Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Afterlife of dead trees.

It was a hot, slow day in the Shire, and my office was filled with the sound of nothing happening.

December 11th, 2009 by Antti Hukkanen

A number of things occurred to me recently. For one, next week it will be eight years since Peter Jackson’s first Lord of the Rings film came out (and seven and six years since the second and third ones, respectively). Second, the 25th would be Humphrey Bogart’s 110th birthday, were he still alive. Also, apparently writing commenced on what would eventually form the novel Lord of the Rings in December, 1937; we recently covered a “retro-reimagining” of Matrix; and not long before that, the “pre-made” Raiders of the Lost Ark trailer gained considerable popularity at the offices. (How’s that for a strained lead-in?)
With all that in mind, I thought this a perfect moment to feature something that combines two things rather close to my heart… film noir and Lord of the Rings. What if the complications in getting his novel published had led the frustrated Prof Tolkien to offer his text to Hollywood instead?

As usual, Gollum takes the cake as the most memorable character, even though he’s up against some pretty tough competition here… including Bogie and even Godzilla!

Johanna Sinisalo nominated for Nebula Award!

February 28th, 2009 by Timo Vuorensola

Johanna Sinisalo

Iron Sky‘s scriptwriter Johanna Sinisalo has been nominated for the internationally highly respected Nebula Award with her novellette Baby Doll. The Nebula Award is an award given each year by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA), for the best science fiction/fantasy fiction published in the United States during the two previous years.

Way to go, Johanna! Let’s hope we’ll see her again there in 2011, nominated for the best script!

Here’s the complete ballot for the nominees of 2008 Nebula Awards.

Novels
Little Brother – Doctorow, Cory (Tor, Apr08)
Powers – Le Guin, Ursula K. (Harcourt, Sep07)
Cauldron – McDevitt, Jack (Ace, Nov07)
Brasyl – McDonald, Ian (Pyr, May07)
Making Money – Pratchett, Terry (Harper, Sep07)
Superpowers – Schwartz, David J. (Three Rivers Press, Jun08)

Novellas
“The Spacetime Pool” – Asaro, Catherine (Analog, Mar08)
“Dark Heaven” – Benford, Gregory (Alien Crimes, ed. Mike Resnick, SFBC, Jan07)
“Dangerous Space” – Eskridge, Kelley (Dangerous Space, Aqueduct Press, Jun07)
“The Political Prisoner” – Finlay, Charles Coleman (F&SF, Aug08)
“The Duke in His Castle” – Nazarian, Vera (Norilana Books, Jun08)

Novelettes
“If Angels Fight” – Bowes, Richard (F&SF, Feb08)
“Dark Rooms” – Goldstein, Lisa (Asimov’s, Oct/Nov 07)
“Pride and Prometheus” – Kessel, John (F&SF, Jan08)
“Night Wind” – Rosenblum, Mary (Lace and Blade, ed. Deborah J. Ross, Norilana Books, Feb08)
“Baby Doll” – Sinisalo, Johanna (The SFWA European Hall of Fame, ed. James Morrow & Kathryn Morrow, Tor, Jun07 )
“Kaleidoscope” – Wentworth, K.D. (F&SF, May07)

Short Stories
“The Button Bin” – Allen, Mike (Helix: A Speculative Fiction Quarterly, Oct07)
“The Dreaming Wind” – Ford, Jeffrey (The Coyote Road: Trickster Tales, ed. Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling, Viking, Jul07)
“Trophy Wives” – Hoffman, Nina Kiriki (Fellowship Fantastic, ed. Martin H. Greenburg and Kerrie Hughes, DAW Books Jan08)
“26 Monkeys, Also the Abyss” – Johnson, Kij (Asimov’s, Jul08)
“The Tomb Wife” – Jones, Gwyneth (F&SF, Aug07)
“Don’t Stop” – Kelly, James Patrick (Asimov’s, Jun07)


Scripts

The Dark Knight – Nolan, Jonathan; Nolan, Christopher, Goyer, David S. (Warner Bros., Jul08)
WALL-E Screenplay by Andrew Stanton, Jim Reardon, Original story by Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter (Walt Disney June 2008)
The Shrine – Wright, Brad (Stargate Atlantis, Aug08)

Norton
Graceling – Cashore, Kristin (Harcourt, Oct08)
Lamplighter – Cornish, D.M. (Monster Blood Tattoo, Book 2, Putnam Juvenile, May08))
Savvy – Law, Ingrid (Dial, May08)
The Adoration of Jenna Fox – Pearson, Mary E. (Henry Holt and Company, Apr08)
Flora’s Dare: How a Girl of Spirit Gambles All to Expand Her Vocabulary, Confront a Bouncing Boy Terror, and Try to Save Califa from a Shaky Doom (Despite Being Confined to Her Room) – Wilce, Ysabeau S. (Harcourt, Sep08)

Fear Is the Path to the Dark Side.

January 27th, 2009 by Antti Hukkanen

Cover of the book Deathtroopers by Joe ScreiberA novelist by the name of Joe Schreiber is writing a Star Wars horror novel.

That’s right, a Star Wars horror novel. If you’re at all like me, you wouldn’t have believed it if the cover art (pictured on the left) hadn’t been released yesterday on starwars.com. It’s true; the book’s coming out next Halloween.

Now, I’m not too thrilled about the idea. Horror is all about real life, disturbed by the introduction of the horrific. (In Stephen King’s case, the writing. Cheap joke.) Star Wars is a space opera. It’s not real life. It doesn’t feature serial killers lurking in the shadows, but larger than life heroes who go about saving the universe by blowing up space stations the size of small moons. Twice.

My exposure to the world of Star Wars was really very limited when, sometime in the ’80s, I read Splinter of the Mind’s Eye by Alan Dean Foster. But even then, I found the novel somehow “odd” with all its blood and gore and pitch-black undertones. It didn’t “mesh” with my understanding of what it was that made Star Wars special. That’s exactly how I feel about this book.

Of course, there is fear and horror in Star Wars. But fear is not the motivator; it’s an obstacle. In an interview at BookSpot Central, Schreiber names fear the primary narrative engine in his book (well duh), and I quote, “without getting mired down with space-opera melodrama.” So how do you take the space opera out of Star Wars? Can you take the comedy out of Top Secret! and call it a war film?

But hey, don’t mind the cranky rantings of a bitter old stiff-necked Star Wars aficionado. Since at least the publication of Splinter of the Mind’s Eye, the Expanded Universe has been a larger, more lifelike place than that shown in the films. And life, unlike space opera, has its more horrific side. Now please excuse me while I go dogfighting impossible odds while courting a Space Princess.

Interesting productions on WreckAMovie.Com

December 13th, 2008 by Timo Vuorensola

The collaborative film production platform WreckAMovie.Com is growing steadily. We released the official beta of the platform few months ago when we got the MindTrek Grand Prix, and the most interesting feature we added then was the ability to add your own productions. Right now, WreckAMovie.Com is growing steadily, as we add features and make it more compelling for filmmakers and fans to work on with. Right now, we have 1213 registered Wreckers on the system from 38 different countries, working on 27 productions, ranging from feature films to short internet episodes, from films in very early developement stage to films already in theatrical distribution. But that’s not enough for us – we are looking forward into building WAM into a platform that hosts hundreds of thousands of active users and thousands of films, pushing out to worldwide markets of all sizes hundreds of films every year.

Our aim is to keep WAM running steadily for the next year, while we develope the platform and it’s functionalities, and drop from beta somewhere early 2010. And you can join the process as well, by joining the Wreck A Movie Platform production on WAM, where you can share your ideas and thoughts of the system in general.

I thought about doing a short sneak peek into three interesting productions right now active in WAM. There’s a lot more, but I’ll bring these up for now:

Star Wreck 2pi is a fan film of a fan film, a film set in Star Wreck‘s universe, and taking place – as the name says (2pi=6,283…) between Star Wreck: In the Pirkinning (“VI”) and the rumoured Star Wreck VII. The film is in canon with Star Wreck universe (well, as far as I know), and they are right now developing the script with a pretty fast pace, looking forward to shoot the film next year. They are right now looking ideas from the community for the script – jokes, ideas on how the world is in 2010, how Pirk’s fleet should be like etc. The people working on this – Fabienne & Thierry Gschwind – are rock-hard Wreck fans, but have also produced a massive fan parody production about Buffy the Vampire Slayer, called Verhäxt und Ufgspiesst (the monster-of-a-name means “Jinxin’ and Stabbin‘” or something like that :), that’s already finished, and also in production on WAM.

What Became Of Us is a feature-length film about class reunion, made by a group of Finnish guys who did an awesome youth film, funding it out of their own pockets, called Graffiti In Us (Graffiti meissä, 2007), which won the AFIA film festivals last year – and which I’ve seen, and know it’s pretty darn good. I’ve also had a change to look at some material for the upcoming film, What Became Of Us, and it looks *very* convincing. The film is right now in post production and should be out in 2009 . They are looking forward to get some help with their marketing and website, cuz the film is pretty much done by now.

Son Of Man is not actually a film – it’s a book. At first, when I noticed this production being set up to WAM, I was a bit worried, but then I realized that what the hell, it’s all about collaboration, and if people want to work on a book on WAM, it’s just wonderful! Then I realized who’s behind the production – Mike Pohjola, a Finnish writer, who also wrote the official Star Wreck RPG few years ago. Mike is looking for recommendations on films and asking where the future is taking the book format.

Well, that’s it for now! Stay tuned, we’ll be back with you already before the end of the year in various shapes and forms, just like Cthulhu monsters!