Tag Archives: SFF news

Links and News

So I am in the midst of revamping. But in the meantime, here’s a grab-bag of some links and news:


A) SFF Writer and translator Ken Liu just got a very nice adaptation deal on some of his work.

B) Nike and Boeing are planning future products using science fiction writers.

C) A look at scavenger capitalism and how it’s actually been the big retail killer of retail, including bookstores.

D) Two interesting pieces, one with connection to a podcast interview and the other a Twitter thread essay focused on Judy-Lynn Del Rey, about women in SF in the past.

E) Apparently, the original comics version of The Walking Dead is about to be brought to a close with its next issue.

F) Award-winning, best-selling novelist Michael Chabon is not only writing episodes for Star Trek: Picard, CBS’ new Trek spin-off series, he’s now going to be the show-running producer.





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SFF News — 7/6/11

1) Winners of the 2010 British Science Fiction Awards:

  • NOVEL: The Dervish House, Ian McDonald (Gollancz)
  • SHORT FICTION: “The Shipmaker” by Aliette de Bodard (Interzone 231, TTA Press)
  • ARTWORK: The cover of Zoo City, Joey Hi-Fi (Angry Robot)
  • NON FICTION: “Blogging the Hugos: Decline” by Paul Kincaid (Big Other)

2) Winner of the Phillip K. Dick Award:

The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack by Mark Hodder

3) Summit Entertainment is now the financial backer and planned distributor for the film adaptation of science fiction novel Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, to be directed by Gavin Hood. Actual production on the project has been repeatedly stalled over the last couple of decades, but is expected currently to start next year.

3) This will definitely not be your father’s Peter Pan. EW has confirmed that Aaron Eckhart has signed on to play Hook in Pan, a modern update of the beloved J.M. Barrie stories about the boy who would not grow up. Eckhart, however, won’t be the bad guy. Instead, he’ll play a former detective who is chasing a notorious and childlike kidnapper — wonder who that would be — and Soul Surfer star AnnaSophia Robb has signed on to play Wendy, the only kid to survive her abduction by the fiend. Sean Bean (HBO’s Game of Thrones) will play Smee, a detective still on the police force and Hook’s one ally. The independent film will begin shooting in Europe this fall, with videogame and feature film visual effects animator Ben Hibon making his feature directing debut.

4) Wonder Woman continues to make people nervous. The controversial David E. Kelley remake t.v. series of the world’s best known female superhero was dropped from the schedule by NBC, which had initially passed on the project and then changed its mind. The excellently cast show – Adrianne Palicki, Elizabeth Hurley, and Cary Elwes – did not apparently have scripts that tested well, and the main buzz about the show was complaints about the debuted new costume. So Wonder Woman goes back in Warner/D.C.’s closet for another few years, one supposes.

5) Pyr, an imprint of Prometheus Books, announced that it will be launching a series of SFF titles for the YA audience, starting in November with the publication of Lightbringer by K.D. McEntire and including Ian McDonald’s Everness: Plansrunner in December and Thief’s Covenant by Ari Marmell in February 2012.

6) Matthew Butler will direct and has co-written a script with Tori Hart for the 18th century zombie comedy, The Curse of the Buxom Strumpet, through their production company, Fizz and Ginger. The film will star Judi Dench, Gillian Anderson, Mark Williams and Ian McKellen, who also starred in Butler’s short film, E’gad Zombies, from which the feature film has been spun off.

7) Winners of the Aurealis Awards:

Kris Hembury Encouragement Award: Jodie Cleghorn

Peter McNamara Convenors’ Award: Helen Merrick

Best Science Fiction Novel: Transformation Space by Marianne de Pierres

Best Science Fiction Short Story: “The Heart of a Mouse” by K.J. Bishop

Best Fantasy Novel: Power and Majesty by Tansy Rayner Roberts

Best Fantasy Short Story: Tie: “The February Dragon” by L.L. Hannett & Angela Slatter and “Yowie” by Thoraiya Dyer

Best Horror Novel: Madigan Mine by Kirstyn McDermott

Best Horror Short Story: “The Fear” by Richard Harland

Best Anthology: Wings of Fire, Edited by Jonathan Starhan and Marianne S. Jablon

Best Collection: The Girl With No Hands by Angela Slatter

Best Illustrated Book/Graphic Novel: Changing Ways: Book 1 by Justin Randall

Best Young Adult Novel: Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healey

Best Children’s Fiction, Illustrated: The Boy and the Toy, written by Sonya Hartnett, illustrated by Lucia Masciullo

Best Children’s Fiction, Text: The Keepers by Lian Tanner

8 ) Winners of the 2010 Nebula Awards:

Best Novel: Blackout/All Clear by Connie Willis (Spectra)

Best Novella: “The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers Beneath the Queen’s Window” by Rachel Swirsky (Subterranean Magazine, Summer 2010)

Best Novelette: “That Leviathan, Whom Thou Hast Made” by Eric James Stone (Analog Science Fiction and Fact, September 2010)

Best Short Story: Tie: “Ponies” by Kij Johnson (Tor.com 1/10) and “How Interesting: A Tiny Man” by Harlan Ellison (Realms of Fantasy 2/10)

Andre Norton Award for YA: I Shall Wear Midnight by Terry Pratchett (Gollancz; Harper)

Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation: Inception (Christopher Nolan)

Solstice Awards: Alice Sheldon (James Tiptree Jr.) and Michael Whelan

9) Starkid Productions is a young musical comedy stage company based in Chicago that has gone internationally viral by showing their theater productions on YouTube, most particularly the satiric “A Very Potter Musical” and “A Very Potter Sequel” that re-imagine J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter. Their latest venture is “Starship,” a science fiction musical with puppets and live actors about an alien bug who longs to be human, created by actor/composer Darren Criss, currently appearing on the t.v. show Glee. Shows have sold out in Chicago, a recorded version of the show has played in movie theaters in select cities such as New York and L.A., and the cast recording of the show is No. 1 on the Billboard cast album chart. StarKid is now in talks with producers to take the musical on tour nationally.

10) Fantasy author Eoin Colfer is ending his bestselling satiric YA series, Artemis Fowl, with the eighth title The Last Guardian, due out from Hyperion Books in 2012. Colfer will also be starting a new series for Hyperion in a two book deal, the W.A.R.P. series. The first book, The Reluctant Assassin, will be published in 2013. It’s about a young fellow who because of his involvement with a murderous illusionist in Victorian London, is sent to the current day by the F.B.I.’s time traveling Witness Anonymous Relocation Program, where he must escape the illusionist chasing him but also keep the illusionist from returning to Victorian times with knowledge of the future.

11) Producer Joe Roths’ upcoming fantasy movie, Snow White and the Huntsman, which re-imagines the classic fairy tale, is not only taking on another Snow White movie that is already in production, but is supposed to be the launching pad for a franchise trilogy. Snow White and the Huntsman stars Kristen Stewart as Snow White, Chris Hemsworth as the hunter mercenary hired to kill her who changes his mind, and Charlize Theron as the wicked queen whose tendency to kill young women leads to a rebellion. The movie is due to launch next summer, but will come out a couple of months after The Brothers Grimm: Snow White, starring Julia Roberts as the queen and Lily Cole as Snow White. That movie is also possibly part of a franchise of redone fairy tales.

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1) District 9s writer/director Neill Blomkamp is now a man to watch, so it’s not a surprise that he’s hooked top stars Jodie Foster and Matt Damon to headline his new movie,  Elysium. Set far in the future, it’s about… well we don’t know what it’s actually about, but we do know that Sharlto Copley, the star of District 9, will be in it too. Blomkamp and his producers are now picking which studio is going to back the project.

2) Ron Howard has taken up the mantle of bringing Stephen King’s dark fantasy series The Dark Tower to the big screen and the little screen at the same time for Universal/NBC through his production company with Brian Grazer. Apparently, the plan is to have a first film, directed by Howard, followed by a first season of the t.v. show that follows the events of the film, also directed by Howard, followed by a second film, followed by a flashback season for the second season of the t.v. show, and on down through the seven novels, short stories and comicbook lines that make up The Dark Tower universe. I don’t know how exactly that’s supposed to work unless the t.v. seasons are done primarily as complete miniseries, and even then, I’m not sure how that’s going to work. Rumors are swirling that Viggo Mortensen or Javier Bardem may play the older version of the main character, Roland Deschain, a magical gunslinger bent on revenge. Both guys are good, but I’d suggest getting a strong character actor in the main role and let the bigger names cameo in the films or on t.v. There may very well be Web stuff as well on this deal, so keep an eye out.

3) Godzilla, as we know, cannot die. So Warner Brothers and Legendary Pictures are trying to launch the giant lizard again on the Hollywood film screen. (The quirky, messy 1998 attempt starring Matthew Broderick didn’t go so well at the box office.) Japan’s Toho Co. sold the rights last year and Warner has tapped British filmmaker Gareth Edwards to direct. Edwards has gotten a lot of buzz for his low budget indie SF film Monsters.

4) I can say without question that the big budget action movie G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra was one of the most thrown-together illogical messes I’ve seen in some time, with lousy CGI, despite a very talented cast who managed to say all the lines with straight faces. Perhaps because of that cast, the movie made a big haul in worldwide box office, and so a sequel is coming from Paramount. This time, though, it might be somewhat more bearable. The director of the first film, Steven Sommers, will not be helming the sequel, and the script for the new movie is being written by Rhett Rheese and Paul Wernick, who wrote the great zombie action comedy Zombieland. So at least the dialogue may be better.

5) Disney’s Tron: Legacy had mixed reactions and mixed box office, but Disney is all in and bringing Tron to the t.v. screens as an animated mini-series for summer 2012. The animated series will cover the period between the first, original Tron film and the events of the sequel and concentrate on the computer world of the Grid. Bruce Boxleitner, who starred in both films, will be voicing his roles, as will Elijah Wood, Linda Moore, Paul Reubens and Lance Henriksen. So basically, all the sorts of things you thought were going to be in the new movie will probably be in the cartoon version.

6) Marvel Studios knows that they can’t bring every character they have in Marvel Comics to the big screen. But there’s nothing to stop them from bringing quite a few of them to the small screen. In addition to trying to adapt the dark superhero series Cloak and Dagger for t.v. (apparently ignoring the presence of The Cape already on t.v. now,) Marvel is taking a series from their MAX imprint umbrella series Alias, written by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Gaydos, called AKA Jessica Jones for ABC. The comic is about Jones, a former superhero named Jewel who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, and so has retired to be a private investigator, as there is no stress or danger or violence in that line of work whatsoever. Jones gets dragged back into the world of superheroes, possibly again because she is a private investigator. The script of the series is being written by Melissa Rosenberg, who also wrote the third Twilight movie, Twilight: Eclipse, the one with the big fight scenes.

7) The Carl Brandon Society has announced the winners of the Parallax and Kindred Awards. The Parallax Award is given to works of speculative fiction created by a self-identified person of color. It was awarded to Hiromi Goto for the novel Half World. The Kindred Award is given to any work of speculative fiction dealing with issues of race and ethnicity. It was awarded to Justine Larbalestier for her novel Liar. Both awards carry a $1000 prize and were presented at the Arisia convention.

8 ) Wonder Woman, recently ejected from the big screens, has now been exiled from the small screens too. The major U.S. broadcasters have passed on a proposed television series from impresario David E. Kelley and Warner Bros. Television. Apparently, even the CW didn’t want to do it, despite being owned by Warner Bros. A likely problem was that the new series was going to be very expensive, and given that it’s focused on a female lead, not a male, that was probably not a gamble execs are willing to take right now and will discourage cable stations as well. Wonder Woman is the most popular, well known female superhero the comics world has ever created and remains hugely popular in comics and animated cartoons on t.v.. We still like her, just as she is. This shouldn’t be this hard to do in 2011, people. At this point, I’d take a show where Lynda Carter reprises the hit t.v. role from forty years ago and plays her as a semi-retired Amazon princess and the show is about her young daughter dealing with the new paradigms of the modern world.

9) Producer Neal Moritz is doing a new version of Phillip K. Dick’s short story, “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale,” which was also the basis for the weird SF shoot-em-up action picture in 1990 starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Total Recall. This time, Colin Farrell will play Douglas Quaid, the mild mannered guy who finds he may have been a spy when he tries to get memory implants. Moritz plans to follow Dick’s story more closely and won’t be having any of the action set on Mars, with the movie instead focusing more on an overcrowded, near future Earth.


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Excellent News — Jay Lake

Jay Lake is a smart, erudite SFF writer  who is part of what I like to call the Dark Cadre of authors in the field, along with folks like Joe Abercrombie and Alan Campbell. He writes weird and twisty stuff that is also very human stuff. For awhile now, Mr. Lake has been fighting off cancer, including a recent operation on his liver. So it’s great to hear that he is now officially in remission and doing a lot better. You can check out the news on his blog:


You can also check out his fiction:

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