Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Beam 'em Up...

Looks like they're scheduled to rocket James Doohan's ashes into space this fall.

Second star to the right, and straight on 'til morning, Scotty...

Makes me wonder if I'd want my ashes blasted into space. Why not? I can't think of a better place for them.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Diversity in Space?

I got a big kick out of this pic of Battlestar Galactica's Jamie Bamber, the latest resident scifi stud. What's not to love there??

Ran across this interesting article about the state of scifi TV struggling to catch up with the times. They forgot to mention how Joss Whedon stretched the boundaries with the character of Willow. Now, why didn't he do that with Firefly too?? You know, Jayne and Simon getting together, doin' the nasty... Doh! This is quickly slipping into slash fiction -- Stop! Stop me now before it's too late!!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Whachya readin'?

Well, I didn't think I'd ever see the day again when I'd be recommending a SK book. I mean, it was almost completely downhill after Misery -- except maybe for the Dark Tower series, so I'd pretty much written him off. I mean, did anybody actually read that pretentious waste-of-trees Bag of Bones? Or his latest stupid gore-fest, Cell? Gimme a break. The guy started re-writing himself to the point of self-parody. "Retirement" became the operative word. So then, with a BIG dose of skepticism (does anybody really need to read yet another story about a writer, for cryin' out loud??), I started the advance readers copy of his newest book -- Lisey's Story -- which comes out in October, mainly because of the blurb by Michael Chabon on the back. And I couldn't hardly put it down. It's a return to form; the kind of well-crafted story the guy could tell all through the 70's and 80's, with earthy, distinctive characters that you find yourself thinking about when your nose isn't in the book. And the dark elements creep up on you, the tale taking a couple of unexpected twists. So then I started dreading the ending -- mainly because a bad ending to a good book can really screw the whole thing up, so I'm thinking "Oh, he's going to do something really really stupid and predictable in the last couple of chapters, and this whole 500 pages is going to sink!" The good news is the ending stays true, steering its way to one of those fateful, haunting conclusions that when he does it right, SK can do almost better than anyone (remember the finale of The Dead Zone? Or Pet Sematary?)... So if you're in the mood for one of those "grim fantasies," give it a gander when it comes out. Excellent!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Science Fiction Hall of Fame

The Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame awarded it's latest inductees not too long ago. Neil Gaiman was the master of ceremonies (where he said, "I think the joy of science fiction is that it's minimizing future shock..." I'm not sure I agree with him that that's the joy of science fiction, but whatever...) Looking at the complete list of inductees, it raises some questions. Who would your completely biased & sentimental choice be if you had to choose only one most deserving nominee from this list? Who would you induct instead of someone else on this list? See anyone you would leave off this list? Oh, jeez, this is starting to sound like an essay question where you have to fill up your blue book. I should go to bed now...

Brian W. Aldiss, Poul Anderson, Isaac Asimov, Alfred Bester, James Blish, Chesley Bonestell, Ray Bradbury, Edgar Rice Burroughs, John W. Campbell, Jr., Arthur C. Clarke, Hal Clement, Samuel R. Delany, Philip K. Dick, Gordon R. Dickson, Frank Kelly Freas, Hugo Gernsback, Harry Harrison, Ray Harryhausen, Robert A. Heinlein, Frank Herbert, Damon Knight, Ursula K. Le Guin, Fritz Leiber, George Lucas, Anne McCaffrey, Abraham Merritt, Michael Moorcock, C.L. Moore, Andre Norton, Frederik Pohl, Eric Frank Russell, Mary W. Shelley, Robert Silverberg, E. E. Smith, Steven Spielberg, Theodore  Sturgeon, Wilson Tucker, A. E. van Vogt, Jack Vance, Jules Verne, H. G. Wells, Kate Wilhelm, Jack Williamson, Donald Allen Wollheim

Your Pirate Name

Okay, this has absolutely nothing to do with scifi. Though I guess it is kind of fantasy in an "aaargh-matey!" sort of way.

Generate your pirate nickname here. Ask me about your "prison-bitch name" later... but, then, you probably don't want to know.

Anyway, yours truly, Bloody Isaiah.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Jack Spratt Investigates (again!)

Buckle in for the next joyride with Detective Jack Spratt, chief inspector of the Nursery Crime Division of the Reading Police: The Fourth Bear. For those of you who may have picked up The Big Over Easy, you know what you're in store for. If you haven't dived into Jasper Fforde's next series yet, after the much-loved Thursday Next books (well, by me anyway)... you're in for a treat. Can't wait to chuckle my way through Det. Spratt and Sgt. Detective Mary Mary's latest adventure, who are of course in disgrace after botching the Red Riding Hood Case (or so the Official line goes). Always suspected the Gingerbreadman was actually a psychopathic cookie...

Sawyer Wins Award

Robert J. Sawyer won the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best science fiction novel of '05 for Mindscan. Didn't we talk about this one once? First runner-up was Ian R. Macleod's The Summer Isles and second runner-up was Robert Charles Wilson's Spin. Anybody read these?

Sunday, July 02, 2006

August & September '06 Selections

Two Selections in August! ... Okay, one + a trilogy...

August = Elantris and His Dark Materials trilogy

September = The Difference Engine