Tagged: Sky

NEW CTHULHU: RECENT WEIRD NAMED “BEST” BY LIBRARY JOURNAL

Prime BooksNew Cthulhu: Recent Weird anthology selected by Library Journal as one of the best science fiction/fantasy titles of 2012.

On the Prime Books site, they posted about the honor. “We are pleased and rather gobsmacked—if delightedly so—that New Cthulhu: The Recent Weird has been selected by Library Journal as one of the best sf/f titles of the year. Congrats to all the authors whose outstanding work made it such.” Plus, they couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share some news. “We suppose this gives us a fine opportunity to announce we will be publishing Spawn of Cthulhu: New Stories Inspired by H.P. Lovecraft—an all-original anthology—edited by Paula Guran in 2014. (And no, I have not started soliciting yet.)”

About New Cthulhu: The Recent Weird-
For more than eighty years H.P. Lovecraft has inspired writers of supernatural fiction, artists, musicians, filmmakers, and gaming. His themes of cosmic indifference, the utter insignificance of humankind, minds invaded by the alien, and the horrors of history — written with a pervasive atmosphere of unexplainable dread — today remain not only viable motifs, but are more relevant than ever as we explore the mysteries of a universe in which our planet is infinitesimal and climatic change is overwhelming it.

In the first decade of the twenty-first century the best supernatural writers no longer imitate Lovecraft, but they are profoundly influenced by the genre and the mythos he created. New Cthulhu: The Recent Weird presents some of the best of this new Lovecraftian fiction — bizarre, subtle, atmospheric, metaphysical, psychological, filled with strange creatures and stranger characters — eldritch, unsettling, evocative, and darkly appealing . . .

Contributors in Alphabetical Order:
The Crevasse, Dale Bailey & Nathan Ballingrud
Old Virginia, Laird Barron
Shoggoths in Bloom, Elizabeth Bear
Mongoose, Elizabeth Bear & Sarah Monette
The Oram County Whoosit, Steve Duffy
Study in Emerald, Neil Gaiman
Grinding Rock, Cody Goodfellow
Pickman’s Other Model (1929), Caitlin Kiernan
The Disciple, David Barr Kirtley
The Vicar of R’lyeh, Marc Laidlaw
Mr Gaunt, John Langan
Take Me to the River, Paul McAuley
The Dude Who Collected Lovecraft, Nick Mamatas & Tim Pratt
Details, China Mieville
Bringing Helena Back, Sarah Monette
Another Fish Story, Kim Newman
Lesser Demons, Norm Partridge
Cold Water Survival, Holly Phillips
Head Music, Lon Prater
Bad Sushi, Cherie Priest
The Fungal Stain, W.H. Pugmire
Tsathoggua, Michael Shea
Buried in the Sky, John Shirley
Fair Exchange, Michael Marshall Smith
The Essayist in the Wilderness, William Browning Spencer
A Colder War, Charles Stross
The Great White Bed, Don Webb

New Cthulhu: The Recent Weird
Edited by Paula Guran
Type: Trade Paperback
Pages: 528
Size: 6″ X 9″
ISBN: 9781607012894
Publication Date: November 23, 2011
Price: $15.95

Learn more about Prime Books at www.prime-books.com.

REVIEW: Rockin’ with Judy Jetson

Hanna-Barbera was clearly running out of steam in the later 1980s as their style of animation and storytelling was no longer in synch with its young viewers. As a result, they did an awful lot of recycling of concepts including the two season-long Hanna-Barbera Superstars 10 which took Yogi Bear, the Flintstones and the Jetsons and told longer, and not necessarily better, stories in ten stories. The ten telefilms ran during the 1987-1989 seasons and since then have been in rotation on cable’s Boomerang channel with Warner Archive slowly releasing them to eager fans who can’t get enough of these properties. Their last release from this series was The Flintstones Meet the Jetsons.

This week, from Warner Archive, comes the release of Rockin’ with Judy Jetson, a Jetsons’ film that puts the focus squarely on the teen daughter, who is usually overshadowed by the rest of the cast. That alone would make the 92-minute film interesting  but it is another effort that clearly shows its writers didn’t know how to expand from the thirty minute confines to something longer.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-sdS1vOaDcc&feature=channel_video_title[/youtube]

Check out the official synopsis:

Despite father George’s disapproval, Judy Jetson is totally into Sky Rocker, the biggest intergalactic rock star around. When the teen icon announces a surprise concert, Judy writes a super awesome song and sends it to him. And – oops – the song is accidentally switched with an evil magic message from music-hating witch Felonia Funk. Bummer for Judy! Then Felonia goes one diabolical step further: she kidnaps Sky Rocker. What a buzz kill – but don’t freak out yet! Judy and her friends – along with brother Elroy, family dog Astro and music-loving aliens named Zoomies – set out to save Sky themselves. Is Judy Jetson the coolest Space Age teenage cartoon star ever?

Mistaken identity, switched songs, intergalactic evil queens, all manner of things so unlike the futuristic sitcom which was based on the family comedies that were so prevalent in the 1950s and 1960s. The closest to an evil witch was Endora on Bewitched. Anyway, the story is pretty dumb from beginning to end despite it being a showcase for Janet Waldo, who had been Judy Jetson’s voice since the series debuted in 1962. Writers Charles M. Howell IV and Kevin Hopps could have done better with the characters. Director Paul Sommer at least tried to make it contemporary with rock video montages and some quicker than usual edits.

The song Sky Rocket turned into a hit, credited to Judy but not written by her, is the memorable nonsense known as “Gleep Gorp”. While a bit of a catchy tune, it has become a YouTube hit for those who grew up on the show but was written similar to the bubble gum pop of the 1960s, not the music the intended audience was more familiar with. The feature boasts six songs, most of which are the same two repeated by different singers.

The vocal cast is a welcome, familiar addition as Waldo is joined by the original team of George O’Hanlon, Penny Singleton, Daws Butler, Don Messick, Jean Vander Pyl, and Mel Blanc. New voices include comedian Ruth Buzzi as Felonia with the rest being fairly non-descript.

Another missed opportunity, this one is only for those with a real sense of nostalgia for ‘80s H-B material.

 

"Talons of the Red Condors" Now Available At iPulpFiction.Com

Talons of the Red Condors: Bill Spangler

Bill Spangler’s Lance Star: Sky Ranger story, “Talons of the Red Condors” is now available at http://www.ipulpfiction.com/ for the low price of only $1.00.

Flying rebels have captured the Panama Canal, threatening to destroy it unless their ransom demands are met. Lance and the Sky Rangers soon find themselves fighting an old enemy who’s come back from the grave!

Check out the “Talons of the Red Condors” bookshelf at http://www.ipulpfiction.com/books/LanceStar-Vol1-3-TalonsOfTheRedCondors/jacketNotes.php

Release schedule for Lance Star: Sky Ranger tales on iPulp:
06/17: Lance Star: Sky Ranger – Vol.1 #1: Attack of the Bird Man by Frank Dirsherl (now available)07/07: Lance Star: Sky Ranger – Vol.1 #2: Where the Sea Meets the Sky by Bobby Nash (now available)07/27: Lance Star: Sky Ranger – Vol.1 #3: Talons of the Red Condors by Bill Spangler (now available)Visit the official Lance Star: Sky Ranger iPulp Library at http://www.ipulpfiction.com/bookstore.php?sort=Title

The Lance Star: Sky Ranger iPulp Interview Round Up:
IPulp Fiction’s Keith Shaw:
http://www.lance-star.com/2011/06/lance-star-sky-ranger-interviews-ipulp.html
Lance Star: Sky Ranger Author Frank Dirscherl:
http://www.lance-star.com/2011/06/lance-star-sky-ranger-interviews-author.html
Airship 27 Air Chief Ron Fortier:
http://www.lance-star.com/2011/06/lance-star-sky-ranger-interviews.html
Airship 27 Artist/Designer Rob Davis:
http://www.lance-star.com/2011/06/lance-star-sky-ranger-interviews-rob.html
Lance Star: Sky Ranger Author Bill Spangler:
http://www.lance-star.com/2011/06/lance-star-sky-ranger-interviews-author_23.html
Lance Star: Sky Ranger Author Bobby Nash:
http://www.lance-star.com/2011/06/lance-star-sky-ranger-interviews_24.html

Visit the official Lance Star: Sky Ranger iPulp Library at http://www.ipulpfiction.com/bookstore.php?sort=Title
For more information on iPulp Fiction’s offerings, please visit http://www.ipulpfiction.com/
For more information on Airship 27 Productions’ offerings, please visit http://www.gopulp.info/
For more information on Lance Star: Sky Ranger, please visit http://www.lance-star.com/

Jeffrey Katzenberg Sees the Future in 3-D

Jeffrey Katzenberg Sees the Future in 3-D

Jeffrey Katzenberg firmly believes in 3-D and told the audience at the inaugural 3DX Film and Entertainment Technology Festival, "In five to seven years, all films, regardless of budgets or type, will be made in 3-D."

As seen this year and reported yesterday, more and more animated films and concert films are being shot for 3-D using improved technology.  Katzenberg, according to The Hollywood Reporter, continued to say, "3-D is how we see, how we take things in. It’s natural. This is not a gimmick; it’s an opportunity to immerse the audience, to heighten the experience."

The DreamWorks co-founder and former Disney executive foresees a day when 3-D technology will be available on mobile phones and laptops. "This is not my father’s 3-D," he said. "There’s no ghosting, no eye strain and best of all, you don’t throw up. Throwing up is not good for anyone’s business."

Producer John Landau added that 3-D would "do for cinema what stereo did for the audio industry." He says the immediate challenge is to get movie audiences to see 3-D as something other than a gimmick from B-films and the 1950s. Once accepted, he says the sky’s the limit.

"Consumers clearly prefer 3-D if they have a choice," Katzenberg said. 3-D films are estimated as being able to earn two to three times the business of a standard 2-D release.

Disney leads the pack with eleven films currently scheduled for release between 2009 and 2010. DreamWorks’ next 3-D offering will be March’s Monsters vs. Aliens and Katzenberg estimates nearly 40% of the ticket sales will come from 3-D fans. He predicts the percentage will jump to over 80 for Shrek 4 in 2010.

Stressing the technical advances that made the latest incarnation of 3-D different from past efforts, Katzenberg said 3-D "will bring people back to the movies who have stopped going."

MoCCA Catches Fire!

MoCCA Catches Fire!

Smoke in the sub-basement, fire in the sky…  As if this weekend’s MoCCA Art Festival weren’t already the hottest ticket in town during the hottest couple of days so far this year, there was a fire condition around 3 PM on Sunday that wound up causing an evacuation of the building.

An earlier video of the event was taken down from YouTube for some reason, but Brian Heater of The Daily Cross Hatch posted one of his own. Have a look:

According to MoCCA founder Lawrence Klein, there was apparently a "smoke condition" in the building’s sub-basement, nowhere near either of the convention floors or window-based air conditioning units. Attending professionals and fans were probably not all that thrilled to be ushered out into the 90-degree heat, but better safe than sorry!

Happy Birthday: Freddy Freeman

Happy Birthday: Freddy Freeman

Frederic Christopher “Freddy” Freeman was born and raised in a small New England fishing village. His parents drowned in a storm, however, and Freddy was sent to live with his maternal grandfather Jacob in Fawcett City in the American Midwest. Freddy was smart, friendly and a natural athlete, and by high school he was not only a star student but also a top-notch athlete.

Then disaster struck. While fishing in Fawcett Bay, Freddy and his grandfather saw a man fall from the sky. They rescued the man, discovering too late that it was Captain Nazi, propelled into the water by one of Captain Marvel’s mighty blows. Coming to, the Nazi supervillain attacked his saviors. Captain Marvel intervened, drove Captain Nazi away, and rushed the two civilians to the hospital, but the damage was done—Jacob died and Freddy was in critical condition.

Desperate to make amends, Captain Marvel brought the injured Freddy to the wizard Shazam, who revealed that Captain Marvel could pass some of his own power along to the boy. Thus Freddy became Captain Marvel, Jr. and part of the Marvel Family.

In his mortal form, however, Freddy had a limp, a permanent reminder of what had happened to him.
More recently the wizard Shazam died and the laws of magic were rewritten. Billy Batson became Marvel, the new keeper of magic, and Freddy underwent a series of trials before becoming Shazam, the new champion of magic.

The Science of Comics: Batman’s Gliding

The Science of Comics: Batman’s Gliding

The Dark Knight is overlooking the city from the ledge of a towering skyscraper when he spies a violent crime occurring in the streets below. Without even the hint of a pause, he jumps off the top of the building and uses his his outstretched cape to swoop down onto the crowd of evil-doers.

That familiar scene has been one of the staples of comic books for which readers have long suspended disbelief. But maybe fiction isn’t too far from reality. Could this be done? The ComicMix mythbusters say yes!

How, you ask? Well, just watch this footage of a mountain wingsuit. Substitute the gothic architecture of Gotham City for the mountains, and you have one impressive, bat-shaped figure ready to glide down from the night sky and strike fear into the hearts of a superstitious, cowardly lot of criminals.

ComicMix History Lesson: Steve Ditko’s Revenge

ComicMix History Lesson: Steve Ditko’s Revenge

The cover Mike Raub used to illustrate his ComicMix Radio piece earlier today reminded me of another cover of somewhat similar design … and quiet controversy. So it’s time for another ComicMix History Lesson!

Once upon a time DC Comics had this idea of resurrecting their Showcase try-out series, but they made a couple significant changes. Instead of doing three-issue try-out runs, they did a series of one-shots. And, unlike Showcase‘s The Flash, Lois Lane, Green Lantern, The Atom (et al) runs, by and large these one-shots sucked.

They named the series 1st Issue Special because the phrase "1st issue" sold comics to collectors, and then they numbered each issue sequentially, proving their desire to sell comics in Canada outweighed their faith in collectors (don’t ask – or, better still, if you want to know, ask and I’ll respond in comments).

One of the better issues resurrected Steve Ditko’s Beware The Creeper, dropping the "Beware" part. Editorial director Carmine Infantino rejected Steve’s cover concept and drew up one of his own. Evidently, Steve didn’t care for it, but that was how the gig worked. So he drew it as designed: Firefly battling The Creeper in the sky, with a down-shot point-of-view.

As you can see, both characters are pummeling each other as they are falling to the ground. In the background is a street scene, with tiny little cars. And across from one of those tiny little cars, there’s a tiny little fire hydrant. And next to the fire hydrant, there’s a tiny little dog. And next to the tiny little dog who is next to the tiny little fire hydrant, there’s a tiny little puddle.

That last part reflects what Ditko thought of Infantino’s cover design.

George Takei’s heavenly body

George Takei’s heavenly body

AP reports that an asteroid between Mars and Jupiter has been renamed 7307 Takei in honor of George Takei. "I am now a heavenly body," Takei, 70, said Tuesday, laughing. "I found out about it yesterday. … I was blown away. It came out of the clear, blue sky — just like an asteroid."

George is best known for his role as Hikaru Sulu in the original Star Trek series and movies, and most recently in the Star Trek: New Voyages episode "World Enough And Time". There’s also his recurring role in Heroes and appearances on the Howard Stern show. And, of course, he’s known for his heavenly body. (Hat tip: Lisa Sullivan.)