newnumber6: (lasers)
Continued from last post. First post of this whole series is here, for explanation purposes.

Before, I continue, a few comments on the last part that LJ didn't let me post cause it was too long:
Read more... )

And on to the new:Read more... )

Comments always welcome.

PerExWriMo

Nov. 1st, 2009 05:58 pm
newnumber6: (comics)
So, it's November, the National Novel Writing Month. Like in most previous years, I'm not doing it as expected. However, I am doing another Personal Extra Writing Month, with the goal of reaching 50,000 words, just spread about amongst various short story projects. And I've already done 2000 for today, so I'm off to a good start (even if the story I was writing is probably unsalvagable without a complete rewrite).

The truth is, however, this isn't just a Personal Extra Writing Month, it's more of a KickStart month. See, I haven't posted about this, but for the last few months I've slacked off and haven't done any of my forced writing. Which isn't to say I haven't written, it's just either been dribs and drabs when the mood struck me, or on projects I don't count. But still, not as much as I wouldn't. There's many reasons for this, but most boil down to that I've been depressed, discouraged, and lacking new ideas and drive, and for the few months before I quit the metered writing, I was just chugging along without much drive, churning it out without getting any new ideas I wanted to work on. I thought maybe a break to refresh myself might help. And to a certain extent, it has. I've had a few new story ideas in the time off. I've identified a couple of the timesinks that I think hurt me in writing, and tried to cut them out of my routine. So, I'll do PerExWriMo to try to get myself back in gear (although I'll be taking off December as usual because Christmas month is just a pain all around with too much stuff on my mind), and hopefully start fully writing again my normal way in 2010, and also submitting stories again and start the whole rejection cycle. Anyway, crossed fingers.

Anyway, one of the writing things that "doesn't count" but has taken up some of my time and writing urges, are my Runaways alternate Vol 3 outlines. And, anticipating November, I finished up Year 3. I'll be posting it next, I think. I know, most of you don't care, it's basically unformed fanfic, but it does entertain ME (sadly, more than actual comics have in some time).

In other news, well, V starts this week. I don't have high hopes, but I'll watch. I'm still liking Stargate Universe... hasn't found its legs yet, but I like it well enough that it's probably my favorite show currently on (which really says more about the lack of quality shows on now than SGU). Heroes is interesting if you can completely ignore that they're still completely ignoring their own past (a couple weeks ago Peter sought out HRG to see if he knew a Healer. While his daughter was there. You know, the one who's blood healed him from a bullet to the head? But nobody seems to remember that). Enough to keep watching it. Other shows aren't really even worth much of a mention.

I've kept watching Classic Who, actually, instead of cutting it off, just because timing worked out that way, had new eps finish d/l when I had downtime and nothing to watch. Only about 4 or so stories left in Davison's run. I'll give a more complete rundown on my thoughts when I'm finished, but I'm actually enjoying the series more than I have in a while, somewhere around the end of 4 the writing took a big jump up in quality and inventiveness.
newnumber6: Ghostly being (Default)
Here's my yearly entry for One Hundred Words of Horror... only a few, sort of ran out of time and didn't have much inspiration so they're not my best, but I do like the tradition and wanted to come up with something.

Prognosis

The surgery went very well. Your husband is responsive, and the new organs are functioning better than the old ones.

Prognosis is good. I had to remove more tissue than I anticipated, but the organs need room to grow. I just want to warn you he may not look much like the man you knew.

But he’ll live. That’s the important thing. Assuming rejection doesn’t set in, he can look forward to many, many years.

With a result like that, why worry over the little details, like that I didn’t get his consent.

Or that I’m not really a doctor.

-

Inoperable

They say hallucinations are a side effect of the tumor. But I know these aren’t hallucinations. Hallucinations don’t leave a trail of dead bodies.

They’re not just dead. Mutilated, like something exploded inside them.

You’re probably thinking like the police do, that I killed them, in a delusional state. But it’s not hallucination. I don’t see anything except the carnage, and they saw that too, just a little later.

I’ve figured it out. It’s not a tumor. It’s a transmitter. To some other dimension. Telling them to come. And they’ll be coming for you soon, unless you cut it out.

-

Little Bundles of Joy

Nobody noticed the loss of the children. The thing had devoured their souls, but they kept eating, sleeping, and even playing. You don’t really need a soul to play. It’s as biologically hardwired as hunger. Children’s souls are undeveloped, barely there. Replaceable.

So the thing lent them its motives, to lure others to that spot in the woods. Parents made better meals but poor tools. Their bodies were too accustomed to their souls, and without them, ran down, and soon died in squalor.

But the children would still play, and could always be adopted, smiling automatons waiting for new thoughts.

-

(Last year's entries can be found here).

If you do the One Hundred Words of Horror meme, feel free to post a link in the comments so people who are interested can follow up on people not on their flist.

Happy Halloween, everyone!
newnumber6: Ghostly being (Default)
Almost forgot. I've done this the last couple years now, and a couple people have participated. But, what the heck. We're about 2 weeks from Halloween. This is either a meme, if people are interested and want to take it up, or just something I plan on doing personally if not:

In the spirit of upcoming Halloween, and as sort of a last minute whet-the-appetite for Nano, I present "One Hundred Words of Horror for Halloween". Nano's about writing big, this is about writing small.

The rules:
1. Write short horror stories, and post them on Halloween.
2. Each story must be exactly 100 words. No more, no less (you can choose to count arguable symbols important to the story either as words or not as you wish). This amount does not include the title.
3. The stories must be in some way horror-related. This doesn't necessarily mean they have to be scary - you can deal with horror themes in a humorous way - but it's Halloween, so these should be in a Halloween spirit.
4. Post as many stories as you like.
5. (Optional) Respond to other people's stories with candy!


Don't really know if I'll do more than one since I'm in a bit of a low ebb creativity wise, but I'll try.

TV and PoG

Sep. 27th, 2009 10:10 am
newnumber6: Ghostly being (Default)
Prisoners of Gravity links first:

Women
Women in SF, Fantasy, and Comics

Part One: Trina Robbins (on how she first got hooked on comics), June Brigman (on why women don't get into comics, and trying to change it using Barbie comics), Louise Simonson (on lack of things in conventional superhero comics for women to relate to), Kate Worley of Omaha, the Cat Dancer (on whether she's bothered by being in one of the few prominent female comics creators), Elaine Lee (on the difficulty of breaking into comics and the 'boys club'), Chris Claremont (on why he was renowned for good female characters and how it became a cliche for him)
Part Two: Steve Bissett (on why comics are so slow to recognize women, and some of the key roles women played in comics). Shift of focus to SF. Lois McMaster Bujold (on whether SF is a good platform for a treatment of women's issues, and her most 'feminist' book), Veronica Hollinger (professor on SF) (on who are the landmark female figures in SF and male writers who are most 'feminist'), Candace Jane Dorsey (on leaving out gender pronouns in her stories), Pamela Argent (on 'strong female characters' who are just men in women bodies), Gregory Benford (on the tension between the sexes as being a good thing and some of the difficulties on juggling everything in SF compared to toher fields)
Part Three: Leona Gom (on creating a 'last man' in an all female world), a story about James Tiptree Jr. (actually a woman under a pen name) being asked to leave a summit on feminism in SF. Lois McMaster Bujold (on if there are difficulties in writing male viewpoints). Switch in focus to Fantasy: Karen Wehrstein (on her own challenges in writing women characters), Tanya Huff (on whether fantasy has improved in terms of the women, and info about something she changed about her own work on realizing it was somewhat sexist), Terence M. Green (on how men and women are different), Trina Robbins (on the complaint about things that interest women being 'banal')

Leisure - May 2, 1991
How we will spend out leisure time in the future, according to SF
Part One: Lois McMaster Bujold (on mandatory zero-gee workouts and the physiological adaptations of zero-g), Andrew Weiner (on some of his leisure-centered short stories, in particular one about filling time in a permanent unemployment), Christopher Hinz (on the idea of recreational space colonies), Jack Womack (on leisure time, or lack thereof, in his Draco books), Gregord Benford (on the management of leisure, and passive leisure), William Gibson (on dismissing 'television' as 'empty calories' leisure, and the mystery of TV and media and what it's doing to us)
Part Two: Alberto Manguel (editor) (on television in the future according to Bradbury in Fahrenheit 451, and how it's somewhat come true, Terence M. Green (on children raised on TV and creating a video literate world), Bruce Sterling (on what he thinks of TV and his 1991 view of future of TV, and Virtual Reality), Douglas Adams (about Virtual Reality and using it to save the world, and creating virtual reality IN reality). Candace Jane Dorsey (on a baseball story on Mars in a collection she edits), Mark Chiarello (on baseball's imagery, and drawing a baseball card collection on the Negro League), Todd McFarlane (on how Spider-Man hangs out when not working), Walt Simonson (on how Thor spends his leisure time)
Part Three: Neil Gaiman (on how Miracle Man recharges), Louise Simonson (on Superhuman not having any leisure time, except for being Clark Kent), Ty Templeton (on his theory on how Superman kicks back), a clip of Superman Song by the Crash Test Dummies, Fabian Nicieza (on whether he'll show Alpha Flight in their leisure time, and what leisure time says about us), Steve Bissett (on the 24 Hour Comic, as a sort of 'game' for comic creators, and other games of artists (the surreal corpse)).

Censorship - October 25, 1990
Part One: Comics facing obsenity charges. Interviews with Harlan Ellison (on the good messages in a lot of SF), Kevin Eastman (on how his characterss influenced a kid to hurt himself), Harlan Ellison (on how the censors are exposed to the 'corrupting material' constantly, and standing up to censors), Steve Bissett (on the Comic Code Authority and the congressional hearings that led to it), Frank Miller (on him feeling relatively free from censorship lately), Steve Bissett (on temporarily dropping the comic code for the Spidey drug issue, and Swamp Thing deciding to do away with the CCA permanently)
Part Two: Spider and Jeanne Robinson (on the problems with censorship of sex in SF, and a particular unsavory reference that an author slipped past the censors), Jack Vance (on some of the censorship he faced), Spider Robinson (on Callahan's Lady, taking place in a brothel, and not being get the stories in the same magazine as the rest of the Callahan stories), Jack Vance (on the basic choices of censorship), Maryanne Neilsen (on whether, as an editor, she's a censor), David Lloyd (on creative choice to leave our detailed of violence and sex in V for Vendetta), Denys Cowan (on being uncomfortable with drawing a lynching scene)
Part Three: Elaine Lee (on handling violence in Starstruck), Elaine Lee and Charles Vess (on a particular censorship blowup around a comic back-up story about a young witch that includes her first period, when the first story had so much violence), Harlan Ellison (about the comic Taboo, and how art should unsettle you), Clive Barker (on worrying about a backlash, another Dr. Werthem).

Next week: Utopia, Ecology, and Advice for wannabe creators.

Now that that's out of the way, TV wrapup for the week. Doctor Who... well, I've met Adric. For some reason, in my head, I always pictured him older, from the name. Seems nice enough so far, although probably not one of my favorites. Only a few episodes left before I can say goodbye to Four and get to Five.

What premiered this week? House... it was okay, but I thought it dragged on too long focusing on House, and I wanted to see the others. And the ending annoyed me. (spoilers) Read more... )

Heroes also premiered and... well, I suppose, objectively speaking, it's probably a little better than last year. But it's still hard to watch and take seriously. The Trust has not just been lost, it's been thoroughly shattered and the pieces each taken on a separate boat ride in a different ocean by a different man who dumps it into the ocean at some random time not in sight of land. It's hard to take anything seriously after the stuff they pulled last year, because there's the feeling at at any moment, they could decide to ignore some plot point they've already established. Slightly more spoilery behind cut Read more... )

Dollhouse also premiered, and it wasn't bad, although they seem to be slightly unskeevying one of the characters at the expense of extra-skeevying one of the relatively unskeevy ones. We'll see how it goes, though, the revelations towards the end could be interesting to go on.

FlashForward... it's okay. Needs time to find it's footing to judge for sure. Not sure the premise really works as a basis for a series, but it's got my attention for a few episodes at least.

Fringe: Okay... the second episode of the second season of X-Files was about a genetic mutant Flukeman. Is it just some wacky coincidence or intentional homage that the Second episode of Fringe's Second Season feels like almost the same thing, only, you know, less interesting (because Fringe is mostly a less interesting version of X-files)?

Otherwise, not much. This week: Stargate Universe, the last thing for... oh, about a month or so probably that I'm looking forward to.
newnumber6: Ghostly being (Default)
First up,
Form (March 22nd, 1991)
Discussions on the various forms, novella vs short story, trilogy vs series, in comics and speculative fiction.

Part One: Short Stories: Dave Duncan (on why he thinks SF works best in short stories), Crawford Kilian (on the short story as 'training ground' and area of experimentation), Jim Baen (on the strength of short stories/novellas in SF), Marianne Nelson (on why if you want to get into SF you should start with short stories). Novella/Novellette: Judith Merril (on why the Novella's almost unique to SF), a bit of history. The Serial: Neil Gaiman (on the problems and advantages of writing serial fiction, like his comic the Sandman, and the "Is Little Nell Dead Yet" phenomenon), Chris Claremont (differences on writing a novel and writing an ongoing series, and the why the book and the audience don't have to keep going together)
Part Two: Neil Gaiman (on benefits of writing Good Omens, compared to comic writing). Alternative Comics: Black and White. Gilbert Hernandez (on why Love and Rockets is Black and White), Ty Templeton (on why he enjoys black and white), Kevin Eastman (on problems he encountered in getting Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles published). Novels: Jim Baen (on the benefits of the novel in SF). The Trilogy (and other variations): Guy Gavriel Kay (on the mundane reasons the trilogy has become a standard form in fantasy fiction, on the danger of writers going back to the well), Tanya Huff (on writing a Duology, and the repeated questions about the third book despite the (big spoilers)), a bit of a clip from Misery, Tanya Huff again (on why trilogy and series are so popular), George Zebrowski (on the problems of writing long term series fiction and how they're not artistic)
Part Three: The Graphic Novel: David Lloyd (artist on on V for Vendetta, and whether it benefitted from being repackaged as a Graphic novel), Will Eisner (on why he left serial comics for the Graphic Novel, and pioneering the form with A Contract With God). Conclusion: Dan Piraro (Bizarro, experimenting with animation based on his cartoon panels)

Chaos: (March 14th, 1991)
Chaos theory. A bit more heavy on the science (popularist science reporting that is), side with only a bit of discussion on its use in art/fiction/SF.

Part One James Gleick (explaining Chaos Theory itself, Fractals, the Butterfly Effect and why it took so long to reach the public consciousness), Caleb Howard (computer hacker, on impact of fractals on computer animation)
Part Two: CGi short film Panspermia, Jeff Evans (on sterility and unnatural perfection in computer graphics being corrected by fractals and chaos theory), James Gleick (on the fractalness of Ferns, and to be wary of the human tendency to pattern-recognize). Here's the slow switching over to Chaos theory in art and fiction: Bill Sienkiewicz (on using Fractals in Big Numbers, with Alan Moore, theological/philosophical implications on chaos theory and fractals), Jeff Evans (on that last topic), James Gleick (on misunderstanding of theory in general to extend to social/philosophical problems), the host talks about the tendency of SF writers to misunderstand science or to just use it as gobledegook to base their stories around
Part Three: George Zebrowski (on his reaction to James Gleick book about Chaos Theory), Garfield Reeve-Stevens (on his reaction to the book, and whether he plans to use Chaos theory in his work), Gregory Benford (on using Chaos Theory in SF), Douglas Adams (on his reaction after reading Chaos on how everything seems to fit in with it), James Gleick (on the idea catching fire in the culture at large).

Fear: October 31, 1991

Horror, the use of Fear itself as a theme in fiction, and what scares creators

Part One: Archie Goodwin (on role of fear in storytelling, the "safe scare", Stephen Jones (horror anthologist on the two basic emotions being Fear and Love, and how the best stories combine both, and the best use of fear he's read, the "show or don't show the monster" debate), Tanya Huff (on why we like to be scared, fear being like sex). Some examples of SF that uses Fear in them. Bob Shaw (on why he's so intrigued by fear, and his own phobia, and science as 'pushing away darkness to make us feel better')Part Two: Louis Shiner (on his use of Tesla and his phobias in his story White City), Brian Stableford (on why Fear's begun to play such a large role in his work, particularly his vampire novel the Empire of Fear, the current popularity of Horror, a nice scientific look at the connection between fear and arousal), Neil Gaiman (the role of Fear in Sandman, the difference between Fear and Horror), Pete Milligan and Grant Morrison (on exploring Fear and Dread in their comics, fear as dislocating the mind and the startings of religion)
Part Three: Clive Barker (on different types of fears, and all his personal fears, and why he's using less fear in his book Imajica, and how he doesn't think his early stories really evoked fear, or why fear's not especially interesting on its own, on what medium fear works best in), Jeff Ryman (and the role of Fear in the Wizard of Oz, fear as social control)

And Profiles, an episode where he profiles 3 specific creators, Daniel Clowes (independent comic 8Ball), Peter Straub (horror author), and Marv Newland (animator), but none of them especially interest me so no detailed breakdown (however, Part 2 does contain the complete short film "Bambi Meets Godzilla", done by Newland, and the third part is mostly Straub talking about horror so it works as a nice companion to the Fear ep).
Part One Part Two Part Three

Looking forward to next week, Violence, which I believe has interview bits with Brian Stableford about his pacifist space opera hero, Star Pilot Grainger, the first time I've seen it since I actually read (and loved) the books. PoG was one of the reasons for me trying them, too.

In other news, been having a bit of headaches lately, think it's probably eye strain. Which is annoying, cause I only have one left working and so many things I enjoy doing involve using it. Need perfect cyber-eyes to get invented now. And to become rich and handsome, and not at all socially awkward, so long as I'm dreaming.

TVwise... Glee's 2nd episode wasn't bad, not quite as fun as the first, but okay. Supernatural had its premiere, and, well, it was okay, a few fun bits, a few meh bits, but Bobby is awesome as usual.

Been watching old school Who as usual. I'll probably finish Four's run and then take a break for a while. Not because I specifically want to, but once regular TV starts up again I find I have less time for it since I have more I need to download (often legally, thanks to TV channel websites) that I missed during the regular week. I can pick up with Five in the summer or during the rerun-gaps that crop up every once in a while in the regular season. Just finished Shada, and the season's been reasonably fun. Think the Nightmare of Eden was one of my favorites of the recent batch. As for the big "Which Romana is better" debate? Right now I'm still putting them about even. I don't have a particular preference one way or the other. II has a slightly more friendly chemistry with the Doctor, true, but I kind of liked the slight standoffishness of I. So, again, they're about even, just II had a longer time to shine and slightly better stories, I think, but that's not the actress' fault so I can hardly hold it against that version.
newnumber6: Ghostly being (Default)
February 28, 1991 - Marketing & Merchandising.

Not an especially interesting episode to me, but for completeness' sake, and there's a bit of interest here.

Part One: Spider and Jeanne Robinson on Marketing of SF and what audience to target, Jack Vance on how Dune had trouble getting published and how it gained its appeal and sequels, Spider Robinson on an autograph session and a particularly stupid distributor, Guy Gavriel Kay on the prevelance of fantasy and its commercial success and how success attracts hacks, Jim Baen on the crowded marketplace and the sales life-cycles of books, Terry Brooks on how he explains his sales.
Part Two: George R. R. Martin on whether he considers himself a "science fiction" writer and the difficulty of marketting writers who don't fit into boxes, Peter Straub on readers expectations of writers can cause problems, Bob Kane on the Batman marketting machine growing from the 80s movie, and the danger of overexposure, Kevin Eastman on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and how marketting made it a megabrand, James L. Brooks on the merchandising of the Simpsons, Sam Simon on whether think the merchandising is overwhelming the show
Part Three: Matt Groening on why the Simpsons show itself is popular, Fabian Nicieza on marketting of concepts and why certain comics (Todd McFarlane) get super marketting gimmicks). Bill Marks on the marketting of Todd McFarlane's Spider-Man and his invention of sealed bagged comics, and marketting to try to direct people to the good, and stangnation of the comic industry and trying to diversify the industry (in 1991)


April 11, 1991 - Villains in SF, comics, and fantasy:
Part One: General introduction and a quote about Villains by Mary Wollstoncraft, Comics first. Interviews with Max Allan Collins (on Dick Tracy's Villains), Montage of comic creators on what makes good villains and favorite villains (Archie Goodwin, Louise Simonson, Mike Mignola), Fabian Nicieza (on what makes a good supervillain and well-motivated villains, the remotivating of Lex Luthor), Gregory Benford (If the 'idea' in a SF novel is the hero, what's the villain), Nancy Kress (on creating villains in SF with complexity)
Part Two: Jack Womack (on the lack of real villains in his Draco books), Charles de Lint (on what makes a great fantasy villain), Tanya Huff (same topic), Ty Templeton (on favorite comic book villain, Luthor, and why, and also on how the Joker complements Batman so well), Kate Worley (on the lack of individual villains in Omaha, the Cat Dancer as opposed to corporate or systemized evil)
Part Three: Steve Bissett (on the more recent nuanced view of evil in comics, and his feelings on what caused it for him - Watergate), Neil Gaiman (the problem of villains, and how they're just people, with good and bad in them), and moving on to the Serial Killer as the last bastion of pure evil, with Peter Straub (on the fascination with serial killers in fiction compared with the almost mundanity of the real facts of them), Garfield Reeve-Stevens (on the power and appeal of the Joker)

January 31, 1991 - Voice/American Artform

Whether comic books and SF are international artforms or there's a strong 'American' voice to them, and a look at some other country voices.
Part One: Some extended jokes about a Canadian-voice Star Trek, Interviews with Nancy Kress (on how classic SF started as British, even if they weren't always marketted as SF, whereas American SF was ghettoized), Candas Jane Dorsey (on the origins of US SF and being extremely formulaic, and various phases of SF), Gregory Benford (on the US not being great on the traditional forms, and how the strength was in their 'invented' genres, and why good SF elsewhere in the world isn't widely popular), Jim Baen (whether there's still an American voice in SF, and what it is, and how the experience of Vietnam altered American SF's voice),

Part Two: Nancy Kress (on one of the persistant theme of American SF), Jean Giraud/Moebius (on whether SF is an American form, or an English-language form, and the differences in his (French) outlook and how it influences his work, and whether he feels comics are an American artform or European), Harlan Ellison (on comic books as one of the 5 native US artforms even though it's exploded wildly elsewhere), Will Eisner (on greater respect in Europe for comic artists than in the US), Denys Cowan (the view of American comics, in America, as 'trash'), Bill Sienkiewicz (on the new energy of comics in US and England, in the early 90s), Chester Brown (on his Canadian autobiographical comic Yummy Fur, and how much Canada influences his work and what Canadian readers get out of his story), some speculation on whether a canadian setting is enough to make something Canadian, and how Americans often write Canadian settings incomics like Alpha Flight.
Part Three: Editor of Canadian short SF Anthology "On Spec", Marianne Nelson (on the 'Canadian voice in Science Fiction'), Judith Merril (on how the looming presence of the environment in Canadian lives makes us more inclined towards SF even in mainstream works), Garfield and Judith Reeves-Stevens (on whether there's a particular Canadian voice in SF, and their view of no), Candas Jane Dorsey (on Canadian SF, and why it's so hard to recognize the Canadian SF community), Dave Duncan (the lack of the size of Canadian market making it hard to create a market for Canadian SF, but they do well across the border), Tanya Huff (about how Canadian settings are being a bit trendy), Spider Robinson (on his belief that Canadians are coming out of the closet), Guy Gabriel Kay (on it being okay to be a Canadian writer now, in general), Tanya Huff (on how we're between US and British styles)

April 18, 1991 - Ecology
Part One: Douglas Adams (on his non-fiction book about endangered species and how he came to write it, and some stuff about Madagascar), Garfield and Judith Reeves-Stevens (on why SF and Ecology are nothing new to SF, even if they're especially popular lately), Spider Robinson (about David Brin's novel Earth), Robert J. Sawyer (on Face of God, and a sort of eco-conscious aliens), Julian Grant on ecological themes in SF movies being as early as the 50s
Part Two: Steve Bissette (on Swamp Thing and how it evolved ecologically, and how DC lost interest in the ecological message after they left), Ty Templeton (on Clorophyll Kid and designing a terminally-ill Raccoon mascot for the Canadian government that wasn't looked upon too kindly), Gregory Benford (on whether technology and its waste byproducts will destroy us and why technology itself isn't a bad thing), Spider Robinson (on what he hopes from future technology and nanotechnology), Lewis Shiner and Larry Niven (on two competing ideas, why looking for technological solutions are a little wrongheaded, vs terraforming the Earth), Nancy Kress (on how the contradictory reports make it hard for the layman to really get a sense of how much, if any, danger there is)
Part Three: James Trefil (on how much science you need to know to understand the environmental issues), Gregory Benford (on why he feels people opposed to Nuclear Power usually aren't thinking things through). Pamela Sargent (on Terraforming, specifically terraforming Venus, and the moral issues behind it), Lois McMaster Bujold (on terraforming in Barrayar novels, and whether she thinks its too dangerous to try, and views on Nature, and whether smart is actually a survival characteristic long term), Douglas Adams (on sliding towards the edge of disaster, and whether humanity will go extinct, and his lack of despair at the idea)
newnumber6: Ghostly being (Default)
Wow, over the last week or so a whole lot of Prisoners of Gravity eps have appeared on Youtube. So, I'll do my usual link thing. Probably a couple/few a week till I catch up. I know my flist doesn't care about it, but I love this stuff and the interviews with SF authors on SF topics, so nyah.

Time Travel (December 1992)
Part One: Host Introductions and brief history of Time Travel in fiction, Interviews with L. Sprague deCamp (on Lest Darkness Fall, and inspirations for writing it, and problems in time travel of dealing with/understanding earlier versions of one's own tongue), Michael Moorcock ("Behold the Man", on why Time Travel's so compelling, and his novella/novel), John Gribbin (on the scientific plausibility of Time Travel)
Part Two: Gregory Benford (on his novel Timescape and time-reversibility of scientific equations, paradoxes), Geoffrey Landis (on drawing on Dirac's theories of time in his story Ripples in the Dirac Sea), Robert Silverberg (Ugly Little Boy/Up the Line, on the narrative choice to not go into much detail on the science, and his favorite time travel stories), Spider Robinson (on Heinlein's story "All You Zombies", full spoilers)
Part Three: Joe Haldeman (on his nebula award winning story The Hemmingway Hoax), Connie Willis (on Firewatch and Doomsday Book, and why her time travellers mess with the past, and on the perspective of future compared to the presence, plus a bit of talking about her not-at-that-point-released book To Say Nothing of the Dog)

Shared Worlds: (December 1992)
Part One: Interviews with James Morrow (on his objections to 'fiction to order' and shared worlds as literature by committee being anti-art, and yet his own contributions), C.J. Cherryh (on the shared world as a new literary form, and how the process tends to work), George R.R. Martin (on Wild Cards, and advantages/disadvantages of shared world setup and how multiple authors points of view can avoid making the author's moral views 'succeed')
Part Two: Neil Gaiman (on pitfalls of shared worlds to avoid, and how Sandman, one of his most famous works, is a shared world character he doesn't own, so how does he protect it), Fabian Nicieza (on how the X-books all fit together into one continuity. he also gets spit on), John Byrne (on keeping characters 'pure' in a shared world and correcting things you don't like in other works "right now" as opposed to waiting till they're gone, and Next Men, benefits of owning your own characters vs working on company characters), Walt Simonson (on playing in others sandboxes in comics)
Part Three: Peter David (on attractions of writing in shared worlds - Marvel, Trek, compared to the problems of being restricted in what you can do with the characters), J.M. Dillard (working on Star Trek novels, and how working with established characters is something of a 'free ride', but also restrictions), Judith and Garfield Reeve-Stevens (on writing Prime Directive, on how you maintain suspense when you know that the characters can't really be in any danger, and how you approach writing 'famous' characters), Harlan Ellison (on how he abhors shared worlds and that anyone who gets involved with them serves the devil)

Medea/Murasaki (Shared Worlds Part II) (December 1992)
Continuation of last episode: A look at two specific shared world concepts, one developed by Harlan Ellison himself, the second designed as Medea's "heir".

Part One: Origins of Medea in 1975, and the worldbuilding specs of the world, designed by the likes of Poul Anderson, Hal Clement, Larry Niven, Frederick Pohl, and others. Interviews with Harlan Ellison (on how it all started), Robert Silverberg (on receiving the specs and discussing them over dinner, and the seminar), notes about the biology of the Fuxes.
Part Two: Frank Kelly Freas (who did paintings and illustrations for the project, on the Fuxes unique life-cycle, Harlan Ellison (on choosing the last two writers after the seminar, and why only one female author was included), Kate Wilhelm (on her story for the book), Jack Williamson (on coming in late), Robert Silverberg (on writing the second-last story in the book, and forcing Harlan to write the last), Harlan Ellison (on what he thinks of Medea increasing the popularity of shared worlds). Introduction to Murasaki, designed as a fundraising effort, and some of the specs (by Pohl and Poul)
Part Three: Interviews with Frederick Pohl (on the different approaches to worldbuilding in Medea and Murasaki), David Brin (on how he got involved), Gregory Benford (on whether Murasaki is different/groundbreaking enough to warrant the effort, his arguments against the 'anti-art' argument, and failures of Murasaki), Nancy Kress (on being the only female author in Murasaki, and working with someone else's aliens), Robert Silverberg (on whether he things Murasaki lived up to Medea, and why Medea's out of print)

(Man, I wish we still had Prisoners of Gravity around).
newnumber6: (otp)
Continued from last post. First post of this whole series is here, for explanation purposes.

Let's get right to it.
Read more... )
Edit: Now continued here.
newnumber6: (chase)
Okay, so here's a continuation of my last WIDW, which was what I'd do with if I was writing Runaways

Vol 3 (in outline form, rather than full script or anything. Read the first post for my general rules of play and explanations for this, and of course for the first batch of issues. We'll start here with the next 12 issues, #12-24 (spread over two posts)
Read more... )
Continued here.

Book Foo

Jul. 25th, 2009 03:34 pm
newnumber6: Ghostly being (Default)
Finished: Weapons of Choice, by John Birmingham

Thoughts behind the cut. Short version: Enjoyed the premise, execution was a bit dry and uninteresting at parts. Not many plot-specific spoilers ahead beyond general plot outline. Read more... ) I'd read the rest of the series but I'm not salivating over it- I'll happily wait until I find it in a used bookstore.
Started and Finished: Sunstorm, by Stephen Baxter and Arthur C. Clarke
Started: Tehanu, the Last Book of Earthsea by Ursula K. LeGuin (Nebula Winner, forgot to mention I got it Wednesday).

Thoughts on Sunstorm. Slightly spoilery for both it and the previous novel in the series, as well as for Stargate, by analogy. Short version: Okay, but a bit meh, and didn't even have the coolness of the first book. Probably would have been better off skipping it. Read more... )

Finished: Woken Furies, by Richard Morgan (reread)
Started: Ventus, by Karl Schroeder (reread)

Woken Furies is a reread, so I don't have much to say. Enjoyed it of course, and I probably will reread the series again at some point. I did make a bit of a connection to why the main character interests me, and I should have made it earlier, considering his name. (Some spoilers)Read more... )

What else is new in my life? Not a whole lot, sadly. My life is pretty stagnant. Wake up, hang around on the internet wasting time that isn't at work, just making it through one day after another. Don't go out much other than work, shopping, and occasional grocery stuff. Don't even especially feel like my old hobbies like icon-making, and most of my discussion forums have disappeared, yet I haven't found anywhere to replace them, probably because most of them are comic related and I'm down to two comics a month now, and not as excited about either as I once was. Meh.

Speaking of, working a bit again, after taking something of a break, on my Runaways Vol 3 outline, thanks to a couple positive comments that energized me a bit. May post the outlines for issues #12 to 24 in the next few weeks, rocketting me right past where the real book is now.

TVwise nothing much is on, just reality shows (so I am watching Big Brother I guess), and downloading old Who's. (And man, Global, how many times do you have to air The Unit in one week... don't you have other shows to air?). Thinking of rewatching another old series, maybe Veronica Mars, to help fill the empty hours. SDCC's on now but no news has particularly excited me. New trailer for Stargate Universe looks interesting enough, but that's about it. But still a couple days left for it.

But overall, meh. I'd say I need a life, but the truth is I probably wouldn't know what to do with it is I had one.
newnumber6: (otp)
Continued from last post.
Read more... )

Edit: Now continued here.
All my WIDWs are here.
newnumber6: (chase)
Yes, it's time for another big long post that probably only entertains me, and I don't really expect anybody to read. But I've mentioned it offhandedly in a few posts, that I've been writing down my own sort of "alternate Volume 3 of Runaways", sort of a what might happen if, in some alternate universe, I was told to write Runaways instead of Terry Moore. Well, I've finished up to issue #12, and that seems like a good place to take a break and start posting it.

General introductory comments:Read more... )

We begin:Read more... )

continued next post, i write too much for LJ apparently.
newnumber6: (chase)
This week I got one book:

Runaways #11 (A little mixed, some nice character moments but the big events felt a little hollow)

Full reviews as usual at my comic reviews site for anyone interested.

At the used bookstore, I picked up:

Weapons of Choice, by John Birmingham
The SAS Fighting Techniques Handbook (New and Revised), by Terry White
Sunstorm, by Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter
All for 2 or 3 bucks each, in the 'we want to get rid of these' bin.

And speaking of Runaways, I've finished my complete issue by issue outline of my own first year of the title (assuming I took over immediately after the Secret Invasion crossover), and solicits through issue #24. Now starting on the outlines of those. :P Good thing I have no artistic ability whatsoever, or I'd probably be drawing it too.

Work was okay, but man was it hot today. Probably hottest work day I've had of the year. Yarg.

In other news... Uh oh. Heroes is screwed. I mean even more so. Yes, okay, it's gone to hell already and unrecoverable. Granted. But there are levels of everything. Bryan Fuller left again. Before the 4th Season has begun. Which mean the chance of redeeming qualities of 4th Season are about nil. Next I'm sure we'll be hearing they rehired Loeb. Can't blame Fuller for leaving the ongoing train-wreck though, especially when he can focus on his own work.

Oh, and those new brands of chips? The Baby-Back Ribs flavour does actually remarkably simulate the flavour of the last BBQ ribs I had, so thumbs up on that. But their "Greek" Flavour? Feta Cheese, Olive, and Oregano? I think it's just become my new favorite flavour. I'm addicted to those now. OMG. They're awesome. I say again OMG.
newnumber6: (lasers)
Haven't done one of these in a while, and don't remember ever doing these particular questions, so what the hell. Stolen from [livejournal.com profile] angelophile...

What's the last thing you did, where you technically broke the law? Read more... )
Edit: Whoops, forgot to cut. Sorry about that.
newnumber6: Ghostly being (Default)
I'll start with TV. SCC was pretty good this week. I'm going to miss the series when it's gone, as I'm feeling is likely (but not officially confirmed yet, so I hope I'm wrong), despite the big, sudden events in this ep. Dollhouse has also been getting better. It's still nowhere near as good as any of Whedon's other shows, but I find myself watching it as opposed to leaving it on in the background while I do something else.

And found another episode of Prisoners of Gravity. I know none of you care but I do, helps me if I want to find a particular interview later.

This one's on Children in SF & Fantasy.

Part 1: General introduction, John Clute on stories about children and adolescents in general in SF and the SF as 'right of passage' (and the actual book by that title). Kristine-Kathryn Rusch on why SF has so few child characters compared to fantasy, the host lists some examples of kids in SF.
Part 2: (mostly) Kids in Fantasy. Mercedes Lackey on how much she draws on her own childhood to write kids, and the life of kids in medieval times. Robert Holdstock (the Bone Forest) on why he likes writing from the child's perspective, Jane Yolen on the difference between writing about children vs writing for children, and rules for writing for kids. Nancy Kress back on the topic of the lack of children in SF.
Part 3: Nancy Kress again on how having kids affected her view of the world. Other SF writers on how kids have affected their writing careers (Gwyneth Jones, Esther Friesner, Pat Cadigan). More general interview with Monica Hughes (of the Isis Trilogy): how she started writing SF for children, inspiration for the Isis Trilogy, and whether she feels she's competing with the more commercialized entertainment for children.

Speaking of children in SF/Fantasy, writing update. Really, it's mostly been slogging it again. I haven't felt particularly inspired about anything recently. However, while I was exhausted of writing one of the things I was writing on last, I still had words to write for the week and went to an old story, one of my longer unfinished novel-like works. Read more... )

Anyay, I think the reason I still have the lack of writing-excitedness is I'm still in my winter depression, despite the fact that it's spring. I don't really feel much like _anything_ except the occasional fancy that strikes me. You're supposed to go away now, thanks! Oh well, at least I seem to have shaken that cold (or series of colds) that've been dogging me for months.

And since this post is going to be using the canadiana tag anyway, just for an idle bit of fun. A number of my friends have mentioned the Law and Order: UK series. So, as is my wont, I began to think about Law and Order: Canada. So a Canadiana Challenge for any Canadians on my flist who want to participate (either in comments or your own journal). Cast a Law and Order Canada. The rules:
Read more... )

Finally, I think I'll talk about the biggest of my recent timesinks lately. As you may remember, I got a new new computer recently. Now, my old new computer was rather old, and so I couldn't really play much in the way of games on it (I still have my old old computer, but it's pretty much just for web browsing my favorite sites, writing, and e-mail). I think the newest (non flash or simple puzzle) game I played on it was Planescape Torment. Or maybe Black and White. Whichever was newest. But now I can actually play new games. And, as it turned out, my brother had a copy of Fallout 3. So, I've been playing that. It's a post apocalyptic semi-RPG, semi-shooter. And it's reasonably fun. I think I'm about halfway through the main quest, but there are so many side quests I keep getting distracted with. I'm playing Good, because, well, I find it hard to play evil. I even started a new character to play evil for a while and whenever I tried to choose the evil conversation options I thought, "I don't want to say that, that's mean!". Not to mention things like blowing up a whole town.
Anyway, the game is fun but there are some annoyances, like characters who you just finished talking to a few seconds ago, asking you if you're back from the assignment they _just_ sent you on. And unrealistic things like where you see something happening, go away, do something else for a few days of game time, come back, and the people you left are all pretty much doing the exact same thing, as though no time had passed for them. Which got me thinking. What if you made a game that made use of that failing as a game mechanic, much like Planescape: Torment did with dying and respawning. And continued thinking and came up with a general plot sketch:
Read more... ) In conclusion, I should totally write for video games!! Anyway, given that games play with time a lot, and how little I'm 'plugged in' to gaming news, I wouldn't be surprised if somebody already did something much like that. But it amused me anyway.

In comics, Marvel's announced Dark X-Men with a lineup of mostly people not usually in X-books, and continuing Marvel beating the adjective Dark into the ground. Personally, I'm waiting for Dark Runaways, with a returned Alex leading Topher (brought back to life for Dracula's war effort), Excavator, Penance/Hollow, and an alternate universe Squirrel Girl where she's a master thief who stole Doctor Doom's universe-travelling gear, her killer giant mutant squirrel Monkey Joe, and Mordred the Magician who's astrally inhabiting the body of Lotus, who accidentally summoned him. Or not. Anyway, although the lineup (of Dark X-Men) is kinda-sorta interesting in parts, I'm not bothering and can't wait until Marvel unDarks everything.

I think that's it for today. I do have a few memes saved up I need to get to but this is getting a bit long so I'll save them for a bit later.

Edit: Weird, while I was looking up the link to my review of Planescape: Torment, I stumbled on this post, from 2006, where (among other things), I relate a dream, that seems to be the general concept of (the most recent) New Warriors, combined with the title of Young X-Men. Marvel, are you reading my journal and stealing my ideas and making them crappier? Or reading my dreams?
newnumber6: (rotating2)
This week I got two books:

Captain Britain and MI13 #11 (quite good, really enjoying the arc)

Full reviews as usual at my comic reviews site for anyone interested.

Also picked up at the used bookstore:

Book of the New Sun, the First Half of, by Gene Wolfe (since one half of the first half is a Nebula winner I haven't read)

and

Chasm City by Alastair Reynolds

Wasn't too thrilled with Revelation Space by Reynolds, but this was cheap and I'm running low on new reading material so I figured what the heck, I'll give him another chance.

Work was okay, showed up only a few minutes after I did and decent load. And of course, since I had comics to get and the weather was fairly nice, I got some good reading time in. The weather was fairly nice, as I just said, but very windy. Which did make it a bit challenging to read at times, but I managed, except at a few points (like going under a train bridge that seemed to become like a wind tunnel.

What else? Some quick TV thoughts... BSG's moving slow and with what, only a couple eps left, I really don't have confidence that they're going to end on a satisfactory note. I happened to see a little preview for Caprica that looked good, though, looking forward to that when it comes, even if I'll probably have to treat it as a completely separate entity from BSG. Lost's been enjoyable (but what? Not on tonight?). Terminator _finally_ came through with a pretty good ep after a few weeks of stinkers (I mean seriously, how many times do we need people to be hallucinating/dreaming major parts of the episode, or for there to be fear that that's going on?). Dollhouse continues to, uhm... 'be', I guess.

Morena Baccarin is cast in the V remake. You know, I almost think the only way to approach the series would be to... not even Battlestar Galactica it, because BSG remained pretty close, plotwise, just modernizing it and making one major change (adding secret human cylons). For V, I think the best way to do it would be to also reimagine it, but go one step furthur... just use the title V, and the premise of aliens landing and becoming public to the world, and forget the lame (I'll cut for spoilers just in case you never saw any of the original) Read more... ). Reimagine not just the plot but the whole nature of the aliens, make the threat (if there even is one) a new one. Anyway, we'll see, Morena Baccarin in it might make me at least give it a look. Aw, who am I fooling, I'm a sci-fi geek, I'd probably give it a look regardless.

Been having a fair number of 'back in high school' dreams, or 'meet somebody from high school' dreams lately. And they usually involve rather random people, people I wasn't particularly close with (or negative with), just people who's name/face I happen to remember. Shrug.

Depressed of course (tis the season), and not really feeling inspired to do writing (though I've been meeting my quotas, it's been fairly joyless). And I'm still very lightly sick. Can't seem to shake it. So, meh all around.
newnumber6: (rotating2)
So, the computer's still doing well. Haven't got an IDE enclosure yet to attempt to restore my old data, but I'm making slow progress on getting my other stuff up to speed or better than up to speed. For example, now I don't need to watch TV, sitting in my uncomfortable chair with dollar store earphones in my ears! My old PC had an internal speaker that was good for watching, this one doesn't. Luckily my brother had recently upgraded his speakers (he's one of you 'tunie' freaks who listens to 'music' for 'pleasure', and so the quality matters to him... weirdos) and still had the old ones around. With some kajiggering that left me completely soundless for a while (oops), I managed to get 'em up and working.

So, what have I been watching lately? Well, the Dead Like Me direct to DVD sequel-movie "Life After Death", for one. (some spoilers)Read more... )

Wolverine and the X-Men wasn't bad this week, though a bit low on the funny. And a NM cameo!

Terminator... From what I understand, the show has slipped severely in the ratings its first week out on the Friday Death Slot, so I'm not optomistic about it surviving another year. And judging by the last couple eps, I'm not as broken up as I would. I dunno, the writing seems to be getting more and more stilted (spoilers ahoy) Read more... )

And speaking of Friday night deathslots, Dollhouse. Dollhouse, Dollhouse, Dollhouse. I'm not feeling it. It's slightly enjoyable. I mean, I think I could really dig a hypothetical third season where (slight spoilers and longer discussion of the show ahead)Read more... ) So I'm thinking this is a slight misfire for Joss. I _almost_ wish it gets cancelled so that he can move on to doing something else awesome. But I won't add any bad wishes to it. I'll still watch but I don't think it'll be must-see for me anymore.

BSG I'm still worried has lost the plot. They're at the stage where people seem to be changing their minds and allegiences suddenly for no good reason, and (spoilers for most recent) Read more... )

Lost has been fairly enjoyable... not super exciting, but good.

What's up other than TV? Not a whole lot. My Dad, who's been out of work about two months or so, got a new job that pays much more than his previous ones, + benefits, so that's nice.

Writing-wise I should be on a writing cycle this week, but since I lost my last weekend trying to sort out my computer and otherwise not being able to enjoy myself much until I got the new one, I'm taking this one off, from my normal metered writing at least. I find I need a certain amount of unproductiveness and I lost that. However, I'm not abandoning writing entirely, I've just decided to work on unproductive writing and dipping my toe into fanfic for the first time in quite a while. Specifically, Runaways fanfic (well, sorta a crossover), set between the Secret Invasion mini and the 1st issue of vol 3. I may not actually get past the outlining stage (since for some reason I can't write comic fanfic as prose, I have to structure it as though I'm actually writing a comic script), but at least unlike my other Runaways ideas (like the What I'd Do With one, even though my ideas have moved far beyond what I have in that one entry) it's unlikely my ideas can become incompatible with the real storylines, I can actually work on it slowly without the fear that I should chuck it all into the 'why bother, it's not even theoretically possible anymore' bin. Shrug.
newnumber6: (chase)
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Noble Drifter in a Post-Apocalyptic Wasteland. Does that count? I mean technically it doesn't exist yet (here).

For 'real' jobs, I think I'd go with Executive Producer of a long-running science fiction show or franchise. Get to do what I love, be famous enough that I get some of the perks but still obscure enough that I can go about in public, good money, and if I'm executive producer for a long-enough running series, even once it ends I should be able to get another such job fairly easily and explore different ideas. Plus I have a team of writers to collaborate with in instances where I have a good idea but can't really execute it.

Writing in a smaller capacity would also be nice.
newnumber6: Ghostly being (Default)
No comics today. NYX was on my list, but I decided I'd skip the trip this week (big snowstorm was supposedly today, which turned out to be a semi-heavy snowfall followed by freezing rain and the resultant slush. I think I made the right call) and get it with next week's.

Work was a bit of a pain in part due to the snow/slush (which also made things late), but also a couple random minor problems with delayed things and made me sorer. Meh. Oh well, at least it's over.

And in case you hadn't heard, LJ MAY DIE AT ANY MINUTE (no, this isn't anything updated from the other posts on the subject you may have seen on your flist, I'm just being deliberately overdramatic). I dunno, I'm not too worried. I backed everything up just in case, but I suspect it's more likely the layoffs are more designed to position for an attempt to sell the company (because then they can say that they only have X amount of staff, paid X amount of dollars), rather than a sign that LJ is going to be swallowed up into nothingness. That said, LJ lost the trust for me a long time ago, which is why I never considered buying a 'permanent' account (whereas years ago I might have, although didn't have the funds). And let's face it, when they can decide to pull the plug at any moment a permanent account is hardly permanent, and not worth paying the equivalent of (what is it?) 2 years of paid (unless you would have paid that and more already)? Anyway, should LJ go completely belly up and we must go our separate ways, well, I'm not sure where I'll go. Probably to one of the other LJ clones, because I like the formatting and such. But if you need to contact me, my e-mail address isn't hard to find (hint, I run a website and an e-mail address is listed there). Although technically if it disappears overnight e-mail _might_ not reach me as there are currently some problems with my e-mail that need to be ironed out.

Had another Sithicus dream. For those who don't know, in the 90s I ran a local computer Bulletin Board System (over the phone-lines, pre-Internet age) by that name. Every once in a while, I have a dream where I discover it's still going, still running on that old (now deceased) computer. It's odd. Read more... )

Writing cycle begins next week, first one after the December break. Don't have any particular _new_ ideas unfortunately, but think I'll be trying something a little different. Start writing up one of my ideas for a comic format in prose. Not to have the story meant to be in that form, but as a way of getting through my block against working on it. See, I can do fairly well in terms of 'writing off the top of my head' in prose, but in script or comic form I tend to sit there and type nothing. So I thought maybe I could try it this way. Then I'd just have to adapt my own work.

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