Wednesday, January 19, 2011

New and Noteworthy (On Mark Stern, Ship Breaker Review, Reappraising Spiderman 3)

In today's edition:

* At Airlock Alpha, Michael Hinman has a piece up about Mark Stern, the head of original programming for science fiction. The article (titled "Don't Blame Mark Stern for 'Caprica,' SGU) is essentially a defense, emphasizing the fact that he's got a lot of flak for decisions that were outside his area of responsibility (to develop original content, rather than make decisions regarding scheduling or cancellations)--and glossing over the unpopular decisions he did make (like the torrent of reality TV, and the numerous bland, weak and otherwise disapponting programming choices made on his watch). As Hinman himself puts it, he's a fan. Still, it is interesting that Airlock's staff felt that the holder of a normally obscure position needed such a public defense.

* Jonathan McCalmont has published a review of Paolo Bacigalupi's new novel, Ship Breaker, at The Zone. (Incidentally, it is far more complimentary than McCalmont's take on Bacigalupi's Hugo-winner The Windup Girl.)

* At SFX, Steve O'Brien puts the much-maligned Spiderman 3 on trial, and the defense makes a case that strikes me as long overdue. (I certainly didn't think the third film in the series lived up to the expectations created by the first two installments--which I really liked by the way--that it definitely had its flaws, and that it's probably best there wasn't a fourth movies, but like most films that get criticized this much, it wasn't as bad as the loudest detractors made it out to be.)

New and Noteworthy (Stargate Universe Cancelled, NYT bestsellers, Charlie's Diary)
New and Noteworthy (Rayburn on Hollywood, Remembering the Pulps, Stross on Obesity)
New and Noteworthy ("Science Fiction as the First Human Literature," Syfy's Scheduling, Quiller Movie Prospects)
New and Noteworthy (The Portal, Strange Horizons)

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