neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)
My wife and I watched the first season of "The Shannara Chronicles" when it came out on Netflix a year ago and found it surprisingly enjoyable. We've been looking forward to its return. That's tomorrow. Here's the trailer.


One of the things that the trailer makes clear is that the show takes place in a post-apocalyptic future, something I pointed out in a a comment on The Worlds That Never Were on Greer's Ecosophia blog: "It may not be immediately clear in the books, but in the opening credits and scenes of the TV series, it's explicit that the stories are set in a post-nuclear-war future where the elves, dwarves, and trolls evolved from humans in a radioactive environment and where ruins of our current civilization dot the landscape."

Watch the opening to see.


Here's to the second season being as fun to watch as the first.
neonvincent: For posts about cats and activities involving uniforms. (Krosp)
Nature documentary nominees are well photographed at the 2017 News and Documentary Emmy Awards
"Hummingbirds are amazing creatures to behold. They are the tiniest of birds, yet possess natural born super powers that enable them to fly backwards, upside-down, and float in mid-air. Their wings beat faster than the eye can see and the speed at which they travel makes people wonder if it was indeed a hummingbird they actually saw. They also are only found in the Americas. These attributes have both intrigued scientists and made it challenging to study the species, but with the latest high-speed cameras and other technologies, Super Hummingbirds reveals new scientific breakthroughs about these magical birds" -- Nature on PBS

'Sonic Sea,' a triple nominee, and its competitors
"Sonic Sea ( http://www.sonicsea.org ) is a 60-minute documentary about the impact of industrial and military ocean noise on whales and other marine life. It tells the story of a former U.S. Navy officer who solved a tragic mystery and changed forever the way we understand our impact on the ocean" -- Natural Resources Defense Council.

Space, Ebola, volcanoes, stroke, and human expansion the topics of Science and Technology Documentary nominees
"On March 27, 2015, astronaut Scott Kelly began a historic year in space. Follow Scott and his identical twin Mark Kelly as the two-part program tells the story of what it takes, mentally and physically, to spend a year in space" -- PBS.

Extinction, water, astronomy, and HIV among 2017 Emmy nominees for Outstanding Science, Medical and Environmental Report
"We're entering the Earth's sixth era of extinction -- and it's the first time humans are to blame. CNN introduces you to the species that are already going" -- CNN.

'Body Team 12' and 'Extremis' both nominated for Outstanding Short Documentary plus other science, health, and environment nominees
"Body Team 12 follows a team of Liberian Red Cross workers tasked with collecting the dead during the height of the Ebola outbreak. The story is told on the ground in Monrovia, Liberia, through the eyes of the only female member of the team, who reveals the lifesaving work of removing bodies from family and loved ones in order to halt transmission of the disease" -- RYOT.
neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)
snowcrash ringworld lazarus amazon


Four years ago, I wrote Finally, a Ringworld movie!
That's the one in which I repeated my twenty-year-old grousing about how I wrote an adventure for Chaosium's Ringworld table-top RPG, but lost all that effort because the movie rights to the book were sold and the movie production company asserted that they had the game rights, too. To add insult to injury, there was no movie. Apparently, that will change, as SyFy announced that they will develop the book into a four-hour miniseries.
The good news was that it became one of the two most read posts of that year. The bad news is that no "Ringworld" movie or miniseries came of it.

Not all is lost, as io9 reported this week Amazon Is Developing a Bonanza of Genre Titles: Ringworld, Snow Crash, and Lazarus.
Amazon just announced a virtual land grab of genre titles that it’s putting into development: Larry Niven’s scifi classic Ringworld; Neal Stephenson’s cult classic Snow Crash; and Greg Rucka’s acclaimed comic Lazarus. In a perfect world, we could be seeing all three made into drama series.

As Deadline reports, the announcement comes as the streaming network is hoping to land a “big-scope genre drama series in the mold of Game Of Thrones and The Walking Dead.” There aren’t too many details yet, but the standout points include: the Ringworld project will likely draw not just from Niven’s 1970 original, but other books in the series; Rucka will be adapting Lazarus himself from page to screen; and Snow Crash will be co-produced by Joe Cornish, who at one time had the project on his own feature-directing slate.
I'm a lot more confident in Amazon pulling off "Ringworld" than I was about SyFy, so I'm looking forward to it. The other project I want to see is "Snow Crash." It may not be the best of Stephenson's novels, but it is the best-known and it's a lot of fun. Here's to both of them reaching the small screen before the decade is out!
neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)

'Westworld' and 'Stranger Things' lead drama series with five Creative Arts Emmy Awards each
I report on the five Emmy Awards both "Westworld" and "Stranger Things" have already won as well as the three statuettes "The Handmaid's Tale" earned, all of which put them in the lead for drama series, along with all the rest of the live-action speculative fiction winners, including the first Emmy Awards for "Gotham" and "Marvel's Luke Cage."
The five awards "Westworld" won last week were Outstanding Hairstyling for a Single-Camera Series, Outstanding Creative Achievement In Interactive Media Within A Scripted Program, Outstanding Make-up for a Single-Camera Series (Non-Prosthetic), Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy or Drama Series (One Hour), and Outstanding Special Visual Effects.
"Stranger Things" also won five awards, Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series, Outstanding Main Title Design, Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music, Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series, and Outstanding Sound Editing for a Series.
"The Handmaid's Tale" came in third among drama series with three wins. The dystopian tale won Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for Alexis Bledel as Ofglen/Emily, Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series (One Hour), and Outstanding Production Design for a Narrative Contemporary or Fantasy Program (One Hour or More).
"Gotham" won Outstanding Special Visual Effects in a Supporting Role, the show's first Emmy.
"Marvel's Luke Cage" won Outstanding Stunt Coordination for a Drama Series, Limited Series, or Movie, the show's first Emmy.

'The Handmaid's Tale' sweeps last night of Emmys to win five awards
It went very well for "The Handmaid's Tale," as it won all five of the categories in which it was competing last night. In addition to Outstanding Drama Series and Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series, the show won Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series, and Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series.
neonvincent: For posts about cats and activities involving uniforms. (Krosp)
'Planet Earth II' wins two Emmy Awards
"Planet Earth II" won two awards at last weekend's Creative Arts Emmy Awards, Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series and Outstanding Cinematography for a Nonfiction Program for "Islands."

'13th' leads non-fiction programs with four Emmy Awards
"'13th' won for documentary special as well as writing, motion design and original music and lyrics for “The Letter to the Free” by Common, Robert Glasper and Karriem Riggins. The Netflix documentary, which also collected a Peabody Award and an Oscar nomination this year, led the winners field with four trophies" -- Variety.
neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)

I said I'd post some saved links today. Are they from November 2015? Hardly. They are from this month.

Links for the Emmy Awards and my various projects in the history of science fiction behind the cut. )
neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)
I stumbled upon this video, which features two of my favorite actresses in two of my favorite speculative fiction television series having a conversation about show business and their craft, and thought it was worth sharing with my readers.


Good luck to both of them at the Emmy Awards next month.

neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)

Last month, I posted here about the Teen Choice Awards nominees recognizing speculative fiction in movies and television. The awards were given out Sunday, so it's time to post about the winners. Here are the links to entries about the winners at Crazy Eddie's Motie News and the descriptions I used to promote them.

'Beauty and the Beast' the big winner at the Teen Choice Awards as speculative fiction dominates the movie categories
"Beauty and the Beast" won five awards, Choice Fantasy Film, Choice Fantasy Movie Actress for Emma Watson, Choice Movie Villain for Luke Evans, and Choice Movie Ship and Choice Liplock for Emma Watson and Dan Stevens. Emma Watson also won Choice Drama Movie Actress for her role in the thriller "The Circle."

'Riverdale' leads television shows with seven Teen Choice Awards
"Riverdale" was the most honored show last Sunday, earning seven surfboards: Choice Drama TV Show, Choice Drama TV Actor for Cole Sprouse, Choice Breakout TV Show, Choice Breakout TV Star for Lili Reinhart, Choice TV Ship for Sprouse and Reinhart, Choice Hissy Fit for Madelaine Petsch, and Choice Scene Stealer for Camila Mendes.





neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)
Hugo Awards successfully fighting off Rabid Puppies
Just looking at the nominees, I could tell that the Rabid Puppies had very little effect on the outcome. Both "Ghostbusters" and "Hidden Figures," which feature female casts, are exactly the kind of works the Puppies slates attempted to keep out of the voting in previous years. It turned out they were hardly trying.

'Arrival' and 'The Expanse' win Best Dramatic Presentation at the Hugo Awards
I thought "Arrival" would win Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form) in a walk. It did. Eric Heisserer can put the rocket for Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form) next to his Saturn Award for Best Film Screenplay and the Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation. On the other hand, I didn't make a prediction for Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form), but was happy to find out that "The Expanse" won.


neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)
I just finished a series on the speculative fiction and non-fiction nominees at the Television Critics Awards at Crazy Eddie's Motie News. Here are the links and summaries.

'The Handmaid's Tale,' 'Stranger Things,' and 'The Good Place' lead speculative fiction nominees at Television Critics Association Awards
Both "Stranger Things" and "The Handmaid's Tale" are nominated for Program of the Year, Outstanding Achievement in Drama, and Outstanding New Program. Elisabeth Moss of "The Handmaid's Tale" is also nominated for Individual Achievement in Drama as was Carrie Coon of "The Leftovers" and "Fargo." "The Good Place" is nominated for Outstanding Achievement in Comedy, Outstanding New Program, and Individual Achievement in Comedy for Kristen Bell.

Lots of politics in nonfiction television at the 2017 Television Critics Awards
While I agree that both "Full Frontal With Samantha Bee" and "Last Week Tonight" are excellent sources of information -- in fact, I called "Last Week Tonight" "the best news program on TV today, even if it is considered entertainment" -- both shows are primarly comedy about the news, not the news itself. Still, it says a lot about our times that the comedians do a better job of covering important stories than the actual journalists. Many of today's stories, particularly the political ones, are absurd and deserve nothing better than to be laughed at.

Religion and politics at the 2017 Television Critics Association Awards as 'The Handmaid's Tale' wins two awards
Both "The Handmaid's Tale" and "The Leftovers" are about religion and government's response to it. "The Handmaid's Tale" won two awards, Outstanding Achievement in Drama and Program of the Year. "The Leftovers" shared a win for Carrie Coon's performance in it and "Fargo."
neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)
Bill Nye and Neil DeGrasse Tyson at the Emmy Awards

 

'Wild Yellowstone: The Frozen Frontier' -- last year's Emmy winner for Outstanding Cinematography: Documentary and Long Form

"The Yellowstone winters are unforgiving and the animals that call the park home have a variety of strategies they employ in order to survive" -- National Geographic Wild on YouTube.

Nature and science at the Primetime Emmy Awards
Three shows nominated for Primetime Emmy Awards examine nature, science, and scientists. "Planet Earth II" and "Genius" each earned ten nominations. "Bill Nye Saves The World" earned two.

Vox on 'Planet Earth II'
In three videos, Vox explains how the BBC makes Planet Earth look like a Hollywood movie, how wildlife films warp time, and how the BBC films the night side of Planet Earth.

More nature and science at the Primetime Emmy Awards
Five more shows about nature, science, and space earned one nomination each at the Primetime Emmy Awards: "Wild New Zealand," "Wild Scotland," and "Year Million" were each nominated for Outstanding Narrator, “StarTalk with Neil deGrasse Tyson” was nominated for Outstanding Informational Series or Special, and “Mission: ISS” was nominated for Outstanding Original Interactive Program, a new category.
neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)


For two days, I've been teasing that I'd post what I was writing about at Crazy Eddie's Motie News instead of World Emoji Day. It was about the Teen Choice Award nominees for Movies and TV.

Here are the links to three posts and the blurbs I used to promote them on social media. )

Voting ends tonight.  Surf here to vote.

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Patrick Stewart as the voice of poop emoji
I wrote yesterday that "I'll be back tomorrow with the entries I actually posted at my main blog." That's not happening today. Maybe tomorrow. Instead, I've found two clips of actors in "The Emoji Movie" promoting the film on late night talk shows. The first is Sir Patrick Stewart's Next Distinguished Role: Poop Emoji on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert when he was ostensibly there to promote "Logan."


The second is Maya Rudolph Struggled Getting into Character as Cartoon Emoji from Late Night with Seth Meyers, which was taped on World Emoji Day. She even mentions that in the video.


As I wrote in the subject line, first-rate voice talent for a second-rate movie. Maybe it will be better than I fear.
neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)
I saved one comment in February, my response to another comment on Perched on the Wheel of Time. If it looks familiar, it's because I used the first two paragraphs in 'The Walking Dead' vs. 'Westworld' at the 2017 Saturn Awards. As for last paragraph I wrote, I did ask at the liberal prepper groups if they participated in the SCA and if the archaic skills they practiced helped with their survivalism. A significant number of them said yes.

Me: @Armata: You were right to point to American popular culture for evidence that people are afraid that progress may be coming to a halt and soon, but the way you used your examples works against you with people who know television. In particular, your statement that "The most popular TV show right now is Game of Thrones, based on George RR Martin’s 'A Song of Fire and Ice' novels" requires closer examination. "Game of Thrones" may be the most award-winning drama on American television today with a record 39 Emmy Awards over its run, but if by "most popular" you meant "most watched," it most assuredly is not. According to Indiewire, it came in 38th among viewers of all ages and sixth among TV watchers aged 18-49 during the 2015-2016 season, the most recent in which the series aired.

The more popular show exemplifying Americans' anxiety about the end of progress is "The Walking Dead," which came in fourth among all viewers and first among those aged 18-49, making it, not "Game of Thrones," the most watched show on cable with nearly twice as many viewers. That's a fast-collapse show, but the series is now in its seventh season and has finally reached the stage where most of the rubble has stopped bouncing, so the conflict driving the drama has become a struggle for power among groups of survivors, including a barbarian warband that ironically (or maybe not) sees itself as the "Saviors of Civilization," instead of a fight for survival against the undead. That written, "Game of Thrones" makes your point that "Winter is coming" and people are aware it may be approaching in the real world as well. It's just not as salient an example as you made it out to be.

On another note, I'm a member of several "liberal prepper" groups on Facebook. I'll ask the members if any of them participate in the SCA and, if so, whether their historical reenacting has given them any survival skills. Coincidentally enough, one of the communities of survivors in "The Walking Dead" grew up around a park where Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century crafts were recreated for visitors. In the series, that was an intentional choice for those survivors, not an accident.

Justin: Pinku-Sensei, agreed about The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones. I watched the first episode of the current season of the walking dead, and wow, that was some brutal stuff. If sufficient transcripts survive, no doubt that future historians will study that show. Game of Thrones is interesting too. "Winter is coming" is certainly appropriate. Of course, the whole theme was thought up by GRRM in the 90's - although who knows what GRRM thinks about industrial civilization. He's certainly a smart fellow.
neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)

Yesterday, I wrote "I might post something fannish" today. I am -- the links to and social media summaries of my blog entries at Crazy Eddie's Motie News about the Saturn Awards.  Top posts from June 2017 should return tomorrow.

'Rogue One' and '10 Cloverfield Lane' tie with three 2017 Saturn Awards for film
"Rogue One" won Best Science Fiction Film, Best Direction Film in a Film, and Best Special/Visual Effects. "10 Cloverfield Lane" won Best Thriller Film, Best Actress in a Film for Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and Best Supporting Actor in a Film for John Goodman. "Doctor Strange" won Best Comic-to-Film Motion Picture and Best Supporting Actress in a Film for Tilda Swinton. Ryan Reynolds won Best Actor in a Film for "Deadpool."

"The Walking Dead" leads 2017 Saturn Awards television winners
"The Walking Dead" won three awards, including Best Horror TV Series. "Westworld," "Stranger Things," "Supergirl," and "Riverdale" each won two awards, including the best shows in each of their genre categories.

"The unstoppable walkers of AMC’s global TV phenomenon “The Walking Dead” proved just as invincible last night, garnering three Saturn Awards for Best Horror TV Series, Best Actor on Television (Andrew Lincoln), and Best Guest Star on Television (Jeffrey Dean Morgan)" -- Critical Blast.

"HBO’s “Westworld” 21st century reboot outdrew the competition for two awards: Best Science Fiction TV Series and Best Supporting Actor on Television (Ed Harris)" -- Critical Blast.

"Stranger Things" earned a tie for Best New Media TV Series with "Marvel's Luke Cage" and Millie Bobbie Brown won Best Younger Actor on Television.

Three superhero shows won four awards. "Supergirl" won Best Superhero Adaptation TV Series and Melissa Benoist won Best Actress on Television, "Marvel's Luke Cage" tied with "Stranger Things" for Best New Media TV Series, and Candace Patton won Best Supporting Actress on Television for her role on "The Flash."

"Outlander" won Best Fantasy TV Series and Producer Toni Graphia was interviewed on the red carpet.

neonvincent: From an icon made by the artists themselves (Bang)

For tonight's season finale of "The Walking Dead," I present the above macro and the following links about the show and zombies.

Norman Reedus AKA Daryl Dixon of 'The Walking Dead' on the Tonight Show and Late Night
The Archdruid and his readers on zombies
More from the Archdruid and his readers on zombies, part 1
Drink and drive with "The Walking Dead"
neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)
Over at One Piece: Grand Line 3 Point 5, the campaign webcomic about One Piece, there is the most comprehensive page of links to other campaign webcomics I've ever seen.  If any of you are or were tabletop gamers, there is something for almost every taste, from Star Wars to Harry Potter to Pirates of the Caribbean in movies to anime and American Animation.  Go ahead and waste your time, if you dare.
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And now, an entry from Crazy Eddie's Motie News that I can't believe I didn't cross post over to DW and LJ. It's exactly the kind of thing I used to post over here regularly. Seven months later, here it is, Finally, a Ringworld movie!

I've been a huge fan of Larry Niven's Known Space ever since I watched The Slaver Weapon. I thought the Kzinti were really cool and promptly checked out a copy of Ringworld from the library. I read through all the Known Space stories I could lay my hands on during the years since, right up to Ringworld Engineers and The Patchwork Girl. After those books, no new Known Space stories appeared for a decade.

All was not lost, as Chaosium Games, the publishers of Runequest and Call of Cthulhu, purchased the game rights to Ringworld. I convinced Chaosium that I knew enough about Known Space and tabletop role-playing games to let me develop a scenario for an adventure module. I wrote the scenario, playtested it, submitted it, and was about to revise it when Chaosium told me to stop. It wasn't because what I wrote was bad; in fact, it had nothing to do with me. It turns out that Niven had sold the movie rights to Ringworld and the movie company asserted that it now held the game rights, not Chaosium. Chaosium was too small to take on the movie company and its lawyers, so it gave up.

I was pissed. Not only did it stop publication of a game that I really believed in, it meant that all my effort, about $300 worth in 1984 dollars, went right down the drain. I decided to never buy another Niven book new ever again. To add insult to injury, Niven used the game guide as source material for the Man-Kzin Wars series. Worst of all, there never was any movie. All that loss was for nothing.

That may all change, as Entertainment Weekly reports.

Ringworld' miniseries in the works at Syfy -- EXCLUSIVE
Michael Perry (The River, Paranormal Activity 2) is adapting Ringworld as a four-hour miniseries. The story follows a team of explorers that travel to the farthest reaches of space to investigate an alien artifact called Ringworld – an artificial habitat the size of one million Earths. As they crash land on this enormous structure, they discover the remnants of ancient civilizations, technology beyond their wildest dreams, mysteries that shed light on the very origins of man and, most importantly, a possible salvation for a doomed Earth.

For Ringworld fans, this news might cause some deja vu. Syfy previously considered making a Ringworld miniseries under a different production team nine years ago.
I might finally get a movie--30 years later. Maybe I can get some comfort from that.

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