the_strain

Capsule Reviews of Weird Horror and SciFi

The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan (2009) The Strain is Guillermo Del Toro’s first foray into the world of the novel, and he fails.  The Strain the first book More »

frederik.pohl

Science Fiction Legend Frederik Pohl Has Died

I am saddened to learn of the passing of Frederick Pohl, one of the titans of science fiction that profoundly shaped the genre both as an author and an editor. I’ve read More »

gravity-cuaron2

Science Fiction Movies Coming This Year

After all this summer blockbuster nonsense is over with, we’ve got some science fiction movies coming out that look promising, if not at least more than giant robots and aliens beating the More »

web-of-the-city

Summer Reading 2013

Summer time is a fun time to read!   I’ve read a few books this summer, some good some not.  Lets discuss. Web of the City (1958) by Harlan Ellison Web of More »

conan

Arnold Schwarzenegger Returns to Conan the Barbarian

Arnold Schwarzenegger  will be returning to a role that pretty much launched his career, Conan the Barbarian.   He will star as an older (King?) Conan character in a film entitled The More »

Capsule Reviews of Weird Horror and SciFi

the_strain

The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan (2009)

The Strain is Guillermo Del Toro’s first foray into the world of the novel, and he fails.  The Strain the first book in a vampire epic trilogy and thankfully the creatures aren’t sweet and sexy like in Twilight.  It is also a comic and soon to be a TV show.  Unfortunately, the book is typical Hollywood mystery thriller stuff.  We get a mysterious set up with no logical resolution, lots of hard to believe plot turns, and the bad guy even captures the hero’s girl.  This had some potential and the intent was in the right place, but the pieces just didn’t come together in a satisfying way. Click here if you wanna try it.

Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka (1915)

Metamorphosis is regarded as a seminal work of weird fiction, rightfully so I should say.  I love the absurd quality of the book.  I really felt for poor Gregor Samsa’s plight as a travelling salesman and family provider turned insect.  The roller coaster of emotion and conflict between him and his family is harrowing.  As Samsa comes to accept his predicament, it becomes tragic.  This short classic is most definitely worth reading.

Rosemary and Rue (October Daye, Book 1) by Seanan McGuire (2009)

The world of faeries mixes with the world of humans in this fantasy/mystery novel.  Protagonist October Daye is literally a product of the coming together of the these worlds; she’s a changeling, half human half fae.  She’s got some light magic powers, not as much as a pure faerie, but enough to keep her faerie side hidden while she tries to solve a faerie murder in the human world.  Sounds pretty interesting; I thought so, but I couldn’t get through the damn thing.  I read about a third of it, got bored and gave up.

Run for the Stars by Harlan Ellison (1957)

Classic pulp era Harlan!  The odds are stacked way against junkie Benno Tallant when the aliens called Kyben take over Tallant’s home planet.  He’s in quite a pickle and has to run, literally, to stay alive.  I listened to the audio version of this book read by Harlan himself.  If you haven’t heard Harlan read his own work you’re missing out; there’s no one better.  This fantastic/ pulptastic story fun and excitement are elevated to the stratosphere Harlan’s amped up narration.  Get it.

The Amulet: The Stonekeeper by Kazu Kibuishi (2008)

I picked up this striking graphic novel for my seven year old daughter and she really loved it.  The story is quite creative.  It takes you from the normal world into a strange world full of weird creatures, magic, and adventure.  There are splashes of humor as well.  And the art is really beautiful.  The pictures tell much of the story while being a pleasure to look at.  We are looking forward to book 2. Read Book 1!

’68 Volume 1: Better Run Through the Jungle  by Mark Kidwell and Nat Jones (2012)

The Vietnam War is raging, hippies are protesting, and zombies are hungry!  This full color zombie alternate history tale is loads of fun.  Mark Kidwell’s writing is pretty clever, weaving historical fact into the fiction.  The success of this graphic novel owes much to the stunning and bloody disgusting artwork of Nat Jones.  Dig the full page spreads of dismemberment and gore! Zombie fans can’t go wrong with this one.

Walking Dead Book 9 by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard (2013)

The Walking Dead is still great.  Damn that nasty Negan.  Can’t wait for book 10!

 

 

Science Fiction Legend Frederik Pohl Has Died

frederik.pohl

I am saddened to learn of the passing of Frederick Pohl, one of the titans of science fiction that profoundly shaped the genre both as an author and an editor. I’ve read Pohl’s brilliant work over the years; the most memorable of his novels for me were the Heechee series, Jem, Man Plus, and Black Star Rising.

Frederik Pohl was born November 26, 1919 in New York City. He was one of the earliest SF fans, attending the first SF convention in Philadelphia in 1936. He attended Brooklyn Tech, but dropped out without a high school degree. From 1939 to 1943, he worked as an editor in charge of new magazines Astonishing Stories and Super Science Stories.

After serving in World War II, he became a literary agent and represented many of America’s top SF writers. In the ’50s, he returned to both writing and editing, producing his first novels in collaboration with C.M. Kornbluth, beginning with the early classic The Space Merchants. He went of to edit Galaxy, If, and do a bunch of other stuff that elevated and shaped science fiction for over 70 years. He won Hugo and Nebula awards for editing and writing and in 1977 his novel Gateway swept the awards, winning the Hugo, Nebula, Locus, and John W. Campbell Memorial Awards. He was named a SFWA Grand Master in 1992.

RIP Frederik Pohl. Your mark on science fiction literature is indelible. Your influence and memory will shine on as brightly as a supernova.

Must See Zombie Short Film

Cargo

Cargo is a very cool zombie short film in the vein of The Walking Dead series.  It packs quite a wallop for a 7 minute movie. It was a Tropfest Australia 2013 Finalist, so you know it’s good… I guess. Cargo is the the debut collaboration of Sydney-based filmmaking team of Ben Howling and Yolanda Ramke – Dreaming Tree Productions. Watch it below! You’ll dig it.