The Desert and the Blade by SM Stirling
The latest in his Change series. This trilogy is the coming of age story of the Crown Princess of Montveil and her companions, which includes the young Empress of Japan. The forces of evil were defeated in North America by the late High King, but won in what used to be North Korea. Evil doesn’t want Reiko to obtain her own magic sword (Orlaith already has her father’s magic sword), which is the conflict of the novel. Of course there are battles, including one bloody huge one against hordes of eaters under the sway of an evil sorcerer. A good read, in which characters introduced in the last novel are grown, and new allies are introduced. It also sets the stage for the next giant novel in the series.
It’s Friday the 13th, but I’m not going with the horror genre. First I’m not a big fan, and I just listed some classics in the Halloween movie list. Going with some finest kind Space Opera instead. Jupiter Ascending from the Wachowski clan, and it has what you expect. Reality isn’t what is seems, excellent special effects, and lots and lots of action. My quick take on the film, a Dune/Soylent Green cross over. I can see why it didn’t do well in the theaters. Too complex, competing members of the same Royal household, overseen by a large and uncaring bureaucracy. It would be helpful to have a score card in order to keep track of who was working for which faction, with the changes of loyalties listed. I kept track of it all, but then I’ve read Dune about a half dozen times. Plot aside, it was also a visually stunning movie, with dog fighting space fighters flying amid Chicago’s sky scrapers, massive space vessels, and lots of aliens and human hybrids. There were giant flying lizard men, elephant and mouse human cross overs, and some clockwork androids. There was even a goth Asian chick riding a hover bike. One of the main characters was a human/canine mix that literally lost his wings. If you are a huge SciFi nerd like I am, you’ll like this movie.
A cautionary tale set in the action genre. The teachable moment here is if you steal a man’s car, kill his dog, and don’t kill him, make sure he isn’t the retired top hit man for your father’s Russian crime family. Keanu Reeves plays the protagonist, John Wick. Lots of serious gun fu is this movie with a surprisingly good cast. It includes Willem Dafoe and Adrianne Palicki as other professional assassins. Wick seeks revenge and gets bloody satisfaction. Worth the popcorn and rental. Joe Bob would say to check it out.
Yet another Star Trek series is coming in 2017 on CBS All Access. Those last two words are the interesting part of that sentence. The premier will be on broadcast TV, the rest of the series will be on their streaming video service. My guess is that they figure that SciFi nerds are more likely to be cable cutters anyway.
The article really doesn’t say much about the show itself. That’s pretty much limited to “… introduce new characters seeking imaginative new worlds and new civilizations, while exploring the dramatic contemporary themes that have been a signature of the franchise since its inception in 1966.”
This will bring the number of Star Trek TV series to an even half dozen.
- Star Trek
- ST: The Next Generation
- ST: DS9
- ST: Voyager
- ST: Enterprise
- ST: To Be Announce
The original series was the best of the shows. TNG was good when it wasn’t being preachy. DS9 did it’s best work when it did what Babylon 5 did previous season. I called ST:V ST:Lost in Space, which it should have been. I liked Enterprise. Especially in the third season, when they told some excellent multi-show story arcs.
If I had to guess, I’d say this new series will have more influence from the last two movies (third in the works).