The John Hodgman SF Fan Test
I really enjoyed John Hodgman’s speech at the Radio & TV Correspondent’s dinner for the jokes but mostly for the use of Speculative Fiction to communicate complex and emotionally charged political ideas. Before we get into that let us take The John Hodgman are you a SF fan test, are you more of an SF fan then the President? Watch the Video below.
- What are the name of all 3 types of hobbits?
- Who is the Father of Superman?
- Do you have a particular technology addiction?
- Do you have a picture of yourself in Cosplay or on a pilgrimage to a SF place?
- Can you flash the Vulcan solute?
- What was the name of the God that Conan the Barbarian worshiped?
- Do you know what the Kwisatz Haderach is?
- Bonus points if you know which version of dune the picture is from?
- What is the name of the giant sandworm?
- What is the name of the machine to summon such a sandworm?
- What is the name of the fluid that they expunge from the sandworm?
I love his comment on the Constitution as a big faq for the U.S. and the founding fathers perspective of God as a distant Dungeon Master.
The beauty of John Hodgman’s speech is the use of SF to communicate complex and emotionally charged political ideas in an approachable manner. He was able to reach out to both sides of the political spectrum and get them to think about ideals like
- Eagerly looking forward to the future
- Appreciating our diversity, EDIC
(via Huffington Post)
A Second Life Location: Magic Of Oz
For awhile now, Second Life has amazed me with its very realistic settings and endless options. There are writers, poets, artists, and voice actors there that astonish me with their level of talent. Recently, my friend Dream teleported me to a place I thought could never be recreated. The Magic of Oz SIM is a themed build based on the books and movie "The Wizard of Oz". I was fortunate enough to be able to chat with one of the creators Candy Cerveau.
Emz: Candy, thank you for taking time out of your busy launch weekend to speak with me. This place is awesome. How many people did it take to build this place?
Candy: A great deal of the SIM’s incredible look is due to the builder, Jenne Dibou. She took our ideas and thoughts and turned them into something more magical than we ever dreamed possible. Yet she never sacrificed utility for beauty or performance for flash. The buildings are all fantastical, but they are not mere decoration. Each area was carefully planned to be a useful space. She is really incredibly talented.
Emz: Very talented indeed. What inspired you to build this SIM?
Candy: Malkavyn Eldritch and I were looking to create a SIM for our main store locations and we wanted a theme build. I have always loved the Oz books and the movie as well, so it seemed a perfect match. We found Jenne and we worked with her to get the concept of what we wanted. Our goal with the SIM was to interpret the world of Oz differently than had been done before, while still keeping to the spirit of the books. We also wanted to put our own unique spin on the parts of the build that would be the main stores for the two of us. The Witch's Castle was given a Steampunk/Tim Burtonesque feel, while the Emerald City drew more upon natural and elven themes. Our overriding dream for Magic of Oz was to create a place where people could go and be taken out of the realm of the ordinary in Second Life. A place to explore and to experience, to shop and to relax, to dream and to love. A place that is magic. We think we achieved that and hope visitors think so as well.
Emz: Well I for one, definitely admire your vision. For those who don't know what your Second Life stores are about, can you tell me the name and what you specialize in?
Candy: Eye Candy and Treasured Visions. Malkavyn does hand drawn eyes and textures. He is graphic artist, so he works only from scratch. No photosourcing. I make jewelry and accessories. I tend to specialize more in the "elegantly casual" style of jewelry, but I do have some more whimsical type of work as well.
Emz: Your stuff is really crafted well. I just found a free box with “Halloween Eyes” that I can’t wait to try on. Magic Of Oz is amazing. How long did it take you guys from concept to finish date to do this?
Candy: Jenne is a super fast builder and we did it in 3 phases. Basically we got the SIM the first of August 2008 and began plans. So the entire thing only took two months start to finish.
Emz: That is fast for a build of this magnitude.
Candy: Yes indeed. Jenne is in Europe and so each morning we would wake up and a huge portion would magically appear!
Emz: Sounds very exciting.
Candy: It really was so much fun. The story of Oz is such a rich one and there are so many wonderful parts to it that it was hard to choose what to feature.
Emz: I like all the dark features you have here with the flying monkeys and the large skull on the hill. Is there any little secret or feature that you find particularly interesting?
Candy: The secret lab in the Witch's Castle is fantastic! Very "mad scientist". It’s hidden in the right side of the Witch's Castle
Emz: Congratulations on completing this. It's really awesome. Thank you so much for your time.
Candy: My pleasure, Emz. Thank you.
I was able to explore the area for some time and found many hidden gems here. If the pictures don’t amaze you, the features will. Right now there are tons of little shoes around the SIM that when clicked, give you free things. There are also a number of boxes, pumpkins etc… Keep an eye open and click things.
The Witch’s Castle Features: Steampunk architecture, hammock to lie in, perches to see the whole valley, skeleton fountain, elevator, flying monkeys ride.
Scary Tree / Graveyard Features: laying dead pose and sinking in lava pose.
Munchkin Land Features: Shops, park benches, a nice promenade.
Emerald City Features: Emerald throne, many little meeting or discussion areas, Oz’s curtain, 3 levels of fun activity, beautiful emerald gems.
Center of town Features: Watch The Wizard Of Oz by clicking the sign on the giant tree, follow the yellow brick road to Munchkin land, tree attack, stairs to Witches Castle.
Cool things to buy: Jewelry, specialty eyes, clothes, bodies, hair, and these gear tattoos inspired by the designs of Da Vinci.
Magic of Oz launched on October 3rd, 2008. If you would like to visit Magic Of Oz, click here: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Magic%20of%20Oz/130/152/0
Review: Doors Of Chaos
This manga’s art stays true to the intricate goth loli style. The girls are clad in multiple petticoats and long hair in ribbons with elaborate tattoos trailing all over their pale skin. The men of this world are clothed in a mix of traditional Victorian frock coats with ascots and French Renaissance breeches with knee boots. The other worldly creature that comes to protect Mizeria is more of an anime waif with bandages like Rei Ayanami from Neon Genesis Evangelion. He wears what looks to be animal skins, chains, and sports the same sort of tattooing that the girls do. There’s also a freaky guy cloaked in what can only be called a trenchcoat length straightjacket.
The art in this manga is top shelf. If for no other reason, pick this up to stare at the excellent artistic style of this manga. It doesn’t have much of those annoying reiterations that some anime books have when the chapters switch. The story is good and the dialog makes sense. There is a touch of the slave fetish in this book as well as very mild nudity. Demons are a touch gorier that normal, but violence is nothing out of the common way.
I recommend this manga for any anime reader and one of the few I would read a traditional novel about.
Clocks, keys, demons, and an excellent story, what more can you ask for in a manga?
Get your copy of Doors of Chaos here
Get your copy of Doors of Chaos 2 here
Review: Kaori Yuki's Manga
Kaori Yuki is, in my opinion, the greatest manga artist/author of all time. It would be an understatement to describe her as a genius. She is an excellent artist and has the best storylines I’ve read in manga. Kaori tends to stray from what society has always thought as the norm and portrays unconventional love stories with heart-wrenching scenes of betrayal, passion, and forbidden love. She is a lover of Horror, SciFi, fairytales, and Alice In Wonderland. What I love most about her is her twisted point of view.
I actually began reading her works backwards. The first series that caught my eye was Godchild. Godchild 1 has a picture of a dapper young gentleman in vampire-like threads (tux, top hat), sitting on what appears to be coffin, holding a candelabra. There also appears to be blood or perhaps red rose petals all around him. Godchild is not a vampire manga, but is entertaining nonetheless. The main character is Lord Cain Hargreaves, an Englishman in Victorian London who is fascinated with poisons.
After reading the series, I have come to one conclusion: Lord Cain exists in London to solve mysteries, catch killers, and generally be there for every damsel, waif, or orphan that needs him. His lackadaisical manner makes it seem almost effortless and as if he couldn’t care less when he has saved one of the victims of yet another plot by Deliah. Deliah is an evil secret society hell-bent on collecting human organs, creating undead clones, and generally doing “unnatural” experiments. Riff is Lord Cain’s manservant who goes above and beyond the normal servants duties. He is also the only one who Cain has shown his scars on his back. They are so close, you wonder at a love affair, though that really never materializes to satisfaction. The art in this manga is in beautiful, traditional Gothic Lolita style. There are dresses with ribbons and multiple layers of fluffy petticoats, mini hats, lace gloves, and a mass of curly headed beauties.
The Cain Saga is actually a sort of prequel to Godchild. It runs with the same main characters as Godchild and is equally enjoyable. I’ve just finished the first 2 books of Angel Sanctuary and am eager to finish out the series though it is 20 volumes long. The main character in this series is a mortal who doesn’t realize he is the incarnation of the angel Alexiel. There are many love affairs intertwined and so many angels and demons coming to earth to “awaken” or kill him, it is sometimes hard to figure out who is who. This being the least of my favorite Kaori Yuki projects, I still have to say that it’s better than anything anyone else is doing.
To find out more or purchase her manga series, check out these links:
Project:Shadow 2007 December Newsletter
Are you concerned about keeping up to date on the latest Speculative Fiction, Culture, and Tech news? Would you like to talk with other like minded fans of sci-fi fantasy and horror? Then join us at the Project Shadow HQ at http://hq.projectshadow.com/where you can share with us your favorite finds or talk about your latest fascination. The conversation is here!
***Eric received a great write up for his novel Legends of the Jade Moon Book One: Liquid Sky here is an excerpt for your enjoyment.
Downwarden com Review by Nick Crabowsky
...What we have here is indeed science fiction ala Dune, though less detailed but just as vividly portrayed. Dorsett deserves praise for the execution of a story less intimidating for one more inclined to read other genres which require far less brain power to understand, breaks through those barriers and develops a narrative which renders a glossary needless and pretty much explains itself as is without asserting its vast mythology in explanatory rhetoric.
I enjoyed the damn thing. I think C.E. Dorsett is one powerhouse of imagination, inspired obviously by the greats of his craft. Liquid Sky is full of mysticism and spirituality, of themes centered on the search for one’s inner self and the meaning of the universe around him, where a youthful monk with adopted parents finds himself catapulted into an interstellar journey fueled by the death of the one he called Father and driven at odds by the results of saving him, by mysterious truth-sayers who aren’t what they seem and personal intuition telling him he’s destined to amount to something greater than himself and the savior of worlds. Ianus’ adventures and intrigue are entertaining and don’t smother us in the sort of over-explanation I’d read in other novels like this one. Liquid Sky is an extremely intelligent, very readable and delightful piece of work, and I’m glad to recommend it...
*** We at Project:Shadow have been working hard on completing PROJECT X. We hope to have an announcement later in the month with a date when project X will go live. For now all I can advise is to check back regularly for updates. All that I am allowed to tell you is that Project X is an entire site rework that will bring some really cool things to the community.
***Black Moon Rising is out and is a top seller at amazon. We want to thank all of the members who have already got their copy of the latest installment in C. E. Dorsett's series Fates Harrow. If you haven't already got your copy then visit www.ProjectShadow.com/shopping.
Get your one stop holiday shopping with us at Project:Shadow. We set up a store so that you can get your holiday shopping done in one stop, stores include Amazon, Hot Topic, and Sharper Image. We also have cool t-shirts, posters, and other merchandise available.
***Share your favorite video clip with the group: We now have 112 videos available to members at the ProjectShadow HQ at http://hq.projectshadow.com/. Its a great way to share your great finds with everyone and also a great way to catch the coolest, neatest new videos that are out.
***Brian posted a review of the Story Black Moon Rising here is a copy of it.
Wow! This is a great story! 5 stars (must own)
The story picks up from where we left off with Adir Radd in the hospital tortured by his visions of the future. I was caught up in Adir’s haunting vision. It is written so viscerally I could almost hear the screams and smell the stink coming off of the battle field. This heart felt tale took me through the events and choices that led Dov Lavan to become the famed villain I knew him to be from reading Liquid Sky: Legends of the Jade Moon http://astore.amazon.com/projectshadow/detail/0595369162/. The choices and motivations of Dov were very compelling. Reading his tale turned him into a compassionate and sad character. I could empathize with his frustrations and found myself thinking that if I were caught up in the same situation I would probably make the same choices. The conclusion was extremely rewarding even though I knew how the story would end I still found myself shocked, surprised and brought to tears with a beautiful, rewarding ending. To be cliché for a minute I literally laughed, cringed and cried while reading this.
Dark Moon Rising is the second installment of C. E. Dorsett’s Fates Harrow series which covers three historical characters in the Barren’s End setting. Their tale was first told in the book Liquid Sky: Legends of the Jade Moon but from the Jade Moon’s perspective.
In this episode Dov Lavan fears loosing his friends and culture, longing to save the ones he cares about he takes on a new master who promises to help him lead his people into a safer future. Dov rises to power, forming a new group, encouraging others to join him and stand for freedom. But, his childhood friends Tien Shaa and Adir Radd are concerned with the fire in Dov’s rhetoric, so they set out to try and stop the coming war.
We Love Net Flix! We have been a member of Netflix for more than five years now and it is great! Before that we would spend one to three hours in the video store every Friday looking and trying to decide what video we wanted to rent (a large chunk of this time was spent trying to remember what videos were out that we wanted to see), spend all that money on the rentals, and then have to go through the hassle of trying to watch and return the video so that we would not get charged a late fee. This terrible experience was flipped with Netflix. Now we have a list of videos that we want to see set up. Whenever we see a trailer for a movie or show that we want to rent we just add it to our list and when it gets released to dvd about a year latter the video just arrives! Now every week we get excited waiting for the mail to arrive so that we can see what new videos arrive. We watch them when we get time to watch them. Then when we are done watching it (in some cases this can take several weeks to accomplish partially due to some hectic event that takes up all of our time and in some situations it's because we end up watching it over and over again) we just drop it in the mail. If you don't already use Netflix then go to www.ProjectShadow.com and get your videos today!
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