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Messages - Toby Kaeser

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1
They say this is about fighting terrorism, but they're not just watching suspected terrorists, they're planning on watching all of us, all the time. They plan on turning every merchant, telcom, service provider and games company into a government spy, a political officer lurking in our schools, homes and workplaces.

http://boingboing.net/2012/11/25/britons-stop-the-snoopers-c.html

2
News / Director's 'Batman as Joker' pic could kill his Daredevil reboot.
« on: November 25, 2012, 03:36:03 AM »
Comic fans went nuts earlier this year when director Joe Carnahan (The Grey, Narc) revealed he was in the running to direct a gritty, 1970s-set reboot of Daredevil—and his epic sizzle reelonly fanned the flames. But now it seems Carnahan has moved on to another dark comic he wants to bring to the big screen.

http://blastr.com/2012/11/directors-batman-as-joker.php

3
We're pleased to announce the official release of The Book of Apex: Volume 3 of Apex Magazine edited by Catherynne M. Valente. This volume of the series (formerly titled Descended from Darkness) gathers all original fiction published by Apex Magazine into print and eBook format chosen by Cat Valente during her fifteen issue run as editor-in-chief.

You'll encounter strange, compelling magics interwoven within a haunted book made of vegetation, cities that come to life and go to war, and surreal suburban nightmares played out through the eyes of children. The Book of Apex: Volume 3 of Apex Magazine contains work by Seanan McGuire, Saladin Ahmed, Theodora Goss, Forrest Aguirre, Cat Rambo, Ian Tregillis, Annalee Newitz, Peter M. Ball, and many other masters of the short form.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
"To the Mistress of the Labyrinth Give Honey"—Heather McDougal
"I Am Thinking of You in the Spaces Between"—Shira Lipkin
"Frank"—Betsy Phillips
"Namasté Prime"—Grá Linnaea
"The Whispered Thing"—Zach Lynott
"The Tiger Hunt"—Rabbit Seagraves
"The Neighborly Thing to Do"—T.J. Weyler
"The Widow and the Xir"—Indrapramit Das
 "Your Cities"—Anaea Lay
"The Doves of Hartleigh Garden"—Kathryn Weaver
"Recipe Collecting in the Asteroid Belt"—Jeremy R. Butler
"Twilight of the Eco-Terrorist"—Annalee Newitz
"Biba Jibun"—Eugie Foster
"The Eater"—Michael J. Deluca
"The Dust and the Red"—Darin Bradley
"The Speaking Bone"—Kat Howard
"Close Your Eyes"—Cat Rambo
"Langknech and Tzi-Tzi in the Land of the Mad"—Forrest Aguirre
"The Itaewon Eschatology"—Douglas F. Warrick
"The Tolling of Pavlov’s Bells"—Seanan McGuire
"Pale, and from a Sea-Wave Rising"—C.S.E. Cooney
"Radishes"—Nick Wolven
"The Faithful Soldier, Prompted"—Saladin Ahmed
"50 Fatwas for the Virtuous Vampire"—Pamela Taylor
"The Green Book"—Amal El-Mohtar
"Still Life (A Sexagesimal Fairy Tale)"—Ian Tregillis
"The Girl Who Had Six Fingers"—Brenda Stokes Barron
"L’esprit de L’escalier"—Peter M. Ball
"Portage"—An Owomoyela
"FOUR IS ME! WITH SQUEEEEEE! (AND LOLER)"—Nick Mamatas
"Fair Ladies"—Theodora Goss

BOOK DETAILS
Trade Paperback
362 Pages
ISBN 978-1-937009-11-3

ABOUT THE EDITOR
Catherynne M. Valente is the New York Times bestselling author of over a dozen works of fiction and poetry, including Palimpsest, the Orphan’s Tales series, Deathless, and the crowdfunded phenomenon The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Own Making. She is the winner of the Andre Norton Award, the Tiptree Award, the Mythopoeic Award, the Rhysling Award, and the Million Writers Award. She has been nominated for the Hugo, Locus, and Spectrum Awards, the Pushcart Prize, and was a finalist for the World Fantasy Award in 2007 and 2009. She lives on an island off the coast of Maine with her partner, two dogs, and enormous cat.

For more information visit www.catherynnemvalente.com.

Apex Publications - Strange. Beautiful. Shocking. Surreal
Website: http://www.apexbookcompany.com

4
Finished it now - next one please. Loving that science fiction that you do. Forget about the fantasy - you're wasting your time on that crowd. Stick to SF!!!

 8)

5
Hi Stephen. Do you know yet how many books will there be in the 'In the Company of Ghosts' series, yet? I am really enjoyed the first novel and hope it will be just one of many going forward! It's a very atmospheric crime series.

There's so much dross out there on the Kindle. Your presence alone on the lists has raised the quality and IQ of the Amazon list by about 110%.

 :-*

Toby

6
The Dictator is 2012 comedy film by Sacha Baron Cohen. It tells the heroic story of a dictator who risked his life to ensure that democracy would never come to the country he so lovingly oppressed.

http://youtu.be/o3S_btnKxyw

7
News / The Darkest Hour (2nd trailer for scifi horror movie).
« on: December 07, 2011, 06:52:57 AM »
The Darkest Hour is horror scifi movie from Chris Gorak and Timur Bekmambetov. The American-based production depicts an alien invasion in Russia and stars Olivia Thirlby and Emile Hirsch as young people caught in the invasion, who fight an alien race who have attacked Earth via our power supply. Coming your way December 2011.

View the trailer over at...

http://youtu.be/J4KRPKVZo5M

8
The Allen Telescope Array is once again searching planetary systems for signals that would be evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence. Among its first targets are some of the exoplanet candidates recently discovered by NASA’s Kepler space telescope.

“This is a superb opportunity for SETI observations,” said Jill Tarter, the Director of the Center for SETI Research at the SETI Institute.  “For the first time, we can point our telescopes at stars, and know that those stars actually host planetary systems – including at least one that begins to approximate an Earth analog in the habitable zone around its host star.  That’s the type of world that might be home to a civilization capable of building radio transmitters.”

The ATA had been placed in hibernation mode last April as the result of the withdrawal of the SETI Institute’s former partner, U.C. Berkeley, due to budgetary shortfalls.  Berkeley was the operator of the Hat Creek Observatory in northern California where the ATA is located.  With new funding recently acquired for observatory operations, the ATA can resume SETI observations where it left off: examining the thousands of new candidate planets found by Kepler.  Highest priority will be given to the handful of worlds discovered so far that are located in their star’s habitable zone: the range of orbital radii where temperatures are neither too hot nor too cold for liquid water to exist.  Most astrobiologists consider that liquid water is the sine qua non for life.

“In SETI, as with all research, preconceived notions such as habitable zones could be barriers to discovery,” adds Tarter.  “So, with sufficient future funding from our donors, it’s our intention to examine all of the planetary systems found by Kepler.”

Observations over the next two years will allow a systematic exploration of these Kepler discoveries across the entire, naturally-quiet 1 to 10 GHz terrestrial microwave window.  The ATA is unique in providing ready access to tens of millions of channels at any one time, anywhere in this 9 billion channel range (each channel is 1 Hz wide).  Until recently many SETI searches focused on limited frequency ranges, including a small number of observations at the 8.67 GHz spin-flip transition of the 3He+ ion, proposed by the team of Bob Rood (University of Virginia) and Tom Bania (Boston University).  In memory of Rood, who died November 2, the initial ATA search of Kepler targets this week will focus around the 8.67 GHz band, before moving on to examine the billions of channels available for observation at the ATA.

The restart of SETI work at the ATA has been made possible thanks to the interest and generosity of the public who supported SETI research via the www.SETIStars.org web site.  Additional funds necessary for observatory re-activation and operations are being provided by the United States Air Force as part of a formal assessment of the instrument’s utility for Space Situational Awareness (see www.seti.org/afspc for more information).

“Kepler’s success has created an amazing opportunity to focus SETI research.  While discovery of new exoplanets via Kepler is backed with government monies, the search for evidence that some of these worlds might be home to intelligence falls to SETI alone.  And our SETI exploration depends entirely on private donations, for which we are deeply grateful to our donors,” notes Tarter.

“The year-in and year-out fundraising challenge we tackle in order to conduct SETI research is an absolute human and organizational struggle, yet it is well worth the hard work to help Jill’s team address what is one of humanity’s most profound research questions,” says Tom Pierson, CEO of the SETI Institute.

The public can follow the new ATA observations via the SETIStars.org web site and can read more about the overall work of the SETI Institute at www.seti.org.  The SETI Institute is proud to be a supporting partner in NASA’s Kepler mission – see http://goo.gl/ykFTf.

Headquartered in Mountain View, California, the SETI Institute is a non-profit research organization that addresses the question of the origin, nature, and prevalence of life beyond Earth.

9
News / Asgard, we have a problem: Thor 2 loses director!
« on: December 07, 2011, 12:45:19 AM »
She's outta there! Marvel's highly anticipated Thor sequel has lost its director. Patty Jenkins (The Killing, Monster) has officially jumped ship, leaving Thor 2 in pre-production limbo.

Read the story over at...

http://blastr.com/2011/12/shes-outta-there-thor-2-l.php

10
Press Releases / Realms of Fantasy closure announcement (followup).
« on: December 06, 2011, 03:27:59 PM »
After one month since we announced the closure of the Realms of Fantasy we have been unable to find a buyer. All of the inquiries have either withdrawn their offers or we have not heard anything from them in over two weeks. While it is still possible for someone to come along and make an offer we need to start taking the next steps.

We are now notifying all of our subscription agencies and distribuition services of the closure. We are also returning checks received after the October issue was sent to the printer. We will be canceling all of the Paypal automatic renewals.

This month we will be working out any deals we can to get different magazines for the subscribers.  We got a few promising inquiries last month, which are likely to come through.

All of the stories which were still under consideration but not yet contracted are now released. Later this month we will get in contact with all of the authors and illustrators we have contracted work to look at options.

11
News / Now, Benicio Del Toro won’t play Khan in Star Trek sequel!
« on: December 06, 2011, 03:26:25 PM »
Insiders tell Vulture that the deal actually went asunder last Wednesday after parties couldn't come to terms over the folding green stuff.

http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2011/12/benicio-del-toro-star-trek-sequel-khan.html

12
News / 1885: an age of industrial revolution and sexual frustration.
« on: November 27, 2011, 06:50:00 AM »
Pricilla is a woman with needs, and her inventor husband Robert is a little too busy with his experiments to keep her fully satisfied. Science to the rescue! With a few gears and springs, the proper appendages, a little lubrication, and a lot of love, Chester 5000 is born! He’s the perfect tool for the job… but what if Chester is more than just a machine? What are the consequences of trying to engineer love?”

“Chester 5000: Because sometimes love comes with detachable body parts.”

http://forbiddenplanet.co.uk/blog/2011/chester-5000-xyv-just-your-everyday-erotic-robotic-victorian-romance/

13
News / Alan Moore – meet the man behind the protest mask
« on: November 27, 2011, 02:47:47 AM »
From Wall St to Athens and Occupy sit-ins worldwide, protesters are wearing masks inspired by V for Vendetta. Here, its author discusses why his avenging hero has such potency today.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/nov/27/alan-moore-v-vendetta-mask-protest

14
NASA began a historic voyage to Mars with the Nov. 26 launch of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), which carries a car-sized rover named Curiosity. Liftoff from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station aboard an Atlas V rocket occurred at 10:02 a.m. EST.

"We are very excited about sending the world's most advanced scientific laboratory to Mars," NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said. "MSL will tell us critical things we need to know about Mars, and while it advances science, we'll be working on the capabilities for a human mission to the Red Planet and to other destinations where we've never been."

The mission will pioneer precision landing technology and a sky-crane touchdown to place Curiosity near the foot of a mountain inside Gale Crater on Aug. 6, 2012. During a nearly two-year prime mission after landing, the rover will investigate whether the region has ever offered conditions favorable for microbial life, including the chemical ingredients for life.

"The launch vehicle has given us a great injection into our trajectory, and we're on our way to Mars," said MSL Project Manager Peter Theisinger of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif. "The spacecraft is in communication, thermally stable and power positive."

The Atlas V initially lofted the spacecraft into Earth orbit and then, with a second burst from the vehicle's upper stage, pushed it out of Earth orbit into a 352-million-mile (567-million-kilometer) journey to Mars.

"Our first trajectory correction maneuver will be in about two weeks," Theisinger said. "We'll do instrument checkouts in the next several weeks and continue with thorough preparations for the landing on Mars and operations on the surface."

Curiosity's ambitious science goals are among the mission's many differences from earlier Mars rovers. It will use a drill and scoop at the end of its robotic arm to gather soil and powdered samples of rock interiors, then sieve and parcel out these samples into analytical laboratory instruments inside the rover. Curiosity carries 10 science instruments with a total mass 15 times as large as the science-instrument payloads on the Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity. Some of the tools are the first of their kind on Mars, such as a laser-firing instrument for checking rocks' elemental composition from a distance, and an X-ray diffraction instrument for definitive identification of minerals in powdered samples.

To haul and wield its science payload, Curiosity is twice as long and five times as heavy as Spirit or Opportunity. Because of its one-ton mass, Curiosity is too heavy to employ airbags to cushion its landing as previous Mars rovers could. Part of the MSL spacecraft is a rocket-powered descent stage that will lower the rover on tethers as the rocket engines control the speed of descent.

The mission's landing site offers Curiosity access for driving to layers of the mountain inside Gale Crater. Observations from orbit have identified clay and sulfate minerals in the lower layers, indicating a wet history.

Precision landing maneuvers as the spacecraft flies through the Martian atmosphere before opening its parachute make Gale a safe target for the first time. This innovation shrinks the target area to less than one-fourth the size of earlier Mars landing targets. Without it, rough terrain at the edges of Curiosity's target would make the site unacceptably hazardous.

The innovations for landing a heavier spacecraft with greater precision are steps in technology development for human Mars missions. In addition, Curiosity carries an instrument for monitoring the natural radiation environment on Mars, important information for designing human Mars missions that protect astronauts' health.

The mission is managed by JPL for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The rover was designed, developed and assembled at JPL. NASA's Launch Services Program at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida managed the launch. NASA's Space Network provided space communication services for the launch vehicle. NASA's Deep Space Network will provide spacecraft acquisition and mission communication.

15
News / NBC Orders Pilot for Bryan Fuller's Munsters
« on: November 26, 2011, 12:07:49 PM »
The original Munsters was a don't-ask-questions kind of show: There was a family of monsters down the street, and you didn't ask why they were living in the suburbs alongside the accountants and the advertising execs (much less how a magazine could have selected them as the average American family).

Read full story at...

http://scifi.about.com/b/2011/11/26/nbc-orders-pilot-for-bryan-fullers-munsters.htm

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