Do you love brains as much as zombies do. I love this handbag, I wonder if it's big enough to use as a gym bag. It looks like a brain and I bet you could make heads turn if you walked into a room with it. The bag was designed by Jun Takashi, It is made of wool and I wonder if someone out there could come up with a knitting pattern for a project that would rock, lol. Thanks BoingBoing for showing me this one.
EmzChat with Dani and Eytan Kollin
The announcement of the Prometheus Awards in July brightened two faces for sure. Dani and Eytan Kollin are brothers and first time authors of the 2010 Prometheus Award winning novel, The Unincorporated Man. The Unincorporated Man is about Justin Cord, a brilliant industrialist who wakes from a 300-year cryonic suspension into a world that has accepted an extreme form of market capitalism. It's a world in which humans themselves have become incorporated and most people no longer own a majority of themselves. Justin is the last free man in the human race - owned by no one and owning no one.
The Libertarian Futurist Society will hold its annual awards ceremony for the Prometheus Award during Aussicon 4, the 68th World Science Fiction Convention, September 2-6, 2010, in Melbourne, Australia. The Prometheus Award was established in 1979, making it one of the most enduring awards after the Nebula and Hugo awards, and one of the oldest fan-based awards currently in sf.
When I first received the glossy hardcover Kollin book from Amazon, I thought… this is a beauty. Being a first book by unknown authors, I crossed my fingers that they would do well. I knew holding it, as the book biz had begun to crumble, that it may be the last hardcover, first novel, by a big name publisher that I would ever own. My exact words on my blog were:
Wow. This book is just amazing to look at. From the cover, to the binding, to the gold lettering, it’s truly a piece of art. When I met Dani at Baycon a few years ago, I never could have imagined opening an Amazon box would be such an experience. This story is innovative, original, and well written. These Kollin boys have an excellent first novel.Can’t wait to see what they pull out next.
The Kollin brothers did go on to do well with their first print novel and now officially have a series with their second book, The Unincorporated War, released in May of this year. I couldn’t be more thrilled that they are doing so well. They were nice enough to answer some questions for us about their book, the award, and what they were fan boys for as children, growing up in Northern New Jersey.
EM: How does it feel to be the winners of the Prometheus Award? EK: Shock and surprise followed immediately by blasé, (crap that didn't take long). Seriously, it felt great. Liberty is important to me and my brother. To be recognized by a tough set of judges against amazing opposition as having contributed to the discussion of Liberty in science fiction kicks me right to the top of Maslow's pyramid. And the huge honking gold coin is great too. DK: When I look at the list of names that have won this award I simply can’t believe we’re to be a part of it. I mean I really can’t believe it. I’m certainly proud of what we’ve accomplished but it’s still so unreal that the disbelief is stronger than the pride.
EM: What is one thing that was difficult releasing your first novel that you wished someone told you about going in? EK: The wait. It was two and half years from contract signing to holding the book in my hand. I have since learned more patience. DK: You’re nobody, even with a book deal, until you prove yourself to the fans. I remember coffee klatches where only one or two people showed up while all around us the authors who’d paid their dues had full tables. That was an invaluable lesson.
EM: When you were a kid, what movie, comic, tv series, book, or media were you a mega fan of? EK: Giant Robot, Logan's Run, Mission Impossible, Star Trek, Doctor Who, Space 1999, Any comic that was some iteration of a hundredth, (and the X-Men). I will now admit, that I did like the Americanized and almost senseless Battle of the Planets. DK: Gigantor, Speed Racer, Lost in Space.
EM: If you were to meet one person who would make you become a fanboy again, who would it be? EK: dead, Robert Heinlein; alive, Elvis Presley, (lol). DK: I never was a fanboy but I do worship at the feet of Ray Bradbury.
EM: How do your fans react to your book? Any weirdos? EK: Deep introspective questions about how the system could actually work combined with pleasant surprise that a book that started out as economic science fiction could end up being so intrinsically interesting. DK: The reaction is almost always positive (generally, fans won’t take the time to write to you if they don’t like your work). No wierdos but we’ve had a few “uh, that was awkward” moments. One guy wrote us a three-page email explaining exactly how the unincorporated system would look as a derivatives market. TMI.
EM: How would your characters feel if they found out their world was created by a couple of guys in a basement? EK: Dank and cluttered apartment, thank you very much. Justin would be incensed and Hektor would wonder if he could make a deal to get out of the book into the 'real' world. DK: They’d figure out how to exploit their “humble beginnings” in order to increase in their stock valuation.
EM: If you were given carte blanche to write in an established SciFi world, which one would you pick? And what character would you be most interested in writing? EK: I already did, but I was not given carte blanche. It was a Star Trek alternate fiction novel and it was fun to write. I picked a humbled Kirk who couldn't help being the center of attention. Since it has no chance of being published I was free to make it exactly as I wanted. Barring getting paid a decent amount of money I wouldn't want to write in an established universe because of the lack of freedom. The only one I have to answer to now is me, (and my brother and my editor, and marketing and our agent). But other than that I am free to do what I want. And compared to writing in an already established universe with its rules and restrictions, I am free. Still all that being said, Doctor Who. I would love a novel where the fourth doctor meets one or more of the new ones. It would be fun to see if I could get the essence of their characters right and transfer it to the written page, or screen. DK: No question about it – I would LOVE to write at least one BBC episode for the new Doctor Who.
More information about Dani and Eytan Kollin can be found at TheUnincorporatedMan.com.
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They do short video panels with big name authors and celebrities in the SciFi world. It’s like attending a Con in your pj’s.
Book Review: Dawn of the Dreadfuls
Does he throw caution to the wind and protect his children above all else? Yes.
Does he deny society standards to give his children the tools to defend themselves in case he is devoured by zombies? Yes.
And finally, does he take pride in a brood of his own progeny that can defeat flesh hungry adversaries at every pass? Absolutely.
Mr. Bennet was such a man and I’d like to suggest Dawn of the Dreadfuls as an example, nay, an instruction manual for the fathers of today. For the modern father faces many of the challenges that Mr. Bennet did.
In Dawn of the Dreadfuls, you will learn how to coach your offspring to greatness.
Mr. Bennett assumed the Spread Eagle Stance, scowled, and bellowed, “HAA-IEEEEEEEEEEE!” ….he asked Jane to try a cry of her own. “Haiee,” she said. “Did you hear that, girls?” Mr. Bennett cupped a hand to his right ear. “I do believe a mouse just coughed... Your battle cry does more than announce your presence… it unchains the tiger within.”
You will learn the proper thing to say when society questions your motives.
“…You mean to have her---? ...She’s but a child!” “Childhood is a luxury we can no longer afford.”
And, you will learn how to show your children the proper way to dispatch unmentionables to the fiery pits of hell.
“Run out to the tool shed and fetch along the biggest pair of shears you can.”
Dawn of the Dreadfuls is an exciting, entertaining romp through Jane Austen’s England where zombies have infected the masses. Author Steve Hockensmith has a way of making zombie attacks funny and the combat training funnier! For Austenites, you will love to see your favorite characters in a new light, before the famed Pride and Prejudice story commenced. Did you know that Jane was once courted by a plump, arrogant, coward? Have you read of Elizabeth’s infatuation with the most highly regarded martial arts master? All of this and more awaits you in the pages of Dawn of the Dreadfuls, the prequel to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains, must be in want of more brains.
*Author’s note: I have not reviewed Pride and Prejudice and Zombies because although I enjoyed it, I think readers will like this book better. P&P&Z is no doubt revolutionary and entertaining, but if you are a passionate JA fan, you may become bored with the retelling, despite the gooey zombie center. If you are not a JA reader, I recommend both books, but begin with Dawn of the Dreadfuls first.
How Do You Know If You Love SF
When asked "Do I love Speculative Fiction?" The answer is yes I know in my heart that I love Speculative Fiction and would consider myself a fan. If that question is followed up with "How do you know?" Then the answer is more difficult and involves a man in a batman suit playing guitar at a street light but more on that latter. One could just claim "I know because that is how I feel." It is my first answer to this question but people feel many different things throughout the day and even have feelings that contradict previous feelings or their own believed position. This does not belittle the gut check but it does reduce it's value to one method of discerning one which should be tempered with something else.
Actions speak louder than words. A phrase that has so much truth to it and is very applicable to this process of discovery. Our actions toward Speculative Fiction gives us evidence of our true feelings toward it. Take this real life experience as an example.
Friday, traveling in my car through town I noticed a man standing in the grass near a three way intersection. This was not ordinary man for he was wearing a Batman costume and jamming away on a guitar with a smile of joy on his face. I realized by my own thoughts that this is the moment of truth, what are your thoughts about this man?
My thoughts first went toward protection of Speculative Fiction by discerning if the man was doing this out of mockery. Satisfied that he was not, my mind turned toward fraternal thoughts. I celebrated in his expression, became excited, thought about which Batman suit he chose and found myself wishing he could have a catwoman singer and a robin playing drums. If your thoughts turned destructive, toward mocking this man tearing him down and robbing him of his joyous moment then your feelings are in question because your actions say your not a fan.
How Do You Know If You Love SF? You know that you love Speculative Fiction if you celebrate it, cherish it and express those feelings in fraternal /constructive actions. If your actions are hateful, mocking and destructive than you do not love SF. You are not a fan.
By the way his Batman costume was blue and grey 1960’s style Batman costume.
The Reaction to a Lesbian in Stargate Universe
I want to start by saying that not all of the reaction to the news of an openly gay character on Stargate Universe has been negative. Many fans of the series have stood up to the bigotry that is spiraling around the internet. It is not necessary to respond to positive statements, but it is incumbent on me to respond to the negative ones. I have decided to use comments from Scifi Wire because they have be responcible enough to remove the most vile, incendiary, and hateful comments from their site. These are some of the mild ones that remain.
Homophobia is the hatred, fear, stereotyping of gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and the transgendered. "Homophobia is just another form of sexism. For most people, their problem with GLBT people is that we do not fit nicely into the culturally acceptable gender roles assigned to us (Where is the Diversity in IDIC?)."
There are five main flavors of Homophobia exhibited in the comments:
- Blatant Sexism
- Fear and Ridicule
- Vile Hate
Creno demonstrates this problem well:
Woot! Hot lesbo action FTW! Let's see them make out. Make it happen guys (Scifi Wire).
The equation of a lesbian character with a perverse, masturbatory fantasy is a huge problem in our society. The notion that we are reducing a human down to nothing more than an object of puerile desire is repugnant!
The biggest problem with this comment is that they wanting their own ego stroked, and if the character were heterosexual, they would still be calling for meaningless sex for their own titilation.
Hopefully, the writers of the series will treat the character with more respect, and not succumb to the base lusts that would cheapen the series and rob it of the moral character the franchise has exhibted up to now.
Women are people and deserve respect regardless of their sexual orientation!
I wonder why shows never announce characters who are "openly black" or "openly hispanic" or "openly heterosexual (Scifi Wire)?"
Most of the characters on Stargate (and all series) are assumed to be heterosexual.
Starting in the 1960's, many characters were "openly black" or "openly hispanic" for the first time and were announced as such. For decades, shows have incorporated characters dealing with racism or what it means to be an ethnic minority in society. While there have not been enough, they do exist.
Among the actors I have met, one of the most common complaints I hear is that their are not enough "Openly Female" or "Openly Asian" characters for them to play.
We need more honest portrayals of minority characters on Television and film, not less.
Fear and Ridicule
Someone claiming to be Warwick Sabin said:
Chris Shea said:
i personally dont wants gays in my shows but i dont want straight people either i want peopel doign there job saving the world killing aliens helping people cmon in 10 years of sg-1 there was barely any love stuff they implied it and it was enought (Scifi Wire)
I bet none of the people upset about a lesbian on the show were upset about them flaunting Jack, Daniel, Carter, and Teal'c flaunting their sexuality, all of which played into the story.
- Jack O'Neill was married and the death of his son is the reason he became involved in the Stargate Program. Not to mention his relationship with Carter and a couple aliens.
- Daniel Jackson's wife was the only reason he continued his work with the SGC.
- Sarah Gardner/Osiris.
- Vala Mal Doran
- Samantha "Sam" Carter had many relationships that played heavily into the plot arcs of the series.
- Jack O'Neill
- the Tok'ra Martouf
- Agent Malcolm Barrett
- Pete Shanahan
- Dr. Jay Felger
- Jonas Hanson (her former fiancé)
- Joseph Faxon (her husband of a possible future)
- Teal'c's relationships with:
- His wife Drey'auc
- Shau'nac the temple priestess
- Ishta the leader of the Hak'tyl
- Vala Mal Doran was the most sexual character on the show
I haven't even finished with the major characters in SG-1, not to mention Atlantis. There was a lot of love stories in SG-1 and Atlantis. If one of the characters is gay, I can't imagine it being any different.
Facepalm chose to attack the Mentally Challenged!
If nothing else sells your show, then bring in the lesbians.
I wonder when the Stargate Universe will introduce the first openly retarded character? Part of the Stargate initiative for the better integration of the mentally challenged into the work force, this openly dumb person will be in charge major decision throughout the entirety of the series.
Executive producer Brad Wright pointed out: "We no longer only depict villains, played by black actors in alien rubber costumes, as mentally deficient, we want to raise awareness for general stupidity anywhere. Our team of highly skilled writers is looking forward to the groundbreaking shift of paradigms a retard will bring to the show (Scifi Wire)."
My neice has Down's Syndrome. Personally, I would love to see Stargate or any series feature a reallistic portrayal on someone like her. Anything that would make a good story should be considered.
What does this mean for fandom?
It means we have a lot of work to do. Science Ficition is a genre that is suppose to be about IDIC: Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combination, progress, and Making a better world. The mere fact that people with such bigoted opinions can call themselves fans means that the writers have not been doing their job.
It is time to shake things up!
Joss Whedon Interview on Dollhouse
Joss Whedon answers questions from fans about Dollhouse. I find his coy replies hilarious and at times revealing.
You're known for projects where main characters grow and evolve with one another, which dramatically changes the dynamics of their relationships. How difficult will doing that be [when Echo, the main character on Dollhouse,] is different every week? — Michael As the series progresses, I think you'll see that there's a great deal more to Echo than who she is that week. And the evolution of the people around her is going to be equally important, and therefore equally twisted. In some ways, this premise allows for radical character shifts that usually require a few seasons and/or an alternate dimension. But it's all to a purpose — we don't just
randomly throw things out there. More I cannot say. Keep watching! That means you, all of America!
The evolution of echo has been fascinating. At times I find myself tapping my right shoulder and saying “shoulder to the wheel.” I love how Joss hints that all of those odd occurrences are toward a purpose and not just random things.
I'm enjoying your use of the phonetic alphabet as a naming system. Does that mean Echo was the fifth "doll?" Will there be an Omega? Or a child "doll?" Are there only 26 at a time? I have to admit I was surprised after seeing the previews to see male dolls. Will there be any duel assignments? Love interests? May I look forward to a musical episode? — "Freddie" Duel assignments, love interests, check. Omega, check. Child dolls, no check. A.I. covered that territory powerfully in a much safer venue. We couldn't and shouldn't go there. And I can't do a musical of EVERYTHING...
He doesn’t say no to a musical but I bet that won’t do one until season three… fingers crossed.
I’m glad he decided not to go down the road of child dolls I have to agree that it would be crossing a line. A.I. does cover that territory… good call Joss.
What is different about writing for the world in Dollhouse? What are some challenges or opportunities about writing in a more concrete version of reality [vs. the worlds depicted in Firefly, Buffy and Angel]? — Jenn Handorf This reality thing is a bitch. You gotta obey the laws of physics. I didn't take physics. I want my alternate realities! And more horses.
Actually, the human brain is the most surreal landscape I've ever walked through. Though this does try to be more grounded, in some ways this show has license to be crazier than anything I've done.
This may be our answer to whether this show is Science Fiction or Sci-Fi with Sci-Fi winning. Not a bad thing I find Science Fiction to be too restrictive for story telling with the exception of Idea as story type of story.
Adelle's mentioned that Echo is highly requested among Actives. Why is that? — Jennifer She's got that spark that no one else has. We call it the "She's Eliza Dushku, For god's Sake" factor.
- Image via Wikipedia
LOL, great answer wizard after someone peeks behind the curtain of a convention for getting the story told.
There's been a lot of comparison to the story of Echo being a sort of warped interpretation of the River Tam story, do you agree/disagree? — Vivienne It wasn't meant that way, but I do have my little obsessions...
Support of Eric's theory.
You mentioned in an earlier interview that Ms. Dushku hasn't really had a chance to do much comedy in her career, will you give her a chance to bust out her comedic chops in a coming episode??? — "Fionnlaech" Wait'll you see her with Patton Oswalt. So cute.
Eliza does comedy! I can’t wait to see. She did a great job with singing and she does pull off being a lead well… why not comedy.
Are you concerned about Fox canceling Dollhouse before it's really able to grow into your dream? If so, what differently are you doing this time around? — Ryan I'm doing what I did every year on Buffy — wrapping everything up with a pretty bow made of questions.
I must say it’s a decent solution for the getting cancelled dilemma. I can’t wait until Joss gets fed up and moves more Indy and online then with full control over his projects he can’t get cancelled.
What aspects of hidden human desire are you most looking forward to touching on in Dollhouse? — Douglas Perversion. Often more shameful than harmful. Why?
If you could hire an Active - what would you have it do? — Gulliver Something clean and decent and safe and legal.
Great question… if only we got a real answer, but then if we turn that question to ourselves. What would you have an Active do if you could hire one?
For reviews of each episode and to watch it streaming online click here