I bought this book on amazon just on a whim. I had heard of John Brunner before and I had even heard of his novel Stand on Zanzibar, but beyond the name I knew little about his work. And then just by coincidence I happen to read the entry about John Brunner in The Mammoth Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, and more specifically The Sheep Look Up and this is what I read: “The novel is a depressing warning of the foolishness of inaction.” The book deals with a coming human extinction as a result of rampant pollution, a scenario that is more and more real in our world everyday. Needless to say, I was intrigeed and quickly put this book on my list of possible books to read in the near future.
Like millions of other people in the past three years, I have become a HUGE Game of Thrones fan. I was even reading the first book as I was watching last seasons episode, a perfect storm for A Game of Thrones overdose. Then I came across this video about a portion of the book that was left out of the series and has significant meaning, especially in the area of Who is Jon Snow’s mother?
Word has it that there are lots of new science fiction shows coming to you television, chief among them is the news that The Old Man’s War by John Scalzi is one of them. I read The Old Man’s War, Ghost Brigades and The Last Colony three or four years ago now and instantly fell in love with them, so the fact that there are being made into a TV show I think is great news. The bad news is that this TV series will be on the SyFy channel which has a habit of producing good guilty science fiction television and then cancelling it when the ratings dip. However, word has it that the producers who cancelled Stargate: Universe – a great series – have been show the door.
Also, a The Walking Dead spin-off is also in the works and coming to AMC. In related news, Robert Kirkman, creator of The Walking Dead, has another show coming to television called Clones. And related to the above news, Scalzi has a show coming to FX related to his novel Redshirts.
All-in-all, if these shows are half as good as the books I think it will be an exciting next couple of years for science fiction television.
It has been months since my last rant about Hollywood, so I was thinking this morning that it’s time to rail against something Hollywood. No sooner had I thought that than I noticed how Transformers: Age of Extinction is simply making a killing at the box office. What’s more interesting about that is the fact that the critics hate it – hate it! – and have called the movie every negative thing under the Sun. And people are still flocking to go see it. I guess it’s best that I’m not some big shot in Hollywood because I would be doing things all differently, and most likely, as a result, I would go broke and be driven out in mere months…but at least in those months Hollywood would be putting out quality Science Fiction. So ends my rant.
First I need to start off by saying that I’m a huge Larry Niven fan, even though there is much of his works that I have yet to read. So when a friend gave me A Hole in Space, I was thankful and very excited to read the back cover, as this was a book of his I had not heard of. The description on the back is of a story that is not unlike a story that I have had floating in the back of my mind – although I never put pen to paper regarding this idea, and now it looks like I never will since Niven has beat me to the punch by forty years. The back cover describes a cryogenically preserved human being that is brought by to life, not when a cure for his disease is found, but when his consciousnesses (or physical brain) is simply put into another body. But there is a catch: he must pilot “a star ship to eternity…”
My first ereader which I purchased about three years ago was a nook. When I got it I wasn’t sold on the idea that the ereaders would amount to anything. It was hard for me to understand the appeal, especially in light that I could find almost any book that I wanted – old or new – at my local Goodwill. It might take some time, but the hunt is part of the fun. However, after a while my nook grew on me and I must say that when I went on vacation and was away from my vast personal library, having several dozen books in a thing that took up very little space in my suitcase was very convenient. I liked my nook so much, in fact, that when the nook HD+ came out I bought it right away. Like my first nook, I was immediately hooked on my HD+, but the problem was that neither were especially light to hold and read like you would a normal book. On a whim, I bought a refurbished Kindle Paperwhite and immediately fell in love with it. It’s light and, most importantly, readable in the sun. With summer coming, I’m enjoying the nights where I can sit out on my porch and read without my arm getting tired holding a heavy ereader. At the moment I’m reader A Game of Thrones.
There, that’s my two sense about my latest tech purchase.
I would like to take a minute and talk about what this blogs means to me. I haven’t posted on here as much as I would like, but that doesn’t mean that I’ve forgotten or don’t sincerely appreciate what this blog has done for me over the years. You see, I started this blog as an attempt to write more, consistently and as often as I could, but I have to admit that the first time I put pen to paper (metaphorically speaking of course) I was terrified that my writing would be met with harsh criticism. In part, this is what I wanted, although I think what I was truly afraid of was the internet equivalent of being booed off stage or pelted with fruit. However, since I started this whole experiment it has been anything but. Today, I have become more comfortable in my own skin and rarely think about how something I write will be received out there in the blogshere, which is, in part, one the goals I had in mind upon starting this blog. I guess what I’m trying to say is thank you. Thank you world and internet at large for helping me at least get this far.
I have come to learn that it takes a lot of planning and…planning if you want to write a good story. Plot is a part of it, but so to is character development. And a good plot is built by character conflict however, many other characters go into writing a story, like knowing what in the hell you’re talking about. I have many science fiction ideas that I have floating around in my head, but not until I picked up this book did I realize that I know very little about space or even traveling in space, and I realized this only after I was reading just a few pages of the book, so I’m glad I picked it up and look forward to learning all the things that I thought I knew but I guess now I know I didn’t. Beyond that Ben Bova is one of my favorite authors and I look forward to reading this book because of that reason alone.
I found this article totally by accident and thought that I would share. It is basically a list of movies that are scheduled to be released next year (2015). I won’t go off on any rants about Hollywood (again), because the truth is that I’m looking forward to seeing some of the movies. Included in the list are Terminator 5, Jurassic World (Jurassic Park IV), Batman & Superman, and Independence Day 2.
I also came across a list of movies that have, apparently, been stuck in development for…forever. Surprisingly, on this list is Rendezvous with Rama which I didn’t even know was being made into a movie.
So as soon as I heard that this book was being made into a television series and then read the description, I went out and bought it. Same cover and everything. I had always been fascinated by Pohl’s books from reading the back cover but have never gotten around to reading one. The ancient alien that has left stuff around for humanity to find and try and figure out isn’t a new idea, but from the praise I have heard from Pohl’s fan, it sounds like Gateway will surely be a fun ride.