Posts Tagged ‘Sock’

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The top 10 things we’re looking forward to in 2009 – bloginhood

January 8, 2009

Last week was about looking back fondly on the old year, this week’s list is about anticipating the new. And there’s so much to look forward to that we each had to do our own list!

Bloginhood’s Top 10 Anticipated for 2009:

10) Star Trek XI
Part of me’s looking forward to seeing what Abrams is going to do with the franchise, but I’m pretty uneasy about it being so warped that it won’t resemble Trek anymore. While reimagining works sometimes, as in the case of BSG, other times, well, you get “The Day the Earth Stood Still”, which was a complete waste of time and money. I’m trying to stay positive.

9) Caprica
Here’s another one where I’m a little trepiditious despite being interested. Some of the early comments about the show being a sort of “Dallas” in the 12 Colonies (or, at least on one of them) soured me on the show a little – I kept getting visions of a season finale cliffhanger of “Who Shot Adama?!” On the other hand, BSG turned out to be such a great show, I’m really hoping this one flies too.

8 ) Fanboys
The first time I read the buzz on this flick I was dead set on seeing it. As the months dragged on though, and the release date kept getting pushed back, and word leaked about story changes and various and sundry putting their hands into the production, I grew more disappointed. But I’m still hoping that there will be enough of a good story in there that the Force will be strong with this movie (or, at least tolerably present) when it’s released next month (unless it gets delayed again).

7) More episodes of Terminator – The Sarah Connor Chronicles
I was surprised how much I’ve enjoyed this show since its debut. Despite the repetitive stalk and shoot Terminator elements of the plot and the somewhat predictable relationship developments, the story has, for the most part, remained consistently entertaining. Not a perfect show by any means, but certainly worth making time to watch. I’m interested to see how Summer Glau’s little killing machine continues to evolve toward humanity in the coming episodes.

6) More episodes of Reaper
Another show that, despite the predictable (and unoriginal) general premise of a guy who has to hunt supernatural baddies for the devil, has turned out to be really, really good. The writers have done a nice job of bringing Sam and Andi’s relationship to fruition without stretching out the “will they or won’t they” too long, as well as teasing the nature of the bargain with the devil, the surprise with Sam’s parents, and, of course, allowing Sock (I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Sock is Jay and Silent Bob’s secret love child) to be consistently hilarious and steal scenes without remorse. I got the first season collection on DVD for Christmas and we spent a few days rewatching it, and it’s still as funny as the first time.

5) Anticipation – the 67th Worldcon
Montreal’s going to be a lot of fun this summer. I’ve had my ticket for a while now and I’m in the middle of giving some thought to how I’m going to vote for the Auroras and the Hugos. Initially, I’ll admit I had worries of stumbling along in broken highschool French like the Tick when he was turned into a two-headed blue bird, but then I remembered it’s Montreal, and they’re cool enough to speak to geeks in any language.

4) Watchmen
I haven’t read the graphic novel – yet (it’s sitting in my in-box), but I’m familiar with the premise and it sounds smart and the early buzz says the movie won’t disappoint. The only problem is this dust-up between the studios. Fans can only hope they settle this pissing match so that the flick can actually hit the sreens in 2009 as intended – or ever, for that matter.

3) The Wise Man’s Fear – book 2 in Patrick Rothfuss’ The Kingkiller Chronicle
I just got finished reading The Name of the Wind a little while ago and it impressed the hell outta me. Intelligent and believable fantasy. Rothfuss is definitely an author to keep an eye on.

2) A Muse of Fire by Dan Simmons
Yes, I know this was released in 2008, but I’ve had it on order for a few weeks and it hasn’t arrived yet, so, obviously, I’m now looking forward to it in 2009. Because I’m a huge Simmons fan, and his stories have yet to disappoint, this is one of the foreseeable reading highlights of the year.

1) Battlestar Galactica – the final episodes of Season 4
BSG is one of the best shows on television. Ever. I’m still right pissed off that Season 4 got split in two and we’ve had to wait so long for the back half to hit the air. But that being said, better late than never, ’cause some great SF shows, like Firefly, never get the chance to come into their own. I’ll be spending this weekend watching the webisodes as a warmup, and next week, when the beginning of the end kicks off, it’ll be sweet indeed.

Over to you, harrysaxon!

And how about everyone else? What are all of you looking forward to in SF in 2009?

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The top 5 of 2008

January 1, 2009

The close of the year on any geek site is a time for reflection on the past, a time for looking ahead to the future, a time for celebrating the accomplishments and mourning the losses of the community, but above all, it is a time to obsessively quantify our passions with Best of the Year lists. Here at Not A Planet Anymore, we’re no exception. While we can’t claim to have read all the new books or seen all of the new movies or watched every new episode of every TV series or played every new game released in 2008, we do claim the right to sing the praises of those new tidbits that we have sampled. Behold the admittedly limited awesomeness of the Not A Planet Anymore Top 5 of 2008:
Top 5 New Books of 2008:
5) The Savage Humanists – edited by Fiona Kellighan
A strong collection of stories using SF as part of biting social commentary. Gregory Frost’s “Madonna of the Maquiladora” was perhaps the most memorable for its brutal look at the means used to keep people down to make them easy to exploit, and how they accept it.

4) Firstborn – by Arthur C. Clarke & Stephen Baxter
A worthy end to the “A Time Odyssey” trilogy with room for Baxter to add more if he chooses. Lots of great Clarkeian havoc on a planetary scale offset by personal and team ingenuity that allow humanity to survive. An absorbing, fun read.

3) Valley of Day-Glo – by Nick DiChario
This story of a young man’s strange journey through post-apocalyptic America is riveting if for no other reason than you keep wondering what’s going to happen next. Just when you think DiChario’s telling us humanity is doomed to be obsessed with hoarding and fighting over ultimately useless trinkets, even when the task of survival should bring greater wisdom, his protagonist learns what’s really important and arrives at a measure of inner peace.

2) Tesseracts Twelve – edited by Claude Lalumiere
This anthology of Canadian SF was a lot of fun to read. Overall a very solid line-up, although a few of the stories did take a little long to get going.  I think my favourites were the two anchor stories: the first of the collection, Derryl Murphy’s gold rush-neanderthal collision “Ancients of the Earth” and the final tale by David Nickle “Wylde’s Kingdom” where a washed-up reality show adventurer lives amidst the grim reality that there’s a new species on the extinction list.

1) Very Hard Choices – by Spider Robinson
This short but powerful book is memorable for a couple of reasons. First, it’s inhabited by well-rounded characters who stay true to themselves, but who are still capable of change. It also examines the emotional consquences of making very hard choices, and how people deal with them. Robinson has written one of the most deeply unsettling portrayals of what it’s like to die that I’ve ever come across.  But amidst the pessimistic backdrop of global threats and the exercise of staggering powers, this is ultimately an optimistic book showing that the connections between human beings are things of the highest and most enduring importance.

The Top 5 TV Shows of 2008:
5) Doctor Who – Series 4
Lots of entertaining episodes this season. Donna Noble has to be one of the most refreshing Companions with her willingness to take the Doctor to task when she thinks he’s wrong without descending (at least not completely and permanently) into the realm of shrewishness. While the finale episodes had some great retro surprises, ultimately the end was a bit weak.

4) Terminator – The Sarah Connor Chronicles
This show has genuinely surprised me in terms of keeping up a consistently interesting plot with well-written characters. The best has been watching Summer Glau’s pretty little cyborg quietly and subtly begin to evolve emotions (at least that’s how it’s looking to me) while having to deal with the complexities of human relationships that she’s not yet equipped for. As I’ve said before though, the show could do with a little less of Sarah looking off into the distance with clouded eyes.

3) Reaper
Another surprise – here’s a show that by all rights should have become repetitive and boring but has instead been consistently funny and has developed the plot and characters over time so that it’s a lot more than a catch a gimmicky ghost of the week story. I’m not sure how much influence Kevin Smith has on the show, but certainly is presence is felt, most especially in the form of the sidekick character Sock, who (I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again) is more or less the bastard love child of Jay and Silent Bob. I’m looking forward to seeing what this show has in store for us this year.

2) Chuck
Season 2 has been great so far (I was howling when Sarah’s father came on the show and they introduced him as “Jack Burton”). My only regret is having missed season 1. I’ll have to pick up the DVD box set.

1) Battlestar Galactica – season 4
Was there ever any doubt that this would be number one? The new BSG is the greatest show currently on TV, and one of the best shows ever. The arrival at a seemingly post-disaster Earth (oh come on, let’s not complain about this being a spoiler! Everyone and their daggit knows by now that they found Earth in the last episode!) was the cap on a powerful half-season. My only complaint is that we’ve had to wait this long to finish it.

The Top 5 New Movies of 2008:
5) Ironman
Lots of fun watching this flick. Downey made the perfect Tony Stark, but Pepper Potts had the best line of the whole movie when she was escorting one of Stark’s “guests” out of the house early on. Jeff Bridges should also get credit for playing a believable (up until the mech piloting bit at the end) high-powered corporate boss scheming to take control while keeping a smile on his face.

4) Cloverfield
I’ve always had a weakness for flicks with giant monsters stomping on cities, and Cloverfield, with its Blair Witch camera style, was perfect. What was most impressive was the way the movie was able to create an emotional bond between the audience and the main characters. Part of that, of course, was through the camera/Hud perspective, with the audience  being on the ground amidst the chaos with the characters, but part of it was the writing and performances. I don’t associate with New York yuppies in my life, so normally I wouldn’t care one whit for them in a disaster movie, but somehow, once things got rolling in this film, it started to matter more and more to me what happened to these people. That’s great movie-making.

3) Dreams with Sharp Teeth: A Film about Harlan Ellison
It’s a rare thing indeed for me to see a documentary in the cinema (generally, it’s a lot easier and cheaper to catch it later on one of CBC’s documentary shows) but this bio of an SF giant was definitely worth it. I’m not a huge Ellison fan, but I have read his stuff and I like some of it, so there was some interest for me in watching this film. But even for a non-Ellison fan, it’s worth-while to see the humanity underneath his legendary ego, and to hear frank assessments of him from friends who are willing to lay out the bad with the good.

2) The Dark Knight
I just re-watched this last night on DVD, and it’s as startling and intense the second time around (and on a home-sized screen) as the first time in the theatre. Ledger’s performance is frightening and beyond the Joker, the rest of the film is powerful on its own. Nolan could have flinched many times when it came to showing the degree of violence Batman and the citizens of Gotham have to face, but he didn’t, even when it came to the fate of the hero’s love interest. Definitely a must-see.

1) WALL-E
The story of the little robot that went to the stars to get his girl is ultimately the best of the year in my opinion. The basic storyline itself is funny and well done, but add to that the multitude of references to other SF films (and non-SF stories, like Robinson Crusoe) and the deeper questions the story raises (the environmental issue is obvious and no-where near as interesting as the question of the responsibility of a creator to his creation and how they must redefine their relationship) and you’ve got a very complex mixture that is worthy of rewatching again and again.

So what are your picks for the best of 2008?