Sunday, July 01, 2007

Sunday Burst of Weirdness

I wasn't online nearly as much this week as other weeks, for various reasons, but some weird stuff did transpire.

:: First, Jonathan Strahan links this review of his new anthology, The New Space Opera (which you'd better believe I'm buying). The second paragraph of this review ends with this odd assertion:

Space ships, etc., only show up in one very small subgenre of SF: the space opera.

Now, I'm not sure what the "etc." refers to here -- earlier in the article the reviewer mentions "spaceship and bug-eyed monsters" as appearing in SF as a genre, but I'm not sure that's what the "etc." means here. But even if so, this is a terribly odd characterization of space opera. 2001: A Space Odyssey isn't space opera, and yet it contains one of the iconic spaceships in all of SF (the Discovery). Michael Flynn's wonderful Falling Stars (that's not the title of the series, actually, but if you've read it, you know the one I mean) series has lots of spaceships, but it's not space opera, either. Mary Doria Russell's The Sparrow has both spaceships and strange aliens, but it's most definitely not a space opera.

:: This isn't for the faint of heart. It's a museum in Russia that's devoted to some very dark stuff. Via Warren Ellis, whom I imagine is starting to feel like one of the victims of the items on display in that museum, given that he apparently can't smoke in pubs anymore. Seems to me he could just compensate by simply drinking more, but having never smoked, I'm not sure how that works.

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