Archive for the ‘Magazines’ Category

A few weeks ago SFX published a SF and Fantasy Books Special which contained a top 100 Favourite SF and Fantasy authors of all time decided by popular vote. The list shows the perils of popular votes… But lets turn it into a meme anyway.

Bold any authors who you have read; italicise any authors who are sitting on your current to-read pile (not literally I hope); strike through any authors you plan to never read/read again.

  1. Terry Pratchett
  2. JRR Tolkien
  3. Neil Gaiman
  4. Douglas Adams
  5. George RR Martin
  6. Isaac Asimov
  7. Iain M. Banks
  8. Philip K. Dick
  9. HG Wells
  10. Robert Rankin
  11. Ursula K. LeGuin
  12. David Gemmell
  13. Peter F. Hamilton
  14. Frank Herbert
  15. Robert Heinlein
  16. JK Rowling
  17. Robert Jordan
  18. Arthur C. Clarke
  19. Ray Bradbury
  20. Stephen King
  21. Robin Hobb
  22. Philip Pullman
  23. John Wyndham
  24. Diana Wynne Jones
  25. CS Lewis
  26. Guy Gavriel Kay
  27. William Gibson
  28. Steven Erikson
  29. Anne McCaffrey
  30. Roger Zelazny
  31. Lois McMaster Bujold
  32. Raymond E. Feist
  33. China Mieville
  34. Gene Wolfe
  35. Stephen Donaldson
  36. Orson Scott Card
  37. Alan Moore
  38. David Eddings
  39. Michael Moorcock
  40. Trudi Canavan
  41. Kurt Vonnegut
  42. Tad Williams
  43. Jim Butcher
  44. Clive Barker
  45. Neal Stephenson
  46. Alastair Reynolds
  47. Jules Verne
  48. Mervyn Peake
  49. H.P. Lovecraft
  50. Sherri S. Tepper
  51. Robert E. Howard
  52. J.G. Ballard
  53. Octavia Butler
  54. Jasper Fforde
  55. Harlan Ellison
  56. CJ Cherryh
  57. Mercedes Lackey
  58. Jennifer Fallon
  59. Stephen Baxter
  60. Richard Morgan
  61. Terry Brooks
  62. Elizabeth Haydon
  63. Dan Simmons
  64. Richard Matheson
  65. Marion Zimmer Bradley
  66. Harry Harrison
  67. Jack Vance
  68. Katharine Kerr
  69. Alfred Bester
  70. Larry Niven
  71. Stanislaw Lem
  72. Susanna Clarke
  73. Robert Silverberg
  74. Edgar Rice Burroughs
  75. Julian May
  76. Charles de Lint
  77. Samuel R. Delany
  78. George Orwell
  79. Simon Clark
  80. Joe Haldeman
  81. Joe Abercrombie
  82. J.V. Jones
  83. Theodore Sturgeon
  84. Kim Stanley Robinson
  85. Jacqueline Carey
  86. M. John Harrison
  87. David Weber
  88. Scott Lynch
  89. Jonathan Carroll
  90. Christopher Priest
  91. Jon Courtney Grimwood
  92. Michael Marshall Smith
  93. Olaf Stapledon
  94. Ken MacLeod
  95. Brian W. Aldiss
  96. Terry Goodkind
  97. Charles Stross
  98. Sara Douglass
  99. Gwyneth Jones
  100. James Herbert

Ragnarok 51Ragnarok is the journal of the Society of Fantasy and Science Fiction Wargamers. The latest issue, the first with John Wilson as editor, of Rag has been published and is in the post to members.

  • Saint Snatch – Relic steaing in Dresda
  • In the Dog HouseStrontium Dog in Inquisitor
  • Crimson Twenty OneCrimson Skies in Air War C:21
  • Ottomania II – More Turks in Aeronef
  • The Rules of War – Reviews of Space Vixens from Mars and Battlestations

As we’re all blogging for history, here’s a bit about my day.

Alarm went off at 7:00. Lettice got up. I didn’t. Whoops. Staggered out of bed at 8:00 and between checking e-mail, showering, eating breakfast and faffing about managed to get into work around about 9:45. No meetings this morning so not a problem. Check work e-mail and calendar and tell the project manager that I love her because she’s worked out that in our incredibly tight schedule for the site ( redesign I actually have no tasks allocated to me between the end of November and the sometim in February so I can take some holiday after all. But then I groan as I realise that Friday is booked up with meetings from 10-12 and then 12:30-16:00. Ouch.

Spent most of the day working on a project for our kids’ site ( Nothing terribly exciting – a bit of CSS, bit of XSLT, bit of JavaScript (enforcing my own recently written coding standards to avoid document.write and use appendChild() etc.). Minor panic regarding the half term edition of the kids’ newsletter but it got sent out on time and everyone seems very happy with the new style.

Went to lunch with Lettice – she’s working at VL for a few weeks. And after that it was time for today’s round of meetings about the redesign project. Time and money versus ambition. Same as every project I’ve ever worked on. We actually have a very good team (and soon to be a much bigger team, an ad will be appear in this week’s New Media Age for six positions within the web team at VL) and doing most of the work in house will cut down on some of the headaches.

Ended up working until 18:30 which makes up for the late start, though a fair chunk of the last hour was spent playing Bang! Howdy ( whilst waiting for other people to go through the designs of the Christmas pages with me. We need to have some pages up very soon in order to cover the switching on of the Christmas Lights.

London Bridge was busy and I just missed the 18:39. I bought this week’s New Scientist (suckered in by the ‘what would happen to Earth if humans vanished cover story) and this month’s .net (a couple of articles that I can quote mine for a brainstorm in one of Friday’s endless meetings). Ran into Séverine and we caught the 18:51 to Tulse Hill and then walked up to West Norwood together.

Home, sausages for dinner, then watched CSI: Miami with Lettice before sitting down to write this.

So there you are, not my usual sort of post and probably not of any great historical interest.

The newly described South American raptor, Neuquenraptor argentinus, indicates that either the deinonychosaurs had a longer history than was thought, or that South America was not as isolated from the nothern continents. Or both. Anyway cool new dino with totally unpronouncable name.

Meanwhile, Copplestone Castings have released a Young T-Rex, which like the earlier Velociraptors seems to be heavily influenced by the Tamiya plastic kit version, and a pair of Gallimimuses.

And Jeff Valent Studios have re-released their “Raptor Like Dinosaurs” and have a very nice looking Tyrannosaur and Syntarsus available for pre-order. I’m not too taken with the Raptors which a bit cartoony and a bit Jurassic Park, but the new ones look amazing. This is the first time anyone’s done a Syntarsus in wargaming scale (or any scale as far as I know) and I was recently thinking that it was a shame that the same dozen or so genera keep on getting sculpted again and again when there are several hundred genera that have never been done. I’m not sure about the feathers though – as an early Jurassic Coelophysoid it’s a quite distant from those dinosaurs known, or even suspected, to have had feathers.

Prehistoric Times #70

Prehistoric Times Issue 70 arrived last week. Lots of lovely pics as ever but for me the highlight was the well deserved fisking given to pterosaur crank David Peters by S. Christopher Bennett.

Finally, there’s Dino-Opoly. The complete absence of any reference to Parker Bros on or inside the box suggests that the subtle rule changes (start with $1630 rather than $1500; money from taxes, etc. go into a pot which is collected by the next player to land on Free Parking.) are a way to avoid paying any licensing fees. Sneaky.

Played one game. Lettice won. 🙁