Revelation Space Review (Sci-Fi Space Opera)

Title: Revelation Space | Series: Revelation Space #1 | Author: Alastair Reynolds | Publisher: Ace | Pub. Date: 2009-5-29 | Pages: 585 | ASIN: B001QL5MAA | Genre: Science Fiction Space Opera | Rating: 3 out of 5 | Source: Self-purchased


Revelation Space

Nine hundred thousand years ago, something annihilated the Amarantin civilization just as it was on the verge of discovering space flight. Now one scientist, Dan Sylveste, will stop at nothing to solve the Amarantin riddle before ancient history repeats itself. With no other resources at his disposal, Sylveste forges a dangerous alliance with the cyborg crew of the starship Nostalgia for Infinity. But as he closes in on the secret, a killer closes in on him. Because the Amarantin were destroyed for a reason — and if that reason is uncovered, the universe—and reality itself — could be irrecoverably altered…. -Goodreads

Book cover for Revelation Space

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Killing Gravity Review (Sci-Fi)

Title: Killing Gravity | Series: Voidwitch Saga #1 | Author: Corey J White |Publisher: Tor.com | Pub. Date: 2017-5-9 | Pages: 176 | ASIN: B01MYM808E | Genre: Science Fiction | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 5 out of 5 | Source: Self-purchased | Purchase on Amazon


Killing Gravity

Mariam Xi can kill you with her mind. She escaped the MEPHISTO lab where she was raised as a psychic supersoldier, which left her with terrifying capabilities, a fierce sense of independence, a deficit of trust and an experimental pet named Seven. She’s spent her life on the run, but the boogeymen from her past are catching up with her. An encounter with a bounty hunter has left her hanging helpless in a dying spaceship, dependent on the mercy of strangers.

Penned in on all sides, Mariam chases rumors to find the one who sold her out. To discover the truth and defeat her pursuers, she’ll have to stare into the abyss and find the secrets of her past, her future, and her terrifying potential. – GoodreadsKilling Gravity

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This is Sci-Fi, Issue 10: Killing Gravity, Mars, Blade Runner

The banner for the bi-weekly This is Sci-Fi post on Sci-Fi & Scary

This is Sci-Fi is a sampling of science fiction news across the mediums. From movies to books, to real life, and any bits in between that I can think of to list. This is by no means a comprehensive list of what’s happening, but it should whet your appetite!

 

This is Sci-Fi’s Quote to Consider

“Two possibilities exist: either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.” ―
Arthur C. Clarke

Science Fiction Movies

Sci-Fi Movie Suggestion for the Week:
Movie cover for Blade Runner Blade Runner (1982) – With Blade Runner 2049 coming out in a few months, Blade Runner is on people’s minds again. Though, to be fair, it never seems to be far from sci-fi fans minds. Widely regarded to be a classic, it’s perhaps most notable for the fact that many people admit the movie is better than the book. (And I mean, really, when does that happen?) I plan on watching this soon myself.

Blade Runner Synopsis: A blade runner must pursue and try to terminate four replicants who stole a ship in space and have returned to Earth to find their creator.

Starring:  Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young

 

 

Sci-Fi Movies Opening This Week (May 12th):

Nothing. What in the world is going on?! Gah!

Sci-Fi Movies in Theatre (links to IMDB):

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 (see our review.)

The Circle

Trailer to Watch:

Alien: Covenant is opening May 19th. Only a week away! Have you seen the trailer yet?


Featured Sci-Fi DeviantArt

Star Wars: The Force Awakens by PatrickBrown on DeviantArt

Not much to say about this other than it’s extremely well-drawn and fun to look at -whether you’re a Star Wars fan or not!


The Sci-Fi Zone:

Since we’re getting into week eighteen of Twilight Zone Tuesdays I thought I’d share with you my ten favorite Twilight Zone episodes. Since the seasons are so long and there are so many, I thought I would divide them each week by season. The episodes which have appeared on the blog already I will link the titles to if you’re interested in reading more.

Season One:

1. What You Need: I love this one. The actors are great in it and the story is interesting. No explanation is given and no explanation is needed. He’s a very modest-living little man. He has what he needs.

2. Judgement Night: A very good episode filled with mounting dread and paranoia. Whether you believe in an afterlife is beside the point. It ends on a somber note. It also has the distinction of actually showing a typical German officer (tall, blonde, handsome) in a sympathetic light at a time when it wasn’t exactly a popular idea.

3. Nightmare as a Child: A young woman meets a small child who seems to know quite a lot about her past and childhood, which should be impossible. This is a great episode that delves more deeply into the psyche than other episodes.

4. A World of His Own: A very meta episode where a writer decides to create a world of his own making. Love this one it’s interesting and breaks the fourth wall in an interesting way.

5. The Hitch-Hiker: A great episode where the actress carries almost the entire episode by herself. Which is no mean feat. The hitcher also does very well for only having one or two lines.

6. The Last Flight: A bi-plane lands on a modern day Air Force base in France. The pilot, from World War I, has no idea how he arrived there nor how much hinges on him overcoming his cowardice and returning to the past. A great episode with great acting and a touch of humor.

7. The After-Hours: A woman is puzzled by the seemingly rude behavior by the sales staff on a floor that seemingly doesn’t exist. Excellent acting all around with a vague undercurrent of uneasiness that runs through it, keeping you on edge.

8. Long Live Walter Jameson: A college professor grows increasingly suspicious of his daughter’s fiancee. With good reason. Another rather creepy offering that veers more into the horror genre than many others.

9. A Nice Place to Visit: A small-time hood is shot during a robbery and taken to paradise. Or is it? An excellent episode with a creepy twist of an ending and a bit of humor makes this one of my favorites.

10. Third from the Sun: This plot has been done since but seriously, the first time I read it (in Twilight Zone: The Original Stories) it totally blew me away. This, of course, was before every story in creation had to have a ‘twist’ to it and it totally surprised me. This and ‘To Serve Man’ were what hooked me on the Twilight Zone to begin with.

That wraps it up for now. On the next This is Sci-Fi I’ll list my favorites of season two, if that’s acceptable.


Science Fiction Books

Select New Sci-Fi Releases

Killing Gravity — Corey J. White — May 9, 2017

Mariam Xi can kill you with her mind. She escaped the MEPHISTO lab where she was raised as a psychic supersoldier, which left her with terrifying capabilities, a fierce sense of independence, a deficit of trust and an experimental pet named Seven. She’s spent her life on the run, but the boogeymen from her past are catching up with her. An encounter with a bounty hunter has left her hanging helpless in a dying spaceship, dependent on the mercy of strangers.

Penned in on all sides, Mariam chases rumors to find the one who sold her out. To discover the truth and defeat her pursuers, she’ll have to stare into the abyss and find the secrets of her past, her future, and her terrifying potential.

Note: Guys, gals, Killing Gravity is a wonderful read and I highly recommend it. My review comes out on the fifteenth, but short version is this: It’s on the shortlist for my best reads of 2017 at this point.

Book cover for All Systems Red

All Systems Red – Martha Wells – May 2nd, 2017

In a corporate-dominated spacefaring future, planetary missions must be approved and supplied by the Company. Exploratory teams are accompanied by Company-supplied security androids, for their own safety.

But in a society where contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder, safety isn’t a primary concern.

On a distant planet, a team of scientists are conducting surface tests, shadowed by their Company-supplied ‘droid — a self-aware SecUnit that has hacked its own governor module, and refers to itself (though never out loud) as “Murderbot.” Scornful of humans, all it really wants is to be left alone long enough to figure out who it is.

But when a neighboring mission goes dark, it’s up to the scientists and their Murderbot to get to the truth.

 

Book cover for Cold Summer

Cold Summer – Gwen Cole – May 2nd, 2017

Today, he’s a high school dropout with no future. Tomorrow, he’s a soldier in World War II.

Kale Jackson has spent years trying to control his time-traveling ability but hasn’t had much luck. One day he lives in 1945, fighting in the war as a sharpshooter and helplessly watching soldiers—friends—die. Then the next day, he’s back in the present, where WWII has bled into his modern life in the form of PTSD, straining his relationship with his father and the few friends he has left. Every day it becomes harder to hide his battle wounds, both physical and mental, from the past.

When the ex-girl-next-door, Harper, moves back to town, thoughts of what could be if only he had a normal life begin to haunt him. Harper reminds him of the person he was before the PTSD, which helps anchor him to the present. With practice, maybe Kale could remain in the present permanently and never step foot on a battlefield again. Maybe he can have the normal life he craves.

But then Harper finds Kale’s name in a historical article—and he’s listed as a casualty of the war. Kale knows now that he must learn to control his time-traveling ability to save himself and his chance at a life with Harper. Otherwise, he’ll be killed in a time where he doesn’t belong by a bullet that was never meant for him.

A Focus on Mars

Book cover for The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury

Book cover for Mars by Ben Bova

 

 

 

 

 


Notable Events in Sci-Fi History

5 Science Fiction Actors Birth / Death (April 28 – May 12)
Domnhall Gleeson – b. May 12 (Ex Machina)

Nicky Katt – b. May 11 (Phantoms)

Stephen Amell – b. May 8 (Arrow)

Orson Welles – b. May 6 (War of the Worlds)

John Rys-Davies – b. May 5 (Sliders)

 

5 Science Fiction Movies Released (April 28-May 12)

The Fifth Element (1997)

Gojira/Godzilla (1954)

Soylent Green (1973)

Short Circuit (1986)

Star Trek (2009)


Science Fiction on the Web

A Look at the Space Race and Classic Sci-Fi

Discovered this while bloghopping this morning, and thought it was well-written and very interesting. For those of you that like science fiction, especially the classic stuff, it’s worth the read.

Science fiction as a literary genre shifted from the idea of predicting a future to preventing one during The Cold War Era which is exemplified in The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury and both the genre and the Space Race draw influences from America’s past of settlement and colonization. Space…the final frontier; or is it […]

via “What’s Another Night On Mars?” Science Fiction, The Cold War Era, and Ray Bradbury’s “The Martian Chronicles.” — Verbal Punching Bag

Telonaut Review

Telonaut.jpgTelonaut: Humanity has recovered from economic apocalypse, to rebuild a better society, but one still plagued by dissension and selfishness.

Sero Novak is biologically teleported to the wetworld of NineDee on a critical mission to discover the mysterious fate of the colonists there. Novak is mentally connected with the rest of humanity by NeuroVision memory technology. Novak explores NineDee, encountering the dangers of the indigenous life forms and environment—and uncovers ever weirder secrets about the colonists themselves, culminating in a terrible revelation that forces him to take desperate action.

Bereaved, tormented by grief and driven by the fading shadow of the ideals he once held, he knows that a powerful and expectant government is tracking him from Earth via the global broadcast of his own memories. During his mission, Novak befriends a young colonist in whom he sees similar torment and confusion. Will Novak be able to protect the young girl?

Will humanity carry petty desires and desperate wishes across the galaxy? And will Novak be able to act in the best interests of all of humanity when faced with slipping ideals and destructive passions of the people sent to build among the distant stars?

Alone, he confronts the wilderness of loss and the physical danger of the wilds the only way he knows how; sheer will. – Goodreads


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The 2017 Arthur C. Clarke Award Shortlist

The Arthur C. Clarke Award is awarded for British science fiction produced the previous year.  The very first prize (given in 1987) was awarded to Margaret Atwood for The Handmaid’s Tale. For more information about the award, the previous winners, etc, please visit https://www.clarkeaward.com/

The winner of the award this year will be announced on July 27th, 2017 and will receive £2017.

Title links go to Goodreads.

The 2017 Arthur C. Clarke Award Shortlist Nominees

Book cover for A Closed and Common Orbit

A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers

Lovelace was once merely a ship’s artificial intelligence. When she wakes up in an new body, following a total system shut-down and reboot, she has no memory of what came before. As Lovelace learns to negotiate the universe and discover who she is, she makes friends with Pepper, an excitable engineer, who’s determined to help her learn and grow.

Together, Pepper and Lovey will discover that no matter how vast space is, two people can fill it together.

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet introduced readers to the incredible world of Rosemary Harper, a young woman with a restless soul and secrets to keep. When she joined the crew of the Wayfarer, an intergalactic ship, she got more than she bargained for – and learned to live with, and love, her rag-tag collection of crewmates.

 

My thoughts: I haven’t read A Closed and Common Orbit, but I have read it’s predecessor, and Becky Chambers is an extremely talented ‘soft sci-fi’ writer. It has 4573 ratings on Goodreads and a 4.4 average out of those. That’s phenomenal and indicative of something, one should think.


Book cover for Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee

To win an impossible war Captain Kel Cheris must awaken an ancient weapon and a despised traitor general.

Captain Kel Cheris of the hexarchate is disgraced for using unconventional methods in a battle against heretics. Kel Command gives her the opportunity to redeem herself by retaking the Fortress of Scattered Needles, a star fortress that has recently been captured by heretics. Cheris’s career isn’t the only thing at stake. If the fortress falls, the hexarchate itself might be next.

Cheris’s best hope is to ally with the undead tactician Shuos Jedao. The good news is that Jedao has never lost a battle, and he may be the only one who can figure out how to successfully besiege the fortress.

The bad news is that Jedao went mad in his first life and massacred two armies, one of them his own. As the siege wears on, Cheris must decide how far she can trust Jedao–because she might be his next victim.

My thoughts: I have read Ninefox Gambit (review) and it didn’t thrill me. The idea was solid, but the math system for fighting as…not. As of today, it has 2,884 ratings on Goodreads, and a 3.96 average, so it’s obviously doing something right for a lot of people.


After Atlas by Emma Newman

Govcorp detective Carlos Moreno was only a baby when Atlas left Earth to seek truth among the stars. But in that moment, the course of Carlos’s entire life changed. Atlas is what took his mother away; what made his father lose hope; what led Alejandro Casales, leader of the religious cult known as the Circle, to his door. And now, on the eve of the fortieth anniversary of Atlas’s departure, it’s got something to do why Casales was found dead in his hotel room—and why Carlos is the man in charge of the investigation.

To figure out who killed one of the most powerful men on Earth, Carlos is supposed to put aside his personal history. But the deeper he delves into the case, the more he realizes that escaping the past is not so easy. There’s more to Casales’s death than meets the eye, and something much more sinister to the legacy of Atlas than anyone realizes…

 

My thoughts: After Atlas looks intriguing. Its set on Earth, not out in space, and has a cyberpunk and dystopian air to it. Out of 421 ratings on Goodreads, it’s got a 4.21 average, so this murder mystery set in the future must be doing something right.


Book cover for Occupy Me

Occupy Me by Tricia Sullivan

A woman with wings that exist in another dimension. A man trapped in his own body by a killer. A briefcase that is a door to hell. A conspiracy that reaches beyond our world. Breathtaking SF from a Clarke Award-winning author.

Tricia Sullivan has written an extraordinary, genre defining novel that begins with the mystery of a woman who barely knows herself and ends with a discovery that transcends space and time. On the way we follow our heroine as she attempts to track down a killer in the body of another man, and the man who has been taken over, his will trapped inside the mind of the being that has taken him over.

And at the centre of it all a briefcase that contains countless possible realities.

 

My thoughts: I haven’t even heard of this book, but the author has (as the very first paragraph of the synopsis points out) won the Clarke Award before. So one can only assume that she knows what she’s doing. However, Occupy Me currently has only 117 ratings on Goodreads, and out of those ratings it’s got a mere 3.46 average. Enough to make me a bit nervous to pick this up.


Book cover for Central StationCentral Station by Lavie Tidhar

A worldwide diaspora has left a quarter of a million people at the foot of a space station. Cultures collide in real life and virtual reality. The city is literally a weed, its growth left unchecked. Life is cheap, and data is cheaper.

When Boris Chong returns to Tel Aviv from Mars, much has changed. Boris’s ex-lover is raising a strangely familiar child who can tap into the datastream of a mind with the touch of a finger. His cousin is infatuated with a robotnik—a damaged cyborg soldier who might as well be begging for parts. His father is terminally-ill with a multigenerational mind-plague. And a hunted data-vampire has followed Boris to where she is forbidden to return.

Rising above them is Central Station, the interplanetary hub between all things: the constantly shifting Tel Aviv; a powerful virtual arena, and the space colonies where humanity has gone to escape the ravages of poverty and war. Everything is connected by the Others, powerful alien entities who, through the Conversation—a shifting, flowing stream of consciousness—are just the beginning of irrevocable change.

At Central Station, humans and machines continue to adapt, thrive…and even evolve.

My thoughts: This does look interesting, and the setting is definitely a bit different than what I’m used to. It has crossed my sight a few times now, so I may end up picking this up soon. As of today it has 990 ratings on Goodreads and 3.53 average.


Book cover for The Underground Railroad The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hellish for all the slaves but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood – where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Matters do not go as planned and, though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted.

In Whitehead’s ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor – engineers and conductors operate a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Cora and Caesar’s first stop is South Carolina, in a city that initially seems like a haven – but the city’s placid surface masks an insidious scheme designed for its black denizens. Even worse: Ridgeway, the relentless slave catcher, is close on their heels. Forced to flee again, Cora embarks on a harrowing flight, state by state, seeking true freedom.

My thoughts: I was surprised to see this one on here. Every time I’d seen it before, I’d associated it with simply historical fiction and left it at that. With that being said, I have absolutely no desire to read this book. Historical fiction just doesn’t do it for me in 99.9 percent of cases. Right now, The Underground Railroad has 65,756 ratings on Goodreads, and an average of 4.05 stemming from that. Obviously the most popular book on the 2017 Arthur C. Clarke Award shortlist. An amazing average for the number of ratings, but… it’s an Oprah bookclub book so that might have something to do with it’s popularity, too. (It just had a stronger chance of reaching many, many more readers.)


Well, there we have it, the 2017 Arthur C. Clarke Award shortlist.

Which of the books on this list have you read?

Which one do you think will win?

 

2017 Science Fiction Reading Challenge April Link-Up

It’s time for our 4th update for the 2017 Science Fiction Reading Challenge currently being hosted by Sci-Fi & Scary.

At the bottom of this list will be a linky.  Feel free to linkup to the page you’re monitoring all your book challenges on (or, alternately, I believe you can leave a link to each individual review once they’ve been posted on your site.) in the comments below. (My linkytoolz thing is proving unreliable, and I will be looking for a different one to use.)

(I promise there will be better shiny badges at some point!)

Rocketship Badge for Decades of Sci-Fi

For Decades of Sci-Fi:

You’ve stated you wish to expand your knowledge of science fiction by reading 1 book a month for each decade of science fiction starting at 1900.

If you’re working your way through the list, as many are doing, from earliest to newest, in April you should have read: The Pirates of Venus by Edgar Rice Burroughs. However, you’re free to choose to do the list in any order that you want.

If you need a reminder of the list to follow, click the link at the top of the page.

How I’m doing:  I read Pirates of Venus. I found it lacking in comparison to the other Burroughs book we read for this challenge (Princess of Mars). It felt like a pale rip-off.

 

 

For Wired Into Sci-Fi:

Whether you be a Dabbler, a Dreamer, or fancy yourself a Sci-Fi Connoisseur the time has come to make your 1st accounting.

Wired Into Sci-Fi Challenge ButtonDabbler– Read 10 out of 30 of the Wired into Sci-Fi Books.

Dreamer – Read 20 out of 30 of the Wired into Sci-Fi Books.

Connoisseur – Read 25+ books of the Wired into Sci-Fi Books.

——-

Daring Dabblers – Though you have a small amount of wiggle room, you should have started your challenge by now.  At this point hopefully you’ve read 3 or 4 books!

Dashing DreamersYou’ve probably read at least 10-12 books by now if you want to stay on track to achieve your dreams. How’s it going? Are you an over-achiever yet?

Courageous Connoisseurs I hope you’ve read at least 10 books by now, or you may not have time to savor the flavor of your books as you rushed to read later on. Is there one that exceeded your expectations?

If you need a reminder of the pool of books you can choose from, please click the link at the top of the page.

How I’m doing: I read Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? – I thought it was a fairly ba-a-a-a-ad job, unfortunately.

MAKE YOUR ENTRIES HERE



Shadow Run Review (Young Adult Science Fiction)

Book cover for Shadow RunShadow Run: Nev has just joined the crew of the starship Kaitan Heritage as the cargo loader. His captain, Qole, is the youngest-ever person to command her own ship, but she brooks no argument from her crew of orphans, fugitives, and con men. Nev can’t resist her, even if her ship is an antique.

As for Nev, he’s a prince, in hiding on the ship. He believes Qole holds the key to changing galactic civilization, and when her cooperation proves difficult to obtain, Nev resolves to get her to his home planet by any means necessary.But before they know it, a rival royal family is after Qole too, and they’re more interested in stealing her abilities than in keeping her alive.

Nev’s mission to manipulate Qole becomes one to save her, and to survive, she’ll have to trust her would-be kidnapper. He may be royalty, but Qole is discovering a deep reservoir of power–and stars have mercy on whoever tries to hurt her ship or her crew.


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Featurette! Sir Ridley Scott Speaks on Phoenix Forgotten

Several of you expressed interest in seeing Phoenix Forgotten after I posted about it on Sci-Fi & Scary last week. Well, I’m happy to bring you a bit more information about the movie. This time you get to hear about it straight from the mouth of Ridley Scott himself!

PHOENIX FORGOTTEN was produced by RIDLEY SCOTT (The Martian, Alien, Blade Runner), WES BALL (The Maze Runner franchise) and T.S. NOWLIN (Pacific Rim: Uprising, The Maze Runner franchise) who also co-wrote the film. JUSTIN BARBER co-writes and directs in his feature film debut.

Movie Cover for Phoenix Forgotten

Based on the shocking, true events of March 13th, 1997, when several mysterious lights appeared over Phoenix, Arizona. This unprecedented and inexplicable phenomenon became known as “The Phoenix Lights”, and remains the most famous and widely viewed UFO sighting in history.

PHOENIX FORGOTTEN tells the story of three teens who went into the desert shortly after the incident, hoping to document the strange events occurring in their town. They disappeared that night and were never seen again. Now, on the twentieth anniversary of their disappearance, unseen footage has finally been discovered, chronicling the final hours of their fateful expedition. For the first time ever, the truth will be revealed…

 

What do you guys think about Phoenix Forgotten after watching this featurette?

Click here to see the original post on Sci-Fi & Scary and watch the trailer!

The Manhattan Projects Vol 1 (Issues 1-5) Review

Book Cover for the Manhattan Projects Vol 1The Manhattan Projects Vol 1: What if the research and development department created to produce the first atomic bomb was a front for a series of other, more unusual, programs?

A collection of the coolest new series of the year into one super science package.

Collecting: The Manhattan Projects 1-5 – Goodreads


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