Science Fiction Brewed Fresh Daily

8 Tragic Ghost Towns of the 20th Century

Desolate, ruined, hollow: ghost towns are the remnants of urban catastrophe. Whether it’s a shift in local industry or a particularly nasty disaster that sparks a mass exodus, it means the death knell for a town. Eerie and tragic, yet brimming with history, the following ghost towns are monuments to hardship, good intentions with bad repercussions, and human folly.

Posted in Ephemera October 25th, 2010 by ceejaydp
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Go Read This Right Now

On Scalzi’s blog: Things I Don’t Have to Think About Today

Why are you still here? Go! Read!

Posted in Books & Authors October 22nd, 2010 by Chip
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Trivia Thursday

  1. It was an unpleasant profession, so who did it?
  2. The only way to get a death sentence in the Federation is to go where?
    A) Terminus
    B) Talos IV
    C) Kaitan
    D) Iscandar
    E) Yavin 4
  3. This author, known for graphic novels, adult fantasy, and Young Adult fantasy, Won the 2009 Newberry Award for best American children’s book of 2008 for The Graveyard Book. Name the author.
  4. What is the science fiction-inspired term for a hypothetical geologic event that launches material into space?
  5. This 1961 novel by Philip Jose Farmer, based on a story that he’d published in 1952 in “Startling Stories,” dealt with the illicit affair between a human and a humanoid alien, and turned the genre’s method of dealing with sexual themes upside-down.
  6. Allen Steele has built several novels around a world colonized by Americans fleeing a brutal theocracy. Depending on your point of view, this planet is named for either a common North American vermin, or the Native American trickster god. What is the planet called?
  7. Boskone is the name of the annual SF convention in Boston. What is it in SF literature?
  8. Golan Trevize’s scout ship had this name, the same as Hober Mallow’s earlier ship.
  9. What is the Toxic Avenger’s weapon of choice?
  10. What is Gordon R. Dickson’s all-encompassing name for the story told in his novel Dorsai! and related books?

(Answers below the fold)

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Posted in Ephemera October 21st, 2010 by Chip
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They’re Using High-Tech Equipment; It Must Be Science

I feel for Beaker.

(via Dave Lowe)

Posted in Ephemera October 20th, 2010 by Chip
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Link Dump

Samurai Wars – Astonishing custom action figures which reimagine Star Wars characters as Japanese warriors and mythical beings. Done by the same guy who made the awesome “steampunk wars” figures a while back.

Sane Clown Posse – A response to the brouhaha they set off with their anti-science lyrics.

Umbilical Cord iPhone Charger – I’m not sure if this is a real product or a clever mockup. Either way, gah.

Power Planter – Flowerpot shaped like a nuclear cooling tower.

The Chosen Research Areas of Mad Scientists – Helpful infographic, featuring tendency toward “madness” by specialty.

Stormtrooper Letterman’s Jacket – Go, Dark Side Imperials!

Covered – Photoblog devoted to artists’ reinterpretations of classic comic book covers.

The United States of Star Wars – Each state represented by an appropriate planet from Star Wars. This kind of somebody’s-got-too-much-time-on-their-hands silliness is what the Internet was invented for.

Robot Comedian – Heh.

Posted in Ephemera October 19th, 2010 by Chip
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Michael J. Fox Reenacts BTtF Trailer

For Back to the Future’s 25th anniversary (anybody else feel old?), Spike TV had Michael J. Fox re-create the film’s original trailer.

Here’s the original, for comparison.

(via Blame It on the Voices)

Posted in Movies & TV October 18th, 2010 by Chip
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Old Weather

Here’s a useful crowdsourcing project: Old Weather asks participants to parse the contents of old Royal Navy nautical logbooks to help track climate change. Finding the date, the ship’s location, and the weather observations will add useful data points for testing and refining current climate models.

Here’s how to get started:

(via BoingBoing)

Posted in Science October 15th, 2010 by Chip
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Trivia Thursday

  1. This SF author hails from Austin, Texas and was the recipient of what is indisputably the greatest academic title and job in the World as Visionary in Residence at Art Center College of Design, in Pasadena, California.
  2. Lessa, a character in Anne McCaffrey’s Pern series, rides
    a dragon named what?
  3. What famous SF movie was retroactively “based” on the
    works of Harlan Ellison, to prevent a lawsuit?
  4. In Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan saga, the prefix
    “Vor” on a surname indicates what in Barrayaran culture?
  5. The late George Alec Effinger published a brief anthology of tales in 1993 that served as a send-up of both political correctness and the stereotype of the Jewish American Princess. They all shared the same protagonist, whose name is part of the book’s title. Name her.
  6. What famous horror film shared casting sessions with Star Wars?
  7. What work of science fiction coined the term “computer worm?”
  8. Who was the first real-life astronaut to be cast in an episode of a Star Trek series?
  9. In which novel would you find Heebs, Pares, Manses, Skitzes, Polys, Ob-Coms, Deps and a telepathic Ganymedean slime mold named Lord Running Clam?
  10. In C.S. Lewis’ novel Out of the Silent Planet, which planet is the silent one?
    A) Glundandra
    B) Perelandra
    C) Thulcandra
    D) Malacandra
    E) Oyarsandra

(Answers below the fold)

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Posted in Ephemera October 14th, 2010 by Chip
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Creator-Blessed ElfQuest Fan Film Crowdsources Funds


The graphic novel series ElfQuest, created by Richard and Wendy Pini, has been a cult favorite among fantasy fans since its debut in 1978, and for years, Hollywood has been developing a feature film around the property. But new media actors/producers Stephanie Thorpe (After Judgement) and Paula Rhodes (A Good Knight’s Quest) aren’t waiting around for Warner Bros. to get their version going. Instead, they’re creating a fan trailer for the property, financed by IndieGoGo donations and starring some of web video’s best-known actresses for an all-female cast. And they’re doing it not just with the blessing of the Pinis, but their help.

find a related article here

Posted in Books & Authors, Ephemera, Movies & TV October 13th, 2010 by ceejaydp
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Warren Ellis: Ghosting the real world

warren ellis,

I’m in the middle of starting a new novel right now, and the bad thing about that strange phase of existence is that everything you see and hear somehow relates, in the wankmulch your brain has become, to that novel. Even a shopping list becomes a mass of notation and connective lines — because you’re convinced that the six things on it reveal something phenomenal about the world and your place in it, and there’s a place in the novel where you can shove all that in.

Posted in Books & Authors October 12th, 2010 by ceejaydp
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