Mawrth Valliis by EPHK has a gimmick: all of the dialog is in the “original Martian”, so you have to infer the story from the illustrations. However, nothing in the book itself actually explains the conceit; instead, all context is left to whatever marketing materials you’ve read before cracking the cover.
Sticking with a recent theme, Black Star is minimalist sci-fi, focusing on characters caught in a deadly conflict. In this case, my favorite part of the book was the art. The story was straightforward enough, but the main character spends all her time doing terrible things for the sake of no one but herself.
Fata Morgana by Steven R. Boyett and Ken Mitchroney Published: June 13, 2017 Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc. Genre(s): Adventure, War, Science Fiction Format: Audiobook Length: 12 hrs and 9 mins I think what drew me to Fata Morgana was the promise of an old-fashioned adventure with a bit of romance: a WW2 bomber plane flies … Read more
LIFEL1K3 is the rare book that I mostly enjoyed until the end soured me on the whole thing. It’s a mash-up of a lot of genres and tropes, which gives it a certain amount of madcap charm, but it squanders that good will with some draggy pacing, an overload of teenage angst, and a final twist that feels like a gotcha moment designed only for shock value. It’s also overstuffed with plot and world-building, so it’s almost impossible to summarize succinctly.
First, some caveats about this review of the new Barbarella comic written by Mike Carey: I’ve never seen the Jane Fonda movie, so I watched the trailer to get a feel for it because it felt like a necessary entry point.
I also read the first volume of the classic comics by Jean-Claude Forest so that I’d have a baseline to compare against the rebooted series. From a writing standpoint, I’d say that the two versions of Barbarella are on close to equal footing, but the art in the modern version just does not do the character justice.
Paper Girls feels like a forgotten 1980s adventure that piles on the subversive twists. They don’t make movies like that anymore, let alone ones this weird. I think the technical term here is “box office poison,” and yet I’d love to see Paper Girls up on the big screen. It begs for the kind of lovingly nostalgic adaptation that could only work with modern special effects and sensibilities.
Trees has a simple premise and a massive scope. It asks: what would happen if aliens invaded Earth and then completely ignored humanity?
Armada is Ernest Cline’s pitch for a Last Starfighter reboot, tailor-made for the inevitable blockbuster film adaptation. It improves on the movie in a number of ways but introduces new problems of its own; although it is more grounded and believable than the original, the plotting is slapdash and the pop culture references are overwhelming.
In The Bunker, five friends decide to bury a time capsule in the woods, only to find the titular bunker when they start digging. Once inside the bunker, they discover letters from their future selves, who somehow sent a bunker full of evidence back in time to warn their younger selves about the impending apocalypse they will have a part in causing. It turns out this innocuous-looking group of young people includes a future president, a soon-to-be brilliant scientist and several other eventual movers-and-shakers. Heavy stuff for a bunch of recent college grads, no?
Gamification and C-Monkeys by Keith Hollihan Published: October 22nd 2013 Publisher: ChiZine Publications Genre(s): Thriller, Science Fiction Format: eBook Length: 280 pages Gamification and C-Monkeys are a pair of related novellas sold together as a “flip book” with a different cover on each side. The effect is clearly meant as a call-back to days when … Read more
Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie Published: October 1, 2013 Publisher: Orbit Genre(s): Science Fiction, Space Opera Format: Paperback/eBook Length: 410 pages Ancillary Justice is science fiction crammed full to the brim with wild ideas. The main character, Breq, is an “ancillary soldier” cut off from her ship for almost twenty years, but she isn’t exactly … Read more
Published: October 28, 2010 Publisher: Orbit Genre(s): Science Fiction Format: Paperback Length: 560 pages Version 43 is a weird book. If the reviews on Goodreads and elsewhere are any indication, it’s the sort of book that inspires polarizing reactions. It’s long at over 500 pages. It’s gory, vulgar and occasionally squick-inducing even though it isn’t … Read more
Published: April 23, 2013 Publisher: IDW Publishing Genre(s): Graphic Novel, Science Fiction Format: Paperback Length: 120 pages My only exposure to Judge Dredd is the 2012 movie starring Karl Urban and Olivia Thirlby, which I understand stays true to the comic while telling a pretty badass little crime story. I only watched it a week … Read more