Miéville on BBC TV

The BBC have produced a TV series from China Miéville’s novel The City and The City, in which a murder is committed across two intersecting/intertwined cities.

The City and the City

The City And The City TV series was scripted by Tony Grisoni and directed by Tom Shankland: China Miéville served as consultant. Bringing Miéville’s setting to the screen presented the challenge of showing two distinct worlds co-existing, and to let the viewer share its inhabitants’ point of view. This was achieved by differentiating the cities through architecture, clothing and décor, and by colour and lighting. In Besźel, a “1970’s Istanbul look”, coloured with soft yellows and browns is used, while Ul Qoma has modern skyscrapers, and bright red with blue or blue-white dominate.

The series runs to four episodes of around 70 minutes.


Locus turns 50!

In 1968, the legendary anthologist and editor Charles N. Brown created a one-sheet fanzine about news of the science fiction field. Brown’s intent was to use it to help the Boston Science Fiction group win its Worldcon bid. Brown enjoyed the experience so much that he continued the magazine through Noreascon I, the 29th Worldcon held in Boston in 1971 (where Locus won its first Hugo award). Brown continued to be the steward of Locus until his death in 2009. In that run, Locus won thirty Hugo awards, and for good reason.

— Paul Weimer,  Celebrating 50 Years of Locus Magazine on tor.com


The everyday in SF

Science fiction can deliver a unique impact. It can suggest to us why we yearn for the opportunity to sit down and share a pizza with someone from Arcturus; or why we would love to be present for the first performance of Hamlet, with an opportunity to wait outside at the end and inform Will Shakespeare (who played the ghost that opening night) that the show was seriously good; or why we dream about what it would be like to climb out of an airlock and step down onto the surface of another planet.

It reminds us, in many ways, of who we are.

— Jack McDevitt, writing about “Five Stories That Celebrate the Everyday in Science Fiction” at tor.com

How to Suppress Women’s Writing


The best part of this book is how concise and well-exampled each section of the argument is. Scholarly work has a tendency to be unnecessarily long and dense for no virtue other than a page count, but that’s no problem here. Russ cuts through the bullshit to use each word as effectively as it can be used and never lets herself stray from the outline of her analysis—in short, she brings the skills of a fiction writer to her academic work, and the result is an excellent text.
— Brit Mandelo, “How to Suppress Women’s Writing by Joanna Russ” at tor.com

A new Jonathan Carroll

“When she got home from Bellport’s office she made a cup of coffee and took it to her desk. Fittingly, she took out the gorgeous, carmine-red, Japanese lacquer fountain pen he had given her for her birthday many years before. The great irony was although she loved pens, notebooks, and everything to do with handwriting, hers was absolutely atrocious and had been all of her life. It was tiny and almost indecipherable to anyone but herself. He once said it looked like someone dipped a pigeon’s feet in ink then let it walk across the page. He was right. It had always embarrassed her, and put side to side with his precise, singular, almost calligraphic script, it was like comparing gravel to a diamond.”

—- from Played Your Eyes, a new Jonathan Carroll short Story at tor.com

Butler in Space!

The IAU is naming features on Charon, Pluto’s moon, and have decided to honour Octavia Butler by naming a mountain after her. Butler Mons joins a host of other names celebrating the spirit of human exploration at the furthest reaches of our solar system.

Crit Mass, April 4th: Digital Humanities Part II

Andrew is presenting Critical Mass, 7pm at Kappys.

With great sadness we mourn the passing of Ursula Le Guin in January of this year. During her literary career she was won numerous awards. Including two Hugos (Left Hand of Darkness and Dispossessed) and four Nebulas (Left Hand of Darkness, Dispossessed, Powers and Tehanu); more Nebula awards than any other author.

There are many aspects of her writing that I appreciate, one of which is her brevity. Her novels are complete, each with a beginning, a middle and an end; offering intrigues, character development, and cathartic conclusions. However in comparison to modern works of fiction I find her novels exceptionally short. I often wonder whether novel length has evolved over time, or was perhaps Le Guin unusually concise?

To address these questions we examine the list Hugo and Nebula winners over the past 65 years, comparing Le Guin’s novels with other winners, and assess how novel length has varied over time.

Hard to be A God premiere


Cinémathèque at the Mercury starts its After Year Zero mini season with Alexsei German’s Hard to be A God7pm Mon 23rd April. This will be the first public screening in Adelaide of this extraordinary film, based on the Strugatsky’s novel.

Also in the season are:

  • Stanley Kramer’s On the Beach, 7pm Mon 30th April
  • Jeunet & Caro’s Delicatessen, 7pm Wed 2nd May
  • Bong Hoon’s Snowpiercer, 7pm Mon 7th May
  • Terry Gilliam’s Twelve Monkeys, 7pm Wed 9th May

A four film pass to Cinémathèque screenings will cost you $40 / $30 conc.