Read, Listen, Watch

I am compiling a list of films and TV series I have watched, books I have read, and audio books or plays I have listened to.

I will likely make some comments to a fair amount of the entries in the list, some information on how or when I found the titles, whether I watched the film in the cinema or on video/DVD, whether the audio/books are purchased as downloads or on paper/tape/CD etc.

A Brief Sense8 review (spoiler free)

Having a little bit more time available here are a few words on the original Netflix series “Sense8”.

Sense8 is created by J. Michael Straczynski (JMS) and the Wachowskis, Andy and Lana (the Ws).

It had its premiere of all 12 episodes (season 1) in the beginning of June this year. I took time off from removal activities and watched all episodes on the premiere day.

This is a hard one to watch, single episodes at a time. It invites you to binge watch, and it  has been stated by JMS that it was intentional.

I am now into the second watch, this time much more slowly, and the re-watch value of this story is very high.

The story focuses on 8 characters, called “sensates” who, due to a tragic event, are suddenly linked telepathically, and they are hunted.

The story is more focused on characters and themes, and starts moving very slowly, introducing all 8 sensates and their immediate relations. We see the story unfold from their perspective, meaning that what they know we know, and no more.

Last Sunday I participated in The Sense8 Podcast discussing Episode 6 “Demons”, which is very packed and has a very widely discussed scene.

I consider making a set of commentaries, episode by episode, spoilerific and possibly non spoilery, if time allows.

The show does have some rather explicit scenes, but also rewards patience and attention, so I will recommend it if that is the type of story you prefer.

Two conventions and some podcasts

In May and June I have been to two conventions , the Fedcon in Düsseldorf, Germany and Fantasticon in Copenhagen, Denmark.

At Fedcon a few Babylon 5 fans went together to make a little happening. You can find a series of pictures of Babylon 5 fans in and out of costume here

At both conventions I was giving away buttons for #FreeBabylon5, a group that campaigns to get Babylon 5 back on TV channels and Internet streaming. You can find more information on the Free Babylon 5 website.

I have participated in a few more of the Downbelow podcasts as a guest, and it has been fun following Heidi and Elisabeth discovering Babylon 5, and their – sometimes – uncanny guesses of what is to come. Of course, they miss greatly form time to time, but they are very observant.

Likely there will be a bit more on those activities later …


Meta : A look at the “After Hugo2010” activities.

When I have finished the reading/watching and voting for the Hugo Awards – some time in Early August I have a few things in mind that I would like to do, SciFi wise.

Audio stories :

Catching up on some podcasts – they all have some absolutely marvelous stories (even if not all will be to my liking, there wil be many I like :
– early Escape Pod
– Podcastle
– Starhip Sofa
and other audio drama/audio book podcasts

– Doctor Who (Big Finish) stories – there is a lot, some very good, some ok-ish

Video :

– All of Lost – whenever the last season DVD set is out – it will be an all new one for me long term
– Older Doctor Who , long term project
– Detailed rewatch of Babylon 5 with lots of comment on this blog – will take a lot of time, probably with watching almost every episode twice, so please be patient. Also some comparison to Star Trek DS9 – probably an episode every one or two weeks on average, yes, it will be a long term project
Since I have seen B5 a few times by now, each episode review will probably be a relatively spoiler free post, followed by a review in the context of the whole story – possibly with some extra comments on issues of special interest to me (and hopefully others)
– Rewatch of (more or less) all Star Trek, with blog comments on the episodes I enjoy – another long term project
– Supernatural (first watch) – it comes recommended
– Second seasons of Dollhouse and Fringe
– Chuck – that is a fun one

All this will be a bit at a time, no great marathons, except when I visit a good scifi friend

Dexter – not scifi, but good TV drama, *very dark*

… and much more

Books :

– All of George RR. Martin’s Son of Ice and Fire – well, what is out there, since he will be Guest of Honor at the Eastercon/Olympus2012 in London – I got through the first volume Game of thrones by now
More Dresden Files books – they are fun and I got through the first two for now
– Dan Simmons’ Hyperion series
– Babylon 5 books, including the script books series – partly in conjunction with re-watching the series

– Some graphic novels and comics, especially ones written by J. Michael Straczynski, but others, too

…and much more reading of scifi/fantasy old and new that I cannot yet specify

If this looks like a lot …. well, it is, and I am probably not going to get any of it done fast, but here we go, and I will see how much will be achieved

Lately I have re-entered into building electronics equipment, and this will take some time from the scifi stuff – yes , I am prioritizing, so some scifi stuff will be done

For now, until the end of July, the Hugo awards’ stuff has high priority

The Babylon Podcast is back after the holidays

The last month the Babylon Podcast has been off, ok, they had a few holiday gifts, so we did not miss it all together.

The editor of the podcast has compiled a set of filk episodes, some good fun with B5 as the subject.

Tim has selected some fine moments from the 2008 Babylon Podcast, with a few mixups etc.

The first Live feed recording on January 7th was canceled, and so was the one on the 14th, the recording was made in the Los Angeles studio, and could not be heard live.

Waiting for the edited podcast was well worth it, however. The news of Majel Barrett Roddenberry’s departure from this world was honored, including an amusing anecdote from Jeffrey Willerth.

We had a beautiful interview with Ed Wasser who plays the mysterious, evil Mr. Morden. He was close to unstoppable in his enthusiasm and has obviously had a great experience with B5.

Podcast : SciFi Talk

“SciFi Talk”, as far as I understand it, is Tony Tellado’s continuation of a radio show. It comes in a slightly irregular scheme (if any), but often I see two or three episodes in the same week.

Interviews, round table discussions etc about all things SciFi, Fantasy, Horror etc is the stuff of “SciFi Talk”. He generally appears enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the people he talks to, to a degree that I occasionally find too much.

Also, I am not much int the Horror genre, so I will skip many of the interviews.

This podcast is still in my iTunes feed, but if there are 2 or 3 downloads I do not always feel the need to get them all.

I think it will stay on my list for a while yet, but it is one of the podcasts under consideration for cancelling.

Link :

SciFi Talk

Podcast : Dragonpage Cover to Cover

A weekly podcast all about the written word in SciFi, Fantasy etc.

Most of the weeks this show is hosted by Mike Mennenga and Mike Stackpole. Both have written books, Stackpole just “a few” more, including some New York Times bestsellers.

For now I have read just one of his books (Star Wars: “I, Jedi”) and two short stories. I like them, but more about that later.

General discussions about books and publishing can often, to me at least, be quite interesting. It looks like we are going to see a shift in publishing the written word similar to what we have seen in the music industry. Actually it has already started. Ebooks are becoming common, and ebook readers are seriously coming now. Amazon has the Kindle, Sony has a reader, and the iPod Touch has a set of ebook reader packages available, some are free, some not. On the other hand, paper books are not going to disappear overnight, there is something about having a *real paper* book in your hands.

I do have an iPod Touch, more about that at a later stage

Every week has an interview with an author, publisher etc.

Finally, the library segment, where they talk briefly about books that have been sent to the studio, and an occasional book review.

In the last episode I listened to there was an invitation to submit content about book publishing, more reviews etc, so I expect to listen to a more varied podcast in the future.

This is one podcast I expect to stay in my iTunes subscription, I particular like that Mike and Mike sound like they are really enjoying doing the show, apart from it being informative and entertaining.

Escape Pod : “The Story of the Late Mr. Elvesham”

One of the fiction podcasts I listen to is Steve Eley’s “Escape Pod”. Every week a new short story reading in the Science Fiction genre. previously they had a mixture of Scifi, Fantasy and Horror, but Horror is now done by the sister podcast “Pseudo Pod” and Fantasy by “Podcastle”. If you go back into the archives you will find all three genres represented.

With so many stories it is impossible to find a story I like every week, occasionally I drop the listening after beginning listening to an episode, but mostly I listen through the story.

Some highlights for me would be Mur Lafferty’s “I Look Forward to Remember You” and the Escape Pod 100th episode was a good reading of Isaac Asimov’s classic short story “Nightfall”, first published in 1941

Episode 182 brought H.G. Wells’ “The Story of the Late Mr. Elvesham”, the first time the podcast has brought a story from the public domain.

Mr Elvesham, an old and frail philosopher, takes up contact with a young student and offers him to become his heir. The youn man is, of course, cautious but is slowly drawn to the belief that this could be something.

Let’s just say, the intention of the older man is not quite what it appears, there is no happy end, but simply a cautionary tale – “no one is exactly what he or she appears to be”.

In some ways a similar story could be told today (and has been), it is interesting to note that this story is more than 100 years old. For a story publishes in 1896 it feels surprisingly modern. It makes me want to read more og H.G. Wells’ stories.

On another note : The podcast has been coming out every week since May 2005, but due to family (and other) circumstances there will be a hiatus for the rest of the month of November. Steve has a rather long entry in his blog telling the story. The main point, I think is that he may have been pushing too hard to get this going, and needs a breather to regain the fun of doing the podcast. “Pesudo Pod” and “Podcastle” are not affected.

Link :

Escape Pod

Podcasts : Doctor Who

I have, over the time been listening to 3 Doctor Who podcasts :

DWO Whocast
Doctor Who Podshock
The Sonic Newsdriver

They can all be found in iTunes, or else your favourite pod catcher.

There are many more, but time is a limited resource.

“DWO Whocast” is a not too long podcast with two hosts commenting on all things Dr.Who. All is rather well organized,news, reviews of TV episodes, Audio plays (Big Finish has a ton of those), books etc. and interviews with all kinds of people involved in the series. They do talk about spin-off stories like “The Sarah Jane Adventures”, too.

The last episode there was a review of the Big Finish audio release #112 : “Kingdom of Silver”. I have it here, but not yet listened to it (time, remember?), but it sounds like it will be a solid story.

It comes out on a regular (weekly) basis and I like the format. This one looks like a keeper.

“Podshock” is, for me at least, mostly too long, often running 1h 30 min or more. This makes it too time consuming for me – someone else may love the long format, and I have no problem with that – so I am considering whether to continue with that one.

Much of their programming is similar to the Whocast, they also have (had) a Sunday live recording when a new episode has been on the BBC on the Saturday before. Nice touch, but you have to be there for the live recording.

“The Sonic Newsdriver” is a short news program coming out several times per week – at least that is how it started.

I found the “Newsdriver” a bit long winded, so that one is under consideration, too. Remember : Limited time budget. I have not seen any new releases of the Newsdriver for about a week, so I might be wondering if it is podfading, or maybe there are just not much news to report.

Update : The Sonic Newsdriver is alive – new episode out today

Podcasts about Scifi etc that I have been listening to

Babylon Podcast : (no surprise) about Babylon 5, weekly

Slice of Scifi : all about Scifi/Fantasy, mainly in media – news – interviews – (film/TV/Web etc) on the same feed they have a voice mail feedback show weekly

Dragon Page : All about Scifi/Fantasy books – reading – writing – interviews etc. weekly, most weeks two shows

Scifi Talk : Interviews with Scifi/Fantasy creators etc (no special schedule that I have seen, but often more than once a week

DWO Whocast : all Doctor Who related news – interviews etc, weekly (mostly)

Dr Who Podshock : All doctor Who related – sometimes very long, no particular schedule that I can see

The Sonic Newsdriver : Doctor Who news, several times per week if news is coming in.

In some hours the raw and unedited Babylon Podcast recording for next week’s show will be ‘cast on a live feed. Unfortunately, because of the time zone differences I cannot listen every week, because for me it starts at 3 AM.

But (for me) tomorrow morning I will probably be there – it’s fun – and at times hilarious.

The feed can be found at : (USA) (Europe)
(or as an option for non-Icecast users)