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Week of March 26, 2001

Babylon 5 returns! The Sci-Fi Channel has officially announced that it will be producing a new Babylon 5 movie later this year, tentatively titled Babylon 5: The Legend Of The Rangers, set three years after the events of the fifth season, as the Anla'shok try to restore peace and order to the war-torn galaxy. Members of the Babylon 5 cast may appear in the movie - which has been confirmed as a pilot for a potential new series with the same premise - but the cast will consist largely of new faces. The pilot movie's title has tentatively been announced as To Live And Die In Starlight, and shooting will commence in May. Douglas Netter and creator J. Michael Straczynski will serve as executive producers; no technical credits or actors have been announced. Neither has a special effects house, since NDEI (Netter Digital Entertainment Inc.), which provided FX for Crusade and the final two seasons of B5, went bankrupt last year. Source: Sci-Fi Channel

Deeper into the Wells. If you're a fan of H.G. Wells' classic tale War Of The Worlds - or a fan of Orson Welles' infamous radio adaptation which caused a nationwide panic in 1938 - you'll probably be drooling over this all-in-one reprint of both classics. The Complete War Of The Worlds: Mars' Invasion Of Earth From H.G. Wells To Orson Welles is a hardcover reprint of Wells' seminal science fiction classic, along with a study of the actual making of - and the reaction to - Orson Welles' radio play. A CD included with the book contains the complete Welles radio play, along with related press conferences and interviews with the actor. The book itself features a foreword by Ray Bradbury and an afterword by Ben Bova. The Complete War Of The Worlds will arrive - no joke! - on April Fools' Day.

The Complete War Of The Worlds: Mars' Invasion of Earth from H.G. Wells To Orson Welles

Out of Finn air. Neil Finn, notorious for allowing some of his best songs to languish in obscurity as B-sides on limited-edition CD singles, is doing it again. March 26th will see the release of two separate U.K. versions of Wherever You Are, the first British single from his upcoming and highly anticipated One Nil album (due in April, except in Australia and New Zealand, where lucky fans are getting to listen to it already). Meanwhile, the first Australian single, Rest Of The Day Off, is already available as an import from both the U.S. and Britain; Rest contains non-album tracks Now I Get It and Underestimated, along with a game on a CD-ROM section. Those same B-sides (minus the game) appear on Wherever volume one, while a different mix of the single, plus the live performances of Last To Know and Driving Me Mad from a recent webcast on Finn's Nil Fun site, will be included on volume two. A limited edition of One Nil is also listed at, packaged in a recyclable cardboard "digipak" case.

Neil Finn: One Nil Limited Edition

Neil Finn: Wherever You Are CD Single #1

Neil Finn: Wherever You Are CD Single #2

Neil Finn: Rest Of The Day Off CD Single

Battle of the classic video game books. Not too long ago, gamers who have been around for 25 years or more were engaged in a heated argument: which book on their favorite subject was better, Leonard Herman's Phoenix or J.C. Herz' Joystick Nation? (Those links, by the way, lead to's reviews of those titles.) Now, it looks like 2001 will be another year of battling books on the subject of classic video games. Wired writer Van Burnham's much-hyped Supercade: A Visual History Of The Video Game Age, 1971-1984 is due out in September from MIT Press (not surprising, as the book makes much of MIT's role in the creation of interactive entertainment), while John Sellers' Arcade Planet: The Fan's Guide To The Golden Age Of Video Games will beat Ms. Burnham's book to the shelves with its July release date. The classic gaming community, already divided as it is over such timeless debates as Atari vs. ColecoVision, will no doubt be arguing the merits of these latest books for a long time. In the meantime, feel free to browse's own Phosphor Dot Fossils game archive.

Arcade Planet: The Fan's Guide To The Golden Age Of Video Games by John Sellers

Supercade: A Visual History Of The Video Game Age, 1971-1984 by Van Burnham

Not a courteous host. Tripod, the free web-hosting service owned and operated by Lycos, dumped over a hundred fan sites a week ago, informing the sites' webmasters on very short notice that they had violated Tripod's terms of service regarding appropriate material. Few, if any, of the webmasters had time to retrieve their material from Tripod before their sites were completely deleted. There's no indication as to what criteria were used to make the cuts - everything from fairly innocuous fan sites for specific actors, to various TV show and movie fan sites, to "slash fiction" sites (specializing in fan fiction of a sexual nature). There is some speculation that Tripod's sudden deletion of these sites may have been a pre-emptive strike caused by paranoia over the kind of copyright battle Napster is currently fighting in court. Lycos has since apologized to those webmasters, saying the deletion was in error. Source: Sci-Fi Wire

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