Archive for November, 2007

links for 2007-11-27

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The Best Show on TV

image Dexter–my god, what a brilliant show this is. The premise is simple: It’s about a serial killer who only kills bad people. He works as a bloodspatter expert in the forensic lab, so he works closely with the cops. His adoptive father–a cop–taught him to become the man he is, how to control his "dark passenger."

I’m going to heap praise on the show now, but am going to try to keep it spoiler-free, so you should feel free to read this. I mention this no only to allow spoilerphobes to relax, but also to apologize for being somewhat vague.

Based on the books of Jeff Lindsay, the first season of Dexter closely mirrors the events of the first novel, making some key changes along the way, and making drastic improvements with each change. You read that right–they changed it, but actually made it better. The refinements to the characters, the twists added to the plot all work brilliantly. And the books are pretty damn good to begin with, so to say that the show is even better is really saying something.

The second season continues the show in fine form, though here it makes a drastic departure from the novels, or rather disregards the second book in the series all together and blazes a completely original path. And man, what a path! The primary plot thread of season two is genius–it makes perfect sense within the scope of the show, and yet allows it to veer in a different direction from season one, so that two is not merely a different variation on one. My only real complaint about season two is the actress who portrays Lyla–her character is great, and the plot threads connected to her are another stroke of genius, I’m just not thrilled with the actress who portrays her.

And oh my god–the most recent episode, "Resistance is Futile"…wow. I mean, wow! I’m getting chills just thinking about it. There are so many great details about the show that I’d love to point to to explain and prove how great it is, but I’d much rather you just trust me and allow yourself to experience it fresh.

If you’re not watching this show, you must start as soon as possible. The first season is available now on DVD; the second season is in progress, airing every Sunday on Showtime.

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Night Shade Books: The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year Volume 2

Night Shade just posted the table of contents for The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year Volume 2 edited by Jonathan Strahan. I’ve bolded titles that originally appeared in F&SF.

  • Introduction, Jonathan Strahan
  • The Merchant and the Alchemist’s Gate, Ted Chiang
  • The Last and Only, or Mr. Moskowitz
  • Becomes French, Peter S. Beagle
  • Trunk and Disorderly, Charles Stross
  • Glory, Greg Egan
  • Dead Horse Point, Daryl Gregory
  • The Dreaming Wind, Jeffrey Ford
  • The Coat of Stars, Holly Black
  • The Prophet of Flores, Ted Kosmatka
  • Wizard’s Six, Alex Irvine
  • The Cambist and Lord Iron: A Fairy Tale of Economics, Daniel Abraham
  • By Fools Like Me, Nancy Kress
  • Kiosk, Bruce Sterling
  • Singing of Mount Abora, Theodora Goss
  • The Witch’s Headstone, Neil Gaiman
  • Last Contact, Stephen Baxter
  • Jesus Christ, Reanimator, Ken Macleod
  • Sorrel’s Heart, Susan Palwick
  • Urdumheim, Michael Swanwick
  • Holiday, M. Rickert
  • The Valley of the Gardens, Tony Daniel
  • Winter’s Wife, Elizabeth Hand
  • The Sky is Large and the Earth is Small, Chris Roberson
  • Orm the Beautiful, Elizabeth Bear
  • The Constable of Abal, Kelly Link

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First Review of Wastelands

This was a pleasant surprise to stumble across this morning:

Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse edited by John Joseph Adams. Night Shade Books, $15.95 paper (352p) ISBN 978-1-59780-105-8

This harrowing reprint anthology of 22 apocalyptic tales reflects the stresses of contemporary international politics, with more than half published since 2000. All depict unsettling societal, physical and psychological adaptations their authors postulate as necessary for survival after the end of the world. Keynoted by Stephen King’s “The End of the Whole Mess,” the volume’s common denominator is hubris: that tragic human proclivity for placing oneself at the center of the universe, and each story uniquely traces the results. Some highlight human hope, even optimism, like Orson Scott Card’s “Salvage” and Tobias Buckell’s “Waiting for the Zephyr.” Others, like James Van Pelt’s “The Last of the O-Forms” and Nancy Kress’s “Inertia,” treat identity by exploring mutation. Several, like Elizabeth Bear’s “And the Deep Blue Sea” and Jack McDevitt’s “Never Despair,” gauge the height of human striving, while others, like George R.R. Martin’s “Dark, Dark Were the Tunnels,” Carol Emshwiller’s “Killers” and M. Rickert’s “Bread and Bombs,” plumb the depths of human prejudice, jealousy and fear. Beware of Paolo Bacigalupi’s far-future “The People of Sand and Slag,” though; that one will break your heart. Publishers Weekly [starred review]

Yay! Harrowing and heartbreaking is what I was going for. :)

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Quiz Services

I’ve been thinking about creating a big quiz on post-apocalyptic fiction, for fun, and to help promote Wastelands, but I’m torn on which quiz/test service to use. Anyone have any recommendations and/or opinions on which is the best? I’ve done a number of tests on OK Cupid, though that’s a dating site, so that seems like a bad choice for this endeavor. I thought about doing something on Facebook, but the only quiz generator I saw was related to Flixster (which is for movies, though it seems to let you create quizzes about other subjects).

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Be a Beauty or a Geek

Most of you reading this are probably geeks, so…


If you think you have what it takes to qualify as a Beauty or a Geek and compete for the chance to win $250,000, then now is your chance!

Step 1: Download the application and fill it out.
Step 2: Make a 10 minute videotape BOTH telling us and showing us why you should be a contestant on the next Beauty and the Geek. Remember, we want to see your personality! (only vhs, dvd and mini dv formats will be accepted).
Step 3: Send the application, a non-returnable photo of yourself and your video submission to:

PO BOX 578

If you would like to nominate someone for the show, you may also do so by sending an email to

Please include a name, age, photo, contact information and why you are submitting this individual as a beauty or a geek.

Submissions must be received by December 11, 2007.

"Stay tuned for an Open Casting Call in your area!" AUDITION TODAY!

If I were going to apply for this, I guess I’d have to let my hair grow out as much as possible and like go full-on shag with a beard, or else there’d be no possible make over for me. Hard to give someone a fabulous cool-guy haircut when he hasn’t got any hair.

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