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{ Category Archives } SciFi

The Last Policeman

The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters Detective Hank Palace just wants to solve this murder.  But there are lots of things getting in the way: his colleagues and the coroner think it’s suicide, the mobile phone service is getting sketchy in his little Massachusetts town, the crime lab is backed up beyond belief, and […]

The Girl with All the Gifts

The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey It’s hard to be a regular girl in a post-apocalypse world.  But in as much as she can be, Melanie has the same hopes and fears that most children do.  She likes some of her teachers, she dislikes others, she’s interested in Greek Mythology.  It doesn’t […]

Comics Roundup: Mind MGMT, House of Mystery, Codeflesh

Mind MGMT, Vol 1: The Manager by Matt Kindt Mind MGMT starts with a creepy premise — in a moment, everyone on a passenger airplane from the pilots to the passengers forgets who they are and how they got on the plane.  This kickstarts a story of spies, intrigue, and psyops with a world-spanning narrative, […]

Annihilation

Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer Annihilation is the first book in a trilogy about the strange.  The premise is delightfully vague — a zone (in the United States?) has become infested with some sort of invading biology that terraforms the land around it, menaces the people living there, and brings the strange in high doses.  Into […]

Comics Roundup

All You Need is Kill adapted from Hiroshi Sakurazaka’s novel by Nick Matamas and Lee Ferguson – Comics have a remarkable facility for telling stories quickly — a few panels can do the work it took pages to do in a novel.  That said, All You Need is Kill feels like the poor ripoff of […]

All You Need is Kill

All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka, 桜坂洋, Alexander O. Smith (Translator) Keiji Kiriya is having a bad day.  He’s being sent into battle a green, green, greenhorn rookie driving a dangerous body rig (called a ‘jacket’) against a monstrous horde of alien creatures that look like bloated dead frogs the size of whiskey […]

Covering old ground – Zero Theorem and The Incredible Hulk

Terry Gilliam’s Zero Theorem tells the tale of an idiosyncratic office drone working a data analysis job in the cyberpunk, blade-runner future of the city we first met in Brazil. (Not technically, but aesthetically.)  Not satisfied with the normal things that drive the other drones in his world, Qohen spends his time waiting for a […]

Comics Roundup: Stray Toasters, Howard Chaykin, Billy the Kid, and a few others

Some comics I’ve read recently: Avengers 1959 – Howard Chaykin’s pre-Avengers avengers tale is a Marvel-centered take on Operation Paperclip (in which the Allies recruited Nazi scientists to help win the cold war).  Nick Fury is enjoyable,and the mix of superheroes works well.  Amusing. Stray Toasters – Absolutely bonkers comic about, well, kidnapping and unrequited […]

A few thoughts on The Quantum Rose

The Quantum Rose, by Catherine Asaro, follows the blossoming love of Kamoj and Vryl, a woman and man from two vastly different cultures on vastly different planets.  They’re pulled apart by cultural forces, by diplomatic obligations, by jealousy.  They’re attracted to one another on a deep level, they resonate.  Also, Asaro reveals at the end […]

By the hoary hosts of hoggoth…

I don’t particularly like Dr. Strange.  I find his brand of supernatural detective story pretty dull, at least as it appears in the first volume of the “Essential” Dr. Strange.  The stories follow one of two standard formulae – either someone intentionally attacks Dr. Strange to get him out of the way, or someone attacks […]

Like a magic growing animal capsule of the technological apocalypse (Blueprints of the Afterlife)

Blueprints of the Afterlife by Ryan Boudinot Blueprints is a strange book, non-linear and bewildering.  It tells the story of the fall of civilization in a war between humans and robots, but also of a monstrous glacier that traveled around North America, ripping cities up wholesale, and of a secret cabal that maybe made it […]

Changing the story: on plot moments that rewrite a series

Spoiler alert This week’s episode of Castle had the usual formula for the non-serious episodes of the show: murder, something funny or weird is discovered, Castle imagines a bunch of amusing plots, it all works out in the end.  The amusing plot this time around was time travel.  Quick plot summary: Joshua Gomez (Morgan from […]

Comics roundup: Nemo’s daughter, a cross-breed alien baby, a man of stone, and six bedeviled guns

A brief roundup of the comics I read in August and September (and the first couple days of October):    Nemo: Heart of ice – Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill Moore and O’Neill’s side story about Captain Nemo’s daughter is a refreshing addition to the League world.  The art continues in its spindly glory, with […]

I just can’t love you… because of HER! (Piccolo theater’s hilarious production of THE MYSTERY OF IRMA VEP)

Jenny and I went to see the Piccolo theatre’s comedic romp The Mystery of Irma Vep last weekend, and boy was it a blast.  The play loosely follows the tale of a troubled Lord, his new bride, the crusty housekeeper, and the jaunty groundskeeper.  The central plot is Rebecca, with healthy doses of Wuthering Heights and […]

Steampunk Snail Men and their Blood Gods

A Red Sun Also Rises by Mark Hodder Aidan is a settled churchman in Victorian England who finds himself running away to be a missionary, encouraged in part by his outcast companion Clarissa.  They arrive in the Southern Pacific only to be whisked away to another world filled with grotesque snail-men and horrible squid-people (whom […]