Author Archives: ward

Altered Carbon TV Show

One minute I didn’t even know Altered Carbon was being made into a TV show and the next, I am shitting myself with excitement that it is almost here. Altered Carbon is a brilliant book written by Richard K Morgan and features the superb character, Takeshi Kovacs.

In the future, you back up your brain to a computer via a tiny computer stack in your head. Bodies are grown or even just used and your brain can then be downloaded into them. So if you get killed, you can come back in a different body. Or your own clone, if you are rich. In Altered Carbon – the book at least – Takeshi Kovacs is a double-hard bastard who is hired to find out who killed a really rich guy. He is hired by the really rich guy.

The book is quite a scifi noir and is violent and a great read. If you haven’t read it you definitely should. Check it out here. Altered Carbon was the first of three books to feature Kovacs but it is very much a stand-alone novel. It looks like the TV show is following the book fairly closely and has a pretty impressive budget. I hope it is as good an adaptation as The Expanse TV show. This is a truly great time to be a science fiction fan with a Netflix account!

Altered Carbon comes out on Netflix on the 2nd February and here is the brilliant trailer:

If you are interested in the superb book, and you should be, look here:

New Year, New Scifi book reading frenzy

Happy New Year! 2018 sounds pretty futuristic. Next year is original Blade Runner’s year, we are already further in the future than Marty McFly has ever been, and we have gone beyond the first two Arthur C Clarke books about monoliths that will help us evolve and be more intelligence (which sadly never came true – we could really use a monolith).

I’m not one for New Year resolutions, but I have made a couple. One is to write more – both here and fiction. So get ready for some serious self-promotion later in the year. Another is to read a lot more. I used to read a book a week but I think a book a fortnight is more doable these days (that’s 2 weeks). I am busier and books seem a lot longer these days.

Most of these are old books but on my kindle to be read next are:

A lot of Peter F Hamilton. I feel ashamed but I haven’t read anything by him and there was a sale on Kindle where I got half a dozen books.

A backlog of Analog and Asimov magazines. I have a subscription to both and they mount up really quickly.

The most recent books by James SA Corey, Blake Crouch and Andy Weir.

The Mortal Engines books.

And a ton of new ones by people I have never read. Such as:

Emma Newman

Simon Winstanley

Lois McMaster Bujold

Evan Currie

VE Schwab

And lots, lots more. This is in addition to the piles of books around my flat. Oh, and my wife got me the latest Ken Follet hardback book, which isn’t science fiction but is bloody long and I can’t wait to read it. I also need to squeeze in quite a lot of Netflix. Busy times!

I hope your new year is similarly full of scifi goodness. I had better go and start reading now.

 

Happy Christmas Scifi fans

Dear all readers and fellow scifi enthusiasts,

Happy a bloody good Christmas! I hope you got the box-set/game/comic/action figure/whatever it was you had hoped for.

This has been a bumper year for scifi and we still have the Doctor Who Christmas special – with a new Doctor – to go.

So enjoy your Xmas pan-galactic gargle blasters and make it so.

Live long and prosper.

May the force be with you.

Have a fracking good time.

And so on!

Mortal Engines trailer

Peter Jackson is working on a movie adaptation of Mortal Engines, Philip Reeve’s steampunk/ dieselpunk/ whatever-punk books about cities wandering around a post-apocalyptic world attacking each other. It looks bloody great. Go London!

Mortal Engines is actually the title of the first of four books that have been on my kindle for years after a friend recommended them. I will definitely have to hurry up and read them.

The film will star Robert Sheehan, Hera Hilmar, Leila George, Ronan Raftery, Hugo Weaving, and Stephen Lang. Apparently, if successful, it will be the first of a series. Because everything needs to be a bloody franchise these days.

Anyway, the first Mortal Engines trailer has arrived and I am cautiously excited. Here it is:

 

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: