Science Fiction Brewed Fresh Daily

The Brooklyn Superhero Supply Company

Lab AdAre you an invisible superhero worried about your deodorant showing? Have you recently acquired super powers and find yourself in need of a lair and a secret identity? The Brooklyn Superhero Supply Company has you covered.

They offer everything from detailed maps of the Negative Zone to cyborg parts and accessories. Their selection of capes is top-notch, and if you’re in need of a career change be sure to check out their new sidekick placement service.

Link (via The Presurfer)

Posted in Ephemera June 16th, 2009 by Chip
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The Waterpod Has Launched

WaterpodPhotographer and sculptor Mary Mattingly works with extending the concept of personal spaces, such as the “wearable homes” she designed to function in a variety of environmental conditions. Now she’s created the Waterpod, a barge with a living area constructed out of repurposed wood and metal.

She and three other artists will live in this self-sustaining floating home for five months; a garden and a flock of chickens will feed the crew, and they will power their appliances with a wind turbine and an electricity-producing bicycle.

The goal is to explore alternatives to the overcrowded land, and Mattingly predicts that such living arrangements might be common in the future. It puts me in mind a bit of Rife’s Raft in Snow Crash.

Link (via Discoblog)

Posted in News June 15th, 2009 by Chip
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This Made Me Giggle

I have a bunch of Twitter feeds in my RSS aggregator, including the ones belonging to Brent Spiner and Wil Wheaton. This recent set of tweets amused me immoderately (click to embiggen):


Posted in Computers & Internet June 12th, 2009 by Chip
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Follow That Author

Quite a number of SF authors blog and/or use Twitter, so in case you’d like to follow some of your favorites here are a bunch of author blogs and Twitter feeds. (Lots more authors have a Web presence of some sort; this list only includes those with actual blogs.)

Dan Abnett Blog Twitter
Daniel Abraham Blog  
Ann Aguirre Blog Twitter
Lou Anders Blog Twitter
Lou Antonelli Blog  
Eleanor Arnason Blog  
Neal Asher Blog  
A.A. Attanasio Blog  
Tony Ballantyne Blog  
Iain M. Banks Blog  
Steven Barnes Blog  
John Barnes Blog  
Max Barry Blog Twitter
Greg Bear Blog  
Elizabeth Bear Blog Twitter
Gregory Benford Blog  
Jayme Lynn Blaschke Blog  
David Brin Blog  
Poppy Z. Brite Blog  
Mike Brotherton Blog Twitter
Steven Brust Blog  
Tobias Buckell Blog Twitter
Lois McMaster Bujold Blog  
Emma Bull Blog  
Pat Cadigan Blog Twitter
Orson Scott Card Blog  
Jeffrey Carver Blog  
C.J. Cherryh Blog  
Ellen Datlow Blog  
Cory Doctorow Blog Twitter
Hal Duncan Blog Twitter
David Louis Edelman Blog  
Warren Ellis Blog Twitter
Sheila Finch Blog  
C.C. Finlay Blog Twitter
Mike Flynn Blog  
Dave Freer Blog  
Neil Gaiman Blog Twitter
David Gerrold Blog  
Gary Gibson Blog Twitter
William Gibson Blog Twitter
Felix Gilman Blog  
Jon Courtenay Grimwood Blog  
Joe Haldeman Blog  
Peter F. Hamilton Blog  
M. John Harrison Blog  
Nalo Hopkinson Blog Twitter
Alexander Jablokov Blog  
Brian Keene Blog Twitter
Kay Kenyon Blog  
Nancy Kress Blog  
Jay Lake Blog Twitter
Geoffrey A. Landis Blog  
Justine Larbalestier Blog Twitter
Tanith Lee Blog  
Paul Levinson Blog Twitter
Ken MacLeod Blog  
George R.R. Martin Blog  
Paul McAuley Blog  
Anne McCaffrey Blog  
J.M. McDermott Blog Twitter
Ian McDonald Blog  
Steven E. McDonald Blog Twitter
Maureen F. McHugh Blog  
John Meaney Blog  
L.E. Modesitt, Jr. Blog  
Elizabeth Moon Blog  
James Morrow Blog  
Steve Nagy Blog  
Patrick Nielsen Hayden Blog Twitter
Teresa Nielsen Hayden Blog Twitter
Philip Palmer Blog  
Frederik Pohl Blog  
Jerry Pournelle Blog  
Cherie M. Priest Blog Twitter
Mike Resnick Blog  
Alastair Reynolds Blog  
John Ringo Blog  
Chris Roberson Blog  
Justina Robson Blog  
Mary Rosenblum Blog  
Christopher Rowe Blog Twitter
Rudy Rucker Blog  
Matt Ruff Blog  
Pamela Sargent Blog  
Robert J. Sawyer Blog  
John Scalzi Blog Twitter
Melissa Scott Blog  
Jeffrey Somers Blog Twitter
S.P. Somtow Blog Twitter
Bruce Sterling Blog Twitter
Charles Stross Blog  
Steph Swainston Blog  
S. Andrew Swann Blog Twitter
Michael Swanwick Blog  
Mary A. Turzillo Blog  
Greg van Eekhout Blog Twitter
Jeff VanderMeer Blog Twitter
Jo Walton Blog  
Lawrence Watt-Evans Blog  
Peter Watts Blog  
Scott Westerfeld Blog Twitter
Wil Wheaton Blog Twitter
Sean Williams Blog  
Walter Jon Williams Blog  
David J. Williams Blog Twitter
Sarah Zettel Blog  

If I’ve missed any of your favorites, let me know in the comments.

Posted in Books & Authors June 11th, 2009 by Chip

Woo-Hoo Cthulhu

In my online wanderings, I’ve run into a number of Lovecraft-inspired games. If you’ve got a soft spot for shoggoths, here’s a roundup:

The Commonplace Book Project is devoted to creating interactive adventures based on the unfinished story ideas that H.P. Lovecraft collected in his “Commonplace Book”. They’re free for download in exchange for user feedback.

For you whippersnappers who are unfamiliar with the concept of interactive adventures, here’s a Wikipedia entry to help fill you in. Kids today, with your fancy-schmancy graphics and your abundance of CPU cycles. In my day, all we had were a brass lantern and an Elvish sword, and we couldn’t even see them.

Uh, heh. Anyway, Lovecraft.

Another excellent example of this type of horror interactive fiction is Infocom’s wonderful The Lurking Horror, available for download here. (The best part of interactive fiction games is that the text-based play looks entirely innocuous when glanced at by, say, your boss. Try doing that with Halo 3.)

Sort of similar is Skotos’ “prose adventure” Lovecraft Country, which isn’t so much a game as straight-up roleplaying in 1930s Miskatonic University. There isn’t really a point to this one, you just sort of wander around and are vaguely menaced.

For the Xbox, there’s Dark Corners of the Earth, which combines a first-person shooter with mystery and investigation.

Shadow of the Comet is a PC-based game which combines Halley’s Comet with eldritch horror.

Alone in the Dark is another PC game (a fairly old one) “inspired by the work of H.P. Lovecraft.”

If you prefer board games, check out Arkham Horror, a cooperative game in which you’re part of a small band of investigators trying to stop unnamed monstrosities from taking over the world. Apparently the original module isn’t too hard to defeat, but there are expansion packs like Dunwich Horror that significantly up the difficulty level.

The Hills Rise Wild! is a miniatures game in which players vie for control of The Necronomicon.

For sheer weirdness, try Cthulhu 500, which combines the Cthulhu mythos with…stock-car racing. Because, um, why not?

The same game manufacturer (Atlas) also brings us Cults Across America, in which each player commands a separate cult attempting to dominate the U.S.

Chaosium offers the collectible card game Mythos, which includes a starter deck and five booster decks: Expeditions of Miskatonic University, Cthulhu Rising, Legends of the Necronomicon, The Dreamlands, and New Aeon.

:::whew::: That oughta be enough tentacles for anybody.

Posted in Ephemera June 10th, 2009 by Chip
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Meet the Seamstress

SeamstressThe new movie 9 (produced by Tim Burton, which should come as no surprise given that image there) involves a ragdoll who comes to life in a post-apocalyptic world where maniacal machines have killed off all of the humans. 9 finds a small community of others like him and tries to understand what’s happened to the world whilst avoiding the killer robots.

The Seamstress is one of the robots, and she’s pretty fantod-inducing.

[Director Shane Acker] was inspired by the mythological Medusa in his creation of this serpentine hunter. Fashioned with a doll’s head, grasping prehensile arms, an intricate thread-spool mechanism, and hypnotic eyes, the Seamstress lures her prey out of hiding and stuns them into submission before sewing them up within herself.

Dread Central has more information about the Seamstress (and the movie in general), and io9 has a clip of her in action.

I like her. She’s what I expect the Goddess of Gothic Crafts would look like.

Posted in Movies & TV June 9th, 2009 by Chip
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The Best Part of Free Enterprise

I didn’t realize this was online until io9 mentioned it. The whole movie is a hoot, but this is my favorite part.

Posted in Humor June 8th, 2009 by Chip
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Link Dump

“Extreme” Animal Embryos – Neat photos of unusual embryos from National Geographic.

Super – Ian Pool captures superheroes in their off hours (Wonder Woman is borderline NSFW).

The Star Trek Failure Generator – The argine phase-conjugate graviton is collapsing!

Two from Geeks Are Sexy: Geeky Tattoos and Geeky License Plates

Marriage in Zero Gravity – A couple of SF fans are planning the first zero-G wedding.

7 Kids Guaranteed to Become Trekkies – Or deeply resentful of their parents.

Star Wars ABC – A is for Ackbar, B is for Bantha….

2D Goggles – The adventures of Lovelace and Babbage, Steampunk adventurers!

DNA Portrait – They sequence your DNA and give you a framed print of the result.

Terranauts – Print by Etsy seller thecellophanes; this would be attractive as part of a space-themed room.

Bel Air Bathroom Taps – As long as we’re decorating with a space theme, check out these awesome retro rocketship bathroom fixtures.

TNG Edits – YouTube user gazorra has created a series of short, surreal, occasionally disturbing re-cuts of old ST:TNG episodes (and a few Knight Rider for good measure).

Be a Ghostbuster – Apparently they’re hiring.

Swimbots – Charlie’s Playhouse posts about a neat “life” simulator. Sounds like fun.

Good vs. Evil T-shirt – This is completely wonderful.

Posted in Ephemera June 5th, 2009 by Chip
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The Astounding World of the Future

Gosh, this mid-20th-Century newsreel certainly was accurate about life in the year 2000.

(via The Presurfer)

Posted in Humor June 4th, 2009 by Chip
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WondermarkWondermark has summarized the current state of the movie industry with uncanny accuracy.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

(Be sure to mouse over each strip for Easter Egg text.)

Posted in Ephemera June 3rd, 2009 by Chip
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