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"We, the fans and pros of www.peterdavid.net, in order to form a more perfect union of fan/pro interaction...."

"When I said in the beginning that absolutely everything that’s represented in this document is in response to stuff that has actually occurred at conventions, that is not hyperbole..." Author Peter David has posted his Fan/Pro Bill of Rights for sci-fi conventions and convention-goers. [more inside]
posted by magstheaxe on Nov 30, 2011 - 78 comments

Anne McCaffrey, 1926-2011

Anne McCaffrey, author of Dragonriders of Pern, the first woman to win a Hugo award, is reported dead.
posted by Zarkonnen on Nov 22, 2011 - 222 comments

EXTERMINATE

Russell T. Davies and then Steven Moffat have done their own transformations, which were fantastic, but we have to put that aside and start from scratch. Variety reports Harry Potter director David Yates wants to reboot Doctor Who. Topless Robot reacts.
posted by gerryblog on Nov 14, 2011 - 150 comments

Stories made from: microspores, fog maps, infected bass samples, mathematics, patterns of decay, broken machines, blood, code bugs…

Sparkletown, the twitter stories of Jeff Noon.
posted by Artw on Nov 10, 2011 - 19 comments

That which does not kill us makes us stronger

> comp.basilisk - Frequently Asked Questions :: Is it just an urban legend that the first basilisk destroyed its creator?
Almost everything about the incident at the Cambridge IV supercomputer facility where Berryman conducted his last experiments has been suppressed and classified as highly undesirable knowledge. It's generally believed that Berryman and most of the facility staff died. Subsequently, copies of basilisk B-1 leaked out. This image is famously known as the Parrot for its shape when blurred enough to allow safe viewing. B-1 remains the favorite choice of urban terrorists who use aerosols and stencils to spray basilisk images on walls by night. But others were at work on Berryman's speculations...
[more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Nov 6, 2011 - 88 comments

No one would have believed in the middle of the 20th Century that human affairs were being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than Man's...

The making of George Pal's War of the Worlds
posted by Artw on Oct 30, 2011 - 26 comments

Sonic Screwdriver

Sonic Screwdrivers: Banned in Action Movies Since 1963.
posted by homunculus on Oct 29, 2011 - 32 comments

GeekGirlCon Power!

Was GeekGirlCon 2011 the most important con of the year? [more inside]
posted by Artw on Oct 22, 2011 - 88 comments

Here, use cream

Nostromo Crew Portraits
posted by Artw on Oct 21, 2011 - 62 comments

Many Lives, Furnished in Middle-Period Moorcock

Intrigued by the trolley problem? Here is a link to the full text of Michael Moorcock's 1971 SF novel Breakfast in the Ruins. Moral conundrums at the end of every chapter for you. [more inside]
posted by infinitewindow on Oct 17, 2011 - 43 comments

There's nothing to see here I'm only a husky...

John Carpenter's THE THING: THE MUSICAL (slyt)
posted by Artw on Oct 10, 2011 - 27 comments

It's alive!

The beta version of the SFE (The Encyclopaedia of Science Fiction) has just gone live (blog - What is a beta text? Some philosophy, Some history…)
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Oct 10, 2011 - 22 comments

A Clumsy Martian, Indeed

Margaret Atwood defines science fiction "Is [the term science fiction] a corral with real fences that separate what is clearly 'science fiction' from what is not, or is it merely a shelving aid, there to help workers in bookstores place the book in a semi-accurate or at least lucrative way? If you put skin-tight black or silver clothing on a book cover along with some jetlike flames and/or colourful planets, does that make the work 'science fiction'? What about dragons and manticores, or backgrounds that contain volcanoes or atomic clouds, or plants with tentacles, or landscapes reminiscent of Hieronymus Bosch? Does there have to be any actual science in such a book, or is the skin-tight clothing enough? These seemed to me to be open questions."
posted by PhoBWanKenobi on Oct 6, 2011 - 228 comments

Science fiction writers have a job, and it's time to do it

The Hieroglyph Project. Neal Stephenson: SF needs to stop mucking around with steampunk and dystopia, and start making decent roadmaps for a future where we all want to live. Previously
posted by -->NMN.80.418 on Oct 5, 2011 - 60 comments

Big Dumb Objects

Chris Foss: The Joy of Starships (More Chris Foss here)
posted by Artw on Oct 1, 2011 - 35 comments

Bioshock

Scientist and Science Fiction author Joan Slonczewski, author of A Door Into The Ocean, guest blogs about science fictional and microbiology on Charles Stross's site: Salt Beings, Microbes grow the starship, Synthetic Babies
posted by Artw on Sep 30, 2011 - 13 comments

Don't panic

Over the summer, NPR solicited the input of its listeners to rank the top science fiction and fantasy books of all time. Over 60,000 people voted for the top picks which were then compiled into a list by their panel of experts. The result? This list of 100 books with a wide range of styles, little context, and absolutely no pithy commentary to help readers actually choose something to read from it. SF Signal comes to the rescue with this handy flowchart.
posted by Artw on Sep 27, 2011 - 166 comments

Walt Disney's "The Black Hole"

To paraphrase a character in the film, The Black Hole walks "a tightrope;" if not between "genius" and "insanity," then certainly between "genius" and "banality". If you're looking at this movie as a Manichean exercise between darkness and light, then you can -- for at least a few hours -- entertain the "genius" part of that equation.
posted by Trurl on Sep 25, 2011 - 106 comments

If we've got any surprises for each other, I don't think either one of us is in much shape to... Holy crap! Tentacle attack!

From the start of Bill Lancaster writing the original script to the final edited cut of the film, The Thing underwent some serious changes. A lot of footage ended up littering the cutting room floor. The Collector's Edition DVD gives us a look at some of the Outtakes and Deleted Scenes, but it falls shy of showing us what really was cut. - Deleted Scenes from The Thing and other assorted goodies at Outpost 31.

There is also a prequel of some kind.
posted by Artw on Sep 20, 2011 - 38 comments

The President will be addressed as Your Brilliance or Your Luminosity.

Section 1. In the event of the aftermath of a nuclear holocaust, the surviving members of the CUSFS shall be formed into a clan, henceforth referred to as 'the Clan.' The surviving members of the Board will reconvene under the new name of The Elders Who Remember The Time Before It Changed, henceforth referred to as 'the Elders.'
The Columbia University Science Fiction Society's Constitution and Bylaws. [more inside]
posted by pts on Sep 15, 2011 - 26 comments

I can't file that, Dave.

An office space right out of sci fi by Kubrick. Apparently, the employees at SuperGroup are all science fiction fans. So they hired a design firm to turn their office into something out of 2001 A Space Odyssey and Star Trek.
posted by Bunny Ultramod on Sep 15, 2011 - 46 comments

Transient Man

Transient Man. "Transient is a black comedy about a homeless man who's visions lead him to believe he is an inter-dimensional savior of humanity, on a mission to save the universe. Is he indeed the 'one', chosen by mystical divine forces to embark on a crusade against ultimate evil, or a hopeless lunatic, aimlessly wandering the streets of San Francisco? Transient is a spoof on the hero's journey that's part Men in Black, part Raising Arizona, flavored with liberal portions of Ghostbusters and John Steinbeck. It is a ballad to the city by the bay, and a heartfelt tale of the sacrifices one man will take for his love for his family, his friends, and all of humankind." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Sep 3, 2011 - 20 comments

Logan's Run

Logan's Run is a 1976 science fiction film... It depicts a dystopian future society in which population and the consumption of resources are managed and maintained in equilibrium by the simple expediency of killing everyone who reaches the age of thirty, preventing overpopulation. (related 2004 post worth clicking through for) [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Sep 3, 2011 - 121 comments

He's Hipp!

As Khoi Vinh describes them, "Dan Hipp’s extraordinarily lively illustrations are borne of some mash-up universe in which comics, sci-fi and action-adventure fiction have both been flipped over on their backs, only to reveal their shockingly adorable undersides." via Subtraction [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco on Aug 24, 2011 - 17 comments

Stanislaw Lem on Philip K. Dick

Stanislaw Lem on Philip K. Dick: A Visionary Among the Charlatans. (Science Fiction Studies # 5 = Volume 2, Part 1 = March 1975; Translated from the Polish by Robert Abernathy)
posted by gen on Aug 21, 2011 - 20 comments

Hugo, I go, We All Go to WorldCon !

The 69th Worldcon (world science fiction convention) starts today ! Worldcon is the yearly convention at which the Hugo awards are voted upon by the membership. [more inside]
posted by Poet_Lariat on Aug 17, 2011 - 37 comments

Not just your everyday Gideon.

For sale: Philip K Dick's Bible, with handwritten annotations.
posted by scalefree on Aug 6, 2011 - 47 comments

There can be only ten.

NPR Books is asking people to vote for their ten favorite science fiction / fantasy books of all time. The list is exhaustive; the picking only ten is hard.
posted by mygothlaundry on Aug 3, 2011 - 521 comments

"Pound pastrami, can kraut, six bagels—bring home for Emma."

A Canticle for Leibowitz (1981, NPR); an audio adaptation of Walter Miller's 1960 history of the Albertian Order of Leibowitz in the centuries after the Flame Deluge. [more inside]
posted by Iridic on Jul 19, 2011 - 69 comments

or would people start to ask why the wealth of knowledge and culture was being enclosed within restrictive laws, when “another world is possible” beyond the regime of artificial scarcity?

Given the material abundance made possible by the replicator, how would it be possible to maintain a system based on money, profit, and class power? Towards an Anti-Star Trek. [more inside]
posted by gerryblog on Jul 15, 2011 - 147 comments

Deep space. The silence of the void. Shhh.

NOON, 22ND CENTURY. The research vessel Pegasus is getting ready for liftoff from a spaceport near Moscow. Its small crew of three comprises interplanetary zoologist Dr. Seleznev, his adventurous nine-year-old daughter Alisa, and the terminally pessimistic Captain Zeleny. As they search for rare animal specimens to expand the Moscow zoo's collection, they will discover which of the ferocious tigerat's two tails is longer, save a planet of robots from a paralyzing epidemic, and deliver a modestly sized birthday cake. [more inside]
posted by Nomyte on Jul 8, 2011 - 24 comments

An example of early scifi horror fiction

"The contemporary setting and concerns of "The Steam Arm" are a very great distance from the Gothic setting and tropes of much 1830s horror fiction, and its science fictional content makes it possibly unique."
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Jul 6, 2011 - 16 comments

Traveller

Traveller is a series of related science fiction role-playing games, the first published in 1977 by Game Designers' Workshop and subsequent editions by various companies remaining in print to this day. (previously)
posted by Trurl on Jun 29, 2011 - 86 comments

We're All Stories In The End

In other words, months before The War Games, The Mind Robber has quietly given us an origin story for the Doctor that is almost, but not quite, what we eventually get from the later "official" version. - Philip Sandifer discusses an alternate origin for Doctor Who.
posted by Artw on Jun 15, 2011 - 43 comments

Colored Futures

"For a genre known for depicting obscure creatures, new concepts of civilization, and future predictions for humanity, sci-fi sure has a hard time being about more than white people." Multi-disciplinary artist Adriel Luis' list of "10 fantasmic films, books, and records to transport you to the unreal—while still letting you keep it real."
posted by artof.mulata on Jun 14, 2011 - 112 comments

Rocky Star

Rocky Star was a 1990s Australian TV show that had actors lip-syncing along with a 1950s Flash Gordon-esque radio play. Mostly forgotten by absolutely everyone, two of the twenty episodes have recently turned up on youtube.
posted by dng on Jun 4, 2011 - 19 comments

Hellfire and Damnation!

After over seven years, Stephen R. Donaldson, has stopped taking questions for his monumental and amazing Gradual Interview.
"After May 21, 2011, the Gradual Interview will no longer accept new questions or messages. I will continue to work my way through the questions which have already been accepted, but I can't do more. I'm too far behind on too many things, and the strain is affecting my concentration. Discontinuing the Gradual Interview is one of several things that I'm doing to simplify my life."
The Gradual Interview is a fully-searchable question and answer session with his readers that currently contains over 2600 exchanges on topics including minutiae about his novels, his writing process, and many other interesting subjects. [more inside]
posted by hippybear on May 29, 2011 - 12 comments

Out Of This World

Out Of This World: Science Fiction But Not As You Know It is an exhibition at the British Library exploring the origins of Science Fiction, running until September. China Mieville takes a look at the exhibition for the BBC. (Out Of This World postcards - images from the exhibition) [more inside]
posted by dng on May 27, 2011 - 13 comments

The Fiction Liberation Front

The Fiction Liberation Front: cyberpunk/slipstream/transreal author Lewis Shiner has released his collected writings under a Creative Commons license, including his award novels Frontera, Deserted Cities of the Heart, and Glimpses. Shiner may be best known for his inclusion in the seminal 1986 cyberpunk anthology Mirrorshades, alongside the likes of William Gibson, Bruce Sterling, and Rudy Rucker. A few years later he was pronouncing the movement dead.
posted by unmake on May 27, 2011 - 27 comments

Make it so...

Following on from an epic Star Trek: The Original Series rewatch (previously) and their Star Trek movie marathon, tor.com are now watching each episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation in turn. So far they have reached The Last Outpost, in which a terrifying new adversary was introduced as a replacement for Klingons as Star Trek universe bad guys: The Ferengi.
posted by Artw on May 20, 2011 - 58 comments

The Crying Game

After 14 years, a movie and 17 seasons Stargate has left our screens forever- falling ratings dooming it's latest incarnation, Stargate: Universe, just as the series was finding it's feet. But what would have happned had the series continued? (contains spoilers for show you probably didn't watch)
posted by Artw on May 18, 2011 - 181 comments

"What I wanted was to create a prophet"

"I wanted to do a movie that would give the people that took LSD at that time the hallucinations that you get with that drug, but without hallucinating. I did not want LSD to be taken, I wanted to fabricate the drug's effect." - Alejandro Jodorowsky's Dune (previously) is to be the subject of a new documentary.
posted by Artw on May 16, 2011 - 32 comments

skiffy

Today's Guardian Review is a science fiction special [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on May 14, 2011 - 89 comments

Over 2.7 million nations served.

NationStates is a free political simulation game founded by author Max Barry back in 2002 (previously). Loosely based on his dystopian corporate thriller Jennifer Government, the game starts by asking players to provide some national trappings and answer a few civics questions, then generates a virtual country with a matching political outlook. Periodic policy decisions like mining rights and compulsory voting allow players to further modify their country along axes of social, political, and economic freedom, arriving at one of twenty-seven colorful government types like Tyranny By Majority or Scandinavian Liberal Paradise. There's also a healthy roleplaying community -- players can discuss current events in the General forum, practice wargaming in International Incidents, form cooperative Regions to debate internal affairs (many of which form their own communities), and elect Delegates to send to the World Assembly (so renamed after an amusing cease-and-desist from the real-world U.N.). Their collective history is thoroughly recorded in the 35,000-article NSWiki, which provides a detailed legislative record, gameplay guide, and profiles on many of the 90,000 active nations, 8,000 player regions, and countless characters that currently make up the game world.
posted by Rhaomi on May 9, 2011 - 62 comments

Meet "Meet The Hollowheads"

The Edgewise Guide To Filmmaking. Screenwriter Lisa Morton kept a diary while making the very, very strange 1989 movie Meet The Hollowheads (trailer). The low-budget sci-fi/horror/social comment/sitcom takes place in a dystopian underground suburb whose entire infrastructure, operated by monopolist corporation United Umblicial, consists of flexible tubes which carry waste, energy, and slimy and sometimes still living comestibles. The movie, the one and only directorial effort of horror FX and make-up man Tom Burman, inspires confusion and dismay in most viewers. Hollowheads stars John Glover and features a 14-year-old Juliette Lewis, her big brother Lightfield, a musical instrument made out of a live chicken, an eyeball attached to a large intestine that lives in a glass tank, and an uncredited Bobcat Goldthwait as a lascivious cop, whose few lines include "When will children learn to just say no to butt polish?"
posted by escabeche on May 1, 2011 - 52 comments

An Extended Finnish Saturday Matinee

Finnish YouTube user Ishexan has uploaded seven English subtitled movies in parts: Broken Blossoms (1919), Aelita (1924), The Gipsy Charmer (1929), The Tragedy of Elina (1938), The Activists (1939), The Wooden Pauper's Bride (1944), and Sampo (1959), which is based on the epic poem The Kalevala. The films are mostly Finnish, though Aelita is a silent Russian sci-fi film, and Sampo was a joint Finnish and Soviet production. More film clips inside (mostly Finnish documentaries and "dorky musical numbers"). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Apr 30, 2011 - 12 comments

RIP Joanna Russ

After suffering a series of strokes earlier this week, feminist science fiction author and essayist Joanna Russ has died. Russ's best known work is probably her novel The Female Man; this and her other works were often misunderstood and dismissed by the male-dominated science fiction field of the 70s. Despite this, her short story "When It Changed" (which was included in Harlan Ellison's Again Dangerous Visions) won a Hugo award in 1973, and her novella, "Souls," won a Nebula award in 1983. In retrospect, of course, hers is one of the names that will be remembered from that era of imaginative writing.
posted by aught on Apr 29, 2011 - 87 comments

Renovation

Blogging the Hugos: Decline (part 1, part 2, part 3), is a series of blog posts covering some dystopian trends in recent Hugo nominees and itself winner of the of the BSFA award for non fiction. Meanwhile the 2011 Hugo finalists have been announced, with Mefi favorites featuring strongly: In Best Novella The Lifecycle of Software Objects by Ted Chiang (previously), In Best Short Story The Things by Peter Watts (previously). Doctor who features heavily under Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form (too many posts to mention), but has strong competition from Fuck Me, Ray Bradbury.
posted by Artw on Apr 24, 2011 - 27 comments

The Ballad of Halo Jones

Alan Moore and Ian Gibson's epic story The Ballad of Halo Jones concluded 25 years ago today (bar the odd strange one page appearance hinting at why it did not return). Despite being unpopular with readers at first due to it's female protagonist and relative lack of action it is now rightly regarded as one of 2000ads classic stories. However despite Quality Comics reprinting a color monthly version (which was anything but quality) it has remained a rarity in the US, until now. But how would the other 6 chapters of the planned 9 part chapter have gone? Moore revealed how it would have ended in a recent interview.
posted by Artw on Apr 19, 2011 - 20 comments

Just Write It!

Fans of George RR Martin's "The Song of Ice and Fire" series are eagerly awaiting "A Dance With Dragons", the next book. This anticipation has led to hostility from some fans as to Martin's work ethic and the manner in which he spends his personal time.
posted by reenum on Apr 14, 2011 - 206 comments

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