The Drowned World – Review

The Drowned World by J. G. Ballard

Published in 1962

Pages: 175

Genre: Science fiction

“Soon it would be too hot.”

This is a fitting first sentence for a book about the aftermath of intense sun flares. The Drowned World, written in 1962 by J. G. Ballard, answers the question of what life would be like if the jungles and wildlife were allowed to regain their control of the world in the wake of cataclysmic climate change. Following the life of a scientist studying the levels of water and jungle growth, the story looks into the psychological effect such a transformation would take on humans, in addition to the ways in which they would survive. Continue reading “The Drowned World – Review”

Dune – Review

Dune by Frank Herbert

Illustrations by Sam Weber

Published in 1965; 2015 Edition by The Folio Society – Fourth printing 2016

Pages: 576

Genre: Science fiction

 

Disclaimer: This review will be different from the norm in that it is split into two parts: a standard, albeit shorter, book review and a specific review of this Folio Society edition. I am endorsing this product through my own volition and belief in its high quality.

 

Part I: The Story

“In the week before their departure to Arrakis, when all the final scurrying about had reached a nearly unbearable frenzy, an old crone came to visit the mother of the boy, Paul.”

There are books in every genre that surpass their contemporaries and create a new threshold that transcends the general attitude toward genre stories; Dune, by Frank Herbert, is one such book. A heroic tale that carries elements of Greek tragedy, the hero’s journey, politics, philosophy, and a myriad of other topics, Dune is well-renowned for the impact it has had not only on science fiction, but literature as a whole. Following the fiery downfall and phoenix-like rise of Paul Atriedes and his family, Dune mixes together stories of survival, religious zealotry, and prescience to create a tale like no other. Continue reading “Dune – Review”

Serenity (2005) – Review

Serenity (2005)Poster.jpg

Directed by Joss Whedon

Written by Joss Whedon

Cast: Nathan Fillion, Sean Maher, Summer Glau, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Alan Tudyk, Gina Torres, Jewel Staite, Adam Baldwin, Morena Baccarin and Ron Glass

Length: 1 hour and 59 minutes

Genre: Action, adventure, space western

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Description from IMDB:

“The crew of the ship Serenity try to evade an assassin sent to recapture one of their members who is telepathic.”

Continue reading “Serenity (2005) – Review”

Sunshine (2007) – Review

Sunshine (2007)Poster.jpg

Directed by Danny Boyle

Written by Alex Garland

Cast: Cillian Murphy, Benedict Wong, Chris Evans, and Mark Strong.

Length: 1 hour and 47 minutes

Genre: Adventure, sci-fi, thriller

MPAA Rating: R

Description from IMDB:
“A team of international astronauts are sent on a dangerous mission to reignite the dying Sun with a nuclear fission bomb in 2057.” Continue reading “Sunshine (2007) – Review”

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) – Review

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)Poster.jpg

Directed by Michel Gondry

Written by Charlie Kaufman, Michel Gondry, and Pierre Bismuth

Cast: Starring Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Elijah Wood, Mark Ruffalo, Kirsten Dunst, and Tom Wilkinson

Length: 1 hour and 48 minutes

Genre: Drama, Romance, Science Fiction

MPAA Rating: R

Description from IMDB:
“When their relationship turns sour, a couple undergoes a procedure to have each other erased from their memories. But it is only through the process of loss that they discover what they had to begin with.”

Continue reading “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) – Review”

The Bicentennial Man and Other Stories – Review

The Bicentennial Man and Other Stories by Isaac Asimov

Published in 1976

Pages: 211

Genre: Science fiction, short story collection

“Here I am with another collection of science fiction stories, and I sit here and think, with more than a little astonishment, that I have been writing and publishing fiction now for just three-eighths of a century.”

The Bicentennial Man and Other Stories is a short story collection by Isaac Asimov that not only showcases his writing, but gives insight into the background and origin of each story. Asimov is one of the most famous science fiction writers, and it is easy to see why his range and skill with words continue to be celebrated. Since this is a collection of short stories (and the first one I have reviewed on the blog), I will give short descriptions of each story and then my overall impression of the book.

Three Laws of Robotics:

  1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  2. A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

Continue reading “The Bicentennial Man and Other Stories – Review”

Consider Phlebas – Review

Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks

Published in 1987

Pages: 514

Genre: Science fiction, space opera

“The ship didn’t even have a name.”

Consider Phlebas, by Iain M. Banks, begins with this nameless vessel on the run in the middle of a galactic war because of what it carries on-board. The cargo, however, is part of the ship itself; this ship with no name is controlled by a sentient, artificial consciousness known as a Mind, and in order for it to survive it must take refuge on the barren wasteland of Schar’s World. The Culture, an inter-galactic conglomerate of many species and races, created this Mind and wants to recover it before their enemies, the tri-pedal Idirans. Loyalties are tested, heavy casualties are sustained, and the question of who can really be good in such an insidious war is asked, but perhaps goes unanswered. Continue reading “Consider Phlebas – Review”

The Man in the High Castle – Review

The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick

Published in 1962

Pages: 274

Genre: Alternate history, speculative fiction

“For a week Mr. R. Childan had been anxiously watching the mail.”

While this sentence might be used to begin any type of novel, The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick relies on its innocuousness to segue into a world very different from ours. The year is 1962 and the Allies lost World War II, leaving Japan and Nazi Germany to divide the conquered land and lay claim to the world. Being almost two decades since the end of the war, many people have found new roles within the new society of the North American continent, but some patriotism still stirs in the hearts of those who remain. Continue reading “The Man in the High Castle – Review”

Rx: A Tale of Electronegativity – Review

Rx: A Tale of Electronegativity by Robert Brockway

Published in 2012

Pages: 336

Genre: Science fiction

“Red dreamt in half-present shapes; screen burnt images twisting behind his eyelids.”

Red is a drug beta tester living in a city called the Four Pillars. He is given a contract to try a new version of Presence, a drug people use that somehow allows them all to hallucinate en masse. While under the influence of this drug, he ends up in the slums of the city and must find his way back (the destination isn’t explicitly explained, so let’s just say somewhere not in the slums) before the company that pays him to test the drug sends hired goons to kill him for breaching his nondisclosure agreement. If this sounds strange and a little confusing, that’s because it is; Rx: A Tale of Electronegativity is one of the worst science fiction books I have ever read. It was a chore to finish and if I hadn’t been reading it in order to write this review, I would have dropped it by the end of chapter two. That rhyme wasn’t intentional. Continue reading “Rx: A Tale of Electronegativity – Review”