Ranking the Very Best Dogs of Star Trek

@5 @7

Noted and corrected! You're both right of course! 

The Oscars Forgot to Nominate The Force Awakens For Best Picture

@19 Thanks Alex!! I feel like you get me and  actually articulated better what I was trying to say. Hats off. 

The Oscars Forgot to Nominate The Force Awakens For Best Picture


I'm with you about battle scenes. I feel like most of the fights in The Force Awakens were mercifully short. Maybe that's just me? 

I love the LOTR movies, but some of those big battles get too long for me. Is there such a thing as TOO LONG COULDN'T WATCH? :-)

My Friend’s Stupid Idea Just Became Star Wars Canon and I Am So Jealous

@24 Piper!

Painful ignorance! Your comment wounds me!

In the long essay in my book I talk about how there are probably a minority of enfranchised people who can read, specifically those who can do code and program robots, etc. But what about the broader, poorer populace? Would this be a skill they'd need when the media is all about holograms? Isn't the massive amounts of ignorance in this culture telling of something?

Of course I think there's communication? But what kind? And who controls it?

My Friend’s Stupid Idea Just Became Star Wars Canon and I Am So Jealous

@8 you've taken some of the points I was touching on in my book and made them smarter/cooler.

My Friend’s Stupid Idea Just Became Star Wars Canon and I Am So Jealous

To everyone: I address all this stuff (an alphabet, etc.) in the essay in the book! In short: the literacy gap in star wars is more about poverty and reliance on other media than me doing a "gotcha" type fan theory. 


Chris is also being generous! :-

An Alternate History Primer: The Man in the High Castle

@4 Stefan: That's awesome. I love Kinglsey Amis too! I haven't read that one!

Practically Speaking, Why Do We Hate CGI So Much?


I specifically used the the term “we” and “everyone” to describe Jar-Jar “hate” because I was using it as an example of a general majority of CGI hate, which is extreme and not representative of how we "really" feel about CGI in general. That list meant to be a hyperbolic contrast to indicate my point.

I honestly don’t have a lot of strong feelings about Jar-Jar! I’m not a foaming at the mouth Jar-Jar hater nor a Lucas hater. I think everything I wrote here tried to say that? The detail about John Landis reminding me of good CGI was supposed to demonstrate how easy it is to be CGI hater, but how a real pro can remind you not to be. Which is what happened to me! 

I’ve also defended the prequels in other writing, many, many times.


Practically Speaking, Why Do We Hate CGI So Much?


I never said I specifically hate Jar-Jar. I used the term "everybody," because the aim of the piece was to address a larger trend of an what I see as an affect for hating CGI. I'm confused why you think something I did was "deeply unhealthy!" WHOA. :-)

I actually agree with your comment and what you're saying. Sorry the article went of the rails from your perspective. I don't really hate Jar-Jar!

And @24. I don't really have fanboyism? Because I don't really hate Jar-Jar? I was using that as an example of how people over-state CG hate? Can I keep my critical thinking the way it is? Or I'll reevaluate it when I finish this sandwich in front of me? :-) Thanks!


Practically Speaking, Why Do We Hate CGI So Much?

@16 CoMiga

Hi! I did not hate the prequels nor do I hate CG. In fact, everything I've written here says the exact opposite. The aim of the article was to think about why people hate CGI more than they really do. I'm confused as to your vitriol since we basically agree? Nice point about all the practical effects in the Phantom Menace though! I did not know that. Thanks!

A Brief History of Darth Vader’s Voice

@10 Lordmagnusen

Thanks for the clarifications, distinctions and corrections! Those spellings should be fixed now. 


6 Crazy SF Books Featuring Dinos that are Somehow NOT Jurassic Park

Wow! I was so wrong about Dinosaur Planet!


I love being wrong. Now I have good stuff to read.


Thanks all.

When Originality Isn’t So Original: The Matrix, Jupiter Ascending, and the Wachowski Conundrum
@20 I'm not even mad at all! But I love the name "Mr. Furious." Great super villain name! :-)
When Originality Isn’t So Original: The Matrix, Jupiter Ascending, and the Wachowski Conundrum
@1 Sure. Fair point. There's was just something in having the image of the aliens on a camera phone that was exactly like the the way the reveal played out with the Silence, which, as you correctly point out, are referential to every alien aduction thing, ever. As far as that larger discussion about the monomyth, you're also probably right, but I've only got so many words. The distance to the Silence was quickier than getting into a bigger discussion, because I feel like Doctor Who already "explained" grey aliens with a cameraphone, which is what I felt Jupiter Ascending ripped off. Not the act of having the forgotten aliens themselves. The specific narrative nomenclature was the same.
The Harbinger of Fun: Celebrating the Work of Glen A. Larson
@6 Now I feel bad about the Magnum joke. I couldn't help it, okay? You win. :-)
The Harbinger of Fun: Celebrating the Work of Glen A. Larson
@8 I think I meant in a superficial sense. Space hero dudes with no shirts on and all that. I'm not saying AT ALL that they're on the same level. So, fair play to you!
Are Slowed-Down Songs in Movie Trailers Getting Played-Out?
@20 I think you're probably right. But we may never agree on the definition of silly. :-) @23 You're right! BRAAAAM is part of the same problem. Now I'm going to lose my mind.
Are Slowed-Down Songs in Movie Trailers Getting Played-Out?
@All Everyone is making me lighten up on this a little bit. But, I still have to say, I think the fact that it's "I've Got No Strings," is just silly, and because it's silly+following a big trend in trailers, it just removes me from the whole thing. (Yes! I want REALITY in my Avengers trailer!) It's possible there's more curation in selecting these songs (as Mayhem says in comment 16) as opposed to generic movie-music, which is something I hadn't considered. But, I guess it's the thought process behind that curation that seems a little bit faux-deep to me. And that's where I'm raising my hand like Kirk in Star Trek V, saying "Excuse me? But what does God need with a Starship?" Only, I'm saying "Excuse, me? But isn't this silly thing (I Got No Strings), making this other thing sillier by trying to make it fake-deep?"
Is it Even Possible for Star Wars: Rebels to Feel Like Real Star Wars?
@1 You know, I had had a reference to the West End games and roleplaying in an earlier draft of this essay, so I think we agree! @2 Sorry I came off like a debbie downer! Didn't mean too, but I hear you. @5 You're totally right about the target audience=hitting it out of the park. Fair play! @6 You're onto something, but I can't help myself in wanting to claim it. Maybe I'm not really an adult? :-)
Darth Vader is Kind of a Time Traveler
@12 and 13 Oh my gosh. You guys just made it all even truer!!! Thank you Soooo much!
Plenty of Extra Lives: The Edge of Tomorrow
@8 and others Sorry about the harshness about video games. I think I find that NOW I play video games out of boredom, whereas they thrilled me as a child. So, that was probably a personal thing. I did like the movie, but I stick to my guns saying it wasn't a "good" movie. My review was trying to figure out why it could both be a really flawed movie and really entertaining, too.
Don’t Look Back in Vampire: Penny Dreadful Ep. 5 “Closer than Sisters”
@5 (and all) Sorry about the lobotomy! And also, I guess I'm dumb with the passage of time. Thanks for the corrections!
If Someone Asks You if You Are Dorian Gray; You Say Yes: Penny Dreadful Ep. 2, “Séance”
@All Yeah. You guys are totally right. Chandler is probably a werewolf. DUH. I feel so foolish.
Full Frontal Frankenstein: Penny Dreadful Premieres with “Night Work”
@12 Thanks!! :-) And this is from like 3 years ago. (Forgive me!) http://www.tor.com/blogs/2011/05/i-need-my-pain-reassessing-star-trek-v-the-final-frontier
Full Frontal Frankenstein: Penny Dreadful Premieres with “Night Work”
@9 and @10 (and everyone who I guess, thinks I'm some hopelessly grumpy contrarian) I actually DID like Penny Dreadful; I just thought there were some interesting paradoxes that related to content versus aesthetics. I thought I made that clear? I can say something has cheap clichés and weird plotting and still like it. It just doesn't mean I thought it necessarily "great." As I said in the review, I'm not sure if it can be greater than the sum of its parts, but I hope so. A show calling itself Penny Dreadful seems poised to be part of a greater conversation about cheap thrills versus big ideas, which I'm really interested in. This essay is an attempt (as all essays are!) to contribute to that conversation. Sure, if you were looking for a review that said "B+ and here's why," then I failed you, and probably have in the past. Just not really my style, I guess. So, this is a "mixed review," but you know, I loved HER, the novel THE WORD EXCHANGE, both of which I've written recent articles about for Tor.com. Plus, I've spent a better part of my life defending Star Trek V, Highlander 2, and a host of other things that supposedly "suck." When I discuss these things, I try to offer reasons. Thanks for reading the article everyone and let's see what the next episode is like! P.S. @7 I think Eva Green was really channeling a different Bond girl- Jane Seymour's Soliatre from LIVE AND LET DIE. They even have her turn of the the "lovers" card just like in LIVE AND LET DIE! Meanwhile, LIVE AND LET DIE is a terrible, awful crappy movie that I sort of love and defend all the time. Remeber when he walks on the alligators?
Star Wars, What is It Good For? The Real History of Science Fiction
@1 I pretty much agree with what you say in the second part of your comment and am kind of baffled by the first part. So I guess we agree? I'm not sure I have a "fandom," and could talk some smack about Star Trek just as easily as anything else. Glad we (sort of) agree!
If Her Wins the Oscar for Best Picture, It Could Change Science Fiction Forever
@6 I guess what I'm saying is that's okay, but people like us are here to say; "Hey, that's a science fiction movie that won for best picture. And you can call it a Romance of the Future if you want!"
Jonathan Rhys Meyers’ Dracula Could Make Dashing Vampires Cool Again
@7 Hi Keith! Yeah, I didn't want to open up the novel can-of-vampire-worms, as I really felt this looks to me to be a TV show re-make of the Lugosi film. And though I love the book, there are a lot of layers there. Conversely, I think in terms of a straight-up poppy vampire thing, it doesn't get better than the 1931 movie. If this re-captures that, I'm in.
Grossly Gothic: Doctor Who “The Crimson Horror”
@2 But I wanted to like it! I liked IRON MAN 3! I really just felt the structure was so weird!
Harlan Ellison Still Has a Mouth, Thankfully Still Screaming
@3 I have Memos From Purgatory, it's sitting on my desk looking at me right now! It's great, because I teach a Memoir course in NYC and it's so wonderful to compare it with Web of the City in terms of talking about where stories come from and our choices as writers to render them one way or another! :-)
I’m Probably Going to Have to Break Up With Doctor Who
@15 I do have some Doctor Who novels. I have an amazing one at home right now with an introduction from Harlan Ellison! Listen, I'm not trying to slam the whole thing, just saying this is how I feel right now. :-)
I’m Probably Going to Have to Break Up With Doctor Who
@4 I think you're totally right about it being great family entertainment. And yes, "bad" Doctor Who is still better than a lot of stuff. I just don't want to settlle! :-) @5 I miss Donna too. :-( @9 I hope "it's just not as clever as it used to be," is the message you're getting from me. Becaus that's how I feel! :-) @10 I liked "Hide," but I think our standards have been lowered and I would put it firmly in the "just okay" camp. @11 "You would be amazed how many times articles like this have been written about Doctor Who over the last 50 years..." I don't doubt it! But I hope this is seen as my own personal thing, because, it totally is. :-)
Oblivion Destroys Itself
Hi everyone! Wow! Lots of opinions here. Really quick: @10 I am not Tor Books, nor Tor.com. I am writer who works for Tor.com. This is me. There's no directive. Further, I LOVE a lot of stuff that isn't serious or deep. I loved John Carter! http://www.tor.com/blogs/2012/03/cynicism-aside-john-carter-is-a-charmer Also, I like lots of funny sci-fi movies! http://www.tor.com/blogs/2012/04/the-10-best-comedic-science-fiction-films-according-to-me As far as me being "too cool for school" and "absurd," I'll take it! My closest friends would lovingly say these same things about me. I'm glad you guys get to know me, too. Hope I didn't ruffle too many feathers, but, in my professional opinion, for all the reasons I listed above, this movie was quite bad.
When I Was 12 I Wrote a Review of Next Gen‘s “All Good Things…” In My Diary
@13 Mom, what you forget is that my campaign manager (your daughter) advised me NOT to use the Star Trek theme for that speech. :-)
When I Was 12 I Wrote a Review of Next Gen‘s “All Good Things…” In My Diary
@2 Thanks! @8 I was in Foresnics too! As was my fellow Tor.com writer Emmet Asher-Perrin! @9 That remix sounds amazing. Has no one yet noticed I only have a half-Riker beard?
Star Wars News is Driving Everyone Crazy
@2 That is such a good documentary. I totally forgot about that line. Thanks! :-)
Morning Roundup: Adventure Time and Space
@2 All fixed. @1 We were kind a joking, hence "old school" being in in quotes. :-)
Is This the Smoking Gun Proving Deep Space Nine Ripped Off Babylon 5?
@15 Those original scripts sounds awesome. I do totally want to track them down. :-)
Is This the Smoking Gun Proving Deep Space Nine Ripped Off Babylon 5?
@14 I'll cop to maybe not presenting the most balanced of an article. But I decided to take a certain angle with a certain tone. I use the word "I" in there a lot, so this isn't intended as hard journalism, but more of an op-ed to start a conversation, and I'm hearing lots of awesome stuff here! The only facts I tried to present were that people did say all these things, and then I linked (or noted) where I saw them saying those things. So, people saying the things I said they said seem to be facts, with citations. JMS did say those things and that person did post that comment on io9. That was my angle, that's what I wrote the essay about. But I totally appreciate your input. (BTW: Next time you're in New York, come read some some Star Trek (or Babylon 5?) fiction for me at my reading series! Our mutual pal Keith DeCandido did a bang-up job back in October.) :-)
Is This the Smoking Gun Proving Deep Space Nine Ripped Off Babylon 5?
@7 You said: "Really, Tor.com should've investigated the validity of the comment before posting it. It does sound quite illegitimate." I said in the article: "After all, an unverified comment on a website is not exactly proof." Sounds like we agree. The reason I wrote this article was because this new comment prompted me to take a new look at an interesting quirk of science fiction history. I cop to my biases in the piece, but came to the same basic conclusions you and @4Werthead did. (This isn't a smoking gun, it wasn't, in the end, a rip-off.) Not sure where my investigative responsiblities faltered there. Not to mention, I am not the only Tor.com writer , Tor.com is a lot of people and writers with different viewpoints and voices. Thanks for reading!
How Science Fiction (Kind Of) Saved the Oscars
@2 + 3 I personally don't care for McFarland, nor have I been able to watch more than 2 minutes of Family Guy without leaving the room. But, I liked that he brought in Shatner as Kirk. And in no way do I think he represents anything but himself. Also at no point do I claim Argo is an SF movie, but it is PRO SF.
Seven Science Fiction/Fantasy Martyrs Who Give Saint Valentine a Run for His Money
@2 Clay Hey, we were kind of kidding there with the Saint Patrick thing. @Everyone on the definition of marytr: we were going with a broad interpretation here, for the purposes of fun. :-)
How Should We Feel About a Stand-Alone Yoda Star Wars Movie?
@17 Because we do! Um, I think Star Wars is one of those things in the science fiction/fan/geek/whatever world that is WAY beyond any objectivity. For whatever reason, a lot of us are interested in Star Wars on an unhealthy level . For me, I think Star Wars is like that really great relationship we had in college/high school. And we should have probably left it at the break-up, but NOOOOOO we got back together with that person (Star Wars), and now we're constantly fighting! Because really, it was over in college. Our excuse is this: "Hey, Star Wars keeps showing up at my house! Or, "At this point, Star Wars has been around for so long that its like common law marriage. What can I do?" None of these situations sounds like we're making rational choices, right? How can I write a rational article in an irrational relationship?
What Doctor Who Could Learn From Girls About Character Development
@3 Yeah, of course I love DOCTOR WHO and I know it's pulply and silly, it's just at this point, I really wish the companions had more going on for them and did things that suprised me. GIRLS is doing a great job of that, and it seems like those lessons could be applied. And I don't mean they would need to apporirate the sexual nomenclature of GIRLS, but instead do DOCTOR WHO sci-fi things. For example, people in real life might totally refuse to do what the Doctor says way more often than they do on the show.
Skeletal Remains of Richard III Confirmed to be Richard III Because of Science
@Everyone. An amazing notion has erupted on my Facebook: Richard III should be cloned. As well as any other despot/tyrant/monarch we can get our hands on. The result? Despotic Park.
Sleeps With Monsters: Where Are the Older Women?
Susan Calvin from I, Robot! She's the best! (Granted, she ages throughout the book, and it's not truly a novel, but still!)
J.J. Abrams, Star Wars, and the Homogenization of Geek Pop
@10 I'm probably not wording this Lucas thing right. Here's what I mean: the Star Wars prequels are (in my opinion) honest mistakes. Not cynical ones. Objectively, that has more inherent value to me perfectly crafted products, because I see them as failed art projects, whereas something like Star Trek (2009) is a well-crafted product. Which would I rather watch? Naturally, the perfectly crafted products. But, I guess I'm gesturing at the idea that there's something amoral about that. (Thought it is possible, we just disagree.) And yes, am I jumping the gun? You bet! :-) @11 I think I agree with you. BUT. I think it's an amazing script. It's really, really tight and has great lines. (And is way better than some of their other work.) @12 And yet, I think Sam Mendes did a great job!
J.J. Abrams, Star Wars, and the Homogenization of Geek Pop
@6 Well you know what they say, if you put an infinite amount of chimps behind infinite amounts of cameras, all of them will invent lens flare.
J.J. Abrams, Star Wars, and the Homogenization of Geek Pop
@2 You know, Aronofsky was attached to direct The Wolverine movie for quite some time. So, actually, that's not crazy at all. And yeah, he would have been a better choice than J.J. Abrams.
Weird Differences Between the First Star Wars Movie and Its Preceding Novelization
@7 I skipped the Jabba stuff because it's so well known, and it isn't SUPER interesting to me. But yes, I remember being baffled as a child because the version of the book I had featured pictures of a human "JABBA." :-)
Weird Differences Between the First Star Wars Movie and Its Preceding Novelization
@3 There's also an awesome scene in the radio drama where Leia has a run-in with Vader prior to the start of the film. Not to mention the scene when her and her Dad kill an Imperial Officer when he's having dinner with them!
Weird Differences Between the First Star Wars Movie and Its Preceding Novelization
@3 I truly love the NPR drama. I had it on cassette and played it on my Walkman whenever possible. Brock Peters is a suprisingly good Vader!
Weird Differences Between the First Star Wars Movie and Its Preceding Novelization
@20 I guess, I mean I was personally influenced by those animated-Trek books! And, I sort of love Star Trek: The Motion Picture, totally unabashedly.
Weird Differences Between the First Star Wars Movie and Its Preceding Novelization
@17. It's actually shocking how much influence ADF has on a lot of big sci-fi universes. Star Trek owes a huge debt to him!
Weird Differences Between the First Star Wars Movie and Its Preceding Novelization
@Everyone interested in us talking about SPLINTER OF THE MIND'S EYE; just you wait. Myself and Emmet Asher-Perrin are cooking things up now. MUDFIGHT.
Will Continuum Destroy the Sci-Fi Police Procedural?
@9 I like this theory of yours about problem-solvers. It's part of why certain folks like Nichoal Meyer and Maria Konnikova think Sherlock Holmes has a lot in common with a shrink. @10 Totally giving it a shot! @11 I like the credible aspects of the future in this show, too. I really like all of her gizmos. (I'm a sucker for brain phones!)
Doctor Who‘s Surprisingly Romantic Christmas: “The Snowmen”
@16 Fair point. We really don't know what the deal is with her. I guess that's what I like. @Ron Hogan. Ron! Fair point, but to be quite honest, I wouldn't tune in every week to watch Matt Smith and Strax. Just saying...:-)
Are All Big Franchise Films Essentially the Same Now?
@18 That is a genuinely interesting way to look at it! I suppose it comes down to how interested we remain in those themes. Right?

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