Category Archives: Reposting

Star Trek FAQ Review at Slice of SciFi

Hey all, the chaos of November is now behind us and I am coming out of my NaNoWriMo induced lack of motivation.

Just in case you missed it in the chaos of November, my review of Star Trek FAQ by Mark Clark was posted over at The Dragon Page.

The review has now also been posted over a the Slice of SciFi website.

If you haven’t already, check it out.

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Empire State by Adam Christopher [Book Review]

I was thrilled to read the other day that Adam Christopher’s Empire State had received the award for Best Book of 2012 from SciFi Now magazine. I really enjoyed his debut novel and I currently have his new novel Seven Wonders on the top of my reading pile.

In honor of this well deserved accolade I decided to repost my review from The Dragon Page.

Continue reading Empire State by Adam Christopher [Book Review]

John Carter (of Mars) [Movie Review]

Disney promotional material

The other weekend I had the pleasure of going to see John Carter at one of our local movie theaters. I had heard that the reviews had been a bit mixed for the film, however it’s based of one of the classics of the genre so I thought I would give it a shot.

First off let me say I did see the film in standard not 3D, so it is possible that the film isn’t as good in forced perspective. That said I found the film to be very enjoyable, playing homage to both its old school science-fiction roots as well as more modern technique.

As I said in my post the other day, I had not previously read the source material A Princess of Mars. I had however read other works by Burroughs, specifically The Land That Time Forgot, and its sequel.

I don’t know if this had an impact on my enjoyment of the film, I’ve heard comments on both sides of the fence. However I do think that its old school elements may have fallen a bit flat to modern audiences, if they were not aware to expect them. And I strongly think the house of mouse messed up the promotional material, leaving audiences not exactly knowing what they were getting into.

Having now finished and enjoyed Princess, I can see places where things were changed, and most of them I don’t have a problem with. The original story is a bit character heavy for a movie length work, so the reduction of characters was logical and well done. Also the combination of portions of the storyline and removal of others seemed to work for me.

The film itself was well shot, with really good special effects and well rendered CGI characters. The acting by both the live action actors and the vocal work of the voice actors for the CGs was really good.

While I’m not sure that this is one for my video shelf, I can see it being a rental or catching it on TV. Overall a good film, I would recommend catching it in the theater if you still can (second run anyone?) or at least doing a weekend movie night rental of this title.

Videogame Memories

About a month ago I wrote a guest post for my friend Dan Absalonson’s Videogame Memories blog series.

I now present it for those who didn’t see it previously. Here you are, my Videogame Memories.

Thinking back I have a hard time placing what the first video game I played. Computer games of one form or another have been a part of my life for so long that it is hard to pick out when we first met. While considering this many happy memories float to the surface of my mind.

I remember many hours spent with my Mom waiting at the Kansas City airport for Dad’s flight to arrive, as I mastered the intricacies of a little hopping guy and a snake. To my recollection I got fairly good at Q*Bert in those days. In my mind this wonderfully addictive game endures as one of the great early games.

The next machine over was Joust. I never really got Joust. I mean seriously ostriches? What kind of messed up world do the soldiers ride around on freaking ostriches?

I then spent years in a close relationship with a console.

It all started with stick, a big red button and a triangle. Yes, I’m talking about Asteroids on the Atari 2600. I remember spending many hours in my elementary and middle school years playing games on this venerable system. Pitfall, Zaxxon, River Raid… ah the memories, yes even Pong.

Then in 1988 I was introduced to what would become my new love, the personal computer. I wrote my first program on a good old grey box TRS-80. Ah the Trash80. Many games, many good times, on one PC or another. Many, many failed attempts to write game programs in BASIC, but the path of my future was set in these early days.

When others were spending time engaged in Mortal Kombat, I was far more likely to be spending time wandering the world of Myst, or dialed in to one BBS or another playing various text based games.

In my college days in an attempt to relieve class related stresses I got back to basics with various Rouge-like games and my favorite harking back to my gaming origins, the Asteroids update for Mac, Maelstrom. My wife can tell you I probably spent way too much time on these.

Now a days I don’t spend nearly as much time on games as I used to, have a Wii but mostly it gets used for Netflix streaming or my daughters playing their own games. Yes, the gaming circle of life is complete as I pass the torch to new new generation.

You can listen to my reading of this post here, Video Game Memories #13