Where I Was For The Last Few Weeks-11th August 2012

Travel, more travel, work, an awful lot of fun, packing for the big move to Nottingham and a family tragedy. It’s been an interesting, and hard, and busy, few weeks. Here’s where you can find the work I did in July.  Also, a quick note. This week I’m starting an Easter egg hunt on these posts. One link will be to something fun and slightly related to something I wrote this week. See if you can find it, and I’ll blog about why I chose it later in the week.

 

Starting with Blogbusters, we looked at love, war, what happens after they both wake up at noon in the same bed, and, of course, what they listen to. Sci Fi Music, Star-Crossed Lovers, a bit of the old ultra-violence and the relationship between a hero and the villain who arches him were all discussed this month.

This month also saw the launch of the superb Monkeybrain Comics, whose launch line I talked about here. I interviewed the creative teams of Amelia Cole and the Unknown World, Aesop’s Ark, Bandette, Edison Rex and The October Girl about their launches, their influences and what’s next for the books.

Keeping with interviewing, I talked to the magnificent Amanda Rutter. Amanda is the editor of Strange Chemistry, Angry Robot‘s Young Adult imprint and I talked to her about the launch, the launch titles and what attracts her to YA as a genre. I also talked to comics journalism legend Joel Meadows about his magazine Tripwire and his campaign to raise funds for a 20th anniversary hardback.

Also this month, I blogged about the Music Humble Bundle, a great fundraiser that allowed you to get a lot of top level nerd music, and help a pair of very good causes, for not very much cash.  I also broke down the finalists of the 2012 Hugo for short fiction, providing links to audio and text versions, and reviewed Kelly Sue DeConnick and Dexter Soy‘s stunningly great Captain Marvel relaunch.

Oh and I also talked about the Top Ten Non-Mad Scientists in modern science fiction, which went up today. I had a lot of fun doing this piece, especially the flavor text and some of the choices. I stand by number 1 and number 9 in particular.  Always nice to revisit fictional old friends, even if the shows they’re from were endearingly awful.

 

On the right hand column of the site, I looked at the new Dracula series NBC are prepping, with Jonathan Rhys Meyers in the lead and what seems to be an interesting Steampunk sensibility. However, the piece I’m genuinely very proud of is the write up of Carlo Rambaldi I was asked to do. I suppose it’s an obituary of sorts, for the man who designed ET, who helped design the Xenomorph from Alien and was instrumental in shaping our view of fictional extraterrestrial life. His career was one of quiet, elegant illusions and I found out two things about him that made me smile the whole time I was writing the piece. Carlo Rambaldi was a magician and it was an honor to talk about him.

On the left hand side of the page, I reviewed three of the best new titles I’ve read in years. Lookouts, by Ben McCool and Rob Mommaerts is an expansion of the original Penny Arcade pilot strip, and is superbly realized, all ages fantasy. I also looked at Kelly Sue DeConnick’s Captain Marvel and the Hawkeye relaunch, written by her husband Matt Fraction and drawn by David Aja. All three, whilst wildly different, are perfectly distilled pieces of pop culture; emotionally involving, carefully crafted and completely gripping.

 

My first piece for SciFind is part of their ongoing series which takes older, less well known properties and matches them with a currently famous writer or producer. I was handed the frankly demented old Gerry Anderson series Terrahawks and asked how JJ Abrams of Alias, Lost and Star Trek would reboot it. Here’s my answer which I had ridiculous amounts of fun coming up with.

 

The Total Recall remake opened this week and I found myself in an interesting position. I have no time whatsoever for the original, and fly in the face of public opinion as a result. I talked about this on Twitter and ended up agreeing to review the remake for the lovely people at Geekcentricity. This is actually the first of three reviews I’ve done of the movie, which will appear at various other locations next week.

Some great stories on Pseudopod this month, with 290, Jay Lake‘s The American Dead, a moving and deeply unsettling portrayal of what it’s like to sacrifice everything for your dreams, narrated by Roberto Suarez, co-host of the excellent Trailerclash podcast.  Episode 291, Lizardfoot, by John Jasper Owens,  was a welcome and endearingly squicky change of pace, equal parts romantic, shaggy lizard story and horrifying. John Owens, of Sonic Society and Bell’s in the Batfry, did stunning voice work too. 292, Coming Soon To A Theatre Near You was written by the legendary David J. Schow and was another change of pace, a hard-edged piece of urban splatter noir with an oddly hopeful, poetic edge. Dave Robison, a dear friend and the magnificently voiced co-host of Writer’s Roundtable and the host of Tales to Terrify did a superb job of narrating it on his first time at Pseudopod Towers.  Finally, a last minute technical hitch meant episode 294 went up before episode 293. Demon Rum by Charles M. Saplak is a late run contender for one of my stories of the year, a beautifully realised piece of maritime horror read supremely well by the multi-talented Dominick Rayburn.

I’ve been a fan of the Drabblecast for years and Norm Sherman, their host, is a flat out podcast hero of mine. Norm is endlessly wry, arch, funny, fiercely on point and can swing a pretty mean guitar. So I was massively pleased when they asked me to read part of Trifecta XXII for their 250th episode. Their Trifecta episodes are legendary, combining three drabbles under a loose theme and this particular story, The Faithful Servant, by Joel Shulkin, is a wonderful piece of very British armageddon. I had a blast reading it.

 

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