Star Trek: The Next Generation #2 The Peacekeepers

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The Peacekeepers is the second Next Generation book, written by Gene DeWeese, and feels much more like  a run-of-the-mill episode than the previous one Ghost Ship. We occasionally dip in and out of characters heads, but never for extended periods. Instead we are faced with a simple conundrum that must be unraveled- a high-tech but derelict space pod grabs Geordi and Data and teleports them out of sensor range, bringing them into contact with a man who reveres them as ‘The Builders’ and wants nothing more than their approval for his use of their ‘gifts’.

Star Trek: The Next Generation #1 Ghost Ship

MJG Book / Movie Reviews, Star Trek 3 Comments

They started releasing Star Trek Next Generation books almost simultaneously with the series on TV. The first book was a novelization of the pilot- `Encounter at Farpoint`. The second, listed as #1 on a roster that has now grown to over 70 books, was Ghost Ship by Diane Carey. I read several of them when I was a kid and heavily into TNG. In the last few years I rewatched the whole of the TNG series run, and enjoyed it immensely. Now it`s time to read through the books, all of them, starting at #1. Most of these books are …

Orson Scott Card’s ‘Ender in Exile’ – book review

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Orson Scott Card is one of the most hit-or-miss authors I know of. When he`s good, in books like Ender`s Game, Ender`s Shadow, the early Alvin Maker books, he`s truly awesome, a storyteller to be reckoned with who has great insight into what makes people tick. When he`s bad, he`s awful, with pages of banter and pages of introspection populated with passive aggressive characters who are manipulating each other to the nth degree. Ugh. So it was with great trepidation that I picked up his latest Ender book, Ender in Exile, supposed to be filling in the time right after …

The High-Heeled Guide to Enlightenment

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My sister has written a book, and now it has been released. The title is ‘The High-Heeled Guide to Enlightenment’, and it’s a wide-ranging guide to spirituality for modern women. I haven’t read it yet (am waiting on my signed copy to arrive) but I know she put at least a year of active spiritual experimentation (reiki, sweat lodges, tarot, meditation, etc..) into a blender along with her life experience as both a modern woman and daughter of a wiccan high priest, and came up with something unique and truly fascinating. I can’t wait to read it, and am enormously …

Lost Japan

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Lost Japan is an ode to an idealized, forgotten, and headily cultural past, written by an inveterate literati to whom pure artistic beauty is one of the loftiest goals imaginable. In this book we see the gentle beginnings of bugbears for the author that in time would evolve into the strident arguments of his masterwork- ‘Dogs and Demons: The Fall of Modern Japan’. But where that book is fiercely angry and relevant, this one is reverent, gushing, and more than a little soft around the edges. Lost Japan was first published in 1993 in Japanese, a collection of biographical shorts …

Looking for the Lost

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Looking for the Lost is one man’s swansong for the ancient vestiges of rural Japan, a multi-threaded tramp through history and culture in search of something perhaps impossible to find. Our narrator Alan Booth rambles on foot through some of the remotest hills and valleys in the country, legend-tripping the paths taken by various historical figures. He is invariably exhausted, blistered, and sodden with rain, mocked by school-children and construction workers, set upon by alternatingly fierce and friendly mama-sans, in whose company he is witty, gently drunk, erudite, and hailed as a bit of a celebrity in the karaoke booth. …

The Raw Shark Texts

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The Raw Shark Texts is an experimental idea of a story in book form. The raw ingredients encompass just about every sizzling modern experiment of a story that preceded it: a pinch of Fight Club, two sprigs of the Matrix finely chopped, three cupfuls of House of Leaves, a smattering of Cryptonomicon, a generous dose (at least 6oz) of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind infused with essence of Memento, all whirl-chopped in a blender, salted with textual decoration, baked in a easter-egg kiln and served up à la mode. What am I talking about? Well, I’m talking about a …

Doomsday – 0.5/5

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What a load of garbage. Doomsday is an adolescent male’s mash-up fantasy of a bunch of other post-apocalypse SF-type movies, executed abysmally, with some of the worst writing I’ve seen.  Take large chunks of 28 weeks later and Escape from New York, mix liberally with dashes of Mad Max, Resident Evil, and Lara Croft, throw in a little Alien- set the whole thing in some 80’s vision of the future (2023) with both cannibal hedonist street punks AND medieval knights living in castles, and this is what you get. We open with a lot of voice-over, similar to 28 weeks …

The Mist – 1/5

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Frank Darabont directed the Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, and now The Mist. It’s a story about a dense white mist that rolls down on a small American (Canadian?) town, bearing all kinds of nasty critters within it. Well- I didn’t like it. I didn’t believe it. It wasn’t so much the SF- though the spouting of garbage like ‘interdimensional rifts’ should only be done with proper preparation, and only if necessary, and in this it wasn’t either. Rather it was the characters acting like idiots, wimps, and cowards. The hero starts off like a hero. He takes fairly fast action, …

Eastern Promises – 2.5/5

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A movie in which Viggo Mortensen pretends to be Russian. Slow, with a core of exploitative horror. Slow acting, slow speaking. Nothing much to care about. Some disturbing visuals, seemed gratuitous- they showed us because they could. The bath-house scene everyone raves about- just made me feel like his attackers were pretty stupid, like WWE wrestlers. One-note, a slow simmering Cthulhu-like horror underneath the thin skein of normal reality- overdone I felt. The movie coasted along thinking itself important and valuable. The twist- I felt ludicrous, and unnecessary. 2.5 out of 5. Watch it only if you have nothing else …