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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.


itSeth Grahame-Smith seemed to come out of nowhere with the publication of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Then a few years later Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter hit the shelves followed by a movie sometime later. I only bring this up because a few days ago I found myself sitting in a doctors office waiting for a family member with nothing but Hollywood Insiders and People magazines in front of me, not my usual reading. Trying to kill time, I picked up one of the magazines that seemed like it would hold at least a little interest to me and started to read. Close to the back was an interview with Seth Grahame-Smith and his “wishlist” of things he would like to do and/or accomplish in the near future. On that list was a re-make (or spinoff) of  The Gremlins franchise (I don’t know about any of your out there, but I loved those movies when I was growing up), as well as making a Beetlejuice sequel. Last on the list is a big screen adaptation for Stephen King‘s IT, which out of all of them I am most excited to see happening. I have yet to read the book, but it has been one on the list for a while even though it is a beast to read weighing in at a thousand plus pages. When I dug a little deeper into the filming of IT I found out that filming begins this summer, so I guess it’s time to take that book off the shelf and start reading.

The_Sword_of_shannaraI’m really not one for New Years Resolutions, but I am for goal, especially when it come to reading and using my brain. And, unfortunately  in the past few years, my reading goals have been falling far short of where I would like them to be, especially last year. This, however, hasn’t deterred me, even though I did, for a brief moment, consider not even making any reading goals, contemplating the idea of simply letting the moment take we where it willed. Then I thought better of it and realized that with so many books in my library it’s hard to keep track of them all, and even harder to come to a consensus of which I want to reach next.

So here it goes, the list, in no particular order.

  • Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins. The movie is obviously coming out this year, and one things I always enjoyed about reading in my younger years was reading the book before the movie came out. This was true with Jurassic ParkEvent HorizonStar Wars: Episode I, etc. Besides, the first installment of The Hunger Games was far better than I thought it would be, so I have noringworld problem continuing on with the trilogy.
  • The Sword of Shannara and The Elfstone of Shannara by Terry Brooks. The truth is that I have owned these books since I was in my teens and have yet to read them. I pick one of both of them up every now and then and just read the back cover, and every time I think to myself: when are you going to finally read these? Well, God willing, hopefully this year.
  • New Spring and The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan. Again, this is a series that I have always wanted to read and while I was feeling ambitious about this years reading I added them to the list. As we all know these books are monstrous in size, so we’ll see.
  • Hereos: The Legend of Huma by  Richard A. Knaak. Again, this is a series that I have had for a long time and never got around to reading. Back in my high school days I did read the Chronicles trilogy and thought highly of them, so I figured it was about time I get back to reading the Drogonlance books that I have had forever.
  • Ringworld, Ringworld Engineers and Ringworld Throne by Larry Niven. Some science fiction is needed to balance everything out, right? The truth is I have alreadythe_legend_of_huma read Ringworld, years ago, but I don’t remember if I read Ringworld Enginneers or not, and I certainly haven’t read Ringworld Throne. So I figured it was best to start from the beginning and re-read the at least the first one again, something I have always wanted to do anyway.
  • Ender’s Game, The Speaker for the Dead, and Xenocide by Orson Scott Card. Again, I read Ender’s Game years ago, but in this case I know for a fact that I stopped right there and never continued on, even though I wanted to. Life just happened, I guess, like it always does. In any event, I plan to start from the beginning and read one right after the other.
  • If I have time, I would like to sneak in a Stephen King book or two. The two that I would like to read the most are The Dark Half and It. Again, these are monstrous books, so we’ll see how much time I have, if any, to read them.

I was cruising around the internet today when I should have been working and came across this video by Stephen King and his thoughts about how short story telling is really a lost art form. It’s no secret that I am a huge Stephen King fan, and one thing I really do like about his writing is the short story. It’s getting close to Halloween and one of the best horror stories I have every read was a short by Stephen King called The Man in the Black Suite. I could name others but really the list would be too long.

It would seem that Stephen KingThe Dark Tower series may never see the big screen. With the on-again, off-again plans to make it into a trilogy of films and/or made for T.V. mini-series, and now this, we may never know if plans to make a movie are ever going to get fulfilled until we see the first trailer for the movie. Until that day comes, I’m not going to hold my breath. As much of a Dark Tower fan that I am, and as much of a Russell Crowe fan that I am, I’m not sure him playing the lead role is a very good idea. I think  Javier Bardem, who was original slated to play the lead role, was a better choice.

I used to hate audio books, but then I realized something: The books that I have read one or more times and have grown to love, I can’t ready over and over again like I would like without taking up an enormous amount of time and putting other books that I would like to read on the back burner. Thus it makes sense to listen to those books while driving into to work or on a long road trip, such as the one I am about to take in a weeks time. Therefore, it was with no small amount of chance and luck that I happened to notice The Langoliers by Stephen King on sale at my local book store the other, which just so happens to be possible my favorite work by the master of horror. This audio version is read by Willem Dafoe who I am not a huge fan off, as far as voice choices go, but after listening to the first CD in this set I must say he has done a very good job.

For those of you who have read The Langoliers before know that there are some pretty gruesome parts, and it will be interesting to see how those come across in audio as opposed to me reading it for myself.

I have actually owned a copy of this book since I was a kid, but I recently purchased a copy that is a hardback and in better condition than my fifteen year old paperback.

The book is about a royal family who is almost annihilated because of the grand ambitions of the King’s Magician, a man named Flagg. For those of you who are familiar with other Stephen King books, such as The Stand and the Dark Tower series, the name Flagg might sound familiar.

It will be interesting to see how good the story is since the book itself is a diversion from King‘s normal writing style, as The Eyes of the Dragon is pure fantasy and written for a younger audience. I’m also interested to see how this book with be up on the big screen, as I have learned The Syfy channel is making it into a movie or miniseries.

While mindlessly surfing the web, and in particular Amazon, I came across the announcement for the release of The Wind Through the Keyhole, the next installment in Stephen King‘s series The Dark Tower. The release date is set for April 24, 2012, so just around the corner, and to be honest, I can’t say that I’m all that excited about it. Don’t get me wrong, I love Stephen King‘s writing, and the first three books in The Dark Tower series were amazing, but after that, the story line kind of went awry. And to make a long story short, I have yet to read the last two books in the series. But for those that did enjoy all seven books in the series, mark your calendar for April 24, 2012.

As I have said many, many site on this site, I am a huge Stephen King fan but not necessarily a fan of the movies made from Stephen King books. However, when I heard that Universal was turning the Dark Tower series into not only three movies, but also a mini-series, I was excited. when I learned that Javier Bardem was slated to play the lead role with Ron Howard directing, I for one actually looked forward to going and seeing the movie. For somebody such as myself — who hasn’t even seen a movie in any movie theater for two years — this was a big deal. I saw this move as a complete turn around from the typical Hollywood M.O. of making re-makes of movies, or re-boots, or sequels, and instead taking a gamble on doing something new and original, not to mention breath-taking.

This was only a pipe dream, however, as yesterday, any and all plans to actually make the movies and/or the series were put to bed, apparently never to be roused again. What can I say? I’m disappointed, but I shouldn’t be, all Hollywood has done for the better part of a decade is disappoint me.

For anybody out there wanting to see H.P. Lovecraft‘s Mountains of Madness up on the big screen, to bad, so sad, that project was scrapped too.

Read more here.

I had taken a little break from reading Stephen King, but had been looking forward to reading something by him since he is one of my favorite authors. Looking through my collection I saw Blockade Billy, a short story about a young kid trying to make it in the big leagues who was discovered simply by chance when the New Jersey Titan‘s lose their catcher to a career ending injury. We soon discover that Billy is no ordinary catcher and soon earns himself the nickname of Blockade because of his toughness and ability to guard the plate from base runners that will stop at nothing to score a run.

But Billy is who he says he is, and soon we discover that not only is he not who he says he is, he is in fact something terrible and horrifying.

The story is simple and there wasn’t really much to it, but the writing was good even though the story was short. It was definitely a good read and fast read for a lazy Saturday afternoon.