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]
posted by Rhaomi
on Dec 27, 2010 -
, 102 pages of power armour, guns, mega-scale rapidly mutating biological horror, cancer sticks, tanks and general comics mahem by James Stokoe.
posted by Artw
on Dec 2, 2010 -
"The project was the brainchild of three good friends of mine.
One was an astronaut, one was a communications genius who used to work with Walter Cronkite and the third was a highly respected scientist, and the one thing I won’t tell you about them is their names. You see, the three of them collectively cooked up one of the very best ideas I have ever heard, and they overcame all obstacles to make it come to pass. But then they messed up one tiny, inconsequential little detail. That turned the whole enterprise into a catastrophic confusion which gave great pleasure to some but cost others, including one of its principle intended beneficiaries of the idea, the Holland America cruise ship line, a ton of money." - Frederik Pohl
] [more inside]
posted by brundlefly
on Nov 30, 2010 -
"We appreciate all the support that fans have shown for 'Caprica' and are very proud of the producers, cast, writers and the rest of the amazing team that has been committed to this fine series. Unfortunately, despite its obvious quality, 'Caprica' has not been able to build the audience necessary to justify a second season."
- The Battlestar Galactica prequel series Caprica
has been cancelled
, and it's final episodes consigned to 2011. As ever there is debate as to what went wrong
, though it looks like one complaint, the shows relative lack of action, will be addressed by the next spin-off: Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome
, set during the war years of a young William Adama.
posted by Artw
on Oct 28, 2010 -
The biggest literary influence on my approach to game design, however, was one of the writers I worshipped as a teenager: Alice Sheldon, aka James Tiptree, Jr. Tiptree had one particular recommendation for starting a story: “Start from the end and preferably 5,000 feet underground on a dark day and then don’t tell them.” This is precisely how we begin Half-Life. It was a deliberate antidote to the many game openings that involved pages and pages of backstory presented in scrolling text.
- An interview with Marc Laidlaw
, writer for the Half Life series.
posted by Artw
on Oct 13, 2010 -
This is all rooted in a vision I had, of William S. Burroughs as a CIA agent, and Philip K. Dick as his young henchman, going head-to-head with notorious gangster and pervert Adolf Hitler somewhere in Hamburg to find out where Hitler is shipping all the computers he can get his hands on.
- In another world Charles Stross wrote this sprawling work
of Alternate History
instead of the Merchant Princes
books. Fictional books are of course themselves a common them in Alternative History stories, from The Grasshopper Lies Heavy in The Man in the High Castle
to Adolf Hitlers pulp novel Lord of the Swastika
in The Iron Dream
. Stanisław Lem was particularly enamoured with the idea of the fictional book, and wrote two volumes of reviews and introductions for them, lovingly described here
by Bruce Sterling.
posted by Artw
on Sep 23, 2010 -
Behind the opening scenes of Blade Runner.
“Doug and his Entertainment Effects Group team created thousands of acid-etched brass miniatures lit from below with hundreds of bundles of fiber-optic lights, shot in forced-perspective through layers of smoke to create layers of light refraction, creating depth.” The first of a three-part series on the making of Blade Runner
’s unforgettable opening sequence.
posted by spitefulcrow
on Sep 12, 2010 -
Q&A with Duncan Jones
, the director of the recent Hugo winner Moon
plus Gavin Rothery - concept designer and VFX supervisor, Barrett Heathcote - visual effects editor and Hideki Arichi - art director (MLYT) (1
posted by fearfulsymmetry
on Sep 10, 2010 -
Snippets of poetry from the Imperium; a sample folk tale from the Oral History; brief biographies of over a dozen Duncan Idahos; two differing approaches to Paul Muad'Dib himself and to his son Leto II; Fremen recipes; Fremen history; secrets of the Bene Gesserit; the songs of Gurney Halleck -- these are just some of the treasures found when an earthmover fell into the God Emperor's no-room at Dar-es-Balat.
Out of print for more than two decades, disavowed by Frank Herbert's estate, and highly sought-after by fans, the legendary Dune Encyclopedia
is now available online as a fully illustrated and searchable PDF [direct link]
. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Sep 1, 2010 -
Before the internet, nerds communicated through Amateur Press Associations
(APAs). Members wrote and photocopied their individual 'zines on a subject, then mailed them to a central mailer, who collated and mailed the completed sets to all the members. The earliest APAs were founded by printers and amateur journalists. The National Amateur Press Association
is the oldest, founded in 1876. Later APAs were often the province of science fiction and comic book fans. They are still around
[pdf]. A lot more inside... [more inside]
posted by marxchivist
on Aug 2, 2010 -
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]
posted by kavasa
on Aug 1, 2010 -