First off, a warm welcome back to William 'Stego' Lexner, who for personal reasons had to discontinue blogging back in May. His excellent blog, I Hope I Didn't Just Give Away the Ending, is now back online again and well worth a look.
For myself, I continue reading GRRM's Dreamsongs. It is a huge book and I'm about halfway through. I may pause at the point the American edition is broken in half and review the two halves individually for clarity. It is, however, a remarkable work.
Starting a week ago, the Writers Guild of America went on strike in the United States, bringing television and film production to a standstill once they had used up their completed scripts. Essentially the dispute boils down to the American film companies refusing to give their writers increased compensation from DVD sales (the writers are still covered by a deal brought in for VHS in 1988) or indeed any kind of compensation at all for 'new media', such as iTunes downloads or streaming video over the Internet. A number of SF&F TV shows are adversely affected:
Battlestar Galactica: Ten episodes of the fourth and final season (plus the Razor TV movie airing in a week or so in the USA) are now in the can, with another 2-3 written. Even before the strike the Sci-Fi Channel had been making noises about splitting the final season in half and showing the first ten episodes in 2008 (likely starting in April) and the second ten in 2009. This is now much more likely to be the case.
Heroes: Eleven episodes are complete. Season 2 was designed to be two 'chapters' in the Heroes storyline in any case. When and how the second eleven episodes are made or aired depends on the duration of the strike.
Lost: Eight episodes of the fourth season are complete with an unknown further number written (hopes that all sixteen had been completed were dashed when Lost writers joined the picket lines). ABC are debating about delaying the entire season (which was supposed to start airing in February 2008) so all sixteen episodes can be shown together. However, this could potentially delay the show until the autumn of 2008, given that the strike is not expected to end until the early summer at the best.
A Song of Ice and Fire: George RR Martin's epic fantasy series has been optioned by HBO. A pilot episode has been writte and HBO were investigating the option to make the show thoroughly when the strike began. It is likely this project will be on indefinite hiatus until the strike ends.