Science Fiction Brewed Fresh Daily

Part Kid, Part Machine, All Cop.

via Xeni Jardin, Boing, Boing

The fastest reflexes modern technology has to offer. On-board computer-assisted memory. And a lifetime of on-the-street law enforcement programming. It is my great pleasure to present to you: Robocop.

Smallest Robocop

The boy insisted for months that he wanted to be a robot for Halloween. His sister was a robot when she was his age. We looked at various robot images on the computer and he was most intrigued by Robocop. After I showed him the trailer, there was no convincing him otherwise. He was going to be Robocop. Which was good, because Detroit has a Cancer. That Cancer is Crime
SEE THE PHOTO ESSAY

Posted in Conventions & Fandom, Ephemera, Movies & TV October 29th, 2010 by ceejaydp
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Original Darth Vader costume up for sale in London

Darth Vader costume [from "Empire Strikes Back"]

AP – Christie's employee Caitlin Graham poses with a Darth Vader costume in London, Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2010.

Tweet: @darthvader I send my suit out for dry cleaning & this is what happens. Someone will pay dearly, most likely @vaderssecretary

LONDON – The Force can be with you — for a price.
Christie’s auction house says it is selling an original Darth Vader costume from the “Star Wars” movie franchise.

The jet-black helmet, mask and armor worn by the intergalactic villain are expected to sell for between 160,000 pounds and 230,000 pounds ($250,000 and $365,000) at a sale of pop culture memorabilia next month.
READ MORE


Posted in Conventions & Fandom, Ephemera October 29th, 2010 by ceejaydp
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Dunkin the Vampire Slayer

Dunkin the Vampire Slayer - cover

What could possibly bring together a 450 pound vampire slayer, a drunken, acid-tongued detective, a good natured carpenter, bureaucratic vampires, giant anacondas, mutant vampire bats, Ho Hos, Twinkies and more one-liners than a night at the comedy club? Dunkin, the vampire slayer blends all this discordance and more into a hilarious adventure that moves from the muggy heat of Florida to the muggier heat of the Amazon. ….If Carl Hiaasson, Tim Dorsey and Dave Barry collaborated on a vampire story, it may have turned out like this absurd romp…. This is part one of a trilogy.
Available at podiobooks.com


Posted in Books & Authors, Conventions & Fandom, Ephemera October 26th, 2010 by ceejaydp
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Speculations (Stan Lee)

on twitter.com/theRealStanLee: (in sequence…)
disclaimer: maybe i’m just easily amused. it did strike me as very funny when he first tweeted these —

  • Hey , remember when I said I’d always warn you if I was gonna toss an ad at you? Okay, get ready for a real good one—about 2 hours ago via web
  • This is for my pal, Jace Hall: Be sure to check out @jacehall’s STREET FIGHTER MUSIC VIDEO. A truly timely tip for my brave Brigadiersabout 2 hours ago via web
  • Wow, I never thought you’d catch me plugging something that I didn’t have a cameo in! Like they say, your Generalissimo is all heart!about 2 hours ago via web
  • What if I CHARGED to shill stuff while tweeting? Could I get a free Ferrari by giving it a plug? I think I’ll Google them and askabout 2 hours ago via web
  • If I say Rolex is my favorite watch, maybe they’d send me a few.. Man, this could sure beat Generalissimoing!about 2 hours ago via web
  • When I need a present for Joanie I’ll tweet something nice about Tiffany! But why stop there? Shouldn’t a Generalissimo have a yacht?about 2 hours ago via web
  • But maybe I’m aiming too high. You’ve gotta walk before you can run. I’ll start more modestly by tweeting about Hershey’s chocolateabout 2 hours ago via web
  • Okay, I just put my theory to the acid test. If they don’t send me a free pack of Kisses, all bets are off! Excelsior!
Posted in Conventions & Fandom, Humor, Movies & TV October 5th, 2010 by ceejaydp
1 comment

Star Wars: Lego Chess Set

via Twitter/Scott Beale (@laughingsquid):

Brandon Griffith created a wonderfully detailed “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back LEGO Chess” with a removable lid so that all the pieces can be stored inside the base of the chess set. It’s a follow up to his “A New Hope” LEGO chess set

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back Lego Chess

Posted in Conventions & Fandom, Ephemera September 13th, 2010 by ceejaydp
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Cakes for Geeks

via Twitter: Yay! … unlazied? RT @GettingMauled: @mightymur ‘s birthday cake on cakewrecks! http://bit.ly/bDp0qi now I can say I unlazied!

— so i clicked on the link (of course). i’ve been to Cake Wrecks before, but these were special! 7 cakes of geek inspired goodness, posted either because they were seen at DragonCon or reminded the author of the event. my favorite was the last cake posted, but only because i collect dragons :-) i think, however, the wedding cake was particularly awesome; it must have been much larger than it looks in the photo.

Posted in Conventions & Fandom, Ephemera, Humor, Squid September 13th, 2010 by ceejaydp
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Sci-Fi Air Show

SpindriftBill George is a Visual Effects Supervisor who works at Industrial Light and Magic, and is a huge fan of the prop spaceships used in SF movies and TV. He’s put together the Sci-Fi Air Show, featuring an Eagle from Space: 1999, a Colonial Viper from the original Battlestar Galactica, and several others.

I am a little fuzzy on what the air show actually consists of; several photos on the site show what appear to be fans inspecting the various props, but other photos show the ships flying. The actual descriptions of the ships also make it clear that they’re supposed to be fully functional; part of the history of the Orion Space Plane says, for instance:

For the film “2001: A Space Odyssey,” director Stanley Kubrick (famously averse to flying) had a second-unit crew, led by assistant cinematographer John Alcott, shoot exterior scenes of the Orion in space in the last weeks of October 1967; the live-action segments that took place in the weightless interior followed immediately thereafter. The actors aboard could only perform for short periods in the weightless environment of space before getting violently sick. Kubrick directed the actors and Alcott via a closed-circuit TV link furnished by Bell Telephone.

I’m thus not sure if the ships are actually all the property of one collector who displays them in prop “air shows,” or if the site just pretends they are.

Either way, the site is well done, and it’s fun to read about incidents like the “infamous ‘Buckinghamshire crash'” which resulted when one of the Eagle’s stunt pilots overshot a target.

Posted in Conventions & Fandom, Space August 6th, 2010 by Chip
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Oasis 23 Con Report

O*W*C members often send us reports that detail their experiences at various conventions. Joy V. Smith recently attended Oasis 23, and kindly sent us her report.

You can see the whole list of past reports here.

Posted in Conventions & Fandom June 15th, 2010 by Chip
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They May as Well Close Down the Internet

Because the Pinnacle of Awesome has been achieved.

Scalzorc

Click to enlarge. If you think you can take it.

Information about this vision, and the contest attached to it, is here.

Posted in Books & Authors, Conventions & Fandom June 2nd, 2010 by Chip
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Hugo Rant Redux

Last September I posted an opinion piece in which I lamented the fact that World Science Fiction Conventions, since 2001, no longer reliably produce a Hugo award for best Science Fiction novel. There was a fairly spirited (for here) discussion regarding the relative merits of ensuring that SF retains a presence in the novel category of an award process that is traditionally and integrally associated with science fiction. Unfortunately, my participation in the discussion was cut short by the death of my father, and the discussion fell silent in my absence. When circumstances allowed me to return to the argument, the thread had drifted into archival irrelevance. When I left the thread, we had discussed the “why” of my position fairly comprehensively (with no clear resolution on its merit, IMO), but were just getting into the “how” that the regular repatriation of science fiction could be effected within the current award system. With the Hugo nomination deadline approaching tomorrow (I’m writing this on Friday, March 12), I decided to take another stab at making and defending the argument for a dependable presence of science fiction at the Best Novel level of the Hugo award process.

Since the inception of the Hugo awards process in 1953, every award ceremony at every World Science Fiction Convention in the 20th century bestowed its most prestigious honor (best novel) on a work of science fiction. From 2001 forward, the same award went to five works of fantasy and four works of science fiction. Of the five fantasy novels that won during the current decade, two were YA fantasy. The World Fantasy Convention considers only fantasy works for its highest award (the World fantasy Award, best novel), and the World Horror Convention looks exclusively at works of horror for the Bram Stoker award. I’m thrilled that the WSFC is more egalitarian than those bodies, but the frequent, recent exclusion of science fiction from the highest award platform seems, to me, to somewhat diminish the core identity of the WSFC’s fan base. And, it makes me uncomfortable on several levels when the novel that the World Science Fiction Convention offers up in recommendation, as the very best that our genres of focus have produced during the preceding year, is a fantasy novel targeted at adolescents. I’m fully aware that the WSFC’s bylaws do state (and have always stated) that works of science fiction and fantasy are eligible for Hugo nomination. I’m also aware that fantasy work occasionally won awards in the short forms prior to 2001, but there are multiple short form awards, and I don’t think that science fiction was ever frozen out of all of them during that span. My own for-pleasure reading consists of about a 50%/40%/10% mix of SF/Fantasy/Mainstream, so I don’t think I’m being an elitist in this matter. I know that we live in the millennium of glorious genre integration, and that the SFWA is now the SFFWA, Locus is now the “Magazine of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Field”, and that (in the traditional publishing context) fantasy and YA literature are in the midst of a renaissance that makes science fiction (when you filter out media related works) appear, at best, static, or, more realistically, depressed. For as long as I can remember, some science fiction writers have supplemented their output with fantasy and, recently, a number of science fiction and fantasy writers have abandoned adult fiction for the more lucrative and welcoming venue of Young Adult fiction. But, the criteria for judging merit and quality in fantasy are different than those applied to science fiction, and YA fiction (fantasy or science fiction) possesses its own distinct characteristics. You can’t dump them all into the large end of a funnel and squeeze a homogenized, all-purpose paste out of the small end. If we keep comparing apples to oranges, especially when oranges are wildly popular, we risk the prospect of becoming another wannabe fantasy convention. Lest I be accused of mumpsimus or misplaced nostalgia, I would never suggest excluding fantasy or YA literature from consideration for the Hugo awards. These forms have become, increasingly, a large part of the culture of fandom. But I do believe that SF fandom has a rich history and sense tradition and identity that will, ultimately, begin to blur unless we can find a way to issue a best science fiction novel award at each World Science Fiction Convention.

Last September I had to leave this thread before I actually got to make any suggestions as to how this might be accomplished. One of the main questions asked was how genre affiliation of any given work would be determined. I agreed that any attempt to apply genre label by official committee fiat would be an unwelcome political disaster. Besides, the Hugos are a fan-based award system. The fans who nominate and vote in the award process are dedicated, intelligent, and willing to pay for the right to be involved. They are discerning, experienced readers, perfectly capable of determining genre affiliation in the nominating process–if that process is slightly amended. The current method of multiple, weighted nominations in each category works very well. The only problem I see with the current system (and this may well not be seen as problematic to others) is that there is only one nominating category for best novel. If we assume five weighted nominations for each submitted ballot, we can assume that many ballots contain ranked submissions of science fiction, fantasy, and YA novels. It’s theoretically possible that every ballot might have had SF novels in the top three positions, and fantasy or YA in the two lowest tier slots ( I did say theoretically, not probably). In that case, the ballots would have been overwhelmingly slanted towards science fiction, but if there was insufficient overlap among the top three choices across the entirety of ballots received, and a widespread overlap among the lowest choices, we could very likely have a fantasy or YA winner culled from the lowest positions on a majority of ballots. I know that this is the way the system is supposed to work, and I think that it’s a very good system–if you control for genre. The Locus Poll has four categories for best novel nominations. They are: Best Science Fiction Novel, Best Fantasy Novel, Best YA Novel, and Best First Novel. I’m not entirely sure that Best First Novel is as important as the genre-specific designations because we’ve seen that first novels can win in the overall novel category in the past. If the omnibus Hugo Best Novel Award were replaced with three awards for Best SF Novel, Best Fantasy Novel, and Best YA Novel, that would guarantee a science fiction presence at the top award level during the World Science Fiction Convention each year and help salvage the traditions and identity of SF fandom, thereby keeping the convention’s personality unique. Additionally, it would open up more spots for fantasy and YA works to be considered on their own intra-genre merits, without the complex cross-genre judgments that creep into the current process. If, as is likely, any given title receives votes in more than one category, all cast votes should be shifted to the category with the majority of the votes, e.g. if a book received 64 votes as best SF novel, and 12 votes as best Fantasy novel, that should count as 76 votes (weighted by their order of choice) for best SF novel. This method would produce three Best Novel Awards for publishers to trumpet, each culled from the ranks of similar works, proving the egalitarian nature of the WSFC and fandom.

Comments?

Posted in Books & Authors, Conventions & Fandom March 15th, 2010 by Shadow
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