Weekly Roundup

–Red is so your color. Stargate producer Joseph Mallozzi is entertaining the idea of a “Red Shirt Diaries” episode of Stargate: Atlantis.

— What color is a chameleon in a mirror? In my next story, I might have to write about Chameleon class spaceships that use this technology. A color-changing skin could help spacecraft maintain “comfortable temperatures without the bulk and expense of normal cooling equipment.” The less than half a millimeter thick silicon-coated skin is “an electrolyte sandwiched between two gold-coated polymer sheets” that reflect a large proportion of the sun’s visible and ultraviolet radiation. When charged, the skin turns from transparent to green.

–No more free orange juice. The first red blood cells have been grown in the lab, potentially eliminating the need for blood donations with an inexhaustible Type-O supply.

–A stellar river runs through it. Astronomers have discovered nearly a dozen new stellar rivers—strings of moving stars—over the disk of the Milky Way. By the way, the original title of my novel AVATAR was RIVER OF STARS.

–Not quite the Vitruvian Man. What makes Michael Phelps such a good swimmer?

–We can rebuild him. How to write a better Science Fiction villain. IO9’s Charlie Jane Anders talks about how, in Science Fiction movies at least, we don’t want shades of gray villains, but instead baddies we can conquer, the real world being just the opposite.

–Help! I’ve plummeted to my death, and I can’t get up! Five funniest episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000.

–“Steampunk is the new black.” Galaxy Express’ Heather is a guest commenter over at Grasping for the Wind discussing Urban Fantasy and the Next Big Subgenre. She talks about the emergence of everything Steampunk these days, and highlights how Romance has been creeping into Science Fiction:

[T]he current trend from romance publishers is toward more SF elements and grittier stories and characters. These aren’t your momma’s futuristic romances anymore…there’s a trend for many SF books these days to routinely include a romantic subplot, even if it doesn’t follow the structure of a typical romance novel (what many folks refer to as “romantic SF”). Because there’s such a range of types and definitions of these stories, I expect more people are reading this blended genre than we’ll ever know.

–Lou Anders’ Pyr Books blog is now a group blog including David Louis Edelman, Kay Kenyon, and Mike Resnick among other Pyr authors.

–What a novel idea. The world’s weirdest vending machines. Yes, Virginia, there is one for books.

–Where does the 8-track tape go?
Sit in Captain Kirk’s Chair for a measly $2K.