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.]


[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.”


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

Continue reading “I’m Baaaaaaack”

Real Wars and Star Wars

There’s a really interesting article on io9 about SFF authors who served in the military, and how this informed their later works. Well worth a read, and features this blunt but powerful quote from Kurt Vonnegut:

The firebombing of Dresden was an emotional event without a trace of military importance… I will say again what I have often said in print and in speeches, that not one Allied soldier was able to advance as much as an inch because of the firebombing of Dresden. Not one prisoner of the Nazis got out of prison a microsecond earlier. Only one person on earth clearly benefited, and I am that person. I got about five dollars for each corpse, not counting my fee tonight.

It also reminded me that I somehow haven’t read Starship Troopers yet, which I should really get around to.

Oh, and Tor has a perceptive article on why J.J. Abrams directing the new Star Wars movie might be a bad thing. I don’t entirely agree that he’s not one to take artistic risks with his work–Lost was pretty out there at the time–but I accept the point they make about his Star Trek movie being awesome, but not really Star Trek. Hmm. Thoughts?

Mad Men meets Sci-Fi

Tor.com has a great piece here – Mad Men Begins Highlighting Science Fiction as a Tool of Expression.

I love Mad Men. It’s one of the most tightly written, perfectly paced shows on television, with a cast of realistic, rounded and often deeply flawed characters. I really appreciate all of the cultural references that make the show so true – the Kennedy/Nixon election, Vietnam, etc – but it’s especially satisfying for me to see sci-fi popping up, with Ken Cosgrove’s writing it under a pseudonym, and now the long-lost and oh-so-pathetic Paul Kinsey desperate to pitch a script for an exciting new show called Star Trek:

Paul: “I think it should be their season opener next year.”

Harry: If there IS one. It’s a tough timeslot — “My Three Sons,” “Bewitched” — that thing’s a juggernaut.”

Yup. Star Trek‘s good, but it’s no Bewitched.


Great review of John Scalzi’s Redshirts at Tor.com here.

“Redshirts is not merely a satire of the conventions of popular science fiction as a genre (although it is an excellent satire), it’s a harsh critique of waste. Why should we allow ourselves to be thrilled and horrified by the senseless deaths of fictional characters when we could be equally entertained by the stories that those characters carry within them?”

I’m looking forward to reading this. I’m sure it’s a little more high brow a commentary on the redshirt trope than the (still brilliant) one on Family Guy:

Captain Kirk: “All right, men. This is a dangerous mission. And it’s likely one of us will be killed. The landing party will consist of myself, Mr. Spock, Dr.McCoy…and Ensign Ricky.

Ensign Ricky: “Ah, crap.