Why Redshirts should be first to die – book review

MJG Reviews, Science Fiction 14 Comments

★ Redshirts completely sucks. I cannot say it any more plainly than that. Though it has a neat conceit (right there in the title), it is lazily, utterly derivative, ridiculously boring, and every character within it is not only infuriatingly sarcastic and crassly sexual, but they are also completely the same, indistinguishable from each other. I quit reading after about 100 pages, because it just so monumentally uninteresting. I cannot for one moment fathom how author John Scalzi won the Hugo Award, unless the voters were so eager to suck up to Scalzi, now head of the SFWA (Science Fiction …

Why Wool weaves rings around LOST – book review

MJG Reviews, Science Fiction Leave a Comment

★★★★★ If you liked Desmond in LOST, stuck in a hatch while some mysterious disease ravaged the land outside, eating an endless supply of canned food, finding strange maps hidden in secret places, then you’ll love Wool, Shift and Dust by Hugh Howey, collectively known as the Silo Saga. It is full of mystery, and it handles that mystery far better than LOST ever did. Where LOST side-stepped every weighty question about the purpose of the hatch or the island itself with a cop-out ‘feel-good’ final season, the Silo Saga does not. It delivers on its mystery, every bit of …

Why Constellation Games fails at the final level – book review

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★★★ The premise of ‘Constellation Games’ is a playful and wholly original take on an alien invasion, as told through the eyes of a slacker My-Little-Pony game developer called Ariel Blum. When the Aliens come, with a friendly armada of every race in their ‘Constellation’, Ariel is only interested in their old video games, so he can mine through the millennia and port out a hit game of his own. It’s brilliant. Ariel is a cocky, snarky dick, but like any true ‘otaku’ he suspends his sarcasm for good content, and ‘Constellation Games’ delivers that content in spades. As I …

Why Pathfinder lost its way – book review

MJG Reviews, Science Fiction

★★ Orson Scott Card’s books vary enormously in quality- when he’s good he’s genius; tying intricate plotting with fascinating inner monologues, cumulative story development, and a real sense of threat (a la Pastwatch, early Alvin Maker, early Ender and Bean), but when he’s bad he’s atrocious; padding his ‘stories’ with bantery filler, gross over-explanation, and a distasteful kind of sexualized potty humour. Ugh. His latest fantasy/sf novel ‘Pathfinder‘ falls into both camps, though not in equal measure. In short, it was disappointing. Pathfinder tells the story of Rigg, a boy with the ability to see the paths of all living …