Tag Archives: Science Fiction

The Tech of Star Trek

Podcasts Star Trek – I listen to many podcasts and one of the recent programs I heard is “The Tech of Star Trek” on Tech Stuff. I think that it did a good job of covering some of the Tech in Star Trek and how practical it is given what we know today. Their synopsis:

From transporters to replicators, we take a look at the technology of Star Trek. How much of it is based on real technology and how much of it is just plain old magic?

If you are a Star Trek fan this might be a podcast you want to listen to.

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Review of “Death by DNA”

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Book Reviews – “Death by DNA” eBook was published in 2016 and was written by Pierce Roberts. This is Mr. Robert’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, Mature Situations and Mature Language. The story is set primarily in contemporary Europe and South America. The primary character is Tom O’Dell, a rural Wisconsin dairy veterinarian.

Something is causing animal specie deaths across the world in small localized areas. O’Dell is one of many vets across the country that are drafted by the USDA to investigate. They are sent to Atlanta for training and there he meets the lovely Dr. Kate Vensky of the USDA. Not long after the training, over 200 cows and heifer calves are found dead on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation. While there investigating, O’Dell and his colleagues meet a Lakota Sioux shaman who has seen vision of a ‘Destroyer’ coming.

As their investigation continues, they suspect that the cause of the animal deaths is the result of an invention originating in Nazi Germany. It becomes a race as to whether they will find who is behind the plot before the killing becomes widespread and targeted at humans. As they proceed, they find that their investigation and very lives are under threat from Nazi sympathizers.

I thought that the 11+ hours I spent reading this 433 page thriller were interesting. The story combined romance, religion and the paranormal as well as some science fiction. While I liked the overall plot, I think it could have been given more intensity. Likewise, I think the characters could have had more depth to them. I think better cover art could have been chosen. I give this novel a 3.5 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.

Further book reviews I have written can be accessed at https://johnpurvis.wordpress.com/blog/.

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

Review of “Space Carrier Avalon”

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Book Reviews – “Space Carrier Avalon” eBook was published in 2015 and was written by Glynn Stewart (https://www.glynnstewart.com). Mr. Stewart has published nearly 30 novels. This is the first in his “Castle Federation” 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 the far future of the 28th century. The primary character is Wing Command Kyle Roberts.

The Space Carrier Avalon is a legendary craft, though now approaching the end of its useful life. Roberts is reporting aboard to take command of his first fighter group. The mission of the Avalon, and probably its last,  is to make a sweep through Castle Federation Space. More of a diplomatic mission that a show of force with the aging carrier.

As soon as Roberts is aboard he begins to notices things that are amiss and the details soon surface of widespread abuse of the role the Avalon has been playing in the Castle Federation Navy the past few years. Roberts has many obstacles to overcome with some lazy and thieving crew members. This all begins to turn into a desperate situation as the delicate peace the Castle Federation has enjoyed several years is suddenly shattered. Roberts and the crew of the Avalon are thrust into one desperate situation after another.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 8.5 hours I spent reading this 343 page science fiction thriller. I liked the characters developed for the story. While I have read other novels with the same basic plot of ‘space force at peace, then attacked and must respond’, I did enjoy this interpretation. This is a series that I would like to read more of. I have to say that now that I have read and enjoyed two Glynn Stewart novels, I will be looking for more from this author. 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).

Star Wars TV Series Coming

Star Wars – Star Wars Episode VIII, “The Last Jedi“, came out December of 2017, “Solo: A Star Wars Story” came out in May of 2018, and Episode IX is due in 2019. It looks like these will be followed sometime in 2019 with a TV series set in the Star Wars Universe. This series is being developed by Disney for the streaming service it plans to to start.

Not a lot is known about the proposed series other than it is being developed by director Jon Favreau and that the first 10 episodes have a $100 million budget. That is a significant budget for TV, so we should expect to be impressed.

Sadly, it appears that the only way we will have to view the new series is to subscribe to the Disney streaming service. Disney has already begun withdrawing programming from other channels such as Netflix in preparation for their streaming service.

Review of “Saving Paludis”

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Book Reviews – “Saving Paludis” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Clayton Graham (https://claytongraham.com.au). Mr. Graham 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, Mature Situations and Mature Language. The story is set in the far future where humanity has spread across the stars. The primary character is Police agent Stefan Lattanzis.

The scientists on the planet Paludis have made a discovery that will affect all of mankind – a drug that will put humans to sleep for days, even months at a time, and which will slow down aging while they sleep. Now as Paludis begins to grow in power, Earth begins to see it as a threat to its domination human space.

Lattanzis and a few close friends must try to save the planet both from their own politicians who want to take advantage of the power the drug brings Paludis, as well as the Earth forces sent to bring Paludis to heel. Complicating this, and acting as an excuse for Earth to take action, is a series of attacks on Earth that have been traced back to Paludis.

I thought that his was an interesting 10+ hours spent reading this 435 page science fiction novel. The story has a much broader scope than most, covering several months of time. While I like the basic plot, I really felt that the implementation was a little weak and the characters mostly one dimensional. The cover art is OK. I give this novel a 3.5 (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).

Review of “Irontown Blues”

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Book Reviews – “Irontown Blues” eBook was published in 2018 (August) and was written by John Varley (https://varley.net). Mr. Varley has published 14 novels. This novel is set in his “Eight Worlds” universe.

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 on the Moon colony. The primary character is Christopher Bach a sometimes cop and part-time private detective. His genetically enhanced bloodhound Sherlock is also a significant part of the story.

Bach lives as though he is part of the 1930s-40s era mystery genre books and movies he loves. He is engaged by a woman to investigate a crime but finds himself involved in a hunt of biohackers in the dangerous Irontown district of the Moon colony.

I thought that this was an odd 6 hour read of 304 pages. It is both science fiction and a mystery, though mostly mystery. I finished the novel, though I am not sure if I liked it very much. The cover art seems appropriate. I give this novel a 3.8 (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).

Review of “Stars Uncharted”

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Book Reviews – “Stars Uncharted” eBook was published in 2018 (August) and was written by S. K. Dunstall (Sherylyn and Karen Dunstall – http://www.skdunstall.com). This is their fourth 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 ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in the far future. The primary characters are Captain Hammond Roystan, Junior Engineer Josune Arriola, and Body-Modification Artist, Nika Rik Terri.

The Road to the Goberlings and her crew led by Roystan had come across the infamous ship Hassim. The Road, while basically a merchant vessel, was not about to overlook a financial windfall. What they had found when they boarded the Hassim was the crew dead and the ship occupied by heavily armed Company men. The Road‘s crew took the Hassim from the Corporate men and claimed her for salvage. Roystan needed to lead his crew in a quick sale of the Hassim and disappear before the Corporation’s men could find them.

Arriola had been undercover on board The Road. She was really part of the Hassim‘s crew. She had been sent to The Road to keep an eye on Roystan. Terri had wound up in the pocket of ruthless Corporate thugs. While a Body-Modification  Artist, she had more than enough ability to mend the Corporation’s men. When an assassin forced her cooperation, she took the opportunity to run from the Corporation.

Roystan, Arriola, and Terri find themselves together and struggling to avoid the same Corporation. The Corporation believes that Roystan may have information that will lead to an incredibly valuable mineral deposit. All of this leads the three into one dangerous situation after another.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 10 hours I spent reading this 416 page science fiction thriller. I liked all of the characters created for this novel. I did think the whole body-modification art was a bit weird, but we do have a growing ‘Body Hacking’ movement so who knows. It did give a little different twist to the plot. I am not a big fan of the chosen cover art. This is the third work of Dunstall and I have enjoyed them all, though I think this is the best of their novels. 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 “Blood’s a Rover”

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Book Reviews – “Blood’s a Rover” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Harlan Ellison (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harlan_Ellison). Mr. Ellison has published only nine novels or novellas but has published over 1,700 short stories since 1958. He has received numerous awards for his writing over the years.

I received an ARC of this novella 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 a post-apocalypse world. The primary characters are the young man Vic and his enhanced dog Blood.

Vic and Blood struggle to survive in the desolate wasteland of the future. Blood, his dog, has been enhanced allowing them to communicate telepathically, and Blood is clearly the more strategic thinker of the two.

After being separated, they find themselves together again. Soon, Vic is confronted with adding a third member to their team, Spike. Spike is a survivor like Vic. Reluctantly Vic lets the young woman join them and the duo becomes a trio.

I thought the 2.5 hours spent reading this 232 page novella was interesting. I had not read any of the prior works in the series, but this novella read pretty well on its own. That is not too unexpected since the last work in the series was published in 1980. I think the cover art is good as it both depicts the flavor of the story as well as having a vintage look. It is adapted from a screenplay, so the format is a little hard to read. 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).

 

Review of “Exile”

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Book Reviews – “Exile” eBook was published in 2018 (July) and was written by Glynn Stewart (https://www.glynnstewart.com). Mr. Stewart has published 27 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. The primary character is Vice Admiral Isaac Gallant.

Gallant is the heir to the leadership of the Confederacy of Humanity. Heir because his mother, the First Admiral, has taken over the Confederacy and rules it with an iron fist. Fed up with what his mother represents, Gallant gets involved with a rebellious group intending to overthrow the First Admiral.

The plot is discovered before any real action can be taken. Normally those even thinking of rebellion would be executed. However, since her son is involved, the First Admiral decides that exile is a just punishment. But this is not a simple exile, but a one-way trip to the other end of the Galaxy. Not only are the rebels sent, but four million including criminals, and anyone thought to speak against the First Admiral, are rounded up and included.

Their destination is a planet that a quick survey has identified as habitable. Now they must build a new civilization. They have various troubles, mostly due to the mix of people included. The real challenge comes when the new colony is confronted with the aliens that terraformed the planet. Will they find a way to survive?

I thoroughly enjoyed the 9 hours I spent reading this 381 page science fiction thriller. I thought that the idea of people being exiled was an unusual basis for a plot. I also liked the characters that appear in the story. I look forward to future novels in this series. Given the storyline, I think that the cover art is well chosen. 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).