Some entertainment stuff I’m looking forward to this year:

Movies: Coraline

YouTube also has the trailer in HD.

I discovered Sandman late, borrowing the trades from one of my (younger) brother’s friends around 1998 or so, then immediately tracking down my own copies. I lucked out and got a complete set on eBay for something like $70. Since then I’ve devoured most of Neil Gaiman’s work, be it in comics, prose, or movie form. The original novel of Coraline was very good, and it’s been adapted by the director of The Nightmare Before Christmas, which is among my favorite movies…and what I’ve seen of the film suggests that they get it. It’s hard to believe it’s only two weeks away!

Other movies: Oddly enough, I’m only mildly interested in Terminator: Salvation, Transformers 2: Can’t Remember the Subtitle, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (the films have been steadily deteriorating after peaking with #3, IMHO), Star Trek, and Watchmen. I’ll probably see all of them, but none of them have me nearly as excited.

Comics, books, music, etc. after the cut: Continue reading

Wow.  The Babylon 5 Scripts team keeps finding more ways to get my money.  The latest: The Chronologies of Babylon 5.  And it includes every single piece of B5 canon, down to the six short stories JMS wrote after the series ended and even the unproduced Crusade scripts.

The script books have mostly been interesting for the commentary and supplemental material. Though I was disappointed that they couldn’t get Neil Gaiman to write an intro for his Day of the Dead script in the latest volume. It just reprinted the contents of the solo script book you can get from the CBLDF, which has a brief intro by JMS and a handful of footnotes by Neil Gaiman.

So, here’s what we’ve got so far (including what’s been announced):

  • 15 volumes of Babylon 5 scripts by J. Michael Straczynski.
  • 3 volumes of “Other Voices,” the B5 scripts by other writers.
  • 1 volume of the B5 TV movie scripts (announced).
  • 1 volume of chronology (with a Q&A and presumably commentary).

In theory, that covers everything except Crusade, which is what I’m really looking forward to. Probably two or three volumes, and I’d hope they’d include the unproduced scripts. IIRC there are two by JMS and one by Fiona Avery, and the Chronology list mentions one that was assigned but not written. The two JMS scripts used to be available online through some PITA Java-based reader that theoretically prevented people from copying the text (though that can’t stop screenshots or manual transcription), but also made it really difficult to do things like scroll. The site folded years ago, probably in the dot-com crunch, and they haven’t seen the light of day since. I remember one of them contained the first indication of a link between Techno-Mages and the Shadows.

Back to the chronology: on one hand, it feels like they’re starting to milk the audience for all it’s worth now that they’ve seen the success of the script book series.  On the other hand, it’s only one additional volume.  And it looks really cool…

American GodsFor the month of March, Neil Gaiman’s novel American Gods will be available to read online, free of charge. This is part of a promotion by Harper Collins where they’re putting a bunch of books online, figuring that reading them will get people interested in buying more of the authors’ works.

Yeah, it’s sort of a “first hit is free” take on reading. But considering how finishing the first books of two different Julie Czerneda series had me running around the county to find the rest of each trilogy, there may be something to it.

(via Neil Gaiman, with a follow-up on the nature of free)

Species Imperative: SurvivalJulie E. Czerneda — read the Species Imperative trilogy in October and was very impressed. To read: 2 trilogies, 1 stand-alone, start of a new series. I think I’ll pick up the first book in the Trade Pact Universe next.

MindscanRobert J. Sawyer — read the Neanderthal Parallax trilogy a year or two ago, and more recently Calculating God. Currently reading Mindscan. His work tends to be social science-fiction: if X technological advance occurs, or Y scientific principle is discovered, what impact will that have on society? To read: 9 more stand-alone novels and a trilogy. Could take a while.

ChronolithsRobert Charles Wilson — read Chronoliths, Darwinia and Bios within the space of a few months of each other, maybe around 5 years ago. To read: 10 novels.

Strangely enough, looking them up I’ve discovered that all 3 of them are Canadian.

Also: Two authors I’d really like to see more from:

Briar KingGreg Keyes — I was introduced to his work through his Babylon 5 novels (back when he was writing as J. Gregory Keyes), then went on to track down his own work. The Age of Unreason cycle is also quite good, and I’ve previously reviewed The Waterborn and Blackgod. At this point, I’ve read every novel he’s published. The Born Queen comes out in March, finishing the 4-book Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone cycle, which means I need to start re-reading the first three books next month.

American GodsNeil Gaiman — dark fantasy, mythic fantasy, whatever you want to call it. Discovered through Sandman (yeah, big surprise). My favorite of his novels is probably either American Gods or Neverwhere. Need to track down more of his short stories, though.

I’ve previously mentioned that Gaiman and Keyes are the only authors whose work I’ll immediately pick up in hardcover, no questions asked.

Update: A year later, how’d I do?