Last week, I played host to not one but two film crews so they could interview my mother, Linda Salzman.
On Thursday there was the upcoming BBC show, The Beauty of Diagrams, where internationally acclaimed mathematician Marcus du Sautoy interviewed Mom about her work on the Pioneer Plaque. Directed by Michael Waterhouse, this is a documentary series about scientific discovery, told via an exploration of significant drawings and diagrams such as Isaac Newton's Prism Diagram and Leonardo Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man.
Then on Friday Swiss director Franz Josef Holzer interviewed Mom about the Voyager Golden Record for his film c'est une fille, "a cinematographic letter to extraterrestrials," that will "follow the concrete example of a human being: four-year-old Zora, from her conception to the first years of her life."
Mom did a wonderful job. She's traditionally been shy about giving interviews, but she was made comfortable by how easy it was to talk with Marcus and Franz. Some thoughtful questions stirred up a lot of memories for her, including memories of the early 70's and my childhood, which from a personal perspective were very cool to hear.
#1 is out and just a trip to a comic store away (click here to find one near you). Radical Publishing is celebrating by offering free Shrapnel: Hubris #1 themed wallpaper, conveniently available in 1024 x 768, 1280 x 1024 or 1600 x 1200 format.
Shrapnel: Hubris is the follow up to Shrapnel: Aristeia Rising, the acclaimed science fiction comic series published by Radical, written by M. Zachary Sherman, and co-created by Mark Long and yours truly.
The Shrapnel series tells the story of a war across our solar system, colonists on terraformed worlds rising up against the expansionist Solar Alliance.
Wired described it as "a mash-up of some of my favorite things: take Gattaca, throw in
two parts Halo and a little bit of Greek mythology and Joan of
Arc, and you’re getting close. And paired with Bagus Hutomo’s
eye-popping paint-like illustrations, and you’ve got a recipe for a
compelling graphic novel."
Reviews for Aristeia Rising were excellent:
"An intense and intelligent story partnered with art that makes your eyes
drool." --Ain't It Cool News
"Hardcore science fiction fans should not miss this." --IGN
"It is, in a word, epic." --The Scoop
"What a great book! Radical hits another one out of the park with this
48-page premiere issue." --Comic Book Page
"Overall Grade: A. SHRAPNEL delivers a high octane future war story with
characters that you want to know. Run out to your local store and get
this book." --Comics And...
"Honestly, this is one the best books I've reviewed." --Comics Bulletin
"SHRAPNEL epitomizes everything that sci-fi comics should be." --Twelve
Now for Shrapnel: Hubris, Clinnette Minnis and I have taken over the writing duties from Zack, and though it's a tall order to live up to the excellent work he did, we've taken a crack at it, and advance reviews have been very positive:
"Lord, this is epic. If you thought
the first volume of the Shrapnel series was intense, brutal,
and dark, just wait until you get your hands on its follow up. If the
first issue is any indication of what's to come, then we all must
prepare for a firefight. This was such an amazing launching pad, setting
up the tremendous space opera that is about to land on comic shops over
the next few months." --Comics Bulletin
"Definitely worth the read." --Graphic Policy
"[Hubris] continues the high
quality storytelling and artwork that made Aristeia Rising such
a compelling and engrossing read... Writers Sagan and
Minnis manage to craft a continuation of the intelligently plotted and
character driven Aristeia Rising that looks to expand not only
on the setting and playing field of its protagonists to colonies beyond
Venus, but its intelligent commentary on relevant real world issues in a
new and fresh way as well." --Comic Book Bin
Congratulations to the wonderful Carolyn Porco, recipient of the 2010 Carl Sagan Medal for Excellence in the Communication of Science
to the Public.
Jonathan Lunine, newly elected member of the National Academy of
Sciences, chairman of the DPS prize committee, and Porco's long-time
colleague and fellow Cassini scientist said, "I cannot think of anyone
in our generation more deserving of this award than Carolyn."
The Sagan medal is the latest in a string of awards and honors
recognizing Porco's achievement in science communication. In 2008, she
received the Isaac Asimov Science Award from the American Humanist
Society, and Wired magazine selected her for its inaugural "Smart List:
15 People the Next President Should Listen To." In 2009, she received
the Lennart Nilsson Award, the most prestigious prize in scientific
photography, for her work in combining "the finest techniques of
planetary exploration and scientific research with aesthetic finesse and
educational talent." Also in 2009, she was awarded the Huntington
Science Writing Fellowship for both her written and oral presentation of
science to the public.
Carolyn's an extraordinary scientist and a long-time friend, and I couldn't be happier for her.
"The story is dark and gripping. Numerous subplots and twists are heightened by a surprise climactic revelation. Character developments are complex. The portrayals of the dark side of mankind in these characters are chilling."