The SciFi Diner Podcast
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Welcome to the Diner.
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Hello, my name is Ian Hulme, and I am the author of The HeavenField, a novel released on this website as a serialised audio podcast.
If you are unsure as to what a podcast audio novel is, then you can skip to the ‘What is a podcast?‘ section on the next page for an explanation.
I was born in 1971, and, after leaving school, spent the next 15 or so years as an artist and musician. Some of my paintings from that time can be seen on my website www.ighulme.com.
I started getting interested in computers in 1998, using them for graphic design as well as creating audio pieces for various collaborations and performances.
I have always had an obsession with the written word – writing song lyrics, poetry, and the odd short story. But around 2002 I began work on a screenplay for a planned 3d animation which quickly spiralled out of control. The more ideas I put down, the more I wanted to know about the story I was creating, and before long, the idea of the animation was forgotten as I wrote chapter after chapter.
Shortly after I began writing in earnest, my wife and I moved to the tiny fishing village of Robin Hood’s Bay. In the summer it is a busy tourist location full of packed holiday cottages. But in the winter, the village is practically deserted, and I had the great good fortune to have the winding streets and rocky beaches practically to myself. It was here that I wrote most of The HeavenField, sat on the rocks at the foot of the cliffs as the waves hurled themselves at the shore.
For the next three or four years I re-read and edited the manuscript countless times, until I began work as a web designer at Media Vision, for the most wonderful Chris Ellis. He listened patiently to my ramblings about The Field, and, after reading through the novel, offered to edit it (without quite realising the amount of work he was taking on!). We set about devoting occasional Saturdays to the task, and I personally found this immensely rewarding – at times literally chopping up and rearranging passages that weren’t working – sections that had always troubled me, yet I was unable to fix on my own.
As we edited the work, we talked about putting it out to the world, and, decided a great way would be to release it onto the internet in serialised format.
Having been a musician for many years, and having recorded and engineered music in the past, I had the tools to record the readings myself (though I never seem to have enough time!), and podcasts are a great way to keep people up to date with the latest episodes.
It has been great fun and hard work to finally get to the point of releasing The HeavenField, and my one hope is that I can continue to work in The Field that I love.
Should the now defunct TV Show Heroes be made into a major motion picture?
- Greg Grunberg thinks ‘there has to be’ a Heroes movie coming http://bit.ly/bEmvqL
- Quote: No, I think there has to be [a movie]. But I also predicted they wouldn’t just out and out cancel it, so what do I know [laughs]. It makes business sense to do something—there’s a huge fanbase that wants some sort of conclusion and I think the actors want to do it. It’s not about making a fortune to come back—we all appreciate the fans so much, I think if the call went out, we’d all be on board.
On the menu tonight:
- Interview I.G. Hulme, author of Heavenfield
- The Listeners Speak Out
- StarGate Trivia Winner
- Douglas Adam’s Returns to TV
- Doctor Who Changes the Game
- Star Wars from the 1920’s
- The Planet of the Apes Prequal
- Ghostbuster’s 3
- Magneto is Dead
- The Rise of the Fangirl
- TWIST: Shatner Boldly Claims We Are Not Alone
- Rado gives us his SciFi Five in Five – Shows he thought would be terrible but ended up good!
Show News/Listener Feedback:
- B.Hardin: How is LOST treating you? Season 3 was my favorite season. John Locke is my hero.
- iTunes Feedback
- RaDo: Wanted to mention in the wake of last week’s show that he is also looking forward to the Big Bang Threory. He suggested that our Geek Levels might “level Up” if we watch this show.
- Some Vampire Diaries Love: Mike C. – Said it started Teen angst but shifted dark and violent. Noy quite True Blood but stomps all over Twilight in writing, acting, and the world it creates.
- B. Hardin – Yeah, I have never been to a convention. I feel like that would be a big step for me as a new SciFi genre embracer. If they had a LOST convention though, I would be there in a heartbeat. Don’t get me wrong, my heart still beats Klingon.
* Interesting question, when does one make the decision to attend conventions? What motivates one to shift from observer to participant?
- People loved the Televixen episide
- Shout out to Mary & John Champion from DVD Geeks for giving us a little love on their show last week. We love you guys too.
This Week’s Trivia:
Trivia: What name is given to the Atlantian vehicle which can move through stargates ?
Prize: Two Starship Farragut Items: DVD of Powersource Animated Ep. and the Comic Book “Dearly Departed”
The Main Course:
Our name sake: Restaurant at the end of the Universe – Dining at the End of the Universe – SciFi Diner
Douglas Adams returns to television with new Dirk Gently show –
Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy creator Douglas Adams’ other great work of anarchic science fiction, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, comes to the BBC this fall/winter, as a one-hour pilot. But what happens if Dirk gets an ongoing series?
From the sound of things, the first 60-minute Dirk Gently episode will be an adaptation, at least in part, of the first book — the only plot summary so far is that Dirk tries “to solve the disappearance of a cat from an old lady’s house.” It’s being shown on BBC4 — not exactly the most high-profile channel, it must be said — and the script is written by Howard Overman, creator of Misfits and Vexed.
If the one-hour pilot does well, the BBC will consider commissioning an ongoing series. And given there are only two Dirk Gently books to adapt (plus Salmon of Doubt), I wonder how long it takes before Overman and other writers have to resort to creating their own Dirk Gently stories. It could be awesome, or terrible, or some baffling mixture of the two, but just the prospect of getting more Adamsian weirdness on television again is thrilling. No clue who’s playing Dirk Gently yet — the above image is Harry Enfield, who played him in the radio adaptations.
Doctor Who producer promises ‘game-changing cliffhanger’
Shocking news in the world of Doctor Who today: The BBC just announced that series six will be split in two for the first time since it started in 2005, with one block of episodes airing over the spring of 2011 and the second one airing in the fall.
Steven Moffat claims that the move will essentially turn series six into two separate series, but more importantly, that there will be a GAME-CHANGING cliffhanger separating the two.
That’s what the show runner revealed while speaking during the Edinburgh International Television Festival. And that game-changing cliffhanger—whatever that will be—is what will lead to the series being split in two.
Steven Moffat said:
“Looking at the next series I thought what this show needs is a big event in the middle.
“I kept referring to a mid-season finale. So we are going to make it two series—seven episodes at Easter building to an earth-shattering climax, a cliffhanger we could never normally do because it would be too long before it came back. An enormous game-changing cliffhanger that will change everything.
“The wrong expression would be to say we are splitting it in two. We are making it two separate series.”
So what do you think about this news? Any guesses as to the kind of “earth-shattering climax” Moffat could be coming up with? And—what do you think of the idea of having a season split into two separate series?
Movies this fall: Tron, Resident Evil, and Skyline – that I am looking forward to.
Silent Movie Star Wars
4 behind-the-scenes photos from the new Planet of the Apes
There hasn’t been much news recently about the prequel to Planet of the Apes, that is, until one fan happened to wander past the set and snap these great behind-the-scenes shots.
These new photos from the set of Rise of the Apes won’t give away any details about what the CGI primates will look like in their final stage, but they do show a bit of what it takes to create them. Here’s a glimpse of a stuntman wearing a mo-cap suit and shambling on all fours on the streets of San Francisco.
Frida Pinto, James Franco, and what looks like Andy Serkis
Though so far we don’t know too much about the plot, IMDB describes the film as “an origin story set in present day San Francisco, where man’s own experiments with genetic engineering lead to the development of intelligence in apes and the onset of a war for supremacy.”
We won’t know for a little while, though, as it’s not set to be released until June 24th, 2001.
Sigourney Weaver says she’s been contacted about Ghostbusters 3
In the last year, Ghostbusters 3 has gone from “someday, maybe” to “getting more and more likely.” They’re writing a script, Ivan Reitman’s involved, and even Bill Murray says he’s interested.
Now it looks like Sigourney Weaver is ready to get on board. Earlier this year she said she wasn’t sure whether the GB3 plans involved her. Now she says she’s been in touch with Reitman.
“I’ve also been contacted,” Weaver said in an interview on Aug. 27 in Beverly Hills, Calif., where she was promoting the comedy You Again. “All I said was I really think my little boy Oscar, who went through that traumatic kidnapping, should be a ghostbuster. So I think that might happen.”
Oscar was the baby Dana had in Ghostbusters 2. Now he’d presumably be in his 20s, and Weaver has a very good idea of what he’d be like. “He would be grown up, and he’d be like Zach Galifianakis.” Okay,sure, he’s in his 40s, but we could see Galifianakis playing a really bearded 25-year-old in BG3. Maybe.
Weaver said the next step for a new Ghostbusters movie is just getting a good script done. “They’re working on the script,” Weaver said. “Ivan knows what he’s doing, so let him work on the script.” She said if the script isn’t good they won’t do the movie. But she hopes it’s good. So do we, Sigourney. So do we.
That solo Magneto movie? X-Men: First Class KILLED it
Were you looking forward to that solo Magneto movie everybody (including Ian McKellen) has been talking about for the last couple of years? So were we. But now someone who knows reveals … it ain’t going to happen.
Lauren Shuler Donner, who produced all of the mutant films so far, is producing the upcoming X-Men: First Class and certainly would have been in charge of any standalone Magneto movie. She told craveonline that First Class had swallowed up that other rumored film.
When asked how Magneto was coming along, she replied that it wasn’t:
No. You know, there’s internal discussions but probably not. It kind of got incorporated into this one, a lot of it.
She also shared what parts of David Goyer’s Magneto script would survive into the X-Men reboot:
Magneto history. Stuff from the Marvel/Magneto history.
Disappointed? Or did you figure the Magneto character couldn’t carry a movie on his own anyway?
The rise of the fangirls: Love of superheroes, science fiction and comic books isn’t just for guys anymore – Atlantic City Press
Jessica LeBlanc spends her days selling comic books and game supplies at Jester’s Playhouse in Northfield. So, what does she do for fun?
Earlier this month she headed out to Illinois to attend the Gen Con gaming convention in Indianapolis, spending a couple of days learning about what’s new in gaming.
While she was there, LeBlanc, 21, noticed there were a fair number of women mixed in among the hordes of fanboys flipping through stacks of comics.
“In the last couple of years, I’ve been talking to a lot more women that are into it. There were a lot of women dressed in anime costumes. I think the women are feeling more comfortable,” the Galloway Township woman said.
The cliche of a bunch of dateless geeky boys and men being the only ones to attend comic book conventions or spend their days engaged in role-playing games is out of date.
More and more women are proudly letting their devotion to specific TV shows, movies, comics and games shine. The growing visibility of these fangirls is altering the pop culture landscape.
Comic-Con International 2010, the largest comic book and popular arts convention in the world, was held last month. Panels included “Geek Girls Exist,” “Girls Gone Genre: Movies, TV, Comics, Web” and “Women Who Kick Ass: A New Generation of Heroines.” There is an effort on the Web to organize a Geek Girl Con next year in Seattle.
The Web is full of sites created and maintained by fangirls including geektress.com, www.thediscriminatingfangirl.com, www.geekgirlsnetwork.com, geekfemme.blogspot.com, allthingsfangirl.blogspot.com and others.
The entertainment industry is beginning to realize there is money to be made from these fangirls.
So far this year, movie multiplexes have played host to Angelina Jolie in the spy thriller “Salt,” 13-year-old Chloe Grace Moretz as Hit Girl in the movie “Kick-Ass” and Scarlett Johansson as a martial arts expert in “Iron Man 2.” Milla Jovovich battles in the undead in “Resident Evil: Afterlife” next month and Vanessa Hudgens, of “High School Musical” fame, is among the five women starring in the action-fantasy thriller “Sucker Punch,” out March 25. Meanwhile, actress Ashley Eckstein, the voice of Ahsoka Tano in the TV series “Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” has launched Her Universe, a company devoted to merchandising for female sci-fi fans.
Even Marvel Comics has gotten in on the action, in March launching “Girl Comics,” a three-issue anthology celebrating its female creators.
Whether there are more females into fanboy stuff – or whether the numbers are the same, but they are more open about it – is debatable.
Brenda Kirk, who runs Geektress.-com, a website aimed at science fiction, fantasy and comic-book loving nerds, said one reason for the emergence of fangirls is that women are more open about their interests in these subjects.
The 30-year-old Ohio woman also credited the late 1990s TV series “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” with awakening an interest in fantasy and science fiction among women and sending them to the Internet to feed that interest.
“The Internet opened things up, so that you don’t have to go to some weird genre store somewhere. You can just have access to the stuff, 24/7,” said Kirk, who began reading comics when she was 8. “The Comic-Con that I go to in New York, they have women panels all the time… because it’s so mainstream now, it’s not something you have to hide.”
It really doesn’t seem like that big of a deal for girls to be into these things, said Laura Galiffe, an illustrator, who lives in Somers Point.
Galiffe, 31, went to the anime convention in Baltimore, known as Otakon, for the first time in 1997, and has been attending annually since 2001 and has attended Wizard World in Philadelphia at least five times.
“At the anime convention, there are a good number of girls. I would say it’s probably an even mix. It probably wasn’t like that at first. Anime, there is a good deal of it that’s oriented towards women, so you do tend to see a lot of women. It’s not really strange,” Galiffe said. “I do see a lot of women there (at Wizard World). I see a lot of families.”
Not all women have had such an easy time making their way in this mostly male world, and they are happy that more members of their sex are stepping out of the shadows.
Angie Booth, of Pleasantville, has been told that she has no life because she read comics and plays videogames.
“I guess it’s hard for people who don’t share the same interests to understand. I just don’t like getting such a negative reaction,” said Booth, 28, who admits her interest in all things Batman is bordering on obsessive. “I actually feel like I get looked down upon by some guys. The place I used to get my comics was kinda snooty about it, like girls shouldn’t like comics or something. I got the same attitude from some of the customers when I worked at EB Games. I couldn’t possibly know about video games because I’m a girl.”
LeBlanc said some customers at Jesters were taken aback when she began working there in May 2009 after graduating from Cumberland County College.
But now, the people who come into the comic book and games shop, regard her as one of the guys.
“After a few words, they realize it’s easy for people to talk to me. For a lot of the younger kids, it’s, ‘Oh, there’s a girl behind the counter,’ but they get over it.”
As might be expected, the men and fanboys who love comics have noticed the influx of women into their domain.
There are definitely more girls and young women interested in what had traditionally been geeky boy subjects, such as fantasy and superheroes. That’s because these topics are now more mainstream across the board, said Robert Thompson, professor of pop culture at Syracuse University. The turning point was probably when Hollywood started making blockbuster movies about superheroes and released the first of “The Lord of the Rings” movies in 2001, Thompson said.
“I think it happened in a big way when Hollywood starts making those very artsy Batman movies (in 2005), ‘Spider-Man’ and “Lord of the Rings’ and all that kind of thing. Suddenly, those things were no longer a subculture. They’ve become part of the mass culture and that brought a lot of women into an arena that might have normally been considered for young men, but it also brought in a lot of other people, adults and everybody else,” Thompson said.
For many years, especially with the term fanboy, the impression was that things covered by the Comic-Con International convention were all considered boy genres, said David Glanzer, director of marketing and public relations, Comic-Con International, which is based in San Diego.
Although there were women at the first show in 1970, it was dominated for the most part by males, Glanzer believes.
“We noticed that that started switch in earnest during the ’90s. A lot of Japanese animation and manga (Japanese comic books), in particular, appealed to a lot of girls and women. We started to see a lot more participation by them. Right now, our demographics are probably 60 percent male and 40 percent female, and that’s switching to be more equitable as the years ago by,” Glanzer said.
William Shatner Says “There is no doubt… there is life out there” While Launching Yet Another TV Show.
William Shatner apparently has another show in the works that’s premiering this fall?! Called William Shatner’s “Weird or What?” the show will look at extraordinary events and try to explain them scientifically or logical. What we would like someone to explain is, when does William Shatner sleep? This is the third television show he’s premiering this fall! Along with “Aftermath”, “Bleep My Dad Says”, and now “Weird or What?”, The Shat is also still working on “Raw Nerve” while filming a documentary about all of the Star Trek captains called simply “The Captains”. One thing that did just cross our minds, maybe The Shat is one of those new-fangled day walking vampires. When we saw him up-close at Vegas Khhaaan, he was awfully sparkly.
Maybe we should clarify here, “Weird or What?” has been on in the States since April of this year on the Discovery Channel. The show is actually premiering this Wednesday on the Canadian version of the History Channel. We just didn’t mention it because the first paragraph had such a good effect. Moving on…
During an interview with the Times Colonist (Victoria & Vancouver Island News Since 1858), The Shat gave us his intergalactic insight into whether or not aliens exist; “There is no doubt that there is life out there; the mathematics of it lead you to that absolute conclusion,” Shatner says. “In my mind, there is no doubt that the universe teems — teems! — with life in all its forms. But why they would come visit here and not let themselves be known to everybody is beyond my sense of logic.”
If anyone would know, it would be the captain of the flippin’ Enterprise. He continues, “Why would you fly the years or millenniums [it would take] to [get here]?Why wouldn’t they just land and say, ‘Here we are, we’re tired, got any ice cream?'”
In the second episode of “Weird or What?”, the show focuses on a small Texas town where witnesses claim they saw U.S. air-force planes in hot pursuit of UFOs. Shatner says the show “explains the unexplainable.” He adds “Everything that takes place is weird, whether it’s a social transaction or physical event — anything that we perceive is, in its final analysis, weird, because there are ramifications that we don’t even know. The possibilities that are suggested in quantum physics tell us that everything we are looking at may not in fact be there . . . so that the underlying nature of ‘being’ is weird … .”
The Shatner Empire expands this Wednesday at 8pm on History (Canada)
ScifFi Five in Five: Top 5 movies that people who aren’t into SciFi would Love
My top five Scifi shows I originally did not care for, but grew to love them.
Raduz (pronounced Radooz) from North Vancouver, BC, Canada
#5 Doctor Who.
I’ve been thinking about giving Doctor Who a chance for the last five years or so. The biggest problem for me was to figure out where to start. Too many seasons, too many doctors, a confusion nonetheless. Thanks to wikipedia I was able to narrow down my starting point to the 2005 series starring Christopher Eccleston. That was about three years ago. I watched the first episode called “Rose” and was appalled. What are these silly looking plastic mannequins about ? I stopped at the twenty minutes mark. Then a year later I tried again, same result. This year, after hearing way too many good things about the “latest doctor” I took a different approach. I watched a recent episode. Very nice! I was pleasantly surprised. So I gave the “Rose” episode one more chance and watched it all the way through, cringing. Then the next episode, and then next. Suffice to stay I am now a Doctor Who regular. Not going back in time before 2005, though 😉
#4 Firefly / Serenity
I have to say I don’t like westerns much. After suffering through way too many Deadwood episodes I was not very excited about the prospects of a so called “western in space” TV show. Just one season and then cancelled ? Not very encouraging. Only after hearing about a movie follow up about to hit the theaters I started watching, reluctantly. I was very relieved to find no cows or cowboys in the show. A very imaginative Scifi show with very exciting character and plot developments. I was very sad at the end that there wasn’t more of it. Wait! I forgot about the Serenity movie. I went to see it the next month and was blown away, how well done and true to the series it was.
#3 The Big Bang Theory.
A friend of mine was always boasting about the Big Bang Theory during lunch breaks and how awesome it was. A show about four nerds and people making fun of them ? Why would I want to watch THAT ? I watched a couple of episodes and it seemed to be about four dudes, trying to get the girl. Another high school inspired TV show ? I stopped watching, but after getting assured the “girl chasing aspect” was not what the show was about I gave it another shot. Bazinga!!!. I now love the show, the characters and the daily doze of embarrassment. Most of the time it feels like re-living parts of my own life 🙂
#2 Stargate franchise
I’ve always been an avid Star Trek fan and a viewer. I have to confess I was very jealous about this Stargate TV show that kept on going even after all of my beloved Star Trek shows got cancelled. I was NEVER going to invest myself into another franchise. Then High Definition came along. Stargate Atlantis was the first Scifi show that I had the ability to watch from the beginning in High Def. I got thoroughly hooked and when SGA ended I was ready to give SG1 a try as well. I have to say I was missing out big time not watching SG1 all those years. Both wonderful shows.
A few years back I ran out of things to watch, so I started looking around for something new to watch. Suddenly I recalled reading something about a muppets in space tv show. Say What ? I googled “farscape images” and found pictures of silly looking creatures alongside some Sesame street muppets. Suffice to say I was questioning the sanity of the creators right off the bat. Boy was I wrong. Not a kids show, not a silly show at all. What a ride through the four seasons and the movie. Exciting characters development, unique and daring story lines. Top notch special effects and VERY expensive muppets.