Friday, October 31, 2008
We're going to a costume party tonight. I'll post pictures tomorrow if they turn out.
Edited to Add: If you don't have a costume for tonight, you can still throw together the No-Sew ones I described in this post- http://youngadultsciencefiction.blogspot.com/2008/10/easy-science-fiction-costumes.html
In many states, there are Safe Haven laws. These were created to help prevent the abandonment, and subsequent deaths, of newborn babies. A parent is allowed to drop off the baby at an emergency room or other designated Safe Haven, like a fire station, and will face no criminal charges as a result. A few questions may be asked, but are not required to be answered. Many babies have been saved, as a result. Wonderful. Love it.
These are the Borg children liberated from the Collective on Star Trek Voyager. There was also a baby Borg - a Borglet, if you will - but most writers have no idea how to incorporate babies into storylines. After Seven of Nine rescued the Borglet and sent it to the Doctor on Voyager, it simply vanished from the show, never to be mentioned again. All but one of the Borg children were sent back to their parents, adoptive parents, or family, and that was Icheb. He's the tall boy on the right. His birthparents tried to get him back to use as a weapon against the Borg, but he was rescued by the family who truly loved him - the Voyager crew. I ask you, what teenage boy wouldn't want Seven of Nine as a big sister? Many public libraries have Voyager DVDs you can check out for free, if you can't afford to download episodes at iTunes or buy the DVDs. The Borg assimilated their victums by injecting nano-probes into their bloodstream.
13 Facts about Nuclear Fusion. C'mon, 'fess up, you know you've always wanted to know.
Dynamic Planet Mercury
World-building Inspiration- Archaeology
New life and new civilizations?
Reviewed by Kimber, Jr, a real Middle Grader.
Yahoo! Another awesome book by the stellar author Mark Crilley, who also wrote the Akiko series! Alright, alright. Sure I’m going a bit over the edge but hey, this is pretty awesome, after all. But now to the review. The main character is Billy, (by the way, this is all in third-person, as opposed to first-person in the Akiko series) a twelve-year-old boy who’s been lied to every day of his life. Hah, gotcha! Thought I was gonna say he was perfectly normal, eh? Well, he is… for the most part. He’s basically everything you thought a preteen boy would be: crazy, energetic, and a fan of extreme sports. And he’s got a Scottish terrier named Piker who actually is a pretty major character. Anyway one evening Billy is sitting on the couch watching TV when….what the? Footage of his parents in a parade in the Philippines! Alrighty, you’d be pretty shocked if your parents were in a parade anywhere, wouldn’t you? Much less the Philippines. Anyway that really, really, and I mean really arouses Billy’s attention. Piker tries to stop him but soon he ends up in a heck of a lot more trouble than your usual “go to your room” sort of trouble. Fortunately before he’s scared out of his wits and confused out of his brain at the same time his parents come home and finally own up. See, they’re part of an organization called the AFMEC, which battles monsters called “creatches” all around the world. (That explains that footage of Billy’s parents in the Philippines, by the way) Now Billy is pretty impressed. And understandably wants all the facts express service thank you very much. After as much facts as his parents can dish out Billy is taken to the AFMEC headquarters for a meeting with Mr. Very-funny (aka Mr. Vriffnee). After both Billy and his parents (surprised?) get a stern scolding they have vita-dogs (basically hot dogs with the entire source of flavor taken out and replaced with vitamins and minerals-yuck!) and meet a girl named Ana who bears a striking resemblance to Akiko herself. Billy also learns that Piker isn’t all what she seems. Her real name is Orzamo and she’s really a demi-creatch: a cross between a dog and a creatch. Anyway after all this Billy’s parents are called off on a “creatch op” to India of all places, and Billy comes with them as there’s no time for a stop in Piffling, Billy’s hometown. You see, a ground creatch called a “orf” has taken up residence in the Taj Mahal and a guy named Ravi has called Billy’s parents in to get rid of it. And poor old Billy is stuck with Orzamo in the sidelines. But after Ravi tells him of a “fatal flaw” Billy thinks maybe he can defeat the orf. So with good ol’ Orzy as his sidekick he attempts-attempts, mind you-to defeat the orf. But in the process he uncovers a plot to blow up the Taj Mahal and ruin AFMEC forever. “Check please!” Hey! I’m not done yet and neither is the book! Get back here! Alright, where was I? Oh yes. After Billy uncovers this Billy’s parents are captured by the unexpectedly evil Twain. (No, not Mark Twain.) After that Orzamo frees Billy’s parents and Billy (with a little help from the orf) is wrestling Twain on a flying motorcycle. Will Billy defeat Twain and save both the Taj Mahal and AFMEC’s honor at the same time, or will Twain prevail and blow up the Taj Mahal and ruin AFMEC? You’ll have to read this to find out. Meanwhile here’s the stats:
BILLY CLIKK: CREATCH BATTLER RATING CHART
10: so good you might as well run down and get it!
Quality of Science Fiction: 1
The mere fact it’s middle grade: 10
Good Guy Quality: 3
Main Character Quality: 3
Bad Guy Quality: 3
Series Following Ability: 10
Girl Likelihood you’ll like it: 2
Boy Likelihood you’ll like it: 3
Cliffhanger: 10! As far as I know, there is no cliffhanger!
Quality of Science Fiction is down as this is all set on Planet Earth and basically the only things making it science fiction are the creatches (plus the flying cars and motorcycles and stuff). The fact its middle grade, like the Akiko series, makes it the one to get! Funniness is limited, as opposed to the laugh-out-loud virtual comedy in the Akiko series.
Good Guy Quality is excellent as, well, the AFMEC members are virtual heroes! Though it is marred by the fact that Billy was lied to every time his parents went on a creatch op….Nevermind. Main Character Quality is pretty good. Billy is a nice strong character who “grows” along the way. And don’t get me started on Orzamo!
Bad Guy Quality is excellent, mainly because of Twain. His evilness is only boosted by the fact he specifically found a pregnant orf (yes, it’s a girl) for his henchman because pregnant orfs get substantially smarter when they’re pregnant. Doesn’t make sense, I know but you have to admit it’s a pretty smart plan. And that makes him a plenty worthy opponent for Billy! Series Following Ability is great as this is the first book and if you read this book first you’ll completely understand the rest of them.
Boys are a point likelier than girls to like this because, well, they’ll be able to relate more. But don’t worry, all you girl Mark Crilley fans out there. There’s always Ana, and if you simply can’t stand another sentence without a girl main character, there’s the Akiko series!
Cliffhanger is perfecto, because as far as I know there are none and thereby you don’t have to run back and forth, back and forth to get all the books in the series and you won’t have to wear out your voice growling “ARRGGH!” and you won’t have to flat-out beg your parents for a drive to the library because you wore out your legs walking and you won’t be sent to your room because you took out your ongoing frustration on the living room furniture and you won’t have to pay a million bucks for a boxed set of the whole Billy Clikk series and you won’t scare the family cat up the tree because you were walking by scowling and not paying attention to where the cat was and accidently stepped on its tail and you won’t have to take the family dog to the vet and spend another million bucks because you were playing Frisbee with it and you were so frustrated you forgot you’re never supposed to throw the Frisbee directly at the dog and thereby hit it in the side with the Frisbee….there’s no end to the list of things that could happen. The good thing is that you can never go through that because there is no cliffhanger! Anyway this is yet another great series by Mark Crilley that any middle-grade kid can enjoy!
Mark Crilley's really cool website- http://www.markcrilley.com/childrensbookscomics.html
Barbie was a big, fat idiot, but I'm sure you knew that. http://www.sciam.com/podcast/episode.cfm?id=571F0E86-9E2C-6F6B-44A864E897AA54FE Naturally, I had a Princess Leia doll. She had better hair and more realistic feet. And a blaster.
I gotta get me one of these! Not that I need one, but the very idea, you know. Hey, those Germans are innovative! http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/aug/05/germany
Pop over to Tor Teen's MySpace to learn more-
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
Here's the link to the new chapter-
And here's the link to the Preface in case you want to start at the beginning-
Friday, October 24, 2008
Here's one just for Star Wars-
And here's a collection of guides for a large variety of Science Fiction and Fantasy t.v. shows and movies-
PLANET PLAGUE Star Wars Galaxy of Fear series. This series is no longer being published, I think. It centers on twin heroes, Tash and Zak, and the stories take place right after Star Wars A New Hope. I like it because Tash is a 13 year old girl starring in a Science Fiction novel. How rare is that?
All you need are some boots, tan pants, brown or off-white T-shirt, and a karate top. There are many thrift shops around the country operated by charities like the Salvation Army. Value Village and Bishop's Attic are popular here in Alaska. When kids grow out of their karate uniforms, they end up in these thrift shops. Buy one and dye it tan. Fabric dye can be bought in any Wal-Mart or craft store, usually under the brand name RIT. Fabric paint can easily be bought cheap from those places too.
Same as Anakin, except you'll need a tan or brown skirt instead of pants.
Gray paints and boots. Tan shirt. You can get camoflage fabric at Wal-Mart or any fabric/craft store to make the Poncho. Cut out about a yard or two. Cut a hole in the middle for your head.
Padme's Green Gown
This is a basic A-line dress, V-neck, with a hood attached at the collar. Easy.
There are patterns for this one, but you don't need one. Lay out a large sheet of white paper and have a friend trace around your body. Then cut out the basic dress shape, like this. Sew up the sides, finish the sleeve, neck, and hem edges, and attach a hood. This is what I did for Younger Daughter.
This is just a sheath dress with a wide belt (you can cover a belt with fabric or paint it) over leggings and boots and with a gray, sleeveless coat.
Just a long sleeved black shirt, pants, and boots. For the Jedi vest, you can sew one easily from a pattern or get a karate top from the thrift store, cut off the sleeves, and dye it black. Find a black man's belt and attach a toy lightsaber. The cloak is easy. Just a basic cape with a hood. There's a pattern if you want one and it'll work for Prequel Jedi too.
DREAMSPY is about a telepath and I talked about it in this post http://enduringromance.blogspot.com/2007/07/legacy.html at my Enduring Romance book review blog.
I read her original novel, HOUSE OF ZEOR, this past month. This book was published way back in the early 1970's when Science Fiction was still male-biased. Some earlier female authors even used male-sounding pen names, like Andre Norton. Anyway, I think ZEOR is what is called 'social science fiction,' because it focuses primarily on the awesome world Jacqueline created and all their social problems and dealings. The main characters lead us through it but the it's the fictional world and social interactions which take center stage. ZEOR is a thin book, but there are so many layers that I think I would have to read it at least three times to totally get it.
The futuristic world in HOUSE OF ZEOR feature humans who've adapted into two distinct groups, the Simes and the Gens. The Simes cannot produce a vital chemical which all of them need to survive. Gens do. For many generations, therefore, Simes have hunted and killed Gens to get this chemical in order to survive. Cultural traditions, taboos, and liberties have grown up around this basic dilemma. For example, most Simes don't consider Gens to be human. This is true in the Real World too. Anytime Genocide is committed, the killers claim beforehand that those murdered were inferior, either because of biology or religion. The Nazis, for example, believed the Jews to be sub-human and murdered over six million of them during World War II.
Anyway, a Gen's girlfriend goes missing on the Sime side of town and he's desperate to find her. Not only does he love her, but she possesses an ability which would allow the Simes an advantage over the Gens.
Not all Simes believe Gens are inferior and free to kill. Some Simes have banded together in an area controlled by the House of Zeor. There, they live side-by-side with Gens. The Simes protect the Gens and the Gens willingly donate the needed chemical. One of these Simes volunteers to help the Gen searching for his girlfriend.
As the search unfolds, the reader follows the protagonists through the Sime-Gen world.
The Sime-Gen Universe has quite a following and many other stories. You can learn all about it here- http://www.simegen.com/
Sorry, Younger Geniuses, it's for 18 year olds and older.
Did you remember to send your favorite mole a card yesterday for National Mole Day? Shame on you! Now, pop on over to this site and find out what this holiday is all about. http://www.tutor.com/articles/articles.aspx?Id=84
Monday, October 20, 2008
Friday, October 17, 2008
*WARNING: THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS*
No, no, don’t run away from this article if you’re not a Trekkie! Please don’t! This post really isn’t for Trekkies!
Yep, this is for all you out there who don’t really care for Star Trek. Of course, those who like it are welcome, but it’s mainly for the other folks.
Why? Well, simply because this movie was not made for Trekkies. It’s been made with the new generation of moviegoers in mind (that means you!) with the idea to reincarnate the franchise. This has made some devoted Trekkies upset, but not me. I am SO looking forward to this movie!
Here’s the cast list, as provided by startrek.com:
James T. Kirk—Chris Pine
Spock—Zachary Quinto and Leonard Nimoy
Dr. Leonard H. (Bones) McCoy—Karl Urban
Montgomery Scott—Simon Pegg (real Scotsman!)
Hikaru Sulu—John Cho
Pavel Chekov—Anton Yelchin (real Russian!)
Zoë Saldana—Nyota Uhura
Winona Ryder—Amanda Grayson
No, William Shatner will not reprise his role as Captain Kirk in this film because his character died in the movie Generations. This suggests that the movie is going to open in the 24th century, which would make sense since Mr. Nimoy is reprising his role as Spock.
For those wondering, Nero is the bad guy. He’s a Romulan. I dug up this tiny bit of info on the plot, but the plot is very hush-hush, so this might not be true. Somehow, Nero ends up traveling back in time and tries to kill Captain Kirk. It’s up to Ambassador Spock to follow the Romulan and save his friend.
Dialogue does take place between Nimoy and Quinto. Old Spock talking to young Spock. Cool!
A tribble will make an appearance in this movie. David Gerrold, author of the beloved TOS episode, “The Trouble With Tribbles” was very happy when he was told. Also, it seems we will be able to see Kirk beat the Kobayashi Maru. Captain Christopher Pike will also be in this film, and in a substantial role, though it’s not quite clear what that means.
There was a rumor that the Guardian of Forever was going to be featured in ST XI. According to my findings, this is false.
STAR TREK XI is scheduled for release on May 8, 2009. The original release date was December 25, 2008, but the producers decided to take advantage of next year’s summer rush. The target rating is PG-13, which would make it the second Star Trek film in a row to receive that rating.
Out of all the Star Trek films, including this one, eight out of eleven have featured at least one member of the original cast. The first six included all members, Generations featured William Shatner, James Doohan, and Walter Koenig, and XI features Leonard Nimoy. This just goes to show just how popular TOS Trek is. And this film would never have been made had the producers not gotten script approval from Mr. Nimoy. Apparently, Spock is very much at the center of the plot and Mr. Nimoy says it is a fabulous script.
A teaser trailer for this movie has already been released, showing us the construction of the Enterprise and it can be found on YouTube by typing in Star Trek XI Teaser Trailer. The first theatrical trailer will release next month in November, but it has not been decided which movie it will be featured with.
STAR TREK XI is the most expensive ST movie to date. It cost around $135M. Wonder if it will earn that much at the box office? If it does, it will far surpass the amount earned by the most popular ST movie, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, which was $45M. And should this movie be successful, the entire cast has signed on to play in two sequels.
Though some have their doubts, I believe that this will be an awesome film. I can’t wait to see Star Trek on the big screen again! Maybe I’ll see you there. Until then, live long and prosper.