting projects, handmade shoes, or anything else you feel like." [more inside]
posted by ninebelow on Sep 19, 2008 - 19 comments

The Who we never knew

The Russell T. Davis papers – As he prepares to leave the role of Doctor Who show runner (previously) he’s releasing a book of email exchanges with Doctor Who Magazine writer Benjamin Cook about his time on the longstanding British SF series, revealing the younger face of Who he’s like to see, and plans for a Doctor Who/Harry Potter crossover which never materialized.
posted by Artw on Sep 18, 2008 - 30 comments

Nine vignettes about the Alaskan Secession

Nine Whispered Opinions Regarding the Alaskan Secession. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Sep 16, 2008 - 29 comments

Too bad the guy was only thirty eight - just two years older, he'd have been worth three times the points...

Did you grow up anticipating sports where death would be likely, if not certain? Almost certainly played by convicts, possibly with robot limbs? And which would be even more likely to have chainsaws and flamethrowers not usually found in the sports of today? Those We Left Behind’s look at Future-sports of the past, in videogames, movies and comics is for you!
posted by Artw on Sep 11, 2008 - 41 comments

Antpocalypse!!!

Today's date? Why, it's...July 11, 2052, and man has been cowering in terror, self-sealed in his own living-tombs since that day of horror in...1952. Remember? 100 years ago, the sky above America turned black...with the dread flight of millions of ferocious, gigantic ants! [more inside]
posted by kittens for breakfast on Sep 5, 2008 - 56 comments

Make it work

"He's always thinking about lots of things — he's a pollinator, he brings ideas to the table" You probably know Neal Stephenson for his work as an author (generally in or adjacent to the Science Fiction genre), but he's also an inventor at Washington based "Idea Factory" Intellectual Ventures, a place with modern goals like stomping out malaria and preventing hurricanes. This is after his old job as part-time rocket scientist.
posted by Artw on Sep 1, 2008 - 17 comments

Flowers For Algernon - The Blog

Daniel Keys' classic 1959 Science Fiction story "Flowers for Algernon", which takes place in a series of diary entries, has been posted online as a blog. Of course, you'll need to read it backwards, from the earliest entry to the latest, to avoid giving away the ending... [via]
posted by Asparagirl on Aug 30, 2008 - 25 comments

Gentlemen, We Have Wood

Johnna Klukas makes science fiction wood carvings, sculpture and furniture. She has also detailed her techniques (with more "coming soon").
posted by DU on Aug 14, 2008 - 13 comments

Spaceships are pretty cool.

A concept spaceship and experimental aircraft art blog. [more inside]
posted by Divine_Wino on Aug 4, 2008 - 21 comments

The Walking Dead

Warren Ellis on the grim future of science fiction magazines. Some of the previous posts he mentions, and response to one from Cory Doctorow (unsuprising short summary: Blogs!). Jason Stoddard on 5 small things and 5 big things Science Fiction can do to improve its image.
posted by Artw on Aug 3, 2008 - 67 comments

Speaker for Himself

Orson Scott Card on gay marriage, which he says "marks the end of democracy in America". Not everyone is too happy about that.
posted by Artw on Jul 29, 2008 - 284 comments

Warp Drive

Putting the Warp into Warp Drive.
posted by homunculus on Jul 28, 2008 - 60 comments

cult/horror/exploitation/B/sci-fi and basically any other genre to which one may refer as 'shit'

Wrong side of the art. This blog was originally made as an easy access page to view/manage my collection of movie posters specializing in cult/horror/exploitation/B/sci-fi and basically any other genre to which one may refer as 'shit'. Don't forget the blaxploitation, naziploitation, nunsploitation, and bruceleeploitation, and watch out out if you're at work: some B-movies aren't for kids.
posted by gerryblog on Jul 26, 2008 - 24 comments

Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun.

Great Opening Sentences From Science Fiction from io9.com.
posted by blue_beetle on Jul 25, 2008 - 105 comments

Photography of British Sci-fi fans at home dressed in character.

Land of the Free, home of the geek. Steven Schofield takes photos of british sci-fi fans, dressed in character in their homes. He treats it as 'found' photography, which seems to illustrate the subjects vulnerability. The title of the work is Land of the Free - and illustrates how American culture infiltrates, with the ironic edge of questioning the idea of the freedom of choosing to copy the look of these fictional characters. via kottke
posted by filmgeek on Jul 14, 2008 - 36 comments

A Web of Geeks, Every One of Which Knows a Lot about Something

Vegging Out vs. Geeking Out. Romance as the MSG of film. The bifurcated careers of Lucy lawless, Sigourney Weaver, and Hugo Weaving. Characters making smart decisions vs. stupid decisions. Neal Stephenson discusses Sci-Fi/Speculative Fiction as a literary genre at Gresham College. (Warning: requires Flash 9)
posted by Navelgazer on Jul 13, 2008 - 29 comments

Captain Kirks Alien Mysteries

With all the crystal skulls, nazca lines and such at the box office these days now might be the ideal time to reacquaint yourself with the theories of Erich von Däniken. What better way to do it than by watching William Shatners Mysteries of the Gods ( Pt. 1, Pt. 2, Pt. 3, Pt. 4, Pt. 5, Pt. 6, Pt. 7, Pt. 8, Pt. 9, Pt. 10)(MULTI LINK YOUTUBE SHATNERFEST)
posted by Artw on Jun 10, 2008 - 28 comments

“I hear voices from another star.”

A Day In The Afterlife of Philip K Dick - An Arena documentary first broadcast by the BBC in 1994 (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Jun 6, 2008 - 31 comments

Survivors reborn

First it was Blake's 7, now another Terry Nation cult classic sf television programme is to return. The BBC have announced they are remaking Survivors. Telling the story of the survivors of a plague that wipes out most of Britain, the original was famed for its gritty and somewhat controversial story-telling.
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Jun 3, 2008 - 20 comments

Script-Doctorin' the TARDIS

As of 2010 Steven Moffat will be replacing Russell T. Davies as lead writer and executive producer of Doctor Who. In 2005 Davies revived the series, which had been dormant (bar the odd US co-production or audiodrama) since 1989, for BBC Wales. It won awards and was successful enough to spawn the spin-offs Sarah Jane Adventures and the popular-in-America Torchwood. He is replaced by Moffat, one of the regular writers on the show, whose highly acclaimed episodes have won a number of awards and nominations. "I applied before but I got knocked back 'cos the BBC wanted someone else. Also I was seven. Anyway, I'm glad the BBC has finally seen the light and it's a huge honour to be following Russell into the best - and the toughest - job in television. I say toughest 'cos Russell's at my window right now, pointing and laughing."
posted by Artw on May 20, 2008 - 103 comments

God Emperor of STFU

7 Reasons Why Scifi Book Series Outstay Their Welcomes
posted by Artw on May 15, 2008 - 99 comments

In bed with Captain Kirk

"We were treated like rock stars. I was told there were female Trekkies who kept lists of all the cast members with whom they'd slept. I was told this!" Extracts from 'Up To Now', the autobiography of William Shatner... from his time on Star Trek, where he comes over as the colossal jerk of legend, to his poignant recollections of the death of his third wife.
posted by fearfulsymmetry on May 12, 2008 - 75 comments

Bebe Barron, RIP

Bebe Barron, 82, Pioneer of Electronic Scores, Is Dead. Best known for the soundtrack to the 1956 sci-fi classic Forbidden Planet -- the first full-length feature to use only electronic music -- she and her husband Louis Barron recorded the film's pre-synthesizer "electronic tonalities" with electronic circuits of their own invention. She never scored another feature film, but remained active in the avant-garde music scene.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on May 8, 2008 - 17 comments

Dan Dare and the Birth of Hi-Tech Britain

Dan Dare, pilot of the future, scourge of the Venusian Mekon menace, and modernist architectural inspiration?
posted by Artw on Apr 28, 2008 - 12 comments

"The Definitive British Space Opera... i.e. Bloody Miserable"

Blake's Back! British science fiction classic Blakes 7 is getting the Battlestar Galactica treatment. [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Apr 25, 2008 - 45 comments

Do not forsake me oh my android

High-Tech Noon. What makes a classic Western even more classic? Blasters and force-fields, that's what. (SLYT)
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Apr 21, 2008 - 25 comments

Jules Verne Illustrations

The Smithsonian's Jules Verne Centennial site has a collection of a large number of high quality scans of original, engraved illustrations from Verne's works. From the fantastic (interior of space vehicle, flying ship, spacewalking) and mundane (two dogs, a nice meal, elephant trying to break free from a hot-air balloon). And don't forget to check out the portrait of Jules Verne and his many technological prophecies. For information about the publishing history of Jules Verne read this scholarly article by Terry Harpold about illustrations of Jules Verne stories, focusing on Le Superbe Orénoque. It also includes a wealth of illustrations. Finally, as a bonus, here's a picture of the National Air and Space Museum's scale model of the spacecraft Verne came up with for his De la Terre à la Lune.
posted by Kattullus on Apr 10, 2008 - 14 comments

Database of free speculative fiction online

Free Speculative Fiction Online is a database of free science fiction and fantasy stories online by published authors (no fan-fiction or stories by unpublished writers). Among the authors that FSFO links to are Paul Di Filippo (14 stories), James Tiptree, Jr. (4 stories), Connie Willis (3 stories), Eleanor Arnason (3 stories), Bruce Sterling (5 stories), Robert Heinlein (7 stories), Ursula K. LeGuin (3 stories), Jonathan Lethem (5 stories), Michael Moorcock (6 stories), Chine Miéville (2 stories), Samuel R. Delany (3 stories), Robert Sheckley (8 stories), MeFite Charles Stross (33 stories) and hundreds of other authors. If you don't know where to start, there's a list of recommended stories.
posted by Kattullus on Apr 5, 2008 - 34 comments

Rapid Offensive Unit Xenophobe will no doubt be pleased

Edinburgh author Iain M. Banks, creator of the post capitalist space faring society The Culture and it's oddly named ships, has long been the UKs top science fiction writer, but has never had more than a toehold in the US (in part through lack of availability, in part due to lack of promotion and in part due to some pretty awful covers. That could change: Matter, his latest, has been heavily promoted in the US and sports a cover nearly identical to the UK edition. This week Orbit are releasing US editions of the two earliest Culture novels, with the third following in July, which could mean a complete release of all the novels in the US in order. [more inside]
posted by Artw on Mar 23, 2008 - 160 comments

Neither technology nor magic was sufficiently advanced.

Arthur C. Clarke, author of 2001, inventor of the telecommunications satellite and the only reason most geeks can find Sri Lanka on a map, has died shortly after celebrating his 90th birthday.
posted by Skorgu on Mar 18, 2008 - 292 comments

The Whedon cultist block vote swings it

Sci-Fi Shakespearean standoff: Magneto vs Pickard vs that guy from Serentity.
posted by Artw on Mar 9, 2008 - 37 comments

Design and the Elastic Mind

Design and the Elastic Mind is a MOMA exhibit of cool objects, gadgets, websites and ideas. Some personal favorites are The PainStation, The Religious Helmet, Body Modification for Love, The Minutine Space and Lightweeds.
posted by Kattullus on Feb 24, 2008 - 13 comments

SF squids

Talking Squids in Outer Space : The Pinnacle of Science Fiction
posted by dhruva on Feb 4, 2008 - 25 comments

Back to the Future

How experts think we'll live in the year 2000 [via Paleo-Future] [more inside]
posted by hadjiboy on Jan 31, 2008 - 43 comments

An Orgy Of Savage Lusts!

Trailers From Hell. Cult directors (and other industry types) introduce and comment on trailers for cult films. For instance, Allison Anders on Peeping Tom, Rick Baker on The Man Of A Thousand Faces, Joe Dante on Attack Of The 50 Foot Woman, Jack Hill on White Heat, Dan Ireland on The Haunting, Mary Lambert on The Masque Of The Red Death and Edgar Wright on Carnage. (Flash menu and intro unfortunately)
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Jan 28, 2008 - 11 comments

Brave New Words

Matrioshka Brain? Quine? Whuffie? - 75 Words every sci-fi fan should know, Science fiction citations at the OED, Swear words from science fiction, Neologisms in science fiction, Brave new words.
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Jan 16, 2008 - 27 comments

The Science Fiction Artwork of John Harris

John Harris's science fiction artwork is stunning. Much of it attempts to capture scale and the hugeness of relative comparisons in the universe. From the book Mass that looks at his work: "From skyscapes to lost cities, planetary bodies to megalithic structures, Harris's concepts are truly colossal, conveying not just the sheer scale that the edifices of future-fantastical technology might attain, but also the awesome-ness, even terror, of their presence." His work has graced the covers of many science fiction books, which you may have recognized. Interestingly, there's no wikipedia article about him.
posted by SpacemanStix on Jan 8, 2008 - 25 comments

Sterling's World 2008

Bruce Sterling's State of the World: an interactive discussion on the Well with the noted sci-fi author and futurist. "The political and economic landscape in 2008 is full of spinning, tottering Chinese plates poised on tall pool-cues." [An MP3 of his State of the World 2006 from SXSW was previously linked here.]
posted by digaman on Jan 3, 2008 - 26 comments

A reading of "In the Late December," by Greg van Eekhout

"In the Late December" (MP3 link), by Greg van Eekhout, is a Nebula award-nominated story about Santa Claus and the end of the universe, and is Escape Pod #138. (By the way, this is a very dark story -- there's no sex or violence but this probably isn't suitable for kids, where "kids" is defined as a stereotypical aggregate of child-like characteristics. Yours may be different.)
posted by JHarris on Dec 25, 2007 - 14 comments

"I think I was Ed Wood trying to be Steven Spielberg."

Art Binninger was a sci-fi buff in the 1970s with the resources of the audiovisual squad at Vandenberg Air Force Base at his disposal. The result was Star Trix, a claymation Star Trek parody, that spawned three short films and Star Trix: The Flick (parts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5). Art Binninger himself explains the whole saga on his web site.
posted by jonp72 on Dec 15, 2007 - 3 comments

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