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2013 Hugo Award Winners Announced September 3, 2013

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hugo-award-2013BEST NOVEL

Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas, John Scalzi (Tor)

BEST NOVELLA

The Emperor’s Soul, Brandon Sanderson (Tachyon Publications)

BEST NOVELETTE

“The Girl-Thing Who Went Out for Sushi”, Pat Cadigan (Edge of Infinity, Solaris)

BEST SHORT STORY

“Mono no Aware”, Ken Liu (The Future is Japanese, VIZ Media LLC)

BEST RELATED WORK

Writing Excuses Season Seven, Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, Mary Robinette Kowal, Howard Tayler and Jordan Sanderson

BEST GRAPHIC STORY

Saga, Volume One, written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Fiona Staples (Image Comics)

BEST DRAMATIC PRESENTATION, LONG FORM

The Avengers, Screenplay & Directed by Joss Whedon (Marvel Studios, Disney, Paramount)

BEST DRAMATIC PRESENTATION, SHORT FORM

em>Game of Thrones, “Blackwater”, Written by George R.R. Martin, Directed by Neil Marshall. Created by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss (HBO)

BEST EDITOR, SHORT FORM

Stanley Schmidt

BEST EDITOR, LONG FORM

Patrick Nielsen Hayden

BEST PROFESSIONAL ARTIST

John Picacio

BEST SEMIPROZINE

Clarkesworld, edited by Neil Clarke, Jason Heller, Sean Wallace and Kate Baker

BEST FANZINE

SF Signal, edited by John DeNardo, JP Frantz, and Patrick Hester

BEST FANCAST

SF Squeecast, Elizabeth Bear, Paul Cornell, Seanan McGuire, Lynne M. Thomas, Catherynne M. Valente (Presenters) and David McHone-Chase (Technical Producer)

BEST FAN WRITER

Tansy Rayner Roberts

BEST FAN ARTIST

Galen Dara

JOHN W. CAMPBELL AWARD FOR BEST NEW WRITER

Award for the best new professional science fiction or fantasy writer of 2011 or 2012, sponsored by Dell Magazines (not a Hugo Award).

Mur Lafferty

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Proof the Force is with Open Source: Jedi Outcast and Jedi Academy are now GPLv2 April 4, 2013

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Screen Shot 2013-04-04 at 9.14.58 PM

The whole point of Open Source software is that code is free and open and there is no lockin. It also means that if there is a dead project or company, it doesn’t mean that a given application is dead.

This week Disney closed down LucasArts – meaning all LucasArts games are essentially dead… well not all of them The Force is with Open Source and Jedi Knight.

The prime dev studio behind Jedi Academy and Jedi Outcast has open sourced the source code behind those two projects under the open source GPLv2 license.

That’s right those two epic games are now GPLv2 meaning ANYONE can look at the code and build their own…kinda/sorta.

While the code is open source, the images and sound (big parts of that game) are not. So as a learning tool on how to build a Jedi Knight game this is invaluable stuff..and who knows maybe it will lead to Jedi Resurrection on Linux on day too.

The source code for Jedi outcast is available here: http://sourceforge.net/projects/jedioutcast/ and http://sourceforge.net/projects/jediacademy/

 

Disney Destoying LucasArts – hundreds unemployed, games cancelled #fudisney April 3, 2013

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Screen Shot 2013-04-03 at 8.35.13 PM Disney really doesn’t like parts of the Star Wars Universe.

First they destroyed the Clone Wars, ending the series before its time.

Now Disney is closing down LucasArts. That’s right the main production house behind some of the best games ever made is being shutdown by the house the mouse built.

“After evaluating our position in the games market, we’ve decided to shift LucasArts from an internal development to a licensing model, minimizing the company’s risk while achieving a broader portfolio of quality Star Wars games. As a result of this change, we’ve had layoffs across the organization. We are incredibly appreciative and proud of the talented teams who have been developing our new titles.”

Iain Banks is Dying April 3, 2013

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terrible news broke today…

Iain Banks disclosed that he has terminal cancer.

We’ve been huge fans of Banks here on ShowMeSciFi ever since we first read Consider Phelbas, we’ve inhaled everything he’s written since then.

Banks’ approach to SciFi is unique, his voice authentic and his stories are beyond compare. Our thoughts and best wishes go to out to this titan of SciFi during his final days.

Here’s a brief excerpt from Banks’ statement

I first thought something might be wrong when I developed a sore back in late January, but put this down to the fact I’d started writing at the beginning of the month and so was crouched over a keyboard all day. When it hadn’t gone away by mid-February, I went to my GP, who spotted that I had jaundice. Blood tests, an ultrasound scan and then a CT scan revealed the full extent of the grisly truth by the start of March.

I have cancer. It started in my gall bladder, has infected both lobes of my liver and probably also my pancreas and some lymph nodes, plus one tumour is massed around a group of major blood vessels in the same volume, effectively ruling out any chance of surgery to remove the tumours either in the short or long term.

http://www.iain-banks.net/2013/04/03/a-personal-statement-from-iain-banks/

FRINGE: Nina Sharp is DEAD. December 21, 2012

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Instead of running Nina Sharp stays put and holds here ground. We never really thought all that much of Nina either way but after tonight’s episode, we have a different view.

and now we know that ‘Michael’ was just an anomaly .. a boy that went missing.

‘Why are you not frightened?’ Windmark

In reality you’re the animal – nina sharp.

Wow – what an amazing last stand for a core character… seems a whole lot more heroic than poor Etta

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Star Wars Riptide – REVIEW – this isn’t a full story and it sucks. December 21, 2012

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We finally got the chance to catch up on some reading recently and completed Paul Kemp’s Riptide.

 

the Tl;dr version is don’t bother – this book sucks.

We were really looking forward to this book, especially after the first one in this story arc : Crosscurrent which we reviewed back in May of 2010.

This book plods along as we kinda see what happens to Jedi Jaden and the escaped clones…we get a very brief glimpse of the One Sith too.

But overall the book lacks content and true drama. The final chapter makes little sense and leaves us hanging. We kept reading, hoping this book would get better but it never does.

FRINGE: The Password is Black Umbrella December 14, 2012

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That was one crazy – TRIPPY – episode.

Yes we know that Walter dropped acid, but what a crazy trip,

and who is Donald? we still don’t know. Why did the radio just started working now? If they activate every 5 days why didn’t they hear it before..

And what about the boy? he is the key but how?

Only a few more episodes and we’ll finally find out

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Battlestar Galactica Blood and Chrome ENDS Here with Episodes 9 and 10 – What’s Next? December 7, 2012

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Wow that seems to have gone faster than we would have liked. After what seems like an eternity of expectations, we’re not at the end, the finale of Battlestar Galactica Blood and Chrome with the final two episodes.

YES this has been an awesome ride.

YES we want more.

Episode 9:

In the aftermath of the deadly Cylon ambush, Coker threatens Becca, forcing Adama to a heated standoff.

 

Episode 10:

Becca discovers a startling new development that will affect the future of the human race. Meanwhile, Coker’s life hangs in the balance as the team holds out hope for a rescue, and Adama has a disheartening realization about the war effort and his place in it.

 

Star Trek Into Darkness Teaser Trailer!!! No Khan!!! No KLINGONS either!! December 6, 2012

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It’s here!
The first trailer for Star Trek Into Darkness is out and it is a battle for Earth..ok we knew that was coming..
we’ve got a Kirk nemesis – ok we know it’s not Khaaaaaaaaaaaaaan!!

But our teaser shows lots of Earth – little of space and our beloved NCC1701. We also only see HUMANS!! Where are the aliens!!

WHERE ARE THE FRAKING KLINGONS JJ!!

Star Wars Agent of the Empire Hard Targets – PURE AWESOMENESS November 29, 2012

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Star Wars Agent of the Empire Hard Targets #2

Star Wars Agent of the Empire Hard Targets #2

We really enjoyed the first Agent of the Empire series – Iron Eclipse. What was not to like?

A new super agent that has awesome skills like a James Bond, he’s ‘friends’ with Han Solo and he is loyal to the Empire kinda/sorta…

Now Jahan Cross is back and this time he starts off by killing the Count of Serreno (yeaah the same place Count Dooku is from). Then he goes to help those poor SOBS find a new count…great Imperial duplicity.

AND oh yeah.

We meet Jahan’s dad too – who apparently is a legitimate good guy.

So far we’re two issues into this story and it has been one of the most enjoyable Star Wars titles we’ve read all year.

Star Wars Dawn of the Jedi RETURNS with the Prisoner of Bogan November 28, 2012

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Star Wars Dawn of the Jedi

Star Wars Dawn of the Jedi

Oh man are we excited to this series come back!

Dark Horse now has this FRAKKED idea that every series should be a mini-series of 5 or 6 issues after which they take a few months off.

So instead of month after month of Dawn of the Jedi goodness..we’ve had to wait…

We finished the first five issues of Dawn of the Jedi back in September. At the end of that story arc – Xesh – the ‘Force Hound’ was send to Bogan with other miscreants to re-learn the ways of the force.

Now we’re finally going to see what this Bogan is all about and it sure looks/sounds impressive to us.

Banished to the dark moon Bogan, the Force Hound Xesh has been living in contemplation; the memory of who he was before his ship crashed on Tython still escapes him. A rival from his past is on his trail, and the Je’daii are doing all they can to discover his origin. And now, Xesh is about to meet someone who will change his life forever, a former great Je’daii . . . the prisoner of Bogan!

Xesh!!

Star Trek Into Darkness – the first plot synopsis is here! November 28, 2012

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The new crew of Star Trek XI

Ok we know that Star Trek (Reboot) II will not be called the Wrath of Khan and instead will be called Into Darkness. What we didn’t know though was what the movie was about.

Now we kinda/sorta do.

Star Trek Producer JJ Abrams has released a preliminary synopsis of the new movie.

In Summer 2013, pioneering director J.J. Abrams will deliver an explosive action thriller that takes “Star Trek Into Darkness.”

When the crew of the Enterprise is called back home, they find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization has detonated the fleet and everything it stands for, leaving our world in a state of crisis.

With a personal score to settle, Captain Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one man weapon of mass destruction.

As our heroes are propelled into an epic chess game of life and death, love will be challenged, friendships will be torn apart, and sacrifices must be made for the only family Kirk has left: his crew.

Umm ok.

So will there be any Klingons?

Seriously people. Klingons.

By the Betleth of K’ahless WE WANT KLINGONS.

 

Star Wars: Darth Maul Death Sentence #4 – WOW. Maul is Evil. November 12, 2012

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ok so for a minute there we thought Maul might shift and help the poor sods on that planet – but no such luck.

though hey he does go back for his brother so he must have some empathy, though Maul himself just says ‘he has his uses’ (about his brother).

Overall this has been a fantastic series with lots of action and brilliant artwork.

Nice to see that the ‘demon in the light’ wasn’t Maul too and the Jedi, selflessly sacrifices himself.

Thankfully, Maul will live on and that means more action. This time he cut off some arms and unfroze his bros from carbonite.

wonder what he’ll do next time..

David Eick Talks about Battlestar Galactica Blood & Chrome. It’s all about what makes Adama Tick. #bloodandchrome November 9, 2012

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This afternoon, on this great occasion of the premiere of the latest chapter in Battlestar Galactica storied history, David Eick got on the phone with reporters (including ShowMeSciFi.com) to talk about Blood and Chrome

It truly was an eye opener for us.

For one, Eick rejected claims that SyFy cancelled the show or gave up on it. Instead he argued that the entire 10 episode arc was always intended to be some kind of web serial.

Going a step further he said that the show looks as good – or better – than shows with 10x the budget. That’s all because the show is doing its own effects in house and not sending them to a third party.

“If you can build an army that is accountable to production – with no overhead or amortization other than your show, so a rag tag  fleet of experts –  if you have the  time to put together thatt kind of squad you can do amazing things.”

Fundamentally the show is about what  makes Adama tick – and how betrayal and importance of a male figure to depend on are critical.

Overall the goal is to deliver hard hitting mission oriented accessible stories that enable new fans to enjoy the show as well as delivering to the die-hard fans as well. It’s about going into darker and more human places than other scifi shows.

We pulled one of the most interesting bits from the conf in the video below. Long story short, SyFy did no reject Blood and Chrome:

Star Trek Typhon Pact Brinkmanship – REVIEW – the Tzenkethi are rat bastards November 2, 2012

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The Typhon Pact series of Star Trek books have been all about the political machinations for the Alpha Quandrant powers and this book is no different. Brinkmanship though, unlike all the other Typhon Pact books is only about one power, the Tzenkethi. That’s right almost no romulans, tholians or gorn in this book.

and that’s fine.

We learn a lot about the Tzenkethi, a race we barely know.

The best part of this book though is the pacing. From beginning to the end, this book has a flow that is driven by the approaching ships coming to the Venetan base. It’s a simple literary trick, but it works.

the only part that really didn’t quite up for us, was how the Federation was able to convince the Venetans that the Tzenkethi shouldn’t bring the ships in. It’s the point at which the plot pivots and it’s a bit weak. But we’ll forgive the author..becuase it almost doesn’t matter. This book is about characters and setting the actual final resolution is almost incidental.

Overall, a great read for fans of Typhon Pact series.

FRINGE: Peter now has the Observer Tech. RESIST!! November 2, 2012

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The observer ‘tell’ was he lying? was it just a fly? who knows….but wtf did happen with the box and didn’t it collapse into a Black Hole?

and Yeah it was cool to see the picture of Etta on the RESIST!! poster, but we knew that this would be a sad episode after the last one…

but i don’t think we could have expected peter doing surgery on himself to put the observer tech in his own body – that was just crazy.

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Fringe season 5: why are u letting me live? Where are the tapes? October 5, 2012

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Another great episode of Fringe.. And Etta show her true colors.

Yeaah the future is dark.. But the whole loyalist thing is an interesting twist. What was the address the the loyalist gave to Olivia though?

And what will become of that guy? We,ll see

Now what is on thos tapes? And are they all inthe harvard office?

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Klingon GANGNAM Style September 28, 2012

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We don’t know much about this PSY-Gangnam style viral craze…but we do know that it’s now passed into our world…

truly brilliantly done parody – though there is only one Klingon in this…then a bunch of Federation types, a vulcan and a Mr. Data android type…and oh yeah even a Tribble (that our friendly Klingon crushed and drowned..). The subtle touches like the tri-level chess board, NCC-1701 license plate on the car,…. just exceptional overall.

and oh yeah it’s not just a Star Trek theme…the whole PSY song is sung in its original Klingon too!!

Q’uplah!

Good fun…Klingon style

Fringe Season 5 Episode 1: The Battle to Save Mankind is About to Begin – Awesome episode September 28, 2012

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Fringe Season Five Episode one was one solid episode.

The year is 2036 and the battle to save mankind is about to begin. Wow what a great way to set the tone for a season. This isn’t a show about ‘fringe’ events anymore it’s a year-long final season battle against the observers.

And how about those observers, brutal and almost Borg – like.

one of them even said – Resistance is Futile !

The nice family reunion between Peter, Olivia and Henrietta was also really dramatic and impactful. Sure was funny that the amber gypsies sold Olivia and then the dude used her as a coffee table…

and as always it’s the little things that make sense in this show – like the Dandelion on the otherwise grey street at the end of the episode as Walter listens to music and restores his brain.

Now how will the resistance fight back? How will Henrietta keep her job at Fringe? We’ve got a full season to find out!

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Iain M. Banks talks about the Culture in a Google Play Hangout September 27, 2012

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We love Iain M. Banks’ books – and have reviewed nearly all of them over the years here on ShowMeSciFi – that’s why it was a real treat for us to discover that he recently participated in a Google Play hangout (webcast) along with Alastair Reynolds, and Peter F. Hamilton.

The content is solid – and lots of interesting discussion about that state of SciFi today