The 19 Coolest Things in Starlog #008: Doctor Who Books, Space Tickets, and Lucas Is Your New God

Friday, January 17, 2014 at 6:00 am

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The eighth issue of Starlog hit the stands on July 14, 1977, the fifth of the eight-times-a-year issues. Star Wars doesn't dominate quite as much as the previous issue, but it's presence is still felt, and the both the Star Trek movie and the real-life Enterprise continue to sputter.

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The 13 Nerdy Things We Most Look Forward to in 2014

Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 6:00 am

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Every once in a while, some random commenter will accuse this site of being entirely about negativity, which I think is absolutely false - pretty much anyone's definition of nerd is someone who wears their passions on their sleeve...and pants, and hockey jersey, and Halloween costume, and toy shelf, and porn collection, and...you get the idea. Yes, we can be brutal when something disappoints us, but it comes from a place of high hopes and optimism. With a whole year ahead, and nothing that has badly burned us yet, it's time to hone those hopes. What is it that we're anticipating the most in 2014?

I surveyed all the regular TR contributors, and what follows is a selection of picks from those who responded.

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2013's 8 Worst Moments in Nerdery

Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 6:00 am

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2013 was a good year for nerds, with plenty of cool new movies, games, comics and more to keep us occupied. But it also had its disappointments, and I'm not just talking about Luke taking over Topless Robot. Let's take a moment to remember these letdowns so we can learn from them, and maybe one day correct them through time travel.

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The 9 Biggest LGBT Geek Moments of 2013

Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 6:00 am

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2013 was a fairly epic year for the LGBT community. June saw the end of DOMA and the repeal of Prop 8 in California, two huge steps towards equality for the gay community. Let's face it, both of these things are way more crucial and important than what someone on some stupid reality show said about gay people in some magazine interview, so I'd say 2013 was a win overall for the gays. Besides, that whole Duck Dynasty controversy really just helped us all finally delete some annoying people off our Facebook profiles for good. And when it comes to the moments when geek culture and gay culture collide, there were plenty of those in 2013 as well. Here are but nine of the most significant.

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5 Obvious (and 5 Less Obvious) Science Facts I Learned From National Geographic in Las Vegas!

Monday, January 13, 2014 at 6:00 am

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Science! If you get it, you love it; if you don't understand it you live in constant fear of its seemingly magical abilities to explain the way the world works. National Geographic Channel strives to convert its viewing audience into science geeks by programming fun shows about science. With the new season of Brain Games and the spring premiere of a new series called None of the Above, they just might achieve that goal.

To that end the channel flew a small group of journalists out to the city of sin for three days of mind-blowing experiments, mental challenges and (for this journalist) a considerable amount of drinking... FOR SCIENCE!

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TR's 10 Best Comics Read in 2013

Friday, January 10, 2014 at 6:00 am

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Reading comics can bring many great joys into a nerd's life. Despite the many things it can give, however, there's one thing that comics can take a lot of... money. Comics can easily go from being a cheap hobby to an expensive habit; there was a time in my life when I would spent over $100.00 a month at my local comic shop. My last few years of being a broke college student have removed that from being a viable option in my life, but it hasn't removed the desire to read a lot of stuff. Fortunately the city of Eugene Oregon gives broke blokes like me a more frugal option to indulge in the nerdly delights of sequential art. Like many cities in the US, Eugene's Public Library has a robust and growing selection of graphic novels for patrons to check out.

While my local library affords me the opportunity to keep up on my favorite stuff and find loads of new favorites there can be some drawbacks. Most notable are the need to wait for the library to order in new volumes of whatever's come up the pike and then having to wait on a hold list with a dozen other people dying to read the same thing. As a result I'm often behind the curve of what's going on. Accordingly, some of the volumes appearing on this list might not have actually been published in 2013, but I assure you they were all read this year. So now it's time to see which of this year's massive reading stack made the grade for creme of the crop.

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TR's 10 Most Notable Anime of 2013

Thursday, January 9, 2014 at 6:00 am

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While my good buddy Mike Toole handled the best manga of the year, 'tis now the time for me to do the same for some of the best anime to come down the ol' pike in 2013!

However: this is not a typical "TOP TEN BEST OF" list based upon arbitrary numerical values. No sir! I don't like doing those. Not because I don't fancy myself as some immense arbiter of taste - I sure do, by golly - but rather, I know that a lot of you patient TR readers out there aren't cramming every single anime into their mind's gullet. So instead of a Best Of, this is the Ten Most Notable Anime of 2013! Anime that deserve attention, that broke from the mold, or did something otherwise remarkable or interesting.

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TR's 10 Best Nerd Movies of 2013

Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 8:00 am

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So, what the hell is a "nerd movie" anyway?

Is Revenge of the Nerds a nerd movie? In some ways, yes - in the way we do things here, not so much, ironically. Last year, I used the term "genre film" as it is commonly used, to mean horror/sci-fi/action/fantasy, but it was pointed out by many of you, correctly, that every film has a genre, and I should err in favor of using words more accurately. So this year I'm going with "nerd movie," in large part because it's a completely subjective opinion as to what does or doesn't count. Nebraska, for example, is one of my favorite films of the year, but does not count - the fact that Will Forte is in just isn't enough to justify a black and white dramedy about an old man thinking he's won a million dollars. The Act of Killing, I'm still not sure about...I erred on the side of omission, yet included it in yesterdays Blu-ray column. Split difference.

The rules for inclusion are the same as my rules for Fanboy Flick Picks. A movie is eligible if it is (1) sci-fi/fantasy/horror/animation/comic-book-based, (2) about any of the preceding (i.e. Jodorowsky's Dune or Saving Mr. Banks), (3) a comedy with surreal or fantastical elements, (4) set in an unreal world but not necessarily "fantasy" (most David Lynch movies count), or (5) an over-the-top action movie (James Bond, Fast & Furious, etc.). I reserve the right to occasionally bend my own rules - these lists are all a bit arbitrary anyway.

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The 10 Best Things About the First Three Issues of Afterlife with Archie

Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 6:00 am

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When the first issue of Afterlife with Archie hit store shelves last October, it introduced readers to the dark side of the Archieverse. Sure, there have been strange happenings in Riverdale before (such as those chronicled in the past and present iterations of the Life with Archie book), but never before have "America's Typical Teenager" and his pals been forced to deal with life-or-death issues on a constant basis. In Afterlife with Archie, the stakes are as high as the body count, resulting in the most surprising and compelling book in Archie history.


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3 Cool Things From Otakon Vegas (Plus 6 Things I Hate About Las Vegas)

Tuesday, January 7, 2014 at 6:00 am

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That's me in the above picture dressed as a character from Bioshock Infinite; my friends and I were exhausted after an afternoon spent scouting the various Las Vegas locales for decent spots for cosplay photos. We were already tired, frustrated, spent, and far too eager to hop in the car and head for home.

Otakon Vegas is an interesting idea. Otakon, one of the largest conventions in the US, decided to literally roll the die and spread its tendrils from the East Coast to the Mojave desert, setting up shop on the Mezzanine level of the Planet Hollywood (formerly the Aladdin) hotel. I hadn't been to Las Vegas as a proper adult in my life - I went to the strip as a 17-year-old lad on a class trip, which is decidedly not the proper way to potentially enjoy a city as firmly rooted in the sins of man as Vegas.

To Otakon Vegas I went. After my girlfriend bribed the guy at the checkout booth for a "complimentary upgrade," I saw some cool things but experienced a lot of pain. So here are 3 cool things I did at Otakon Vegas! Plus 6 awful things I now realize I hate about Las Vegas!

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