Review: Blame

Review: Blame

What do you get when you cross Gregory Benford’s Great Sky River with a spaghetti western? Blame. A brief voiceover gives us the setting. In the far, *far* future where humanity lost the ability to communicate with the city it constructed, that they lived in, and so the city deemed them illegal residents, and began to exterminate humanity. Our story starts generations later. An aside. Yes. Given the word choice, I’m sure some people would love to make it about the current immigration kerfluffle, but keep in mind this is a Japanese comic from 20-30 years ago, and…

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How Reviews SHOULD Be Written

How Reviews SHOULD Be Written

I stand in awe. As I already commented the other day, “this review makes me want to watch the movie.“ What movie? King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. Yeah, that. Saw the trailers and it looked like a hacked together bit of CGI with little respect for the source material or the viewer. Saw go read the whole review, but I’ll give you a taste – for I’m utterly floored, and applaud, the writing, and sheer enthusiasm that comes off the page. Ritchie does not mess about (this will be a theme).  The movie opens with 200-foot tall olyphants…

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Review: The Unexpected Enlightenment of Rachel Griffin

Review: The Unexpected Enlightenment of Rachel Griffin

I normally would not pick up a YA book. But John C Wright is a fantastically literate and aware author who’s integrity in making recommendations I trust, and in posts and comments his wife, L. Jagi Lamplighter, has been warm, very well spoken, and insightful. So I decided to give her book, The Unexpected Enlightenment of Rachel Griffin, a shot. The short version is that I am very glad I did. From Amazon: Nestled amidst the beauty of New York’s Hudson Highlands and hidden from the eyes of the Unwary, Roanoke Academy is a place of magic and…

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Review: Take the Star Road (The Maxwell Saga) book 1

Review: Take the Star Road (The Maxwell Saga) book 1

While I’ve long seen him around the Mad Genius Club environs and have enjoyed the posts at his own site, I had not read anything of Peter Grant’s until the western Brings the Lightning, and Take the Star Road is, after all this time, only the second book of his I’ve read. Steve Maxwell is an orphan, born on a deeply socialist earth that is in danger, due to most of the smarter and more driven (K-selected?) people leaving for other colonies, of becoming a backwater. Despite the reverence still held for “Old Home Earth” – the signs…

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Review: The Stars Came Back, by Rolf Nelson

Review: The Stars Came Back, by Rolf Nelson

Helton Strom isn’t having a good day. Or week for that matter. A teacher who can’t get the job he wants as pilot (even managing to break the simulator while testing), he decides to take a break to help out his sister, he then has his citizenship and job stripped from him, and is left adrift with nothing to do. To make matters worse, the ship has been hijacked by pirates, and he, and the passengers, have been stranded on a desert planet, to be used as slaves. Little did he know things were already looking up. First…

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Review: Oath of Fealty

Review: Oath of Fealty

Pournelle is one of my personal heroes. While I might argue that Dan Simmons or Gene Wolfe are better prose stylists, that Larry or Ringo can capture me with the chaotic rush of their stories and their wonderful characters, or that Wright can floor me with the scope of his vision and the direct poetry of his words, I keep coming back to Pournelle. His editorship of There Will be War that I stumbled into while in middle school, was a turning point in my life. Finding a battered copy of the Mercenary on a library sale spinner was another…

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I Forgot One Thing - Name of the Wind.

I Forgot One Thing - Name of the Wind.

Since I was covering “well crafted crap” yesterday, I forgot one book that stands out as a rare work I haven’t finished, no matter how fine the prose, briefly mentioned in my gushing over John Ringo’s Monster Hunter Memoirs: Grunge. Holy shit did I get sick of Kvothe – to the point I had to look up his name because I have him tagged mentally as “whiny selfish Marty Stu asshole gamma victim” the character so revolted me. I think I stopped somewhere at the point he was getting kicked out of the magic school or something. God he…

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Building a Better Groundhog Day

Building a Better Groundhog Day

It’s pretty easy to make fun of Tom Cruise – especially with the whole couch -jumping incident and his Scientology issues, but he actually can act. He’s also in two of the better recent science fiction films I’d seen: Oblivion, and* Edge of Tomorrow*. Edge of Tomorrow suffered from a lot of issues at the studio level. No-one seemed to have any idea how to market it, and the Japanese short-novel the concept was borrowed from had an even less descriptive title (All You Need is Kill).  It almost seemed that the tag line “Live, Die, Repeat” was…

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