Hidden empire by kevin j. anderson Review and Opinion

2018/11/27

Hidden Empire: The Saga Of Seven Suns (Book 1)
Kevin J. Anderson
Earthlight paperback £6.99

review by Simeon Shoul

In the year 2427 AD, humanity is doing rather well. More or less politically unified by the Terran Hanseatic League under Great King Frederic, religiously at peace thanks to the vague platitudes of the Unison Church, protígís of the ancient and benevolent Ildiran Empire, which has gifted them with an FTL stardrive, everything is looking rosy.
   Sure, there are malcontents and naysayers out there. Pirate Rand Sorenson, a member of the despised 'gypsy' Roamer culture, denounces the Hanseatic League as a coterie of economic vampires. The snooty Theron Green Priests with their marvellous telepathic World Forest won't formally join the League, hampering interstellar communications and commerce (oh! the gnashing of teeth!), and there are those among the Ildirans who look upon upstart humanity with a cold and jaundiced eye...
   But never mind

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Hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy Review and Opinion

2018/11/26

The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy (1981)
Director: Alan J.W. Bell

review by Steven Hampton

Despite his lowly socio-economic status, sourpuss demeanour, and complete lack of sartorial refinement, Arthur Dent (Simon Jones) is very much the everyman cousin of sci-fi heroes Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers. Like Flash Gordon before him, Arthur travels through space to alien worlds. Yes, I know he fails to save the Earth (its fate is decided before he got out of bed that day), and ends up stranded in the remote past instead of waking up in the far future but, just like old Buck, Arthur is a traveller in time and his story is simply one of the most entertaining in all modern science fiction.
   Written by the late Douglas Adams, created as a BBC radio series, adapted for the stage, and later turned into a series of very successful novels, Hitchhiker's is one of the great SF comedy inventions. It has kooky aliens, fantastically bizarre plot twists

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Hollow man Review and Opinion

2018/11/25

Hollow Man (2000)
Director: Paul Verhoeven

review by Peter Schilling

"It's amazing what you can do when you don't have to look at yourself in the mirror anymore," says Kevin Bacon's maniacal scientist, threateningly, in this millennial update of the science fictional 'Invisible Man' theme. The witty title is a pun - not just on the quantum shifted mad doctor's latex-wrapped head (at one point a bedside light glows magically through his ersatz flesh to reveal the space 'inside' his skull) but also refers to the psychological emptiness of all-consuming obsession, paranoid delusions and egomania that turn Bacon's character into a grim parody of skin-deep humanity.
   Following the variously praised/panned RoboCop, Total Recall, and Starship Troopers, this latest Paul Verhoeven offering appears to be a cross-genre link between that set of ultra-violent action adventures and the director's absurdly hyper-charged erotic thrillers, Basic Instinct

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Horror fest '06 Review and Opinion

2018/11/24

Horror Fest '06:

Horror fest

Comprar Horror fest '06 Review and Opinion

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House of 1000 corpses Review and Opinion

2018/11/23

House Of 1000 Corpses (2003)
Director: Rob Zombie

review by Octavio Ramos Jr

With modern filmmaking less about entertainment and more about mass appeal, product placement, and political correctness disguised as carefully structured 'rebellion', no other genre has suffered more than horror. For example, look back to 1972, when Wes Craven unleashed The Last House on the Left, which redefined American horror, and then move forward to 1996, when Craven exploited his own work to give the masses Scream. The exploitation of Scream, which many critics and fans labelled homage, led to further decay, with directors such as George Romero struggling to make another 'dead' film while previous efforts such as Dawn Of The Dead (and Tobe Hooper's The Texas Chain Saw Massacre) were remade with "younger and hipper casts."
   With House Of 1000 Corpses

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Hp lovecraft encyclopedia Review and Opinion

2018/11/22

An H.P. Lovecraft Encyclopedia
S.T. Joshi and David E. Schultz
Greenwood hardcover £58.95

review by Patrick Hudson

The literary reputation of H.P. Lovecraft has grown enormously over the past three decades. He has gone from being an obscure writer in a spurned genre to take a place beside the Gothic masters who inspired him - Poe, Blackwood, Machen, James and de Maupassant. It is fitting company for a man who dedicated his life to supernatural literature, both as a writer and a critic.
   One of the major proponents of Lovecraft's literary reputation is the critic S.T. Joshi. Since the early 1980s he has pushed Lovecraft scholarship forward, returning to basic texts and eschewing much that has been added to Lovecraft's work over the years both in terms of his exaggerated reputation for oddness and the accumulated baggage of the Cthulhu mythos itself. Joshi's thesis, which he has argued convincingly in venues as diverse fanzines, literary journals and his

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Cult of unreason Review and Opinion

2018/11/21

Making Sense of Wonder

Cult of unreason Review and Opinion

Comprar Cult of unreason Review and Opinion

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Hulk Review and Opinion

2018/11/20

Hulk (2003)
Director: Ang Lee

review by Patrick Hudson

For those of us who spent the 1970s cringing through dire TV shows and rotten, cheaply produced movies starring portly guys in Lycra, the current crop of superhero movies is like all of our childhood dreams come true. It's seems incredible to think of a time when comics were better than the movies that they inspired, but as recently as 1990 Batman failed to match the scope and ambition of its inspiration, Frank Miller's Dark Knight. Now suddenly, all in a row we get X-Men and X2, and Spider-Man - which are better than the comics that now bear their name - and Daredevil, which is not that great, but fast-moving and unpretentious.
   Latest in line for a piece of

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Human front by ken macleod Review and Opinion

2018/11/19

The Human Front
Ken MacLeod
PS Publishing paperback £8/$14

review by Steven Hampton

This novella is an alternative history of early 20th century Britain in which the grim Cold War prospect of a limited nuclear exchange was not averted (Moscow being among those major cities laid waste), and flying saucers have become the American military's secret weapon against enemy states around the world.
   Against a background of civil unrest in a divergent timeline, 'Area 51' hardware, and the sort of ironic Leftist satire that Ken MacLeod explored so well in The Star Fraction and The Stone Canal, John Matheson is a political idealist turned guerrilla fighter from the Scottish highlands. When his squad of rebels and saboteurs are confronted with the mystery of a stealth aircraft powered by antigravity, John remembers enough about the bomber crash that he witnessed as a child to uncover the

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Cube, hypercube Review and Opinion

2018/11/18

Cube (1998)
Director: Vincenzo Natali

review by Steven Hampton

The Hellraiser movies feature a puzzle box that opened a door to hell. This superb low-budget Canadian SF mystery thriller puts a mixed group of six protagonists inside a huge maze of interlinked yet mobile rooms, some of which have lethal traps.
   Who are these people? Why are they here? (We may as well ask, "What's the purpose of life?") Are they all victims of a government conspiracy... an alien experiment... or just a sick practical joke? Although the answers are not easily obtained or - be warned - made entirely clear by the end of the movie, Cube is one of the most wryly intelligent and suspenseful genre offerings of the 1990s.
   Nicole de Boer (who played Ezri Dax in the final season of Star Trek: DS9) finds a key to the deliberately enigmatic hi-tech prison when she discovers there are very large prime numbers stencilled onto the doorway frames of each cuboid

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Ichi the killer Review and Opinion

2018/11/17

Ichi The Killer (2001)
Director: Takashi Miike

review by Paul Higson

Cinematic sadism may have been keeping the Japanese peace for four decades but was it ever offered in an overlong morally void package as this? And the live-action of the two in this Ichi The Killer boxset was longer by three minutes and 15 seconds originally, the BBFC demanding "Cuts... to scenes of mutilated, raped or savagely beaten women or of sexual pleasure from violence." As the film concerns the playing off of the ultimate sadist against the perfect masochist with no ordinary interloper to root for, how is it any of this film got either a theatrical or video release? Two hours is a still gruellingly vicious haul.

The claimed animated 'feature' version of Ichi The Killer (2002) is barely that, as it is only the last unnecessarily long six minutes of credits that bump it up to the constituted feature length. Though chronologically coming after the live action film

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Identity Review and Opinion

2018/11/16

Identity (2003)
Director: James Mangold

review by Paul Higson

Advance publicity came late in the form of a quick set of atmospheric downpour rain scenes, the usual selective interviews and repeated mention of a super twist in the tale, a secret to be kept. The title of James Mangold's horror film was too big a final clue, a giveaway to an old hand like me, someone who once penned a speculative screenplay titled 'Thine' I entered the cinema having already sussed the film out. Back in 1982 the identity of the killer in Jeffrey Obrow's Pranks was that stereotypical slasher movie character, the practical joke playing youth, and in the 1972 exploitation film Vengeance Is Mine a mafia family are offed one by one, the killer finally revealed to be... the priest. You can give away too much with a title. Identity is not only too big a clue it is also too rat-a-tat and ignominious a title, shy as many horror films are these days to admit to their

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Ilium by dan simmons Review and Opinion

2018/11/15

Ilium
Dan Simmons
Gollancz paperback £10.99

review by Debbie Moon

Thomas Hockenberry is a deceased academic who finds himself resurrected and hurled across space and time into the period he spent his life studying - the Trojan War. It's his duty to record each day's events and report to the fierce, jealous gods on Olympos whether the war is unfolding the way Homer later described it - but why does that matter? It's obvious to him that these near-immortals derive their power not from divinity, but technology. So why are they playing this lethal game with men's lives?
   Elsewhere (or elsewhen?), Daeman is an indolent womaniser enjoying a life where every human is guaranteed 100 years of health and pleasure before being taken to join the post-humans high above the Earth. But when his beautiful cousin starts to ask questions, and ultimately brings Daeman into contact with the Wandering Jew and a man who

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Intacto Review and Opinion

2018/11/14

Intacto (2002)
Director: Roberto Fresnedillo

review by Paul Higson

My supernatural fascinations lie with the borderline, scientifically plausible and irrefutable, dreams, telepathy and coincidence. Some regard 'coincidence' as the little sister of luck, but the latter has always been seen as the more fantastical of the two despite the overly common yearning for it in the common individual. Both can have a positive and a negative value and when someone is in the wrong place at the wrong time it can be either a terrible coincidence or appalling luck but when the millions are won it is only luck that takes the credit. Coincidence has been the more fruitfully explored of the two in the moving image, particularly in Julio Medem's 1999 film, Lovers Of The Arctic Circle, and to successfully comedic value in the early 1980s' Channel 4 comedy series Chance In A Million, where high coincidence transformed it into the ultimate 'situation' comedy. Luck has

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Intruder Review and Opinion

2018/11/13

The Intruder (1999)
Director: David Bailey

review by Richard Bowden

At an art show, Catherine (Charlotte Gainsbourg) meets Nick (Charles Powell). On the way home she is mugged, he puts her up at his apartment to recover, and the two quickly establish a rapport. They are married and live together in Nick's spacious apartment but, soon, mysterious events start to occur and Catherine feels the threatening presence of Nick's first wife Stella, murdered by an unknown assailant a year or so before.
   The Intruder is the second film by London fashion photographer David Bailey (his first, the obscure Who Dealt was made for TV in 1993). Rather ostentatiously, Bailey's still photographs add a touch of class to the somewhat anonymous and cavernous modern interiors in which much of the action takes place. Ironically, this silent clutter of his more successful art, on walls and furniture, makes the weaknesses of his motion picture even more disappointing

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Invisible ring by anne bishop Review and Opinion

2018/11/12

The Invisible Ring
Anne Bishop
ROC / Penguin paperback $6.95

review by Amy Harlib

Anne Bishop, author of the award-winning Black Jewels trilogy (reprinted in an omnibus trade paperback edition, December 2003), returns to the Realms for this standalone prequel, the setting being a pre-industrial world where magic equals power and social status is pre-eminent, the course of a person's life determined by the colour of the jewel one wears as revealed in an occult birthright ritual.
   The Realm of Hayll is under the rule of the ruthless, sadistic Queen Dorothea who seeks to increase her territory. To do this she controls (just barely) the dangerous but irresistibly attractive Daemon Sadi who plays a small but significant role in the plot (fans of the previously written books will be glad to know).
   The male protagonist is Jared, a youthful Red-Jeweled Warlord who, captured at 18 and forced to serve nine torturous years as a pleasure slave, murders

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I, robot Review and Opinion

2018/11/11

I, Robot (2004)
Director: Alex Proyas

review by Christopher GearySpoiler alert!In mid-21st century Chicago, police detective Del Spooner (Will Smith) is called to the scene of a reported suicide at the world's largest robotics facility. His friend, inventor and industrialist Alfred Lanning (James Cromwell) has apparently fallen to his death, after crashing out of a high window. Spooner fosters a deep mistrust (which is rather clumsily established in an early sequence) of this era's ubiquitous robots. He's suspicious about the impending mass-market distribution of an advanced model, NS-5, and soon becomes justifiably paranoid about the new technology. Although he's not a diehard Luddite, the intro to Spooner's character makes it clear that he likes 'retro' clothes, music, eschews voice-controlled gadgets for push-button remotes, and recklessly drives his sleek auto-car, manually. The intelligent machines that

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Iron grail by robert holdstock Review and Opinion

2018/11/10

The Iron Grail
Robert Holdstock
Earthlight hardcover £17.99

review by Debbie Moon

A strange collision of destinies is about to occur in future England, on the border separating the ravaged Celtic kingdom of Alba from the Otherworld, land of the dead and the yet to be born. Urtha the king is returning from a costly mission, but in his wake comes his onetime ally, Jason of Greek Land, resurrected to seek out the son his abandoned lover hid from him by travelling into the future. The link between them is Merlin, the seer without a past, but by joining them in the war against the Otherworld, and the search for lost children, he will risk the loss of his powers, and even murder at the hands of a friend...
   Holdstock's fantasy, second in the Merlin Codex series, mixes myths and heroes with aplomb, weaving Classical and Celtic traditions into a heady world of prophecy, arcane ceremony, and guilt-riddled relationships between the living and the dead. Here

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Island by richard laymon Review and Opinion

2018/11/09

Island
Richard Laymon
Leisure paperback $6.99

review by Michael McCarty

Tragically, Richard Laymon passed away on 14th February 2001, just as he was finally getting the success he deserved. For years, Laymon wrote terrific terror tales but had to get them publish aboard, mostly in England, Australia and New Zealand.
   Publishers like Leisure and Cemetery Dance started publishing Laymon's work in the United States at the end the 20th century and he started having great success in his own country. But that soon ended on Valentine's Day, 2001 when the gentleman of horror passed away at far too young an age.
   Island was one of those books published overseas, now it is available in the US and the timing is perfect. With the runaway hit of Tom Hanks' film, Castaway, Island could be subtitled 'The Horny Castaway'. It is the story of a teenager named Rupert Conway who is about to break up with his girlfriend Connie, when he goes

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It's a wonderful life Review and Opinion

2018/11/08

It's A Wonderful Life (1947)
Director: Frank Capra

review by Debbie Moon

It's A Wonderful Life has been a cinematic landmark for so long now that it's difficult to get past the history and examine the film objectively. Indeed, society has changed so radically over the years that Bedford Falls has been transformed from an idealised present to a past that never really existed, a comment on the death of the 'American dream' itself.
   Yes, there is saccharine here, but less than you might remember. The film is warm-hearted, even sentimental, but it retains a sharp humour and genuine eye for character that many modern films would do well to emulate. The glimpse we finally receive of a world without George Bailey is genuinely shocking, a moral catastrophe on a positively Shakespearian scale, and despite their logic problems, the final scenes will melt even the hardest hearts.
   James Stewart gives a career best performance as an ordinary man driven

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Jack and the beanstalk Review and Opinion

2018/11/07

Jack And The Beanstalk: The Real Story (2001)
Director: Brian Henson

review by Donald Morefield

The highlight of Britain's terrestrial TV viewing for Christmas 2003 was this wonderful updating of the fairy tale, offering an agreeably postmodernist and contemporised adaptation of the traditional story, while retaining all its best-loved elements. It opens in present day England, with the discovery of a gigantic humanoid skeleton (thought to be a dinosaur, at first) buried at the construction-digging site of a planned casino. The builders' boss unwillingly alerts the American corporate CEO Jack Robinson (Matthew Modine), a billionaire bachelor plagued by nightmares about a family curse suggesting he will die at age 40. What the troubled Jack doesn't know yet is that his right-hand man, company manager Siggy (Jon Voight, with a smirk and a funny pantomime accent), is privy to the Robinsons' darkest secrets - including a cruel betrayal, the theft of a unique fowl

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Top 10 books by jack mcdevitt Review and Opinion

2018/11/06

A Top 10 SF Novels

Top 10 books by jack mcdevitt Review and Opinion

Comprar Top 10 books by jack mcdevitt Review and Opinion

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Jack vance profile Review and Opinion

2018/11/05

Genre Greats

Jack vance profile Review and Opinion

Comprar Jack vance profile Review and Opinion

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Jaine Fenn Review and Opinion

2018/11/04

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Jason and the argonauts Review and Opinion

2018/11/03

Jason And The Argonauts (2001)
Director: Nick Willing

review by Ian Shutter

Video release for the fantasy adventure broadcast on TV in two parts, at teatime over Easter bank holiday weekend 2001, Jason And The Argonauts is a laudable remake of the 1963 fantasy adventure - famed for its stop-motion effects by Ray Harryhausen.
   This small screen adaptation of the ancient myths whips up a storm of heroism and striking visuals without managing to add much to the unsurprising formula, or detracting from the exalted status of the beloved original. Written very much as a rites-of-passage saga, this post-Star Wars version has a young Jason (played by the coincidentally named Jason London), just about holding his own with a starry supporting cast including Dennis Hopper - on fine form here, Natasha (Species) Henstridge, Frank Langella - surprisingly dismal compared to Hopper's emoting, Olivia (The Postman) Williams, and stalwart Derek

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Jason x Review and Opinion

2018/11/02

Jason X (2002)
Director: Jim Isaac

review by Christopher Geary

The long running slasher movie series enters the realm of sci-fi for its tenth instalment, as Crystal Lake's indestructible madman, Jason Voorhees (Kane Hodder), is awakened from cryogenic storage in the 25th century, only to find that his instinct for getting rid of horny teens is still required - especially in this Buck Rogers future where the poisoned Earth is uninhabitable, and capitalist scientists from orbital stations plunder the now dead world's history for items of commercial value.
   Opening in the near future, with Jason's attempted escape from an underground prison and research facility, the accidental freezing of lady scientist Rowan (Lexa Doig), and a brief cameo for David Cronenberg, Jason X sets the horror comedy tone for everything that follows. When cute Rowan is rescued from ruins by scavenging science students to be revived aboard a space station run by sleazy

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Jasper fforde interview Review and Opinion

2018/11/01

Thursday After Next:

Jasper fforde interview Review and Opinion

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John benyon harris profiled at Review and Opinion

2018/10/31

John Benyon Harris

John benyon harris profiled at Review and Opinion

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Jeanne cavelos interview Review and Opinion

2018/10/30

Beyond The Rim

Jeanne cavelos interview Review and Opinion

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Jeepers creepers Review and Opinion

2018/10/29

Jeepers Creepers (2001)
Director: Victor Salva

review by Tony Lee

This highly praised teen-horror from Victor Salva (director of underrated Powder, 1995), starts out as a road movie, and then turns into psycho-chiller, before revealing its bizarre creature and entering the subgenre of monster movies.
   Trish and Darry (excellent performances from leads Gina Philips and Justin Long) are a casually bickering sister and brother, driving home from college on term break when they are caught up in a noisy road rage incident against a manically driven, rusty old lorry. Shortly after, the youngsters spot the very same truck parked next to a disused church, and witness to the driver's suspicious behaviour, dumping bodies into a cellar. When the kids decide to go back and investigate, Darry makes a shocking discovery...
   The opening scene is admittedly inspired by Spielberg's Duel (1971), and is only the first in a handful of borrowings cleverly

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Jeff noon interview Review and Opinion

2018/10/28

Living In A Gloopy World

Jeff noon interview Review and Opinion

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Jeffrey thomas interview Review and Opinion

2018/10/27

Mr Punktown

Jeffrey thomas interview Review and Opinion

Comprar Jeffrey thomas interview Review and Opinion

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Joan of arc: the messenger Review and Opinion

2018/10/26

Joan Of Arc: The Messenger (1999)
Director: Luc Besson

review by Tony Lee

A pretty laboured historical war epic (originally titled: The Messenger: The Story of Joan Of Arc), Luc Besson's movie boasts a remarkable supporting cast, top-notch production values, some lavish visuals and impressively staged battle scenes yet - unfortunately - it relies too heavily on these elements. Very much to the fore is ex-model Milla Jovovich, who was good in Besson's previous The Fifth Element, but is simply not up to the challenges of the material (written by Besson and Andrew Birkin) and so this version of the often filmed, theologically inclined saga fails to realise its potential.
   Faye Dunaway is on refined form here as one of the French royals, and Dustin Hoffman's gravely voiced turn as the heroine's conscience is highly engaging, but John Malkovich's performance as King Charles is lacklustre and feeble, without a shred of the depth and commitment that

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Top 10 books by john barnes Review and Opinion

2018/10/25

A Top 10 SF Novels

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Journeyman Review and Opinion

2018/10/24

Journeyman: The Art of Chris Moore
Stephen Gallagher
Paper Tiger hardcover £20

review by Peter Schilling

A winning combination of genre and striking non-genre illustrations, and lengthy interview with Chris Moore, Journeyman is a must for all fans of SF, whether you're a collector of art-books or not. Stephen Gallagher elicits candid replies to a broad range of questions about his subject's inspirations, career development, trade secrets, and general working practices - making this one of the best recent books about a jobbing artist and the world of commercial art.
   The excellent choice of pictures here sings out loud with science fictional vibes of technocrat supremacy, often evoking a romantic palatial decadence. This is SF art that takes pains to express the, sometimes tortuous, relationship between natural environments and manmade creations, whether it's a starship trailing smoke as it drops from orbit (page 101), or the depiction of a cyborg

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Jerry pournelle interviewed at Review and Opinion

2018/10/23

A Million Words To Make A Writer

Jerry pournelle interviewed at Review and Opinion

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Junk Review and Opinion

2018/10/22

Junk: Dead Evil Hunting (1999)
Director: Atsushi Muroga

review by Jeff Young

Three masked men pull off a jewellery shop heist and flee the scene in a getaway van driven by the girlfriend of one of the gangsters. The successful thieves plan to meet with some Yakuza guys, to fence the swag, at an old disused factory site. Of course, that's where the US military are hiding the corpses from their top-secret zombie research project...
   Junk (aka: Shiryou gari) combines Reservoir Dogs (1992) gangster action with the living dead gore of Re-Animator. The influence of Stuart Gordon's film is most apparent here in the injections of green DNX fluid, which brings the dead back to life. The leader of the Yakuza crew is so hard that he chews his own flesh when resurrected later in the film, and feisty Saki (Kaori Shimamura) is a two-gun heroine determined to survive her battles with the shambling

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Jupiter Review and Opinion

2018/10/21

Jupiter
Ben Bova
NEL paperback £6.99

review by Duncan Lawie

Ben Bova has been in the science fiction business longer than I have been alive. While he could rest easy on his laurels, in the last decade he has produced a new series of books, each taking a planet of the Solar system as its subject. Jupiter is the latest. The book opens on Earth, setting out the control and agenda of the New Morality, a Christian moral force that, in concert with similar organisations of various religious origins, has reshaped the world. Their essentially fundamentalist perspective has put them at odds with the scientific worldview, but they have been unable to curtail science completely. An uneasy truce within the International Astronautical Authority has allowed the existence of research stations in the Jovian system, but the New Morality is worried by what they believe to be occurring there. As a result, our protagonist Grant Archer, a naive graduate student, is easily

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Jupiter big planet article Review and Opinion

2018/10/20

Big Planet:

Jupiter big planet article Review and Opinion

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Kazuaki kiriya interviewed at Review and Opinion

2018/10/19

Temptation Of The Nonlinear:

Kazuaki kiriya interviewed at Review and Opinion

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Ken wisman interviewed at Review and Opinion

2018/10/18

Freeing The Hidden Eden

Ken wisman interviewed at Review and Opinion

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Kill bill vol 1 Review and Opinion

2018/10/17

Kill Bill Volume One (2003)
Director: Quentin Tarantino

review by Christopher GearySpoiler alert!"Those of you lucky enough to have your lives take them with you!
However, leave the limbs you've lost. They belong to me now."  -  THE BRIDE


Our heroine, the Bride (Uma Thurman) alias Black Mamba, wakes from a four-year coma after being shot in the head on her wedding day, and left for dead by her former colleagues in an elite gang of assassins working for the eponymous Bill (David Carradine, though his face never appears on screen). Of course, the Bride wants revenge, and she starts tracking down Bill's "Deadly Viper" squad of killers, starting with Vernita, alias Copperhead (Vivica A. Fox), who has quietly retired into suburban motherhood, and O-Ren Ishii, alias Cottonmouth (Lucy Liu), who has

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Kill bill vol 2 Review and Opinion

2018/10/16

Kill Bill Volume Two (2004)
Writer and director: Quentin Tarantino

review by Ian ShutterSpoiler alert!The second part of Tarantino's fourth movie has more leisurely-paced dialogues, greater character development and plot intrigues, and rather less insanely sadistic mayhem than its action-packed predecessor. This last is not a bad thing, or a criticism of the work at all, as Kill Bill Vol.1 and Vol.2 boasts, arguably, the most 'empowering' female antihero character in Hollywood cinema for many a year. Her grandiosely cinematic story of overcoming tragic defeat, and seemingly certain death, to exact an almost biblical vengeance upon her attackers and enemies is told here in elegiac, yet frequently magnificent, style. I see no reason to find fault with the director's attention-grabbing technique of giving us the action first and the explanations

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Kim newman interviewed at Review and Opinion

2018/10/15

Other People's Toys

Kim newman interviewed at Review and Opinion

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Richard matheson's kolchak scripts Review and Opinion

2018/10/14

Richard Matheson's Kolchak Scripts
editor: Mark Dawidziak
Gauntlet Press hardcover $150

review by Michael McCarty

One might ask if Richard Matheson's three-script collection is worth the hefty cover price, but the answer is yes - absolutely, yes! Mark Dawidziak does the introductions to all three scripts as well as interviews with all the principal players including scriptwriter/novelists Richard Matheson and William F. Nolan, producer and director Dan Curtis, Jeff Rice - author of the book which the movie was based on, director John Llewellyn Moxey, and actor Darren McGavin who played the character of Carl Kolchak. Dawidiziak does a terrific job of presenting his insights, and a fair account of what went on behind-the-scenes with these TV movies. He conveys a lot of information, compressing the best material from his Night Stalking: A 20th Anniversary Kolchak Companion and The Night Stalker Companion: A 25th Anniversary Tribute books into very

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K-pax Review and Opinion

2018/10/13

K-PAX (2002)
Director: Iain Softley

review by Debbie Moon

A homeless man is picked up by New York police for having no ID - and his excuse is that he's an alien from the distant planet K-PAX. Just another day for psychiatrist Jeff Bridges, right? But Kevin Spacey's mild-mannered, affable alien is surprisingly plausible. He knows a lot of things he shouldn't, he can see ultraviolet light - and his society, which has no lawyers, no marriage and no families, begins to sound rather tempting to the increasingly under-pressure shrink.
   Held for analysis, Spacey starts a quiet revolution in the mental ward, coaxing his fellow inmates back towards normality. But when he announces he plans to depart for K-PAX on July 27th, taking one - and one only - of his fellow patients with him, Bridges suspects that the date holds the clue to his real identity, and the trauma that catapulted him into this state. Can he discover the truth before the day arrives, and his patient

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Kim stanley robinson interview Review and Opinion

2018/10/12

This Is The Year One

Kim stanley robinson interview Review and Opinion

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Lara croft: tomb raider Review and Opinion

2018/10/11

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001)
Director: Simon West

review by Christopher Teague

Tomb Raider is by all accounts a very silly movie, complete and utter popcorn fodder, which is just perfect for it's target audience of twelve year-old boys who played the original computer game series - in more ways than you may think... And in that respect, it is a well-made feature. Don't expect an all-encompassing epic, with a arse-numbing running time and convulted storyline, or multi-award winning performances or production values. It is a little over ninety minutes of utter nonsense, and I enjoyed it just for that - perhaps it's because I can remember what I was like at 12 years of age.
   Angelina Jolie plays the eponymous heroine, and not too beat around the bush, she fits the role perfectly. This is her film, and she knows it: the supporting cast just don't get a look in, which is a shame since our very own Leslie Philips looked to have a fairly intrinsic part

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Lara croft tomb raider 2 Review and Opinion

2018/10/10

Lara Croft - Tomb Raider: The Cradle Of Life (2003)
Director: Jan de Bont

review by Debbie Moon

Well, where to start? There's "Pandora's Box," which is apparently not a fable but an ancient weapon of mass destruction, there's the place where all human life started, and where Pandora's Box is hidden from the world. There's a big temple under the sea, which has nothing much to do with anything, but looks great. There are comedy sidekicks and traitors and noble savages and slimy supervillains, but you don't care about them - you just want to see Angelina Jolie in shorts, right? After all, there's nothing else worth admiring in this movie...
   Honestly, I'd summarise the plot properly if there were one, but there just isn't. Lara Croft (Jolie) wanders the world stumbling across instantly forgettable bad guys with nonsensical plans, mouthing exposition and performing unlikely stunts. Allies and friends are left dead in her wake without the slightest emotion,

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Last horror movie Review and Opinion

2018/10/09

The Last Horror Movie (2003)
Director: Julian Richards

review by Paul Higson

At the 2003 Festival of Fantastic Films four new British feature films were previewed, Mitchell Morgan and Jon Kirby's Requiem, Tony Luke's Dominator (which picked up best animated feature film), Julian Richards' The Last Horror Movie and Hadi Hajaig's The Late Twentieth. None of the British features ran longer than 80 minutes and Richards' The Last Horror Movie took the best feature film overall in the competition. Anyone familiar with Richard's shabby first horror feature Darklands may well have approached his third feature with trepidation if not the lowest of expectations. How wrong we gladly were.
   The digital medium has most of its practitioners nervous, preferring the painterly of the well-lit 35mm but stuck with the affordable. The plots repeatedly make excuses for the medium, faux documentaries, CCTV, science fiction eye-cam and

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