Brief Thoughts on 47 Ronin

10 Sep 47 Ronin

So, I confess I tend to avoid films starring Keanu Reeves. He’s just not one of those actors I prefer (although, he doesn’t actively annoy me). Also, I studied Kendo, jujitsu, and enjoy things samurai-related. It appeals to my inner warrior, and hey, female samurai actually existed, as opposed to the European knights who were all male all the time (as far as we know). That said, the trailer for 47 Ronin instantly turned me off from the film. The reason why has everything to do with The Last Samurai, another movie I avoided in theaters but saw at home. The Last Samurai highlights the historically non-existent role of a white samurai from North America[1] who through his super powers of whiteness, American-ness, and dudeness attempts to save a group of samurai from progress — or something. Ugh. Just… ugggh. Continue reading

221. Nordic SF (LonCon3 Panel) w/ Tore Høie, Anna Davour, John-Henri Holmberg, Sini Neuvonen, and Marianna Leikomaa

10 Sep

Moomin, the Arctic Circle, and volcanoes, oh my!  In our first panel recording from LonCon3 / Worldcon, Tore Høie, Anna Davour, John-Henri Holmberg, Sini Neuvonen, and Marianna Leikomaa discuss sf/f from the Scandinavian countries.  ‘Nuff said.

We hope you enjoy the episode!

Note:  If you have iTunes and like this show, please give us a review on our iTunes page, or feel free to email us with your thoughts about the show!

Here’s the episode (show notes are below):

Episode 221 — Download (MP3)

The Nordic Countries

Show Notes ((I may have missed a few things mentioned in the podcast.  If pick anything up that is not listed in the show notes, please leave a comment!):

Our new intro music is “Time Flux” by Revolution Void (CC BY 3.0).

That’s all, folks!  Thanks for listening.  See you next week.

“The Mysterious Appeal of Tintin” by Jonathan Wood

9 Sep Tintin -- Main Cast

Hey guys, I’ve got this great idea.  I’m going to write detective stories about a Belgian man-child and his alcoholic best friend.  For kids!

Clearly that shouldn’t work.  It’s madness.  Except Hergé started drawing his Tintin cartoons in the 1930s, and in 2011 the series was still popular enough for Steven Spielberg to turn it into a blockbuster movie.  Hell, I’ve loved Tintin since I discovered him about twenty-five years ago.  Clearly, there is some curious Belgian alchemy at work here.   But what the hell is it? Continue reading

My Superpower: Corie Weaver

6 Sep 2014 Young Explorer's Adventure Guide

My Superpower is a regular guest column on the Skiffy and Fanty blog where authors and creators tell us about one weird skill, neat trick, highly specialized cybernetic upgrade, or other superpower they have, and how it helped (or hindered!) their creative process as they built their project. Today we welcome Corie Weaver to talk about how the power of Overcomplication relates to The Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide (Kickstarter).

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If you asked my husband, he’d say my superpower is overcomplicating things. The other night, we grilled out, and at the last minute, I decided I didn’t want ketchup. I could *taste* what I wanted. Tomato paste, a tiny bit of red wine, chili powder.

I was right – it was delicious, but it did create an unexpected bump in the dinner plans.

And that may be how, when I had planned to spend the summer putting the final touches on a new YA space opera, we’re instead editing an anthology of science fiction stories for middle grade readers.

Like a lot of the sudden complications in our life, it started from a few diverse ingredients. Continue reading

My Superpower: Benjanun Sriduangkaew

5 Sep Scale Bright by Benjanun Sriduangkaew

My Superpower is a regular guest column on the Skiffy and Fanty blog where authors and creators tell us about one weird skill, neat trick, highly specialized cybernetic upgrade, or other superpower they have, and how it helped (or hindered!) their creative process as they built their project. Today we welcome Benjanun Sriduangkaew to talk about how the power of War relates to Scale Bright.

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My superpower is an intense interest in war.

Strictly on the page, I hasten to add. Recently, I pitched a story idea like so:  ‘Deep Ones meet Little Mermaid, told as military fantasy’. I think the editor liked it(?) and seemed pleased that it wasn’t quite like anything else pitched so far. A good thing, yay! On the other hand, I discovered that I might have a problem; usually, one thinks Little Mermaid and the idea of red-haired Ariel tends to come up first thing — not so much, ah, military fantasy. If by remote chance you have read my short stories, you will find war present in many of them, and there is probably a reason most of my SF tends to be read as military. Continue reading

A World SF Reading List

5 Sep

I’ve been collecting recommendations from Twitter using the #worldsfbooks hashtag for this list.  Since this year’s theme is all about World SF, it makes sense that we’d celebrate that with a massive list of stuff you should read.  If you’d like to add anything to the list, leave a comment on this page OR use the #worldsfbooks hashtag on Twitter!

So, without further ado, here’s the list (below the fold): Continue reading

Top 10 Episodes and Blog Posts for August 2014

4 Sep

In case you missed a few things, here’s what was popular last month!

Episodes:

  1. 215. Kim Stanley Robinson (a.k.a. The Ethnographer) — Shaman (An Interview)
  2. 214. Dutch SF Roundtable w/ Tiemen Zwaan, Marieke Nijkamp, Martijn Lindeboom, and Thomas Olde Heuvelt
  3. 219. Kameron Hurley (a.k.a. The Patriarchy Smarsher) — The Mirror Empire (An Interview at CONvergence)
  4. 213. Corinne Duyvis (a.k.a. Mindsweeper) — Otherbound (An Interview)
  5. 218. Live at CONvergence w/ Martha Wells and Carrie Patel
  6. Episode 4.2 — Torture Cinema Meets The Wicker Man
  7. 216. Max Gladstone (a.k.a. the Soul Merchant) — The Craft Sequence (An Interview at ICFA)
  8. 212. Lynne and Michael Damian Thomas (a.k.a. Ood-les of Fun) at CONvergence
  9. 220. Wesley Chu (a.k.a. Spymaster 1000) — The Rebirths of Tao (An Interview at CONvergence)
  10. 211. Yor, the Hunter from the Future (1983) — A Torture Cinema “Adventure”

Blog Posts:

  1. Announcement: Our 2015 Theme
  2. Hard and Soft Alternate Histories: The Time Roads by Beth Bernobich, The Shadow Master by Craig Cormick and Rod Duncan’s The Bullet Catcher’s Daughter” by Paul Weimer
  3. When Calls for Diversity Are Not Enough” by Charles Tan
  4. A (World) SFF Film Odyssey: Mutant Girls Squad (2010) and Anime’s Excesses” by Shaun Duke
  5. My Superpower: LJ Cohen
  6. English as the Center and Its Privileges” by Charles Tan
  7. The Disquieting Guest — Bava’s Centenary” by David Annandale
  8. My Superpower: Tim Lees
  9. Book Review: Through the Woods by Emily Carroll” by Paul Weimer
  10. Book Review: Nice Dragons Finish Last by Rachel Aaron” by Paul Weimer

Enjoy!

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