Here’s a topic we’ve tackled in chat from time to time: The new “grandmasters” of the SF genre. The 3car blog has put together a list of newer authors that have staying power, and has helpfully included listings and mini-reviews of some of each writer’s books.
It is not particularly surprising that the majority are British.
Link (via The Website at the End of the Universe)
Treat your dinner guests to some SF-themed drinks, courtesy of SciFi Scanner’s Kevin Maher.
The Blade Runner sounds yummy.
(via SF Signal)
Posted in Ephemera November 27th, 2008 by Chip
A recent Ask Metafilter thread posed a rather odd question: Are there any female writers whose work is similar to Neal Stephenson? The reason I found the question somewhat odd (other than the whole “why do the writer’s chromosomes matter?” part) was that the requester was looking particularly for writers who were similar in regard to, “how he is perfectly willing to take 900 pages to explore whatever he feels like. Like, a lot of other writers would take out that section in Anathem about the folding chairs, or in Cryptonomicon about the cereal, etc. but those are some of my favorite parts.”
So you’re looking for geeky female authors who are discursive as all get-out. Huh.
Anyway, the MeFites responded with some interesting suggestions, so if you’re looking for Stephenson in drag this thread would be a good place to start.
This certainly explains the “deja vu is a glitch in the Matrix” idea.
Link (hat tip to Herding Kittens)
Considering all of the unnecessary remakes of classic SF movies, you’d think that there was no new material available for adaptation. Au contraire, says Topless Robot, now that it’s had a foreign language upgrade. They’ve put together a list of The 8 Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books Which Most Desperately Need Movies.
I’m not sure that I agree with everything on the list; a couple of them are so complex that stripping them down enough to turn them into a movie would alter them pretty radically. Still, even a medicore stab at new material is preferable to evisceration of a classic.
What do you think? Could these be successfully adapted for film? Are there any obvious ones that the list overlooks?
Important safety tip!
T-shirt available from The CBS Store.
Posted in Ephemera November 20th, 2008 by Chip
The Mediashift blog interviewed John Scalzi and the editors of two leading SF magazines about whether the blow that digital media has dealt to pulp magazines is fatal. They’ve been losing readers for the past 20 years, and there are now only three speculative fiction pulps still in production.
Scalzi compares the magazines’ inability to adapt to the new digital landscape to AOL’s loss of market share in the late 90s.
“And then people started migrating to the web, and AOL started doing a bunch of me-too initiatives,” he explained. “It was member retention. They were like, ‘Look we’re doing this too, so you don’t have to leave us.’ Eventually people went ‘Yeah, there’s other stuff out here, and it’s cheaper or it’s free or it’s more interesting,’ and they leave anyway. What eventually happens with those retention efforts is that perhaps they delay the inevitable for a little while, but eventually the inevitable is inevitable. It eventually comes.”
Given recent speculation that a combination of the poor economy and pervasive digital media might kill off print newspapers, is there any hope for pulp magazines? Should they try to transition entirely to the Web? (I seem to recall OMNI trying that, with poor results.) Could such a transition be done gracefully, or would radical changes be necessary?
Link (via BoingBoing)
One nice thing about the Web is that it gives people with niche interests a way to share their particular obsession with the world, thus fractionally increasing the sum of all human knowledge. With Justin Pinchot’s Toy Raygun, we’re one step closer to achieving the noösphere.
It is dedicated to “the celebration and study” of toy rayguns, and it is exhaustive. There are hundreds of pictures of guns, broken down by era, country of origin, and material. There are articles. There are links. There is a forum. If you’re interested in toy rayguns (and who amongst us secretly isn’t?), this is the site for you.
Posted in Ephemera November 18th, 2008 by Chip
This was presented on my[confined]space with no notation as to where it came from, which is a crying shame because I want one.
“Look at the time! It’s a tetrapod past a sponge.”
“Let’s hurry, the movie starts at prosimian sharp.”
I’d have to be physically restrained from telling people the time.
Posted in Ephemera November 17th, 2008 by Chip