Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Batman and Star Trek Have Been Rebooted. Should Star Wars..?

Interesting idea of whether Star Wars (at some stage far, far, into the future) would ever be remade and whether that's a good or bad thing. I'd go - just to see Nathan Fillion as Han Solo! (Trying something new here, folks, blogging via Digg, so I'll let you know how that goes!). "Somewhere, somehow, in a galaxy far, far away, there will be a remake. In fact, I hear they are working on in it on Persei 5 at the moment, to be released after 'Single Female Lawyer: The Movie'...."

read more | digg story

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Free Comics, Neil Patrick Harris and Indiana: The Adaptation

Comic, genius.
I had meant to blog earlier about an event that is happening this weekend after I'd received an email from my local Firefly Meetup. On Saturday 3rd May it is Free Comic Book Day. What now? Well, it's exactly what it says. Go down to your local participating comic book store and get free comics. And the catch is? Nothing! The official FCBD site states:

"Free Comic Book Day is a single day when participating comic book shops across North America and around the world give away comic books absolutely free* to anyone who comes into their stores. (* Each retailer will decide the guidelines for receiving comics.)"

In Vancouver Elfsar are hosting a FCBD, and they are adding another twist. If you bring a donation for the Vancouver Food Bank you get 5 extra comics free! There is lots going on at Elfsar on Saturday including Special Guest Artist: Steve Sadowski between 1PM - 4PM to Zeroes 2 Heroes (The Peoples Publisher )"..(they) will be on display telling you who they are and what they do. Got a story idea? Are you a writer? Are you an Artist? Be sure to check out their new exciting way that makes it possible for YOU to be recognized and published!" So check out Elfsar's site for all the reasons why Vancouver is the place to be on Saturday.

Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation
Over the years I've watched the Indiana films a fair few times, and I'm never disappointed by them - they always deliver. They are a phenomenal success and inspired a loyal set of followers. Some were more inspired than others, however, which is where Raiders: The Adaptation, comes in! The official site explains... "After seeing Raiders of the Lost Ark in 1981, three 12 year old friends, Chris Strompolos, Eric Zala and Jayson Lamb, began filming their own shot-by-shot adaptation in the backyards of their Mississippi homes. Seven years later their film was in the can." It is quite breathtaking to realise the amount of work that has gone into this! And, once again, Vancouver is the place to be to see it. On Friday 2nd May at Festival Cinemas , Park Theatre (3440 Cambie Street), they are showing the film at 7.00. It is a fundraiser for the Canadian Cancer Society that features a filmmaker Q&A after the screening.

More on Doctor Horrible
There is a new video on which features Neil Patrick Harris talking about Doctor Horrible. It's less than 5 mins long and is worth a watch if only to see how radiant NPH is looking. Still no news on the release date, but there must be news soon....!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Serenity: Better days plus more Felicia HowIWoW

Comic, or graphic novel?
Now, I have a mixed history with comics. As I kid I loved them, couldn't wait for Saturday to come around to get 'Monster Fun'. In my head I remember it as a wonderful comic...then it merged with 'Buster' and it just wasn't the same. Luckily for me, though, my brother had started to get a brand new comic called '2000 A.D.' - thank Tharg for that! Eventually we grew out of it (and my mum, after reading 2000 A.D. encouraged this!) so no more comics. Hubby had a few comic collections and we brought them with us, but I never thought I would ever go back to buying them (if you want to know what a comic addition is like, try Wil Wheaton's blog about it!)Well, I was wrong....

Serendipity? No, Serenity.
Kids Need To Read recently had a auction where you could pre-order a copy of 'Serenity: Better Days', signed by Nathan Fillion. I had heard of this new series, written by Joss and had vaguely thought about buying them, but a signed one was just too good to miss. I was lucky enough to secure copy (they sold out very quickly). It was all organised by KNTR and Spazdogs Comics looked after the auction and the deliveries. I can't praise Spazdog highly enough, because not only did they answer my questions really quickly, they refunded the difference between what they had quoted for postage and what it actually cost. Not many places would do that. Anyway, it came today, lovingly wrapped and signed by Nathan in spanky silver ink. Boy, it looked good! So good, it took a while for me to open it.

Imagining more Firefly
But, eventually I succumbed and dived right in. The drawings are detailed with tones and hues just right (it's actually quite difficult to do low-light well in comics). The story is fast, furious and exactly how you might imagine storyboards for Firefly, except with all the added details and nuances you would expect from a quality Joss product. And the cliffhanger is a real conundrum - what will our heroes do next?! There isn't another series of Firefly, but at least we have the comics, and it's the next best thing.

Kapow! Now for HowIWoW: the quotes
After listening to the Felicia Day interview on last week I was moved to post here and Doctor Horrible. I also requested permission from Patrick and Shawn (the hosts) to put some quotes up, which they have gladly agreed to. Technically, I suppose I didn't have to ask, but manners cost nowt (nothing), as my gran used to say. I recommend you listen to it if you want to know whether any 'real' people live in LA. Felicia is witty, disarming and fun, and Shawn and Patrick are good interviewers. I have left out the discussion of Felicia's character in WoW due to anatomical considerations (if you've heard it you'll know...), and you'll have to listen for yourself if you want to know how the DDR video 'Thankyou' for The Guild came to be made! So here, for your delectation, are some Felicia quotes:

  • I don't have any use for cool people....LA is Highschool on steroids
  • People don't understand how cool gamers are
  • you are not going to anything great with your life unless you're doing what your passions need to please yourself
  • (About 'The Guild') I consider it a series just like CSI
  • It makes me mad when people act like I'm more important than I should be
  • Girls don't like to kill things, they like to talk (laughs)
  • It's really cool having a show with this much fan involvement
And about Doctor Horrible:
"...Joss Whedon saw The Guild and was impressed and wanted to do something on the Internet during the strike so he wrote the musical and asked if I can sing... so he cast me in this upcoming 3-part internet musical called Doctor Horrible's Sing-Along Blog it stars.. Nathan Fillion and Neil Patrick Harris and I'm in it and it's going to be amazing...I saw a rough cut... and it's like breathtaking...(even) without special effects...there's no set date (for the release), he actually did it himself... but (it will be) before Comic-Con - end of May, June, July it's not decided."

There you have it. Now go listen for yourself!

Battlestar Galactica, The Looking Glass Wars and Clara

So then, one more step nearer the end.
Jane Espenson, one of my favourite writers and all-round great person, wrote the last episode of BSG, which we watched last night. Now, I've seen some people apparently complaining about this season (I say 'apparently' because I only read the first bits so as to keep myself spoiler-free). It has been a different experience for me because I'm not watching 5 new episodes back-to-back like I was before (you should really try this if you haven't already. Get a whole season of a program you've never seen but think you might like/someone else recommended to you, and just go for it). I hate having to wait for adverts to end, never mind a whole week between episodes.

Keep me hanging on, please!
But I'm really enjoying this season. I know things are slowly unravelling, and the anticipation of what is yet to come makes me slightly giddy. So last night I was moved, startled and excited, and then the beginning titles came on! No spoilers, but the first scenes were utterly captivating, and the remainder of the episode just built up the tension. I really, really can't wait to see what happens next. And yet...I'm trying to savour every scene because I'll never be this close to the end without knowing what's to come again. Bittersweet, indeed.

The Looking Glass Wars, a la Francais
I've not read 'The Looking Glass Wars' yet, but it's one of the books on my list to take with me on that cruise I'm going on. When it was released in the UK it caused quite a storm and I made a mental note to read it (anything that can get 'The Guardian' readers in such a pickle has to be good!). And now the latest auction from Kids Need To Read features a French edition (entitled 'Les Guerres du Miroir') signed by author Frank Beddor and comes packaged with a host of other LGW-related goodies. The auction is on eBay and closes on May 2nd, so brush up your Francais and get bidding!

I hate sprouts
The vegetable, that is. One of the few I can't stand. Felicia Day has found a use for Sprout Builder, though! It's a neat and easy way to create little widgets that can be put on most web pages. I've put one of 'The Guild' ones on my blog. It's really easy to add them. I went to, found the widget and clicked on 'share'. You then press 'copy' and all the code you need is copied to your clipboard, ready to paste into your web page/blog/whatever. Easy! It looks straightforward to make you own Sprouts, too, but I haven't tried it yet. I've got writing to do, you know! And speaking of The Guild, Clara (played by Robin Thorsen) is on Movie Mob and you can vote to keep her on for next week.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Saturday Review - Firefly HD, Battlestar Galactica plus sounds good!

'Shindig' in HD - tonight!
We have more reason than usual to thank Universal this Saturday. Not only are they shipping (at their cost) extra copies of 'Serenity' to the US in preparation for Can't Stop The Serenity, they are continuing the run of Firefly on HD. 'Shindig' is one of my favourite episodes, and has some great humorous touches, from Kaylee called Mal 'Cap'n Tightpants' to Mal stabbing the defeated Atherton at the end (see IMDb for a list of great 'Shindig' quotes). Now, for fear of being repetitive and boring, you can also celebrate by heading over to the Universal HD Firefly Message boards to join in the online fun. You can check out what time it starts using the 'Countdown Clock'.

Battlestar Galactica - Sitrep
We went out yesterday evening, and had a wonderful time. I know you wanted to know that. But, horror of horrors! I only realised when we got back that we had missed BSG.... It took some checking of the cable schedule to find that yes, it's being repeated today. Thank goodness. At least we can postpone the argument about who's fault it was! Hubby says it's mine because obviously he has no idea how to program the DVD recorder, so it's not his responsibility. I contend that since I always have to set it up, the least he can do is remind me. Jury is out on that one.

Sounds of Life
The BBC Radiophonic Workshop was a ground-breaking national institution in England. I remember my brother had one of their 'sound effect' records (yes, I mean actual vinyl) that we used to listen to, imagining all the weird and scary things that could make those noises. There is a fascinating article in the BBC Magazine yesterday which highlights how the men and women of the Workshop managed to produce such diverse and unique effects. The definite sounds of my Sci-fi youth, including the TARDIS, the Daleks and Quatermass and the Pit, were all created by the Workshop using equipment such as a key, a lampshade and Swarfega gel. It has video clips, too, which are well worth a look (and listen).

Freelance Switch
In a wonderful example of Twitter serendipity, I stumbled across John Brougher, and from there I found Freelance Switch. I'm a freelance writer and this is a wonderful resource. The website has forums, classifieds and also Freelance Radio - weekly podcasts. Now I'm still getting my head around all this new stuff, but these podcasts are really great. They are hosted by John with a panel and they are a great way to find out how other people make their living freelancing. I listened to the latest podcast, episode 13, which looks at the type of feedback you can expect as a freelancer. The speakers were all very knowledgeable and gave some interesting insights into how to deal with unwanted and unhelpful comments about your work. They also looked at whether you should share unrelated ideas with a client and ways to get around freelancers block. And it's just great to know you are not alone, sitting at your laptop in your kitchen all day, wondering if your manuscript is going to work this time.....

Doctor Horrible, Neil Patrick Harris plus Felicia talks

Neil Patrick Harris talks Doctor Horrible highlights a great interview that Neil Patrick Harris did with the LA Times. In the interview NPH talks butlers, murder mystery weekends, Jim Henson and how he came to be in Doctor Horrible. Apparently Joss rang him up and he jumped at the chance. And there are nine songs, which is a really exciting news. Nine! Guess it's time to get iTunes to work properly again!

Felicia Day on How I WoW
After completely updating her blog and then blogging some really useful Wordpress links and info you'd might think that Felicia might have rested on her laurels. No chance! She has put a ink from her blog to a wonderfully full and funny interview with Shawn and Patrick from How I WoW (World of Worldcraft). If you want to know the background to 'The Guild' Dance Dance Revolution thankyou video then tune in. Shawn and Patrick are very good interviewers and Felicia comes across as very 'real', good fun. She is geeky in the best way, of course, and doesn't apologise for enjoying the things she likes. And one of the reasons she wrote 'The Guild' is that she wanted to show a character who is a girl geek that has friends, is social, embraces personal hygiene (I'm paraphrasing) and doesn't snort when she laughs. This is something that you just don't see in 'Hollywood'. We salute you, Felicia!

Although they talk about WoW, you don't have to have played it to enjoy this interview. With subjects such as LA, Hollywood, Wil Wheaton, Felicia's family, Guitar Hero and The Guild it's a fun insight into this rising star. We find out that the next episode of 'The Guild' is to be uploaded on Wednesday evening - which is certainly something to look forward to! And then, near the end, we get some more information about Doctor Horrible.

Felicia has seen the rough cut of Doctor Horrible!
It's a cut without special effects but she said it was 'breathtaking'. Apparently during the WGA strike Joss had wanted to do an Internet something and he seen 'The Guild'. So when he rang Felicia up and asked if she could sing she jumped at the chance. She also said that it will be released before Comic-Con (timescale: Late May - July) but that there was no fixed date at the moment. And the whole cast of 'The Guild' are going to Comic-Con, so that will be the place to go to meet them in.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Buffy: Between the Lines gets video, Scott Sigler gets read

Buffy: Between the Lines – now on YouTube!
In a great twist of fanfic begetting it’s own loyal and dedicated fans, some fans of Buffy: Between the Lines have posted videos on YouTube. B:BtL is an audiodrama with no pictures, but great dialogue, effects and mood-aplenty. Now fans have added their own images. The results are pretty amazing and go to show that if you produce high-quality work you will garner devoted and talented fans.

Background Download
Remember, some time ago, I told you about how you could download Scott Sigler’s book ‘Infected’ free from the web? I did the download thing and started to read. It was gripping, suspenseful and leaden with horrors-to-come. And then my PC crashed. Despite many hours, swearing and sweating the PC refused to respond to my tech-charms and so, with some regret, I had to take it to the repair shop. This is a hard pill to swallow for a geek. I was lucky that in the meantime the Orbis books arrived, so I was able to still enjoy some high-quality reading courtesy of P J Haarsma. I loved ‘Virus on Orbis 1’ (as you will see in my review).

PC: Dead, not Infected
The bad news came back from the repair shop. PC, RIP (no, it wasn't a virus). Hard drive – could possibly be revived and so it was, but minus ‘Infected’. I could have gone to Scott Sigler’s website and waited for the chapters to be uploaded but that would mean waiting! I ordered the book and it arrived at the weekend. I put it off as long as possible but I picked it up on Sunday evening. Yikes, where did the time go? 100 pages gone in a flash. On Monday I have to get some work done. But there’s only 100 pages left and it’s so good and I’ve got to know what happens next and is he really going to do that and that doesn’t sound very hopeful for her and…well, it was for purely practical reasons that I decided to finish reading. Plus, I had to know how it would end!

Was it any good, then?
Do you like horror books? Do you enjoy a bit of self-mutilation? Is the intelligent use of science your thing? Are books that race you along, page after page, of any interest to you? Have I asked enough questions? If you answered yes to any of these then you will love ‘Infected’. I’ve read quite a number of horror books (I have even read Stephen King’s ‘Tommyknockers’ all the way to the end, which deserves some sort of prize). I loved ‘Infected’. It didn’t waste my time. It’s a goodly size (and the cover is great), but you don’t have to wade through words to get to the action. There’s lots of description (maybe more than your stomach needs in places!) and the pacing is great. As someone who has often been told that editing is the key (too many words, dear) it’s been another revelation. And I loved the way the critters communicated, very well done and added a great depth.

What about the triangles, then?
Well, to find out about them, you need to read the book. Or maybe you should go to Mr Sigler’s website and download one of his podcasts and give yourself a sneak peak of the action. Or pick up the first chapter podcast free from Podio. For someone who is a self-proclaimed techtard (not my word!) he has been a prolific podcaster (which surely uses technology of some description). I’m just not sure why he was at a Web 2.0 conference today, if he doesn’t get technology – I think he’s holding out on us and really does understand. Maybe he just finds it easier to let other people do all the tech work….

Joss' Whedon's Journal?
Time management. Gotta get some. Now, I gotta go.

Jayne's hat and other news

It's a pity you can't see me.
No, scratch that! It's always a good job you can't see me, but if you could , you would see that I am proudly wearing my lovely new Jayne's hat. Really! I picked it up yesterday from the Post Office. Where did I get it from? Well, I bid and won on the recent Kids Need To Read auction, and I couldn't be happier. Sorry to the other people who bid, but I promise it has a safe home here! My only dilemma now is whether I should frame it with the brilliant signed picture of Adam Baldwin that came with it or not. Decisions, decisions! I'm definitely going to be wearing it to the Vancouver Serenity Day on Sunday July 22nd.

More monkey business
And speaking of KNTR, I told you last time about the unsigned Terrify’n Space Monkeys you can now buy from Kids Need To Read on eBay. Well they now have a new auction for one signed by the incomparable Morena Baccarin, who played Inara Serra in Firefly and Serenity. You'd be bananas not to swing over to eBay and put a bid before the auction ends on April 27th....

Can't Stop The Serenity
Plans are going ahead for the charity screenings of Serenity. There was some distressing news earlier in the week when it was revealed on Whedonesque that US copies of the film had been destroyed accidentally at Universal. In his blog, The One True B!x emphasised that this was an error, not a deliberate act, and that Universal and the CSTS organisers were working hard to sort the problem out. Many people were obviously upset about the prospect of the US screenings not going ahead as planned. The Can't Stop The Serenity official website has now posted that Universal are going to ship (at their expense) extra copies over to the US and that the whole situation is being addressed and handled. I think that's excellent news, and all power to Universal for trying to rectify the error.

Later, on this blog
I reveal why time management is not my strong point at the moment, why the audiodrama Buffy: Between the Lines is now on YouTube, why writer and podcaster Scott Sigler has made me wary of triangles and more from Joss Whedon's Journal.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Dollhouse starts filming - today!

The excitement is high, folks!
After months of waiting for preparation, followed by weeks of nothing but preparation, the day has finally dawned on the first day of filming for the new Joss Whedon/Eliza Dushku series, Dollhouse. Conceived by Joss Whedon while talking to Eliza Dushku in the week before the WGA strike, Dollhouse marks a return to TV for Joss. Yes, it's on Fox and yes, fans are concerned about that (after 'Firefly' was ignominiously canned by Fox), but there is every reason to be hopeful. There will be at least 7 episodes and the cast is looking awesome.

Highlights run-down
As might be expected, the Interweb is awash with Dollhouse tidbits today, so here's a selection of the ones that caught my eye:

Whedonesque: two Dollhouse related posts (this morning, anyway!)
  • Dollhouse now on IMDb
  • Link to Dollverse which has a good summary of why we should be excited Has a great rundown (with photos) of the cast members and summary of the Televisionary (who have seen the first script) and E! Watch with Kristen (who gives a great summary of the Dollhouse premise) reports.

Dollrific!: Has a summary of the Dollhouse Forum Q&A with Dollhouse writers Elizabeth Craft and Sarah Fain (insightful and with no spoilers!) and the news that brother Jed Whedon and Jed's fiancee Maurissa Tancharoen are also writers on Dollhouse. Jed and Maurissa, along with Joss' other brother Zack Whedon and Joss himself, are the writers on the hopefully-soon-to-be-released Doctor Horrible's Sing-Along Blog.

Looking forward
With official promotional material due within a month, there's going to be a whole slew of information about the series soon. Which can only be a good thing! We might hear more about Dollhouse in tomorrow's Joss Whedon's Journal extract - you can only read it here...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Angels, Bond Girls and Monkeys

Is Bond a Superhero?
I think not. He's a man. A man with gadgets, sharp suits, changing faces and a mission. But a man. How about Bond girls then? They always filled me with a curious blend of hope and despair. Yes, some are smart and sassy, take control etc etc. But then they always seem to be there only as a foil for Bond. Maybe that's inevitable because it is his show, but still...When watching Bond (in any of his many incarnations) I have to suspend the part of my brain that gets irritated about things like that and just enjoy the ride. Which I mostly do. Enjoy, I mean.

New Bond Girl - Not Hot But Geeky?
So it was with a familiar feeling of frustration that I saw the headline on MSN today 'Gemma: My Bond character is a geek.' I'm sure she really didn't mean any offence but I gritted my teeth when I read the first paragraph: 'Gemma Arterton has denied that girls will be jealous of her role in the next Bond film - because her character is a geek.' Of course. It's all clear to me now. Geek+girl= social pariah. *Sigh* Where's a Pink Raygun when you need it...

Angelic Superheroes!
At least I'm sure that the current auction from Kids Need To Read does actually contain superheroes. And possibly angels! They are auctioning a fantastic "collectible for comic book enthusiasts – Issues 1 through 4 of the Wall of Angels series, bound into a single volume and signed by creator and writer Anthony Garcia....also... a convention favorite – a beautiful, 10″x16″, full-color Wall of Angels poster drawn by artist Paul Cartwright." The artwork is stunningly sumptuous and the reviews I've read of the comics are very positive. You can also try the website for more details. Another great auction on eBay that closes on the 25th April.

Yep, of the Terrify’n Space kind, that is! Kids Need To Read are now selling these cute little critters on eBay. They're not signed but they are cuddly!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Girl Geeks and Pink Rayguns

Do you wear girlpants or boypants?
That might be a bit presumptuous, but it is relevant for today's discussion (honest!). I, myself, wear girlpants and I am also a girl. Ordinarily I wouldn't have bothered to put this. I like the sexlessness of the Internet.
[Reader (there is one): "Are you kidding - the Internet has brought 'sex' to the masses like never before!? You are a fool and a simpleton!"
My gentle reply: "Oh dear reader, you are indeed discerning in your tastes in that you read my blog almost frequently, but I must make a slight correction. I meant only that I chose my name to be one that could be either male or female, because I feel that gender is not important in this sphere. You are right to correct me, but next time no name calling. Or else."]

Closet geek
For years I've been a closet geek, hiding my obsessions from most people. In my previous life it was fine - I was a geek at work because I 'did computer stuff' and everything else (the Buffy DVDs, the Angel DVDs, Lord of The Rings, the hours on the Internet....) were completely separate, like oil and water and a....third unmeshable thing. Where I grew up, girls didn't like computer games, computers or sci-fi, and a girl has to hide what a girl has to hide.

Geek, born again
Now, I am still in the closet. Make no mistake about that. I'm all growed up but old habits die hard. But I've opened the door enough to peep out and see what's going on in the outside world. One of the great things I discovered, via the Buffy: Between the Lines website, was Pink Raygun. Now, it is not, as I hesitantly thought when I heard the name, a website catering for adults with time (and other things) on their hands. Well, it is, but not in that way. It is aimed at female geeks (those wearing boypants are allowed, though) and I've just spent far more time than I should in the name of 'research' looking at what it has to offer.

A cornucopia of geekness
Ooh, and what treats it has! It is billed as a "webzine for the modern fangirl. A place to discuss and read about science fiction, fantasy and horror in all of their forms...". When you enter the 'Intergalactic Law' cartoons grab your attention first off and they are very good, very funny and oh so true. Then you realise that there is so much that you want - no must! - read. A great article about Buffy:Between the Lines, a brilliant series about Firefly, must-not-look-at-'Cylon says'-for-fear-of-spoilers, Buffy, Xena, Heroes....if you have an interest (obsession has such bad connotation these days) then chances are you can pander to it here. Just don't blame me if you find yourself, two hours later, still there with all your work not done.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Saturday Shindig...

You know what I'm going to say, don't you?
If not, you have not been paying attention! Stay behind after class and write "I will visit the Universal HD Firefly Message Board" 100 times.

In a brilliant (and frankly disturbing!) twist on today's broadcast, Cordrone (a Moderator on the Message Boards) has posted a scary poster on today's shindig thread depicting 'Reaverdance'. Universal are showing 'Bushwacked' tonight in glorious HD, which should be some sight. Predator Vs Alien? They've got nothing on the Reavers! I can't be there at just before 8 PM Eastern Standard Time when it starts, but I'll be along later to see how it all went. The numbers were down a bit last week so a good showing today would be great. You really need to be getting over there just before it's due to air and then keep cruising the boards or posting because once you are 'inactive' (not clicking or posting) for 15 mins you are taken out of the numbers. Should be lots of fun on the Universal HD Firefly Message Board.

Twittering again...
I've added a widget (yes, that's the correct word!) to the Blog showing my recent Twitter activity. Scroll down to view, if you like, and let me know if you're a Twitterer.

Orbis and Battlestar Galactica: in space...

No-one can hear you shout at the screen! (still no spoilers)
Well, the next installment of BSG: the final season went out last night. Being able to watch it as it airs has compensated for the lack of Doctor Who over here, but last night was definitely one of those episodes where I was raging against the machine! The DVD player, that is. And the TV. Yes, while I loved the episode, it didn't make me happy. Not one bit. Remember when Joss used to tear out your heart and make you watch while he danced all over it? In army boots? (I was going to put 'stilettos' but that was a way too disturbing image!) Well it was like the good old days, but worse because now we have to wait another week. Maybe I won't watch, in protest. Even as I typed that I knew it was futile. Of course I'm going to watch. If only they didn't make you care so much! But I suppose that's the whole point. Yep, life's a beach....

And now the good news - I've been Softwired!
When I started the first of the Softwire books by PJ Haarsma, The Softwire Book 1: Virus On Orbis 1, I had to make myself stop because I had lots of real work to do, and that was definitely under the title 'Pleasure'. But as an incentive to myself I had planned to read it yesterday if I got everything done. Now, as anyone with kids on a Pro-D day (where the school is out for teacher training etc) will know, it's not easy to sit, undisturbed. So I read in blocks yesterday, and what a great story! It had me totally transported to Orbis.

It gets into your brain...
After watching Battlestar Galactica it was late but I had to finish the last part of the book - I just couldn't leave it. Now, I don't want to give anything away about the plot. But I can tell you that Mr Haarsma has created fantastically detailed and totally believable technology, time and space for his characters. This isn't gimmicky Sci-fi. Sci-fi is part of the book, but it is driven by the characters and the story, and will have you guessing until the end. And I loved the ending to this. It was moving, unexpected and made me want to read more. The action is very well paced, you care about what is happening to the characters and to their world, and it actually makes you think. For me, that adds up to a Good Read. I couldn't help but imagine it as a film, possibly animated, with the voices of...well, I won't go on because you should really read it for yourself first. And then we can argue about who should play what in the film! Now I have to negotiate with myself for when I can read the next one...

Tweaked and Tweeted
After my perhaps ill-advised blog yesterday, Tabz, the producer and writer (among other things) of Buffy: Between the Lines left a comment about why I should give Twitter a reasonable chance before deciding it's not for me. Well, I have a growing respect for Tabitha the more I find out about her multitudinous work, and so I'm going to take her advice. I'm not sure where this will take me, but that's really the whole point. I'll keep you posted. Or is that Tweeted?!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Twitter-pated - social software, is it any good?

It depends what you want.
Yes, that's not very helpful, I know! As a born-again geek I've been dabbling in the social software pond, trying to make out whether any of it is useful to me. What is social software? Wikipedia's definition is 'a range of web-based software programs... [that] allow users to interact and share data with other users'. Examples are MySpace, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube. So I have a Blogger, MySpace and YouTube account (don't panic - I haven't uploaded any videos!). Do I really need more? Probably not, but that doesn't stop me looking!

Follow the crowd
One of the other things I've seen around is Twitter. This is a 'micro-blogging' service that allows you to update people in your circle of friends to know what you're doing. You can use the web, mobile phone (using SMS) or IM (Instant Messenger) to update your 'Twitters', so you don't need to be near your computer or a WiFi hotspot. Sounds great, doesn't it? Going to be late - Twitter (or is that Tweet?) your gang and let them know. Need help with directions/a phone number/putting the cat out - Twitter and you're done. And yet....

You need a life, first
There is no meaningful way for me to use Twitter, apart from finding out what other people are doing. And if I'm not updating and simply watching other people, isn't that a bit, well, weird? Does it make me a stalker? Perhaps...Now, other people use it the way it supposed to be used and get all the benefits. Wil Wheaton and Felicia Day both use Twitter, and seem to find all manner of uses for it. There is a great Blog article from Doug Belshaw about Twitter and whether it is a good or bad thing. I wouldn't have found it if I wasn't looking up about Twitter, so in that way Twitter has done me a good turn. Mr Belshaw writes excellent Blogs about technology and education that are well worth a look.

So Twitter - useful or not?
I'm sticking to my original position. I've got enough to do without adding more things. Whether you might need/want/benefit is up to you. I've got a Twitter account but no plans to start micro-blogging. How about you?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Guild, Dollhouse and Buffy Paley updates

Episode 9 - Owning Bladezz
Felicia Day has updated her blog with news that the next episode of her webseries 'The Guild' has been posted on YouTube. Needing to deal with the video problem Bladezz left them with, the rest of the gang found the lever needed to convince him to capitulate. Another funny gem from the team! I watched it first this morning and there were already 10,000 views. Going back 2 hours later and there are more than 13, 000 views. If you haven't seen any of them yet try for links to all the episodes plus news, awards and message boards.

Dollhouse - new cast member
The Hollywood Reporter has Alan Tudyk in it's headlines yesterday because he is to star in a new, as yet untitled, ABC comedy pilot. Among the other news in the article is the update that Harry Lennix has joined the Dollhouse cast.

Buffy Reunion at the Paley
There are now video highlights for all the PaleyFest events on the Paley website, including the Buffy Reunion. It's a short clip but it does feature a little footage of the stars taking the stage and Joss and Sarah talking about the show. News also on the Paley site is that the whole of the Buffy Reunion event including 'Once More, With Feeling' and the Panel is going to be shown at the New York Paley on Friday, April 25; 6:00 to 8:15 pm. There is free entry for Paley members who RSVP and tickets are on sale for $10. A great opportunity for any Buffy fans in the area, check the site for details.

Joss Whedon's Journal
With the WGA Strike grinding on, Joss is still on the front line


Joss' Journal February 7th
It a good thing to be on the picket line. Well, not a good thing in that we shouldn't have to picket, but, you know what I mean. Everyone has been so supportive and so good to see the troupes (geddit!) turn up. But the interviews! Man! I love to talk, sure, but I'd rather hear the Other Side doing some talking of the good variety instead of me getting all worked up. And it leaves little time for other things.

But I did A Good Thing, held up my Board and helped a potential to make their debut. It was a small enough thing and I'm happy to spend my picketing time doing something useful other than interviews, autographs (I got some good ones!), eat pizza. And doughnuts. And ...well, you get the picture. And I'll be there again for the Sci-Fi day, the Why Don't They Just Listen Day and the Better Agree Soon day.


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Captain Kirk - Boldly Going Once, Twice...

Ready for a nostalgia-boost?

If so, take a look at the latest auction by Kids Need To Read. It features a photo of Captain James T. Kirk magnificently poised, gun in hand, ready to defend us all. Signed by William Shatner, this is truly a great collectors item. I must admit that seeing the picture conjured up some unexpectedly strong emotions in me. The beautiful uniform, the impressive size of the weapon, the intense look on Kirk's face all took me back to watching Star Trek with the family as a kid. Of course now I simply can't make myself view a single second of TOS (The Original Series), but that doesn't mean I don't appreciate what a ground-breaking series it really was. Beam over to ebay and set your wallets to 'bid generously for a fantastic piece of TV history whose bid price will go to benefit many children' (catchy, huh?).

Zapp's vocalator
It also made me think fondly of Zapp Brannigan and his velour fetish. For my money, Futurama is the most consistently funny animated series there is, and I much prefer it to The Simpsons. For a good collection of Zap quotes you can try Ronan Campbell and to hear the man himself go to 'Can't get enough Futurama' for the Zapp and Kif Sound Board. Hopefully Zapp will be appearing in the next installment of Futurama 'The Beast with a Billion Backs', scheduled for release on DVD in June.

When I was looking up Kirk earlier I found this article - maybe not for those who have just eaten but very funny, all the same!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Do you do Who?

Doctor, that is.
The new season of Doctor Who started in the UK last week and I've been trying to keep away from anything remotely spoiler-y since then. It will probably be some time before it airs over here in Canada and the temptation to sneak a preview here or there is very high. We watched it regularly when we were in England, with the kids in the traditional viewing position of behind the sofa. Another reminder of how much I miss the BBC! A thread on the Doctor Horrible message board reminded me of what happened last Christmas when I decided to treat Hubby to a boxset or two (so we could all enjoy them).

English, eh?
I toddled off to HMV in my local Mall to buy Hubby a present. I couldn't find it out in the shop (store) so I queued at the counter to ask. It was quite near Christmas so it was fairly busy. Eventually it was my turn and the young guy behind the counter asked if he could help me.
"Yes, " said I, in my wonderful British accent. "Do you have any Doctor Who DVD boxsets?"

To which he replied, straight from a bad joke "Doctor Who?"

I resist the temptation to say "Yes, that's it!" and said again "Any Doctor Who DVDs?"

We are both now confused. I don't know if he hasn't understood me (it happens - sometimes people are so engrossed in my 'neat' accent they don't listen to the words) or if, by some freakish accident, he hasn't heard of Dr Who. "We've got Doctor House, if that helps?" he adds, the expression on his face is 'you are so old and foreign I don't even know if you're human, but I'm trying to appear as if I want to help'. I feel like I want to laugh and cry simultaneously.

"No, I mean Doctor Who. It's a series on TV...well, British TV...maybe you don't have it here.." I stumble over my words, knowing that I've completely lost him. "I guess you don't have it over here...." I say, turn around and shuffle out of the shop, feeling vaguely humiliated.

That's why you should only buy things via the Internet.

Softwire arrives!
Like the two Softwire books from PJ Haarsma I've been waiting for that I ordered from Amazon. They've now arrived and I'm really looking forward to reading them later this week. I've already been warned that they are un-put-downable so I've locked them away until Friday, when hopefully my other work will be done. The covers look great and I've sneaked a quick peek inside, which was enough to convince me I had to put them away...another incentive to work more quickly, so I'd better get back to it!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Hats off to Buffy!

Happy Birthday to Sarah Michelle Gellar
She turns 31 today. With at least one film being released this year ('Possession', scheduled for October release) and several others in production/postproduction, Sarah will be as busy as ever. Always renown for her hard-working and professional attitude to acting, she has not stopped since the end of Buffy, some five years ago. Let's just hope that her birthday goes much more smoothly than any Buffy ever had!

How not to celebrate...
And it's not only Buffy that has birthdays that could go better. In Episode 10 of Buffy: Between the Lines, Dawn's birthday finds her still trying to find out where she fits into a life without parents and Buffy. The series is set between Seasons 5 and 6 of Buffy and this is a great episode to get your teeth into. And while you're over on the Buffy: Between the Lines website, you might want to check out their kind review of my recent 'Podcasts, audio dramas and fanfics...' blog.

Short and sweet
That's it for today - computer problems and extra tough work calling! Tomorrow we'll hopefully hear some more from Joss Whedon's Journal among many other exciting things...

Saturday, April 12, 2008

T Minus 40 minutes and counting...

Shindig prep commencing...
It's quiet on the Universal HD Firefly Message boards at the moment, but hopefully that's just the calm before the storm of activity. Come on over to the Universal HD Firefly message board to show your support during the broadcast of 'The Train Job' in glorious HD. We all want a sequel (or maybe more!) and this is a simple way of proving that people support Firefly/Serenity.

Counting Down, Counting Up

Operation Full Burn needs you!
I've just checked on the Countdown Clock and it's less than 8 hours until the Shindig on the Universal HD Message Boards. Plenty of time to get organised, get yourself registered and head over to the Message Boards. The Shindig was a great success last week and at just before 8 PM Eastern Standard Time it's happening again as Universal air 'The Train Job' in glorious HD. Don't be shy, come on down!

Battlestar Galactica - actually so good (no spoilers)
So, another episode nearer the end, and the surprises, tension and emotion are ramping up and up. All the actors in this fine ensemble are so talented, the scenes set so well, the writing so precise, that it is hard to remember it is 'just' a TV show. There is no point trying to second guess what is happening, what might happen, there's just no point. Whatever you think will be turned on its head so I've given it up. I just watch it go. That's not to say it's a passive experience, far from it. There might have been tears in my eyes last night...So many feelings! But not in the Calculon (from Futurama), declamatory "Now I am experiencing the emotion of 'SADNESS/ANGER/JOY'" way. The body language and expressions are so good, dialogue is often not necessary and so is not used. Which is a welcome relief! It's hard to pick out one actor out of so many great actors, but I must say that James Callis continues to fascinate as Doctor Baltar. In turns deeply moving and comic, his struggles with himself (!) are priceless.

When did you last write a 'Thank you' letter?
I'm trying to recall the last one I did, and struggling. I think I sent an email a while back...Which makes me appreciate how special the letters from the children featured on the Kids Need To Read website really are. I reported that another set of books had been delivered to two more schools. Well, the children from one of the schools have put pen to paper to write to KNTR to show them how much the donation has meant to them. It is not from the teachers (though they might have encouraged them), it is from the children themselves. The gift of books has meant so much to them personally that they have written thank you letters. Try and make the time to read the letters. Books. That's all they are. But they represent so much potential and the children really get that. It makes you think. Really, it does.

Later, in this Blog
A reminder and update about the Universal HD Message Boards Train Job Shindig (what a mouthful!).

Friday, April 11, 2008

Podcasts, audio dramas and fanfics...

...Where do you get your fix?
I've never really got the 'podcast' thing. For a long time I thought you needed an iPod to 'get' one (yes, I know that makes me sound just, well, stupid, but the truth will out and it was a while ago..). And how do you use them? And are they any good? I've seen links to them just never seemed to be the right time and I had survived pretty well without them.

But I kept seeing the Podcast links. Obviously, Buffy: Between the Lines is covered with them - that is the reason for the site. Then there were links to 'Sending a Wave' (a Firefly/Serenity Podcast) on the Kids Need To Read website, 'Strangely Literal' (for all things Jossverse), 'The Signal' ( an award-winning Firefly/Serenity podcast) and many, many others. Eventually, you just have to give in a give it go.

So, how does one 'use' a Podcast?
It is ridiculously easy to listen to a Podcast. You just press the little 'play' button and off you go. As I'm blogging now I'm listening to Buffy: Between the Lines episode 1, Season 1. So if it doesn't all scan properly blame them. I've listened to it before, a while ago and it really is good. It takes a little while to adjust to the new voices but the story, characterisations and production is great. I wanted to start at the beginning again - ha! - I just got to the bit with the bunnies - I can so see that! Anyway, as I was saying, it's a new 'verse of entertainment and one that I'll be looking into a bit more. You know, with all that spare time I have...

Podcatcher pursuivant
Of course, the easiest thing would be to set iTunes to download and keep all the episodes from all the ones I'm interested in and I can listen to them as leisure. The only problem is, my iTunes has decided not to work/update/do anything at the moment so that's another job to do. Still, there are other 'Podcatchers' so I might investigate one of them.

To fanfic or not to fanfic?
I don't know where you stand on the issue of fanfics. To be honest, I'm not sure where I stand! I used to think they must be all a bit rubbish because how could they possibly compare with the 'real thing'? But I'm having to reconsider my stance. There are a lot of talented people out there producing some very high quality work, and I think the hour of the 'amateur' is at hand. Just as Internet broadcasting (with the likes of YouTube) started with people falling over a lot, bodily functions and swearing, there are now some incredible, original videos available ('The Guild' and the up-coming 'Doctor Horrible's Sing-Along Blog' for example). And the same is going with Podcasts and written fanfics.

New fantastic fanfic contest
And in a timely fashion, Buffy: Between the Lines has announced a new fanfic contest. Casting is mostly complete for Season 2 and in the gap between Season 1 and 2 they are running a competition that is open to anyone. There are some basic rules (see the BBTL website). The winner will have their work recorded and receive a signed copy of “Infected” by Scott Sigler, a limited edition SugarShock poster plus other goodies. I'm reading 'Infected' at the moment (the free download, remember, and now available in shops) and it is really, really good. Will I be entering the competition? Sadly, no. What with all those Podcasts to listen to, all the books to read, two blogs to write AND a day job, my time is pretty well booked up. Having said that, sleep is an over-rated pastime....

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Counting down to the weekend

Getting ready for geek overload!
So, have you got your plans made for the weekend? Yep, me too. Gonna get myself all prepared for fun in a bun. It requires some planning (DVD recorder? - check! Remember how to program it? - it'll come back to me! TV guide? - that's what the internet is for!). Friday sees the next installment of Battlestar Galactica and I have no idea what is going to happen, not a clue as to who will do what next and I'm all the happier for that. I'll record it then watch, undisturbed, when the kids are asleep. And then I'll watch it again when hubby has finished work, being very careful not to look, move or make any sound that might betray what's going to happen next. Yes, Friday night doesn't get much better than that!

Saturday afternoon delight
Then, there's Saturday afternoon to look forward to. Last week saw a fantastic turnout on the Universal HD Message Boards (at least double the number of a usual Saturday) for the airing of the Firefly Pilot in glorious HD. This week 'The Train Job' is being shown and there's another Shindig arranged. Now I'm not great with time zones but luckily that's all been taken care of courtesy of Cordrone, one of the Mods (moderators) on the Universal boards. If you follow this link it will count you down to the Shindig wherever you are. Even I can get my head around that! So see you there.

Sunday down-time
And hopefully, tomorrow I will take delivery of my shiny new Softwire books, which means that I can spend Sunday in a world of my own. Or, more precisely, P J Haarsma's world. Another good reason to be looking forward to this weekend. Just got to get through Friday day, first!

Joss Whedon's Journal
Joss deals with plots and plots (the edits are necessarily so as not to spoil the show)


Joss' Journal February 2nd
There can only be one. Boss, that is. I like it to be me. I like to know where I'm going (broad strokes, you understand, I don't need to know all the parts). Most people get that and assimilate quite easily. Others, not so much. Of course, when you're related to people it makes it more difficult.
So, Minions then. After carefully crafting a raft of characters (ooh, that was good! You'd never know I'd not slept) I'm now faced with the prospect of fitting in a new, unwanted character. I thought the whole idea was that we were free from restraints, The Man was not going to interfere here, no siree. Well Minion/homeless #X needs a role and it's up to me to sort it. Apparently it's my Minion so I've got to do it. Where's the writers room when you need it?
Still.... we can move the story on if we have someone [....] with [...] in the [...] and then [...]. Yes! That might just work! And it solves the problem of [...]! The Aria is saved!
That's why I'm the boss.


Good news, sad news

The good news
Two more schools have received books from Kids Need To Read and the children are ready and waiting to start reading their fantastic new books! The schools are very deserving and thankful for the opportunity this represents for their children. Read the full story over at the KNTR website.

The sad news
Sad news over at Felicia's blog. Her Grandpa passed on Monday and she has posted a very moving blog about his life and his passion for Physics. She finished the blog saying that she wanted everyone to remember that we all have a finite time and hoping that it would prompt people to tell their Grandpas they love them. People have been posting stories, support and condolences and it is obvious that it has touched many. RIP.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Jayne AND his hat up for grabs!

The new Auction from Kids Need To Read is sure to be a winner!
You may remember some time ago I wrote about Jayne's hat and how I thought I would never own one due to my knitting skills being somewhat lacking. Well, I could possibly get my wish after all with the new auction from KNTR. A fantastic signed photo of Adam Baldwin as Jayne Cobb (from Firefly/Serenity) looking moody and magnificent (or is that cunning?) is up for auction and with it is a hand-knitted Jayne hat! That's some great auction. There has already been some bidding for this and it ends on April 13th so head over to the Kids Need To Read auction page for more information and a looky at the prizes.

Talking of KNTR...
I'm still waiting for my books by P J Haarsma from Amazon: The Softwire: Virus on Orbis 1 and The Softwire: Betrayal on Orbis 2. I hope they come soon because PJ himself left a comment on this blog saying he was looking forward to hearing what I thought of them. No pressure, then! Actually, I can't wait because my 'reluctant' reader will be needing a new book soon and this would be good timing for them. I will read it first, though (I get first dibs because I paid for them!). So I'd better get 'Infected' finished!

Joss Whedon's Journal...
...will return tomorrow, when we learn a little bit more about how a writer works....

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

New release of Firefly is confirmed!

A Blu-Ray release of Firefly is coming...
Whedonesque has a link to today. TVshow... contacted FOX after Jewel Stait had mentioned at her recent appearance at the recent Supanove Expo in Melbourne that she was recording a commentary for a new release (see for more details of Jewel's Q & A session). The new release is still at the planning stages so far so no word on when it will be out, but this has to be good news for fans!

New Auction for Kids Need To Read - collectors item!
A signed copy of 'The Search for the Red Dragon' by author and illustrator James A. Owen is now being auctioned on ebay. The first book in the series The Chronicles of the Imaginaruim Geographica is called 'Here, They Be Dragons' has already in it's sixth printing and has been picked up by Warner Brothers for a film. Not only is this copy of 'The Search for the Red Dragon' signed by James A. Owen, it also has an original sketch by him on the title page. You can see more details and pictures on the KNTR auction page. A great opportunity to buy what will surely be a well-loved book.

'The Guild' has a spanky new site
Anyone wondering what 'The Guild' phenomenon is all about can now check for themselves even more easily at the newly-updated 'The Guild' stars Felicia Day as Codex, a person who has trouble making boundaries between her on-line life as Codex (a healer in a World of Warcraft-type game) and 'real' life, especially when her online 'friends' meet up in real life. Don't worry if you have never played a computer game in your life - these videos will strike a chord with you. Who hasn't angst-ed over the conflict when two parts of their existence collide?! The characters are fully-fleshed and the situations all-too-believable, so it's no wonder that 'The Guild' has already won awards. And speaking of awards, because fans voted in such high numbers for the YouTube Award for Best Series (which 'The Guild' won hands-down) there is an hilarious reward, as promised by Felicia. Check out the 'Latest Video' on the front page for proof that even beautiful actresses can sometimes be, should we say, less than graceful...

Monday, April 7, 2008

Serenity, Dollhouse and Buffy: Between the Lines (part 2)...

Dollhouse news
A quick glance on Whedonesque this morning brings news that Fox has not done a pilot for Dollhouse! But relax, that's only because they are spending the money on building a no-holds-barred life-sized set for the show. The Wall Street Journal article that broke this news is very interesting and looks at how things have changed since the Writer's Strike. Even more exciting (or is it?) for me is the news that 'Life on Mars' (a fantastic British series - I brought my boxsets with me!) is being adapted by ABC.

Buffy: Between the Lines
Now, after the April Madness of last week I mentioned the fact that Buffy: Between the Lines had run a front page saying they were recasting the whole Scooby gang. I also wondered if they had told the cast before the ran the headline. Well Tabz, Producer of Buffy Between the Lines commented on the blog saying that, in fact, the cast didn't know, but worked it out fast! Hehe. Now that's a real April Fool! And I would have mentioned this before and thanked Tabz for the comment, if it hadn't been such a busy extended weekend. But thanks, Tabz, for taking the time. And also on the Buffy: Between the Lines website is the news that Season 2 has now been cast, and the full list will be up soon. If you've never heard the audio-drama (which is set between Buffy seasons), then catch up with Season 1 now. Not sure when the crew list will be complete...

So back to Serenity...
After all the excitement, mudder's milk and boa has settled down, something was announced on Saturday that I forgot to mention. Unfortunately, they haven't announced a sequel yet, but this should keep us going until then. The Universal HD Moderators are now running a competition - 'Who's coat is the Brownest?' - and anyone can enter. There have already been some strong entries but I wouldn't let that put you off. This is a chance to show everyone what you've been doing (related to Firefly/Serenity!) and is a really great way to showcase your fandom. It's the Moderators (not Universal) who are running this and all credit to them for the idea.

Questions? Comments? Serenity, Dollhouse and Buffy: Between the Lines (part 1)...

Can't Stop The Serenity (CSTS)
How do you use your fandom for the power of good? Perhaps you read the blogs about 'Operation Full Burn' and were wondering "Well, that's really great and exciting. I love Firefly/Serenity too. But message boards and online campaigns don't do it for me. And there are lots of good causes that need my attention more." Good point. Should you be using your time differently? Well, I can't answer that for you! What, did you think I'd turned into Dear Margo?! Seriously though, it would be great to combine fandom and good works, wouldn't it?

Which is where CSTS comes in.
Can't Stop The Serenity is an organisation set up to hold charity events and Serenity screenings where the proceeds go to a charity - Equality Now. Since 2006 over $160, 000 has been raised by CSTS for Equality Now, and event planning is well under way for this year. The first events were charity screenings of Serenity on or around Joss Whedon's birthday (June 23rd) but in 2007 this expanded to other events. Many people never got to see Serenity as it was supposed to be seen - on the big screen - so if nothing else, it is a great opportunity to see a brilliant movie. And it's for charity, a charity that works hard to bring an end to violence and discrimination against women and girls, a charity that Joss himself supports with passion (see his YouTube speech).

2008 targets
So in 2008 will you help make a difference? This year CSTS has set itself the challenging task of raising $150,000 with 55 cities participating. I'm going to be at my local screening and all you need to do it check out what's going on near you on the CSTS website. If there is nothing near, you could always think about starting something...there is lots of information and support available so it won't hurt to look.

How long should a blog post be?
Ok, I'm going to split up my posts today because it's getting a bit long and I haven't even started on the other bits yet! Apparently a good blog should be about 150-200 words long, so I'll carry on shortly with news about Dollhouse and Buffy: Between the Lines.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Full Burn Update and more Felicia news

A busy time was had today!
The Universal HD Message Boards were running on full power this afternoon (for me it was afternoon, anyway!) for the Operation Full Burn Shindig. Universal were showing the Firefly pilot episode in glorious HD and a whole lot of Browncoats turned up on the message boards for mudders milk, hot bao and a chance to visit with each other. The 'Shindig Thread' only opened an hour before the pilot was due to show but a quick check back now shows that there were 201 replies and 1, 423 views in about 4 hours. That is a stunning amount, especially when you count the fact that there were other Browncoats around on other threads at the same time! Your intrepid reporter (me) was there to experience the event and it was utterly brilliant to be among so many like-minded folk. Stories were swapped, the opening song was sung, regular updates from those lucky enough to be watching in HD and new friends made. For a couple of hours it felt like the Serenity sequel must happen, and soon! I'm hoping we will get some solid figures for how many Browncoats were on the Message Boards today and I'll report back when I know. Happy times, better days.

Can't stop the signal
And because Browncoats are such friendly folk there is going to be another Shindig next week for The Train Job. Now, even folk who had never posted before got involved today, so if you have never been on a message board before this would be the ideal time for you to try it. You will be welcome with open arms and made to feel right at home. It will be a whole new experience and a chance to be part of something special.

Can you keep up with Felicia Day?
Not sure I can! Not content with The Guild, her blog, the sketch show, her acting career (recently Doctor Horrible, ad work and new film 'Prairie Fever' out this year) and everything else she is doing, she found time for an interview with Dynamic Forces. There is a link from her blog to this quite in-depth piece that reveals everything from online gaming to violin practice to whether she would pose for Maxim.

And if that wasn't enough...
She also found the time to post a comment on my blog. What a sweetie! You will find it under 'Change of times/dates for Felicia Day's shows'. In fact, it's the second time Felicia has commented on the site, but the first time I completely failed to realise it was her. Doh! Ok, she used 'Codex' as her nick and I thought she was someone else. It was only a couple of days afterwards that it suddenly clicked that Codex was the character she plays in The Guild. Boy, did I feel foolish! Still, all is forgiven (thankfully!).

Official Shindig Thread for Full Burn - mudders milk all 'round!

The Party has started on the HD Universal Message Board
and we need your support! Just follow this link to go straight to the Shindig Thread and warm welcome is ensured. 10 mins until the Pilot episode airs in glorious HD, courtesy of Universal, so settle down for some fun and frolics!

1 hour 15 minutes to Operation Full Burn...

Fly on over to the Universal HD message boards now...
...and join in the fun. Come on - just follow this link and make your presence felt. Full report later (but why not experience it yourself!).

Don't forget - a busy Firefly and Felicia night tonight!

I am so excited!
This weekend is turning out to be pretty special for a number of reasons, and later on I'll tell you about them, possibly in song or list form. There might be interpretive dance, but no promises on that score...

Felicia first
Felicia Day has blogged this morning about her experiences last night. After a last minute time-change and then other problems The Guild Improv didn't happen. Thankfully, the sketch show did happen so the fan(s) were not too disappointed. I think it says something about a person when they can openly say they made a mistake, try to correct it and then take the time to personally thank the person who did show up (and shared Doughboy yummies with him!).

So just to confirm -there is no Guild Improv tonight at 10.30. There is another Improv scheduled for April 19th in Santa Monica, more details to follow. But there is still the Lady Sketch Show on tonight at 8.00 at The McCadden Place Theatre (see Felicia's other blog entry for address details). You know if you can make it then you are guaranteed a good night out and you will be able to say you saw the ladies just prior to their international super-stardom. That's got to be worth a trip out.

Universal HD Message Boards - sitrep!
I know you know that you also need to be reporting in at the Universal HD Firefly Message Board for Operation Full Burn soon(ish) - just before 8 PM Eastern Standard Time. There is even a countdown so that you log on in time (handy for those tricky time zones calculations)! If you can join the boards (it's very easy and I can honestly say I have not had any spam or unwanted emails since I signed up) that's best because them Universal folks like to know we're not all the same person. If you don't want to sign up, that's cool too - just follow this link and be there. Any guesses on how many will come? I know - log on, and you can see for yourself!

Battlestar Galactica: the final season rip-roars onto TV...

Spoiler-free, as always!
Yes, we watched the first episode last night. The drama! The excitement! And that was just setting the DVD to record....We watched it slightly after the event, because we couldn't afford the kids interrupting and also the advert-issue. So later last night we switched on and soaked in the magic. Well kids, if you've managed to remain immune to Battlestar so far I feel sorry for you. My best advice is to get down to the video store/go online and rent seasons 1-3, book some time off your life and settle down to some of the best TV currently available. The only downside is the waiting! It's another week until my next fix and in the meantime I daren't look at anything related to BSG because I don't want to see any spoilers...

Another Jane Espenson interview - and still spoiler-free
So I was thrilled to see the TVGuide interview with Jane Espenson. I'm a big fan of Ms Espenson and read her blog regularly because it has such great advice for writers and is written in a way that everyone would find interesting. In the interview she talks about Buffy and Battlestar and we find out her take on some of the main characters in BSG. She also tells about how happy she was to be made part of the staff team and what working for Joss Whedon and Ron Moore is like.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Change of times/dates for Felicia Day's shows

It wasn't my fault!
Felicia posted the wrong information on her blog re the shows she is doing this weekend. She and the Guilders are playing at 10.30 tonight (Friday), not Saturday. Her sketch show, Lady Sketch Show, is on both Friday and Saturday at 8.00. Best check out her blog itself for any last minute amendments.

Caught by the CAPTCHAs

I just wanna join in
But sometimes it's really difficult! Have you ever had to stop doing what you wanted to do because you couldn't work out what the squiggly letters and numbers mean on a form? It's happened to me twice this week and it is so frustrating. One site had the audio alternative and after a couple of listens I didn't get that, either. They are called CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart) and are a way of making sure sites don't spammed by separating the humans from the bots. Does that make me the last of the Cylons?! In fact CAPTCHAs are difficult for certain people such as those with impaired sight or dyslexia. I am fortunate to have neither, yet I still fall foul of them.

What's the alternative?
There are alternatives such as SAPTCHA, but these are not in wide use at the moment. On you have to solve a simple math question if you want to post, and I've not had any problem with that. If you were kind enough to want to leave a comment on this blog you would have had to pass a CAPTCHA. But I'm going to do an experiment. I'm going to take this off for a few days and see what happens. Maybe the spam will flood in or maybe (who knows!) it'll be the comments that flood in! I will keep you posted.

Joss Whedon's Journal
As January comes to a close, Joss is faced with a Minion Revolt!


Joss' Journal January's end 08
What would Bill do? That's what crossed my mind when 'The Minions' presented themselves en masse. Unhappy with working conditions? Favouritism? Strike?! Well, I know there's a strike on, they didn't need to remind me of that, thank you very much. And then I realised that they meant they were thinking of going on strike, not join the WGA picket.

I mean, it's ridiculous. I try my very best with these people, I really do. Ok, I'm not good with names but that's just me. Minion #2 did not agree with the strike, bless her. No, she tried to restore calm but it wasn't to be. In the end we got to the nub of the problem - everyone wanted to be an extra in The New Thing. Ok, they all want to be in it so they want to strike?! I can't, no matter how I look at it, see how that makes sense.

So we held a draw. One minion to be chosen (out of each gener...nevermind) to be the homeless #X. How very Galactica. Result: 1 estactic minion, lots of even more grumpy minions. You can't win. I think I need a strong glass of water...


Got that Friday feeling - Galactica Actual!

Only hours to go before the start of BSG Season 4
And how excited are we? On a scale of 1 to 10, frakking orbital! We eventually got to see the DVD I so expertly recorded last Friday of the Battlestar Galactica hour from Space (yes, I did record the right thing!). It was great but....we want more! Enough teasing already. Watching Joss (and I think there were other people, also) on 'The Phenomenon' talking about how much they love Galactica was brilliant.

Give us a break!
The only little thing was...the commercial breaks! Now, I've said before that I miss the BBC and this is for 3 main reasons: the news, the programs and the fact that there are no adverts. I don't watch much TV (I've got my boxsets to keep me warm) and I can't get used to the commercials every 2 minutes. Show title of show - Adverts! Show first 2 mins - Adverts! Get you back into story - Adverts! There are even adverts between the end of the show and the credits for the show! How does that make sense? Yes, I know that it's all to do with revenue for the infinity-plus-one channels but I hate it. I'm just glad I am Geek and I rule technology. I'm sure there's a fast forward on this gorram remote...

Later, on this blog...
Joss Whedon's Journal and a Felicia Day update (possibly).

Thursday, April 3, 2008

New cast announcement for Dollhouse

Televisionary breaks the news
British actress Olivia Williams is to join the cast. Read more details on the Televisionary blog (it contains mild spoilers about the character she is to play). With filming only 3 weeks away we can be sure there will be more news from the Dollhouse very soon.

Saturday 5th April at 8 PM - what will you be doing?
Joining the fun on the Universal HD message boards, hopefully! Operation Full Burn is stepping up to make sure that there are as many Browncoats as possible lurking and posting on the Firefly Message Board just before 8 PM Eastern Standard Time. It doesn't cost anything, it doesn't require you to do anything other than go to the message board (lurkers are welcome, too) but it is your opportunity to take part in a direct action that might have fantastic consequences. Universal will look at the numbers and we want the message to be clear - give us Serenity 2!

How many Browncoats are there?
What a good question! This was posed on the message board and there is no simple answer. Anonymous1 has posted some really interesting figures, though, and in the end, it is money and figures that will determine whether a sequel/mini-series/webisodes are made. So haul your hides onto the Universal message boards on Saturday and be just a number. For once, that might be enough.

Do you live in LA?
Well first off, good for you! And also, good for you because you have the opportunity to see the delightful Felicia Day at The McCadden Place Theatre on Saturday, twice! Her sketch show is actually on at 8 pm on both Friday and Saturday but on Saturday at 10.30 she and fellow Guilders Zaboo and Jeff Lewis are doing an improv show. A chance to see the lovely star of The Guild, Buffy and Doctor Horrible in the flesh? If only I could make it over there, I would. Something to tell the kids in the future. See Felicia's blog for more information.

Did I mention Operation Full Burn yet?
Now, what else is happening on Saturday? Yes, Operation Full Burn. So what's a soul to do if you live in LA? Obviously you log into the Message Board first and then leave your 'always on' connection on while you go clap and cheer Ms Day and friends (not an option for those with dial-up, I know, but we all do what we can).

And I have a confession to make about Felicia, but I'll leave that until tomorrow. I'm still trying damage-limitation at this point...

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Nathan Fillion - the Repo Brothers rise again

You tend to remember a guy whose eyes bleed.
The being cleft in twain made an impression, too. I was first introduced to Nathan Fillion via Buffy Season 7, where he played Caleb, a defrocked preacher far south of normal with an unhealthy appetite for The First Evil and an unholy sideline in misogyny. He was quite magnetic and, at the time, I wondered where this actor had come from and why I didn't know him from anything else. The final episode of Buffy Season 7 starts with Caleb, bleeding darkly from eyes, nose and mouth, being rendered impotent (as an enemy) by Buffy slicing him in two with her neat new toy.

Oh, the irony
Of course, Nathan had been busy working away for many years before Buffy. Including a starring role in another of Joss Whedon's quality products, a little-known space/western. You might have heard of it: Firefly. In fact, Mr Fillion has been working his butt off (I refrain form any further comments in this direction because I know it is not a subject that he wishes to be discussed) on lots of projects, films, voice-overs etc. For a very complete run-down of his many works try or the Internet Movie Database.

Nathan Nation
And now he has added another string to his bow. The pilot for 'Repo Brothers', written by the man himself, has been picked up by ABC. Apparently the idea came to him while he was demonstrating his lock-picking abilities to Alan Tudyk (yes, Wash from Firefly) in his front room... See for more information. What I'd like to know is will Nathan return the favour and ask to cast Joss Whedon and his brothers Zack or Jed in the roles?

More Nathan!
Kids Need To Read, as if anticipating a Nathan-heavy news week, have an auction of a 'White Noise 2: The Light' DVD signed by Nathan. The auction is on ebay until 4th April, so you need to hurry on that one.

More Auctions!
Kids Need To Read are also auctioning a signed photo of Ashley Cole, the rightly-famous football (ok, soccer!) star. Any Chelsea or England fans should go to the KNTR website or head over to ebay. This one finishes on the 6th of April. And remember, if you want to support KNTR but don't think you could use any of the items up for auction, think about Christmas /Holiday / Birthday presents.

Joss' Journal
Will return tomorrow. Is the strike going well, and have the Minions revolted for the last time?