MEME: I SURRENDER!
Here's how it works:
1. Comment to this post with "I surrender!" and I'll assign you the basis of some TV show idea. (post-apocalyptic scifi-fi drama, fantasy, noir gumshoe pulp, criminal procedure...IN SPACE, historical drama WITH WEREWOLVES, etc.).
2. Create a cast of characters, including the actors who'd play them.
3. Add in any actor photos, character bios, and show synopsis that you want.
4. Post to your own journal.
Via Harry Connolly at Twenty Palaces
He gave me:
WW2 setting, classic Universal monsters vs. Nazis.
The Monster Squad
In a world where the Universal monsters are secretly real, during a USO tour, the Universal Monsters and their Army handlers discover that they are as good fighting the Nazis as they are entertaining the troops. Now, under double cover of being actors playing the monsters on a USO tour, the Monster Squad is set to punch Adolf in the jaw.
Hugo Weaving as Dracula.
Sam Worthington as The Wolfman.
Michael Clarke Duncan as Frankenstein. In a nod to Brittle Innings, it turns out he has been playing Negro league baseball in the U.S. prior to joining up with Universal.
Arnold Vosloo as The Mummy.
Thandie Newton as Annie Andrews (Ankh-es-en-amon). Its strongly implied that she was responsible for bringing the Mummy to life...
and Clancy Brown as their handler, British Major Abraham Van Helsing. He has secrets of his own, or else why does Dracula insist on reminiscing on the good old days when he and Van Helsing clashed in the 1880's. Van Helsing can't be *that* old, can he?
Via Worlds in a Grain of Sand. Which Gollancz SF Masterworks have I read?
Bolded I have read, Italicized ones I own and mean to read.
I - Dune - Frank Herbert
II - The Left Hand of Darkness - Ursula K. Le Guin
III - The Man in the High Castle - Philip K. Dick
IV - The Stars My Destination - Alfred Bester
V - A Canticle for Leibowitz - Walter M. Miller, Jr.
VI - Childhood's End - Arthur C. Clarke
VII - The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress - Robert A. Heinlein
VIII - Ringworld - Larry Niven
IX - The Forever War - Joe Haldeman
X - The Day of the Triffids - John Wyndham
1 - The Forever War - Joe Haldeman
2 - I Am Legend - Richard Matheson
3 - Cities in Flight - James Blish
4 - Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? - Philip K. Dick
5 - The Stars My Destination - Alfred Bester
6 - Babel-17 - Samuel R. Delany
7 - Lord of Light - Roger Zelazny
8 - The Fifth Head of Cerberus - Gene Wolfe
9 - Gateway - Frederik Pohl
10 - The Rediscovery of Man - Cordwainer Smith
11 - Last and First Men - Olaf Stapledon
12 - Earth Abides - George R. Stewart
13 - Martian Time-Slip - Philip K. Dick
14 - The Demolished Man - Alfred Bester
15 - Stand on Zanzibar - John Brunner
16 - The Dispossessed - Ursula K. Le Guin
17 - The Drowned World - J. G. Ballard
18 - The Sirens of Titan - Kurt Vonnegut
19 - Emphyrio - Jack Vance
20 - A Scanner Darkly - Philip K. Dick
21 - Star Maker - Olaf Stapledon
22 - Behold the Man - Michael Moorcock
23 - The Book of Skulls - Robert Silverberg
24 - The Time Machine and The War of the Worlds - H. G. Wells
25 - Flowers for Algernon - Daniel Keyes
26 - Ubik - Philip K. Dick
27 - Timescape - Gregory Benford
28 - More Than Human - Theodore Sturgeon
29 - Man Plus - Frederik Pohl
30 - A Case of Conscience - James Blish
31 - The Centauri Device - M. John Harrison
32 - Dr. Bloodmoney - Philip K. Dick
33 - Non-Stop - Brian Aldiss
34 - The Fountains of Paradise - Arthur C. Clarke
35 - Pavane - Keith Roberts
36 - Now Wait for Last Year - Philip K. Dick
37 - Nova - Samuel R. Delany
38 - The First Men in the Moon - H. G. Wells
39 - The City and the Stars - Arthur C. Clarke
40 - Blood Music - Greg Bear
41 - Jem - Frederik Pohl
42 - Bring the Jubilee - Ward Moore
43 - VALIS - Philip K. Dick
44 - The Lathe of Heaven - Ursula K. Le Guin
45 - The Complete Roderick - John Sladek
46 - Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said - Philip K. Dick
47 - The Invisible Man - H. G. Wells
48 - Grass - Sheri S. Tepper
49 - A Fall of Moondust - Arthur C. Clarke
50 - Eon - Greg Bear
51 - The Shrinking Man - Richard Matheson
52 - The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch - Philip K. Dick
53 - The Dancers at the End of Time - Michael Moorcock
54 - The Space Merchants - Frederik Pohl and Cyril M. Kornbluth
55 - Time Out of Joint - Philip K. Dick
56 - Downward to the Earth - Robert Silverberg
57 - The Simulacra - Philip K. Dick
58 - The Penultimate Truth - Philip K. Dick
59 - Dying Inside - Robert Silverberg
60 - Ringworld - Larry Niven
61 - The Child Garden - Geoff Ryman
62 - Mission of Gravity - Hal Clement
63 - A Maze of Death - Philip K. Dick
64 - Tau Zero - Poul Anderson
65 - Rendezvous with Rama - Arthur C. Clarke
66 - Life During Wartime - Lucius Shepard
67 - Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang - Kate Wilhelm
68 - Roadside Picnic - Arkady and Boris Strugatsky
69 - Dark Benediction - Walter M. Miller, Jr.
70 - Mockingbird - Walter Tevis
71 - Dune - Frank Herbert
72 - The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress - Robert A. Heinlein
73 - The Man in the High Castle - Philip K. Dick
74 - Inverted World - Christopher Priest
75 - Kurt Vonnegut - Cat's Cradle
76 - H.G. Wells - The Island of Dr. Moreau
77 - Arthur C. Clarke - Childhood's End
78 - H.G. Wells - The Time Machine
79 - Samuel R. Delany - Dhalgren (July 2010)
80 - Brian Aldiss - Helliconia (August 2010)
81 - H.G. Wells - Food of the Gods (Sept. 2010)
82 - Jack Finney - The Body Snatchers (Oct. 2010)
83 - Joanna Russ - The Female Man (Nov. 2010)
84 - M.J. Engh - Arslan (Dec. 2010)
Do you snack while you read? If so, favorite reading snack?
I generally don't eat when I read, unless I am reading at the dinner table.
What is your favorite drink while reading?
Do you tend to mark your books as you read, or does the idea of writing in books horrify you?
Marking my books horrifies me. ;)
How do you keep your place while reading a book? Bookmark? Dog-ears? Laying the book flat open?
I use a variety of bookmarks, ranging from a simple grocery receipt to fancier bookmarks from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Fiction, nonfiction, or both?
I'd say 80-85% fiction, 15-20% non fiction.
Are you a person who tends to read to the end of a chapter, or can you stop anywhere?
I prefer to end on chapters, or at least at changes in POV or other breaks within a chapter.
Are you the type of person to throw a book across the room or on the floor if the author irritates you?
I've been tempted with a few books to throw them, but I respect books too much to do so. Even the bad ones.
If you come across an unfamiliar word, do you stop and look it up right away?
If I can't get it from context, I will look it up as soon as I am able.
What are you currently reading?
An Arc of "Dragon Haven" by Robin Hobb. Low Fantasy, with serpents re-evolving into Dragons.
What is the last book you bought?
Empire in Black and Gold, Adrian Tchaikovsky
Are you the type of person that reads one book at a time, or can you read more than one?
I prefer to read one book at a time.
Do you have a favorite time/place to read?
I used to read on the express bus on the way to work. Now, I use my lunch break at work to read.
Do you prefer series books or stand alones?
Most of the authors I read seem to do series, so I wind up reading series.
Is there a specific book or author you find yourself recommending over and over?
A lot of authors come to mind. I try to tailor my recommendations to the person.
How do you organize your books? (by genre, title, author's last name, etc.)
Organize books?? ;)
John Ottinger III @ Grasping for the Wind [http://www.graspingforthewind.com]: asks:
As an avid reader, you probably have scads and scads of books. How do you like to organize them? Category, title, author, ebooks only, or some mix thereof? Explain your organizational system for books, (or lack of it) and why it works for you.
Organization? What is this word of which you speak?
Seriously, I have too many books to really organize them well, given space limitations. This has been doubly true since moving in with My Friends the Olsons.
I do roughly classify and store them as follows:
Fiction: This is almost exclusively science fiction and fantasy, or stuff that is very close to it (e.g. Jorge Luis Borges, Lewis Carroll).
Roleplaying books: I have plenty of these, ranging from a first edition D&D DMG to the latest stuff from Evil Hat, Chad Underkoffler, and the Forge.
"Reference books": This is what I call non fiction that I like to dip in, and use ideas for games and writing and whatnot. Historical atlases, history books, a tarot book, a dictionary or two on mythology, and more. I also think of this as "browsing reading", stuff to be gleaned and glanced over at my leisure.
Via Rich Ditullio
How to play:
- Leave me a comment saying "Resistance is Futile".
- I'll respond by asking you five questions to satisfy my curiosity.
- Update your blog/journal with the answers to your questions.
- Include this explanation and offer to ask other people questions.
Rich asked me interesting questions...
1. What national parks are at the top of your list to visit someday?
Most of them. But I will limit myself to three:
Mount Rainier. I thought this would be the place I would get to first step on a Glacier, but I managed that feat in Canada. Still want to see this most impressive mountain anyway!
Grand Canyon: One of the natural wonders of the entire World. I'm there for it.
Yosemite: Because its so damned beautiful. Even if my friends and I made a drinking game out of Ken Burns National Parks show based on the number of times they showed pictures from Yosemite, even if the episode had NOTHING to do with the Park...
2. What is the RPG that you most want to play but haven't found a group for?
Probably Swashbucklers of the Seven Skies. I really want to see what PDQ can do and the setting is just made of win.
3. By a strange quirk of fate, you are selected to be the next Doctor. What do you choose for your outfit?
Me, the Doctor? Good grief!
Judging from past Doctor's and the patterns in clothing...
Button up grey and blue-grey shirts, always buttoned to the top button. No tie unless I was trying to get into a formal occasion of some kind.
To get that infinite pocket advantage, my coat would be a light windbreaker, bright blue with grey trim. (I can imagine an episode set on some iceball where my companion is aghast that I am so apparently under dressed for the occasion)
Brainy specs ;)
Sensible white and blue sneakers. If I am going to be the Doctor, I have to do an insane amount of running.
Belt with a silver buckle, inscribed with an infinity symbol.
4. What book or short story would you most like to see turned into a movie?
So many, and I realize that none would ever really be done right.
But if I had to choose one, I would love to have Jack Vance's Planet of Adventure series turned into a series of movies. And with CGI as it is these days, it could definitely be done and done well.
5. What are your favorite moments that have come out of Strange Bedfellows?
I've been running SB for a bloody long time. I've had disappointments, failures, and catastrophes. But the game still runs, so I and players I've had must be doing something right...
...like Jayson facing off and taking Brand to a stalemate in combat.
...like Ederyn making a snap decision and accepting the fealty of the Weir as Eric's son
...like tuckerizing myself and my friends the Olsons into a cameo appearance.
...like the shock that Alex's player had when she realized OOC that Alex was facing off against a Dalek
...and although it was a bit of a clusterflock, the Battle of the Fount at the Keep of Four Worlds.
And many others!
Via SF Signal and other places.
1. What Book Are You Reading Now?
2. Why did you choose it?
3. What's the best thing about it?
4. What's the worst thing about it?
1. Into the Looking Glass, John Ringo
2. I wanted to try Ringo again after a negative previous experience.
3. Competent protagonists that drive the narrative forward
4. The liberal-bashing politics is getting old, fast.
Sf Signal has been asking luminaries in the SF field what they considered the best Genre Related books, films and shows they consumed in 2009. Note that the material does not necessarily need to have come out in 2009, they just have had to consume it.
Unlike Gaul, the Sfsignal article is divided into four parts:
Behind the cut, my own choices!
I read over 50 books this year, many of them in the genre. The ones I liked best were:
Songs of the Dying Earth: Stories in Honor of Jack Vance
There was no way that this tribute anthology to Vance's work would miss being on this list. A real treasure.
Furies of Calderon (Codex Alera, Book 1). I've come late to the Calderon party. I listened to the first book and a half of the Codex Alera series on vacation, read the remainder of the second book, and now am going to tackle book three. Epic Fantasy done right, and with more than a little Roman flavor.
Three Unbroken (Novel of Celestial Empire). I really like Chris Roberson's work, and this is the latest novel in his Celestial Empire universe, where China and the Aztecs duel over the planet Mars...
It was a good year for SF films:
Star Trek (Single-Disc Edition). Star Trek is a reboot done right. Even with that darned overuse of lens flare, Star Trek lives again!
Back to the Future - The Complete Trilogy (Widescreen Edition). I picked this up this year. I recall being less than enthused, back in the day, with the third film. On this watch through, though, I have come around to its charms. And the first movie is a classic, period, full stop.
Up. I should be shot if I didn't include what might be the best Pixar movie yet.
Avatar: Sure, the story is weak, but the technical aspects of Avatar put it on this list. You must see this film and see what Cameron's use of technology has wrought. You simply must.
Doctor Who: The Complete Fourth Series. The last fourth season of the Doctor, and how! From Pompeii to the Medusa Cascade, another trip of a lifetime, with a heartrending ending to boot.
Sanctuary: The Complete First Season. Although I didn't really like it at first, watching episodes at my friends house has warmed me to this series. And certainly, on cable, it has less of the tsuris that, say, Dollhouse has gotten itself into.
Doctor Who: The War Games (Story 50). This classic episode, the last of the Troughton era, was recently re-released on DVD. A perfect swan song for the Second Doctor, Zoe and Jamie.
John Ottinger asks:
What are the worst or most disappointing endings in science fiction/fantasy novels? Why?
I'm going to limit myself to just one...
My nomination, and it pains me to do it, because I like the novels so much otherwise, is Peter F Hamilton's Night's Dawn Trilogy.
Big scale space opera, lots of cool technology, returned dead plaguing human space. Hamilton thinks big, writes big and loves the cast of thousands with viewpoint characters spread across a wide swath of locales and situations. Peter F Hamilton is a leading star of the "New Space Opera".
But the ending, Peter, the ending! The novels are let down badly by the denouement. The denouement of the trilogy is, unfortunately, a complete and literal deus ex machina. Joshua Calvert literally finds a lost God (a naked quantum singularity) to undo all of the damage (and change the nature of human space in the bargain). I felt cheated by this. After thousands of pages, the book ends like a bad medieval morality play.
I am very happy that subsequent novels from Hamilton have had much better endings, but this series just fails on that level. I wonder if Hamilton rewrote the novels today if he wouldn't be able to do it better. (He could hardly make it worse!)
Via Michael Flynn
The Dan Brown Sequel Generator!
You are in a mall when the zombies attack. You have:
1. one weapon.
2. one song blasting on the speakers.
3. one famous person to fight alongside you.
Weapon can be real or fictional, you may assume endless ammo if applicable. Person can be real or fictional.
Weapon: With no offense to the US Military, I want the most basic, reliable assault rifle in the world. I can't afford a jam, I need to kick Zombie a**. I want an Ak-47.
Song: "Holding out for a Hero", the Jennifer Saunders (Shrek 2) version
Person: I want the guy who has saved the world in his movie already, fighting every step of the way. I want Korben Dallas (Bruce Willis) from The Fifth Element.
Zombies won't stand a chance.
Have you ever read a classic novel (of any genre) and had the realization, mid-novel "Why did I wait so long to read this?"
Or perhaps it was a classic movie that, in the midst of it, you had the same reaction? Or even a music album of some sort?
I'm having that reaction right now, reading Alfred Bester's THE STARS MY DESTINATION.
What stories do you have to share of similar experiences?
(Or do it on your own blog/LJ. Think of it as a meme)
Here are five fictional characters that I want on my side when the apocalypse comes.
1. Flash Gordon. I need a Big D*mn Hero.
2. Indiana Jones. Because if I need someone to translate an ancient text AND get into the ancient temple to find what it points to, I want Indy.
3. Princess Fiona of Amber. I probably want a sorceress at my back...
4. Samantha Carter of SG-1. Strange alien technology? She'll figure it out!
5. Hoban 'Wash' Washburne of Firefly/Serenity. If we have to get off the Earth, I want him as pilot.
Via Kathryn Cramer
Via Kevin Drum, my answers in the extended Entry.
Four jobs you've had in your life: Newspaper Delivery in a hospital, tutor, Assistant Price Integrity Coordinator for a Supermarket, Stuffing envelopes for an Irvine housing association
Four movies you could watch over and over:
Star Wars, eXistenZ, The Matrix, The Truman Show
Four places you've lived: Staten Island, NY, Santa Ana, California, Anaheim, California, Blaine, Minnesota
Four TV shows you love to watch:: Battlestar Galactica, Good Eats, NY Giants Football, Headline News
Four places you've been on vacation:
Niagara Falls, NY, London, U.K., New Orleans, LA, Silver Bay, MN
Four websites you visit daily:Amazon.com, livejournal.com, gmail.com, washingtonmonthly.com
Four of your favorite foods:
Chili, Breyers Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream, Nathan's Hot Dogs, Drake's Yodels
Four places you'd rather be:(To visit): New York, NY, London, U.K., The Pyramids, Egypt, Where any of my long distance friends live.
Here is a Meme that I am hoping people will pick up, since its one of those things that interest me about myself, and other people, and its relatively fun and easy. And if it doesn't, well you will learn a little more about me anyhow.
I call it, for lack of a better title, Cardinal Directions
UPDATE: Cleared up a couple of things on the meme.
Slight update for clarification: I generally am curious about the boundaries as far as land goes. It's harder and not quite as fair to use things like the height an airplane reaches above the ground, nor the path of an airplane on a great circle route.
As far as East/West goes, I do realize the Greenwich Meridian and the International Date line complicates matters. The way I mentally think of East and West are as relative directions from your hometown, as measured by the shortest distance. This is to say, from NYC, Greenwich England is the furthest East I've been, even if it is technically also the furthest West. Of course people who have circumnavigated the globe can't really answer the East/West question.
What is the furthest North you have ever been?
The north suburbs of London, England, visiting the RAF museum there.
The furthest South?
St. Petersburg, Florida.
The furthest West?
San Simeon, Hearst Castle, on the California coast
The furthest East?
Greenwich Meridian, London, England (in the Western Hemisphere: Black Rock, Connecticut)
The highest elevation?
A little more than a mile above sea level, at Idyllwild, California.
Got this via Ginger, a political quiz for the alternate political parties in the alternate world that the author has cooked up. You know me...alternate history, I'm there.
I wound up as a Moderate Whig in this alternate universe. Considering how the politics in this world are different, I think it was probably a tossup between that and Moderate Federalist. (At least as far as I understand his two parties)
Maybe this will help me feel better, thinking about something OTHER than my situation...note these are not in any sort of ranking order. And it is admittedly incomplete
Seven Things That Make Me Laugh:
2.It's a Mad Mad Mad World (movie)
3.A weird spot on my hip/thigh
5.Get Fuzzy (comic)
6.Terry Pratchett novels
Seven Things I Love:
5.Maps and Atlases
6.Computer Strategy Games
Seven Things I Loathe:
1.Fox News Network
2.Fundamentalists of any stripe
5.Hazy, Hot, Humid Days
Seven Things on my Desk:(at work)
1. My band-broken watch
2. Post it notes
3. Tape dispenser
5. Staple remover
6. Bottle of Propel water
7.Unfinished roll of Spree
Seven Facts About Me:
1.I'm the only person in my family to have lived in three time zones
2.I've visited both Disneyland and Disney World
3.My laughing has been compared to "Mutley"
4.All of my computer knowledge is self-taught
5.I suffer from moderate to severe motion sickness
6.I dream in color and in full sound
7.I collect ammonite fossils
Seven Things I Can Do:
1.Multitask on a PC
2.Put my leg behind my head
3.Create RP scenarios on the fly
4.Rattle off two dozen digits of pi
5.Name twilight zone episodes from watching the opening scene
6.Conduct microbiological lab experiments
7.Orient myself by the stars
Seven Things I Can�t Do:
3.Play sports well
4.Walk by a bookstore without stopping inside
6.Tie a bowtie
7.Do those magic-eye puzzles
Seven Famous People I Want To Meet:
1. Stephen Hawking
2. Patrick Stewart
3. Jimmy Carter
4. Phil Simms
5. Brian Greene
Seven Albums People Should Give a Listen:
1. Time, by ELO
2. One, by the Beatles
3.The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Soundtrack
4.90125 by Yes
5.Traveling Wilburys Vol 3, by the Traveling Wilburys
6.2112, by Rush
7.Journey to the Center of the Earth, by Rick Wakeman
This week's Monday Mashup is: The Fantastic Four
I'd do the Fantastic Four as a Nobilis game. The idea of familia is one already in Nobilis, its possible that an Imperator would have chosen four members of an already existing family to be his or her Powers. Naturally, it would be a rather odd Imperator with estates of Fire, Transparency, Stone(?) and Flexibility(?) but I've seen odder combinations on the Nobilis List. Considering the Richards family's devotion to Mankind, they would be Nobles of the Light, of course.
I don't thinK I'd give them the full points; making this a little underpowered (to, say Amber character level than full Nobles) would make for a more satisfactory game experience. But with Excrucians and agents of the Dark as opponents, it would certainly be a more action packed Nobilis game than the usual...but I think it could be a lot of fun, as well.
"Friends don't issue thinly veiled threats to sue friends."