Author Archives: ward

The Dancers at the End of Time by Michael Moorcock

The Dancers at the End of Time by Michael Moorcock

The Dancers at the End of Time by Michael Moorcock

Where to begin? The unique, bizarre, satirical novel, The Dancers at the End of Time is an experience that is hard to categorise or even explain.

Set millions of years in the future, the book opens with the protagonist, Jherek Carnelian, and his mother, The Iron Orchid, discussing the word “virtuous” on a beach of bleached bones on the shore of a crimson sea after just having had sex. So it is immediately established that the world has changed a fair amount. The characters inhabiting the End of Time are a decadent and dissolute bunch who are immortal and possess almost unlimited power. They amuse themselves by holding ever more elaborate parties in incredible settings. At one such party an alien lands and warns them all that the Earth is about to end along with the entire universe. This is pretty tedious news to the denizens of the distant future as the ‘End of it All’ has been prophesied for so long that it, along with space travel generally, is seen as passé and dull. The alien is consequently ignored.

Into this bizarre immoral society comes Mrs Amelia Underwood – a highly moralistic housewife from the 19th century Brockley. Jherek is fascinated by her and decides to fall in love with and limit himself to just having sex with one person. This is a novel and exciting idea to those from the future and, as it turns out, is quite a challenge.

The Dancers at the End of Time has aliens, time travel, robots, godlike beings, parallel universes and more. It is a tale of the last lovers in the universe and an insane discussion on morality. It is also a bit bonkers in a charming and erudite way with a host of characters and situations that seem almost normal when you are reading it, but sound insane when you are trying explain it to others.

It is actually an omnibus of three novels – An Alien Heat, The Hollow Lands, and The End of All Songs. Consequently, it is a tad long. In my humble opinion, however, that is a good thing. The Dancers at the End of Time is essentially a satirical look at the contrast of Victorian morality clashing with the utterly decadent world at the end of time. It is both funny and inventive. Humanity can now do anything, has done everything, and is just struggling to stay entertained. This results in a stagnant amoral species, that is strangely naive and pointless. By the end of the book you no longer see the opening scene as shocking, it is just the way things are.

I really enjoyed The Dancers at the End of Time but it probably isn’t for everyone. Which is a shame. It’s inventive and fun with some great characters. Recommended.

‘They Live’ selfie

This has been all over the interweb all day, so you have probably already seen it. Some genius has wisely spent his/her time parodying the Ellen selfie taken at the Oscars by changing it to a ‘They Live’ version.

They Live selfie

They Live selfie

By the way, if you haven’t seen ‘They Live’ you should. I would review it but frankly it needs little more said about it than – it’s brilliant. John Carpenter at his almost finest. Go and watch it now. Review done.

Game of Thrones Season 4: A Foreshadowing

Game of Thrones Season 4

Game of Thrones Season 4

In case you are into Game of Thrones and are up to date with the show, here is a treat to get you salivating about Season 4. If you aren’t up to date, you are probably wasting your life and should keep up with everyone else.

Game of Thrones: A Foreshadowing is basically a 15 minute feature that explains how things are going to be even more violent and epic than the previous three. Which is quite a feat. It is based on A Storm of Swords, which is the second part of the third book. I have read it and it’s bloody brilliant, and there is indeed quite a lot of action and general epic goings on. There is also a new trailer I have included below that, which was just released today. You’re welcome. Enjoy.


Now here is a second trailer that only came out today!

Dust by Hugh Howey

Dust by Hugh Howey

Dust by Hugh Howey

Dust is the final part of the Wool trilogy. Don’t read this without having read Wool and Shift first. Obviously. It’s a trilogy.

Dust follows on from the end of the previous two Wool trilogies – which sounds odd I know but if you have read the books, then you will know what I mean. It is difficult to review as the Wool series is full of mystery and questions and almost everything I could say would require a major spoiler alert.

So let’s just leave this as a quick review by saying that Dust nicely answers all the questions left over from the previous stories and satisfactorily ties up all the characters’ individual narratives. It is also bloody good and damned exciting. Enjoy.

Robocop trailer 2

Robocop

Robocop

This is the second trailer for the Robocop reboot. I know that sentence doesn’t exactly scream ‘Wow, here’s something new and exciting’ but it does actually look pretty damn cool and I felt it needed to be shared here. I am fairly confident that the new Robocop will be the best one since the original but frankly, that should’t be too hard. The Verhoeven version will remain a classic of violence, humour and general awesomeness. But I see no reason why the new Robocop can’t forge its own exciting new franchise, and this trailer looks damned good fun. At least now it seems marginally harder to shoot Murphy (Robocop) in the face, which was a design flaw in the original film that bugged the hell out of me as it just seemed so bloody obvious. Now he can, er, tilt his head a bit.

Anyway, here is the trailer. Apologies for the delay.

 

 

Shift by Hugh Howey

Shift by Hugh Howey

Shift by Hugh Howey

Shift by Hugh Howey is the second book in the Silo series. The first one was Wool. Both are brilliant.

Shift is actually a prequel that establishes how the whole scenario of people living in underground bunkers in a post-apocalyptic world came about. It ends by running parallel with the end of the first book.

Shift has three principal protagonists – Donald, a man who designed the bunkers and ends up in Silo 1; a guy called Mission who is in a bunker that is on the verge of revolution; and Jimmy, who was in Wool.

Donald’s story begins when he is a senator years before any of the madness started. Thanks to cryogenics, his story spans hundreds of years. We get a lot of questions answered during his tale (and the book as a whole) but more questions are then raised.

To be honest, I’m not all that keen on prequels as you effectively know what is going to happen and who is going to live. While this true with Jimmy’s story, his tale of survival is still a great read. Donald’s story is effectively a whole new scenario where anything can happen. There are some great moments in Shift and some amazing surprises and events. So don’t be too concerned about the whole prequel business.

This is the second book of the trilogy and if I was to be a tiny bit negative, it would be to say that it did feel a little bit like book two of a trilogy (but a superb trilogy). If you know what I mean. As I said, Shift doesn’t suffer from the ‘I know what is going to happen’ common to prequels, but it does feel like the pieces are being aligned for the final act. Having said that, the story is satisfying and intriguing and highly enjoyable in it’s own right.

If you have read Wool and are uncertain whether you should continue with the story then worry no more – read Shift and enjoy. As further ecouragement, you have to read this in order to read book three. Which is the best of the lot.

You can buy Shift on kindle here:Shift by Hugh Howey

Kung Fury

KUNG FURY!

KUNG FURY!

I seem to be supporting a lot of stuff on Kickstarter these days but sometimes it just has to be done. Especially when something as mental as Kung Fury comes along! Think 80s. Think Hitler, viking chicks, time travel and machine guns. (Apart from Hitler I am usually thinking along those lines anyway.)

The Kickstarter page is here. They only want $200,000 and have $376,527 (at time of writing) with 25 days to go. So it looks like Kung Fury will be a reality.

Now watch the genius that is Kung Fury. Ahhh the 80s…