Showing posts from April, 2008

Drumroll, Please

AtWQ's sources reporting live from the Clarke ceremony reveal that the winner is... Richard Morgan's Black Man .  As you'll know if you read my Clarke review, I am very, very pleased with this result, and not the least because I wasn't expecting it--all the buzz seemed to be for The Execution Channel or The H-Bomb Girl .   Black Man is an excellent novel and a stepping stone in Morgan's career, and for all the controversy surrounding the Clarke this year (not that the Clarke is ever not surrounded by controversy), I don't think it can be denied that the judges selected an excellent book.  Congratulation to Mr. Morgan and the Clarke jury.

Self-Promotion: Addendum

Part two of my Clarke award review is now online. Also, in case you missed the update to the previous post, Adam Roberts's Clarke review is up at Futurismic, and Nic Clarke continues her Clarke series with a review of Matthew de Abaitua's The Red Men . And, of course, the award itself will be announced this evening. UPDATE: Nic's review of The Raw Shark Texts is also up, completing her overview. Way to come in under the wire!


Part one of my review of the 2008 Arthur C. Clarke Award nominees is up at Strange Horizons . The second part will be published on Wednesday, and the award itself will be announced that evening. Over at Torque Control, Niall Harrison has been collecting other reviews of the shortlisted novels, and of particular interest may be two other comprehensive looks at the shortlist-- Adam Roberts's over at his blog (according to Niall a while back, there's also a shortlist review forthcoming from Adam.  UPDATE: and here it is) and Nic Clarke at Eve's Alexandria (currently up to four of the six nominated novels). In other award news, by now you've almost certainly seen the results of the Nebula award. I let my annual short fiction reviews lapse when it came to the Nebula this year, which was partly because I was busy with the Clarke review, but mostly because I was having trouble justifying giving the Nebula--an award whose relevance I've come to have serious

Alien Thoughts

In honor of Passover, a local movie channel has been airing science fiction movie series, and this evening it was the Alien quadrilogy. I've just finished watching the first two films (I could be watching the third film right now but really, why would I?). It's been ages and ages since I saw either one, so I may be stating the bloody obvious, but I was utterly floored by how unglamorous Sigourney Weaver is in both of them. It's not just that she's conforming to late 70s and mid-80s styles and fashion, though this is also a factor. I can't, for example, remember the last time I saw a female lead with curly hair in a blockbuster film. These days they all have shiny, silky perms--but then, as I've noted in the past, sometimes it seems that Hollywood has only one, very narrow, standard of female beauty. It's not even a question of production values, though the color palette on both films felt drab and washed-out compared to modern standards, to a degree


The Sarah Connor Chronicles is now is now officially coming back for a second season. Between this, Joss Whedon's Dollhouse (now with 100% more Amy Acker ), and the new Ron Moore show , next fall looks to be chock-full of SFnal goodness. And all of it on Fox. Go figure. (Link via )

Linky Links

Something to tide you over while I battle the dreaded deadline-Passover combo. Andrew Rilstone has been writing about Doctor Who . As usual, I disagree with most of what he says (though he is dead on about Torchwood 's full title), but love to watch him say it. I and several other more qualified and informed people sound off on the state of the short fiction market on another edition of SF Signal's Mind Meld . Against my better judgment, I am somewhat intrigued by the premise of Ron Moore's new show . Hey, it sounds better than Caprica . Small Beer Press have made John Kessel's collection The Baum Plan for Financial Independence available for free under a Creative Commons License. Two of the stories from this collection, including the title piece, made my list of favorites when I made my review of the Sci Fiction archives a few years back, so I'm quite eager to read the rest.

Two Great Tastes?

Via Bookslut comes this surprising report : Heroes creator Tim Kring is collaborating with literary critic and novelist Dale Peck on a sci-fi/ alternative-history trilogy that was sold at auction to Crown yesterday for an advance said to be worth a staggering $3 million. I... just don't know what to say about this.

Flotsam & Jetsam

I watched three major SF-related shows this weekend, and I was hoping to get a blog post out of at least one of them, but instead I find myself with very little to say. So, I'm going to smoosh all three reactions into a single catch-all post, and hope that there's something more substantial for me to write about in the pipeline. (That said, I'm anticipating a bit of quiet around these parts during April.) Battlestar Galactica , "He That Believeth in Me" - That was surprisingly enjoyable. The first act plays to the show's greatest strength--cool and intense space battles--and wraps up in one hell of an interesting way which makes one of my favorite characters even more interesting, and might even get me over my dubiousness about the identities of the Cylons revealed in "Crossroads." The rest of the episode is also strong, as the show finally starts paying attention to an issue that should have started cropping up in discussions and conversations i