Sci-Fi Biweekly Bulletin: Black Panther, The Gone World, and More

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From spaceships to alternate history, and other worlds to nanites, science fiction is a fascinating genre of rather amazing depth that many talented writers happily delve into on a daily basis. And we, the curators here at Sci-Fi & Scary, aren’t even going to talk about a tenth of it right now. However, what you will get is a selection of movies, books, and interesting articles from across the net. Also, there’s a strong potential for puns, gifs, and a moderate amount of fangirling.

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Science Fiction Movies

Movie cover for Black Panther

I don’t think I need to talk about this again, do I? What I want to know at this point is when are you going to see Black Panther?

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Science Fiction Books

Pictures link to Goodreads

First off, in case you missed it, if you’re balls-to-the-wall about Black Panther, Titan Comics is releasing a Official Guide to the movie,complete with behind the scenes pictures and everything, on February 20th. Find out more here on our original post.

Book cover for The Gone World

The Gone World – Tom Sweterlitsch – February 6th, 2018

Inception meets True Detective in this science-fiction thriller of spellbinding tension and staggering scope. The Gone World follows a special agent into a savage murder case with grave implications for the fate of mankind. 

Shannon Moss is part of a clandestine division within the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. In Western Pennsylvania, 1997, she is assigned to solve the murder of a Navy SEAL’s family–and to locate his teenage daughter, who has disappeared. Though she can’t share the information with conventional law enforcement, Moss discovers that the missing SEAL was an astronaut aboard the spaceship U.S.S. Libra–a ship assumed lost to the darkest currents of Deep Time. Moss knows first-hand the mental trauma of time-travel and believes the SEAL’s experience with the future has triggered this violence.

Determined to find the missing girl and driven by a troubling connection from her own past, Moss travels ahead in time to explore possible versions of the future, seeking evidence or insight that will crack the present-day case. To her horror, the future reveals that it’s not only the fate of a family that hinges on her work, for what she witnesses rising over time’s horizon and hurtling toward the present is the Terminus: the terrifying and cataclysmic end of humanity itself.

Luminous and unsettling, The Gone World bristles with world-shattering ideas yet remains at its heart an intensely human story.

Note: I’m almost done with this, and it is a good read. Not an “Oh my god, this is so awesome I must forgo sleep to finish it” read, but a good read nonethless. Sweterlitsch has a fantastic imagination.

Purchase via Amazon Affiliate Link

Also released on Feb 13th: Gunpowder Moon and The Megarothke

Book cover for Gunpowder Moon

Book cover for the Megarothke

Goodreads Giveaways

The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O by Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland

Awakened: A Novel by James S. Murray and Darren Wearmouth

Stars Uncharted by S.K. Dunstall

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Science Fiction Trivia

Thinking about carrots the other day I eventually started thinking about Signs (do you really want to know the thought processes behind that?) and it really annoys me when people gripe about two parts. Whether or not the rest of the movie is good is up for debate. Personally I like it. Except the ridiculous “Swing away, Merrill”. I would think it would make more sense to just throw the water at them.

Ok, one of the two things that it seems most people find ridiculous in the movie is the aliens coming to a planet that is primarily water. The movie leaves the aliens’ motives unexplained because, in a way, they’re really secondary in the plot to the human element. But humans are boring so let’s check out the aliens. Most of what they do in the movie seem to line up with what the kid (going by a book) describes as a raiding party. If they needed a resource, presumably humans since they are said to have taken some, wouldn’t they grab that resource from wherever it’s available? Whether or not that environment is hazardous? And it does seem as though they tried to take precautions against being near water. So, to me, it still makes sense that they would come here even if certain elements on the planet were hazardous to them.

The other is that damn doorknob. And the argument I always hear for that is “if they’re so advanced why can’t they open a door?”. Well, the only thing that I can say to that is that maybe their civilization has advanced past the use of knobs or maybe even doors. The alien takes a bit to figure it out but it obviously eventually does. So, when confronted with an object it may have never seen of course its going to take a bit to figure it out!

Well, what do you guys think? does it make sense? If you don’t think it does let me know (politely please!).

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Sci-Fi Guest Post Call

Anyone fancy doing a guest post about ‘relationship’ bots in Sci-Fi?

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Sci-Fi on the Web

Debate Club talks their Top 5 Sci-Fi Romances (Only one might surprise you.)

Haven’t had your fill of people griping about The Cloverfield Paradox? Check out The Ithican’s take on it.

Semiosis is a novel that’s on my radar (and I’m on it’s waiting list at the library), here’s a somewhat spoilery review from The Verge.

Like staying on top of what people call the ‘best recent science fiction’? Here’s The Guardian’s take on it.

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Star Wars Insider: Icons of the Galaxy #BookReview

Title: Icons of the Galaxy | Series: The Best of Star Wars Insider #7 | Publisher: Titan Comics | Pub. Date: 2017-8-29 | ISBN13: 9781785851933 | Genre: Non-fiction | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 4 out of 5 | Source: Received a copy from the publisher for review consideration


Icons of the Galaxy

The making of the Star Wars saga, as told by the cast and crew.
Each volume brings together a collection of the best of the official Star Wars Insider magazine content, celebrating the complete Star Wars experience, from movies to books, videogames to comic books, and more! Featuring rare cast and crew interviews, and exclusive behind the scenes pictures, this is an essential read for Star Wars fans of all ages.
Star Wars Icons of the Galaxy Cover

Icons of the Galaxy Review

The Star Wars franchise doesn’t really do it for me. It never has, and it most likely never will. I don’t dislike it, I’ve just never seen what the fuss was all about. However, the franchise is such a huge part of cinema and science fiction that even I can name a good handful of the characters, recognize some of the iconic outfits, and a few of the most quotable lines. Star Wars is everywhere and its effects on science fiction and cinema are undeniable. So, I was quite happy to check out Star Wars Insider: Icons of the Galaxy, even with the understanding that as a “Best of” some of this material would be a bit older.

There is a little bit of everything in this book, and I think that Star Wars fans will be delighted at how every character that doesn’t get quite as much attention as Luke does gets his or her moment in the spotlight. Unsurprisingly, given the still-recent feeling passage of Carrie Fisher, who played Princess Leia, Leia is the first focus of Star Wars Insider: Icons of the Galaxy, with articles detailing the role she played in the story, and how important she really was. However, from Lando Calrissian to C3PO  to Bobba Fett and everyone in between, it’s made clear that there was a lot more than goes into the roles than what you might have expected.

The first thing that struck me was how inclusive this was. For someone who had no clue exactly how widespread the universe was, I was surprised to find articles tying together narratives that extended outside the movies to comic books and novels. There was also a bit of time spent talking about things like the making of the movie posters for the films, as well as some of the memorabilia that is or could have been. There’s an excerpt from Roger Christian’s book Cinema Alchemist, about the creation of the light saber. The pictures – mostly stills from the movies in the beginning – were a treat that were liberally displayed throughout the film.

Actually, a large section of Icons of the Galaxy is devoted to the Star Wars style, and I thought that was fascinating as well. I think I’ve always had a bit of a fascination with how costuming gets accomplished on movie sets. This contains everything from pencil sketches to photographs of the actors half in their suits to information on how certain pieces were made. (I liked learned how they made Chewbacca’s suit.)

My favorite pieces were the ones with Warwick Davis, Kenny Baker, and Ben Mendelsohn. The conditions that Davis and Baker worked under sounded absolutely miserable, and yet they were still able to bring us adorable characters. Major props for that! With Mendelsohn, I just enjoyed that his piece gave us a good glimpse into the actor’s thoughts about the character he played and the actions that were taken. It felt like he put a lot of thought into his character, and I appreciated that. Oh, and Anthony Daniels, of C3PO fame, had a wonderful feature as well.

Star Wars Insider: Icons of the Galaxy hit shelves in Trade Paperback form on January 30th, 2018.

Purchase your copy via Amazon Affiliate Link

Inside Peek of Star Wars Insider: Icons of the Galaxy

(Pages provided courtesy of Titan Comics)

 

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Left at the Altar: We Just Can’t Seem to Commit (To Reading These Books)

A banner with the words The Top Ten Tuesday List on it.We fully intend to read these books…at some point. But you know how it is. The grass is always greener, someone’s food is always tastier, and the book in front of us is much more appealing than the one we already have. So unfortunately these (hopefully) lovely stories have been left to their own devices upon our shelves, be they virtual or physical.

Top Ten Tuesday is brought to you courtesy of That Artsy Reader Girl.

 

 

 

Left at the Altar: We Just Can’t Seem to Commit

(To Reading These Books)

Lost Souls by Seth Patrick – I’m afraid, okay? Reviver was excellent! Creepy, well-written, with a main character that reminded me of my favorite Doctor. So, naturally, in my mind there’s no way that Lost Souls, the second in the trilogy, can’t keep up. And I’d rather just not read it at all than read it and be disappointed.

The Resort by Bentley Little – I, Lilyn, have a confession to make. I’m a horror fan who has, somehow, managed to never get around to reading Bentley Little. I know, I know. Its horrible. Almost as bad as me not liking Stephen King’s books. I’m just a heathen, aren’t I? Though, seriously, at this point I feel like I’m going to be disappointed after hearing how much people talk about him!

Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency – In reality, I’d probably love this book. I mean, I added it to my TBR for a reason. But… but.. I just don’t know. Can anything by him top Hitchhiker’s Guide? Have I read peak Douglas Adams and should just stop there? These are the questions that would theoretically keep me up at night if I didn’t have actual real-life concerns and insomnia.

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess – Honestly? This book intimidates me. I’ve heard it’s a must-read so many times, but then I’ve also heard about the made-up language and the sheer amount of disgusting violence in it, and… Yeah, I just don’t know that I could read it. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I like head-splodey violence as much as the next girl, but if this gets into rape and stuff, that ain’t my shtick.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ry Bradbury (GK) – I have tried this book so many times and I just can’t seem to get past the third page before getting distracted by a shiny.

Asylum by Madeleine Roux – I feel like I should read it having both the e-book and a physical copy (and the novellas) but my interest in it has waned a bit. I keep looking at it to read but then I’m like “What about this one here?”

Book cover for Asylum

Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King – While I haven’t enjoyed his more recent novels I do still enjoy his short fiction so I think I would really like it. Hopefully. And I’ll probably read it one of these days if it will ever go on sale, that is…

Odd Hours (Odd Thomas #4) by Dean Koontz – I’m iffy on Koontz in general. His books always seem to have a tendency to just…end. I really loved the Odd Thomas series, however but I’m suffering from series fear. I don’t want to see Odd turned into some cynical, rude asshat (hopefully not!) because he’s a character I like very much. I’m just stuck at that point in a series where they either plateau, get even better or tank completely and I’m dithering on continuing. Plus, I’m thinking the series can end only one way and that’s with him rejoining his beloved Stormy…

Spiral (Ring #2) by Koji Suzuki – I have been reluctant to read it just because I don’t think Mr. Suzuki’s novels are treated very well. The two that I have read seem to e very direct translations with no attempt to smooth out the language so it makes for some very stiff reading.

Providence by Alan Moore – It seems like it would have everything that I would like and I know that Alan Moore is a talented writer. But, I have a confession to make. I have a very hard time getting into graphic novels and manga. Which is a shame because there are a lot that I’d like to read but sometimes just the sheer amount in a series is daunting. Especially when you’re factoring in $3.99 (kindle price) for eight different graphic novels in a series. Yeah, I’m a cheap-ass.


Well, there you have it. The books we’ve left at the altar, so to speak. Sometimes we flirt with fiction, but we just can’t commit, even for a one nighter on the bookstand. We’d say we’re sorry, but honestly? We’re not. Too many books, not enough time! Maybe we’ll get around to these some day. But today is not that day.

What about you? What are your top three books you’ve left at the altar?

Mission to Methone by Les Johnson #BookReview

Title: Mission to Methone | Author: Les Johnson | Publisher: Baen | Pub Date: 2018-2-6 | ISBN13: 9781481483056 | Pages: 416 | Genre: Science Fiction | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 3 out of 5 | Source: I received a copy from Edelweiss and the publisher for review consideration.


Mission to Methone

ORIGINAL SF TRADE PAPERBACK. Humanity is not alone in the universe. Across the galaxy, a war rages between advanced alien races. And its about to be brought to our doorstep.

The year is 2065 and an accidental encounter in space leads to the discovery that we are not alone in the universe—and that our continued existence as a species may be in jeopardy.

Chris Holt, working in his office at the Space Resources Corporation, discovers that one of the asteroids he is surveying for mining is actually not an asteroid at all but a derelict spaceship. The word gets out and soon the world’s powers are competing to explore and claim for themselves the secrets that it holds.

What they don’t know is that across the galaxy, a war has been underway for millennia.  A war between alien civilizations that have very different ideas about what should be done about emerging spacefaring civilizations like our own. The artificial intelligence resident in the derelict Holt discovered has been in our solar system since before the dawn of human civilization, watching, waiting and keeping quiet lest the interstellar war return and wipe out the sentient race that now resides there—humanity.

And that war might soon be again coming to our front door. The truth can only be discovered on Methone, a tiny, egg-shaped moon of the planet Saturn. Who will get there first?  And will it be in time?

Book cover for Mission to Methone

Mission to Methone Review

I had previously read a book that Les Johnson co-authored called On to the Asteroid. It completely did not prepare me for Mission to Methone, which is one of the few science fiction works that Les Johnson has authored alone. It is obvious from the author’s CV of published works on Goodreads that he has a strong interest in space, and from his author’s note at the end of Mission to Methone, he seems like a genuinely nice guy that is super excited by all the possibilities afforded to us in science and in science fiction. I just wish I had read both of these things before I started the book. I would have had a much more clear idea of what to expect.

One of my favorite things about Mission to Methone was the main character. Chris Holt is a man that just doesn’t understand human behavior, and is much more comfortable dealing with facts, puzzles, and the like. Basically he’s me without the female bits, and that’s probably why I liked him so much. There was internal dialogue from him that had me nodding my head and going “Yes! Yes! Exactly this!” Like:

“The concept of God bothered Chris. It was another one of those common abstractions that he just didn’t really grasp. God wasn’t there making his existence known. Yet there were people who would kill you if you didn’t believe in what they said you were supposed to believe in — Something you could not see. How could a rational person do such a thing? Yet billions of people did just that.”

And some of his external dialogue evoked the same reaction, because I’ve said similar things before. However, Chris was not the only likable character in the book, though he is the one that we get to know best. I also liked Yuan and Jing, albeit for vastly different reasons. I

Also, Mission to Methone included one of the most understandable relative-size scales for explaining the solar system that I’ve ever heard or read.

“If you take the Sun-to-Earth distance of ninety-three million miles and shrink that to one foot, then the Earth would be one foot from the Sun and Pluto would be about thirty-eight feet away.”

However, all things considered, Mission to Methone was unfortunately a bit of a bland read, and it took me a while and some dedication to finish it because I kept wanting to read other books instead. I was never able to really get involved in the book for more than a handful of pages at a time.  The climax of the book actually managed to slip by without me realizing that it had happened until probably a solid two chapters later.  The last 10 percent or so was a struggle to finish, and then I felt a bit slighted when one particular emotion-invoking event was really not explored at all.

I think Les Johnson has a talent for science fiction, but he needs to work on strengthening certain areas. Name the action, adventure, and intrigue portions of his work.

 

Sci-Fi Biweekly Bulletin: The Feed, Maze Runner: Death Cure, and a Giveaway from Sinister Grin Press!

The Sci-Fi Biweekly Bulletin Banner

From spaceships to alternate history, and other worlds to nanites, science fiction is a fascinating genre of rather amazing depth that many talented writers happily delve into on a daily basis. And we, the curators here at Sci-Fi & Scary, aren’t even going to talk about a tenth of it right now. However, what you will get is a selection of movies, books, and interesting articles from across the net. Also, there’s a strong potential for puns, gifs, and a moderate amount of fangirling.

And, as promised, a huge giveaway from Sinister Grin Press!

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Your Sci-Fi Funny

A Funny Star Trek Meme

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Science Fiction Movies

Well, for you Maze Runner fans out there (I haven’t seen one yet), you probably already know today is going to be an a-maze-ing day, as Maze Runner: Death Cure hits theatres!

 

Movie Poster for Maze Runner: Death Cure

Maze Runner: Death Cure synopsis: Young hero Thomas embarks on a mission to find a cure for a deadly disease known as the “Flare”.

Starring:  Dylan O’BrienKi Hong LeeKaya Scodelario (TBH, the only one I recognize is Ki Hong Lee, and that’s because he was in the not-so-great Wish Upon)

But, honestly, I think most of are looking forward to Friday next, aren’t we? I’m not even a fan of Marvel movies anymore, and I’m excited about Black Panther.

Movie cover for Black Panther

 

Black Panther synopsis: T’Challa, after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king.

Starring: Chadwick BosemanMichael B. JordanLupita Nyong’o

A black director, a nearly all-black cast, and a story-line about a “sh*thole” place that managed to do amazing things for its people? (At least according to what I’ve read.) What is there about that to not be excited about? Let’s hope it’s not ruined by the Marvel tendency to force in one-liners whenever possible whether it’s needed or not.

Ryan Coogler did good with Creed. Let’s hope he does fantastic with Black Panther.

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Science Fiction Books

Book cover for The Feed

The Feed – Nick Clarke – January 23rd, 2018

THE FEED by Nick Clark Windo is a startling and timely debut which presents a world as unique and vividly imagined as STATION ELEVEN and THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS and explores what it is to be human in the digital age.

It makes us. It destroys us. 

The Feed is everywhere. It can be accessed by anyone, at any time. Every interaction, every emotion, every image can be shared through it.

Tom and Kate use The Feed, but they have resisted addiction to it. And this will serve them well when The Feed collapses.

Until their six-year-old daughter, Bea, goes missing.

Because how do you find someone in a world devoid of technology? And what happens when you can no longer trust that your loved ones are really who they claim to be?

Read a review for The Feed on these sites: SnazzyBooks, JennyinNeverland, EmmasBookishCorner, Damppebbles

Purchase via this Amazon Affiliate Link

Indie Author Giveaway

Oh, my dear, sweet sci-fi geeks, do you have it made today! You see, Sinister Grin Press is giving 5 lucky winners their choice of sci-fi novels from their site! Five of you are gonna get a free book? How sweet is this?!

Sinister Grin Press

“Stories that’ll carve a smile on your face…”

Sinister Grin Ad

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Science Fiction Trivia

The really awesome super-blue-blood moon this week has come and gone and looked beautiful. On the con side, Cthulhu didn’t show up. Maybe the next one! So in honour of the big ball of…rock in the sky I’ve come up with the best moon movies. Well, at least movies about the moon.

Moon

Iron Sky

Apollo 13

Despicable Me

For All Mankind

A Trip to the Moon

2001: A Space Odyssey

Magnificent Desolation

In the Shadow of the Moon

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

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Join our Team!

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Sci-Fi on the Web

I love Quantum Leap and this article at SyFy makes a good argument why it should be given the reboot.

Also on SyFy they look at Annihilation’s de-codeable Twitter campaign

Nintendo is working on a new Super Mario Bros. movie. Hopefully it’s better than the abomination with Bod Hoskins and John Leguizamo

Satellites going places attached to rockets…I got nothing

A long-lost satellite has been heard from…very heartwarming

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And a Sci-Fi GIF Goodbye

A Real Rocket Dr Who Gif

Trees, Vol 1: In Shadow by Warren Ellis #BookReview

Title: Trees: Vol 1: In Shadow | Series: Trees | Author: Warren Ellis   | Illustrator: Jason Howard | Publisher: Image Comics | Pages: 160 | Pub. Date: 2015-2-11 | ISBN13: 9781632152701 | Genre: Science Fiction | Language: English | Diversity: Inclusive | Triggers: None | Rating: 4 out of 5 | Source: Comixology


Trees, Vol 1: In Shadow

Ten years after they landed. All over the world. And they did nothing, standing on the surface of the Earth like trees, exerting their silent pressure on the world, as if there were no-one here and nothing under foot. Ten years since we learned that there is intelligent life in the universe, but that they did not recognize us as intelligent or alive.

Trees looks at a near-future world where life goes on in the shadows of the Trees: in China, where a young painter arrives in the “special cultural zone” of a city under a Tree; in Italy, where a young woman under the menacing protection of a fascist gang meets an old man who wants to teach her terrible skills; and in Svalbard, where a research team is discovering, by accident, that the Trees may not be dormant after all, and the awful threat they truly represent.

Book cover for Trees, Vol 1: In Shadow

Trees, Vol 1: In Shadow Review

Trees, Vol 1: In Shadow was a weird graphic novel for me to read. While I would periodically find myself cracking up over the book, or thinking some serious thoughts about it, I was never able to get fully into it. I think a lot of that has to do with the art style, which has that scratchy, half-sketched feel to it. It’s a style that I’ve learned by now that I just don’t like. However, when the story is good enough, I’m able to look past it.

However, there was an issue with the art style that continually gave me a bit of difficulty and made it almost impossible for me to look past. There are two female characters (Eligia & Zhen) in the same city that feature pretty heavily. The only way I could tell them apart for quite a while was by who they were interacting with. So, if it started a few panels with just one of them, I would have no bloody clue which one it was.

As I mentioned in the beginning, Trees, Vol 1: In Shadow did have me outright laughing. There’s a whole section where a young artist is talking with an old man in his building about a certain experience he had the previous night. The old man was ribbing him like there was no tomorrow, in that bawdy way old people have that can just put you in stitches. I liked the honesty of the exchange as well, though, and how the old man pointed out that it isn’t love just because you’ve had the greatest sex in your life.

Diversity features heavily in Trees, Vol 1.: In Shadow. There are some male to female and female to male transgender characters, as well as some homosexual characters. There is also diversity in terms of races represented. This is not a book where the white people rule, by far. (But there is a crack about rich white men that had me snorting!) And there is a good chunk of the book that focuses just on one of the LGBT relationships that was nice to read.

Trees, Vol 1: In Shadow was weird, but it was also well-thought out and thought-provoking. The only thing I didn’t like, really, was the art style. Even after I finished the volume, I wanted to keep reading. I wanted to know about the Trees. I wanted to know what it was like when they first landed, I wanted to see them speak beyond the little bit that we see at the end. I thought the premise that’s laid out in the very beginning was super interesting and… well, yes, I just need to know more!

Buy Link: Amazon

 

2017’s Science Fiction and Horror Books That Everyone Read But Us!

A banner with the words The Top Ten Tuesday List on it.Because we spend a lot of time reading indie work, we often don’t get to some of the interesting looking mass market stuff as quickly as we’d like. No regrets, of course, because some of the indie stuff is amazing and we get to read what so many people overlook! However, this is our chance to look back on the mass market stuff that published last year, and see what we missed out on.

Click on the covers to go to their Goodreads page. Hover over the covers to read their synopsis.

 

 

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2017’s Science Fiction and Horror Books We Missed

 Sea of Rust by C. Robert Cargill

Book cover for Sea of Rust

I’m the first to admit that I don’t like ‘soft’ science fiction, and everything about this looks like soft sci-fi, but something about it makes it look like it would be a beautiful read. A lot of that, of course, probably has to do with the cover. I’m not ashamed to admit I think this cover is one of the more captivating ones I’ve seen in a long time. I’d love to have a poster-sized version just to hang on my wall.

Dark Exodus (Demonist #2) by Thomas E. Sniegoski

Book cover for Dark Exodus

Every few months, I think about the first book in this series. Thomas E. Sniegoski did an amazing job with Demonist, and I can’t wait to see where he goes with Dark Exodus. Honestly, I was so busy and out of it during the month that I wasn’t even aware it had been published until I was putting together this list!

Final Girls by Mira Grant

Book cover for Final Girls by Mira GrantI won’t say that I go crazy over everything Mira Grant writes, because a couple of her books have fallen flat for me. However, most of the time, she knocks it out of the park. The idea for this book is beyond awesome, and I’ve been eager to get my hands on it as soon as I possibly can!

Under a Watchful Eye by Adam Nevill

Book cover for Under a Watchful Eye

I have to admit, this one just recently came on my radar, but I’ve seen nothing but good reviews of it. Adam Nevill is a talented author, and I’m pretty sure this one is going to blow me away. I just have to remember to get it from the library next time I’m there!

Last Day on Mars by Kevin Emerson

Book cover for The Last Day on mars by Kevin Emerson

How have I not got to this book yet? Seriously?! I’m pretty sure it was on my “books I want to read” list last year, and I never got around to it. I don’t know why because every time I read the book synopsis, the bookworm part of me starts salivating!

Book cover for Little Heaven by Nick Cutter

This popped up in our This is Horror back in January of last year but fell off my radar. It’s popped back on and I plan on looking it up as soon as possible. It sounds like it has a lot of good stuff – mercenaries, monsters and a description guaranteed to catch my eye…Lovecraftian.

Four writers in a haunted house for a publicity stunt? Yes, please! I don’t know how this one slipped past me but I plan to rectify that immediately.

This one is a bit of an in-between. The Five Nights at Freddy’s is technically an indie franchise (or at least started as such) but the books are put out by Scholastic. I liked the first book and I’m rather curious to see how they could have expanded to a sequel.

I have been falling behind in reading the newer anthologies put out. This looks to be an interesting mix of established horror authors and rising new talent.

 

Since I am of an age to most likely have seen most of these I am also very interested to see the ones that I haven’t. I also like books critiquing the genre in the various medias it pops up in.


 

Sunday’s Study

I am so much more relaxed going into this year, with our stated desires to take things a bit easier and spend time reading things that we enjoy. I’ve also dialed back my Goodreads goal for the year to 218, and I do not intend to go over it. I worry that our stats are going to drop, but my peace of mind will be worth it until people readjust.

Books

The Prey of GodsThe books that I’ve read this week are: The Prey of Gods by Nicky Drayden, and High Energy by Dara Joy. I’m working my way through Death’s Realm right now (a collection from Grey Matter Press) that definitely works best if you read one story and then walk away for a while until that one fades from your mind a bit. I’m also listening to an audio book version of Brian Keene’s The Rising for review. It’s interesting going back to the book after several years, because all I remembered was that I really liked it at the time. What I”m finding is that while I still think Keene is very talented, I no longer like the book quite as much as I once did.

Book cover for Down from Beast Mountain

 

I set sort of a teasing goal that I was going to try to read every Severed Press book they release this year, and as much of their backlog as possible. As a result, you’ll see some reviews for Attack of the Yetis, Down from Beast Mountain, Absolute Zero, and Infestation  . Personally, I can’t wait to delve into their titles and begin to learn who I like and who I don’t. Right now I only have vague ideas.

Part of me really loves interacting with authors on Twitter. I get a kick out of it, but I’m not the type of person to fangirl. However, it makes me a little nervous, because if I find out someone’s a genuinely nice guy, then I have problems giving their book a good shred if they need one. Ah, the downfalls of socializing.

Has your personal interactions with an author ever changed the way you look at or review their books?

My next weeks’ reading will probably be finishing Death’s Realm, starting on Ride the Star Wind (which was originally sent to Gracie, but it was clear it was on of those books that were better suited for my preferences.), I’ll also be reading The Zee Brothers: Zombie School Lockdown  . I’ve read the first book in the series, and thought it was hilarious, so I’m eagerly anticipating this silliness in this one. (Think Tucker and Dale vs Zombies.)

Movies

We went to see the new Jumanji, which I won’t be reviewing on the site because it doesn’t fit our genres. However, there was a plethora of jokes involving male genitalia, and stuff that many people were laughing about was just not funny. I’m not saying my sense of humor was better than theirs or some such, but I am disturbed that they didn’t recognize the problem with making your token black character the super aggressive one that was also a scaredy cat and – oh boy oh boy – did he love his drinks. Or that they took the idea of someone who was transgender – a female trapped in a male’s body for this one – and used it to play things so completely over the top it was just stupid and eye-roll worthy. Now, don’t get me wrong, there were legitimately some parts that I laughed at as well, but for the most part I was just groaning and realizing that I really did expect way too much.

On the Indie front, I watched 2017: Virtual Revolution (sci-fi), and The Devil’s Well (horror). Both of them were interesting, and you will see reviews on them closer to their release dates.

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Life and Laughter

Monster had her first pulmonary therapy appointment on Wednesday, and we were all in stitches. My child is extremely outgoing, and has absolutely no filter. So, when she was telling her therapist about her 2nd grade boyfriend, and how they broke up, she came out with something that shocked us to goggling and then had us outright giggling.

You see, she’d taken a deep breath, and had this look of absolute sincerity on her face as she says

“At first it was all pink sparkles, but then it just turned to dust.”

 

But wait! It gets better!

When I was telling her Gramma about it later, L tells her Gramma “Yeah, I accidentally kissed him, too.”

“HOW do you accidentally kiss someone?”

“Well, we were going around a turn on the bus and my lips landed on his cheek.”

Oooookay, that’s …well, that’s that.

But then, I, being my usual snarkie self said “Well, better be careful about that when you’re older, you might fall on something else and end up pregnant.” Now, I imagine most kids would have given me a “MOOOOOOOOOOM!!” at that, but all my child did was said matter-of-factly.

“That can’t happen. I’ll be on birth control, remember?”

Sometimes all you can do is acknowledge a point and move on.


How’d your first week of 2018 go? What books have you read? What laughs have you had?

 

Wrapping up 2017 for Sci-Fi & Scary

End of Year Wrap up for 2017

Well, thank Cthulhu that’s over.

Speaking broadly, of course.

Because, in terms of Sci-Fi & Scary, it’s actually been a good year. We hit numbers I didn’t think we had a chance of hitting. 60,000+ hits this year being the biggest one. That number made my jaw drop. I know there are sites out there that do a lot better, but for a niche site that reviews only science fiction and horror? I’m quite happy with that! 

We started working with a few movie PR companies. I think this was the most surprising thing. I was happy with the fact that people were sending us free books to read. To have movie studios sending us free movies to watch? Oh yes, please and thank you! We’ve done our best to embrace this new aspect with open arms. (Not too open, though, because we’re both insanely picky about what we actually want to watch.)  So, thank you to October Coast Media, Justin Cook PR, and Katrina Wan PR. Working with you has made this year unique!

We’ve expanded our crew a little bit.  J.B. Rockwell joins us every month for a Bad Movie Review and Recap which always leaves me in stitches! And Gracie’s son is hopefully going to join us for a Young Adult review every month or so. But we’re still looking for more people. Gracie and I happily do the bulk of things, but we both realize that diversity is a good thing. So, if you’re a part time blogger that wants the benefits of book blogging without the hassle of maintaining a site, you might consider joining us!

We’re still feeling things out, in terms of what works best for the site. Appearance (Like the new colors?), Structure, and so on. We’re also trying to relax a bit. I worried a lot about the numbers this year, which is part of the reason I pushed us to do 2 posts a day as much as possible. In 2018, we’re going to actually cut back a little bit so that we can relax a wee bit. Yes, our numbers might actually go down a little bit, but I’ll be a little less stressed, so it’ll be worth it.

One of our goals for the new year is to develop a stronger relationship with small presses like Severed Press, Crystal Lake, and Cemetery Gates. They all put out good work, and we want to spend more of our time and energy showcasing the stuff that they put out. 

We will continue to be a site that does not charge for reviews. You give us your words, we tell the world what we think about your words. That’s as far as it goes. (Though you may see occasional ads for books on the site starting soon. Don’t worry, though, it’ll never get to the point where the page barely loads because of all of the stupid ads.)

And, obviously, this is also wrapping up GracieKat’s first full year with the site. It’s been great fun watching her bloom as she got more comfortable with what she was doing. I know she’s got some plans for what she wants to accomplish on site in 2018, but I’ll let her tell you more about that.

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GracieKat: I have to admit that when I started here last year I was scared stiff. I hadn’t been blogging for very long and I didn’t even know what half of the buttons on the toolbar did (I’m very paranoid about clicking the wrong thing and deleting the entire site or something). Lilyn has been very patient with me and it’s been a great year. Not least of which was not only finding an awesome partner in Lilyn but also a good friend.

The Horrors! posts have ended for the year and starting January the fifth we’ll be rolling out A Focus on the Frightful in its place. A Focus on the Frightful will be reviews on movies, books along with whatever my rabid chipmunk brain produces. In the first post on Friday I’l be explaining a bit more in detail what will be going on so be sure to stop by!

A Focus on the Frightful Banner

For the coming year I’m going to be working on our YouTube channel that will run in conjunction with the site. I was hoping to launch it by the first of the year but there have been delays with the equipment. That being said, we’re going to try to go for a Sunday video laying out what’s coming up in the week, readings and (possibly) reviews. If all goes well with those I have some other ideas that I’m working on as well so stay tuned. I’m also looking into game streaming (horror games, of course!) but that will be a little farther down the road.

 

A Shout Out to Our Fellow Reviewers!

We aren’t the most sociable of people. Both of us would much rather read than actually do things that involve talking to people. However, through the site, we’ve made some bookish friends we would have never met otherwise.  So, in no particular order of importance, because we like all of them, here are some reviewer-people we’re thankful for spending the year with!

(and I’m quite sure I’ve forgotten several folks, but it is late and I am tired. Please forgive me. No snubs intended!)

Rosie Amber & Rosie’s Book Review Team! This includes the wonderful Olga, Terry, Emma, and so many others! It’s a wonderful team 🙂

Meggy from Chocolate’n’Waffles

Brian from Brian’s Book Blog

Char and Bark from Horror Aficionados and Horror After Dark

Adrian – The Grim Reader

Jessica – who always recommends YA and MG books to us! – from Storytime in the Stacks

Laura from FUOnlyKnew

Brian Bixby from Sillyverse

and last but not least – Grab the Lapels!

 

On a Personal Note

2017 was…. well, 2017 was.

In terms of reading, I managed to read less than I did last year (what I wanted!). I read 336 books, for a total of 66, 369 pages!

In regards to other stuff…

Most people know I had to put a halt to accepting books for review a few months ago because of my Monster’s deteriorating health. Things have somewhat improved since then, so I’m going to start officially accepting things for review again soon, but it’s going to be on a much more limited basis than I was before. I just don’t know when things are going to go sideways with Monster again.

We found out the results of the heart cath and the bronchoscopy, and it wasn’t great. The surgery that we had before she started Kinder to open her airway has ultimately failed and, as her pulmonologist put it, her left airway is “a slit” now. Her PAH numbers were good, though. For the most part, we’ve found a new normal, which includes more medication, generally treating her like she has Cystic Fibrosis whenever she’s sick, and just taking things a bit slower. We treasure the heck out of the good days, but that’s never been something we’ve had a problem doing.

We know we have Monster now. We also know there’s no guarantees we’re going to have her a week from now. That’s life when your child has a chronic, life-threatening illness. We’ve been in this reality since she was a wee one.

 

 

Sci-Fi & Scary’s “Build Your Own” Sci-Fi Box

A banner with the words The Top Ten Tuesday List on it.This Top Ten Tuesday, Broke and Bookish asked us to ask ourselves what “Top Ten Books I Hope Santa Brings” . Well, that’s too easy, and plays into the “Favorite Books” thing, so we did something different instead. Box subscriptions are all the rage, right? But you have to subscribe, and then you get stuff that places found for cheap, and just..eh. So…

No, we’re not offering subscription boxes. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Instead, we present you a ‘build your own’ sci-fi box (horror will follow soon) that you could easily grab and put together for the resident sci-fi lover in your household. A box of small gifts they’ll be sure to love within their favorite genre. (And because the tastes in sci-fi can vary wildly, we’ve given you some ‘alternates’ as well.)

All of these are available on Amazon, because I’m lazy and this is the easiest way to do it for me. Just order everything in and then assemble. We’ve organized them by Modern, Quirky, and Classic for general guidelines, but you know your person best. Feel free to mix and match!

Build Your Own Sci-Fi Box To Leave Under Someone’s Tree

Sci-Fi Movies:

Spider-Man Homecoming DVD
For the Modern Fan – $14.99
Movie cover for The Fifth Element
For the Quirky Fan – $8.06
Movie cover for Metropolis
For the Classics Fan – $18.50

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sci-Fi Books:

For the Modern Fan – $10.36
For the Quirky Fan – $13.60
Book cover for Fahrenheit 451
For the Classics Fan – $8.78

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sci-Fi Comics:

Book cover for Saga Vol 1
For the Modern Fan – $8.99
Book cover for Kaptara
For the Quirky Fan – $6.72
Book cover for The Incal
For the Classics Fan – $38.52

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sci-Fi T-Shirts:

For the Modern Fan
For the Modern Fan – $19.99
For the Quirky Fan
For the Quirky Fan – $17.99
For the Classics Fan
For the Classics Fan – $16.99

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Sci-Fi Funko Figures: 

For the Modern Fan – $8.99
For the Quirky Fan – $11.48
For the Classics Fan
For the Classics Fan – $11.97

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Gracie’s version will be coming at noon!

We hope you enjoy!