King Arthur: Legend of the Sword trailer 2

I was fairly curious about this film as the first trailer seemed quite fun and King Arthur is generally an enjoyable legend. As a science fiction fan I am also obviously into fantasy, swords and magic etc, because that is just the way the universe works.

The best film about Arthur is Monty Python and the Holy Grail (Special Edition), followed by John Boorman’s Excalibur, but there is certainly room for more. I even enjoyed Clive Owen as Arthur. Some of Guy Ritchie’s films are better than others but they are all pretty watchable.

So this is King Arthur: Legend of the Sword’s second trailer and this one uses Led Zeppelin’s music. Zeppelin rule, so it is a better trailer than the first. I remember reading a couple of years ago that this film was the first of a series but I guess the studio is hedging its bets on that front. Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy) stars and it comes out 12th May 2017. Here’s the trailer:

The Dark Tower 1: The Gunslinger

I am a bit late to the party with Stephen King’s Dark Tower series. So late in fact, that he finished the series and then went back and rewrote book one – The Gunslinger – to make it fit in better.

The Gunslinger and the whole Dark Tower series is set in a post apocalyptic world. It is also, as you may have guessed from the title, the cover, and everything ever mentioned about it, a Western. But with magic and weird shit going on. The setting is pretty unique and with a lot of scope for adventure and shenanigans.

The first book is basically the story of the eponymous Gunslinger as he chases a magic man across a desert and through some hills. In fact the story can be summed up by the awesome opening line:

“The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.”

Obviously more happens than this or it would be a tad dull. Which It most definitely is not. The characters, especially Roland Deschain (the gunslinger), are pretty cool. I did find they lacked a bit of depth but this is possibly to create mystery and allow for revelation later on. King described the series as a mixture of Sergio Leone’s ‘Man with no name’ trilogy mixed with Lord of the Rings and Arthurian legends. Which is a damn fine mix.

As you can see from the picture above and may have read in the news, this is soon going to be a movie with Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey – which is a superb bit of casting although I had Clint Eastwood in my head when I read it, for obvious reasons. Elba will be great in the role though.

I have waffled enough! I liked the Gunslinger a lot and have already bought the next one in the series. Stephen King has finished the series and they all got good reviews, so there is none of the concern you may get when launching into an epic series that is still underway (I’m looking at you, Game of Thrones). Enjoy.

You can get it on Amazon here:

Guardians of the Galaxy 2 Super Bowl and full trailer

Recently there was an event in America where they have the year’s most expensive adverts and a show by a celebrity. I think some kind of sport happens too, I missed it. But I didn’t miss the obvious highlight, which was some new footage and a one minute trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy 2. I haven’t been this excited since Star Wars Rogue One and that was totally justified.

The first film immediately became one of my all time favourite movies, so this has a lot to live up to. This clip has the new one minute trailer and, in case you haven’t repeatedly watched it recently, the full length trailer. Guardians of the Galaxy 2 looks awesome and I am almost as excited about the soundtrack. Enjoy.

The Expanse season 2 starts February 1st

The Expanse season 2 is due to kick off with a double episode premiere on the 1st of February. I am currently reading Babylon’s Ashes: Book six of the Expanse, so I am clearly a bit of a fan.

Season 1 was great, although I understand why some people found it a bit slow to start off with. The book was a bit like that too but when it gets going it is great. The first season just dealt with the events of the first half of book one, so there is a lot of exciting stuff still to come. If you haven’t read the books or seen the first series, I highly recommend you do both. The whole Expanse series of books by James S.A. Corey are a cracking read and I hope they carry on for decades.

There are quite a few Expanse trailers around, including a bizarre recap of season one using cats (seriously). This trailer came out a month ago but is bloody superb and should whet your appetite. I will be doing all I can to publicise the show because if another Firefly scenario happens, I don’t think I can recover. I’m officially very excited.

Cooperworld

I wrote a long short story called Cooperworld. Or a short novella. Whatever. It is 17,000 words. I haven’t promoted my stuff for ages and is a new year, so why the hell not, I have had a lot of new readers recently. It is science fiction, but it is more philosophical than a lot of my stuff and it deals with life and reality and deep things of that nature. It is also a bit of a laugh. (I think.)

Cooperworld

Screen Shot 2015-12-15 at 3.25.49 PMHere is the blurb:

In the near future, AI research is strictly controlled by paranoid governments. When a renowned Artificial Intelligence expert illegally decides to create digital life in an simulated universe, he doesn’t at first realise the implications of what he has done. Implications not just for him, but for everyone.
In this short story, journalist and writer Jason R. Ward has a light-hearted but fairly philosophical look at what constitutes consciousness and has a good hard look at how we perceive reality.

 

So there you go, exciting huh? It is also cheap. Thank you in advance. If you do buy it, and read it, and like it, please leave a review, it really, really helps.

For US customers:

For UK customers:

Colossal looks weird and great fun

Colossal is a new film written and directed by Nacho Vigalando and it has a pretty unique premise. A huge monster is suddenly, randomly appearing in Seoul (which is in South Korea if you are truly awful at geography) and is causing havoc. Anne Hathaway is in America and basically spends her evening hanging out in Jason Sudeikis’s bar. But when she walks through a particular park, she occasionally somehow generates this ‘Kaiju’ in S.Korea which then acts as her avatar and copies her movements.

Because of reasons that probably won’t be explained and why should they be? Embrace the weirdness. I probably explained that badly but I’m sure you get the insane gist behind Colossal – Hathaway controls a giant monster in Korea.

The film originally aired at the 2016 Fantastic Fest film festival and had great reviews. Nacho Vigalando is the fellow behind the great Timecrimes, so it is definitely worth checking out. Colossal goes on general release in April, so keep an eye out for it.

The good people at io9 have already seen it and you can read a review and a better explanation by clicking on this handy link.

Here’s the trailer:

Death Race 2050 looks suitably insane

Roger Corman announced a new sequel to his insane cult 1974 movie ‘Death Race 2000’ a short while back and it is about to hit a DVD shop near you. (If there still is such a thing near you.) Death Race 2050 is set in a world ruled by a crazed tyrant with mad hair and where there is a need to keep the overpopulated planet distracted with ever more elaborate and distracting entertainment. So it could be set a lot nearer in time. The drivers race across America and get points by coming first, killing each other, and killing pedestrians – many of whom are willing groupies.

There have been some recent Death Race sequels – the first featuring Jason Statham and the other two with Luke Goss – so what is the point of this you may ridiculously ask? I rewatched the Statham one the other day and it was damn good fun. I have seen the other two as well and vaguely remember enjoying them, so I can only conclude they too were fun, but fairly forgettable. As you will know if you have seen the original Corman Death Race and the new-fangled ones, they are incredibly utterly different and that is putting it mildly. In fact the director of “Death Race Statham” (Paul W.S. Anderson) said that it was actually a prequel to the 1974 version. Which makes a lot of sense. Consequently, Death Race 2050 is a direct sequel to the original and it satisfyingly ‘on message’ with its continued bat-shit craziness and 70s aesthetic.

This new straight-to-video movie stars the awesome Malcolm McDowell (ideal for these roles) as the President, and the always good value Manu Bennett as Frankenstein. I am hoping this will come out on some streaming platform or other as they have kept the look of the 70s version and I don’t think a Bluray will be needed. Enjoy the superb madness of the Death Race 2050 trailer:

Happy New Year Scifi Fans!

 

via GIPHY

I know I am a day late but I was reading and playing games. Which are pretty good excuses. Happy new year!

2016 has been a mostly crappy time for nearly all involved, but in terms of science fiction it has has been pretty great. So turn off your news feeds (and especially your fake news feeds,) a bit more often and enjoy a healthy dose of escapism. It has been proved that it is good for you by science. Probably. Google it.

Without further ado, Happy New Year from Scifi Ward! 2017 sounds incredibly futuristic to someone in their 40s and I look forward to enjoying it. I am now off to read the latest Expanse book followed by finishing Dirk Gently on Netflix. Make it so!

 

via GIPHY

 

Happy Scifi Christmas!

yodasantaHappy Christmas from the mothership of Scifi Ward! I hope you all got the box sets and books you so richly deserve. If you got a kindle feel free to um… look to the right and um… buy a short story… You would make a scifi story writer very happy.

No matter what you believe in and whatever planet you personally hail from, I hope you have a superb day. Happy Christmas!

Happy Christmas. Live long and prosper. Drink eggnog.

Happy Christmas. Live long and prosper. Drink eggnog.

Under a Tell Tale Sky by R.E. McDermott

img_0069Under a Tell Tale Sky by RE McDermott is a Post Apocalyptic novel from someone who normally writes thrillers. In fact, he seems almost apologetic about the fact that it is scifi. The tale recounts a scenario that might happen if a massive EMP pulse hit the Earth and fucked the electric grid. This is book one of a trilogy and the man has done his research in regards to the USA and probably most of the developed world. The conclusion is pretty dire and highly believable.

You would think that a colossal blackout would involve a few more candles and some tinned food, which would suck a bit but not too bad. On the plus side there will be massively fewer twats taking selfies, photographing their food and blocking pavements because they are looking at their phones the whole sodding time. So no power would seem a net plus right? Sadly no. As McDermott logically and realistically shows, society would break down pretty quickly. Modern Western society is held together by hope, a desire to not be harmed by others and live in a safe society, and some pretty flimsy string. (The latter is a metaphor for something or other.) As rioters frequently show, it is actually harder to control an unruly populace than you’d suppose – even if you shoot shit at them. Without power, things fast become post apolcalyptic.

Under a Tell Tale Sky is set in America, so any apocypse or societal breakdown is going to include an arseload of guns. The story revolves around numerous characters but the principle protagonists are all based around a huge cargo ship and a container port. There are quite a few characters and sub-plots but they are all well done and believable. The story is exciting and develops well. No ground breaking philosophical questions going on here, just decent action and good fun.

I really enjoyed Under a Tell Tale Sky and immediately bought the sequel once I finished it. It is part of a series called ‘The Disruption’. I recommend it for scifi and non-scifi fans alike.