|Posted by Doug Jeffreys on June 26, 2015 at 12:45 AM||comments (0)|
I require two things from science fiction, plausible science and interesting characters. Phil Elmore delivers this and more in his first Sci-Fi tale. Pick up a copy of AUGMENT: HUMAN SERVICES and enter a dark, dystopian future that is equal parts “Blade Runner” and “Frankenstein”. The tale begins by introducing Agent David Chalmers of the Human Services department on a ‘routine’ investigation in the Tech Ghetto, where all the ‘Ogs’ (people that have had significant or total body augmentations) live. This is anything but routine as Agent Chalmers finds himself embroiled in a dangerous series of events far beyond his experience. Phil Elmore’s narrative paints an entirely realistic picture in which you not only feel the physical hardship of our protagonist but the bruised psyche of a broken society. The action comes thick and fast making this easy to read and hard to put down. I’m eagerly looking forward to the next book in this new series.
|Posted by Doug Jeffreys on June 26, 2015 at 12:35 AM||comments (0)|
Duke Manfist is back to save Thanksgiving. Yes, the world’s manliest action hero returns bringing his particular brand of mayhem to remind us why we are thankful. Read on as a seemingly unrelated assortment of individuals and groups decide to take up arms to stop Americans from eating at the most fattening, artery clogging, and delicious fast food joint in the country. Agent Manfist pursues the criminal mastermind behind the attacks with the single minded, ferocious determination of a wolverine on crack, or Viagra, whatever the case may be, all while steering the labyrinth of less-than-relevant Hollywood actors, doomed side-kicks and cumbersome government functionaries. So raise a glass of cider to Phil Elmore, but don’t try to read this side-splitting parody while eating, you’re nasal passages can’t take it. Trust me.
|Posted by Doug Jeffreys on June 25, 2015 at 1:05 PM||comments (0)|
The Hobbit – A review (Warning Spoilers Ahead). First, let me say, I’ve read both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings more than 40 times in the past 35 years. I know these stories almost word-for-word, so if someone buys the rights and wants to offer these tales in another medium they had better get it right. That being said Peter Jacksons’ big screen adaptation begins differently than Prof. Tolkiens’ work. It starts the week of Bilbo’s 111th birthday party showing the elderly Bilbo sitting down to write the story of how he found the ring as Frodo leaves to meet Gandalf on the road. I can certainly accept this small deviation as it clearly ties this movie to Jackson’s earlier productions of The Lord of the Rings for those that never read the books. The tale then began with the words: “In a hole in the ground…” And moved along nicely from there. During the unexpected party with the dwarves we see Thorin flash-back to the glory days of Erebor and its downfall with the coming of the dragon with some minor ‘Jacksonisms’. The journey continues and the next hiccup came during the encounter with the trolls. Being a purist I was a bit miffed by the slight departure from Tolkiens’ narrative, but I’ll live with it. There was a scene with Radagast the Brown, another wizard that occupied a sentence in the original book, that Jackson apparently felt needed a more substantial role, about twenty minutes more. Now enter a group of orcs that seem to have a blood-feud with Thorin and chase the entire group to the very doorstep of Rivendell (again, this whole scene is an addition by Peter Jackson). During the stay with Elrond, Galadriel and Saruman show up to stick their noses in the story. Yet another ‘Jacksonism’. Let’s move on. The group continues, climbing the mountain pass through the Misty Mountains, and much to my disdain Jackson seems to have taken the attack by the mountain giants literally. They are now mountain-sized giants made of living rock. After a heart-stopping escape the group has the encounter with the Great Goblins’ tribe, Bilbo gets separated from the dwarves, finds the ring, encounters Gollum and narrowly escapes to rejoin the Gandalf and the dwarves. Now, substitute the Blood-feud orcs for the mountain goblins, make considerable changes to the scene in the fir trees and you have another ‘Jacksonism’. The eagles rescue them and deposit the group near the great river and there the first film ends. As would be expected from a Wingnut production the locations, cinematography, casting, acting, music, special effects, etc., were top-notch, but someone needs to engrave the words “J.R.R. Tolkien was a masterful writer and you cannot improve his stories” into a Cricket Bat and smack Peter Jackson repeatedly in the forehead until he gets the point.
|Posted by Doug Jeffreys on August 24, 2014 at 8:50 AM||comments (0)|
I just finished reading "The Undead Situation" by Eloise J. Knapp, and where I started off enjoying it, I could only give it 2 stars. This tale had such potential. The concept of a sociopath surviving in the zombie apocalypse, what a great idea. The problem is, after reading the first couple chapters, you realize the main character is not a sociopath. He's closer to bi-polar. If you are going to write a central character that is a sociopath and a gun enthusiast you had better know something about both those subjects. The author’s page describes her as "a survival enthusiast and enjoys shooting and caring for firearms", yet she continually refers to magazines as clips. She even has a female character that is a Marine that makes this same mistake. This is unforgiveable. No Marine would ever make this mistake (I’m pretty sure even Air Force personnel know the difference). Also, sociopaths do not change...EVER! They don't learn to love. They don't grow feelings. They sometimes respect the abilities of other sociopaths, but if you see a sociopath that appears to love someone, they are pretending in order to manipulate that person. Ms. Knapp needs to take a night-course in Psychology 101 and search for a qualified weapons instructor before writing her sequel.