I’m not sure how I feel about the Hobbit trilogy of movies. At times they seem to bleed together and not break any knew ground, but that’s not to say they aren’t well done. Visually they are stunning, but sometimes I feel the movies are a little light on plot. And maybe I’m old school, but I’ll take good story over awesome visual effects any day.

AGoTIt took me most of the summer, but I was finally able to read and finish George R. R. Martin‘s A Game of Thrones. Ever since the show premiered on HBO now almost five years ago, I had wanted to read the books but was a little intimidated because each individual book was so massive and I was also afraid that I might like the writing style – nothing frustrates a reader more than committing to a book and getting a couple of hundred pages into it only to discover that you don’t find the plot engaging or can’t stand the writing style. To make a long story short on that front, not only was the book’s plot just as gripping as the shows, the writing was superb. I won’t rehash the plot here because the show does do – for the first book at least – it justice, but what I will say is that if you ever have the chance to read the book, I would, even if it is 800 plus pages long.

Rating: 5/5

planetplanetplanetplanetplanet

20011Even for a generation-x’er such as myself, I grew up and idolized Arthur C. Clarke, especially the 2001 series of books, which is why I was somewhat intrigued when I read that the Syfy channel was not only making a mini-series out of 3001, but also making a movie(?) out of Childhood’s End. I say intrigued because the Syfy channel has been batting a thousand lately in putting out crap in terms of both movies and television shows. So it remains to be seen if either of these projects will see the light of day, especially since the Syfy channel has pledged to put out more science fiction related content but has yet to really act on that promise.

Source: Here

to_marry_medusaBeyond wedding planning which has taken up more time than I care to think about in the past year (especially the last two months), I have been able to sneak in some reading – but not much – and yet I have remained diligent in checking the kindle daily deals on Amazon, and as of the middle part of the summer, they have some great titles. I have also added some titles to my Kindle library that were not on sale, but great titles none the less.

The first notable addition is To Marry Medusa by Theodore Sturgeon. From the first time I read the description on Amazon I knew I was hooked - “First, Dan eats the spore, then, the spore eats Dan.”  I knew that this book was worth purchasing, and at a $1.99 you can’t go wrong.

icehengeNext is Icehenge by Kin Stanley Robinson. This book I had as a paperback edition but I was delighted to find it as a Kindle. The book surrounds the discovery of a Stonehenge-like construction on Pluto…only ten times the size. Yeah, you don’t need much more bait than that to pull me in…

Next I bought an assortment of Star Wars comics and science fiction collections that I hope will do their job in being quick and easy reads, considering my time in the past six months or so has been very limited. I have finished a few of the comics and while they weren’t great, they were horrible either. I have yet to read the science fiction anthologies, but as I have read many such anthologies in the past, I know they can be hit or miss, so I’ll just have to wait and see. Some of the recent titles purchased were Star Wars: Tales Volume 1-4, and The Year’s Best SF 7911.

On top of everything else, I have even managed to read 150 pages of John Scalzi‘s The Human Division.

 

Marriage, it’s also what prevents one from updating their blog in a timely fashion.

TheSheepLookUpI 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?

ghost_brigadesWord 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 WarGhost 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.

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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.

Niven-A Hole in Space (Futura, 1975)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…”

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