[Book Review] Where no man has gone meta before

redshirtsBook Review: Redshirts by by John Scalzi

This book was talked up so much that almost nothing less than a comic masterpiece could have met my expectations. I was also just coming off reading three Bujold books in a row, so my humor bar was set high.

And so it shouldn’t come as any surprise that this book didn’t quite meet them.

In case you haven’t heard about this book, here’s the setup:

In a Star Trekian style universe, Ensign Andrew Dahl joins the Intrepid, a spaceship that explores the universe and fixes problems. He soon realizes something screwy is going on. The crew is acting weird and every Away Mission seems to involve some kind of lethal confrontation with alien forces. And while the senior officers always survive, at least one low-ranked (red shirt uniformed) crew member is, sadly, always killed, often in the craziest of ways. As he starts digging into this mystery, the craziest theory begins to make the most sense: Are they characters on a campy science fiction show?  Continue reading

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Today’s Book Blurb: Luke, I am your doppleganger

Nothing against this book because it sounds like a lot of fun…except, how in the world did the main character’s name ever get past the editors? 

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Skyler Luiken and his ragtag crew of scavengers, scientists, and brawlers have a new mission: a long journey to a distant planet where a race of benevolent aliens are held captive behind a cloud of destructive ships known as the Swarm Blockade. No human ships have ever made it past this impenetrable wall, and Skyler knows not what to anticipate when they reach their destination.

Safe to say that the last thing he expects to find there is a second human ship led by the tough-as-nails captain, Gloria Tsandi. These two crews—and their respective captains—initially clash, but they will have to learn to work together when their mutual foe closes in around them and begins the outright destruction of their vessels—along with any hope of a return to Earth.

– Injection Burn  by Jason M. Hough

[Book Review] Politics the cyberpunk way

infomocracyBook Review: Infomocracy by Malka Ann Older

I got this for the cover, I stayed for the story.

It’s been a while since the science fiction genre surprised me with something new. Enter Infomocracy, a thought experiment in the concept of democracy, corporate power, and human nature. And, so you don’t think this is a political treatise, there are other things too, like explosions, anarchists, a paranoid operative, and campaign spies. Continue reading

[Book Review] Can I have some more magic to go with my desert planet rebellion?

Hunger Makes the Wolf by Alex Wells

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If you’ve ever thought, “You know what Dune needed more of? More magic and a biker gang!” then this book was written for you. If you are looking for your next stick-it-to-the-corporation space opera rebellion, this book is also for you.

During a routine run through the desert, the gun-toting and chain-smoking biker Hob discovers the bullet-ridden body of her leader’s brother. The dead man’s daughter is still missing, and all the signs point to TransRifts Inc., the company that has the entire planet in a stranglehold. So begins a story of biker gang meets post-apocalyptic desert planet with a dash of Dune and a pinch of X-men. Continue reading

Why Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them actually represents something new

fantastic-beasts-where-find-them-movie-poster.jpegWill you be seeing the latest Harry Potter world movie, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them when it hits theaters next week? The story follow Newt Scamander, a wizard with a luggage full of magical beasties, in 1920’s New York City. It is also the first in an expected five-movie series.

As far as I can tell, if that’s true, this will be the first non-adaptation movie that’s been announced to be developed as a series before it premieres and proves itself. It represents yet another shift in how studios and movie-goers see and experience movie sequels.

It’s as if tomorrow, Marvel were to announce that it was going to introduce a brand new superhero, never before seen in comics, for a five-movie series. Or if David Cameroon pronounced Avatar as the launching point of a four movie visual extravaganza before its first ticket sale. Continue reading

Today’s Book Blurb

Dread pirates and smugglers called Ragamuffins. I’m trying to take this seriously, but every time I look at the cover I start chortling.

Happy Friday!

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Descended from the islanders of lost Earth, the Ragamuffins are pirates and smugglers, plying the lonely spaceways around a dead wormhole. For years, the Satraps have tolerated the Raga, but no longer. Now they have embarked on a campaign of extermination, determined to wipe out the unruly humans once and for all.

But one runaway woman may complicate their plans. Combat enabled, Nashara is more machine than flesh, and she carries inside her a doomsday weapon that could reduce the entire galaxy to chaos. A hunted fugitive, she just wants to get home before she’s forced to destroy civilization – and herself.

– Ragamuffin (Xenowealth #2) by Tobias S. Buckell

Book Watching: I’m really struggling to get excited about these

This week, I got TV on my mind. Book-to-TV adaptations, that is.

This is happening (TOMORROW):

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

So I’m kinda late to this game, really, because this book-to-movie adaptation is going live tomorrow. This bestseller first popped up on my radar because of Ava Green. She plays the headmistress lady and looks a lot like one of my friends who looks just like Helena Bonham Carter. (You just gotta get the angle right, but I swear they’re related, all three.)

Just based off the two covers, it looks like the book version went more gothy lit, while the movie version went more fantasy-action.

Has anyone read this book? It seems like an odd stepchild of Harry Potter and A Series of Unfortunate Events, with a dash of Lightning Thief  style action. Or something. But it’s out tomorrow if you want to see it.

Release date: September 30, 2016.

Luke Cage, from various comics by Marvel

Now, this one I’m a bit more interested in. So far, Netflix superhero adaptations has been 50-50 for me. I wasn’t a fan of Daredevil, but Jessica Jones is one of my all-time favorite superhero shows.

Luke Cage is the on-and-off love interest in Jessica Jones. From what I can tell, this stand-alone spin-off is going to take place before the events of Jessica Jones because I’m pretty sure that’s Luke’s wife in the trailer.

I’ve yet to see an invincible hero I liked, but maybe this character will be the one when this show drops tomorrow.

Release Date: September 3o, 2016

This is happening (more generally):

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

What a gorgeous, gorgeous trailer for a beautiful book. The story follows 13-year-old Conor who is bullied in boarding school and whose mother is dying of cancer. Throughout it all, Conor is visited by a monster who makes a deal with him. Perhaps it’s a dream. Perhaps it’s all in Conor’s imagination. Perhaps not.

I could watch this trailer forever.

 

Release date: January 12, 2017.

The Dark Tower by Steven King

Oh hey, remember these books? I’ve been hearing of this on and off for years, but it looks like this Stephen King series will be coming to a big screen near you in in a few months. One question, remains. How will Girl With The Dragon Tattoo director Nikolaj Arcel deal with this series’ crazy mix of fantasy, sci-fi and Western? It could go so wrong. (Or so right.) Continue reading