Tag Archives: Science Fiction

More Interesting Music on YouTube

Music – Last Monday on the Aethereal Engineer website he posted “Epic Music: Graham Plowman — Of Elder Things and Shoggoths“.

Now I am not a big music fan generally, but I liked this as it is all instrumental. I will often play instrumental music while I am working or reading. The music in this post fits well with that use case.

In fact, you might want to check out all of the posts that the composer of the above-mentioned music, Graham Plowman, has. He has many (more than 80 at the time I write this) videos there of his music. All of his titles are based on horror, fantasy, or science fiction themes. If you want some interesting instrumental music, you might want to try them all.

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Book Review: “Unbound”

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Book Reviews – “Unbound” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Lance Erlick (https://lanceerlick.com). Mr. Erlick has published a dozen novels. This is the second in his “Android Chronicles” 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 ‘PG’ because it contains some scenes of Mature Situations. The story is set in the not too distant future. The primary character is Synthia Cross, probably the most advanced humanoid robot in the world.

Cross was built in violation of laws governing robots that can pass for humans. While she has been in hiding for six months, the US government, the FBI, the NSA, foreign governments and other sentient robots are now after her.  She desperately wants to prevent other robots from reaching the same level of development as she has reached. Too many want the advanced robots to build an army or other sordid purposes. Cross fears that too many intelligent robots without the proper self-control will put humanity at risk.

Cross not only has her own native advanced AI but also some of the personality of a woman, Krista Holden, who her maker downloaded into her. Cross, along with a human she has made contact with must avoid all who pursue them while she attempts to remove the other androids from the wild.

I enjoyed the 7.5 hours I spent reading this 274-page science fiction novel. I liked the general plot of this story with the main character being the android. I think the writing could have been a bit more polished, but I enjoyed the story. While this is the second book of the series, it reads well on its own. I like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a 3.6 (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).

Tech of the Death Star

Podcasts –  Star Wars – I listened to the two episodes of the Tech Stuff podcast that deal with the Star Wars Death Star earlier this week. These episodes, “Death Star Support Systems” and “Death Star Weaponry”, aired May 7 and May 4 of 2018 respectively.

The host of Tech Stuff looks at the possible propulsion system, artificial gravity, and the main system weapon among other topics and tried to apply a technical explanation as to how they might have (or have not) worked.

As you can tell I am running behind on my podcast listening, but being eight months old did not diminish them in any way. If you are a fan of things Star Wars you may find these podcasts of interest. All of the Tech Stuff podcasts are available through iTunes.

Book Review: “Daisy’s Run”

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Book Reviews – “Daisy’s Run” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Scott Baron (https://scottbaron.blog). Mr. Baron has published six novels. This is the first novel in his “Clockwork Chimera” 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, Mature Situations, and Mature Language. The story is set in the future. The primary character is Daisy Swarthmore, a twenty-five-year-old redheaded communications and electronics expert aboard the spacecraft Váli.

Swarthmore is part of the small crew that is taking the vessel back to Earth. They are all awoken prematurely from cryo-sleep when their ship is struck by debris. Swarthmore is relatively new to the crew but gets along well with most of them. The ship is controlled by Mal, an advanced AI.

Swarthmore begins to have doubts about the AI, fearing that it is attempting a take-over. As the story progresses, one crew member ‘accidentally’ dies making Swarthmore even more paranoid. She soon finds herself on the run aboard the small ship. She hopes she can make it to the Moon’s Dark Side base or to Earth in time to counter what she sees as a threat from the AI. While she is pursued by the crew, she ultimately discovers that things are far from what she had expected.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 7.5 hours I spent reading this 361-page science fiction novel. I like the character of Swarthmore as well as the plot. Having unexpected plot twists make the novel feel fresh. I like the selected cover art. 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).

Book Review: “Through Fiery Trials”

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Book Reviews – “Through Fiery Trials” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by David Weber (http://www.davidweber.net). Mr. Weber has published nearly 80 novels. This is the tenth novel in his “Safehold” 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, Mature Language and Mature Situations. The story is set in the far future and surrounds the activities of the remnants of humanity on the planet Safehold.

There are several characters that are followed in this story. The war between Charis and those following the Church of God’s Awakening has come to an end. The leaders of Charis are part of a small but powerful group who know the truth behind Safehold. Now in the short time they have left before the Archangels are scheduled to return they must advance the technology level on Safehold as far as they can. This novel deals with the trials they face, both political and military, as they struggle towards that goal.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 25.5 hours I spent reading this 752-page science fiction novel. This novel is massive and took a very long time to complete. I have read several books by Mr. Weber and have enjoyed them all, including a few others in the Safehold series. This novel seemed a little slower than most. I think that is partially due to its length. 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).

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney

 

Star Wars – Set to open in 2019 at both Disneyland and Disney World, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will immerse you in the Star Wars Universe. I glimpsed some of the construction early this year when I was at Disney World. You couldn’t see much, but what I did see was impressive. This ‘Trailer’ was released by Disney on December 25, 2018, to give us a peek at what we will be seeing.

I am looking forward to visiting Disney again after the Star Wars park expansion opens in 2019. Galaxy’s Edge is set to open next summer at Disneyland and later in the fall at Walt Disney World.

Book Review: “Plains of Exodus”

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Book Reviews – “Planes of Exodus” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Robert J. Burnett. This is Mr. Burnett’s first published 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 Situations. The story is set in the far future. Earth has been destroyed and all that is left of humanity has been surviving as refugees in an overcrowded galaxy. The primary character is Jonah Mactier, a young smuggler.

Mactier accidentally stumbles across an incredible find while trying to evade Imperial vessels. He discovers an unknown system with a human compatible planet. Not only that, he finds a spatial conduit to the Andromeda galaxy. A galaxy that seems to be devoid of intelligent life.

He returns to his home on Alterhome, one of the colony ships that house the remnants of humanity. He makes his way directly to his mentor Jamie Kiernan and explains his find. , There he meets Tyran deMuelles, Kiernan’s new protégée, with whom he instantly falls in love.

Kiernan, deMuelles, and Mactier then work together to bring humanity to their new home without alerting Imperial forces of their plan. Their effort is not without challenges.

I enjoyed the 10+ hours I spent reading this 541-page science fiction story. I enjoyed this story and liked the plot and the characters. The Imperial forces seem far more inept than I would expect. 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).

Short Story & Review: “The Midshipman”

Book Reviews – The short story, “The Midshipman” (you can read it at the link to the left), was published on the Baen Books website and was written by David Drake (http://david-drake.com). Mr. Drake has published twelve novels in his Republic of Cinnabar Navy (RCN) series. This short story is set in the Universe created for that series.

I categorize this short story as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in the future. The main character is Able Spacer Ellie Woetjans of the RCN Battleship Renown. It gives a brief tale of her experiences with new Midshipman Mckinnon.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 25 minutes I spent reading this science fiction story. I have read several of Mr. Drake’s novels and have enjoyed them. I give this short story a 5 out of 5.

Star Wars Scenes Recreated with Toys

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Star Wars – My son sent me a link to the article “It’s no Jedi mind trick, these iconic Star Wars scenes are all toys” today. I think that this photographer has put together some amazing photos considering he is only using Star Wars toys and a little Photoshop magic to create his photos. If you are a Star Wars fan you will likely enjoy them.

I included one of the photos from the article above, but if you follow the link to the article there are 39 more photos you can view.