King of an Endless Sky
is a new graphic story by Teetering Bulb
, AKA Kurt Huggins and Zelda Devon. A new page every Thursday, published at Tor.com. [more inside]
) celebrates it's 100th issue as a podcast science fiction magazine with StarShipSofa Stories volume 1
, an anthology of stories previously podcasted by StarShipSofa, available either as a POD book from Lulu or as a free e-book download
, featuring the likes of Michael Moorcock
, Peter Watts
, Gene Wolfe, Joe R Lansdale
, Alastair Reynolds
, and Elizabeth Bear
Timelines: Time Travel in Popular Film and TV
is a beautiful visualization of that most favored science fiction gimmick
. For a more thorough, but less pretty, view of science fiction that messes with history, there is a chronology of when 1,800 different alternate history stories deviate
from our own time line. Also, a brief look at the logic of time travel
in science fiction, and how it should work
Who Goes There
- the John W. Campbell
short story which inspired the movies The Thing from Another World and, closer to the original, The Thing
(which, apparently, was horribly critically mauled upon release but has since become as much as a classic as the 50s film). The story is now being reprinted
alongside a treatment by Logan's Run
author William F. Nolan
for an unmade 1978 screen version.
Welcome to District 9.
Director Neill Blomkamp turns his sci-fi short "Alive in Joburg"
into a full-length feature film
- examining xenophobia
in an allegory of Apartheid
, set in a slum recalling District 6
of Cape Town
in South Africa.
Star Trek... the first 29 episodes. These are the findings of the website tor.com. Its several week mission: to watch every episode; to summarize, rate and analyze; to watch with fresh eyes what many geeks have watched before
A superhero in a fez
(video link) gets an organic artificial hand and fights a pinball sarcophagus in a world reminiscent of Heavy Metal
and La Planète sauvage
. Music by Birdy Nam Nam. Video animation directed by Steve Scott.
A warm up for Avatar: James Cameron's student film, Xenogenesis
. Part one
. Part two
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"
The 2009 Hugo awards
have been announced at Worldcon
. Winners include Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book for best novel, Ted Chiang
getting best short story and Elizabeth Bear
getting best novelette. Best Related Book was snagged by MeFi's own jscalzi
. The award for best semiprozine, which was to be scrapped, has been saved
, this year being won by Weird Tales
- a surprise upsets as it's main problem was that it had essentially become the Locus magazine
award for best Locus Magazine. As well as the Hugos other awards such as the Prix Aurora
award for best Canadian SF and the Chesley Awards
for SF art have been announced, and Cory Doctorow accepted the Prometheus award
for Libertarian SF. Convention reporter
provides continuing coverage (the convention still has another day to run) and Starshipsofa spin-off Sofanauts
has an excellent series of podcasts with regular Amy H. Sturgis
and others reporting from the con.
Where I Write
'Fantasy & Science Fiction authors in their creative spaces' Photography by Kyle Cassidy
"Science Fiction Fandom: your shortlists aren’t very good."
Writer, critic and literary academic Adam Roberts
has a problem with the shortlists for the 2009 Hugo Awards
: in his view, they're unimaginative, conservative and profoundly lazy. Are his concerns valid? And even if they are, should anyone expect more from a popular nominated award voted on by people eligible only through having joined the current or previous World Science Fiction Convention
? Given the existence of jury-selected awards such as the Nebula
, what's wrong with the Hugo letting ordinary readers and fans having the chance to vote for what they liked?
The New York Times profiles Jack Vance
(but fails to mention Vancian Magic
. (Curse you Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition!)
In the wake of Torchwood: Children of the Earth
(screening on BBC America
on the 20th for those in the US not inclined to muck about with the internets) critic Patrick West declares the British incapable of making decent television science fiction
is being revived for the SyFy channel
by Tim Minear
, whose previous credits include Firefly
. [more inside]
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.
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
. Meanwhile Dark Horse is celebrating 30 years of the franchise by releasing a new series of Aliens comics
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
“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
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
Is Doctor Who too scary for kids?
Parents surveyed by TheBabyWebsite
seem to think so. But is being scared a good thing
? (via io9
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
, 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]
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.
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.
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!
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]
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".
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".
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]