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I noticed that over at Whatever, John Scalzi has announced he has made his 10,000 post. Wow! My current count is right around 585…I guess I have some catching up to do. Anyway just a shout out to Scalzi and a well earned congratulations.

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ghost_brigadesI’ve been snooping through the web trying to figure out what is new in the Science Fiction world – books, movies, etc – and what I have found is…not much. And at the same time, a lot. We have known for some time that HBO is making a show based on Asimov‘s science fiction classic, Foundation series, but as of today, there is no release date. The same goes for other books that are thought to be in pre-production to be brought to the small screen such John Scalzi‘s Old Man‘s War and Redshirts, Frederik Pohl‘s Gateway, and Ann Leckie‘s Ancillary Justice. Although, the Old Man’s War television series does seem to have a show name of The Ghost Brigades after the second book in that series. The only thing we do know is that 3001 by Arthur C. Clarke does seem to have a tentative release date of 2017, which is good because I’m currently reading 2061 and will move onto 3001 when I’m done. New additions to the list of soon-to-be T.V. shows are Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson, The Dark Tower by Stephen King (which has actually been thrown around for several years as possible T.V. show), Lock In by John Scalzi, and Hyperion by Dan Simmons. So…yeah, a lot happening without much of anything happening, all at the same time. Being a huge Old Man’s War fan, though, I can’t wait to see that story being told on television. So I guess stay tuned. As for movies, well…apparently re-bootes for both The Mummy and Interview with a Vampire are in the works. And Pacific Rim 2 has been delayed.

the_human_divisionSo, like many years in the past few, I fell far short of reaching my reading goal. At list this year I had somewhat of an excuse such as planning my own wedding. And it didn’t help that project after project was piled onto one another at work. But that’s life.

There are, however, some books that I am reading as the year ends that I am hoping I will get mostly finished, if not completely finished, before the year is done. I have been trying lately, and hope to continue into the next year, reading two or three books at a time, but all concerning different subject matters and genres. For example I am currently reading The Human Division by John Scalzi. Scalzi is by far one of my favorite authors to emerge from the world of science fiction in the past few years. Also, in order to try and jump start my writing and creative side, I am reading Outlining Your Novel by K. M. Weiland. And lastly, because I am a history buff I am reading The Plantagenets by Dan Jones.

I find if I read two science fiction book at the same time, or two history book, things can, and often do,the_plantagenets bleed together. At least this way, reading a science fiction/fantasy book; a history book, and a how-to book will keep things at least separated in terms of writing style. And also, I have never been one to pick up a book and read it all the way through before starting the next book. I have always had my fingers in more than one book at any given time.

Hopefully with the end of the year approaching I will have a little down time so I can at least finish one or two of these books before moving onto the next year, but with family and friends in town as well as get-togethers, it remains to be seen how much I will get done. In any event, I hope everybody has a merry Christmas!

ghost_brigadesWord has it that there are lots of new science fiction shows coming to you television, chief among them is the news that The Old Man’s War by John Scalzi is one of them. I read The Old Man’s WarGhost Brigades and The Last Colony three or four years ago now and instantly fell in love with them, so the fact that there are being made into a TV show I think is great news. The bad news is that this TV series will be on the SyFy channel which has a habit of producing good guilty science fiction television and then cancelling it when the ratings dip. However, word has it that the producers who cancelled Stargate: Universe – a great series – have been show the door.

Also, a The Walking Dead spin-off is also in the works and coming to AMC. In related news, Robert Kirkman, creator of The Walking Dead, has another show coming to television called Clones. And related to the above news, Scalzi has a show coming to FX related to his novel Redshirts.

All-in-all, if these shows are half as good as the books I think it will be an exciting next couple of years for science fiction television.

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Great interview with John Scalzi where he talks about audible books, his rise to becoming a well recognized author, and even about character development in Science Fiction.

John_Scalzi_-_Zoe's_TaleI make no secret of the fact that I’m a huge John Scalzi fan. I mean, the guy is immensely talented. When I read Old Man’s War I was so hooked I immediately went out and bought the other two books in the series and read them in a matter of days. Still, I have to admit that when I picked up Zoe’s Tale I paused. I was skeptical how good the story would actually be, I mean we already had some of the details of the story from The Last Colony, and to be honest I wasn’t looking forward to reading a story from the point of view of a teenage girl. And while the story dealt with a girl and her teenage crush, the story had a lot to offer for even the most seasoned of science fiction fans. It has love, sorrow, action, adventure and the good old space battles that we have come to know and love from the Old Man’s War universe. In short, I started out almost forcing myself to read Zoe’s Tale but quickly found that I couldn’t put down.

Rating (Out of 5):

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I have made no secret that John Scalzi is not only one of my favorite new writers from the world of Science Fiction, but he is also simply put one of my favorite writers period . For the past couple of years Scalzi has been heading the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, as well as being the author of many best selling novel. Here he is talking about what it means to be writer and more specifically, how he got his start.

It has been said here and other places many a time that if you want to be a good writer you must also read a lot…not to mention write a lot. As for the reading part, and because I had a truly dismal year last year in terms of what I read and how much, I have compiled a list – a somewhat short list – of things I want to read and finish before 2012 is over. That is to say that by January 1, 2013 I want to have read everything I have set out to read for this year, 2012…or by December 21, 2012 and the end of the world, which ever comes first.

Without further adieu, the list is:

  1. The Plague Year Trilogy by Jeff Carlson. I have started the first book in this series, and while it did start off slow, it has come together very nicely and has thus far been an enjoyable read and therefore I am looking forward to finishing the final two book in the series.
  2. The Darksword Trilogy by Margaret Weis and  Tracy Hickman. I am ashamed to say that I have had these three books since I was a youngster and have always wanted to read them, but never did. Now I will.
  3. The Speaker for the Dead and Xenocide by Orson Scott Card. I read Ender’s Game in my younger years and put off reading any further because of my coming of age in terms of my political views, and as I did I formed the opinion that Card and his politics were nothing short of misguided. Because of this, I held a strike, if you will, against reading any more of Card‘s other works. And while I still see his opinions as misguided I have come to accept that as a writer the guy is amazing and just because I may not agree with his views and politics does not mean I have to punish myself by not enjoying what he has given to the literary world.
  4. Forever War by Joe Haldeman. This book has been on my radar for a couple of years now, probably since I read Old Man’s War. I have heard it compared to Starship Troopers, which I have to say, I wasn’t a fan. So we’ll see, over all, the things I have heard have been positive.
  5. Zoe’s Tale by John Scalzi. Scalzi is a relatively new face in the science fiction world but since the publication of Old Man’s War he has proven that he can spin a tale with the best of them. I have read the first three books of the Old Man’s War trilogy and now it is time to finish it.
  6. Rendezvous with Rama, Rama II, The Garden of Rama. Arthur C. Clarke is one of those authors that I simple couldn’t get enough of when I was growing up, especially his work surrounding 2001: A Space Odyssey. A while back I found all three of these books at a Goodwill, all in perfect condition and all for around a dollar. When I came home and read the back covers I was immediately transported back to my high school days and the times I ditched class in order to find my quite spot out by the wood shop backdoor so I could read. Often what I was reading were Clarke books.
  7. The Hunger Games books by Suzanne Collins. Of course these are being made into movies so I might read these books sooner rather than later.

All-in-all, that is sixteen books, more than I read all of last year and hopefully only the tip of the iceberg. Others on my list, should I get that far, are The Man in the Castle by Philip K. Dick; Fuzzy Nation by  John Scalzi.

If you liked the Old Man’s War series by John Scalzi, then you are in luck as The Sagan Diary carries the story further, giving the reader new insight into the life and vantage points of Jane Sagan and how certain events that took place in Old Man’s War and The Ghost Brigades were perceived from her vantage point.

I have yet to read Zoe’s Tale, the last book in this series, but I was delighted to find that the when I completed it, it would not necessarily mean the end of the series, and that there was still more to come.

If I were stuck on a secluded island I think I would be just fine…as long as I had some of my favorite John Scalzi and Stephen King books. Will The God Engines be one of these new favorites? I don’t know, but we’ll see. I got this for my nook, giving me the perfect read to try and test my new gadget. From all descriptions that I have seen, most describe this story as dark, so it will be interesting to see how well it turns out since most of what I have read by John Scalzi is anything but dark.

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