Happy 4th of July to our southern neighbors! Enjoy your barbecue and fireworks, but please try to keep the noise down. Some of us have to wake up early tomorrow.
Next – another big guest blogger announcement! Today, I start gathering questions for the one and only…
In the interest of giving you all enough lead time, I’m going to just go ahead announce September’s Book of the Month Club pick. After much thought, I’ve decided to go ahead and choose…
From the publisher: “WELCOME TO THE SECOND “GOLDEN AGE” OF SUPERHEROES AND HEROINES
Superheroes have come a long way since the “Man of Steel” was introduced in 1938. This brilliant new collection features original stories and novellas from some of today’s most exciting voices in comics, science fiction, and fantasy. Each marvelously inventive tale shows us just how far our classic crusaders have evolved—and how the greatest of heroes are, much like ourselves, all too human.
In “Call Her Savage,” MARJORIE M. LIU enters the dark heart of a fierce mythic heroine who is forced, by war, to live up to her own terrible legend.
In “A to Z in the Ultimate Big Company Superhero Universe (Villains Too),” BILL WILLINGHAM presents a fully-realized vision of a universe where epic feats and tragic flaws have transformed the human race.
In “Vacuum Lad,” STEPHEN BAXTER unveils the secret origins of the first true child of the space age—and disproves the theory that “nothing exists in a vacuum.”
In “Head Cases,” PETER DAVID and KATHLEEN DAVID blast through the blogosphere to expose the secret longings of a Lonely Superhero Wife.
In “The Non-Event,” MIKE CAREY removes the gag order on a super-thief named Lockjaw . . . and pries out a confession of life-altering events.”
From Publishers Weekly: “Anders (Fast Forward) delivers an ambitious collection of superhero tales that provide top-notch plots and characterizations while honoring their four-color roots. In Daryl Gregory’s superbly metafictional “Message from the Bubble Gum Factory,” a former sidekick finally realizes the broader implications of superheroes. Stephen Baxter nicely applies hard science to the futuristic “Vacuum Lad.” Gail Simone’s “Thug” and Mike Carey’s “The Non-Event” bolster predictable plots with solid characters and prose. Joseph Mallozzi’s “Downfall” and Marjorie M. Liu’s “Call Her Savage” embrace comics cliche’s and make them both more complex and more entertaining. […]. Overall, Anders has assembled a solid anthology that provides first-rate entertainment.”
Discussion the week of September 13th with editor Lou Anders (although I should check with him first), yours truly, and several surprise guests!
Gatefan1976 writes: “I’ve been seaching your book club entries for one of my fave Sci-fi authors, Julian May and I have not come across her (my search-fu may be lacking however) Have you read any of her works (esp the “saga of the exiles” and “galactic melieu” trilogy?”
Answer: Alas, I’m not familiar with her work.
Kymm writes: “Nia looks really familiar for some reason, is she an actress?”
Celestis writes: “Hmmm, I’m honestly surprised you didn’t like either Claymore or Baccano.”
Answer: Didn’t see Baccano but after having to sit through the trailer endless times in order to watch an episode of Claymore, just the thought of it annoys me.
Celestis also writes: “Both Claymore, Gantz and even Berserk are still on-going series and honestly, they’re better than their anime counter-parts.”
Answer: Interestingly enough, I really enjoyed Gantz – and loved Berserk. I’ve got the first four volumes of the Berserk manga and should start on them within the week.
Celestis also writes: I guess it’s time for me to break out the big guns on recommendable anime you may not have watched yet: Gungrave: The tragic story of two lifelong friends as they turn from street thugs into high-ranking members of a crime syndicate, going higher and higher…”
Answer: I have this one and will start watching on your recommendation. To be honest, I was meaning to get around to it earlier but I think it was subconsciously tarnished by association (the word “gun” in the title) with Gun X Sword that turned out to be a real yawner.
Celestis also writes: “School Rumble: A seemingly simple highschool-set anime, but I found it one of the most hilarious series I’ve ever watched, topped solely by GTO.”
Answer: Well, I’m intrigued. Don’t have it but it does sound like something I’d enjoy – atypical and humorous.
Celestis also writes: “Seirei No Moribito: Beautiful fantasy series, set in a sort of mix of ancient China/Japan, chronicling the tale of a spearwoman hired to protect a young prince from his own household.”
Answer: You’re the second person to recommend this one to me in as many days. I have it and plan to get around to it. I think I was initially unenthusiastic because I kept getting it mixed up with Otogi Zoshi, a series I liked at the time but now have no recollection of ever having watched.
Celestis also writes: “The Place Promised In Our Early Days: Great movie, set in the 1990′s of an alternate timeline Japan.”
Answer: Seen it. Loved it.
Celestis also writes: “And one of the best series I’ve watched recently: Ergo Proxy: A complex, dark series, taking place in a ruined future of Earth, with the last remnants of humanity living in domed cities.”
Answer: Also seen it and while I loved the visuals, overall it’s a series I really thought I’d enjoy a lot more than I actually did.
otros ojos writes: “Interesting about your dogs. Perhaps the “something” is the same thing I’ve been wondering about – or not. Guess we’ll know soon. . .”
Answer: Not sure what you’re cryptically referring to but, just in case – no, I’m not pregnant.
Lauren writes: “I have a suggestion for a book. I’m not sure if you have heard of it or read it yet (I only recently found this blog) but I really enjoy it. Well, it’s a part of series… It’s called “A Game Of Thrones” by George R R Martin.”
Answer: Ah, one of my very favorite fantasy series. I anxiously await A Dance with Dragons.
irishpete writes: “hey,you posted a pic of a guy in a grey suit,well thanks to my detective-esque abilities and the special features on sgu season 1 dvd i know that you used grey suit guy to help make the blue aliens. . .so does this mean that we’ll see the blue aliens again or is it some new cgi alien?”
Answer: Clever detective work. New aliens or old? You’ll find out early in season 2.
Sue Jackson writes: “Ooh…got another natsukashii moment. The ice cream truck! Everytime I hear an ice cream truck music or see one drive by….I immediately go back to my childhood memories.”
Answer: Me too! Sitting in the backyard on those hot summer days and hearing the approaching jingle, then jumping up and hurrying down to the end of the driveway, barely able to contain my excitement as the music crew louder, anxiously looking on as the truck turned up my street – only realize it wasn’t the ice cream truck but the knife sharpener.
Echelon writes: “Joe, do you ever run across a item on a menu that you just will not order? Or are you willing to try any and all strange foods?”
Answer: I’m fairly adventurous although I’m sure there are a number of food items I probably wouldn’t try. Fugu is one – although I did end up eating it on several occasions last time I was in Tokyo simply because I didn’t realize what I was being served until after the fact.
Echelon also writes: “Have you ever tried Durian fruit?”
Answer: Yep. I sampled it as part of a weird food purchase of the day installment. I believe I summed it up as “Sweet, cream, gasoliney.”
Tammi K writes: “My 16 year old son agrees regarding Claymore. He thought it was boring. He’s heard of Lucky Star but heard it was ‘girly’. Yes? No?…..”
Answer: Yes, it’s very cute but quite funny.
steph writes: “Do you believe it would really have been possible to keep such a project as the Stargate Program secret for so long? And do you think it was the right choice?”
Answer: Hard to say, especially given the events of Lost City I and II. It would be damn hard to cover up loss of life that significant. As for whether it was the right choice or not – again, hard to say. In some ways, I think yes because many people would be incapable of coming to terms with the numerous revelations knowledge of the Stargate program would bring.
BeckettsPatient writes: ”
1) I skipped through your recent blogs for the soccer related parts and interstingly found Carl Binder in a German football shirt. It seems like our Team has managed to win Carl over or does he indeed have German relatives?
2) Do you have a reason to hate the German soccer Team (just courious not judging. I hate the Italian Team so we’re even )
3) Of the last 4 Teams in the Cup whom do you cheer for now?
4) Why are you even interessted in soccer if you think it boring?”
Answers: 1) Carl’s got German roots.
2) They’re good and always seem to make the semi-finals. No other reason than that.
3) Spain and the Netherlands.
4) Office pool.
Becky writes: “As a writer/producer, do you storyboard your episodes?”
Answer: Nope. However, when faced with a complicated action sequence, the director may choose to do so.
Jim of WVa writes: “How does the BOTM club work? I should have House of Suns, by Alastair Reynolds finished before 12 July 2010. Should we prepare and send questions for Dr. Reynolds before then?”
Answer: Sure. Prepare away. I’ll weigh in with my thoughts on the book on the Monday after which you’re all free to start posting questions for the author here on the blog. I’ll gather them up and send them his way.