Sunday, September 30, 2007

MEME: Top 50 Dystopian Movies of All Time

MEME: Top 50 Dystopian Movies of All Time
(gacked from SFSignal)

Below is Snarkerati's list of Top 50 Dystopian Movies of All Time. A great topic for a meme!
You know the drill...copy the list and BOLD the movies you have seen. Post yours in the comments, or on your own blog (a link back here would be appreciated!)

1. Metropolis (1927)
2. A Clockwork Orange (1971)
3. Brazil (1985)
4. Wings of Desire (1987)
5. Blade Runner (1982)
6. Children of Men (2006)
7. The Matrix (1999)
8. Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)
9. Minority Report (2002)
10. Delicatessen (1991)
11. Sleeper (1973)
12. The Trial (1962)
13. Alphaville (1965)
14. Twelve Monkeys (1995)
15. Serenity (2005)
16. Pleasantville (1998)
17. Ghost in the Shell (1995)
18. Battle Royale (2000)
19. RoboCop (1987)
20. Akira (1988)
21. The City of Lost Children (1995)
22. Planet of the Apes (1968)
23. V for Vendetta (2005)
24. Metropolis (2001)
25. Gattaca (1997)
26. Fahrenheit 451 (1966)
27. On The Beach (1959)
28. Mad Max (1979)
29. Total Recall (1990)
30. Dark City (1998)
31. War Of the Worlds (1953)
32. District 13 (2004)
33. They Live (1988)
34. THX 1138 (1971)
35. Escape from New York (1981)
36. A Scanner Darkly (2006)

37. Silent Running (1972)
38. Artificial Intelligence: AI (2001)
39. Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984)
40. A Boy and His Dog (1975)
41. Soylent Green (1973)
42. I Robot (2004)
43. Logan's Run (1976)
44. Strange Days (1995)
45. Idiocracy (2006)
46. Death Race 2000 (1975)
47. Rollerball (1975)
48. Starship Troopers (1997)
49. One Point O (2004)
50. Equilibrium (2002)

More than half. Not bad, I guess.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Realms Reviewed by Rob

The latest review went live on SFFWorld, Paul S. Kemp's Erevis Cale Trilogy. Paul popped into the SFFWorld forums a couple of times and his postings generated some interesting discussion. He and I got to e-mailing and I wound up reviewing the books. To be honest, I wasn't sure exactly what to expect, since my only exposure to the Forgotten Realms was Salvatore's Drizzt books, which I enjoyed.

Kemp's books I enjoyed a bit more, his writing has a darker edge and the tone is slighty more tense. The story itself was enthralling and Kemp has me looking forward to his next set of books.
I do hopes all ye joined in the bottle of rum for today's e'er so special day, YO HO! I know I did, wearing an eye patch and bandana at work, AARGH-ing it up. Last year when the holiday rolled around, I was dared to talk and wear the get-up all day, even so far as to go in an speak to a Senior VP with the accent. I, of course, am not one to be dared lightly and received a nice bottle of Captain Morgan.

Robert Jordan's death is still having a strange affect on me, I didn't expect to be as moved by it as I have been. This is especially true since I've been known on minor occassions to poke fun at the Wheel of Time over at SFFWorld, and haven't been as into the books since Winter's Heart published. Seeing people's thoughts on his work and remmbering how much I enjoyed the books when I first read them is making me want to jump back into The Eye of the World. I remember when I first had jury duty nearly ten years ago and I was reading Path of Daggers at the time, how I struck up a conversation with one of my fellow jurors about Jordan's books. Earlier this year I was at a family thing and speaking with a cousin who I hadn't seen very much in recent years and the conversation, very surprisingly to me, turned to Robert Jordan. He was one of the last people I'd expected to have read the books.

Pat posted his thoughts, as have many others. I missed Ken's nice post, which echoes much of my thoughts and The Hornswoggler had a good, if different perspective.

On a somewhat unrelated note FantasyBookCritic is a pretty good blog.

Monday, September 17, 2007

The Wheel Turns...R.I.P. Robert Jordan

James Oliver Rigney, also known as Robert Jordan passed away yesterday. I’m just one of many blogs, fans, and news sites reporting this, but it is still worth mentioning here. His Wheel of Time is easily one of the most popular (if not the largest) multi-volume sagas in the genre and helped to make fantasy (and I’m sure by extension, Science Fiction) a more commercially viable genre in the nineties on through to today. For all the finger pointing at Jordan for his shortcomings as a storyteller, he was one of the great “gatekeepers” of the genre, and hopefully will be for many years. The Eye of the World, and to a lesser extent his Conan novels, are some of the first fantasy books people read, or fiction people read in general.

I can only relate my own experience with his writing, and how it helped to bring me back in a greater way to reading fantasy and science fiction. I’d always enjoyed reading; after all I was an English major in college. As I might have said, I cut my reading chops at a very young age on those Choose Your Own Adventure books as well as The Three Investigators, then I moved onto Stephen King somewhere just before middle school. That brought me a bunch of horror, basically whatever my parents had on the shelves. Then, I found Dungeons & Dragons as a game, and DragonLance as a story. Soon, though, college called and my “free-time” reading became something of the past.

As college wound down, my free reading time returned. One of the first books I recall buying was The Eye of the World; I saw something about this Wheel of Time series on one of those news shows the SciFi Channel once aired, Sci Fi Buzz hosted by Mike Jerrick. He and Jordan were discussing the Wheel of Time. The concept interested me; I liked the idea of resonating myths coming to life; a fantasy world that has echoes of our own. I recalled Jordan’s name when I visited Barnes & Noble some time later. I figured, what the heck, the book looks interesting. I was hooked, and I have to admit to still recalling some of the scenes from the first book pretty clearly even a decade later. When I joined the Science Fiction Book Club shortly thereafter, I wound up ordering the next two books and read though them fairly quickly. I didn’t want to have to wait to mail in my order the SFBC and then wait for them to deliver the next books, which would have been The Shadow Rising and The Fires of Heaven, so I bought one in paperback and the other as a discounted hardback.

I remember reading some of the scenes in Lord of Chaos long into the night and in general, those first five or six books of the Wheel of Time were some of the most fun and compelling reading experiences I had, at least up until that point. Despite how a couple of the later books in the series left me unsatisfied, The Wheel of Time will always have a special spot on my bookshelf. I’ve been wondering for a while now if the first books would hold up as well if I were to re-read them. I was considering going through them again once the final book was to be published. Perhaps, as David Gemmell’s widow did, Jordan’s widow can finish off the last volume. She was, after all, his editor.

Before The Eye of the World was published, Jordan published other novels, but he also lived a damned interesting life. He studied physics at the Citadel, he was a nuclear engineer, and fought in the Vietnam War where he received awards for his bravery in the war and settled into a house built in the late 18th Century. Not a shabby set of life experiences, if you ask me.

Robert Jordan, through his Wheel of Time, was an ambassador to the genre, welcoming new readers. Jordan has been compared to Tolkien, and say what you will, Jordan’s importance to the genre cannot be understated. George R. R. Martin has already posted a very nice remembrance of Jordan and a thanks, as have many others. The Wheel of Time helped to make fantasy a much larger genre, and brought in a large audience. As of yesterday, the genre has lost another giant and is a shade smaller.

For that, and the many hours of reading pleasure he brought to his fans, James Oliver Rigney will be missed. Death is never easy, even when you are given a set time to live. My condolences go out to his family, friends and many readers, including those who came together in life through his books.

Over at SFFWorld, we’ve got a thread recalling his work where our members are posting their thoughts and remembrances.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Career Matchmaker

This is interesting, except I suck at my number 1 match. Oh well.

1. Go here:
2. Put in Username: nycareers, Password: landmark.
3. Take their "Career Matchmaker" questions.
4. Post the top results.

1. Cartoonist / Comic Illustrator
2. Desktop Publisher
3. Fashion Designer
4. Costume Designer
5. Set Designer
6. Cook
7. Writer
8. Critic
9. Graphic Designer
10. Artist
11. Communications Specialist
12. Market Research Analyst
13. Translator
14. Computer Animator
15. Website Designer
16. Print Journalist
17. Medical Illustrator
18. Industrial Designer
19. Interior Designer
20. Animator
21. Baker
22. Special Effects Technician
23. Sign Maker
24. Plumber
25. Glazier

In some form or another, I've had rresponsiblities similar to 2, 7, 11, 12, 15, and I love to cook. But a freaking plumber? I'm not bad at dealing with plumbing issues in my house and nothing against the plumbing profession, but that doesn't fit with the rest. And a glass cutter? Wow.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Fire and Blood

Knacked from the Hornswoggler & Aidan. I can live with that, though I thought I would be a Stark.

Your Score: House Targaryen

63% Dominant, 63% Extroverted, 63% Trustworthy

Ancient. Noble. Passionate to the point of insanity. Transcending lesser beings, you are of House Targaryen.

You are a dominant personality—in fact, you are the most dominant of all eight house types. You will not suffer yourself to be ignored. You will not suffer yourself to be ruled. The phrase "I will not suffer myself to _____!" was practically made for you. You are willful, arrogant, and exceedingly dangerous to screw with. With a temper like yours, anyone stupid enough to saunter into your line of fire won’t soon forget their mistake.

You are also extroverted, which means that everyone in the world knows exactly what your intentions are. Unlike your cohorts (who hide behind smiles and courtesies and court politics), you think of it as your birthright to come riding in on an enormous dragon, breathing fire and fucking your siblings. Hey, what you lack in subtlty, you make up in style!

Finally, you are trustworthy. Your absurd amounts of power and borderline psychosis are not used unjustly. Unlike many, your general aims are just and true. You we bred for rule, and the fact that you cannot rest until you are doing so is not your fault. If you make up your mind, it becomes reality. Never one for empty threats or vainglorious lies, you can only speak the truth. And the truth is "fire and blood."

Representative characters include: Daenerys Stormborn, Rhaegar Targaryen, and Viserys Targaryen

Similar Houses: Baratheon, Lannister,and Tully

Opposite House: Frey

When playing the game of thrones, you play it to the death.

Link: The Song of Ice and Fire House Test written by Geeky_Stripper on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test

Monday, September 10, 2007

A Feast of Books Continues

The latest review I’ve posted is today’s: Feast of Souls by C.S. Friedman, the first book in her new Magister Trilogy. Ms. Friedman is no stranger to fantasy and science fiction readers, but this book seems to have flown under the radar since it published in February. Shame really, because Friedman is an excellent writer.

I suppose her writing will always hold a special spot on my shelf because her Coldfire Trilogy was what I read on the beach in Hawaii, and the plane to and from the Island State when Mrs. Blog ‘o Stuff tied the knot over seven years ago.

The only books I haven’t read by her are The Wildling and This Madness Season. I remember liking This Alien Shore quite a bit when I read it.

That’s the long of it. The short of it is that I really enjoyed Feast of Souls, check out my review.

Over the weekend, I watched Pan’s Labyrinth, which was sitting on my TiVO for a few weeks. It was dark, both in the fantastical elements and real elements. The costumes/creatures were great, the acting worked for me, and I just really enjoyed the movie.
I don't see much talk about The 4400, which happens to be a pretty entertaining show. Part X-Men, part, Heroes, part conspiracy. The only surprisng thing is that it is on USA and not SciFi.

Rutgers is 2-0 and the Yankees have a healthy lead in the wild card. Sports are looking good from my vantage point.

Monday, September 03, 2007


Another Monday* and another new review up at SFFWorld by yours truly. This time it’s Mistborn: Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson. I liked this one very much and can see why Tor is getting behind him in a big way. So far, he’s cranked out three books in three years, so he delivers regularly. More importantly he delivers quality in spades.

We also posted the David Anthony Durham interview I conducted alongside with Pat, Larry, and Ken. Pat posted a while ago, but SFFWorld put it up tonight. I read Durham’s Acacia Book I: War with the Mein earlier in the year and was really impressed with the book.

RU started off the season very nicely, beating the point spread. It was a bit “different,” shall I say, to see a completely packed stadium, as well as participating in crowd chants numerous times throughout the game. Granted, there were some games when I attended that had big crowds, but the atmosphere was odd: it felt like what a college football game should feel like. As one friend I ran into at the tailgate said, its kind of weird to see so many people at a Rutgers game wearing Rutgers attire.

If Rutgers want to maintain and/or move up, we need to see more of the same, in terms of offense. I was never a big proponent of teams running up the score; however, it seems to be an unfortunate means to an end of getting the top rankings.

*I know, sometimes I put up my new reviews on Tuesday.