Archive for May, 2009

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Sagittarius is Bleeding

May 19, 2009

Novel by Peter David.  Review by spacepug.

I’m already missing Battlestar Galactica, so I thought I would try to fill the void by finally getting a hold of the novels, starting with Sagittarius is Bleeding by Peter David.  Below is a brief (but spoiler-free) summary of the book and my thoughts.

sagbleedAs the story begins, Laura Roslin has been miraculously cured of cancer thanks to a transfusion from the unborn child of Sharon Valerii, but now she is haunted by dreams of blood and death.  She wonders if the cure had a nasty side effect, or is she just going mad?

Battlestar Galactica was one of my favourite TV shows.  Laura Roslin was my favourite character on the show.  Peter David is one of my favourite writers.  I should have liked this book much more than I did.

One of my usual criteria for judging any novelization is how well the writer captures the essence of the characters we’ve seen on TV.  David is certainly adept at that, as his many Star Trek novels will attest.  He does an admirable job of portraying both Laura’s vulnerabilities and inner strength.  He even gets inside Sharon’s head in a way that I found more compelling than her TV portrayal.  There isn’t a false note to any of them.

Perhaps the biggest drawback with this novel is that so much of the plot is driven by characters who aren’t in the TV series, namely Boxey and newcomer Freya Gunnerson.  The plot is well constructed and unfolds in an unexpected and exciting confrontation at the end of the book.  Almost until the end however, it seemed the plot wasn’t going anywhere.  There was no sense of imminent danger.  One of the biggest challenges in writing a TV show novelization must be that you have to create a sense of threat and intrigue, and yet are unable to truly alter the path or mindset of any of the characters in order to preserve the “canon.”   This novel was first published in 2006, and unfortunately the ending makes little sense, as events on the TV series have since overtaken these and resolved in a very different way.

It was a quick and moderately enjoyable read.  If you want to experience some of the true genius of Peter David, find one of the Star Trek: New Frontier novels.  His Captain Mackenzie Calhoun is one of my favourite creations in the entire Trek universe.  For a really satisfying BSG novel, I’m going to have to keep reading.  Next up in my sights: Unity by Steven Harper.

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Space Channel streams the “Frakkin’ End”

May 11, 2009

It’s almost old news by now, but I thought I would post this one anyway…

As part of their coverage of the finale of Battlestar Galactica, Space Channel (Canada’s science fiction channel) did a one hour Fandom Forum, a live broadcast featuring an in-studio audience of Toronto BSG fans, and some “live hits” out to Vancouver for the 13th Colony’s Finale Party.  The complete one hour program is now streaming online, broken into seven segments.

In my admittedly biased opinion, here are what I think are the best bits:

Space Channel at Lafontana Part 1: 2:08 to 3:13 (intro to the Vancouver party)

Part 2: 4:30 to 6:11 (Ahem…Spacepug, aka Madame President, and the Hybrid)

(Parts 3, 4 and 5: Alas, no us.)

Part 6: 3:10 to 3:55 (RDM, MM & EJO thank the Canadian fans)

Part 6: 3:56 to 5:36 (Natasha interviews our Six, Baltar, Starbuck and Tyrol, plus the Hybrid)

Part 7: 3:45 to 4:41 (Wrap up from Vancouver)

Congratulations to everyone who participated, on both ends of the country.  Space was thrilled with the ratings for the show, and with their first ever fully live broadcast.  We’ve extended the invitation for them to come back to Vancouver for another special in conjunction with “The Plan” in November or “Caprica” next year, so keep your fingers crossed.

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If I Could Give You the Stars…

May 4, 2009

by spacepug

Most science fiction fans I know grew up looking at the night sky and wondering what was up there, and what it would be like to travel to the stars.  Shows like Battlestar Galactica help us satisfy that part of our imagination.

But what if, in a real way, you could help a child see the stars?

iya2009 is the International Year of Astronomy and in conjunction with that, the International Astronomical Union has commissioned the production of the Galileoscope, a low-cost but high quality telescope with a retail price of just $15 US.

They are also accepting donations.  If you donate a Galileoscope, the IAU will pool the donations and distribute those telescopes to worthy children, parents and teachers around the world, who would not otherwise have a chance to see the stars.

The 13th Colony will be donating a telescope.  We’d like to challenge other BSG fan clubs around the world to do the same.

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