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Sunday 31 December 2006

•   Feature: John Shirley reviews Pan's Labyrinth

pans labyrinth

Expertly directed, edited with an almost supernatural assurance and shot in Goyaesque colors, Panís Labyrinth is first an entertainment, an adult fairy tale... Some high fantasy fans may find Panís Labyrinth too relentlessly grim, but the rest of us discover in it a satisfying fusion of the gothic and the fairy tale; an anti-fascist masterpiece of cinematic magic realism.

Saturday 30 December 2006

•   Feature: Letter from Erle Melvin Korshak

With all the attention given, and rightfully so, to the passing of Arthur Wilson "Bob" Tucker I should like to add the following: Tucker was one of the three greatest, most prominent, most important science-fiction fans of all time...

•   Feature:

Gary Westfahl reviews Perfume: The Story of a Murderer

perfume

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer generally deserves to be praised as a handsome, accurate adaptation of a bizarre and fascinating novel, a story that everyone should experience at least once. So, if you have never read Süskind's novel, you should definitely see this film; while if you have read the novel, you do not have to see the film, but you might enjoy revisiting its peculiar narrative in a different format.

Thursday 28 December 2006

•   Feature Review: Gary Westfahl on Children of Men

children of men

Unwilling or unable to fully explore the novelís singular premise, and overly inclined to drift into more familiar territory, the multiple screenwriters of Children of Men have failed to create a film about an awful dystopian future without children; instead, it is simply another film about an awful dystopian future — well done in its own way, perhaps, but offering nothing that science fiction filmgoers will regard as particularly distinctive.

•   Features: Yesterday's Tomorrows: Graham Sleight

arthur c. clarke, 1953

Graham Sleight's column "Yesterday's Tomorrows" from Locus Magazine, looking at classic works by Arthur C. Clarke and George R. Stewart, is reposted here with responses from readers and comments enabled.

Wednesday 22 November 2006

•   Features: More Letters

More readers respond to Cory Doctorow's How High-Definition Is Bad News for SF Flicks

Sunday 19 November 2006

•   Features: Letters

Responses to Cory Doctorow's How High-Definition Is Bad News for SF Flicks from Jeremy Lassen, Kim Owen Smith, and Cliff Adams

Tuesday 14 November 2006

•   Locus Magazine: Cory Doctorow Commentary

The March of the Polygons:
How High-Definition Is Bad News for SF Flicks

cory doctorow

HD is poison for special-effects movies. Whatever sins are hidden in a standard-definition 12-inch TV set are thrown into stark relief by big, crisp displays. Whatever longevity can be wrung from a movie by releasing it to smaller, more forgiving screens is cut short by the living-room behemoths that are being pushed on us today.

Monday 13 November 2006

•   Feature Review: Gary Westfahl on Stranger Than Fiction

stranger than fiction

In all respects, it is a superbly well-made piece of entertainment, that may succeed both in making you laugh and moving you to tears... On the other hand, it is a film designed to make you feel good (the usual goal of popular fiction), not to make you think (the usual goal of great works of literature, and of science fiction).

Monday 23 October 2006

•   Feature Review:

Howard Waldrop & Lawrence Person on The Prestige

the prestige

Go see it and watch very closely. (Indeed, you might want to see it twice, and then read the book for good measure.) If there's any justice in the world, this should be a strong Oscar contender for Best Picture. At last, a movie not for dummies. Two Van de Graaff generators up, way up!

Sunday 22 October 2006

•   Feature Review: Gary Westfahl on The Prestige

the prestige

Even if it falls short of what Priest had in mind, The Prestige remains much more original and thought-provoking than the typical Hollywood offerings at this level. See it once, see it again, and you will be refreshingly intrigued and entertained.

Alert: This review contains "spoilers"...

Monday 9 October 2006

•   Features: Letters

More readers respond to Cory Doctorow's How Copyright Broke.

Sunday 24 September 2006

•   Features: Letters

Lou Anders responds to Cory Doctorow's How Copyright Broke.

Saturday 23 September 2006

•   Features: Letters

C.E. Petit and Don Sakers respond to Cory Doctorow's How Copyright Broke.

Wednesday 20 September 2006

•   Features: Letters

Readers respond to Cory Doctorow's How Copyright Broke.

Monday 11 September 2006

•   Commentary from Locus Magazine

Cory Doctorow: How Copyright Broke

cory doctorow

The Internet is a machine for copying things cheaply, quickly, and with as little control as possible, while copyright is the right to control who gets to make copies, so these two abstractions seem destined for a fatal collision, right? Wrong.

Monday 4 September 2006

•   Special Feature:

Howard Waldrop & Lawrence Person review The Wicker Man

the wicker man

There's two hours of our lives we'll never get back. What a great big mess of nothing at all. When you first see it, it doesnít make sense, and the more you think about it, the less sense it makes.

Wednesday 23 August 2006

•   Special Feature: Comments from the Poll

Voters in this year's Locus Poll and Survey were invited to add comments to their ballots. Here's what some of them said about the poll, about Locus, and about SF and fantasy in 2005.

•   Special Feature: Analysis of the Poll

How many voters vote in how many categories? Who would have won if only subscribers decided?

Monday 14 August 2006

•   Feature Review:

Matthew Cheney's Field Guide to Recent Short Story Collections

10 collections

Ours is a time of extreme morphological variability among short stories, and therefore among short story collections. To the casual observer, such variability may be overwhelming and may obscure some of the more interesting features of the contemporary short story. Here, then, is a guide to ten recent collections, and some of their distinguishing characteristics.

Monday 7 August 2006

•   Feature Review:

Howard Waldrop & Lawrence Person on The Descent

the descent

This one coulda been a contender, until they threw in all the usual modern horror movie "shock for the sake of shock" crap. Solid direction by Neil Marshall gets wasted due to a gimmick-laden script, also by Neil Marshall.

Monday 24 July 2006

•   Feature Review:

Howard Waldrop & Lawrence Person on Monster House

monster house

It looks like they tried to play it safe by making a mostly kids film with just enough crude humor to avoid a G rating. ... 10-12 year old boys will enjoy it a good deal; younger than that and it will probably be a bit too scary, while older than that will find it too tame and lame.

Friday 14 July 2006

•   Features: Letters

Two libraries looking for good homes

Sunday 9 July 2006

•   Feature Review: Gary Westfahl on A Scanner Darkly

a scanner darkly

The quick phrases one might use to describe the film — "animated movie," "science fiction movie," even "Philip K. Dick movie" — all bring to mind certain expectations that this film simply does not fulfill... However, if they already know Dick's story — a subdued, gut-wrenching portrait of the ravages of drug addiction in the 1970s, thinly disguised as near-future science fiction — audiences will be delighted to observe what is both an imaginative and a remarkable faithful adaptation of this neglected novel.

Wednesday 5 July 2006

•   Commentary from Locus Magazine

Cory Doctorow: Science Fiction is the Only Literature People Care Enough About to Steal on the Internet.

cory doctorow As a science fiction writer, no piece of news could make me more hopeful. It beats the hell out of the alternative — a future where the dominant, pluripotent, ubiquitous medium has no place for science fiction literature.

Sunday 2 July 2006

•   Feature Review: Gary Westfahl on Superman Returns

superman returns One can describe this film as more seamless and thoughtful than its predecessors, inasmuch as director Bryan Singer and writers Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris, amidst all the inevitable thrills, also artfully contrive to offer some stimulating insights regarding why this durable superhero keeps coming back — and why he keeps leaving.

Friday 23 June 2006

•   Special Feature: Locus Online's 2006 Poetry Poll Results

Locus Online voters select the best SF/Fantasy/Horror poems of all time — led by Bruce Boston & Robert Frazier

Tuesday 13 June 2006

•   Feature Review:

Claude Lalumière reviews Cinema Macabre, a book of essays on classic horror films, recalls his early experience with horror, and offers his own list of 15 favorite horror films.

Horror opened itself up to me once I realized that it wasn't all akin to Stephen King, Brian De Palma, or slasher films. There are other paths that lead to darkness, other ways to explore the dark.

Friday 19 May 2006

•   Special Feature: "Can You Read Me Now?" by Paul Di Filippo

Jogging through Penn Station, I was trying to call my wife, but I got Dan Brown instead.

Saturday 1 April 2006

•   Awards News

MTV Fantasy Awards Updates

malibu house

New corporate sponsorships have allowed the MTV Fantasy Awards to shoulder the expense of having the judging panel for this year's award moved to a Malibu beach house, reports Levy Neo Kim.

SFWA to Alter Ellison Award

Jacky Telemark Lisp has inside information about SFWA's change of the wording on the Grandmaster Award to be given Harlan Ellison next month in Tempe, Arizona.

•   Publishing News

Jack Williamson's "Wonder's Child" A Tissue of Lies?

wonders child

The muckraking Smoking Gun website claims that Williamson's autobiography is riddled with fabrications and misrepresentations, reports Paoli du Flippi.

Announcing Whime Press

The new P.O.D. imprint will focus on bringing into print all of the spare words written by the most prolific of today's hot young writers of science fiction and fantasy, reports Hamey Tech Newt.

Lucasfilm announces "Adult" Star Wars Novel Line

Longtime Star Wars novel publisher Del Rey announced that the first book in the line would be Slave Girl of Tattoine by Barry Malzberg and Mike Resnick, reports L. Ron Creepweans.

•   Feature Report:

Barry N. Malzberg to Fly Virgin Galactic Free

stross

Locus Online's Paoli du Flippi talks with Barry Malzberg, named by billionaire Richard Branson as the first recipient of a free ride on the imminent space-tourist venture.

Wednesday 29 March 2006

•   Special Feature: Reviews by Gary K. Wolfe


Selected reviews from Gary K. Wolfe's Hugo Award-nominated Soundings: Reviews 1992-1996 cover books by Kim Stanley Robinson, William Gibson, Octavia E. Butler, and others

Thursday 23 March 2006

•   Feature: Letter from Jim Rigney / Robert Jordan

Jim Rigney, who writes as Robert Jordan, updates his health situation.
• (Jordan's interview in the March 2006 issue of Locus Magazine is excerpted here.)

•   Special Feature: Gary K. Wolfe Excerpt


Read the Introduction to Gary K. Wolfe's Hugo Award-nominated Soundings: Reviews 1992-1996

Sunday 19 March 2006

•   Feature Review:

Claude Lalumière reviews V for Vendetta

V for Vendetta is a powerfully effective and affecting film. A few times, I was on the verge of tears; often, I was made nervous and uncomfortable (in a good way); several times, I felt exhilarated.

•   Contest Update:

The contest to win a copy of Bantam Spectra's new edition of Jeff VanderMeer's City of Saints and Madmen is closed. Winners and correct answers are now posted.

Monday 13 March 2006

•   Feature Review:

Claude Lalumière reviews Russian fantasy thriller Night Watch

Overall, the film captivates. The visual and aural esthetics have clearly been carefully planned and thought out so as to be full-fledged storytelling elements. The fantasy ideas are worked out with rigor; the cast is engaging; the characters are intriguing; and, chronology problems aside, the plotting is clever and thematically tight.

Saturday 11 March 2006

•   Special Feature: Jeff VanderMeer excerpt


Excerpt from Bantam Spectra's new edition of Jeff VanderMeer's City of Saints and Madmen

Friday 10 March 2006

•   Features: Letters

Thursday 9 March 2006

•   Features: Letters

More on NYT's Dave Itzkoff, and Gary Westfahl, from Gregory Benford, Andrew Wheeler, Aaron Hughes, and Mark Tiedemann

Wednesday 8 March 2006

•   Features: Letters

Patrick Nielsen Hayden on Dave Itzkoff

Tuesday 7 March 2006

•   Features: Letters

Frank Wu on Gary Westfahl; Alex Irvine on Dave Itzkoff

Monday 6 March 2006

•   Feature Essay:

Gary Westfahl considers the potential of Homo Aspergerus

I am now prepared to argue that Asperger's Syndrome should not be regarded as a handicap or as a debilitating condition; rather, it is a tremendous asset, a set of beneficial traits that may someday be recognized as the characteristics of a new, and superior, form of humanity.

•   Features: Letters

L.E. Modesitt, Jr.

Sunday 5 March 2006

•   Features: Letters

John A. Pitts reports from the Octavia Butler memorial in Seattle; Lucius Sorrentino and Elizabeth Hand respond to the New York Times' new SF columnist

Thursday 9 February 2006

•   Feature Review:

Cynthia Ward reviews Battlestar Galactica: Season 2.0

Short Summary: In Season 2.0, Battlestar Galactica continues to be the best show on television and the best SF TV show ever. For the gods' sake, don't buy the Season 2.0 DVD box set!

Monday 23 January 2006

•   Feature Essay:

Matt Cheney looks at the Best Books of 2005

Books by Salvador Plascencia, Lydia Millet, Rupert Thomson, Kazuo Ishiguro, Carol Emshwiller, Sarah Monette, Hal Duncan, Paul Park, Kelly Link, Joe Hill, Holly Phillips, Judith Merril, Sonya Taaffe, and others

•   Feature Essay:

Claude Lalumière looks at the Best Media, Comics, and Books of 2005

Howl's Moving Castle, Sin City, ReGenesis, comics by Darwyn Cooke, Charles Burns, Grant Morrison & Frank Quitely, books by Win Scott Eckert, Margaret Atwood, Tim Pratt, Lisa Tuttle, Tom De Haven, and Kelly Link

Sunday 15 January 2006

•   Feature Review:

Lawrence Person reviews Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex

At its best, GitS:SAC is the most interesting, sustained postcyberpunk media work in existence, intellectually (if not visually) superior to the original movie, and almost worthy of direct comparison to the post/cyberpunk works which inspired it.

Tuesday 3 January 2006

•   Special Feature: Jon Courtenay Grimwood excerpt


Excerpt from Jon Courtenay Grimwood's new novel Felaheen, published this month by Bantam Spectra

 

2005 Features Archive