A Colonial Viper Pilot in d20

07 September 2006 | Hisham | | Misc Sci-Fi, Role Playing Games

d20My friend Shane Welin is now in a d20 game with a difference. The rules might be powered by the run-of-the-mill d20 Modern / Future engine but I believe this is the first time I know of a campaign set in the world of Battlestar Galactica whose third season will be aired this next month.

His player character stats is listed below, but I'll see about getting stats for Vipers (Mark IIs and Mark VIIs), Raptors and Raiders up here as well.

Anyway, here's Shane's Hal Rogero (still no callsign) in d20:


We'll Be Back October

09 March 2006 | Hisham | | Misc Sci-Fi, TV
Not "we" as in Hishgraphics.

Have a dolly to play with til OctoberAccording to the press release, we have seven months to sit around, twiddle our thumbs and tap our toes to catch the third season of Battlestar Galactica. The 90-minute second season finale will be aired on Friday. I guess I can wait, watch the news or the cool, flashy ads they air on TV until then.

Scott Collura of Now Playing Magazine wrote of the impending third season: "The network press release promises “even more of the drama, intrigue, and action that viewers have come to expect from the series,” which sounds like typical PR talk – until you remember that Battlestar Galactica has so far provided us with more drama, intrigue, and action than we could ever have hoped for."

Amen to that.

To BB, Jo-Jo, Reilly, Beano, Dipper, Flat Top, Chuckles, Jolly, Crashdown, Sheppard, Dash, Flyboy, Stepchild, Puppet, Fireball...

To all of 'em.


"I Didn't Want To Make It Back Alive"

15 January 2006 | Hisham | | Misc Sci-Fi, TV

Spoiler Alert. This is an essay concerning the actions of Lee “Apollo” Adama of Battlestar Galactica in the episode Resurrection Ship, Part 2. If you’re adverse to spoilers it's strongly suggested that you read no further. And if you're local and want to catch it on TV, they're starting to show the first season on 8TV at 10pm Sundays, the same time as Smallville on TV3.


Stargate Atlantis on TV2 tonight

01 December 2005 | Hisham | | Misc Sci-Fi, TV
Stargate Atlantis is on TV2 Thurdsay nights at 9.00 pm. It started 2 weeks ago with the two-part pilot episode "The Rising".

Score one for sci-fi television on Malaysian TV. The last time a Stargate was on it was the fourth season of Stargate SG-1, probably 3 or 4 years ago on TV3, so I'm guessing anyone who has a passing interest in it would miss out on Daniel's ascendancy (and back), Jonas Quinn, Anubis, alliance with the Asgard, the new Earth warship Prometheus and the X-302 fighters, and the Battle of Antartica that led to the discovery of the Zero Point Module and the DHD coordinates that enabled the Cheyenne Mountain Stargate to open a wormhole to Stargate at the Ancient city of Atlantis in the Pegasus Galaxy.

Beware of Spoilers!


Arabic Star Names and Science Fiction

09 October 2005 | Hisham | | Misc Sci-Fi, Trawling The Net

I've known for quite some time that major star names used in science are Arabic in origin, a testimony to the work of Muslim astronomers between the 9th and the 12th centuries, but I've never found an extensive list of current star names and their Arabic origin until I stumbled across the Jordanian Astronomical Society's website with its great Arabic Star Names page.

Since I read and watch a lot of science fiction, I found it interesting that some of the names have appeared in contemporary SF. Not the well-known ones like Betelgeuse or Vega or Rigel, I'm talking about the not so well known star names.

Referring the the JAS list in the link above:

#133 Rukbat is the star which Anne McCaffrey's Pern revolves around. It's known as Alpha Sagittarii, so she did her homework by referring it to be in the "Sagittarius sector" although in the wiki article it mentions that the real Rukbat is a B-spectral class blue star instead of a G-class yellow star.

#01 Acamar, #108 Mintaka and #111 Mizar have indigenous sentient lifeforms that appeared in various episodes of Star Trek the Next Generation.

Frank Herbert however seemed to have referred to his Dune series' Arrakis to star #45 which is Mu Draconis, instead of Canopus (Alpha Carinae) in the books.


Serenity Appreciation Entry

07 October 2005 | Hisham | | Misc Sci-Fi, TV

Serenity Movie PosterOnce upon a time, Joss Whedon created a science fiction TV show called Firefly that had great characters, a fantastic millieux and a witty script. It got cancelled by Fox Network. Then its DVD sold faster than hotcakes. Fans wrote to revive the show. So, he wrestled the rights of the show from Fox and transferred it to Universal.

One thing led to another, last Friday saw the release of Serenity, the motion picture continuation of the TV series Firefly, was released to critical acclaim.

I can't wait to watch this because I was also won over by Firefly when TV3 showed it last year, on Wednesday night 12.30 am... sometimes pre-empting it for several weeks for football, or pushing it even further to 1.30 am. But the bad news is there is not a trace of Serenity appearing in Malaysian theaters any time soon. Hopefully we'll get to see it early 2006.

Here are some images of Malcolm Reynolds' Firefly class cargo transport Serenity at various places in the TV series, beautifully rendered by Zoic Studios, who also did some of the visual effects of Battlestar Galactica.


Instinct on Atlantis

08 September 2005 | Hisham | | Misc Sci-Fi, TV

Once upon a time I read the premise of Stargate Atlantis before they aired its pilot episode "The Rising". I never would have thought the simple premise of an international team of civilian and military explorers sent to the lost city of Atlantis that happened to be on an uninhabited planet in the Pegasus galaxy without the power to return to Earth can be so engrossing. It's all thanks to its great writing, actors, character interaction and humour, and more than adequate visual effects; and it's held its own as the spinoff from Stargate SG-1.

Last week's episode "Instinct" was notable for two reasons: