Category Archives: Science Fiction

Review of “The Guns Above”

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Book Reviews – The Guns Above” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Robyn Bennis (http://www.robynbennis.com). This is Ms. Bennis’ first novel and the first in her “Signal Airship” series.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence and Mature Language. The story is set in another universe where steam is the king of technology. The primary character is Lieutenant Josette Dupre, the first woman to Captain an airship.

Her command is challenged by a doubting crew as well as an untested airship. Her life is further complicated by the foppish aristocrat, Lord Bernat, who has been assigned as an “observer” to her vessel. Clearly he is there to spy on her for his uncle, the general.

While on their shakedown cruise, still evaluating the ship, they are drawn into battle. Led by Dupre, the crew is able to survive, just barely. Dupre finds many ways to make her little airship have a large impact in the battles being fought.

Dupre steps into her shoes as Captain, leading her crew with creative ideas and courage. Her successes reach the press which is why the King had, against tradition, appointed her an Airship Captain. Now, like it or not, she is in a leadership role that some hope will see the military integrated with women in all capacities.

I really enjoyed the 9 hours I spent reading this 352 page Steam Punk Thriller. I enjoyed the characters and the plot. I look forward to further books in this series. The cover art is well chosen. I give this novel a 4.6 (rounded up to a 5) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

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Star Wars Fan Film “Turncoat”

Short FilmsStar Wars – The short (13:30) Star Wars fan film “Turncoat” was published to YouTube in August of 2017 by Optio Productions. The synopsis:

On a distant planet in the Outer Rim, a group of Jedi track down what they believe to be a traitor to the Jedi Order. Their mission, to deal with the conspirator with whatever means necessary.

I thought that this was a pretty good Star Wars fan film. It had well choreographed light saber fight scenes.

Science Fiction Short Film “Hybrids”

Short Films – The short (7:48) science Fiction film “Hybrids” was published on YouTube in December 2015 by The CGBros. The synopsis:

In the wake of an alien infestation, an ex-special forces soldier’s daughter is killed in an alien attack. Seeking revenge, she leads a team deep into alien territory to a quarantined lab. Soon, she discovers the aliens aren’t alien at all, but a failed government experiment to create a bio-hybrid soldier. She must then expose the governments cover-up and save the last standing city in the quarantined zone from falling.

I enjoyed this very well done short film.

Science Fiction Short Film “Next Door”

Short Films – The short (12:40) science fiction film “Next Door” was published to YouTube in August of 2017 by DUST. The synopsis:

Nevin has lived a safe simple life, despite the dystopia that surrounds him, but will his fixation on the sexy dangerous girl next door lead him out of his comfort zone?

A well done but strange film. Nevin lives in a odd, antiseptic world all of his own. Around him though is a dystopian environment controlled by martial law. The beautiful girl next door tries to draw him into a conspiracy against those in control.

Review of “A Peace Divided”

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Book Reviews – “A Peace Divided” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Tanya Huff. Ms. Huff has published more than 30 novels. This is the second book in her “Peacekeeper” series.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence and Mature Language. The story is set on a remote world undergoing limited archaeological research. The primary character is former Confederation Marine Gunnery Sergeant Torin Kerr, who is now a warden for the Confederation Justice Department.

A group of archeologists have been taken hostage. Kerr and her team, augmented with a group from the Primacy, are sent to rescue the hostages. It has only been a few years since the long war between the Confederation and the Primacy ended. The joint operation by former enemies is full of tension.

When they arrive on-planet, they discover the group holding the hostages is also made up of both former Confederation and Primary military. They are there driving the archeologists to find a hidden weapon that can be used to destroy the race know as “The Plastic”. The Plastic was responsible for causing the long war between the Confederation and the Primacy. There are many who now want a way to take revenge on The Plastic for all the death and destruction.

Though I enjoyed the 12.5 hours I spent reading this 379 page Science Fiction novel, it seemed a little flawed. I liked the characters and the plot, but sometimes the story was a little confusing. While there being a prior novel in the series, which I hadn’t read, didn’t help, this novel stood pretty well on its own. I thought the cover art was well chosen. I give this novel a 3.9 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Trailer for “Justice League”

Trailers – The “Justice League” move will premier November 17, 2017. I’m not that huge of a fan of the new DC Universe, but I do like Wonder Woman. It will be interesting to see if this collection of DC superheroes (Wonder Woman, Batman, Superman, Cyborg, Flash and Aquaman) will be able to deliver a memorable viewing experience. The synopsis (from IMDB):

Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy.

Short Science Fiction Film “Waltz for One”

Short Films – The short (10:17) science fiction film “Waltz for One” was published to YouTube in August of 2017 by DUST. The synopsis:

A lone astronaut on an endurance mission is forced to cope with an intrusive force which threatens to derail the operation.

During the space race of the 1960’s, the Soviets and Americans were at each other’s throats, vying for a foothold in galactic exploration. Simultaneous to the superpower’s struggle, a wealthy eccentric by the name of Arthur Whitman set out to search for his own stellar glory. His self-financed voyage would see him try to break the record for the longest single-manned space mission, and remain in orbit for 1 week.

This is a story of one man’s struggle against the forces of nature, and the more powerful forces that lay within his own psyche.

The film was originally released in 2012 in 49th commemoration of the longest solo space flight in history. That flight was made by Russian Valery Bykovsky who spent nearly five days in orbit. While I don’t think this is one of the better science fiction films, it does show what might happen with a prolonged isolation.

 

Short Science Fiction Film “Isolation”

Short films – The short (8:28) post apocalypse science fiction film “Isolation” was published to YouTube in May of 2017 by iharrup. The synopsis:

Two female soldiers from opposing armies, stranded on a deserted space colony, face the dire effects of isolation. This is the story of how they met…

The film is a little dark, but it is well done and interesting. I would like to see more on their story.

Trailer for “Missions”

Trailers – “Missions” is a 10-part French science fiction / horror series released on the horror streaming service from AMC, Shudder. The dialog is in French with English subtitles. The primary character is the psychologist for the mission. The synopsis (according to Mashable):

With the funding of an eccentric billionaire, the crew of a manned craft aims to be the first to land on Mars. Much to the dismay of all on board however, just before the culmination of their 10-month journey to the Red Planet, they are made aware of a video sent by a rival ship that has overtaken them and already landed on the planet thanks to a revolutionary engine. The bad news doesn’t end there however, as the tape contains a cryptic warning from the Americans pleading with the crew not to land as something far too dangerous is happening on the surface. After a chaotic landing on Mars, the crew finds a survivor — but he’s not from their rival mission. His name is Vladimir Komarov. He is Russian. And he is the first man who died in space…in 1967.

I’m not a big fan of subtitled films as I find it very distracting to have to read the text. If you have access to Shudder the series began on September 28.

Short Science Fiction Film “Good Business”

Short Films – The short (4:59) science fiction film “Good Business” was published on YouTube in July of 2017 by Ray Sullivan (@directedbyray). The synopsis:

Humans are selling weapons to aliens on a far off world. The hope is that the locals will kill each other off making colonization easier.

This was an interesting film though not a positive look at humanity.