Archive | July, 2006

SciFi UK Podcast

sf scifi podcast starshipsofaSit Back, Relax And Enjoy the StarShipSofa

Take a voyage on the StarShipSofa if you dare? Travel into the far realms of the Sci-fi world. Calling at such destinations as Philip K. Dick, Dark Star, Alfred Bester, Silent Running and all the other great writers and films out there. All wrapped up and inspired by the great Ronnie Corbett.


Want to find out more …

In their weekly show they talk about aspects of the SciFi world they like and so far, the guys have covered Alfred Bester, John Brunner and Algis Budrys.

StarShipSofa iTunes link.

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SF Masterworks Full List

fantasy and sf science fiction scifi masterworks books cover imageSF and Fantasy Masterworks Full List

B.D.O. (Big Dumb Object, not the British Darts Organisation) pointed out that Wikpedia has a list of the SF Masterworks, including link to authors and books.

I did a quick count and my current scoring is: I own 32 and I’ve read 29 (out of 80 listed).

The unread ones I own are Bring The Jubilee (Ward Moore), The Complete Roderick (John Sladek) and The Stars My Destination (Alfred Bester).

The most recently read one is Tau Zero (Poul Anderson), which I thought was a neat idea of people stuck in a space ship, partner swapping - checking each other out ready to colonise a new planet - left, right and centre, but not being able to stop accelerating towards the speed of light because of damage to their ship’s drive system.

Wikpedia also has the Fantasy Masterworks list. The last one I read was The History Of The Runestaff (Michael Moorecock).

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Greg Bear Interview

greg bear author photographAn Interview With Greg Bear: 27 July 2006

I believe that Blood Music was originally a short story which was expanded into a novel and, in turn, was your first major break through. Where do you get your ideas from, in terms of the science side, and also the characterisation?

GB: Ideas come from all over–we swim in them. Characters are partly from inner voices, mostly from observing other people with critical affection. The idea for Blood Music was originally sparked by an article on biochips in a 1982 issue of New Scientist. That led to a cascade of thoughts, and the conclusion that DNA must be in some sense computational–a fairly radical idea at the time, old hat today. Blood Music as a short story won both the Hugo and the Nebula awards in 1984, and my novella, Hardfought, one a Nebula that year as well.

Could you tell us a bit about who influences your work and have they changed over time?

GB: That’s a book-length essay in itself! Not at all answerable in the length of this interview. I read widely– nonfiction, journals, and fiction–watch lots of movies, a fair amount of the very best television (plus news on all the news channels) and even play a few games now and then on the computer. Every novel, as I write, I refer to one or more exemplars–novels that I really admire. They give me the energy to keep plowing on, whatever mood I may be in day to day.

The Forge Of God and Anvil Of Stars, The Movies: Do you have any upto date news on these?

GB: Warner Bros. still has them under option. No news at the moment.

How did this movie project come about?
Read the full story

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Lord Of The Rings Monopoly Board Game

This is pretty daft : The Monopoly “Lord of the Rings” Edition.

Daftest thing is it’s still got “free parking” with a picture of a car on it and “go to jail” with the angry policeman!

I don’t remember cars and policemen being in the film. Maybe they were in the books and I forgot?

They would have been easy enough to change anyway:
Instead of jail they could have had the goblin’s dungeon or something.
And instead of free parking they could have had “sitting around at Rivendell talking for three bloody hours”.

Although, if you like LOTR and like Monopoly, you’d probably like this.

And to actually keep this post scifi to some extent, there’s also a Monopoly “Star Wars” Trilogy Edition.

Cool - just mix and match. Endless variations.

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IMDB Top 50 SciFi Movies

Internet Movie Database Users continuously Vote For The All-Time Top Fifty Science Fiction Movies

Interestingly enough, they calculate the top 50 (and bottom 10) using a formula based on ratings from their site, rather than just a straight vote from a list of movies.

Weighted rating (WR) = (v ÷ (v+m)) × R + (m ÷ (v+m)) × C

R = average for the movie (mean) = (Rating)
v = number of votes for the movie = (votes)
m = minimum votes required to be listed in the Top 50 (currently 1000)
C = the mean vote across the whole report (currently 6.6)

For the Top 50, only votes from regular voters are considered. In order to appear in the Bottom 10 Titles chart the title must have received at least 50 votes.

The only problem I can see is that some of the films are suspiciously un-scifi: Wallace & Grommit In The Curse of the Were-Rabbit? (That’s probably because they just happen to be put into the genre of ’scifi’ and lots of people voted highly.)

Nevertheless, some of the movies on the list are worthy of a place: Bladerunner, StarWars, Donnie Darko and Brazil to name but a few.

And no Star Trek movies to be seen anywhere. (That’s a positive in my opinion). But where’s Cube and Cube Zero?

Note that the page is dynamic; as more people vote and movies are added, the list might, and probably will, change.

The bottom 10 scifi movies list is worth looking at too.

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