Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Blake's 7 reboot

to US network? Not sure I like that.

Green Lantern Director To Reboot 'Blake's 7' For TV

Martin Campbell and screenwriter Joe Pokaski will spearhead a revival of the classic British sci-fi series.
By Blair MarnellJuly 23, 2012
Back in 2005, BBC successfully revived the classic British sci-fi series "Doctor Who" and introduced it to a new generation of fans. Now it may be time for "Blake's 7" to finally get its due.

According to Deadline, the long rumored "Blake's 7" reboot is once again alive with Green Lanternand Casino Royale director Martin Cambell and "Heroes" screenwriter Joe Pokaski attached to the project. Leon Clarance and Marc Rosen's Georgeville Television will produce the "Blake's 7" revival and shop it around to U.S. networks.

While "Blake's 7" is no longer widely known in the United States, it is considered a forerunner of series like "Babylon 5," "Farscape" and "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" that featured multi-episode story arcs and darker characters.

The original "Blake's 7" was created by Terry Nation (who also created the Daleks for "Doctor Who") and it ran for four seasons from 1978 to 1981 on BBC. "Blake's 7" centered on a political dissident named Roj Blake (Gareth Thomas), who was tried and convicted on false charges by a tyrannical Terran Federation and deported from Earth to a prison planet. Blake soon escaped alongside some of his fellow prisoners and he gathered additional allies to lead an insurgency against the Federation.

"Blake's 7" is also infamous for ending on a massive cliffhanger with several major characters either dead or facing an uncertain fate as their enemies surrounded them. There have been several attempts to reboot the series over the years, most recently by the British network Sky1; which abandoned a planned "Blake's 7" project in 2010.


Monday, July 23, 2012


Sounds like this amazing 8 minute short animated film is to become a feature length film!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

One of the Living

Take a moment to appreciate how strong of an opening theme song this was for Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome. What a great song!

the music video
Mad Max by Xenomorph71
too bad the video quality is poor.

Here is the song in higher quality.
One of the Living by Device on Grooveshark

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Vorkosigan Saga

This blog is imbalanced with how much mention the Vorkosigan Saga gets compared to how fond I am of the series. I adore this series. It is my favorite science fiction universe.

Trying to figure exactly what it is about Vorkosigan that keeps me, I'd have to say there is an immense amount of heart in the writing. Here is a galactic empire and the characters are major movers and shakers in that environment. That's nothing new to sci-fi, but what is different about this series is how one of the protagonists, the Admiral Viceroy Count Aral Vorkosigan, gets teared up upon seeing his son after a long time away. That's what I love about this series. These characters truly love each other. Bujold doesn't just tell you they're extraordinary people and as the reader you just go with it, she shows you they are extraordinary. Another thing that instantly won me over is how hilarious the books are. I find myself laughing out loud while immersed in the story.

Most of the series focuses on Miles Vorkosigan, who is a very flawed protagonist. He is small, but not a dwarf. He was injured in a bio-weapon attack on his pregnant mother. His childhood was consisted of endless treatments to correct his brittle bones which was the side effect of his mother's attack.  He is weak in body, but that seems to motivate him beyond most other men.

The story goes that the Vorkosigan series started off as a fan-fiction for Star Trek. Upon finding that the book was turning out to be excellent, but not having the rights to write a Star Trek book, Lois McMasters Bujold altered the names and the faces, creating her own universe to set the first book in. The first two books are about an improbable relationship, truly a space opera. Almost all of the sub-sequential books are about the first two book's protagonist's child, Miles Vorkosigan.

One interesting thing about this sci-fi series is there are no aliens, there are only humans and occasional alien animals on various planets. Many genetically altered and re-arranged humans, but no sentient aliens. There are centuries-old, zero-G communities that whose ancestors were born with a 2nd pair of arms instead of legs and has continued that feature through it's descendants, but they're still human. Hermaphroditus are rare, but in some colonies, quite common. There are colonies and empires that have deep, elaborate breeding programs and pedigrees. Even characters with gills. Lots of bio-weapons and bio-art. Nasty corers of the universe where powerful people cheat their way to immortality by growing clones and transplanting their brains into the new 'vessel'. The Vorkosigan saga is a nice Trans-Human setting. Never getting too technical for layman readers, however.

The official order of chronology, according to Bujold, is as follows (note the books were not written in this order):
  • Dreamweaver's Dilemma in Dreamweaver's Dilemma (1996) 
  • Falling Free (1988) 
  • Shards of Honor (1986) 
  • Barrayar (1991)
  • The Warrior's Apprentice (1986) 
  • The Mountains of Mourning in Borders of Infinity (1989) 
  • The Vor Game (1990) 
  • Cetaganda (1995)
  • Ethan of Athos (1986) [EoA]
  • Labyrinth in Borders of Infinity (1989)
  • The Borders of Infinity in Borders of Infinity (1987)
  • Brothers in Arms (1989) 
  • Linking sections of Borders of Infinity (1989)
  • Mirror Dance (1994) 
  • Memory (1996)
  • Komarr (1998)
  • A Civil Campaign (1999) 
  • Winterfair Gifts (2004)
  • Diplomatic Immunity (2002) 
  • Captain Vorpatril's Alliance (2012)
  • Cryoburn (2010) 
Almost all of my personal intake of the books has been via audio-book. Grover Gardner performs as the narrator of a majority of the Vorkosigan books. He has become the voice of Miles. The Blackstone Audio presentations are a very fine way to discover the Vorkosigan Saga.

Star Wars Travel Posters

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Oz Great and Powerful

Oz Great and Powerful

There are many great things about this right off the bat:

  • Wizard of Oz prequel
  • James Franco
  • but most importantly- Sam Rami!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Top Secret/S.I. ORION and WEB t-shirts

This is a cross-post from my other blog- The Safe House (end of shameless self promotion)

RedBubble is offering t-shirts with the Top Secret/S.I. the espionage agency logos.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

d20 Modern Polyhedron Mini Games

From January, 2002 to September, 2003 Polyhedron magazine published Mini Games for the d20 Modern system. By issue:
  • 149 Pulp Heroes (d20, pulp adventure in the 20s and 30s) (Dungeon 91). 
  • 150 Shadow Chasers (d20, pre-cursor to the Shadow Chasers material in the d20 Modern core book) (Dungeon 92). 
  • 151 Spelljammer (d20, swashbuckling space fantasy) (Dungeon 93). 
  • 152 Thunderball Rally (d20, muscle car racing adventures across America) (Dungeon 94). 
  • 153 Omega World (d20, Gamma World mini-game). Also, an additional page of rules for Thunderball Rally (Dungeon 95). 
  • 154 Mecha Crusade (d20 Modern, giant robot sci-fi) (Dungeon 96). 
  • 155 Gene Tech (d20 Modern, Biopunk sci-fi) (Dungeon 97).  
  • 156 V for Victory (d20, World War II combat) (Dungeon 98). 
  • 158 Hi-Jinx (d20, Bands trying to make it big, adventures ensue) (Dungeon 99).  
  • 159 Knights of the Lich-Queen (d20, Githyanki warriors campaign) (Dungeon 100). 
  • 160 Iron Lords of Jupiter (d20 Modern, interplanetary swashbuckling sci-fi) (Dungeon 101). 
  • 161 Pulp Heroes (d20 Modern, update of first mini-game). Also, additional Iron Lords of Jupiter material (Dungeon 102).

The d20 Modern system was a roleplaying game taking the third edition of the Dungeon & Dragons rules and using them in modern day or future settings rather than the standard fantasy setting. Replacing fantasy character classes (like Wizards, Barbarians and Clerics, etc) with character classes that were based on the six character attributes (Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma).

There were some published toolkits for the game- Past, Future, etc. And there was one official campaign setting where fantasy creatures and races were here among the mundane modern world- Urban Arcana. The game is out of print, now, abandoned by Wizards of the Coast sometime before D&D 4th Edition came out.

Third party support seems to have always been strong and even recently PDFs are being released.

Polyhedron Magazine originally was a publication in 1981 for the RPGA (Roleplaying Gamers Association). When Paizo acquired the rights, they merged Polyhedron with Dungeon magazine for the d20 system. Starting with Dungeon 90 and Polyhedron 149 the two continued with a duel numbering system. The focus of Polyhedron was no longer covering RPGA, instead each issue presented the above mentioned mini-games which were unique settings using the d20 system, mostly d20 Modern. Some of the elements of some of the settings appeared in the supplements for the d20 Modern books.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Girl Who Can Fly

The levitating girl.

Tokyo teen, Natsumi Hayashi, takes countless pictures of herself until she finds the one that makes her appear to be hovering. It sounds so simple, but the effect is breathtaking. She explains her method and challenges on her website. The effect the images have on the viewer is remarkably calming. I leave these pictures with the same satisfaction I get after watching a Studio Ghibli film.

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