Three Distinct Visions for the Future of Wakanda Underlie Black Panther

Black Panther does two things very, very well.  It throws a lot of crazy-ass Afro-Futurism into the mix, resulting in something that is both fresh and looks great, and it undergirds the plot with thematic weight.  The actors are having fun, but aren’t ashamed to be acting in a superhero movie.  They are earnest without being self-serious or feeling the need to snark about it.  That, and the sheer amount of talent in the movie, more than make up for a somewhat paint-by-the-numbers plot.  Black Panther falls short of my top 5 all-time superhero movies, but it is comfortably in the top 10, I think.

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Posted in Sundry, Superhero Fiction | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Gemmell Awards Longlist Announced

The Gemmell Awards longlist has been announced.  Voting on the Gemmell Awards is open to the public.  Voting to narrow the longlist opened on Friday, February 16 and closes at midnight on Friday, March 30.  The awards administrators will announce a shortlist.  Voting on the shortlist will open on Friday, April 20 and close on Friday, June 1.  The awards will be presented at Edge-Lit 7 on Saturday, July 14.

I read and reviewed a number of works on the longlist this year.

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Vintage Science Fiction Month: David Lynch’s Dune is gorgeous and weird and epic and I love it

I already talked about rereading Dune.  But Vintage Science Fiction Month also led me to watch the 1984 David Lynch adaptation of Dune for the first time in a group watch.  Well, it was supposed to be a group watch, but I couldn’t make the originally scheduled time.  Instead, Andrea from the Little Red Reviewer and her husband came over and we had a group watch of our over (Mark from Kaedrin also joined in virtually).  You can find our tweets from the group watch here.  So what did I think?  Maybe I don’t love it (it does have its issues), I liked it a LOT.  In fact, I like it more than the book.

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Posted in Science Fiction, Sundry, Throwback SF Thursday | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Can’t-Wait Wednesday: Zero Day by Ezekiel Boone

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is hosted by Wishful Endings.  My pick for this week is Zero Day by Ezekiel Boone.  I actually just finished reading my advance copy this weekend–holy shit Zero Day is good.  Zero Day concludes Boone’s Hatching series, an apocalyptic tale in the vein of Stephen King’s The Stand and World War Z.  Only this time it is spiders.  You can fine my reviews of book one and book two here and here.  The synopsis for Zero Day is below the fold.

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Posted in Dystopian/Apocalyptic, Horror, Sundry | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Gunpowder Moon is a Fine Example of the Sort of Near-ish Future Hard Science Fction I’ve Been Digging Lately

I walked into Gunpowder Moon thinking of it as a mystery, but it is really more of a thriller.  It benefits the most from the strength of the lead—Caden Dechert—and the carefully drawn vision of a plausible future on the moon.

Every lunar walker since Apollo 11 has noticed it: a burnt-metal scent that reminds them of war. Caden Dechert, chief of U.S. mining operations on the edge of the Sea of Serenity, thinks the smell is just a trick of the mind—a flashback to his harrowing days as a marine in the war-torn Middle East back on Earth. 

It’s 2072, and lunar helium-3 mining is powering the fusion reactors bringing Earth back from environmental disaster. But competing for the richest prize in the history of the world has destroyed the oldest rule in space: safety for all. When a bomb kills one of Dechert’s diggers on Mare Serenitatis, the haunted veteran goes on the hunt to expose the culprit before more blood is spilled.

As he races to solve the first murder in the history of the Moon, Dechert gets caught in the crosshairs of two global powers spoiling for a fight. Reluctant to be the match that lights this powder keg, Dechert knows his life and those of his crew are meaningless to the politicians. Even worse, he knows the killer is still out there, hunting. 

In his desperate attempts to prevent the catastrophe he sees coming, Dechert uncovers a conspiracy that, with one spark, can ignite a full lunar war, wipe out his team . . . and perhaps plunge Earth back into darkness.

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Posted in Book Reviews, Science Fiction | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Throwback SF Thursday: Amazon Announces Option on Conan TV Show

If there was any fantasy movie boom post-Lord of the Rings, it was a disappointing one.  Will Game of Thrones produce a fantasy TV boom that fares any better?  It has taken several seasons, but it looks like a boom is finally gearing up.  Netflix and Showtime announced TV adaptations of The Witcher and Name of the Wind (the latter to be a prequel series).  A Wheel of Time project appears to still be in the works—the only question is where.  I pointed to Amazon in a post looking in detail at the challenges of adapting the Wheel of Time.  But first Amazon announced they inked a deal for a Lord of the Rings prequel series.  And now Amazon announces they have optioned rights for a Conan TV series.

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Posted in Fantasy, Sundry, Throwback SF Thursday | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

State of the ARC: February

State of the ARC is a meme hosted by Avalinah’s Books.  The idea being to publicly shame ourselves as book bloggers for our paltry progress reading and reviewing all of the ARCs that accumulate.  I last joined in November.  At that time, I had a crazy backlog of very recent ARCs.  So how did I do?  You will have to read on to find out.  I have a Tolkien series to get to, but I have a hard time turning down ARCs.  They are precious to me.

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