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SciFi Diner Podcast Ep. 48 – An Interview with Best Selling Novelist David Alan Mack

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On the menu tonight:

On this science fiction podcast, we will be interviewing Star Trek Novelist David Alan Mack, giving away two of his novels, Battlestar Galactica: The Plan, finally we are getting more Firefly, whadda ya mean we’re getting a fifth season of Heroes, NBC’s Day One literally becomes Day One, Sami Rami tucks in Spiderman 4 and says night night to it, Avatar once again makes James Cameroon the King of the World, and Defying Gravity and Gamer are out in DVD.  We’ll give you our thoughts!

Our Interview:

David Alan Mack: is the national bestselling author of nearly twenty books, including Wildfire, Harbinger, Reap the Whirlwind, Road of Bones, and the Star Trek Destiny trilogy — Gods of Night, Mere Mortals, and Lost Souls. His first original novel, the supernatural thriller The Calling, debuted in July 2009 to critical acclaim.

In addition to novels, Mack’s diverse writing credits span several media, including television (for episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), film, short fiction, magazines, newspapers, comic books, computer games, radio, and the Internet.

Recently published novels by David Mack include The 4400: Promises Broken, Star Trek Vanguard: Precipice, and the expanded edition of his Mirror Universe tale The Sorrows of Empire. Coming in 2010 are More Beautiful Than Death, an adventure inspired by the 2009 feature film Star Trek; and the SF espionage-thriller Zero Sum Game, the second book of the Star Trek: Typhon Pact miniseries.

Mack has been to shows in every Rush concert tour since 1982, and he finally met two-thirds of the band in 2007. He currently resides in New York City with his wife, Kara.

Promos this Week:

Trekcast Podcast

Scapecast Podcast

Show News:

Trivia Question from last week: (will run for two weeks.)

Question: What do Star Trek Voyager, BSG & Heroes all have in common?

Prize: and Star Trek Mirror Universe: The Sorrows of Empire (Mass Market Paperback) and Star Trek: Vanguard: Precipice

If you know the answer, call us at 1.888.508.4343, e-mail us at


TV News:

I finally saw the plan.

  • I don’t know what you guys thought, but if you were a BSG fan this was phenomenal.  Had to wait till TV aired it.  Felt like I was visiting family.
  • Not for the casual BSG watcher.  Would have felt disjointed.
  • Makes sense right before Caprica.
  • Miles what did you think of the plan?
  • You excited about Caprica?

Firefly to live on in new book of short stories

Joss Whedon’s beloved Firefly/Serenity is long gone, but you can’t stop the signal: Fans can look for more adventures of Capt. Mal Reynolds and the crew of the doughty ship in a series of short stories coming soon from Titan Books.

Writer/producer Jane Espenson—who wrote one episode of the Fox sci-fi series but is a longtime friend and colleague of Whedon’s going back to her days on Buffy the Vampire Slayer—told us that she will be writing one of the stories, centering on the characters of Kaylee and Wash (obviously set in a time period before the events of the movie Serenity).

“I’m writing a short story set in the Firefly universe that someone’s putting together,” Espenson said in an interview on Sunday in Pasadena, Calif., where she was promoting her upcoming Syfy series Caprica. “Titan Books is putting together a collection written by various of the Firefly writers. “

Espenson’s Firefly episode was “Shindig,” the fourth episode in the series, which deals with a society dance and a duel. It’s best loved by fans for Kaylee’s appearance in an over-the-top flouncy ruffled dress.

Espenson is an executive producer of Caprica, the Battlestar Galactica prequel series, which debuts on Syfy at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Jan. 22.

NBC’s sci-fi Day One shrinks again: Now it’s just a movie

Call it the Incredible Shrinking Show.

Remember NBC’s proposed sci-fi series Day One? First it was a show. Then it was a one-season show. Then it was a miniseries.

Now, it’s just a TV movie, said Angela Bromstad, president of prime-time entertainment at NBC and Universal Media Studios.

Day One is going to air as a two-hour movie,” Bromstad said in a group interview on Sunday as part of the Television Critics Association winter press tour in Pasadena, Calif. “We looked at after V launched and after FlashForward launched with a strong initial thing. We didn’t want to come on after that. As we sat down with [executive producer] Jesse [Alexander] and talked about more of the mythology, there’s just concern about sustaining that.”

Bromstad added that the Day One movie will consist of the pilot that was originally shot. They just didn’t shoot any additional footage. “We’ve only shot the two-hour pilot,” Bromstad said. “It will be a pilot where you could see where it could go in series, but there will be a resolve at the end of the two hours.”

There is still hope for continuing the story if the standalone movie version is a hit. “Absolutely,” she said. “If it performs, absolutely.” She has not scheduled Day One yet.

Isn’t this the BSG syndrome? Test the waters then see what happens?

NBC leaves door open for more Heroes

Is Heroes doomed?

The once-flagship series’ ratings have dropped, and its fans have slammed the show’s meandery plots and confusing character arcs in recent seasons. But NBC executive Angela Bromstad said no decision has been made on the show’s fifth season and added that the network will hear a pitch from creator Tim Kring before making one.

It’s standard practice for show runners to pitch for a season renewal, Bromstad added: “They always do,” she said.

Should this season be Heroes‘ last, the season finale will serve as the series finale, but since the show has already wrapped production on its current fourth season, there won’t be time to add anything. “No, they’re out of production,” Bromstad said. “They’ve wrapped production.”

Of course, Bromstand couldn’t say where the season finale would leave the heroes in any event. “I can’t give anything away on the Heroes finale.”

She did confirm that if she renews Heroes, the show can continue to operate on its current budget without any more cuts. “Actually, Heroes has already been very responsible in having a good budget, so I don’t think that we’d be looking at cutting it further,” she said.

Movies News:

Avatar still rakes it in, now second only to Titanic

James Cameron’s Avatar topped the box office for the fourth straight weekend in a row, taking in an estimated $48.5 million domestically to become the top domestic hit of 2009.

The domestic tally for the sci-fi epic is now $429 million, placing it sixth among domestic hits, the Associated Press reported.

Worldwide, Avatar has now taken in about $1.34 billion, second only to Cameron’s Titanic ($1.8 billion).

Daybreakers, meanwhile, opened in fourth place with $15 million for the Jan. 8 weekend.

Spidey 4’s dead, Raimi & Maguire out, reboot coming

Seems like the problems hanging up Spider-Man 4 are more serious than previously reported: Nikki Finke’s Deadline Hollywood is now reporting that director Sam Raimi and his entire cast, led by Tobey Maguire, have dropped out and that Sony Pictures will reboot the series with a new director and new cast for 2012.  Raimi could now move on to his proposed World of Warcraft movie, or a film based on Dennis Lehane’s The Given Day.

Peter Parker is going back to high school when the next Spider-Man hits theaters in the summer of 2012.

“A decade ago we set out on this journey with Sam Raimi and Tobey Maguire and together we made three ‘Spider-Man’ films that set a new bar for the genre. When we began, no one ever imagined that we would make history at the box-office and now we have a rare opportunity to make history once again with this franchise. Peter Parker as an ordinary young adult grappling with extraordinary powers has always been the foundation that has made this character so timeless and compelling for generations of fans. We’re very excited about the creative possibilities that come from returning to Peter’s roots and we look forward to working once again with Marvel Studios, Avi Arad and Laura Ziskin on this new beginning,” said Amy Pascal, co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Wait…isn’t this Smallville?  Peter working for the high school newspaper all over again?

A-Team Trailer!

A group of Iraq War veterans looks to clear their name with the U.S. military, who suspect the four men of committing a crime for which they were framed. Bradley plays Lt. Templeton ‘Faceman’ Peck, Liam Neeson takes on Col. John “Hannibal” Smith) Sharlto Copley is Capt. “Howling Mad” Murdock and Quentin Jackson plays B.A Baracus.

DVD News:

Defying Gravity: The Complete First Season  36.49

The program follows the adventures of eight astronauts on board the international spacecraft Antares, the next ambitious manned space mission after the Mars landing. The lives of the astronauts are being constantly recorded and broadcast back to Earth both as part of an ongoing documentary and as part of mission monitoring. In spite of a libido-suppressing device worn by each crew member, referred to as “HALO” for “Hormone Activated Libido Oppressors”, romantic entanglements develop among some crew members. Further complicating their lives is a mysterious storage pod which contains something referred to as Beta, which is exerting an impact on their mission.

Gamer [Blu-ray] $23.99

Gerard Butler stars as Kable, condemned criminal and globally famous super-soldier in the ultimate multiplayer game, “Slayers.” Human controllers direct each thought and move of real-life prison inmates battling in hyper-intense environments – where the goal is freedom and the penalty is death. But when Kable suddenly decides he wants out, his rebellion threatens the twisted plans of game creator Ken Castle (Michael C. Hall, TV’s “Dexter”), who will stop at nothing to crush the renegade commando in this taut, adrenaline-packed action-thriller.

The SciFi Five in Five

Miles top five movies of the decade:

1. Star Trek XI
2. Batman Begins
3. Serenity
4. Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith
5. Avatar

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