Gravity Lens Archive Sept. 26 - October 12 2005
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Wednesday, October 12
The 2005 Quill Awards were announced.

Doing a news search on Google for the keywords "science fiction" led me to this story: "Wife Swap wants Sci-fi freaks."

From Memepool: The Development of the Codpiece. Those interested in bringing back this particular accessory can check out Codpiece International.

Tuesday, October 11
Ain't It Cool News links to this site for the Japanese CG film Negadon, which sports a trailer featuring a giant robot fighting a big floating Lovecraftian thing, all done in 1970's Godzilla style. Very cool.

The Weekly World News tells us that Aliens Moon NASA Spacecraft, and that a Leprechaun colony has been found.

Monday, October 10
Here's a cool Popular Science story about drilling into the Earth's mantle. No word if this will effect next year's expedition into the hollow Earth...

A Gathering of Shadows: Shadow. The Shadow. The Shadows. Shadowman. The Shadowmen. Shadow Boy. Shadow Woman. Shadowoman. Shadow Lady. Shadow Lass. Shadowgod. Shadow Thief. Shadowcat. Shadowhawk. Shadowfox. Shadowfax. Shadow Lord. The Shadow King. Shadowqueen. Shadow Knight. Shadow-Stalker. Shadowchaser. Shadowfire. Shadowfist. Shadow Wing. Ravenshadow. Moonshadow. Timeshadow. Stormshadow. Shadow Master. Shadow Star. Jack of Shadows. The Shadow Riders. The Shadow Cabinet. Shadowforce. The Shadow-Hound. The Red Shadow. The Black Shadow. The White Shadow. D.J. Shadow. Shadow Captain. S.H.A.D.O.
And, because I like him, The Shade.

Sunday, October 9
We have our first DARPA Grand Challenge winner!

Locus links to this streaming story from NPR's Morning Edition about how science fiction tropes are entering the "mainstream" literary scene, and how some authors insist that it's not science fiction. Perhaps they see SF as nothing more than Destination Mars, a hysterical fake 1950s Quicktime trailer (via SF Signal).

Saturday, October 8
The 2005 Ig Nobel Prizes have been announced.

Friday, October 7
The latest edition of Modern Drunkard celebrates its 100th Anniversary, looks at the growing Cult of Dionysus, and gives us the excellent Barfly Field Guide.

Joanna Glasner of Wired informs us that The Future Needs Futurists. Although I'm of the opinion that some Futurians wouldn't hurt.

Dial B for Blog gives us comics with Frankenstein on the cover, but leaves out more modern incarnations like Frankenstein Mobster and Doc Frankenstein.

Don't forget that the robotic Grand Challenge takes place this weekend.

Thursday, October 6
A moment of silence, please, for Mr. Ronnie Barker of The Two Ronnies.

Lauren Phillips of The State News has made the shocking discovery that "science fiction's presence in pop culture outgrows its niche."

Wednesday, October 5
Al Brown of Cinescape has a proposal to deal with the conundrum of comic book characters aging, while Newsarama recounts a WizardWorld Boston panel on the trope of character resurrection.

The BBC's Martin Redfern catches up with Arthur C. Clarke.

80 shopping days left: The silent Call of Cthulhu movie is now available on DVD from the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society.

Boing Boing linked to this page of Dr. Strange black light posters from the 1970's. Here's a Sub-Mariner one from the same period, and a shot of the Fantastic Four poster I used to have on my bedroom wall.

Tuesday, October 4
If you haven't heard, plans are underway for a Rocket Plane Racing League.

Nothing says "future tech" like a one-manned open-aired flying vehicle. Airbike, Hovercycle, Jetbike, Skycycle, call them what you will. It is an undisputable scientific fact that people (or things) astride sleek jet or rocket propelled airborne conveyances always look cool.
With a few exceptions...
The Thunderbirds ride them, as do Hawkeye, Grendel, Lobo, and Stormtroopers.
UPDATE: Friend Mark reminds me that such vehicles are all over the Star Wars films.
I know both Matthew Gideon of Crusade and Ben Grimm have flying bikes, but I can't find any good online shots. I'm certain there were some on The Jetsons as well.
And to stave off any angry emails, I'll mention the cycles in Galactica: 1980.

Monday, October 3
This weekend, aside from seeing Porcupine Tree perform in NYC and attending Wizard World Boston, I finally got to read Scarlet Traces by Ian Edginton and artist D'Israeli. It looks at England ten years after the events of War of the Worlds. I was pleased to learn that not only are the team doing a sequel book next year, but that they've been doing an awesome web adaptaion of War of the Worlds at the Dark Horse website.

The Mondolithic Images of the Week look at some potential future NASA projects, such as plasma propulsion, a cool lunar telescope, and orbital tractor beams. Sweet.

Recommended Readin': Alison Ross of the BBC shows us the future of beermats.
Geoff Willmetts of SF Crowsnest looks at the changing relation-ship between science fiction and real world catastrophes.
Red Nova informs us that apparently that tenth planet they found a while ago has a moon.
And here's an in depth history of vintage skivvies.

Saturday, October 1
It is October.
The God of the Month is Akh: The God/dess Who Might Be You.
The Molecule of the Month is Dimethylsulphide.
Carry on.

Friday, September 30
New Scientist has opened a forum on the Best Space Science Fiction Works Ever.
Dial B For Blog brings us The Return of the Giant Hand!
I've got a busy weekend ahead of me, so I will not be able to participate in the Fourth Annual Blogger Boobie-Thon. It's for a good cause.

Thursday, September 29
Four words: Doctor Atomic: The Opera.

Wednesday, September 28
Robin Snelson of The Space Review checks in with all the other twenty-five rocketry teams that didn't win the X-Prize.

Bioconservative rag The New Atlantis chimes in on the end of Star Trek and Star Wars, and manages to use science fiction as evidence against life-extension.

I completely zoned on the fact that this is Banned Books Week. Those readers who've known me for a while are aware that I had a puerile, misogynistic, and distinctly not safe for work small press comic banned from a book store about 20 years ago...

Tuesday, September 27
Assorted Items: Popular Science looks at the future of very fast sailboats.
If you've ever wondered what an Alex Ross painting of Super Grover might look like...
Book your trip to the Egyptian afterlife in advance over at Eternity Travel.

Monday, September 26
A moment of silence, please, for Mr. Don Adams.

Oh look! The increasingly-irrelevent Time is running a story about how things that used to be considered geeky are now mainstream. They're so on top of things...

It's just one small and early step, but space elevator testing has begun. Don't forget that the Space Elevator Competition is fast approaching.

Recommended Readin': Mark Townsend Houston of The Observer informs us that Katrina may have loosed some dart-gun wielding attack dolphins into the Gulf.
Robert Roy Britt of gives us a history of false impressions about Mars.
J. Marcus Xavier of looks at the positive impact of fan films.

From the Mailbag: Scott Graves wrote in and asked "I was wondering if there is a list anywhere of all the fictional characters who have used the New York City sewers as their base/mode of transport." He mentions the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but what leapt to my mind was Callisto and the Morlocks from X-Men. The sewers were also the workplace of Ed Norton. The cockroaches from Mimic hung out down below, as did the fanged beasties from Vampire: the Masquerade and the Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers from C.H.U.D. Video game pioneer Mario was a Brooklyn sewer worker. Vincent from Beauty & The Beast kept a lair down there. There's long been an urban legend about gators down below the Big Apple, but the John Sayles movie Alligator takes place in Chicago. Danny DeVito's Penguin was a Gotham City sewer dweller, and the fucking scary Pennywise from Stephen King's It lurked below Derry, Maine. It's been a while since I've seen Toxic Avenger, but I seem to recall some sewer action. Also gotta mention the Vienna sewers of The Third Man, as well as the Ceasar Augustus Memorial Sewer from Life of Brian. UPDATE: I'm reminded that I forgot Mr. Hankey!
Ooze magazine gives us the on-going European Sewer Tour. And because there's no such thing as too much free time, Wikipedia has a sidebar on Sewers in Fiction.

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