February 7, 2019

Star Trek: Discovery

We are, at time of writing, three episodes into Season 2 of Discovery. And I will be straight up about this: I am pretty firmly of the opinion that it is the best Star Trek yet. Part of this is...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 8:00 PM

September 30, 2010

The Geography of Smallville

My watching of Smallville continues - I'm well into Season 7 now. One thing that is being made clear is the invented geography, co-existing with real geography. I think this is derived directly from the comics, but it's a lot...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 2:09 PM | Comments (0)

July 28, 2010

Smallville & The Retelling of Mythology

I don't watch much TV, Doctor Who being the obvious exception. However, I've been doing some long-term research into modern retellings of mythologies. There are not as many as you might expect - sure, there are all kinds of sf...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 4:24 PM | Comments (0)

August 30, 2008

Nuclear Decay and Distance from Sun

There's a fascinating post up at the physics arXiv blog detailing some research on a variation in the rate of nuclear decay, depending on the distance of the Earth from the Sun when the measurements are taken. Obviously, there are...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 11:13 PM | Comments (0)

March 20, 2008

Orbital Preview

This year's Eastercon is Orbital, to be held in the Radisson Edwardian in Heathrow. It's been a long time since I went to an Eastercon, being as they're across the water and over the one guaranteed four-day weekend of the...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 12:05 PM | Comments (0)

February 11, 2008

Star Trek XI Trailer

I don't think I've ever posted a trailer on The Wizard of Duke Street before, and I never expected the first one to be for a Star Trek movie. But this is one of the simplest, best trailers I've ever...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 12:46 PM | Comments (4)

September 25, 2007

JMS does Star Wars?

Tipped off by someone who'd prefer to remain anonymous, I draw your attention to a post by J. Michael Straczynski, and some commentary concerning George Lucas....
Posted by Drew Shiel at 1:37 PM | Comments (0)

September 21, 2007

Heroes Season Two Preview Clip

There's a clip on youtube of preview bits of Season 2 of Heroes. Naturally, this contains spoilers....
Posted by Drew Shiel at 1:04 PM | Comments (0)

July 16, 2007

Heroes: Series One Retrospective

I haven't said much about the NBC series Heroes here, mainly because I've been catching up. I saw the last episode of the first season yesterday, though, and I've some thoughts I'd like to set down about it. For next...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 4:33 PM | Comments (1)

June 7, 2007

Review: Glasshouse, by Charles Stross

I do try to rein in the extremes of fanboyism that sometimes attack me. However, confronted with something like Glasshouse, there's really not a lot I can do; my resistance was blown away someplace around page 48. Here's an executive...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 12:22 PM | Comments (0)

June 6, 2007

Summer Glau (River Tam) as a Terminator

Apparently, Summer Glau, who played River Tam in Firefly, is going to be starring as a Terminator in a TV show called The Sarah Connor Chronicles. How they're going to preserve any of the essential 80s feeling of the movies...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 7:33 AM | Comments (1)

June 1, 2007

Arthur C. Clarke Award: Nova Swing

The Arthur C. Clarke award winner for 2007 has been announced: M. John Harrison's Nova Swing. I haven't read it yet, but I've liked other books of Harrison's, particularly Light. If you want to read more about Harrison, there's an...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 2:37 PM | Comments (0)

April 3, 2007

Serenity Best Scifi Movie

There's an article up on the BBC website at the moment saying that Serenity has beaten Star Wars in a poll of SFX readers on the best science fiction film ever. I'm not altogether sure that SFX readers represent public...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 9:11 AM | Comments (0)

January 10, 2007

The Mammoth Book of Best New SF 19

It really bugs me that the book sold under the title "The Year's Best Science Fiction Twenty-third Annual Collection" in the US is called "The Mammoth Book of Best New SF 19" here. It makes it really hard, when I...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 5:36 PM | Comments (0)

December 8, 2006

Firefly MMORPG

The makers of Multiverse, a generic MMO engine, have negotiated successfully with Fox for the rights to make a Firefly MMORPG. My cynicism is kicking in here, but I would really, really love to see this one work. I'm going...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 7:31 AM | Comments (0)

November 9, 2006

Science Fiction Britannia

Starting on Monday 13th November, BBC Four are showing a series of documentaries, archive pieces, and new drama around the theme of British Science Fiction. Among many other things, it'll involve interviews with Terry Pratchett and Iain Banks. Y'know, with...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 11:53 AM | Comments (0)

September 11, 2006

Vernor Vinge on Ubiquitous Gaming

Gamasutra have put up a transcript of Vernor Vinge's keynote address at the Austin Games Conference. It deals with ubiquitous computing, smart dust, 4k x 4k HUDs, gaming, and the technological singularity. It's very much worth reading....
Posted by Drew Shiel at 10:51 PM | Comments (0)

July 14, 2006

Adam Adamant Lives!

Anyone remember Adam Adamant? I don't, but I do recall hearing older relatives saying that television had gone downhill "since the days of Adam Adamant". It's being re-released by the BBC on DVD. It was a BBC TV series in...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 3:33 PM | Comments (0)

July 4, 2006

Transformers: The Movie

There's a very restrained trailer up for the Transformers Movie. There's so little detail, it's hard to say anything about whether it'll be good or disastrous, but I do appreciate the restraint. Comments closed due to spam...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 1:31 PM

June 9, 2006

Asimov's Laws Don't Work

An article in the Economist draws attention to the fact that Asimov's Laws of Robotics won't be much use. One notable thing that Asimove didn't take account of is the uses people would put them to - and his laws...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 2:03 PM

April 6, 2006

A Deepness In The Sky

I'm rereading Vernor Vinge's A Deepness In The Sky for about the fifth time. As with any really good book, I pick up more nuances and concepts every time I read it. The following text contains spoilers, so if you...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 1:17 PM | Comments (1)

March 22, 2006

Star Wars TV Series

Apparently, there are plans for a Star Wars TV Series, dealing with the life of Luke Skywalker up to the beginning of the original trilogy. Either this is going to rip continuity in Star Wars - already a dodgy area...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 4:29 PM | Comments (2)

March 1, 2006

Starbound: Establishing Parameters

I'm working on gathering a list of things people want to see in a science fiction setting. Some of the things people want to see aren't possible for Starbound, or aren't desirable. That's going to happen anyway, I can't please...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 10:27 AM

February 23, 2006

Starbound: Intentions

I'm pestering people for information in other places at the moment as to what they'd want in a science-fiction setting - both in terms of the Starbound setting, and what they'd like to do themselves in the RPG aspect of it. Here, I'm going to set out things that I want to see in it.
Posted by Drew Shiel at 1:59 PM

January 25, 2006

Firefly Season 2?

It's worth hoping... Fireflyseason2.com is a site "looking to push the envelope of episodic television by offering Season Two of Firefly in a groundbreaking new format. Each episode (or the entire season) would be made available for purchase in Standard...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 9:45 AM

January 16, 2006

Starbound & Hiatus

The reason I was asking about space opera definitions is that I'm starting work on a science fiction setting, and I wanted to know if it was space opera or not. It may well actually fit into that category, but...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 9:28 AM

January 4, 2006


How would you define (or lay out the borders of) Space Opera? I'm starting thinking about a Space Opera setting that I'll want to run games in - it'll be about three years in development, with some of that being...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 11:54 AM | Comments (1)

October 7, 2005

You Can't Stop the Signal

Trying to write something coherent about Serenity is very, very difficult, because every time I try, I start to gibber from pure enrapturedness. It was fantastic, and I'll post something later with some thought about themes, concepts and how no...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 11:43 AM

June 28, 2005

Saga of the Seven Suns: Hidden Empire

It's not often these days that I'm disappointed by a book I pick up - usually I've seen enough reviews, read enough interviews, and so on to know well in advance whether I'm going to like a book or not. But reviews and interviews led me astray on Kevin J. Anderson's Hidden Empire, Book 1 in the Saga of the Seven Suns. I didn't like it at all.
Posted by Drew Shiel at 12:45 PM

May 20, 2005

Star Trek: The Pathos

You want to see something completely pathetic? Try this. Trekunited.com have a form up, into which American fans can put their details, in order to send a letter to their elected repesentatives, asking for their help in bringing back Enterprise.
Posted by Drew Shiel at 4:28 PM | Comments (0)

May 16, 2005

Star Wars: The Indecision Strikes Back

I haven't seen the new Star Wars film yet. I'm not all that pushed about it, to be honest. I'll probably see it eventually, but I may wait for it on DVD. And I'm disappointed with the whole new films thing; they're not only pathetic, they still have marketing people pretending they're not. I think.
Posted by Drew Shiel at 3:57 PM | Comments (1)

February 8, 2005


I'm never quite sure what to make of Heinlein. When I start one of his books, I usually think, within ten pages, "Good gods, this man was a jerk." But then, after fifty pages, I see that some of that is the characters, some of it is the era, and some of it is Heinlein mercilessly deprecating himself.
Posted by Drew Shiel at 9:38 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

February 7, 2005

Enterprise Cancelled

UPN finally got around to cancelling Enterprise. I can't say I'm upset. I didn't see many episodes of it, nor did I look for scripts, which says something straight away. There's no other Trek series that I'll actually ignore, even though early Next Generation makes me embarrassed. And for Deep Space Nine, I've actually gone to the trouble of tracking down scripts and transcripts and reading them, something otherwise reserved for the works of Joss Whedon.
Posted by Drew Shiel at 12:36 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

February 2, 2005

Climatic Sci-fi

Randall said, in a comment on my last post, "serious SF writers acknowledge that they are not trying to predict the future, but just explore possibilities."
Posted by Drew Shiel at 12:34 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

January 21, 2005

Roads Not Taken

Nobody predicted mobile phones, and nobody predicted the internet. Or rather, lots of people predicted both of them, but nobody actually figured out what they'd do.
Posted by Drew Shiel at 11:37 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 17, 2004

Out Now and Coming Soon

I try not to pay too much attention to the listings of what books are coming out soon. I like to know what's there, of course, but sometimes, I'll see something coming down the line from a favourite author -...
Posted by Drew Shiel at 2:17 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack