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When Gravity Fails

Editor Marty Halpern looks back at the career of George Alec Effinger (part 1, part 2, part 3), a prolific author best known for his work set in the Budayeen, a walled city in a future Islamic state, teeming with gangsters, hustlers and transsexual prostitutes, many of them habitual users of plug in personality modules. The noirish tone and exotic technology of the Marîd Audran books (When Gravity Fails, A Fire In The Sun, The Exile Kiss) made Effinger one of the leading lights in the cyberpunk movie, and spawned a videogame - a rare attempt at a graphical adventure from Infocom - and an RPG setting. Sadly Effinger faded from prominence after that, and he suffered from a number of health and financial setbacks before passing away in 2002. His work has had somewhat of a resurgence in popularity of late, with the Marîd Audran books coming back into print in 2007, a long with a collection containing The Wolves of Memory, Effinger's personal favourite amongst his novels.
posted by Artw on Jun 9, 2009 - 32 comments

NAWLZ

NAWLZ: A science fiction flash-based graphic novel 'experiment in interactive storytelling' that's pretty cool. Now up to 13 'issues'. [more inside]
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken on Jun 6, 2009 - 7 comments

Foundation and Letching

Isaac Asimov on how to be a dirty old man.
posted by Artw on Jun 3, 2009 - 67 comments

Bring back box office receipts. Priority One. All other priorities rescinded.

Tony Scott has confirmed that a prequel to Alien is in the works, with commercial director Carl Rinsch at the helm. Of course, his brother Ridley was no stranger to advertising. Meanwhile Dark Horse is celebrating 30 years of the franchise by releasing a new series of Aliens comics.
posted by Artw on May 30, 2009 - 188 comments

...I didn't actually read the link...

It’s only natural that if you wish to present yourself as a well-read person, a certain degree of complete bullshit is required. There’s no shame in lying about what you’ve read. There’s only shame in getting caught. Then you look like a doofus, and an illiterate one at that... How to lie about books.
posted by Artw on May 28, 2009 - 73 comments

May the force of others be with you all

“Until the recent Great Rebellion, the Jedi Bendu were the most feared warriors in the universe. For one hundred thousand years, generations of Jedi perfected their art as the personal bodyguards of the emperor. They were the chief architects of the invincible Imperial Space Force which expanded the Empire across the galaxy, from the celestial equator to the farthest reaches of the Great Rift. Now these legendary warriors are all but extinct. One by one they have been hunted down and destroyed as enemies of the New Empire by a ferocious and sinister rival warrior sect, the Knights of Sith.” - The first draft of Star Wars... was awful.
posted by Artw on May 25, 2009 - 149 comments

How to get sued part [n] : Post about Harlan Ellison

Dreams With Sharp Teeth – clips from a Sundance Channel documentary on science fiction writer (and somewhat litigious colourful character) Harlan Ellison. Harlan says pay the writer. (via)
posted by Artw on May 19, 2009 - 101 comments

Watch from behind the sofa

Is Doctor Who too scary for kids? Parents surveyed by TheBabyWebsite seem to think so. But is being scared a good thing? (via io9)
posted by Artw on May 15, 2009 - 120 comments

Rules for Time Travelers

Rules for Time Travelers [Spoiler? alert.]
posted by BitterOldPunk on May 14, 2009 - 82 comments

The Last Man in Europe

1984: The masterpiece that killed George Orwell
posted by Artw on May 9, 2009 - 79 comments

Classic Covers of Penguin Science Fiction Books

The Art of Penguin Science Fiction is a historical guide to the design of book jackets in the Penguin SF line by James Pardey. But before reading the essay I recommend looking at some of the wonderful cover designs, for example We, Deathworld, Rork!, The Drowned World, Star Maker, The Evolution Man, Fifth Planet and Alternating Currents. They certainly don't make SF book jackets like they used to. All hundred plus covers can also be browsed alphabetically by author. [via The Guardian Books Blog]
posted by Kattullus on May 7, 2009 - 25 comments

1Q 100+, Blood Pressure normal, lungs clear, metabolism normal, adaptability good

Images from The Complete Book of Space Travel illustrated by Virgil Finlay, including an analysis of the space-crew candidate.
posted by Artw on May 7, 2009 - 30 comments

Dagger of the Mind

The SF Signal Mind Meld feature poses science fiction related questions to a number of SF luminaries and the scientist, science writer or blogger. Subjects have included the best women writers in SF, taboo topics in SF, underated authors and the most controversial SF novels of the past and present. The also cover lighter topics, such the role of media tie-ins, how Battlestar Galactica could have ended better (bonus Geoff Ryman) and the realistic (or otherwise) use of science on TV SF shows.
posted by Artw on May 6, 2009 - 17 comments

Variable Quality?

James Wallace Harris on Variable Star, Spider Robinson's posthumous collaboration with Robert A Heinlein, the elements that make up a Heinlein juvenile and what the equivalent might be today.
posted by Artw on Apr 28, 2009 - 82 comments

Hey little sister what have you done

There's something in the sea... and it has a big drill for an arm.
posted by Artw on Apr 20, 2009 - 74 comments

The space slobs are back!

The classic British comedy sf series Red Dwarf returns for three episodes. [more inside]
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit on Apr 11, 2009 - 49 comments

I was just a broken head. I stole the world that others punctured.

Vintage alien landscapes by Kazuaki Saito
posted by Artw on Apr 9, 2009 - 8 comments

The Future of Everything

SpaceCollective. Where forward thinking terrestrials exchange ideas and information about the state of the species, their planet and the universe, living the lives of science fiction today. A growing number of universities, architecture and design schools are conducting projects on this site. Hundreds of art treasures, educational videos and narratives are found in their galleries. Every SpaceCollective member is provided with a personal time capsule, preserving their contributions for the edification of each other as well as future times and beings.
posted by netbros on Apr 7, 2009 - 5 comments

Nebula Best Short Story Nominees 2008

StarshipSofa has podcasted all of the Nebula Best Short Story Nominees for 2008, following on from podcasting all but one of the 2008 BSFA short story nominees. Previous StarshipSofa.
posted by Artw on Apr 2, 2009 - 12 comments

Put that in your pipe and smoke it

Keep watching the skies - The New York Times looks back at 50s Sci Fi films in anticipation of Alien Trespass, the new film from X-Files veteran R.K. Goodwin. One or two of those classics haven't even been remade yet!
posted by Artw on Mar 28, 2009 - 19 comments

Engaging Design

Captain's Log, supplemental.
posted by digaman on Mar 19, 2009 - 112 comments

Fiction vs Science

Ken MacLeod, Paul Cornell, Iain [M] Banks and Ian Watson comment on the relationship between science fiction and science fact.
posted by shoesfullofdust on Mar 18, 2009 - 49 comments

"So Say We All"

Fantasy Meets Reality. The very best works of science fiction illuminate controversial current events and the intricacies of human nature. So, it's no surprise that the United Nations Public Information Department and the Sci Fi (SyFy?) Channel co-hosted a panel yesterday evening on "humanitarian concerns" at the UN, with the creators and actors of Battlestar Galactica -- a show which regularly explores those themes. A 2-hour video webcast is archived here. (RealPlayer video). Entertainment Weekly has an additional write-up. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 18, 2009 - 57 comments

Contracting SyFyllis

Sci Fi has a new name. Now it's SyFy. The Sci Fi Channel is distancing itself from its geek demographic by rebranding its network. The former SyFy Portal website (a nerd news outlet) has been rebranded "Airlock Alpha" after selling the name to an "undisclosed recipient".
posted by crossoverman on Mar 16, 2009 - 257 comments

Here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere!

How Science Fiction Found Religion
posted by shoesfullofdust on Mar 13, 2009 - 72 comments

Science fiction stories in six words.

Science fiction stories in six words. Some by well known scifi authors. Click "Previous Articles" for earlier stories. For me, A.S. Byatt's is most haunting. A sub-genre of "Six Word Stories".
posted by orthogonality on Mar 1, 2009 - 216 comments

R.I.P. Philip Jose Farmer

Pioneering science fiction writer Philip Jose Farmer, who won a Hugo in 1953 for Most Promising New Talent for his disturbing story, The Lovers, died today at age 91. [more inside]
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit on Feb 25, 2009 - 103 comments

Special-snowflake Bots: A List

60+ One-Of-A-Kind Robots From Science Fiction. "You'd think a major advantage of robots is you can mass-produce them. They're just metal-and-circuit bodies. But science fiction is full of one-of-a-kind bots. Here are all the bots for whom they broke the mold."
posted by taz on Feb 21, 2009 - 40 comments

KHAAAAAAAN!

It's a tough life as a media tie-in writer. Vonda N. McIntyre, early pioneer in the field and author of the Star Trek film novelisations, blogs about how she started the Star Trek novel franchise with The Entropy Effect, despite suggestions that maybe she do something more respectable like be a waitress instead. [via io9]
posted by Artw on Feb 17, 2009 - 31 comments

Monks in Space!

Concept art for the Alien 3 that never was - Before the Walter Hill version was shot, entirely in brown, by David Fincher there were many iterations of the Alien 3 script. One of the more exotic ones was the Vincent Ward & John Fasano "monks in space" script, illustrated here. [via io9]
posted by Artw on Feb 4, 2009 - 46 comments

Got rodents?

Previously discussed last fall, ABC has officially greenlit a pilot for its reworking of "V." [more inside]
posted by Afroblanco on Feb 1, 2009 - 108 comments

Some articles about Blade Runner

Some articles about Blade Runner
posted by nthdegx on Jan 29, 2009 - 59 comments

Quoth the Raven, Baltimore!?!

Today marks the 200th birthday of Edgar Alan Poe, and as happens every year the mysterious Poe Toaster marked the date by placing three red roses and a half-filled bottle of cognac at his Baltimore grave. The identity of the toaster isn't the only question surrounding Poe - his presence in Baltimore and the circumstances of his death remain a mystery. Some speculate that he may have had rabies, others that he may have been a victim of cooping. And while Baltimore embarks on a year long celebration of Poe some argue that his body shouldn't be there at all.
posted by Artw on Jan 19, 2009 - 39 comments

Fly me to the Moon

At the time of its production, it was the most expensive British TV series ever made. In addition to highly regarded special effects, it had one of all-time great theme songs.(previously)
posted by Joe Beese on Jan 16, 2009 - 45 comments

But have you really put any thought into that list?

Top 10 Science Fiction Flicks For The Thinking Man (beerandscifi version) - The Portland based blog (with a very admirable focus) takes on the Rotten Tomatoes list with a less dull alternative. (via)
posted by Artw on Jan 15, 2009 - 102 comments

Mark 13 - "no flesh shall be spared"

The Sea of Perdition - Children of the Kingdom - Black Tulips - Three short films by South African-born film director Richard Stanley. Stanley's career took off with Hardware (an unacknowledged adaptation the 2000ad story Shok!) and the apocalyptic African western/Horror movie Dust Devil, then hit the rocks with the doomed 1996 version of the Island of Doctor Moreau, from which he was fired and replaced by John Frankenheimer. Stanley hasn't directed a feature film since... though he now has two films in preproduction, Vacation and Bones of the Earth. The original script for Moreau can be read on his unofficial site, as well as the script for a sequel to Hardware. Richard Stanley's MySpace Blog is also very strange.
posted by Artw on Dec 26, 2008 - 18 comments

Time Travel gives you a headache...

The new Star Trek movie is both canon and a (partial) reboot. Screenwriter Roberto Orci explains using canon examples - and a discussion of the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics. [more inside]
posted by crossoverman on Dec 14, 2008 - 107 comments

The Short Films of Nacho Vigalondo

The Best Youtube Videos of Spanish Filmmaker Nacho Vigalondo (previously). [more inside]
posted by Staggering Jack on Dec 13, 2008 - 5 comments

A standup fight, or another bughunt?

Aliens vs Predator: Whoever wins, you lose - MeFi's own jscalzi talks about the worst Sci-Fi film of the year. Meanwhile Sigourney Weaver and Ridley Scott suggest making another alien movie - with Ripley but without any aliens. It's may not be all bad news for xenomorphs though - 2009 will see the release of Aliens: Colonial Marines is still just around the corner, hopefully.
posted by Artw on Dec 11, 2008 - 412 comments

It is important to know that a blob of taffy flying through the air goes "fweeee!"

Jane Espenson is a tv writer you might have heard of if you've been watching few science fiction and related genre shows in recent years. For awhile now she's been answering questions about script writing from readers of her blog and gracing the blogosphere with her insights into the craft of writing a good story for tv and movies. Today she announced that she's taking a break from advice blogging because she's running out of new ideas for topics to cover.
posted by Tehanu on Dec 9, 2008 - 9 comments

So that's where they come from!

All Nightmare Long is a nine-minute-long alternative-history science fiction/horror fake documentary with stop motion animation, rotoscoping and Soviet propaganda thrown in. There's also a Metallica song attached to it, but you might not even notice it's a music video. (Or watch it on Youtube)
posted by Bookhouse on Dec 8, 2008 - 15 comments

Clarkesworld science fiction magazine

Clarkesworld Magazine has been serving up new science fiction and fantasy short fiction monthly free of charge since October of 2006. The current issue has a story by Robert Reed. Among the authors who have been published in Clarkesworld Magazine are Mike Resnick, Elizabeth Bear, Jeff VanderMeer and Sarah Monette. Clarkesworld has a podcast of readings of selected stories from the magazine. The magazine also publishes non-fiction, separated into two categories, commentary and interviews. Among those interviewed are Gene Wolfe, Kage Baker and Steven Erikson. There is also a covers gallery and a discussion forum.
posted by Kattullus on Dec 5, 2008 - 13 comments

The Black President

A 1926 Brazilian sci-fi novel predicts a U.S. election determined by race and gender. O Presidente Negro envisions the 2228 U.S. presidential election. In that race, the white male incumbent, President Kerlog, finds himself running against Evelyn Astor, a white feminist, and James Roy Wilde, the cultivated and brilliant leader of the Black Association, "a man who is more than just a single man ... what we call a leader of the masses."
posted by Tom-B on Nov 27, 2008 - 10 comments

Anomalous Materials

Ten years ago Valve released Half Life, to the delight of gamers, modders, critics and people who hate cut scenes. Marc Laidlaw, writer for Valve, talks about the genesis of scientist turned crowbar wielding survivor, Gordon Freeman. Somehow avoided playing it in all these years? You can buy it on Steam for less than a dollar until midnight November 21st.
posted by Artw on Nov 20, 2008 - 86 comments

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

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