Review: Black Bolt #1 Promises A Fine New Series

The new Black Bolt comic from Marvel is finally here, and it’s pretty great. Written by Saladin Ahmed with art by Christian Ward, Issue #1 kicks the series off into a strangely lit, dark direction. I’ve been a fan of Ahmed’s writing ever since I picked up his novel Throne of the Crescent Moon, during one of my “read all the Hugo nominees” phases, and I’ve been looking forward to this book for months. It was worth the wait. Black Bolt #1 feels like the start of a big, mythic story about escaping a strange Underworld. Black Bolt, king of the Inhumans, has woken up in a prison thanks to… Read More

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other worlds austin 2016 poster

Other Worlds Austin 2016 Recap

Other Worlds Austin is a dedicated science fiction film festival based in Austin, TX.  A team of passionate scifi film makers, writers, and fans, they put together a curated collection of independent and classic science fiction movies, with a little horror thrown in.  This was my first year to attend, and I am definitely part of the cult now. I liked almost everything I saw this year, which is not a common experience at most festivals.  The curation was films was very well done.  They brought in some cool people, like Brian Narelle, who played Lt. Doolittle in Dark Star (1974) and has some of the weirdest stories about film making and fandom.  There… Read More

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safe neighborhood movie

Holiday Horror – Safe Neighborhood

Imagine if Home Alone had been a slasher film.  That’s what Safe Neighborhood feels like, and it’s hilarious. Safe Neighborhood follows creepy, bratty, oversexed 12 year old Luke (Levi Miller) in his campaign to seduce Ashley (Olivia DeJonge), the hot 17 year old who has been babysitting him for years, before she moves away for college.  Ashley arrives to watch Luke one last time while his parents are out at a holiday party.  Things get weird as Ashley brushes off young Luke’s efforts show his feelings, and then spooky as they begin to realize there is someone else in the house.  Watch out for those plastic yard Santa’s. Written by comedy writer Zack Kahn… Read More

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text fantastic fest

Fantastic Fest 2016 Recap

Fantastic Fest 2016 was, as always, a great party.    I ate too much fried food, was movie critic Leonard Maltin’s personal driver for a couple of days, and had an argument at the bar with a drunk Irish guy who hates Hillary Clinton. I saw 14 movies, including what is now my second favorite kaiju movie of all time.  Fantastic! Below is a quick synopsis of the films I saw, and why you should or should not waste a piece of your short time on Earth watching them.  The movie titles link to either their IMDB entry, or a trailer. I’ll also post updates in the future on how to… Read More

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suicide squad

On Junk Food, Suicide Squad, and Story Telling

I really enjoyed Suicide Squad. I describe it as, “big, stupid fun,” like delicious, carcinogenic junk food. Critics hate it, but most people are calling Suicide Squad ‘fun’. I’ve been trying to figure out what is it about Suicide Squad that makes it fun. What are the structural things that make this movie work despite its many failings? Let’s face it, Suicide Squad is a hot mess; it may be fun, but it is not good. The plot is just barely there, the character development is haphazard at best, and I’m surprised Ghostbusters hasn’t asked for their villain back. Why are there approximately 15 million flashbacks of Harley and the Joker,… Read More

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dead ant with fungus coming out of it. text: the girl with all the gifts

Book Review: The Girl with All the Gifts

The Girl with All the Gifts, by M. R. Carey, is a delightful twist on the zombie apocalypse genre.  Both disturbing and hopeful, the story and the characters get under your skin then gnaw their way back out. Nearly every zombie story these days follows the rules of the Romero / Night of the Living Dead universe; slow, shambling creatures, all dead rise, and no other form than rotting.  The Girl with All the Gifts breaks that mold, and it is refreshing. The ‘hungries’ in Carey’s novel move more like velociraptors than shambling corpses.  They smell their human prey, triggered to action by the stench of pheromones.  They are animated… Read More

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cyborg with red cape - Doctor Who Pirate Planet

Don’t Panic on Pirate Planet: A look at some Classic Doctor Who (1978-1979)

Episode: Pirate Planet Directed by: Pennant Roberts Written by: Douglas Adams With Tom Baker as the Fourth Doctor Mary Tamm as 1st Romana companion (and her amazing eyebrows) First Aired: September 1978   Science fiction author Douglas Adams wrote several Doctor Who episodes. This first happened in 1978, just months after the original Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy radio series began to broadcast. This greatly pleases me, for it is a nexus in time and space of so many things that I love. It is said that Adams sent the Doctor Who office a script from the HHGG, resulting in a commission to write a DW serial.  Out of that… Read More

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new comic book day with Marvex

New Comic Book Day with Dr Strange, Paper Girls, and Lady Killer

Some great comic book reads this week, including a delightfully disturbing new title. Doctor Strange #10 – Last Days of Magic Finale We finally meet The Thing in the Basement and it is fantastically horrifying. This issue concludes the Last Days of Magic arc. No big surprises, but satisfying overall. Things did not go in the direction I had hoped, but that would have taken several more issues of this arc, and they have a movie to make buzz about. I’m not sure what was going on with the art of this issue. For the most part, I have really enjoyed the look and feel of this book, but there… Read More

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several children dressed in creepy rabbit costumes. Black and white, vintage

The 3 Body Problem

Some thoughts while reading The 3 Body Problem: Human nature is tenaciously monstrous, and this is why we will survive the future. This is the most beautiful conspiracy theory ever conceived. I need to read more on the Cultural Revolution. Fiction needs more grandmothers filled with cold rage. This is the weirdest take on a First Contact With an Alien Civilization trope I’ve come across. What a cool idea for a fully immersive VR world. So much physics. So much physics. I lovedThe 3 Body Problem. No wonder Cixin Liu won a Hugo. If you’re into hard scifi, I recommend picking it up. You can click on the image below to buy… Read More

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starship enterprise above a planet

Star Trek Beyond: Fun, Flawed, Worth Seeing

Star Trek Beyond is fun, lighthearted science fiction, . Full of classic elements, nods to the series’ predecessors, and a story strong enough to carry the over-the-top explosions, the film is a fine piece of entertainment. I’m not saying this film is perfect; it has a few groan-worthy flaws, but is worth seeing despite them. Star Trek Beyond is not dark and gritty. It’s bright, colorful, and hopeful of the future. Most of the story happens on a planet surface, where the crew is wandering along high-walled cliffs and through forests that capture the feel of away missions in both the original Star Trek and The Next Generation. Kirk is… Read More

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