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January 15, 2010

Penny Arcade's Tycho on the strange vidoe game reprinting of Dante's Inferno

Penny Arcade - A Trend We Wholly Endorse
We had originally read that a new printing of Dante's Inferno was a "novelization," which implies that the game had been turned into a novel, which is untrue: the truth is actually much weirder. Tie-ins (particularly for Visceral Games, whose Dead Space could be considered a broad-spectrum new media template) would be utterly normal, dog-bites-man stuff, with a pH of seven exactly. What they are actually doing is reprinting the seven century old poem, appending game assets, and then sheathing the whole thing in game-specific branding. Maybe it isn't entirely forthright, putting a crusader badass the cover of your medieval allegory - but I don't care. In fact, I support this kind of thing wholeheartedly: fact is, sometimes you got to lie to a motherfucker. If showing a dude holding a giant spine with an aftermarket scythe affixed is what it takes to get young men to read a single page of the classics, than so be it. I hope these shenanigans work like gangbusters. We've got your backs on this thing. Looky here, we'll even prime the pump.

January 13, 2010

And now . . . Android Karenina!

Android Karenina to retool Tolstoy for his centenary | Books | guardian.co.uk
As fans around the world gear up to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Tolstoy's death, the author hailed in the west as one of the very greatest writers of all time is set to be commemorated in a more unusual fashion: his classic tragic love story Anna Karenina is to be reworked with added robots. Small US publisher Quirk Books, which had an unexpected hit with the Bennet-sisters-plus-zombies mash-up Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, will publish Android Karenina in June in the US and the UK to mark the centenary of Tolstoy's death. Like its predecessor, it will intersperse the original text of the novel with science fiction action to create "an enhanced edition of the classic love story set in a dystopian world of robots, cyborgs, and interstellar space travel". Just like the original Anna Karenina, the mash-up version will follow the relationships of Anna and Vronsky, and Levin and Kitty, but rather than 19th-century Russia, these characters live "in a steampunk-inspired world of robotic butlers, clumsy automata, and rudimentary mechanical devices". "When these copper-plated machines begin to revolt against their human masters, our characters must fight back using state-of-the-art 19th-century technology – and a sleek new model of ultra-human cyborgs like nothing the world has ever seen," Quirk said.

If You've Sold a Steampunk Story in the Last Decade, You Should Submit It to this Anthology

I know "steampunk" is a dirty word in many circles...

January 12, 2010

The Necronomicon as self-help book

The Necronomicon

December 26, 2009

Mojonauts Make Good: J. Bradley's New Book

Mojonaut J. Bradley has a new book of verse: Dodging...

December 25, 2009

Dave-o Has a Story in the Current Issue of Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine

My story, "The Bold Explorer in the Place Beyond," is...

Continue reading "Dave-o Has a Story in the Current Issue of Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine" »

December 15, 2009

If all stories were written like science fiction stories

ST(O) : If all stories were written like science fiction stories I laughed.
He logged onto the central network using his personal computer, and waited while the system verified his identity. With a few keystrokes he entered an electronic ticketing system, and entered the codes for his point of departure and his destination. In moments the computer displayed a list of possible flights, and he picked the earliest one. Dollars were automatically deducted from his personal account to pay for the transaction. The planes left from the city airport, which they reached using the city bi-rail. Ann had changed into her travelling outfit, which consisted of a light shirt in polycarbon-derived artifical fabric, which showed off her pert figure, without genetic enhancements, and dark blue pants made of textiles. Her attractive brown hair was uncovered. At the airport Roger presented their identification cards to a representative of the airline company, who used her own computer system to check his identity and retrieve his itinerary. She entered a confirmation number, and gave him two passes which gave them access to the boarding area. They now underwent a security inspection, which was required for all airline flights. They handed their luggage to another representative; it would be transported in a separate, unpressurized chamber on the aircraft. “Do you think we’ll be flying on a propeller plane? Or one of the newer jets?” asked Ann. . . .