Tag Archives: Science Fiction

Review of “Digging in the Stars”

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Book Reviews – “Digging in the Stars” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Katherine Blakeney (https://katherineblakeneyauthor.wordpress.com). This is Ms. Blakeney’s first publication.

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. The story is set is the far future. The primary character is 16 year old Carter Vanadian.

Vanadian, five of her fellow Archeology of Outer Space students and their professor are about to set off on a month long apprenticeship trip. Vanadian’s close friend, Conrad, has recently gone missing while on the planet Thror. Vanadian manipulates the travel reservations so that her group goes to Thror as well.

The planet is a chaotic place with the resident “Furry Giants” hosting visitors in spa hotels with much flirting with the female guests. As Vanadian begins to dig into the disappearance of Conrad, she inadvertently drags the rest of her small group into the mystery. She also finds that there is the real possibility that she may be on the trail of a truly significant archaeological discovery. This knowledge and the efforts to discover what has happened to Conrad do not go without risk to her and the others.

I thought that this was an interesting 10 hour read of a 344 page Young Adult Science Fiction Mystery Thriller. Beyond the fact that Vanadian and her companions travelled to a remote planet in just a day or two, this was a pretty hard to accept story. The basic concept was OK, but to me, the novel was contrived and weak. The cover art is OK, but could have been better. I give this novel a 3.4 (rounded down to a 3) out of 5.

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

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Trailer for “Alita: Battle Angel”

Trailers – I had not heard of Alita before I saw this trailer. It looks like it may have possibilities. The fact that James Cameron is one of the writers gives the movie some credits. The synopsis (from IMDB):

An action-packed story of one young woman’s journey to discover the truth of who she is and her fight to change the world.

This will come out in July of 2018.

Review of “The Massacre of Mankind”

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Book Reviews – “The Massacre of Mankind” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Stephen Baxter (http://www.stephen-baxter.com). Mr. Baxter has published more than 30 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. The story takes place some 14 years after the original “War of the Worlds”. The British have learned much from the technology left behind by the Martian attack.

When launches are seen on Mars once again, the British prepare to repel a new wave of Martians using all they learned in the first invasion. The martians though, have learned from the first invasion too.

The primary characters of this story are continuing characters from the original, including Walter Jenkins. Britain is not the only target in this new assault. Soon the entire world is attempting to fight off the Martian onslaught.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 13.5 hours I spent reading this 498 page alternate history and science fiction thriller. This is an authorized sequel to the original work and it has the right feel for the period – the 1920s. If you have read the original “War of the Worlds” and enjoyed it, you will want to read this sequel as well. I like the cover art selected. I give this novel a 4.7 (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).

Short Science fiction Film – “Dedalo”

Short Films – The short (8:25) science fiction film “Dedalo” was published to YouTube in May of 2017 by DUST. The synopsis:

Trapped inside the Space Freighter/Refinery DÉDALO, SIENA tries to survive an infestation of Diabolic Creatures.

This is a good film that mixes science fiction with horror, much like the original Alien film. Another well made film from DUST. The film has a 6.5/10 rating on IMDB.

Star Wars Fan Film – “The Irregulars”

Star WarsShort Film – The short (12:55) Star Wars fan film “The Irregulars” was uploaded to YouTube in September of 2016 by Keegan Larwin. The synopsis:

A rag-tag team of hired guns (NOT CLONES) are sent by the Republic on a do or die mission to Takodana. If everything went as planned, we wouldn’t need to tell you the story…

This isn’t a bad film, but it does have a mix of good and mediocre special affects.

Trailer for “Avengers: Infinity War”

Trailers – The next installment of the Avengers comes to theaters in May 2018. This trailer is short (2:24) but this looks to be another good addition to the Marvel franchise. The synopsis (per IMDB):

The Avengers and their Super Hero allies must be willing to sacrifice all in an attempt to defeat the powerful Thanos before his blitz of devastation and ruin puts an end to the universe.

Something to look forward to in 2018.

Review of “Space Agent and the Isles of Fire”

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Book Reviews – “Space Agent and the Isles of Fire” eBook was published in 2017 (original paper edition was published in 1963) and was written by Angus MacVicar (http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/ea.cgi?111388). Mr. MacVicar was the author of a dozen 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 ‘G’. The story is set in the far future where mankind is expanding to the stars. The primary character is U.N.O Department for Space Investigation agent Jeremy Grant.

A space craft has fallen to Earth on one of the Isles of Fire and the impact has caused an earthquake and the eruption of the volcano the island surrounds. The fear is that the craft has been illegally returning samples of Martian vegetation. The crash is feared to have spread the vegetation across the island.

Grant, along with a few close colleagues, travel to the island to investigate. Once they approach the island, they encounter a overwhelming urge to turn back and flee from the island. They fear that the Martian plants are responsible. Their attempts to investigate leave them stranded on one of the islands.

Will help arrive in time” Will the volcano erupt again? Will the vegetation from Mars take them?

This was a mediocre read of 5.5 hours. This vintage science fiction tale reads like the plot from a 50s era ‘B’ movie. While it might have been great in the 60s, I don’t think that it has aged well. I also do not think that the cover art is consistent with the story. I give this novel a 2.8 (rounded up to a 3) out of 5.

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

The World of Sci-fi during WWII – Intermission Story (29)

WWII – I thought that this was an interesting look at Science Fiction during the years of World War II.

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Alex Schomburg artwork

The goings-on at the home front!!

The first Golden Age of Science Fiction—often recognized in the United States as the period from 1938 to 1946—was an era during which the science fiction genre gained wide public attention and many classic science fiction stories were published. In the history of science fiction, the Golden Age follows the “pulp era” of the 1920s and 1930s, and precedes New Wave science fiction of the 1960s and 1970s. The 1950s are a transitional period in this scheme.

One leading influence on the creation of the Golden age was John W. Campbell, who became legendary in the genre as an editor and publisher of science fiction magazines, including Astounding Science Fiction, to the point where Isaac Asimov stated that “…in the 1940s, (Campbell) dominated the field to the point where to many seemed all of science fiction.” Under Campbell’s editorship, science fiction developed more realism and psychological depth to characterization. The focus…

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Review of “Found in Time”

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Book Reviews – “Found in Time” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by J. K. Kelly (http://jkkelly.com). This is Mr. Kelly’s first novel.

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 based on today, but the team travels to various places and times on their missions. The primary character is US Marine Major JJ Jackson.

Jackson has been a covert operator for some time, but is now asked to lead a new, even more secret unit. The unit’s mission is to test out a time travel device, then to eventually use it to fight the terrorists they have been confronted with. Their missions back in time are filled with danger and they meet several historical figures. Their most severe challenge comes from an unexpected quarter.

I really enjoyed the 8 hours I spent reading this science fiction thriller. It does have a bit of a religious twist. I liked the characters developed in the novel, and the plot. I did have a feeling in the first half or so that it was a collection of short stories stitched together. I do hope that there are more books to follow with the same characters. The cover art is OK, but I don’t think that it relates well to the story. I give this novel a 4.5 (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).

 

Review of “Nightmare Planet”

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Book Reviews – “Nighmare Planet” eBook was published in 2017 (original paper edition was published in 1976) and was written by Donald S. Rowland (http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/ea.cgi?116971). Mr. Rowland published 19 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. The story is set in the far future. The spacecraft Voyager from Earth is in route to the Brontus Major Constellation when it discovers an uncharted planetary system. The primary character is Ship Captain Kyle Barlor.

The planetary system was completely unknown and did not at first show up on their instruments. As they approach the system, things begin failing on their ship and they are fired upon from one of the planets. A party is landed on the planet showing signs of habitation, but soon after they land contact is lost. Barlor leads a rescue mission, but they too are soon set upon by hostile creatures. It soon becomes apparent that leaving the planet and surviving will be a challenge.

I spent only 5 hours to read this 191 page vintage science fiction novel. The writing had the distinct feel of an older work. It really does not hold up very well for today’s reader. I don’t think the cover art is very representative of the story. I give this novel a 3 out of 5.

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