I’m Baaaaaaack

[Silence. After a few moments, footsteps are heard. Faintly at first, but then louder as they approach. A man appears from stage left. His stride stutters for a moment as he glances toward the darkened auditorium, but he gathers himself and steps confidently to the microphone.]

*cough*

[He taps the microphone twice. Feedback whines through the auditorium’s speaker system, and the man winces. He moistens his lips and peers out at the shadowed space where the audience might be.]

“So. I’ve… been away for a while.”

Silence.

“I don’t know if anybody’s out there, but… well. Let’s just pick up where we left off, shall we?”

Omni, a seminal SF magazine that I’d never heard of until just now, is coming back after a fifteen-year hiatus. And to celebrate they’ve published some wonderful artwork of Frank Herbert’s Dune universe. It’s really marvelous:

Article at io9, full collection here.

Also at io9, it seems that Earth might not be a planet, if for some reason you decide to make that definition include ‘dominates the other bodies orbiting that star’. To which one commenter replies:

i can see this the other way around. if i define planet as “a hard surface i can land on, walk on, maneuver on”… then i say we have 4 planets and 4 big ass balls of gas’

Which seems about right to me.

The last book of the Malazan Empire, Ian Cam Esslemont’s Assail, is coming out in March 2014. That seems like quite a long way away… which is a blessing, as I’ve just realised I’ve not read the last book, Blood and Bone, yet. (Makes note.)

Ooh, this is a good one. Tor.com have started a series called Story Worlds, written by a chap called Brad Kane, who says:

‘Story Worlds is a series about storytelling and world-building in film TV, books, games, and more. Congrats: you’ve arrived for the first installment! In future weeks, I’ll be visiting many “story worlds” from every popular medium and genre and exploring what makes them memorable. For today, I thought I’d start with a simple question: why do stories even matter?’

The first installment introduces the series, then there’s a two-parter on–of course–The Lord of the Rings. Great stuff. (Part one, part two.)

Apparently there’s a debate… well, maybe not raging, but percolating, about whether the sublime Breaking Bad is science fiction. Because it’s fiction, and it’s about science, so… yeah. Sorry guys, you’ve missed with this one. Wide right.

But we can all agree that the show being back is like Christmas in August, and enjoy that someone took the time to animate the scene from the final season premiere where Badger outlines his Star Trek script.

And last, but best: Malcolm Tucker is Doctor Who. Here’s the entirely unoffical and EXTREMELY PROFANE trailer.

It’s enough to make me watch the show again.

“That’s all, folks. I’ll have another book for you soon, I promise. So… bye.”

[The man takes a step back from the microphone, and squints at the darkness once again, trying to discern any life or  movement out there. He shakes his head slightly. As he turns to leave the stage, a faint voice calls out querulously from the audience. ‘You forgot to talk about Man of Steel. You posted seventeen trailers for it, then nothing.’ The man turns back, looking sheepish.]

“Ah, yeah. Um… I actually haven’t seen it yet.’

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