Monday, June 30, 2008

The Tunguska Event at 100

It is 100 years since the Tunguska event, when a meteor/black hole/badly piloted spaceship crashed into Siberia, and exactly what happened remains a mystery.

Which is convenient for science fiction, because you can plausibly have a micro black hole floating around under the Earth's core, or the Death Ray experiments of a mad scientist. (Steampunk meets World War 1 on the Eastern Front, anybody?)

Most popularly, of course, Tunguska has become an integral part of UFO mythology, including being involved in the 'black oil' arc in the The X Files.

I have no idea where this is leading in terms of Christian sf, except that I kind of like the idea that when Lucifer fell from heaven, he landed in early 20th Century Siberia. (If I'd been a little more on the ball I would have actually written that story already, but I've been excercising my gift for procrastination instead.)

The whole UFO thing, though, has facinated me since I was a yoof, so I may explore that a bit. Or I may just sit and watch some X-Files. Yes, I think that's more likely.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Friday Review - British Summertime by Paul Cornell

I loved this book. I think we should get that out of the way so you don't have to sit through loads of tedious review in order to get to the point.

Paul Cornell, for those that don't know, has written several Doctor Who novels, one of which he adapted into the Human Nature/Family of Blood two parter in series 3. British Summertime is not a Doctor Who story - although, arguably it could have been, with it's young Earthbound heroine (with an uncanny sense of chipshopness) swept off her feet by the slightly eccentric Wing Commander Leyton and embroiled in an insanely complicated, entertaining and ultimately very satisfying time travel adventure. With a disembodied head called Jocelyn. And there is so much more to love in the densely-packed plot.

Leyton, to be fair, is more Dan Dare than Doctor Who, and that just tops off a story that's as quintessentially English as the word 'quintessential'. And he comes from the future, but the future of a different Earth, one where Sodom and Gomorrah got let off the hook and the Revelation was never Revealed. Oh yes, there is a wierd religious sub-plot, which could be seen as blasphemous or overtly Christian, depending, I suspect, on the reader's own viewpoint. The stuff with Judas Iscariot was a bit wierd, and to a degree superfluous, but it was just a minor diversion on a cracking ride.

Anyway: Dan Dare, Doctor Who, time travel, an alternate idealised Christian Earth, angels, pop stars, chipshopness, disembodied heads, interstellar war, and some icky bits with a hand drill. Something for everyone (at least, everyone likely to be reading this blog).

Go read it! (Loving that US cover by the way - very Eagle!)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

CSFF Blog Tour vs Tuesday Tunes

In case you didn't get it from yesterday's post, this month's CSFF Blog Tour is focusing on Vanished, a Christian Chiller by Kathryn Mackel. It's about the adventures of a community which disappears under an impenetrable mist. And so, Tuesday Tunes brings you the top ten songs on the theme of disappearing-under-an-impenetrable-mist.

10. The Cure: Lost
It is possible that smiling Bob and the boys are an acquired taste, so you'll either like this or think it's wierd unlistenable nonsense. Ho hum.
9. Marc Bolan & T. Rex: Misty Mist
Because we haven't had any T.Rex on Tuesday Tunes for a while.
8. Lou Reed: Vanishing Act
From his 2003 solo album based on the works of Edgar Allan Poe.
7. Everything But The Girl: Missing
The song that made EBTG a big dance act.
6. Manic Street Preachers: Everything Must Go
You see what I've done there?
5. Apollo 440: Vanishing Point
Because every top ten needs at least 7 1/2 minutes of quality electronica.
4. Jars of Clay: Disappear
And, wherever possible, a Christian rock moment.
3. Brian Eno: Events in Dense Fog
The father of ambient music doing what he does best.
2. Primal Scream: Vanishing Dub
From Echo Dek, the experimental remix of Vanishing Point, named after the 1971 road movie.
1. U2: I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
Is this really 21 years old now?

Sci-fi Song of the Week

Sticking with the 'lost' theme, check out Lost in Space by Fountains of Wayne.

Monday, June 23, 2008

CSFF Blog Tour, May - sorry, June - 2008

CSSF Blog Tour

Before we get into the blog tour thing, I should apologise for my recent absence.

I don’t wish to make any far-fetched excuses, but it turns out that my next-door neighbour was experimenting in the transperambulation of pseudo-cosmic antimatter, when he somehow cut the entire estate loose from the rest of reality. For a long time we thought the mist was keeping the rescue services out, but once the mist cleared, we found ourselves surrounded by a majestic wilderness, both primitive and primal, battling for survival against enemies we’d always known and forces we never imagined. And all without a reliable wi-fi connection.

Actually, now I come to relate the story, it sounds like it would make a great novel. One of my WIPs was starting to look like a Christian Lost, maybe I could use it there. Trouble is, me being so good at procrastinating and so poor at actually writing things, somebody’s probably already gone and done it...

Ask these people, they’ll know:

Brandon Barr Justin Boyer Jackie Castle CSFF Blog Tour Gene Curtis D. G. D. Davidson Jeff Draper April Erwin Karina Fabian Beth Goddard Andrea Graham Todd Michael Greene Katie Hart Christopher Hopper Joleen Howell Jason Joyner Carol Keen Mike Lynch Terri Main Margaret Shannon McNear Melissa Meeks Rebecca LuElla Miller John W. Otte Deena Peterson Rachelle Steve Rice Ashley Rutherford Mirtika or Mir's Here Chawna Schroeder Stuart Stockton Steve Trower Speculative Faith Linda Wichman Laura Williams Timothy Wise