Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky won the Arthur C Clarke award last year and deservedly so. It’s bloody great and the kind of ideas-based science fiction that Clarke used to write.

The story is essentially two strands – one human and one spider (really smart spider). Here is the basic premise:

A planet is terraformed and there is a virus that ‘uplifts’ the life on it. Then things go wrong and spiders start to become the dominant form of life and are able to pass on knowledge and genetics. Meanwhile, humans arrive and then have a bit of a journey and then…

It is quite hard to tell the synopsis without giving much away. Needless to say, the story is set over thousands of years yet has two main protagonists throughout – a human who is frequently frozen and woken, and a spider who passes memories and genetic traits down to offspring and is basically the same character.

Both strands are basically a struggle for a survival until they inevitably meet.

I know the story sounds a bit strange but I loved this book and have no hesitation in recommending it highly. Children of Time is epic scifi that tackles big themes of deities and existence while still being pretty cool and fun. Give it a go, it is really cheap on kindle at time of writing. Recommended.

Star Trek TNG Honest Trailer

In case you haven’t heard of Honest Trailers, you should check them out on YouTube and thank me later. They do hilarious reviews of movies, games, TV shows and more. They are part of the Screen Junkies channel which has a lot of great stuff. I have now seen nearly all of the Honest Trailers but they are still a fun YouTube rabbit hole to spend an hour in.

On the 20th anniversary of Star Trek – The Next Generation they did a special one. It is 8 minutes long and bloody funny if you are cool enough to be a Trekkie. Here you go. Engage! (Sorry but it had to be done.)

 

 

Pegg and Frost do Star Wars

This short film is quite old (2009) but I somehow missed it and it made me laugh. Basically, while filming the movie Paul, Simon Pegg and best bud Nick Frost decided to recreate Star Wars scene by scene. Or at least that is what the blurb says. They were probably just in a desert and felt like having a laugh. The result is this short but funny scene.

Pegg and Frost apparently met over a love of Star Wars and they are always great to watch. This is essentially funny fanboys arguing in a desert. Enjoy.

Star Wars Battlefront 2

This trailer has just come out and I am cautiously excited. Unlike quite a lot of people, I really enjoyed Star Wars Battlefront. Even rarer, I loved the space battles but that was possibly because I was actually pretty good at it, unlike the normal sections. The peak of it all was the X Wing VR mission which makes me smile just thinking about it.

This video shows a lot more of what will be happening in the new Battlefront and how much more huge and generally epic everything is going to be. Plus it has John Boyega to make it feel even more Star Wars-y.

Star Wars Battlefront 2 has an official release date of 17th November 2017. Should I hold out for Christmas or impulse buy? I will trust my feelings…

 

Blade Runner 2049 – 2036 Nexus Dawn short film

I have been trying, mostly unsuccessfully, to curb my excitement for the upcoming Blade Runner 2049 movie. This is made considerably more difficult when they go and make short movies like “2036 Nexus Dawn”. It is one of a few short films that Villeneuve commissioned/asked people to make. It is essentially backstory that is happily also marketing. It stars Jared Leto as Niander Wallace and he is suitably creepy. I liked it, so thought I would share.

Over to you Mr Villeneuve:

Visual guide to the Expanse

I have made no secret about the fact that I think the Expanse is bloody great. I am currently in that painful period between both Expanse books and TV series. It has given me more time to do other things with my life, I guess, but it still sucks.

Anyway. Because I am a fan and the internet these days knows everything about me, I get sent a lot of Expanse related material and came across a nice little infographic guide thingy. In case you are solely ensconced in the TV show and have short term memory I thought it could be handy. The books are now a lot more complicated and would require something colossal! This is well done and has also has a cool title. Go Rocinante!

Time related short stories

The-Uneven-Passage-of-Time-cover-finalI plugged my superb travel book over at The Word of Ward the other day, so I thought I might as well plug my Science Fiction short story collection here. The Uneven Passage of Time is a small, inexpensive collection of stories that revolve around the theme of time. And the passage through it.

So if you’re reading this and you haven’t bought The Uneven Passage of Time then give it a go! It’s cheap! Then leave a review! It’s fun! Here’s the blurb:

Time, famously, is relative. In this trio of short stories journalist and fiction writer, Jason R. Ward looks at three individuals and their unorthodox journeys through time. These entertaining tales blend the themes of psychology and perception with classic science fiction.

Stephen Hawking once sent out dinner invitations to all future time travellers. No one turned up. But what if one had? In ‘A Date to Remember’ a young physicist is convinced he has worked out the secret to building a time travel device. Lacking the resources to construct the machine he sets a time and date for a meeting with his future self.

It is a truism that people remember the big events in life and forget the repetitive. For most people, their year skips by unnoticed, punctuated by birthdays, world events, big personal milestones or traumatic events. As you age life seems to speed up and you find that the years seem to fly past. ‘As Time Goes By’ is the story of Frank Gilbert who is experiencing this to the extreme. His time seems to be accelerating at an abnormal rate. Years of his repetitive life seem to go by in days. Can he break the cycle in time?

The final and longest short story is ‘The Man Who Loved Statues’. Captain Michael Pike is a man who has taken a bit of hammering in life. With nothing much to live for he volunteers for an experiment that is going to attempt to alter his passage through time and put him in stasis. Things don’t go quite according to plan.

#3 Science Fiction Short Stories
#7 Short Stories

So there you go. In case I haven’t linked to it enough, here are some more:

Game of Thrones impressions by Scheiffer Bates

In case you are ridiculously out of touch with the world and didn’t know, we are back in Game of Thrones season. Good times! I until the other day I had never heard of Scheiffer Bates and his GOT impressions, possibly because I too am out of touch with the world – he is actually quite well known and has even been on Jimmy Kimmel. The man is great. He has other videos on his youtube channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/ScheifferBates) but if you want a clip while waiting for the next episode, here are some superb impressions. Take it away Scheiffer Bates:

Thor Ragnarok Official Trailer

The Thor Ragnarok trailers really are some of the best things on the internet right now. This one has been around for a couple of days and already has over 20 million views. Three of them are from me, but that is still pretty impressive and this one doesn’t even have a Led Zeppelin soundtrack.

The film seems to be set almost entirely off Earth, possibly setting the groundwork for crossovers with Guardians of the Galaxy and linking to the upcoming Infinity War. Marvel is just being awesome right now and pumping out movies I have really, really enjoyed. Both Ruffalo and Hemsworth have great comic timing and this looks a lot of fun. It was initially supposed to come out in July but now it seems like it will be October, which is a shame. Anyway, here is the Thor Ragnarok official trailer. Enjoy:

 

Game of Thrones Seasons 1 to 6 recap

Game of Thrones season 7 is back on air tomorrow night on HBO and will be downloaded by most of the planet an hour later. (Not me, I hasten to add.) I was toying with rewatching seasons 1 to 6 but I am currently in the middle of rewatching all of Twin Peaks so just don’t have the time. Thankfully there are a lot of people on the internet who do have the time and have compiled a handy recap.

So without further ado, here is everything that happened: