Monday, August 31, 2009
Bruce Ross's General Ursus
Check the link above for more views, and watch Ross's blog for more ape-y goodness.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Scott Lynch's Queen of the Iron Sands
Scott Lynch is serializing a new planetary romance, Queen of the Iron Sands, on his website. For free. He's subsidizing the effort with reader donations. So what are you waiting for? Go read it, and if you like it, give the man some money already.
Friday, August 28, 2009
Todd Klein on End of the Century
Roberson is, above all, a very ambitious writer, and he writes the kind of stories I like, even if his reach exceeded his grasp a bit on this one, at least in my view.Thanks, Todd! (And for the rest of you, if you have any interest in typography or design and you haven't seen Todd's incredibly insightful analyses on the evolution of various comic book logos, you should do yourself a favor and check it out.)
If you like metafiction, give this one a try. There’s a lot to like in it. Recommended.
Looking Down from the 5th Dimension
It's fitting that one of the examples featured on Jensen's site is titled "Nude Descending a Staircase."
After all, it was Marcel Duchamp who first did the trick (albeit with oil on canvas) with his "Nude Descending a Staircase, no. 2" back in 1912. According to the site of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where the piece is on permanent exhibit, ."
I think I was first introduced to Duchamp in a postmodernism seminar at the University of Texas taught by Jeff Meikle (who along with Rolando Hinojosa-Smith taught me everything I remember from college), who as I recall stressed the way that technological developments in film and motion picture cameras had lead Duchamp to reconceptualize how a body moving in space might be represented in two dimensions. But I couldn't help thinking that it also represented the way that a body moving through 4-Dimensional space would look if viewed from the 5th Dimension.
Then there's the various videos of "Buddha with 1000 Hands" as performed by the China Disabled Peoples Performance Art Troupe which have cropped up online the last few years. Here's one of the best ones I've found.
I'm never quite sure whether the "Buddha with 1000 Hands" is what a body moving through 4D space would look like if viewed from the 5th dimension, or whether it is the other way around, and that it more closely resembles what a 5D body would look like if it descended into 4D space.
Either way, I'm fascinated by this kind of thing. If you are, too, and haven't read Rudy Rucker's The Fourth Dimension: A Guided Tour of the Higher Universes, you should definitely hunt down a copy. Rucker's book looks to be out of print, but it is the text on the subject as far as I'm concerned, though Clifford Pickover's Surfing Through Hyperspace and Michio Kaku's Hyperspace are both worth seeking out, too.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Book of Secrets update
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Jazz Age Justice League
This time out, though, it's DC heroes, remixed as Jazz Age characters.
Here's the Jazz Age Justice League (click the link for details on the revisioned characters):
And here are their nemeses, the Jazz Age Secret Society:
Check out Mitchell's deviantart page for more awesomeness.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Georgia's first day of school
Saturday, August 22, 2009
The Imaginary Adventures of Lois Lane
Check ouit Neill's blog for more awesomeness. If you haven't seen his A-Z of Awesomeness, for example, that's a great place to start.
Friday, August 21, 2009
The Dragon Urogwm
Behold, the dragon Urogwm.
As always, Georgia is just writing a random string of letters after finishing the picture and then asking us what it says (though as her reading skills are improving I'm wondering if she's not stacking the deck). The latest, Urogwm, has a nicely Welsh flavor to it that I find appealing.
We've hatched plans to begin work on a much larger project, mapping out the terrain of a whole planet of monsters for these creatures to call home. (She insists that there can be dinosaurs there, too, as well as monsters, and who am I to object?)
(I've also made a new label tag for these, until our other long range plans can be put into motion, so hit the "Georgia_monster" link below to see all of the creations to date.)
Well, now we get to check in with her a decade or so later, and see what happens when she graduates from school.
Count me in.
The announcement that Kurt Busiek's Astro City was going monthly was the most exciting news to come out of SDCC last month, as far as I was concerned. It's a banner day whenever a new issue comes out, and now we'll get that kind of goodness one a month.
If you haven't read Astro City, pick up any of the trades and start reading. All of the stories and arcs are self contained, and any makes a great entry point for the world. If you're not a regular reader, you're missing out on some of the best comics of recent decades.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
The Venture Bros. Season 4 trailer
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Star Trek, The Animated Movie
Fatal Farm's Movie Award Leftovers
Months back MTV asked us to make some shorts similar to our TV intros for the 2009 Movie Awards. We did a handful. They aired the Star Trek bit and a skit we made with The Lonely Island but passed on the rest.
SF Reviews.Net on End of the Century
More fantasy writers should have the guts to take the risks Chris Roberson takes in End of the Century. But then, more of them would need talent they don't have. Could you imagine most of today's buzz-bin "urban fantasy" superstars pulling something like this off? Not in this lifetime. Travel to the End of the Century for a glimpse of what a fearless imagination at work really looks like.Thanks, sir! (I quite like the thought that I have an "Escheresque head," too...)
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Cinderella: From Fabletown With Love full solicitation copy
CINDERELLA: FROM FABLETOWN WITH LOVE #1Hey, sounds like that might be worth checking out, right?
Written by Chris Roberson
Art by Shawn McManus
Cover by Chrissie Zullo
When supernatural artifacts from the Homelands begin surfacing in the modern world, it falls to Cinderella, Fabletown's best kept (and best dressed) secret agent to stop the illegal trafficking. But can Cindy foil the dark plot before Fabletown and its hidden, exiled inhabitants are exposed once and for all? And how does her long lost Fairy Godmother factor into the equation?
Whether she's soaring through clouds, deep-sea diving, or cracking jaws, Cindy travels from Manhattan to Dubai and hooks up with a handsome, familiar accomplice who may be harboring secret motives of his own. Meanwhile, trouble brews back home in Fabletown when Cindy's overworked, underappreciated assistant decides to seize control of The Glass Slipper, Cindy's exclusive shoe boutique.
Writer Chris Roberson (occasional contributor to HOUSE OF MYSTERY and JACK OF FABLES), artist Shawn McManus (SANDMAN, THESSALY: WITCH FOR HIRE) and evocative new cover painter Chrissie Zullo deliver Cindy's first major solo adventure replete with sex, spies and magical shoes in the 6-issue CINDERELLA: FROM FABLETOWN WITH LOVE.
On Sale November 4 • 1 of 6 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • MATURE READERS
Monday, August 17, 2009
Red Rook Review on Book of Secrets
Roberson is just a damn fine writer. He writes a good sentence; the novel is structured like a Swiss watch and paced like a Tennessee walker.Hit the link to read the full review, but beware. Spoilers lurk within...
New Review of Two Hawks From Earth
ArmadilloCon Est Mort, Vive ArmadilloCon!
My thanks to Kimm Antell, Renee Babcock, Jonathan Miles, and the rest of the con committee for putting on such a terrific show. Thanks to Scott Cupp for dandy toast-mastering and guest-interviewing. And I suppose I'll throw a bone to that bastard Scott Lynch with a nod of thanks from one first-time GoH to another. Yep, as I think I may have mentioned before, this was my first proper GoH gig (that's Guest of Honor for everyone who doesn't speak in connish abbreviations), and I couldn't have asked for a better first time. You were so kind, ArmadilloCon, so gentle, you held me in your arms 'till the morning light...
Erm, anyway. Looking forward to next year already. Should be fun!
Thursday, August 13, 2009
What's fascinating is that, while she's only just now learning to read and write, whenver Georgia generates one of these "letter salads" of random characters, they nearly always follow the standard morphology of words in the English language (that is, there's never a long string of consonants or just a jumble of vowels, or a mispronouncable juxtupostion of q's and x's or something). It's interesting to consider how much kids pick up about those kinds of rules just from seeing words over and over again, even if they don't yet know how to decode the meaning every time.
Well, I will, and I am. So there.
As one of the GoH at the con, I am on a lot more programming than is typical for me, but I promise all and sundry that when I'm not on one of the following listed items, I will be easily locatable in the hotel bar.
Fr1900PC Opening Ceremonies
Fri 7:00 PM-8:00 PM Phoenix Central
S. Cupp, K. Antell, J. Vinge, C. Roberson, S. Lynch, K. Meschke
Sat 11:00 AM-Noon Dealers' Room
C. Richerson, J. Reisman, A. Jackson, B. Mahoney, A. Martinez, C. Roberson
Sa1200PC Editor Guest Interview
Sat Noon-1:00 PM Phoenix Central
C. Roberson, S. Cupp*
Sa1500PC Fannish Feud
Sat 3:00 PM-4:00 PM Phoenix Central
R. Eudaly*, K. Antell, R. Babcock, K. Meschke, S. Leicht, T. Miller, A. Martinez, C. Roberson, S. Lynch, S. Bobo, C. J. Mills, L. Person
Sat 7:00 PM-8:00 PM Phoenix Central
A. Aguirre, T. Anderson, J. Hogan, J. Vinge, C. Roberson*
Making them other than just weird humans.
Sa2100DZ Space Opera
Sat 9:00 PM-10:00 PM deZavala
C. Osborne, C. Roberson, R. Dimond, C. Richerson, E. Moon*, J. Vinge
What ideas should you really avoid in your space opera?
Su1000DW Editing Wholesale
Sun 10:00 AM-11:00 AM deWitt
K. Lansdale, C. Roberson, J. Frenkel*, S. Utley, J. L. Blaschke
How does editing an anthology differ from editing a novel or single story?
Su1100DZ Panel of Calamitous Intent
Sun 11:00 AM-Noon deZavala
P. Benjamin, R. Klaw*, B. Foster, P. Miles, C. Roberson
The Venture Brothers!
Su1300DZ Stump the Panel
Sun 1:00 PM-2:00 PM deZavala
S. Wilson*, G. Faust, T. Mallory, C. J. Mills, C. Roberson
Bring items and see if the panel can find a SF/F use for them. Extra points if you
can stump the panel.
The Boat That Rocked trailer
The Boat That Rocked has been out in much of the rest of the world for a while, but hits theaters in the US in November.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Gorilla of the Gasbags
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
How I Spent My Evening
(The new site name, by the way, is stolen from this interview that Lou Anders did with me for Tor.com a while back. It seemed fitting.)
Monday, August 10, 2009
The Ballad of G.I. Joe
The post on Topless Robot also shares this abbreviated cast list. Behold:
• Alexis Bledel as Lady Jaye
• Billy Crudup as Zartan
• Zach Galifiankais as Snow Job
• Tony Hale as Dr. Mindbender
• Vinnie Jones as Destro
• Joey Kern as Tomax and Xamot
• Chuck Liddell as Gung Ho
• Julianne Moore as Scarlett
• Henry Rollins as Duke
• Alan Tudyk as Shipwreck
• Olivia Wilde as The Baroness
Tim Ollive’s 1884
Ollive is a renowned model maker and long time collaborator of Terry Gilliam’s. Way back on Life of Brian, Ollive was not only the fabricator but also one of the operators of the alien puppets seen in the space craft. I’m told he also built the neon sign that provides Gilliam’s Brazil with an opening title. Suffice to say, he has some serious skills in design, manufacture and puppeteering - all of which are shown to awesome effect in the test footage below.
Olliv’es co-screenwriter on 1884 is Dennis DeGroot, a production designer with an incredible resume that takes in most of the outstanding UK comedy of the last decade or so and, way back in the mists of time, his own experience on the FX teams of Life of Brian and Time Bandits.
How I Spent My Afternoon, Part II
This one only took about half the time, since I was able to use the Bonaventure-Carmody logo as a template.
How I Spent My Afternoon
The fruit of the last hour's labor?
Expect more in this vein, when I can find a spare moment here and there.
Steampunk Monkey Nation
Sunday, August 09, 2009
My Favourite Books on Book of Secrets
Part noir part pulp fiction part unlike anything I've read before, Book of Secrets has enough twists and turns to make the Edelweis Road in Austria look like a Roman road. I am hesitant to try and describe the storyline even more for fear of putting in spoilers. What I am quite happy to expose though is that the author has created an immensely enjoyable and readable story which will entertain you to the very last page. Especially fun if you think you've figured it all out .... only to have it all turn out that uhm, hey, you were wrong!
I'd like to add that if you've been a long time reader of this blog, you would know I am passionate about many things, but mainly that I love thrillers and action adventure novels and quest novels and I dislike people messing around with the genre for the heck of it, or if they start doing parodies of them or if they think they can quickly write one to cash in on the coolest thing going that's not about vampires. I was therefore very hesitant about Book of Secrets and thought that it was going to be a bit samey and I had my expectations bundled up and shoved in my face. Very firmly. The book is - wow. I will however say that you have to keep an open mind and read it for its sheer readability because it is more-ish.
Saturday, August 08, 2009
Georgia's newest creation, Pamobe the monster
This afternoon she was drawing a monster based on one of the images in Monsters!, and when she was done decided to name it by writing a random assortment of letters above the figure. (She can sound out words with time and effort, but when she wrote the letters had no idea what they said.) Then, in a nice bit of self-referentiality, she drew a picture of herself at the monster's side, with crayon in hand (and dressed as Bubbles from the Powerpuff Girls, of course, which is her Halloween plan).
And that's how Pamobe the moster came into the world...
The yellow border is, if it wasn't immediately obvious, a golden frame around the picture, naturally.
2008 Sidewise Award, the acceptance speech that wasn't
I want to thank the Sidewise judges for simply reading my book, which is flattering enough in and of itself. That they considered it among the five best alternate-history novels of the year was all-but-unbelievable to me. That they've selected it from among that august list to be singled out for the award is simply bewildering.
Boundless thanks, Sidewise judges. And thanks to George Mann (author of the extremely worthy Sidewise-nominated The Affinity Bridge, which I was proud to be listed alongside) who commissioned the novel for Solaris and shepherded to publication. And thanks to Lou Anders, who was deputized to be my stand-in at the Sidewise Awards panel, and who went unarmed with any kind of statement on my behalf.
Okay, now I'm off to have another celebratory drink.
Friday, August 07, 2009
New "Where the Wild Things Are" trailer
Now I'm starting to think this thing might be really good.
Total Sci-Fi on Book of Secrets
Originally self-published in 2001 under the title Voices of Thunder, Chris Roberson’s fantasy has been rechristened ‘Book of Secrets’ for 2009 – three words which promise a lot. For those who missed it the first time around (as most did), it is, like Roberson’s other work, a conspiracy-ridden head-scratcher that only the boldest mind will succeed in unravelling before the final pages.
As intrepid reporter Finch struggles to work on his ever-deteriorating story, his lonesome existence becomes complicated by cat burglars, comic books and Men With Black Hands. Book of Secrets then takes something of a Da Vinci Code-esque turn, offering a fantastic view of the evolution of man and the creation of Earth - all wrapped up in a multi-dimensional robbery!
Another New Interview
Berntsen, one of the minds behind Blam! Ventures and it's forthcoming Planet of the Apes title, has interviewed me as part of his "I Have Not Read Your Angry Robot Book" interview series. We talk a bit about Book of Secrets (which he has not read) and some of my other stories and books (which he has), as well as cartoons, parenting, self-publishing, and such. Check it out, won't you?
Thursday, August 06, 2009
Speaking at the San Antonio Writers Guild
Here are the details:
August 6, 2009 at 7:30pm
Bethany Congregational Church,
500 Pilgrim Drive in San Antonio
Speaker: Chris Roberson
Topic: "Everyone Else Is Crazy: Finding the Process that Fits"
Wednesday, August 05, 2009
Rooster Teeth's "Gratuities Are Appreciated"
Rooster Teeth's "Mixed Messages"
Bubbles came home with us from the SPCA (not the Space Canine Patrol Agency, sadly, but the Society for the Prevention of Cool Acronyms) on Saturday, and is settling in nicely. Blue, who is at least a year older than her, is still more than a little terrified of the new resident, but he's getting there.
Adam West, the *original* Batman
That would be in an upcoming Batman: Brave and the Bold episode, in which he plays Bruce Wayne's father Thomas. How does West playing Poppa Wayne constitute him becoming Batman again, you ask? Is Bricken going for a wholly misleading article title trifecta? No I am not. From Comic Book Resources:Awesome awesome awesome.The episode will feature the story in which Thomas went to a costume party dressed as a bat and defeated mobsters.If that's not awesome enough for you, it's worth noting that Martha Wayne, his wife, will be voiced by Julie Newmar. FUCK AND YES.
Tuesday, August 04, 2009
2009 World Fantasy Award nominations
2009 World Fantasy Award Nominations (covering the 2008 award year)
The House of the Stag, Kage Baker (Tor)
The Shadow Year, Jeffrey Ford (Morrow)
The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman (HarperCollins; Bloomsbury)
Pandemonium, Daryl Gregory (Del Rey)
Tender Morsels, Margo Lanagan (Allen & Unwin; Knopf)
"Uncle Chaim and Aunt Rifke and the Angel", Peter S. Beagle (Strange Roads)
"If Angels Fight", Richard Bowes (F&SF 2/08)
"The Overseer", Albert Cowdrey (F&SF 3/08)
"Odd and the Frost Giants", Neil Gaiman (Bloomsbury; HarperCollins)
"Good Boy", Nisi Shawl (Filter House)
BEST SHORT STORY
"Caverns of Mystery", Kage Baker (Subterranean: Tales of Dark Fantasy)
"26 Monkeys, Also the Abyss", Kij Johnson (Asimov's 7/08)
"Pride and Prometheus", John Kessel (F&SF 1/08)
"Our Man in the Sudan", Sarah Pinborough (The Second Humdrumming Book of Horror Stories)
"A Buyer's Guide to Maps of Antarctica", Catherynne M. Valente (Clarkesworld 5/08)
The Living Dead, John Joseph Adams, ed. (Night Shade Books)
The Del Rey Book of Science Fiction and Fantasy, Ellen Datlow, ed. (Del Rey)
The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror 2008: Twenty-First Annual Collection, Ellen Datlow, Kelly Link, & Gavin J. Grant, eds. (St. Martin's)
Paper Cities: An Anthology of Urban Fantasy, Ekaterina Sedia, ed. (Senses Five Press)
Steampunk, Ann & Jeff VanderMeer, eds. (Tachyon Publications)
Strange Roads, Peter S. Beagle (DreamHaven Books)
The Drowned Life, Jeffrey Ford (HarperPerennial)
Pretty Monsters, Kelly Link (Viking)
Filter House, Nisi Shawl (Aqueduct Press)
Tales from Outer Suburbia, Shaun Tan
(Allen & Unwin; Scholastic '09)
Kinuko Y. Craft
SPECIAL AWARD, PROFESSIONAL
Kelly Link & Gavin J. Grant (for Small Beer Press and Big Mouth House)
Stephen H. Segal & Ann VanderMeer (for Weird Tales)
SPECIAL AWARD, NON-PROFESSIONAL
One of the main things I learned in my year on the jury was that the fantasy genre is alive and well. There's terrific work being done, and this list represents just the tip of the iceberg. Congratulations to all of the nominees!
The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
Here's the table of contents (with links to stories available to read for free online):
- "The Doctor's Case" by Stephen King
- "The Horror of the Many Faces" by Tim Lebbon
- "The Case of the Bloodless Sock" by Anne Perry
- "The Adventure of the Other Detective" by Bradley H. Sinor
- "A Scandal in Montreal" by Edward Hoch
- "The Adventure of the Field Theorems" by Vonda N. McIntyre
- "The Adventure of the Death-Fetch" by Darrell Schweitzer
- "The Shocking Affair of the Dutch Steamship Friesland" by Mary Robinette Kowal
- "The Adventure of the Mummy's Curse" by H. Paul Jeffers
- "The Things That Shall Come Upon Them" by Barbara Roden
- "Murder to Music" by Anthony Burgess
- "The Adventure of the Inertial Adjustor" by Stephen Baxter
- "Mrs Hudson's Case " by Laurie R. King
- "The Singular Habits of Wasps" by Geoffrey Landis
- "The Affair of the Forty-Sixth Birthday" by Amy Myers
- "The Specter of Tullyfane Abbey" by Peter Tremayne
- "The Vale of the White Horse" by Sharyn McCrumb
- "The Adventure of the Dorset Street Lodger" by Michael Moorcock
- "The Adventure of the Lost World" by Dominic Green
- "The Adventure of the Antiquarian's Niece" by Barbara Hambly
- "Dynamics of a Hanging" by Tony Pi
- "Merridew of Abominable Memory" by Chris Roberson
- "Commonplaces" by Naomi Novik
- "The Adventure of the Pirates of Devil's Cape" by Rob Rogers
- "The Adventure of the Green Skull" by Mark Valentine
- "The Human Mystery " by Tanith Lee
- "A Study in Emerald" by Neil Gaiman
- "You See But You Do Not Observe" by Robert J. Sawyer
Weird Al Yancovic and JibJab's "CNR"
Monday, August 03, 2009
Lou Anders' With Great Power
Check out the TOC and maybe you can see why...
Introduction: The Golden Age by Lou Anders
"Cleansed and Set in Gold" by Matthew Sturges
"Where their Worm Dieth Not" by James Maxey
"Secret Identity" by Paul Cornell
"The Non-Event" by Mike Carey
"Avatar" by Mike Baron
"Message from the Bubblegum Factory" by Daryl Gregory
"Thug" by Gail Simone
"Vacuum Lad" by Stephen Baxter
"A Knight of Ghosts and Shadows" by Chris Roberson
"Head Cases" by Peter David & Kathleen David
"Downfall" by Joseph Mallozzi
"By My Works You Shall Know Me" by Mark Chadbourn
"Call Her Savage" by Marjorie M. Liu
"Tonight we fly" by Ian McDonald
"A to Z in the Ultimate Big Company Superhero Universe (Villains Too)" by Bill Willingham
Falcata Times on Book of Secrets (and me)
What is on offer in Chris Roberson’s book is a tale that investigates not only the emotional aspect of the principle protagonist but also manages to create a deep routed family history pulling the character more into line with the real world. Its cleverly done and with various different writing styles that whilst many would argue about the clashing aspect of them, does give a bone fide reference to which the character can relate. In my opinion, its incredibly well done and is a book that has to be applauded for its bravery in this new style of creation. Definitely a book that can spawn a series and one that I hope will continue to expand with each future release. Great stuff.
Saturday, August 01, 2009
Giant Transforming Robots
First, one of Scott Campbell's contributions to tonight's Rivet gallery show, "Super Hungry":
And a post on Neatorama points out an ebay auction for, get this, Thomas the Transforming Train: