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1
London's version of Comic-Con, Nine Worlds GeekFest, needs a little push to reach its British KickStarter goal (but not much). Sign up over here, all you tea-drinking geeks for a great event.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1089256184/nine-worlds-geekfest-an-unconventional-convention

2
News / The Complete Nemesis The Warlock Volume 1 (comic-book review).
« on: February 18, 2013, 04:48:28 AM »
‘Nemesis The Warlock’ was one of ‘2000AD’s oddest series when I was younger reading the title. Reading it again now is a reminder of how prevalent the series was about prejudice. Hardly surprising really when it was based off the Spanish Inquisition and even more peculiar in that humans were the villains of the piece and it was the aliens that were the rebels. Mind you, if you look at ‘Strontium Dog’, humans were by and large the enemy there as well.

http://sfcrowsnest.org.uk/the-complete-nemesis-the-warlock-volume-1-books-1-4-by-pat-mills-kevin-oneill-jesus-redondo-and-bryan-talbotbook-review/

3
News / Arnie will be back, in new Conan flick!
« on: October 26, 2012, 05:56:46 AM »
Arnold Schwarzenegger will return as the titular barbarian in The Legend Of Conan, due in cinemas 2014.

http://www.scifinow.co.uk/news/arnold-schwarzenegger-to-star-in-new-conan-movie/

4
Amazon Studios, the original content arm of Amazon.com, Inc., is introducing an all-new digital comic book today - Blackburn Burrow, a story set in Civil War America where supernatural horrors are infesting a small Appalachian town in Northern Georgia. Blackburn Burrow first came to Amazon Studios in the form of a feature film screenplay from writer Jay Levy. Community feedback, gathered from Amazon Studios’ crowdsourcing model, triggered the idea for the popular project to be adapted into a digital comic that would be shared with audiences for feedback and tested for viability as a major motion picture.

The Blackburn Burrow digital comic looks and reads like a traditional book and is available for free through a variety of sites and platforms including top digital comic provider Graphicly, as well as AmazonStudios.com, Amazon Studios Facebook page and the Kindle Store. For more information on how to get the comic, visit www.amazonstudios.com or search for Blackburn Burrow in the Kindle Store.

Amazon Studios’ Blackburn Burrow digital comic book is produced by 12 Gauge Comics, which teamed with renowned comics writer Ron Marz (Silver Surfer, Green Lantern, Marvel vs. DC, Batman/Aliens) and veteran illustrator Matthew Dow Smith (Doctor Who, X-Men Icons, Mirror’s Edge, Day of Judgment) to shape the story and look of the comic.

“This is a very exciting new venture for Amazon Studios. Beyond entertaining lots of comic fans, we see value in digital comics as a new way to test screenplays and learn more about fan engagement,” said Roy Price, Director of Amazon Studios. “The 12 Gauge team has done beautiful work on the Blackburn Burrow digital comic and we are thrilled to share it with audiences to see how they react to the story of Blackburn Burrow.”

Like movie and episodic series projects that exist within Amazon Studios, the public will have the opportunity to provide feedback and direction on Blackburn Burrow as the story continues to unfold. The entire Blackburn Burrow comic will be released over a period of four months with new issues coming out every four weeks. Each release will be accompanied by a poll (www.blackburnburrowsurvey.com) related to content in that issue that encourages readers to give feedback and provide comments.

5
News / Tom Hanks' Electric City (fantasy/steampunk cartoon: trailer).
« on: July 03, 2012, 01:32:37 AM »
Just got the first look at Tom Hanks' Electric City. Very nice. Kind of a fantasy-steampunk-SF blend (taking a nod from the very popular novels of Stephen Hunt, unless I'm mistaken). This will be streamed as webisodes, initially.

Here's the trailer below.

http://screen.yahoo.com/electric-city-promo-29815899.html

6
News / The New Yorker does science fiction...
« on: May 29, 2012, 03:40:13 AM »
In the June 4th & 11th, 2012, issue of The New Yorker, Jennifer Egan, in her story “Black Box,” re-imagines one of the characters from her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “A Visit from the Goon Squad” as a futuristic female spy keeping a mental log of her current mission while going undercover among suspected terrorists in the 2030s. A new take on the conventions of the spy thriller, the story is also a commentary on the ideas of heroism, patriotism, and violence. The story is written in terse dispatches of a hundred and forty characters or less, and is being tweeted, through The New Yorker Fiction Department’s Twitter handle, @NYerFiction, in ten nightly installments between 8 and 9 P.M. E.T. The Twitter serialization, which began on Thursday, May 24th, will run through Saturday, June 2nd. Each installment will be available, after the tweets are complete, on the Page-Turner blog at newyorker.com, and the entire story will appear in this week’s Science-Fiction Issue of the magazine. In a post on newyorker.com, Egan says that “Black Box” represents the convergence of several of her long-standing fictional interests: “One involves fiction that takes the form of lists; stories that appear to be told inadvertently, using a narrator’s notes to him or herself,” she writes. Another long-term goal of Egan’s was to “take a character from a naturalistic story and travel with her into a different genre,” which she accomplishes by transporting a “Goon Squad” character to a spy thriller. “I’d also been wondering about how to write fiction whose structure would lend itself to serialization on Twitter,” Egan writes. “This is not a new idea, of course, but it’s a rich one—because of the intimacy of reaching people through their phones, and because of the odd poetry that can happen in 140 characters.”

In the short story “Monstro” (p. 106), Junot Díaz imagines an overheated, economically stratified future Caribbean where a mysterious skin infection known as La Negrura (“The Darkness”) has begun to attack the population of Haiti. Díaz’s narrator, a nineteen-year-old college student, who is spending his summer vacation with his sick mother in the Dominican Republic, falls in with a classmate, the ambitious photographer Alex, and his wealthy friends. “We ran in totally different circles back at Brown, him prince, me prole, but we were both from the same little Island that no one else in the world cared about, and that counted for something, even in those days,” the narrator says. As the group “kicks it super hard,” smoking marijuana and chasing girls, the plague in nearby Haiti grows more and more worrisome. “Doctors began reporting a curious change in the behavior of infected patients: they wanted to be together, in close proximity all the time,” Díaz writes, and, though they wouldn’t speak, “the entire infected population simultaneously let out a bizarre shriek—two, three times a day. Starting together, ending together.” When the disease’s “viktims” become suddenly more malevolent, and the authorities make a disastrous decision about how to contain the epidemic, the narrator’s life is changed forever.

In “The Republic of Empathy” (p. 58), Sam Lipsyte questions notions of authenticity, reality, and empathy in six interconnected vignettes, focussing on six different characters, including a new father, a gay ex-cop who creates masterpieces for fictional artists in the movies, a wealthy businessman on a search for artistic truth, and even a killer drone endowed with human consciousness. One of Lipsyte’s characters, Danny, acknowledges his status as a fictional creation: “I sound like a narrator of a mediocre young-adult novel from the eighties. Which is, in fact, what I am.” Through these interwoven stories, Lipsyte asks readers to relinquish their conceptions of dreams vs. reality, fiction vs. truth, and past vs. present.

In “The Clockwork Condition” (p. 69), an essay written in 1973 but never published, Anthony Burgess reflects on the “true meaning” of his most famous novel, “A Clockwork Orange.” In addition to commenting on the inspiration for the work, and its main character, Alex, Burgess offers an argument about the nature of good and evil and the necessity of free will, as seen through the prisms of Nazi Germany and the Resistance, Catholicism and Calvinism. “We probably have no duty to like Beethoven or hate Coca-Cola, but it is at least conceivable that we have a duty to distrust the state,” Burgess writes. Conformity is natural, and perhaps preferable for many people, he explains, but “when patterns of conformity are imposed by the state, then one has a right to be frightened.” Ultimately, he writes of “A Clockwork Orange,” “what I was trying to say was that it is better to be bad of one’s own free will than to be good through scientific brainwashing.”

In a series of sidebars about writers’ introductions to science fiction, Ray Bradbury describes his earliest experiences with the genre and tells of a childhood Fourth of July that inspired his story “The Fire Balloons” (p. 66); Ursula K. Le Guin recalls being a woman relegated to the “gender ghetto” of the male-dominated nineteen-sixties science-fiction scene (p. 78); China Miéville writes an e-mail back in time to a young science-fiction fan—himself (p. 82); Margaret Atwood remembers the discovery that fiction could be “pure fantasy” (p. 84); Karen Russell relives how reading fantasy books fed her family at Pizza Hut (p. 102); and William Gibson explains how science fiction led him to the “wider tributary of literature” (p. 106).

In addition, Colson Whitehead remembers a childhood watching horror and sci-fi movies (p. 98) and Jonathan Lethem imagines an élite “Internet within the Internet” where a hundred people, specially selected by a “great leader,” go on-line without the distractions of the larger Web (p. 78).

Plus: In Comment, Philip Gourevitch looks at the international community’s unwillingness to respond to the crisis in Syria (p. 49); in the Financial Page, James Surowiecki explains how our obsession with fairness has hindered a compromise on Greece’s economic troubles (p. 56); Laura Miller traces the popularization of fictional aliens in literature, beginning in the nineteenth century (p. 120); Emily Nussbaum watches the cult shows “Doctor Who” and “Community” (p.126); John Lahr takes in “February House” and “The Common Pursuit” (p. 128); Alex Ross reflects on the work of the German baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and his disciples (p. 130); and Anthony Lane reviews “Moonrise Kingdom” (p. 132).

Online: In The New Yorker Outloud Podcast, Deborah Treisman and Jennifer Egan talk about Egan’s short story “Black Box,” and Curtis Fox talks to Junot Díaz, Jonathan Lethem, and Sam Lipsyte about their pieces in this week’s Science-Fiction Issue. In The Political Scene Podcast, Nicholas Lemann and James Surowiecki talk about the economics and politics of student debt. Philip Gourevitch will take questions from readers about the crisis in Syria on Tuesday, May 29, at 3 P.M. E.T.

Tablet extras: A video trailer for the issue, featuring aliens, cyborgs, and zombies by Dan Winters. A video of Emily Nussbaum discussing the fan culture of “Community” and “Doctor Who.”Audio files of Jonathan Lethem, Junot Díaz, Sam Lipsyte, and Kay Ryan reading their pieces. Richard Brody on Jean-Luc Godard’s “Alphaville” (1965).

The June 4 & 11, 2012, issue of The New Yorker goes on sale at newsstands beginning Monday, May 28th 2012.

7
News / John Carter, the Flop that Wasn’t a Turkey.
« on: May 07, 2012, 02:17:16 AM »
After the release of the film, a much cited article  by Claude Brodesser-Akner would come out under the title: “The Inside Story of How John Carter Was Doomed By Its First Trailer“, laying virtually all of the blame for the John Carter marketing woes at the feet of Andrew Stanton based on the statements from an alleged “Disney marketing mole”. 

http://thejohncarterfiles.com/2012/05/special-report-john-carter-the-flop-that-wasnt-a-turkey-part-3/

8
Press Releases / Men in Black 3 time capsule.
« on: May 06, 2012, 12:20:53 PM »
Yesterday, in anticipation of the US release of the action adventure comedy Men in Black 3, in theaters May 25th 2012, the cast and filmmakers donated memorabilia from the film into a time capsule that will begin a cross country tour next week. Following the tour, the time capsule will be locked away for 43 years - mirroring the jump back in time from 2012 to 1969 that Agent J experiences in the film.

The Men in Black 3 time capsule was dedicated at an event at the Four Seasons hotel in Beverly Hills, where the movie's stars Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, and Josh Brolin, as well as director Barry Sonnenfeld, contributed a neuralyzer, sunglasses, and other props and costumes from Men in Black 3 to the time capsule.

Next week, the time capsule will travel to San Francisco, San Diego, Las Vegas, Phoenix, St. Louis, Dallas, and Miami, where local television press will contribute items that represent their cities. The time capsule tour will end in New York City, where it will make appearances at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum and at the World Premiere of the film. Following the movie premiere, the time capsule will be entrusted to NASA, which will lock away the capsule at Cape Canaveral for 43 years.

Commenting on the announcement, Sonnenfeld said, "In Men in Black™ 3, Agent J goes back in time 43 years to 1969, and it's exciting to think that 43 years from now, we will have the same chance when we open up this time capsule. It's full of great memories of the making of this movie and I can't wait to see what all of the tour cities contribute."

In Men in Black 3, Agents J (Will Smith) and K (Tommy Lee Jones) are back... in time. J has seen some inexplicable things in his 15 years with the Men in Black, but nothing, not even aliens, perplexes him as much as his wry, reticent partner. But when K's life and the fate of the planet are put at stake, Agent J will have to travel back in time to put things right. J discovers that there are secrets to the universe that K never told him — secrets that will reveal themselves as he teams up with the young Agent K (Josh Brolin) to save his partner, the agency, and the future of humankind. Barry Sonnenfeld directs the film. The film's screenplay is written by Etan Cohen, based on the Malibu Comic by Lowell Cunningham. Walter F. Parkes and Laurie MacDonald produce, and Steven Spielberg and G. Mac Brown are the executive producers.

9
The Northwest Film Center is hosting screenings all month of Studio Ghibli films. Miyazaki favorites from Castle in the Sky to Howl’s Moving Castle are on the docket.

http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2012/05/studio-ghibli-film-festival-pdx/

10
Despite feverish speculation from doomsayers, the near-Earth asteroid 2012 DA14 won't slam into our planet next year, NASA researchers say. Yet NASA and the US airforce are currently running strange non-stop missions into orbit with experimental ships.

Hello. I have seen 'Deep Impact' and 'Armageddon', you know...

Story 1

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/46647666/ns/technology_and_science-space/#.T2Iv23m0cp0

+

Story 2

Revealed: How America's secret space plane has been in orbit for over a year - and no one knows what it's doing

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2112146/Mystery-U-S-X-37B-space-plane-orbit-year.html


= Time to start dusting off the old cold war shelters and stocking up on Baked Beans?

11
Author Voices to debut at RWA and San Diego Comic-Con featuring co-promotions with Tor.com and Heroes and Heartbreakers
 
Tor/Forge Books is pleased to announce Tor/Forge Author Voices Digital Downloads, a three-volume digital initiative whereby consumers will download exclusive content via company social networking sites, website and newsletter. Said content will be available via mobile as well as online at us.macmillan.com  and Tor.com. The exclusives will be promoted at conferences this summer beginning with Romance Writers of America (RWA) next week and San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) in July. 

Tor/Forge Author Voices Vol #1 will release at RWA via a QR code at the Tor table and will take fans to a landing page allowing them to download roughly 400 pages in a pdf or epub file. Excerpts from upcoming books by Tor/Forge and an original short story by RITA nominated Deborah Coonts, (Lucky Stiff, Forge 2011) will be some of the content available in the volume. The landing page will also have a newsletter signup and information about the Tor panel at the show as well as a reminder to visit HeroesandHeartbreakers.com, the Macmillan owned community website for romance readers. The file will become available for download on all ebook retailer sites on July 5th.

Tor/Forge Author Voices Vol #2 will debut at San Diego Comic-Con, July 20th-24th and will feature author excerpts and chapter previews with special attention to gaming properties. Tor/Forge and Tor.com will partner with a joint landing page on Tor.com where the file will be available for download. Tor.com will also offer a variety of sweepstakes including a tablet. On the Tuesday after the con, July 26th, the file will become available on all ebook retailer sites.

Macmillan’s Digital Marketing department will take advantage of the Comic-Con promotions to test run a mobile campaign which will feature a keyword whereby the public can text a number to receive a link to the landing page, though it will also be available via QR code. Tor/Forge plans on promoting this effort via posters, postcards and other promotional items in the Tor Booth (#2707, 2709). 

“Mobile, in combination with traditional marketing channels, is a great way to reach a new audience and establish an immediate connection with fans.  We are testing four different mobile channels at once during San Diego Comic-Con with two great partners, Link.me and Zoove.  If the Comic-Con campaign proves successful, we plan to integrate mobile marketing channels into more of our traditional marketing efforts moving forward,” says Michael Harbolt, VP, Digital Markets.

Tor/Forge Author Voices Vol 3 is currently in production and will offer similar content to promote at New York Comic-Con in October. Included in this volume will be an ad with links to all the publisher’s online assets and other Tor/Forge digital marketing initiatives. The company hopes to design the ads for the individual imprints in the future and are looking into creating a similar campaign for their YA and children’s imprints, Starscape and Tor Teen. 

12
Press Releases / FANTASYCON 2011
« on: June 23, 2011, 05:08:07 AM »
FANTASYCON 2011 will be held over the weekend of 30th September to 2nd October 2011 at the Royal Albion Hotel, Brighton; venue for the highly successful 2010 World Horror Convention.

The GUESTS OF HONOUR are: World Fantasy Award-winning author (of novels such as the Arthur C. Clarke award-nominated SPIRIT, 2009) and critic GWYNETH JONES, also known as Ann Halam. Her critical essays and reviews are collected in DECONSTRUCTING THE STARSHIPS, 1999 and IMAGINATION/SPACE 2009 ; Swedish horror writer JOHN AJVIDE LINDQVIST, author of the best-selling LET THE RIGHT ONE IN, which was adapted into a movie first in his native Sweden and more recently remade in the U.S. by Hammer Films as LET ME IN; novelist and screenwriter PETER ATKINS, author of novels MORNINGSTAR, BIG THUNDER and MOONTOWN and screenplays for HELLRAISER II – IV & WISHMASTER; and Fantasy writer JOE ABERCROMBIE, whose first novel, THE BLADE ITSELF, was published in 2006, and now has publishers in more than 20 countries. Its sequels, BEFORE THEY ARE HANGED and LAST ARGUMENT OF KINGS, followed in 2007 and 2008. BEST SERVED COLD, a stand-alone book set in the same world, was published in June 2009, and a second stand-alone, THE HEROES, in January 2010, when it made No. 3 on the SUNDAY TIMES Bestseller list.

FantasyCon 2011's first SPECIAL GUEST is multiple award-winning author BRIAN ALDISS, O.B.E. Author of more than eighty novels, both mainstream and science fiction, including FRANKENSTEIN UNBOUND, THE HELLICONIA TRILOGY and HARM to name just a few; and innumerable short stories, including 'Super-Toys Last All Summer Long,' which was filmed as A.I. Brian has also edited many anthologies, acted in performances of his plays, and is also an artist.
 
MISTRESS OF CEREMONIES is SARAH PINBOROUGH, British Fantasy Award-winning Author of Best Novella: THE LANGUAGE OF DYING, A MATTER OF BLOOD and THE SHADOW OF THE SOUL, the first two novels in the Dog-Faced Gods trilogy, as well as six horror novels. Sarah also writes the YA series THE NOWHERE CHRONICLES, as Sarah Silverwood. Book two, THE TRAITOR’S GATE, is out now.

Other professional writers, artists, editors and publishers already registered as attending FantasyCon 2011 include: Guy Adams, Scott Andrews, Ben Baldwin, James Barclay, Simon Bestwick, Anne Billson, Ramsey Campbell, Mike Carey, Vincent Chong, Jon Courtenay Grimwood, Peter Crowther (PS Publishing), Joseph D'Lacey, Meg Davis (Ki Literary Agency), Stephen Deas, Ian Drury (Sheil Land Associates literary agency), David Anthony Durham, Les Edwards, Steven Erikson, Jaine Fenn, Jo Fletcher (Jo Fletcher Books), Christopher Fowler, Barry Forshaw, Will Francis (Janklow and Nesbit (UK) Ltd literary agency), Stephen Gallagher, Simon R. Green, William Hill, David J. Howe (Telos Publishing), Matthew Hughes, Stephen Jones, Paul Kane, Jasper Kent, MD Lachlan, Tim Lebbon, Tony Lee, Tom Lloyd, Dorothy Lumley (Dorian Literary Agency), Stephane Marsan (Bragelonne), Juliet E. McKenna, Suzanne McLeod, Gary McMahon, Michael Molcher (Abaddon Books/Solaris), Russell Morgan, Mark Morris, Adam LG Nevill, Kim Newman, Marie O'Regan, Jonathan Oliver (Abaddon Books/Solaris), Reggie Oliver, Philip Palmer, Christopher Priest, Tina Rath, Gillian Redfearn (Orion Books), Nicholas Royle, Raymond Russell (Tartarus Press), Robert Shearman, Mike Shevdon, Gavin Smith, Sam Stone, Christopher Teague (Pendragon Press), Steve Tribe (BBC Books), Lisa Tuttle, Steve Upham (Screaming Dreams), Nicholas Vince, Stephen Volk, Ian Whates (Newcon Press), Barbie Wilde, Conrad Williams, Rio Youers and many more.

To book your ticket, and for more information about the Guests or MC, please visit the website: www.fantasycon2011.org.

13
Discuss SFcrowsnest articles / The Raven
« on: April 26, 2010, 04:30:39 AM »
Just been watching The Raven over at http://www.sfcrowsnest.com/articles/news/2010/The-Raven-14784.php

It looks like a calling card very much in the style of District 9.

Does everyone think this is the future of SFF movies?

Self-financed, original, homemade SFX, and shot using digital tape?

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