Five hundred years after Earth has become a barren, unpleasant wasteland, humanity is scattered throughout the solar system. A religious sect known as the New Earth Tribunal is pretty much in charge and it reigns from New Earth – which is on Mars. There are a few voices of dissent however, most notably from the mining colonies near Ceres. When several Tribune ships are hijacked and their precious cargo of Gravitum are stolen, the Tribune is forced to call in the genius ex-Tribune Cassius Vale. Unfortunately for them, it is Vale who is responsible for the hijackings (along with a double-hard android). The Tribune also has highly trained assassins at their disposal, so they dispatch one of them – a hot female assassin called Sage Volus – to infiltrate the Ceresians and see if she can find anything out. She soon finds herself as part of a crew led by a charismatic ex-mercenary called Talon Rayne.
I won’t lie, I was a bit nervous about reading The Circuit: Executor Rising by Rhett C. Bruno. I always am with new authors that I have never previously heard of. Thankfully, the anxiety was misplaced. It was a thoroughly enjoyable read. If you read a lot of science fiction then there will be nothing all that new but there are still some pretty cool ideas and it is well executed. The story moves at a cracking pace with some great set action pieces. When things kick off, Bruno writes excitingly with plenty of bullets, bloodshed and bad-assery.
The characters in The Circuit: Executor Rising are particularly good in a slightly morally ambiguous kind of way. Cassius Vale and his robot ADIM are the antagonists but they are believable. Vale is an advocate of ‘the ends justify the means’ and he wants to take down the Tribune no matter how many people die. He also has a strange father/son thing going on with ADIM which adds an extra element to the story. Sage Volus is a pretty awesome hot female assassin with a bionic arm. At first she is a bit too religious to be fully likeable but she develops throughout the novel and has her own set of issues. Talon Rayne is immediately likeable even though a slightly murkier past is hinted at. Think the characters of Firefly and you will be pretty close. Likeable-rogue type of fellows.
There are enough fun ideas and well executed settings to make Rhett C Bruno’s book a highly entertaining read. Couple that with a fast paced plot and some great characters and you have thoroughly enjoyable space opera on your hands. I look forward to more in the series.
You can buy The Circuit: Executor Rising by Rhett C. Bruno for your shiny kindle here:
The Day of Dredd
I just got an email reminding me that TODAY the 1st of October 2014 is THE DAY OF DREDD! This is a cause I truly believe in and fully support. I suggest you do too because the world needs more Dredd. (Quite literally in my opinion but that’s a separate issue.)
If you are similarly brilliant in your taste of film and comic then you too can help this magnificent cause. Buy the first Dredd film on DVD or Bluray or download or whatever, if you haven’t previously done so. You can also like their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MakeADreddSequel
Furthermore, you can tweet about it using #DayofDredd and then pester all your friends to generally chat about Dredd related topics all day.
In the email I received, there are videos of Karl Urban (who plays Dredd) and Olivia Thirlby (who plays Judge Anderson) thanking the fans and supporting the sequel. The sequel is also supported by 2000AD. Basically Hollywood, make a drokking sequel.
You can buy the Dredd film here!
Here’s the Karl Urban video:
The latest trailer for the Wachowski’s Jupiter Ascending is here and, like the previous ones, it looks pretty damn spectacular. Also pretty damn pretty. You get a bit more of a glimpse into what it may be about but I don’t really care. Mila Kunis + spaceships is good enough to get me into the cinema.
I am no longer swayed by trailers and remain firmly in the camp that no matter how incredible Jupiter Ascending looks from these brief glimpses, there is still a huge possibility that it may turn out to be utter pants.
But it looks great so far. Enjoy.
I previously wrote about the JJ Abrams and Zach Snyder Star Wars/ Superman vs Batman crossover shenanigans here. Essentially they are having fun inserting bits of each other’s franchise into pictures from their own. They are also coincidentally publicising their work knowing that nerds will salivate over every shot and will share it all over social media like the sad Star Wars / Superman / Batman obsessed fools we all know and love (and probably are).
Well, JJ Abrams has recently released a steady cam shot of the new Millennium Falcon. There is a Batmobile camouflaged on the bottom but after viewing the real life Falcon model in all its glory I had forgotten that it was supposed to be a Snyder crossover thingy. It’s an impressive hunk of junk. The Snyder fun is fine but can now stop. It has achieved what it set out to do which was to use websites like Scifiward to promote their franchise for free and – ahh, whatever. Just show me more Star Wars! Anything!
On twitter there has been an amusing exchange between the Bad Robot studios (JJ Abrahms’ lot doing Star Wars), and Zack Snyder who is currently making Batman vs Superman. Here is a tweet from Zack Snyder where he has actually staged the pic near the Batmobile and features a Gotham police car:
Not to be outdone, the people at Bad Robot have been tweeting things like this:
Long may this battle continue! Talented nerds doing crossovers are a joy.
Cibola Burn by James SA Corey
Cibola Burn (The Expanse Book 4)
by James SA Corey is another addition to The Expanse series. It is also a rollicking good read. I personally didn’t think it quite on par with the first couple of books, but it is still bloody good.
After the events of the previous book, the ring system is now open and a 1000 planets are ready for colonisation. Consequently, some people who have been having a pretty shit time of it rush through and start a colony on one of the planets. Technically they had no right to do so and when a corporate colony ship arrives, things getting unpleasant in a shooting and exploding kind of way. With tensions high between the corporate lot and the colonists, it’s decided that a mediator is needed. So James Holden and the crew of the Rocinante are called in. Then things go mental.
As I said earlier – Cibola Burn is a rollicking good read. It is different from the previous three in that it is set almost entirely on the disputed planet of Illus rather than leaping about the solar system. This is both a plus and a minus. The plus is that the story feels a bit more rounded and complete. The minus is that at times things slowed down a bit and there was no chance that the narrative was going to leap to another part of the solar system where something exciting was kicking off. While the story slows down a bit around a third of the way in, it does consequently kick into high gear and then things are brilliant again.
The crew of the Rocinante are back and if you have read the series this far then you will probably like them. There are a few new characters – some are good, one is bad. There is a scientist lady who basically just needs to get laid but then becomes more interesting. Another is a miner/settler who is a great and likeable character despite how he starts the book. A third is a security chief who also changes and develops as things kick off. But is is the bad guy who I felt let things down a bit. He was a bit too cut-out baddie. He doesn’t change in any way at any point. I guess that was just his personality and there are people like that in the real world, but I found his personality a bit annoying and slightly unrealistic.
Don’t get me wrong though, I thoroughly enjoyed Cibola Burn and can’t wait for the next one. The world that the James Corey duo are making gets more interesting with each book and there are intriguing developments with the protomolecule and Miller to make this more than just an ‘episode’.
My review is probably redundant anyway. If you have read books one to three then you are going to read book four. While I found Cibola Burn slightly weaker than the others, it is still a great read.
The Expanse series can be found here!
Abiogenesis is an impressively made and quite cool short film. I saw it a few days ago but keep seeing it around the internet, so thought I would also give it a share. Film makers deserve support if they are any good and whoever made Abiogenesis should make more stuff. Enjoy.
Abiogenesis (Short Film) from Richard Mans on Vimeo.
Some clever chap called Billy Hanshaw had an idea for a new Doctor Who opening sequence. He made the sequence and it went viral because the internet has both taste and a lot of nerds. Stephen Moffat consequently saw the clip and it is now the basis of the new credit sequence. Moffat obviously has permission from Hanshaw and the BBC are obviously going to add a couple of expensive graphics to it. But the new Doctor Who opening sequence is pretty much good to go already. Go internet and go creative Doctor Who fans!
Peter Capaldi as Doctor Who
A couple of new trailers have been released to drum up excitement for the new Doctor Who series. Which isn’t really needed but is appreciated nontheless. Thanks BBC! The first was released last month and is a taster for the series as whole:
The second is a trailer for the first episode ‘Deep Breath’
Annoyingly, Doctor Who season 8 (depending on how you judge these things) or the 12th Doctor’s first series or whatever you want to call it, starts on Saturday 23rd August 2014. Just after I leave England. If only there was some kind of advanced technology that will let me watch it…
The trailer for the third Hobbit film, The Battle of the Five Armies, is here and it actually looks pretty cool for two major reasons. The first is that there appear to be Five Armies. The second is that it looks like they will have a massive fight. There will also be a dragon, hobbits, attractive elves and Sauron’s eye and so on.