TV roundup

Oct. 11th, 2009 10:32 am
newnumber6: Ghostly being (Default)
[personal profile] newnumber6
Starting as usual with PoG links.

Advice: Advice from SF/Comic Creators to people starting out in the field... (April 16, 1992)
Part One: Nancy Kress (read as much as you can, and persist, and don't write only when you're in the mood), Candas Jane Dorsey (what makes bad SF, the "Rod and Don Dialogue"), Lewis Shiner (don't start, it's a tremendously discouraging business, and if you're going to, get a day job), Kathy Gale (UK Editor, always submit in a professional way),
Part Two: Kim Stanley Robinson (responding on OSC's advice of "Primacy of Event over Character" and Card not following his own advice, kind of rips on Card a bit too), Tanya Huff (on the pros and cons on writer's groups), Ed Bryant (on Writer's Workshops like Clarion), Dan Simmons (on how the Milford Writer's Workshop helped him), Neil Gaiman (on his experience at a Milford and learning nothing about writing but learning about reading), shift in focus to comics. Frank Miller (know what you want)
Part Three: Fabian Nicieza (take writing courses, plan to have another career, work through independents/small press), M.W. Kaluta (on how he got his first full professional gig on The Shadow, and his advice), Gene Colan (you have to love it, don't do it for the fame), Sergio Aragones (practice, and think ahead at how the world may change). Summary from the host, and a closing clip from Dan Piraro (stay away, I don't want the comptetition)

Farewell (Season 1 finale)
Assorted promotions, Dick Tracy (movie and the then-recent comics), TMNT (in advance of the first live action movie), Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue, Archie news, Incredible Hulk comic, 1990 Earth Day, interviews with Max Collins, Rob Salem, artist Dale Keown... very disjointed and none of it terribly interesting so I won't do the full clip-by-clip summary. Part One: Part Two: Part Three:

Memory (December 8, 1993)

How we're defined by our memories, in SF and Fantasy and comics
Part One: Lynda Barry (on what bring childhood memories for her, a trick for remembering things in a different way that you wouldn't normally, triggering other people's memories in writing), Neil Gaiman (on converting his memories into a comic and being replaced by it), Dave McKean (on using collages to represent memory), Neil Gaiman (on suddenly realizing something about your childhood memories as an adult because as child you don't know what's significant), Michael Moorcock (on his childhood memories of WWII shaping the landscapes of his fiction)
Part Two: Harlan Ellison (on what triggers memories for him, and exorcising hurtful memories with writing, and gives a couple of his favorite quotes about memories), Howard Hendrix (on the memory of his brother shaping one of his stories, and the difference of how memory in fiction compared to real life), Harry Harrison (on how memory works, short term vs long term memory, and the disadvantages to a linear memory of computers)
Part Three: William Gibson (on Agrippa, and Cyberspace as a metaphor for memory), Iain M. Banks (on his fascination with memory and the links between identity and memory), Brian Aldiss (on writing his own autobiography, and a story of a memory he'd written when he was 16), Edward Bryant (on how our memory shapes us and lack of memory also influences us)

Medicine and Nanotechnology (December 1, 1993)
Part One: Frederick Pohl (on people selling off organs to finance their trip to Gateway, and the real black market for organs), Nancy Kress (on writing "The Mountain to Mohammed", and her growing concern about health insurance, and the tough choices involved in controlling medical costs, and worries about gene scanning to mark people as uninsurable), Joel Davis (on the Human Genome Project changing the way medicine is practiced)
Part Two: Joel Davis again (on who owns the rights to the drugs created by using human DNA), Nancy Kress (on relaxing the controls of testing drugs on the dying), John Clute (on nanotechnology as a trend in SF), William Gibson (on including nanotech in Virtual Light, and finding it creepy), Tony Daniel (on Nano as the 'new magic' of SF), Stven Barnes (on linking Nanotech and Dinosaurs in The Barsoom Project, and where he researched it), Ian McDonald (on including nanotech in Necroville and his ideas of what resurrecting the dead might mean)
Part Three: Michael Skeet (on his story Relics, and whether writers get carried away with nanotech), Dave Smeds (on the practical obstacles to reaching nanotech), Greg Bear (on writing Blood Music before nanotechnology really became well-known, and why he use it, and his own sins of treating nanotech as 'magic', and the legacy of the Frankenstein image, and his own feeling that we need to know as much as possible)

Next Week, Writer's Workshops, Games, and Awards, the last set of PoG links until the person posting them posts some more, I guess.

In other TV news, what's been new... Heroes, meh. I think it's the last year anyway, so its not really worth getting worked up about, but the developments in the latest ep do not particularly interest me. Flashforward is still entertaining in terms of its normal plot and it's done a good job of keeping me interested with some of the twists they've introduced, although some sloppiness with how the visions work still annoys me.

Glee's still okay, but I'm finding the main characters less and less likable with each ep, with a few exceptions (I liked the Quinn/Rachel scene in this week's episodes) and they really need to start focusing on the minor characters.

Supernatural had a solid MOTW episode.

The big TV story for me was that Stargate Universe had the third part of its premiere, and again, not bad. There's a couple spoilery elements I want to talk about behind the cut (including a possible "I CALLED IT" moment), and some speculation/wonderings for the future: Okay, so, we see that, unlike the first way the communication stones were used, which let the people using them take over bodies but left the people who's bodies were taken over somewhat comatose, they're going with the notion (also used before, depending on the circumstances) that they 'switch' bodies. Which can be rather useful, dramatically, as it allows experts to 'show up' on the ship without actually having to be there, and people to 'escape' back to Earth, at least temporarily, in somebody else's body. That helps cut out the 'oh no, isolation' aspect a little (which can get wearying), and leads to some story ideas that might not otherwise be there. And of course, guest stars. It might be fun to have Rodney or Sam Carter or Daniel Jackson show up and butt heads with the people.

As for the 'I Called It' moment... well, I exaggerate a little, and I'm taking a lot on faith that this isn't just a throwaway element but rather something that will continue to crop up, but the little 'wisp of sand' and possible hallucination? I'm betting it's one of the alien races in the galaxy. And like I've said before, SG goes to horror tropes for its major villains: Goauld are bodysnatchers (which is SF horror, but still), Wraith are Vampires, Replicators are 'swarming bugs' (for the small ones) and 'Frankenstein's Monster' for the humanform, the Ori themselves are demons and their Priors are sort of deranged cultists with magical powers... I think what we're seeing here are 'Ghosts'. Or rather, a noncorporeal alien that interacts with people by summoning up images of their pasts. Some will be good, some will be bad, but given the creator's apparent desire to go more character based, a recurring alien that brings up people from the characters past is a natural choice. So, Ghosts. You heard it here first.

Jury's still out on the series as a whole. I came up with the same solution to the 'time problem' that Rush did, a few seconds before, but that's one of the things I love about the setting... the technology is internally consistent and it makes SENSE, so naturally you're going to anticipate the solutions now and then. Anybody (HI RUSSELL T. DAVIES ARE YOU LISTENING?) can surprise you with what happens when the technology is completely made up and can change on a whim and you, say, have a magic hand-held device that can do anything you want it to except when you don't want it to work), but it takes skill to do it when your technology makes some kind of internal sense despite also being made up.

Since I'm a bit of a fictional tech geek, some unanswered technical (and some not technical) questions that I look forward to seeing them dealing with... listed in order of when they occur to me as I type them:
1) The ship travels FTL, but NOT through Hyperspace, which (I may be mistaken), I think is the first of its kind for SG. So, even though the ship didn't jump to FTL while the gate was still open, it may not be FUNDAMENTALLY impossible to have an open wormhole while the FTL is on. So what would be the effects?
2) They have a limited number of communication stones... do they get 'tuned' to particular people like it used to work, or can they 'detune' them so anybody can use them? Presumably the person posessed can change from time to time (since when Telford was taken over they thought it might be Rush again).
3) The people who were lost and never heard from again... what happened? But then, I bet we will be seeing at least one of them again in a later ep. Just a feeling.
4) So was Dr. Rush put in charge or not? Way not not resolve that! :P
5) No DHD seemingly on the gates in this galaxy. Is this planet an aberration, or is that a feature? Can gates still be manually dialed? Or just respond to a simple radio signal that a technologically advanced culture could stumble upon? For that matter, how exactly is the Shipgate dialed when NOT using the special ship device, if that's possible at all? Do they 'dial the planet's own number' and the ship being in the area overrides the normal 'do nothing' effect? Does the shipgate have its own special number that can be accessed from anywhere? Can the ship dial into a planet it's actually orbitting, or must there be a significant distance?

Anyway, still the most interesting thing I'm watching now, I think.

I think that's it for this week. It's Thanksgiving Weekend here in Canada, so to all the Canucks on my list, Happy Thanksgiving. Except, not for me. Apparently most of my immediate family is working this weekend, including tomorrow, so we won't be doing anything until sometime a little later. So no big meal for me, alas. Oh well.


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November 2009


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