Posts Tagged ‘bloginhood’

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bloginhood’s nominations for the Hugo Awards

February 27, 2009

Continuing with the award nominations, check out my other site, bloginhood, for my nominations for this year’s Hugo Awards (to be given out at Anticipation/Worldcon in Montreal this summer). Now it’s a matter of sitting back and waiting for voting time.

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bloginhood’s nominations for the Aurora Awards

February 26, 2009

Click over to bloginhood for my nominations for the 2008 Aurora Awards – Canada’s highest honour for speculative fiction in literature, art and fan achievement.

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One week left until “Blog Like it’s the War of the Worlds”!

October 24, 2008

The Martians are invading in 7 days. What are you going to do?

Join in the pre-Hallowe’en mayhem and take part in our online challenge: Blog Like It’s The War Of The Worlds. Here’s how you can take part on October 30th:

Leave a comment here letting us know that you’re in. We’ll add your blog to our list of participants here on Not A Planet Anymore so people coming here to Martian headquarters can click over to your site.

Then, on October 30th, if you’ve got a blog, post to it as though the Martians were actually invading. Tell us what’s happening in your community/your part of the world. Tell us what the Martians in their tripods with heat rays and gas and red weed are up to. Tell us how you’re managing to survive.

Don’t have a blog? That’s okay, you can participate too. Just leave comments on the Blog Like It’s The War Of The Worlds posts here on Not A Planet Anymore or one of the other participating blogs and tell us what’s happening in your neck of the woods.

As for us, we’ll be keeping on top of things here on Not A Planet Anymore, telling you what’s happening in our little piece of wreckage, and what we’ve heard from the rest of you. Over on bloginhood, I’ll be filing notes on my attempt to survive the invasion. For his part, harrysaxon will be Twittering away for all he’s worth.

Once it’s all over, on October 31st, we’ll survey all of the participating blogs and comments and post the highlights here on Not A Planet Anymore as a Hallowe’en treat.

Remember, the more people that take part, the more fun this will be. 

We’re staging this little electronic event in honour of the 70th Anniversary of Orson Welles’ infamous 1938 “War of the Worlds” broadcast. Welles went to air with a production based on the classic novel of the same name by H.G. Wells, concocting a story about Martian war machines touching down in New Jersey and wreaking havoc as the first stage of an all-out invasion. People who tuned in late thought they were hearing real breaking news updates.

We were also inspired by My Elves Are Different, which, for the past couple of years has been staging a successful online challenge called Blog Like It’s the End of the World, set amidst a sudden zombie apocalypse. We thought this kind of online challenge was so cool we’d like to try it with Martians. The timing of the 70th Anniversary of the Welles broadcast made it too good to pass up.

So let us know you’ll take part in the Martian invasion (or, be on the receiving end of it, anyway) and then join us on October 30th for Blog Like It’s The War Of The Worlds!

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Top 5 SF movies you enjoyed as a kid but didn’t hold up when you watched later as an adult

October 22, 2008

5. Robocop 2nominated by bloginhood
Near non-stop bloody action and reasonably good SFX for its time – all that a teenage boy could want. Well, not quite all – a better story (moreover, a story that made sense in the context of what the original movie had set up) and better acting were certainly needed. But as a kid you don’t generally see through the haze of bullets and explosions enough to notice the utter lack of these things that are so crucial for a film for it to be worth an adult’s time. I hadn’t rewatched “Robocop 2” in many, many years until I caught it a month or so ago on cable, watched a few minutes, then turned the channel, feeling deeply ashamed not so much that I’d seen it in the theatre when it first came out, but more because my foolish younger self had later bought it on videotape.

4. Labrynthnominated by harrysaxon
While I loved this film when I first watched it with my little sister – I was about 12, she 5 – when I rewatched it many years later, I was outright embarassed. The goblins, especially, were just awful – awful-looking, awful dialogue. It may have started my interest in David Bowie, but as an adult Bowie fan, it made me want to hide my face, I was so embarassed for him, in spandex tights and singing bad songs. There isn’t much better way to describe it than out-and-out cheesy.

3. Total Recallnominated by bloginhood
Again, another super-hard-on gunfest testosterone action flick thinly clad in SF tropes that appealed to, well, most teenaged boys when it was released – myself included. Throw in a smokin’ hot Sharon Stone and a sultry, ball-busting Rachel Ticotin and make ’em have a catfight and it was a surefire winner. Until I grew up and realized what unbelievable (where to start?) piece of drivel it was, and a truly monstrous perversion of a solid-enough Philip K. Dick short story. Another regret from my youth. “Quaaaaaaid! Quaaaaaaid! Stop the goddamn movie!!!” To be fair though, most Arnold movies don’t stand up to the test of maturity (except “The Terminator”, which wasn’t so much an Arnold flick as a Linda Hamilton and/or Michael Biehn film).

2. The Neverending Storynominated by harrysaxon
I adored this film when I saw it in theatres, and loved it for some time after. I rewatched it a few months ago, and was thoroughly surprised by how bad it is. Bastien needs a crack upside the head. The death of Atreyu’s horse was a very tragic moment in my childhood; I was stunned to realize that it was basically the only scene the horse was in, one of the cheapest manipulations of children’s emotions I’ve ever seen. The dog-dragon-thing was just annoying. And what was with the director’s obsession with filming the giant breasts on the Sphinx statues from as many angles as possible?

1. Willownominated by both
bloginhood:
So George Lucas and Ron Howard do a half-hearted remake of “Star Wars” dressed up in fantasy costuming, using little people (or, at least one little person, primarily) to give it a vaguely “Lord of the Rings” flavour. I guess I liked this one as a kid because there wasn’t a lot of fantasy in the theatre in those days – at least, not big budget stuff that made it to the theatres in my area and stayed around for long; and because the “Star Wars” formula worked well enough for me back then. But over time, “Willow” has become like cotton candy – too damn sickly sweet and disturbingly artificial in the way it was cobbled together. I wonder if Lucas and Howard would have done a better job when they reunited if they would have done a thinly-veiled fantasy version of “American Graffiti” instead?

harrysaxon:
I loved this movie when it came out, it started a life-long love with Val Kilmer’s work that is still unchanged today, and one of my first major teenage crushes in Joanne Whalley. Then I watched it through more mature eyes; while I could accept the dated special effects, or that the whole turning-into-pigs sequence was just the Circe episode from “The Odyssey” without the script references that might distinguish homage from plagarism, I was crushed when I realized that Lucas had just filmed Star Wars again, in a fantasty setting. A naive young man goes on a quest which ends in ultimate victory against the agents of darkness. Willlow=Luke. Madmartigan=Han. Sorsha=Leia (with a mild twist of starting off evil). Fin Razelle=Obi-Wan. Bavmorda=Emperor Palpatine. Kael=Vader. The two brownies=C3P0 & R2D2. I mean, it’s one of the most embarassing pieces of self-plagarism since John Fogarty recorded “The Old Man Down the Road”. Shameful.

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Updates on VCon 33

October 4, 2008

Get your daily report on the goings-on at VCon 33 from bloginhood. Musings on the good and the bad at the end of every day. For starters… can you believe they forced the geeks back into the basement?!

More highlights tomorrow.

PS:

Remember to sign-up to take part in our Blog Like It’s The War Of The Worlds commemorative online challenge!

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Welcome to “Not a Planet Anymore”!

October 1, 2008

This is Not A Planet Anymore – yet another pit stop on the information superhighway where we endlessly examine the world of speculative fiction (science fiction, fantasy, surrealism, magic realism, horror and whatever else you want to stuff in this bag) in literature, television and movies, and where we also probe the world of video games. We’ll review the new stuff, rehash the classics and mercilessly pick at the navel lint of geek culture.

Not A Planet Anymore is the bastard brainchild of harrysaxon (of Rassilon’s Arcade) and bloginhood (of, well, bloginhood). Each of us is a self-confessed, life-long, card-carrying geek, and we’ve been discussing, recommending, and debating SF with each other off and on for about 17 years now. While we’ve independently been inflicting our views upon the world from our respective blogs (and will continue to do so), we figured it was high time to join forces and build our own forum to talk about SF and video games and maybe build on each other’s ideas. From time to time we may have guest columnists who’ll throw a little fuel on the flames, and some may even take permanent seats here. We hope you’ll join in the fun too.

But why “Not A Planet Anymore”? Well, obviously it’s a reference to Pluto recently being stripped of its status as a planet. But what does Pluto have to do with SF and video games?

We could say Pluto works as an excellent metaphor for SF and video gaming. It wanders out along the edge of the solar system, a last outpost marking the boundaries between the neighbourhood we know and the deep unexplored realms beyond, much the same as SF and video gaming sit out along the border of modern literature/film/tv/culture/entertainment, allowing us to step across from the familiar to strange places of new ideas, possibilities and ways of looking at ourselves and the universe. Even before being disowned from the family of “planets”, Pluto has always been marginalized – neither part of the exclusive, highly visible clique of inner, rocky worlds, nor fitting in with the outer gas giants. It’s always been a thing unto itself. SF is in a similar position, excluded by the self-proclaimed literati who refuse to take the skill of its storytelling and breadth of its imagination seriously, but also having no place among the non-intellectual cultural camps. Video games are also ostracized by the cultural elite, labeled as childish and potentially dangerous and having their storytelling, artistic merits and (yes, even debatable as it may be) their community-building capacity generally unrecognized. The ultimate solution was to reclassify Pluto so it didn’t have to be acknowledged as a planet – even an oddball one – anymore. For several years now, we’ve seen SF getting this treatment, with pop culture writers slumming in its ghetto, dipping into the deep well of its ideas and tropes, then promptly renaming what they’ve found so that they don’t have to acknowledge the truth that they’re now a part of a genre they’ve spent years marginalizing. This has happened on TV as well, where shows that are obviously SF are relabeled as non-traditional dramas in an alternate setting (or some such nonsense) to make the idea of the shows more palatable to network execs, critics and mainstream audiences. It has been a reclassification designed to banish SF to the outer darkness where it won’t get any further recognition. And so, we could say that SF and video games are very much like Pluto, and that’s why we chose this name.

We could say that. But we’re not. Nope. The reason behind the choice of this blog’s name is nothing remotely that profound. We were just looking for a workable name for the site that we could both agree on, and, after hours of brainstorming that eventually petered-out to a trickle, our conversation took a turn for the pointless, making many wrong turns and getting sidetracked by asides, and eventually skidded into this name which we both thought was fairly ridiculous (much like the declaration that Pluto is no longer a planet) and thus fairly appropriate and kinda cool.

Welcome to Not A Planet Anymore.