Category Archives: Science Fiction

Short Science Fiction Film “Black”

Short Films – I recently came across the short (14:09) black and white science fiction animated film “Black”. The synopsis:

Two astronauts are trapped on the orbital space station because of nuclear war that ran very fast on the earth below. They have lost contact with earth, all attempts to make a connection with their base or with anybody has failed without an answer.

This was a very well done animation, though the story is a little strange. It reminds me of a manga book. This was not the most enjoyable film and the rating for it on IMDB is only 4.9/10.

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Short Star Wars Film “Bounty Buddies”

Short FilmsStar Wars – I just came across the short (4:14) animated comedy Star Wars fan film “Bounty Buddies”. This is an all stop-motion production featuring Hasbro’s 6-Inch Black Series figures. This film was uploaded to YouTube in May of 2015 by JCMediaStudios. The synopsis:

Jabba assigns Boba Fett to his hardest mission yet… teaching Greedo how to be a good bounty hunter. Can Greedo finally capture Solo?

I’m not usually looking for humor or satire in my Star Wars films, but I thought this film was worth noting. It was the winner of the 2015 Best Comedy Star Wars Fan Film Award.

Trailer for “Captain Marvel”

Trailers – The first trailer for the movie “Captain Marvel” has been released. The movie is due in theaters March of 2019. The synopsis (per IMDB):

Carol Danvers becomes one of the universe’s most powerful heroes when Earth is caught in the middle of a galactic war between two alien races.

The short (1:56) trailer does not reveal a lot, though this movie looks like it has potential. I look forward to seeing it next year.

Book Review: “Lakes of Mars”

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Book Reviews – “Lakes of Mars” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Merritt Graves. Mr. Graves has published two novels.

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 the future. Mars and other locations in the Solar System have been colonized. The primary character is 17-year-old Aaron Sheridan.

Sheridan has joined the Fleet after a crash killed his family while he was piloting their shuttle. He had hoped to be assigned to the war out on the Rim and die. Unexpectedly he is assigned to Corinth Station, the premier Fleet academy run by the United Fleet of Mars.  The academy is nothing like he had expected. Life there is brutal and cutthroat. The young officers in training learn more through survival than from their instructors.

The cadets are broken into different groups and there is a battle going on between groups. Sheridan gets drawn into this and finds that it is not clear which side he should be on. Sheridan just tries to survive, then he meets the brilliant Eve. He dedicates most of his time to help her research a cure for her brother.

Before long though he and some of the other students begin to suspect that the United Fleet of Mars is hiding something at Corinth Station. The more they investigate, the stronger they feel that they have to do something.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 13.5 hours I spent reading this young adult science fiction novel. There is action and a touch of romance in the book. I liked the overall plot, but I am not a fan of the Sheridan character. I understand having a flawed hero, but to me, he has a few too many flaws. The cover art is OK, though I think something closer to the plot line would have been better. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

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

New Trailer for “Prospect”

Trailers – I have seen an earlier trailer for the movie “Prospect”, but this is a much longer version. The movie is due in US theaters in November of 2018. The synopsis:

A teenage girl and her father travel to a remote alien moon, aiming to strike it rich. They’ve secured a contract to harvest a large deposit of the elusive gems hidden in the depths of the moon’s toxic forest. But there are others roving the wilderness and the job quickly devolves into a fight to survive. Forced to contend not only with the forest’s other ruthless inhabitants but with her own father’s greed-addled judgment, the girl finds she must carve her own path to escape.

This is a dark science fiction tale that has the feel of a western. It is based on a short film by the same name. It looks promising and has already scored a 7/10 on IMDB.

Review of “The Forbidden Door”

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Book Reviews – “The Forbidden Door” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Dean Koontz (http://www.deankoontz.com). Mr. Koontz had published more than 125 novels. This is the fourth novel in his “Jane Hawk” 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 Situations. The story is set in near future California. The primary character is former FBI agent Jane Hawk.

Hawk’s life was upended when her husband committed suicide. Her investigation led her to a secret group using nanotechnology to slowly gain control of key people across the US. Now, she, her son and those close to her have become their targets. Hawk continues to evade capture even after the secret society has made her the most wanted person in America. Their mind control tech means that they have an army to wield against Hawk.

While she has evaded them for months, now they are closing in. The group knows the general location where Hawk’s young son is in hiding. Hawk is racing towards her son to save him. They know she is coming and plan to have her, her son, or both within days. Hawk has to gather her resources and try to outwit them and be read to out gun them.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 11 hours I spent reading this 480-page science fiction thriller. While this could be a readable stand-alone novel, you really need to start with the first book in the series “The Silent Corner” to understand what is happening. I like the Jane Hawk character that Koontz has created. I also like the plot, with advanced tech to give the secret society an edge, but enough human involvement in her pursuit to make them vulnerable. I like the cover art. I give this novel a 5 out of 5.

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

Review of “Primordial Threat”

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Book Reviews – “Primordial Threat” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by M. A. Rothman (http://www.michaelarothman.com/). Mr. Rothman has published two novels.

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 ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence and Mature Language. The story is set on Earth in 2066. While there are several characters followed, the primary character is the brilliant scientist Dave Holmes.

Earth has advanced with commercial space efforts as well as scientific research throughout the Solar System. Burt Radcliffe has just been appointed as the new head of NASA’s Near Earth Object program when an Earth-shattering discovery is made – a black hole is headed towards Earth. Earth has DefenseNet, a ring of satellites to repel killer asteroids, but they will provide little protection from the black hole.

An urgent search is begun for options. Before he was ousted in disgrace as head of the International Science Foundation, Dave Holmes had instigated several programs, including DefenseNet. What was viewed as wasteful spending then, seems to the groundwork to save the Earth from a disaster like the approaching black hole. Can Holmes be found? Will he, can he, lead the way to save Earth?

While the scientific community around the world works on measures to save the Earth, there is a growing and powerful segment of the population that wants to stop them. Their view is that the black hole signals the foretold ‘End of Days’. They see any effort to evade the black hole as sacrilege.  Only if humanity lets the end come, will they be saved. The group is willing to go to any length to stop the efforts to save the planet.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 10 hours I spent reading this 461-page science fiction thriller. I like the overall plot. I also liked the characters created for the novel. However, both seemed a little weak. The cover art is OK, but I think a better image could have been chosen. I give this novel a 4.4 (rounded down to a 4) out of 5.

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

Short Science Fiction Film “White Lily”

Short Films – I came across the short (9:44) science fiction film “White Lily” a few days ago. It was posted to YouTube in July of 2018 by DUST. The synopsis:

A tense spaceship captain and co-pilot set out to investigate a comet, when a technical fault cuts to the core of their relationship problem…

The film, as most from DUST, is very well done. I am not sure I would say it is one of their best efforts, but it does touch on an interesting subject.

Short Science Fiction Film “Hyperlight”

Short Film – I recently came across the short (16:29) science fiction film “Hyperlight”. The film was posted to YouTube in June of 2018 by DUST. The synopsis:

Two elite astronauts wake up in the abyss of space; they return to their stranded ship and discover the surprising reason behind their mission’s catastrophic failure.

I thought that this was a well-made film with good graphics. It also has a good story to tell. It is rated 7.1/10 on IMDB.

Review of “The Razor”

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Book Reviews – “The Razor” eBook was published in 2018 (November) and was written by J. Barton Mitchell (http://jbartonmitchell.com). Mr. Mitchell has published five novels.

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 the far future. Humanity has spread throughout the stars and one planet, Razor, has been designated as a prison planet for the galaxy’s most dangerous criminals. The main character is Marcus Flynn, a brilliant engineer.

Flynn has been sentenced to Razor, though he contends that he has been set up. Being sentenced to Razor is usually a one-way trip, and conditions there are severe and the work dangerous. .nexpectedly ‘Lost Prophet’ – a catastrophic failure – is declared and before long most guards and civilians have been evacuated from the planet surface. The prisoners though are expendable and are left behind.

Chaos and anarchy reign as the prisoners free themselves and struggle to gain power and settle old grudges. They may have only days left before the barely habitable zone on Razor ceases to exist. Flynn may have an answer, but he must ally himself with murderers, assassins, pirates, and smugglers in order to survive and find a solution.

Will Flynn and his allies survive long enough to save the planet, and more importantly themselves? What will the hidden secrets of Razor they uncover mean for their future? Will there be any kind of future with the young woman Flynn has met, or will she turn on him and slit his throat? Even if Flynn is able to save the planet, will there be any future for those sentenced to Razor?

I enjoyed the 10.5+ hours I spent reading this 400-page science fiction thriller. While this is science fiction, because of the dark setting for much of the story and the savages that Flynn and his allies must face, this almost has a horror feel to it. It also reminded me of some of the first person shooter computer games I have watched my son play where you must make your way through some deserted facility filled with crazies that want to kill you. I do like the characters and would enjoy reading a sequel to this novel. The cover art is OK. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

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