A good friend and occasional commenter here, Greater Czarina (a.k.a. Hildy Silverman), happens to own and publish and operate a great quarterly magazine called Space and Time. It’s been around for more than 40 years, and deals in what she calls “strange and unusual fiction, poetry, and art” of the fantasy, horror, and science fiction variety.
As somebody who mostly reads genre fiction these days, when Hildy bought the book a few years ago, I was thrilled by the news. I’ve really enjoyed reading the issues every few months, and really really enjoy knowing somebody WHO OWNS A MAGAZINE. Seriously, how cool is that?
Another personal bonus is that Space and Time gave me the opportunity to live out a lifelong dream — writing a comic book. Well … half a comic book anyway. A 10-page story that has played out over the course of a year, and was illustrated with much brilliance by Jeremy Simser, another good friend of mine who draws storyboards for a living. The final 4-page installment appears in Issue #106, which hits the shelves any day now. So visit the website — which I recently redesigned — and learn how you can subscribe to this magazine, read some great fiction and poetry, and support a fellow gagglefrakker.
(Note to self: “gagglefrakker” sounds like a really nasty word. Never use it again.)
So the new Doctor Who — who we presumably won’t see until 2010 — is some young guy that nobody expected. His name is Matt Smith, and while he’s done a bit of stage and TV work, he’s basically an acting newcomer. Die hard Who fans being what they are, I’m sure this poor guy and the decision to go with him instead of one of the other more high-profile names that were bandied about will receive a crapload of criticism for the next year or so. I’ve already seen some of it out there in the blogosphere. Which is a shame. Because I’m sure Smith will do just fine, especially if the writing is strong … and I expect nothing less than brilliance from the new head writer Steven Moffat. (If you don’t believe me, go watch Jekyll.)
I’m blessed with family and friends who know me well enough to give me some awesome geek gifts for Xmas this year. Thought I’d share a few of my favorites with you, in no particular order …
Frakkin Toaster T-Shirt
Freakgirl got me this awesome shirt, which I’m psyched to wear at the NY ComicCon in February, where folks aren’t shy about telling you when they like your t-shirt. If you don’t understand the joke, I’m not explaining it to you — just trust me that it’s funny.
Iron Man DVD Set with 3 Bobble Heads
Freakgirl gave me this too — a two-disc set, which includes bobble heads for the Mark 1, Mark 2, and Mark 3 suits. Trifecta! I look forward to playing with the bobble heads while I watch the DVD extras one day soon. You know, after I watch the movie five more times.
Some guy recently took the time to map out in a chart the history of Dungeons & Dragons from the 70s to the 90s, spelling out the evolution from Chainmail to D&D, then Advanced D&D and Basic D&D, and eventually AD&D Second Edition. If the chart looks like gibberish to you, it probably means you were dating or something during your early teen years, unlike me, who spent 90% of my time memorizing the contents of the books/maps pictured below, in preparation for the next big dungeon meet.
To give you a sense of what a “dungeon meet” was like for my friends and I back in the day, I’ve taken the liberty of (greatly) fictionalizing one of the more memorable moments for you …
Dungeon Master: Your party enters a large dark chamber that is completely empty except for a huge chest sitting all by itself along the back wall.
“If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our Founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.” – Barack Obama
Okay, so this isn’t really a political blog, it’s a sci-fi blog. And I’m not interested in arguing issues with anybody right now. But it occurred to me last night that part of what appeals to me about science fiction is seeing realized, even if only on paper or on a movie or TV screen, amazing things that I might never hope to see in my lifetime. And that it’s silly to ever say never.
A century ago, the Wright brothers had just figured out how to get a rickety one-man plane off the ground. The notion that millions of people each year might fly across the world every day in huge metal tubes … or that an airplane might fly faster than the speed of sound … or that something like an airplane might actually leave the Earth’s atmosphere and carry a man to the surface of the moon … these were pretty much considered ludicrous — the realm of science fiction.
Personally, I think it’s kind of ridiculous that SO many movies are getting converted to musicals these days. For every Hairspray or The Producers, you’re just as likely to end up with the next Carrie or Lestat (both of which closed within a month of opening). And I bring up those last two examples up for a reason: because it seems especially unlikely that a musical based on a genre movie/novel should work at all.
So color me pleasantly surprised that when I saw The Toxic Avenger musical at the George Street Playhouse here in New Jersey this weekend, I pretty much LAUGHED MY ASS OFF. Obnoxiously so. And for all the right reasons — because it was actually good, not because it was laughably bad (refer back to Carrie). It really was a great show, even better than the Evil Dead musical that I saw and enjoyed the hell out of back in 2006.
I read something over at Topless Robot the other day that’s had me chuckling to myself all weekend, so I have to share it. Shaun Clayton’s post was “The 5 Reasons Luke Skywalker is a Complete Idiot“, and while the list as a whole was very funny, his dialogue play for #3 is what I haven’t been able to get out of my head. So I’ve decided to reprint it here, with a few additions, some creative edits, and photos.
Please to enjoy Luke Skywalker telling you his plan to rescue Han Solo from Jabba the Hutt’s palace on Tatooine at the beginning of Return of the Jedi …
What would happen if Britain were overrun by zombies, and the only people who didn’t know about it were the contestants locked up in the Big Brother household? That’s the premise of the six-hour series Dead Set, soon to air on the E4 channel in the U.K. I’m not sure yet when this one will air here in the States, but I look forward to seeing it if/when it does.