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The Eternal Champion

When Hari Kunzru met Michael Moorcock
posted by Artw on Feb 5, 2011 - 25 comments

We’re Tearing the Heart Out of Saturday Night!

"Let's do those drive-in totals. We have: Nineteen dead bodies (plus fragments). Ten breasts (shame on you, TNT censors). Two zombie breasts. One-hundred twenty-five zombies. Mummy dogs. One-half zombie dog. Ten gallons blood. Brain-eating. Gratuitous embalming. Zombie fu. Nekkid punk-rocker fondue. Gratuitous midget zombie. Torso S&M. One motor vehicle chase (totalled by zombies). Pool cue fu. No aardvarking. Heads roll. Brains roll. Arms roll. Hands roll. Joe Bob says, Check It Out." Only on MonsterVision. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 3, 2011 - 31 comments

Transition

Iain Banks interviewed by the Open University (45min). Compare and contrast with Iain Banks interviewed on STV (25min) back in 1989. [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Feb 1, 2011 - 44 comments

What science fiction thinks of science

Six or seven stances science fiction movies take towards science. From John Holbo at Crooked Timber. [more inside]
posted by escabeche on Jan 26, 2011 - 50 comments

No more Alien prequel

Alien prequel morphs into Prometheus [warning: annoying interstitial ad], the new Ridley Scott sci-fi film. Via the awesome Strange Shapes Alien series blog.
posted by Bangaioh on Jan 19, 2011 - 47 comments

I've Seen the Lizard Man.

reMIND is a webcomic that updates on Mondays.
posted by cthuljew on Jan 19, 2011 - 9 comments

"The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear. And the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown."

Lovecraft: Fear of the Unknown - A 90 minute documentary on HP Lovecraft with contributions by Neil Gaiman, John Carpenter and Guillermo Del Toro.
posted by Artw on Jan 15, 2011 - 26 comments

The Heart of Darkness

Joseph Conrad's forgotten novel about invaders from the Fourth Dimension.
posted by Artw on Jan 14, 2011 - 18 comments

His name is a +2 Killing Word

The Dune RPG that never was.
posted by Artw on Jan 11, 2011 - 70 comments

Writemare at 20,000 feet

Richard Matheson—Storyteller - To mark the publication of a book of tribute stories writer and editor Richard Bradley has been blogging about the author's 60 year writing career- covering I Am Legend, Duel, and The Incredible Shrinking Man, not to mention Somewhere in Time (full index here). Of course Matheson is probably most famous for his contributions to the Twilight Zone, being one of it's three major writers and scripting Nightmare at 20,000 feet. Twice.
posted by Artw on Jan 4, 2011 - 25 comments

Never-before encountered aliens that just happen to speak English and laser guns.

The NASA list of "silliest" science fiction films outlines some complete horseshit offerings but is sci-fi meant to be realistic? Fans of hard sci-fi might argue it is the core of that place where dreaming and science combine, but shouldn't the dreaming part allow an amount of creative freedom in the hopes of getting at some larger truth? Some would say there is a point where you've gone too far. But what if our current impossible dream later becomes plausible, possible or reality?
posted by Raunchy 60s Humour on Jan 4, 2011 - 100 comments

He can't be bargained with. He can't be reasoned with. He doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear.

Why the Entire World Doesn't Steal from Harlan Ellison
posted by Artw on Jan 2, 2011 - 124 comments

This isn't your grandfather's science fiction

Ted Chiang 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 - 116 comments

Fritz Leiber centenary

Fritz Leiber Jr. was born 100 years ago today. An actor (and son of an actor) and writer, he is best known for his characters Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser (old school website). Project Gutenberg has some stories. Previously on Metafilter. [more inside]
posted by maurice on Dec 24, 2010 - 19 comments

Arrakis... Dune... Desert Planet...

Bill Sienkiewicz's David Lynch's Frank Herbert's DUNE.
posted by Artw on Dec 23, 2010 - 44 comments

All these worlds are yours...

An open letter to all fans of Science Fiction from Tom Hunter, Director of the Arthur C. Clarke Award - The Arthur C. Clarke Award, the yearly award for best Science Fiction novel published in the UK, could be in trouble.
posted by Artw on Dec 16, 2010 - 26 comments

At least they actually made Firefly

13 awesome and awful pilots for sci-fi series we never got to see.
posted by cthuljew on Dec 14, 2010 - 63 comments

We are already dead. We are Robot Jox!

Robot vs Robot, Human vs Alien, '90 vs '89, Robot Jox vs Arena... [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Dec 9, 2010 - 20 comments

Dirty Rotten Muties

Murderbullets, 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 - 17 comments

The Ship of Foolishness

"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 [previously] [more inside]
posted by brundlefly on Nov 30, 2010 - 47 comments

Imagine Later

The Sci Fi/SyFy rebrand (previously) - was it a success? Yes and No.
posted by Artw on Nov 30, 2010 - 74 comments

Heroes, Rogues, and Jezebels

Pulp Fiction is an exhibition of (mostly) Australian pulp novel and magazine covers from the University of Otago Special Collections Library. (NSFW)
posted by Horace Rumpole on Nov 23, 2010 - 15 comments

¡No Pasaran, Mother Fuckers!

Scottish SF author Hal Duncan tells you It Gets Better. [Work Warning: carpet f-bombing] He has been blogging for a while about SF and social issues, including homophobia and cultural appropriation. A couple of short pieces and some audio files are available in the sidebar on the left of the blog, if you are inclined to check out his writing. If that's too much blog, here is an interview. [It Gets Better previously]
posted by GenjiandProust on Nov 20, 2010 - 14 comments

Uncertain Futures

Uncertain Futures: Americans and Science Fiction in the Early Cold War Era [via Futurismic]
posted by brundlefly on Nov 15, 2010 - 4 comments

The Acrylic Age of Science Fiction

MANCHU Starships - wonderful old school SF paintings by French illustartor Philippe Bouchet.
posted by Artw on Nov 14, 2010 - 33 comments

A 1963 blue police box

Meanwhile in the TARDIS - two bonus ‘mini-episodes’ from the fifth season of doctor who. Can't wait to see the next season? If you're overseas it may get to you a bit quicker, as the BBCs iPlayer goes international. Bonus link: Amy Pond by way of Alphonse Mucha, by Bill Mudron.
posted by Artw on Nov 10, 2010 - 61 comments

Newly weird

Jeff Vandermeer discusses Amazons top 10 SF/Fantasy books of the year, which he selected in consultation with Amazon editors : Part 1, Part 2.
posted by Artw on Nov 4, 2010 - 28 comments

Touched by an Angel

"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 - 125 comments

The needs and thoughts and social struggles of the time

"The successful genres of a particular period are reflections of the needs and thoughts and social struggles of that time." Daniel Abraham offers some thoughts on the nature of literary genre, including urban fantasy, complete with specific predictions for the future of science fiction.
posted by Zed on Oct 26, 2010 - 77 comments

The stars my destination

The Zensunni Wandering, among other Dune maps. The universe of Farscape. The Foundation universe, in Thai. All courtesy of the Stars in Science Fiction section of Winchell Chung's comprehensive 3-D Starmaps site. [more inside]
posted by kmz on Oct 22, 2010 - 8 comments

Spaced out

"I measure my life in terms of my relationship with Star Wars" - The Guardian interviews Simon Pegg, star of Spaced, Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and the forthcoming Paul (trailer).
posted by Artw on Oct 20, 2010 - 47 comments

Another glorious day in the Corps! A day in the Marine Corps is like a day on the farm. Every meal's a banquet! Every paycheck a fortune! Every formation a parade! I LOVE the Corps!

Empire magazine tracks down where the Colonial Marines from Aliens are now.
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Oct 20, 2010 - 66 comments

All in the details

Surface Detail is the latest science fiction novel by the Scottish writer Iain M. Banks to be set in his Culture universe.... [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Oct 14, 2010 - 66 comments

A Cthuluvian perspective on lolcats

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 - 65 comments

You must unlearn what you have learned.

Just in time for the 30th anniversary of the movie's release, The Making of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back chronicles the complete tale—from pre-release to blockbuster success — of what’s become the fan favorite of the Star Wars series. Vanity Fair presents an excerpt from the book: rarely seen photographs from the Empire Strikes Back set, annotated with behind-the-scenes details. They also have interviews with the book’s author, J. W. Rinzler, and the man behind Boba Fett’s mask, actor Jeremy Bulloch." On a lighter note, how about a Wampa Throw Rug, new from the folks at ThinkGeek?
posted by zarq on Oct 12, 2010 - 35 comments

HMV

His Masters Voice by Hannu Rajaniemi, the Edinburgh based Finnish physicist currently causing a big stir in Hard SF - also features doggies and kitties. Audio version and interview at StarShipSofa. Review of The Quantum Thief at Locus. Bonus story: Elegy for a Young Elk.
posted by Artw on Oct 4, 2010 - 44 comments

Skiffy

Skiffy - a huge collection of classic science fiction book covers, featuring the likes of Chris Foss, Bruce Pennington and John Schoenherr.
posted by Artw on Oct 2, 2010 - 15 comments

The Library of Dream

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 - 87 comments

Froggy’s Last Story

“Immortality is for suckers. If even a few of my words outlive me by even one hour, then I have cheated death.” - F. Gwynplaine MacIntyre
posted by brundlefly on Sep 13, 2010 - 63 comments

A new life awaits you in the off-world colonies!

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 - 79 comments

Moonshot

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) (1,2,3,4,5)
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Sep 10, 2010 - 30 comments

The Island

The Island by Peter Watts (previously), winner of this years Hugo Award for Best Novelette. An audio version is available over at StarShipSofa (previously), itself a Hugo recipient.
posted by Artw on Sep 5, 2010 - 31 comments

The Authorized Guide and Companion to Dune

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 - 55 comments

The Scary Door

Lost Rod Serling Video Interview
posted by Artw on Aug 29, 2010 - 20 comments

Q to the E to the D

Futurama has always been a haven for geek humor, but last week's episode "The Prisoner of Benda" pushed things to the next level. First hinted at in an American Physical Society interview with showrunner David X. Cohen (previously), staff writer and mathematics Ph.D. Ken Keeler devised a novel mathematical proof based on group theory to resolve the logic puzzle spawned by the episode's brain-swapping (but no backsies!) conceit. Curious how it works? Read the proof (in the show or in plain text), then see it in action using this handy chart. Too much math for a lazy Sunday? Then entertain your brain with lengthy clips from the episode -- including two of the funniest moments in the series in the span of two minutes.
posted by Rhaomi on Aug 22, 2010 - 130 comments

Stranger than a strange land

The online anthology of SciFi Strange.
posted by Artw on Aug 20, 2010 - 17 comments

A Soviet Space Odyssey

Road to the Stars (Doroga k Zvezdam, 1958) was a remarkable Soviet documentary about the future of space exploration, directed by the "Godfather of Star Wars" and still admired for its impressive miniature effects. Watch the entire film.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on Aug 18, 2010 - 7 comments

Have Spacesuit, Will Travel

Robert A. Heinlein: The Tor.com Blog Symposium - a series of blog posts commemorating the publication the first half of a new biography of Robert Heinlein. Interview with the Biographer.
posted by Artw on Aug 17, 2010 - 23 comments

Check out her golden apples of the sun

Ray Bradbury is one of the most celebrated among 20th and 21st century American writers of speculative fiction. Now, his reputation is complete, with a work-inappropriate music video about sleeping with him. [more inside]
posted by audacity on Aug 16, 2010 - 57 comments

APAs: Pre-Internet Communication

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 - 12 comments

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