Monday, October 4, 2010

New and Noteworthy (Tangent Online, The Social Network)

In today's edition:

* The noted short fiction review Tangent Online is changing its format, and adding new features, with the central shift having to do with its content: the site will focus on pro-paying print and e-markets, rather than the broader swath of the market it had earlier covered. However, it will devote more space to reviews of classic science fiction and fantasy and the old pulp magazines. (You can check out Dave Truesdale's statement about the new direction here.)

* Director David Fincher and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin's The Social Network has just finished its first weekend, with a $23 million take at the North American box office--about what most observers expected, though there were optimists who thought the figure would go higher.

When I saw the first commercial for it, my thought was that the film wouldn't do anywhere near this well, no matter how much the critics lavished praise on it. Admittedly, I have no interest in seeing a movie about social networking web sites (I am not on Facebook) or smug IT billionaires (whose profile, frankly, is elevated beyond what it should be by those desperately seeking to substantiate dubious economic ideas like Horatio Alger-like meritocratic social mobility, or the case for "postindustrialism" as a more advanced phase of economic development rather than simple deindustrialization), but it seemed to me there was no real audience even among those who are more favorably disposed toward such subject matter. Up until I saw the numbers, I figured the $20-odd million guesses would prove wildly overoptimistic.

I don't think I've been this surprised by a movie's performance this decade.

New and Noteworthy (Books Charles Stross Will Not Write, 2017, R.I.P Sci-Friday)
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