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{ Category Archives } SciFi

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 […]

Just a geek

Just a Geek: Unflinchingly honest tales of the search for life, love, and fulfillment beyond the Starship Enterprise by Wil Wheaton I don’t read Wil Wheaton’s blog, and I’ve only recently come back into orbit with his work.  It started when I went to w00tstock 2.0 in Chicago a couple years ago.  Then I started […]

Should someone’s politics influence your enjoyment of their art? (The Ender’s Game conundrum)

I acknowledge up front that nothing I say here will be particularly revelatory if you have been following or thinking about this story for very long. Books and movies you encounter during your formative years often get a pass on critical thinking, at least they do for me.  I’m fond of a number of movies […]

Superman

Superman: The High-Flying History of America’s Most Enduring Hero by Larry Tye; narrated by Scott Brick Tye tells the story of Superman through three lenses.  First, the tale of two young Jewish men in the 1930s who wanted to make comics.  Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster were a comic writing team (though Tye very much […]

Tired of Waiting to Enjoy the book

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger The Time Traveler’s Wife follows the oddly entangled romance of Henry and Clare, a couple destined for love but forced to endure Henry’s strange genetic disorder, which sends him hurtling backwards in time with little control over himself or  knowledge of where he’s going.  Fortunately, one of his […]

Let’s boo boo! A few thoughts on The World’s End

The World’s End Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright have written their third movie together, the end of what they’ve dubbed the Cornetto trilogy (Cornetto being the British equivalent of the American Drumstick ice cream treat).  It tells the story of Gary King, a burnout whose best moments came and went in high school, trying to […]

Humans, Robots, and the Future: Oblivion and Pacific Rim

I saw two science fiction films in the last month: Oblivion and Pacific Rim.  Both films explore humankind on the brink of extinction, but where one focuses on a single person and his experience uncovering those dangers, the other has giant robots punching giant squiddy monsters. Oblivion follows the harrowing adventures of a technician and […]

Rule 34

Rule 34 by Charles Stross Stross’ follow up to Halting State walks the precarious line between being a too-close sequel and different enough to be entertaining.  Rule 34 follows the continuing adventures of Liz Kavanaugh, former homicide investigator for Ediburough CID whose career was derailed and has landed in the Rule 34 squad, charged with […]

Sad Robot Stories: A Novella

Sad Robot Stories: a novella by Mason Johnson The title of this novella reads ambiguously.  Is this a collection of stories about a sad robot, or are these sad stories about a robot or robots? As my father used to say–Yes. Johnson’s book follows the adventures of Robot, an outsider among his own kind, as […]