I seem to be reading a lot of books featuring a crew of rag tag, Firefly-esque, semi criminal ne’er-do-wells on a ramshackle but lovable ship, headed by a charismatic roguish Captain. By a lot, I mean two series. The Tales of the Ketty Jay by Chris Wooding is a steampunk series (my review of Retribution Falls, book one, is here) and Dark Run by Mike Brooks, which is a rip-roaring space opera.
Both are great! Buy them. Review done.
Ok, a tiny bit more.
Brief Synopsis of Dark Run:
When Captain Ichabod Drift has someone from his past hire him for a ridiculously well paid caper – a “Dark Run” smuggling job – he has some reservations but it is not only a good deal, it is also a situation he can’t really refuse for a variety of *spoiler* reasons. When things inevitably work out differently from planned, he and his motley crew have to embark on a series of dangerous but terribly exciting exploits.
I won’t give anything else away.
I really enjoyed Dark Run, an impressive debut novel from Mike Brooks and look forward to the rest of the series. It must suck to constantly be compared to Firefly or even shows like Dark Matter, but I read an interview with Brooks and he fully admitted Firefly fandom, so it’s ok. The characters are great and the story is fun. If you like all the references I have been banging on about throughout this review, then you will like Dark Run. I did.
Star Trek has been on our screens for 50 glorious years. I love Trek and have seen every episode of every series with the exception of most of Enterprise. Which is on Netflix and on my list as it apparently gets pretty good. Sorry Enterprise… For quite big chunk of my youth, there was only the original series with James T Kirk, Leonard “Bones” McCoy, Spock, Uhura, Chekov, Scotty and Sulu. Plus a variety of sexy ladies in mini-skirts and male canon-fodder in red shirts. Then there were the movies. I was about 15 when Next Generation came out and therefore about 17 when that started to get good.
I could go on and on about Star Trek but as someone who writes a science fiction website, it is predictable that I would love it. So I wanted to post something Star Trek related. I saw this clip entitled “10 things Dr Leonard McCoy is not” and thought I would jump on the celebratory bandwagon. Thanks to one of my favourite websites www.io9.com for the clip. Happy 50th Trek.
Someone on Twitter asked the legendary Kyle MacLachlan to explain Dune. I assume it was meant as a laugh because Twitter is somewhat limited when it comes to giving explanations or descriptions. MacLachlan is always good value in everything I have ever seen him in. When I was young, he was the character that interacts with a cast of weirder characters – which, given that he was in a lot of David Lynch stuff, was some real weirdness. I’m talking about stuff like Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks, and Dune.
Nowadays he plays the off-centre characters in things like How I Met Your Mother and Agents of SHIELD and is always fun. What I am trying to say is, I’m a MachLachlan fan. Now if you haven’t read the book of Dune, you should. It is superb and I reviewed it here. The film caught a lot of flack but I loved it. Possibly because I was on a lot of spice back then, or maybe I am just peculiar. If you have read the book or seen the movie, then you will appreciate the genius of what he did – you can really follow the story.
Here, in emoji, is Kyle MacLachlan’s Dune. I hope this becomes a new fad.
Good old Jar Jar Binks, the annoyance that keeps on giving. Spoof trailers, theories about him being a Sith, he is a meme that reminds us of how bad things can get when you resort to slapstick for humour. Binks is the Inspector Clouseau of the Star Wars universe – the Steve Martin version obviously, Peter Sellers was great. But the memes and parodies are funny. I think so anyway and in this corner of cyberspace, I am in charge.
Without further waffle meesa gives you Rogue Binks:
I should start this post by stating that THIS IS NOT REAL. Sadly, there is no animated Firefly series in production. An artist called Stephen Byrne did it as a labour of love and to generally raise and dash the hopes of Firefly fans everywhere. Which is a shame as this trailer looks great and I want to see it.
I bloody love Firefly and still get annoyed when I see any show I don’t like that has gone to a second series. If it was made now, I suspect it would have survived as special effects are cheaper these days. I say that based on having no idea what I am talking about. If you haven’t seen the original series, unlikely if you are reading this, you are missing out on life.
This has been all over my social media feed but I feel that if enough people witter on about it, then maybe it will happen. Now watch the trailer, weep, then complain loudly all over the internet that it isn’t a thing. Enjoy.
I had been meaning to read Old Man’s War for about a decade now and am hugely glad that I finally got round to it. I knew (from what friends have said) that it was going to be a little bit like Heinlein’s Starship Troopers mixed with a bit of Haldeman’s The Forever War but as both of those books were superb, it shouldn’t be a problem. And it really wasn’t.
Old Man’s War by John Scalzi was published in 2005 but happily it could have been written last week – the ideas are still fresh and abundant. There are more to the series but it works as a standalone, so don’t worry if you don’t want to launch into something too involved.
The premise is this – when you are 65 you can apply to join the Colonial Defence Forces (space marines) and when you are 75 you actually join. What happens then is a secret but it is generally believed, for obvious reasons, that you are made young again.
The story starts with a guy called John Perry who is 75 and after visiting his wife’s grave, he joins up. This isn’t a spoiler, it is the first line of the book. Given the comparisons between Old Man’s War and the other two novels I mentioned, it is clear that he goes on to see combat. I won’t give any more plot away.
The book isn’t just space marines shooting the shit out of tons of aliens. That does happen, but the aliens are massively varied and the battles are fun. There are a multitude of other themes explored however – longevity, space travel and it’s implications, relationships, and questions about whether you can morally justify shooting the shit out of tons of aliens. John Scalzi is chock full of ideas and he scatters them liberally throughout.
I loved Old Man’s War. I read it in two days and then immediately bought the sequel. It is a fairly quick read but it is immensely fun, exciting, touching, and well thought out. I don’t read much military science fiction but this was full of ideas and was entertainingly written. If you hate the sub-genre then move along, otherwise I highly recommend it.
Due to all the negative reviews, I missed Batman vs Superman in the cinema and ended up watching the ultimate 3-hour edition at home. I think I was so prepared for disappointment that I actually really enjoyed it. I have heard the longer edition is the better one, so maybe I lucked out. I was also pleased to have all my doubts about Battfleck swept away – Affleck is a superb Batman.
So this new Justice League footage isn’s supposed to be a trailer, but I have included in today’s post Comic-Con trailerfest because it looks and acts exactly like a trailer. It also looks pretty cool with all the leads looking right for their respective roles.
No more waffle, the final entry in my trailer bonanza is the Justice League trail- I mean assembled footage.
The Scifi Ward trailerfest continues. This is the second Doctor Strange trailer, so possibly not so exciting as the others. However, I saw this trailer in 3D IMAX yesterday and it looked superb. Also, the Doctor Strange comics were brilliant, so I am really looking forward to this one.
For the next instalment of the Scifi Ward trailerfest, we have Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. Like Kong, this has been done several times before but there are quite a few angle’s you can take with the tale. King Arthur was basically a set of legends after all. Also, Guy Ritchie has quite a fun style, as you can see from the trailer. Enjoy:
The trailerfest continues with Kong: Skull Island. This could also be fun but I am not that bothered about King Kong. I love the ‘lost world’ idea, with dinosaurs and crazy tribes, but a giant creature trashing stuff has already been done pretty well from quite a few different angles – King Kong, Godzilla, Cloverfield, Transformers, Pacific Rim, and so on. Hopefully there will be a new twist.