Click to embiggen.
For eight years on her blog, Liz Shannon Miller has been telling her friend Frank about TV series, movies, and books that he’s missed, helping him catch up on the good stuff and avoid the less-good stuff. Two ebook collections of this noble work have already amused and thrilled countless readers around the globe.
I was amused and thrilled myself when Liz approached me to write a foreword to her third ”Liz Tells Frank” compilation, though I couldn’t fathom why she chose me. (Perhaps because the book includes Andreanna Ditton’s “Skip It/Watch It Guide” to Farscape, and writing a foreword would give me an opportunity for pre-rebuttal?)
In any case, I leapt at the opportunity, and the result follows. Enjoy the foreword, and then go buy the ebook of Liz Tells Frank: The Skip It/Watch It Guides on Amazon!
Continue reading ‘“Liz Tells Frank” Gets a Foreword by Me’ »
A previous Writers Faire. Feel that writing vibe.
Sunday, August 25, 2013, 11am to 3pm, Young Hall Courtyard, UCLA Campus, Westwood
Once again, it’s a free day of 24 mini-classes and panel discussions on all kinds of creative writing: TV, features, novels, short stories, and more.
And an exhibit mall (opens at 10am) with terrific organizations such as PEN USA, the Organization of Black Screenwriters, WriteGirl, and many more.
And an opportunity to register for most fall courses (including the pilot course I’m teaching) at a 10% discount!
And a perfect time to purchase UCLA Extension’s brand-new books on TV and feature writing, Inside the Room (with a chapter by yours truly ) and Cut to the Chase!
And a chance to see the panel I’m chairing with three other TV writers / UCLA Extension instructors (Greg Elliot, Deborah Joy LeVine, and Christina Lynch) from 11:50 am to 12:30 pm: Writing the One-Hour Drama Spec and Pilot.
From the official description: “Get tips on how to choose a show to spec, how to capture its distinct voice and tone, and on the flip side, how to create a one-hour pilot that can be sustained for 100 episodes and beyond.” Or, we might just sit there and swap television horror stories for 40 minutes. Either way, it should be instructional and/or entertaining!
Visit the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program site for more information.
Hope to see you there! I’ll be easy to spot as I’ll be wearing this famous shirt. (Well, it’s famous if you’re a Farscape fan.)
As they say, it’s not the initial investment, it’s the upkeep.
…but I can’t seem to find the warranty. Probably expired anyway.
Three decades ago today, Cheryl and I tied the
noose knot in a lovely restaurant garden in Corona del Mar (and I’m told that, to this day, no grass will grow on that spot).
It was my second marriage and her first, which of course means that she had an excuse but I should’ve known better… and yet here we are.
One Valentine’s Day when I was in Sydney and she was in Los Angeles, I faxed (yes, children, this was a very long time ago) her a homemade Valentine which I signed “Your first husband.”
She promptly faxed me back a Valentine of her own, signed “Your last wife.”
Amen to that.
Last shot of Farscape’s “Bad Timing” Episode 88
A little over ten (!) years ago, Farscape aired its last* episode, “Bad Timing.”
SPOILERS TO FOLLOW: The episode, written by the sadistic genius David Kemper, concluded, shall we say, not very well for our heroes, with yet another OH MY GOD season-ending cliffhanger, and yet another “To Be Continued” card at the fadeout.
And then… we found out that the season-ending cliffhanger was going to be the series-ending cliffhanger, because Farscape had been canceled.
Which posed a question: should we change the ending of “Bad Timing”? Should we leave the “To Be Continued” on there or not?
The overwhelming sentiment among the Farscape crew was to leave it just as it was, and so the ending of the episode aired without changes, “To Be Continued” and all.
However! We did discuss a drenload of other ideas for the last shot other than “To Be Continued”… and here are the top ten! Continue reading ‘Top Ten Other Ways Farscape’s Last Episode Could’ve Ended’ »
YOU KNOW YOU WANT THIS (the piece of Moya, not the cat, although I’m tempted to throw in the cat)
But wait! It’s not just a chunk of Moya, it’s ALL this great Farscape stuff! NOW how much would you pay?
The wonderful folks at Con or Bust, which helps people of color/non-white people attend SFF conventions, are currently holding their annual fundraising auction of all kinds of amazing stuff, and I’ve contributed a couple of awesome Farscape items that you Simply Won’t Find Anywhere Else.
A “Season of Death” script!
An extremely limited edition T-shirt!
An actual piece of Moya!
So what are you waiting for? Go! Bid!
And hurry! The auction ends February 24, 2013.
(Oh, and if absolutely nothing in the entire auction strikes your fancy, or the bidding’s too rich for your blood, you can simply make a donation via PayPal to help this most excellent cause.)
“I’m learning to love myself despite my kitten problem.” – Emily Salzfass
Em and me at the 2002 Farscape convention
A lot of people in a lot of places and a lot of fandoms are grieving today at the loss of Makiko aka Sab aka Makikosab aka, simply, Em. She was many things, but primarily she was an Illuminator of Rooms, the sort of human dynamo universally described with phrases like “contagious energy” and “delightfully skewed” and “fearless enthusiasm” and “one of a kind.”
Go to Em’s Facebook page to read or contribute remembrances, photos, or kittens.
Pron’xa on the Set, by Barry Spiers
One of the joys of writing for television is creating new characters and watching talented actors bring them to life. It’s even more fun when those characters aren’t human.
Well, it’s more fun for the writer. For the actor, however…
The emails that follow are… entirely made up. Nevertheless, the story they tell is True.
To: Mom & Dad
Date: Monday, December 3, 4:08pm
Subject: GREAT NEWS!!!
My agent got me an audition for a guest role on the sci-fi TV show Space Slayers! They’re looking for someone “athletic, preferably with dance experience.” (Finally all those workouts and dancing lessons pay off—fingers crossed!)
Continue reading ‘We’ve Created a Monster!’ »
I’m teaching yet more UCLA Extension Writers’ Program classes in the coming months, but rather than clutter this blog with yet more writing-course posts, I’m consolidating all information about what I’m teaching on a page entitled, appropriately enough, Writing Classes, also available via link from the navbar at the top.
The first SF book I ever bought, and still one of my favorites.
Science fiction author and SFWA Grand Master Harry Harrison (the Deathworld series, the Stainless Steel Rat series, the novel Make Room! Make Room! which was the basis for the film Soylent Green, the satirical Bill, the Galactic Hero series, and many, many, many more) has just passed away at the age of 87.
Harry’s official news blog has started a comment thread for sharing condolences and fond memories.
I only met him once, briefly, but I’ve known his work since I was a sapling. His short story collection Two Tales and Eight Tomorrows was the first SF book I ever purchased, and it was a gateway drug leading me to his other excellent work, as well as a strong influence in my SF TV writing. Waaaay back when I was a teenager, I often dreamed of adapting “The Streets of Ashkelon” for television, a mental exercise which usually ended by admitting to myself that no TV network would ever have the cojones to air it… and that’s probably still true.
Half a century later, I finally got to meet Harry Harrison at a UCLA book signing, and had to decide which of his books to bring… and I wound up choosing my ancient, faded, battered paperback of Two Tales and Eight Tomorrows, just so I could tell him what it had meant to that starry-eyed filmmaker-wannabe teenage geek.
Thank you, Harry. Rest in peace.
Jonathan Hardy at “Best of Both Worlds 16″ convention, Sydney, July 27, 2002.
Photo by Peter Fallon.
Jonathan Hardy has passed away at the age of 71.
His acting career spanned 37 years and included Moulin Rouge!, Mad Max, and a shirtload of Australian television including Farscape, where he not only performed the voice of Dominar Rygel XVI but also donned a toga to play Kahaynu, one of Moya’s builders.
Jonathan was also a screenwriter who shared an Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay in 1981 for Breaker Morant, one of Australia’s all-time best films.
He was a skilled raconteur who delighted in sharing anecdotes, meeting with fans, and lighting up every room he entered.
Born in New Zealand (on September 20, 1940), he particularly enjoyed telling ribald jokes concerning Kiwis and their sheep.
Because of his slight facial resemblance to Rygel (judge for yourself), there are some who claim that he served as the model for the puppet. However…
Continue reading ‘RIP Jonathan Hardy’ »