Mi cro Rev iew s


January 2004

The Changeling Plague by Syne Mitchell (Reader's Group Choice)  - Geoffrey Allen is a millionaire with cystic fibrosis.  Allen uses an illegal cure which will reprogram his DNA and cure him.  It seems to succeed. A viral plague is released.  The virus is rewriting the victims DNA.  Allen uses his money and resources to aid Dr. Lilith Watkins to fight the plaque.  Assisting her is a hacker who lost his sister to previuos plaque.  He makes progress on a treatment and sees potentials in the disease itself.  The disease can be used to enhance the human body.  Is this good?  The story and characaters were OK.  Everyone has believable motivations.  Not sure on the science biology not being my stiong suit.  The ethical questions are intriguing.

Fantasy Life by Kristine Kathryn Rusch - A family have been protecting the incredible creatures inhabiting Seavy County, Oregon.  The Buckingham woman have been divided by past squabbles. They have to pull together in order to save themselves, the people of Seavy and the creatures under their protection.  Rusch likes looking into families.  Lack of communication is the root of the problem with Buckinghams. Once they overcome that problem they can work effectively to solve the problem in the book.  Seavy County has been a setting in Rusch's other works.  Look forward for new entries.

For Us, the Living by Robert A. Heinlein -  A Navy pilot has a car accident and finds himself in the future.  He is guided in this future world by the beautiful dancer Diana.  This is not for a casual reader but the dedicated Heinlein fan.  This novel was written in 1938 and abandoned.  It was recently found.  The novel is a series of lectures proposing solutions to the world's economic and social problems.  In this we see many of the old man's ideas.  Many of these ideas would be expanded in other works.  The seeds of the Future History and Starship Troopers are here.  The lectures particulary the economic ones can get heavy going.  Yet there some interesting ideas.

Chindi by Jack McDevitt (Reader's Group Choice) -  Captain Priscilla "Hutch" Hutchins leads a group from the Contact Society to the source of an unknown alien signal.  Following  this signal takes the group to strange locales and dangers.  Some of the group will perish attempting to find answer to source of the signals.  A lot goes on.  It is interesting to a variety of type looking for extra terrestrial life.  The end was a little unsatisfying.  This book is in the middle of series and some of the answers will be resolved in future books.   May have to look for them.

Ensign Flandry by Poul Anderson - The Merseian Empire has taken an interest  in a local war on the planet Starkad.  Earth and Merseia back sides.  Why is Merseia interested in this world?  That is what Ensign Dominic Flandry has to find out.  He may have to against the Earth negotiator  Lord Hauksberg to find out the truth.  A lot of action and a big twist at the end.   Even though it was written in the 60s it has aged well.  Need to read more about Flandry.

Charisma by Steven Barnes -  Alexander Marcus was a very successful African American business man who died in a plane crash.  Several children in Seattle connected with daycare center involved in sex abuse scandal are showing great intellgence and initiative.  Someone is trying to kill some of these children.   Reporter Randy Sands, an employee of Marcus Communications decides to look look into Marcus' past.  Sands finds something disturbing.  Can Sands figure it out in time before more children are killed? Kids are believable.  So are the adults.  The book makes an interesting statement about what can make someone go bad.  The only thing that bugs me is at the end the government decides to hide the information of what happened.  Sands is right the truth will do more damge than good.  Still it is disturbing when the government hiding something from the people for their own good.

Tru Calling (TV Series) -  Interesting premise.  This seems promising.  The camera loves Eliza Dushku.  We may not have a Faith series but this will do.

February 2004

The Dingillad  Trilogy (Jumping Off the Planet, Bouncing Off the Moon, Leaping to the Stars)  by David Gerrold - Charles "Chigger" Dingillad and his brothers Douglas and Bobby go with their dad on a Clarke beanstalk to the Moon.  The boys get embroiled in intrigue.  Their father acted as a courier for something extremly valuable to pay for the trip.  This leads to several groups and individuals after them.  The eventaually make it to Moon after the boys divorce their parents.  The eventually find safe harbor on the Moon where the boys are reunited with their parents and discover what they have been carrying.  A HARLIE unit inside Bobby's robot monkey.  They boys eventually reconcile with their parents and decided to head out to settle Outbeyond, a distant colony, with the HARLIE unit.  The series currently ends with the family halfway to Outbeyond.  Gerrold has created a great work of juvenille fiction which can be read by adults.  The science is well detailed.  Gerrold explorers  classic themes of personal responsibilty.  Gerrold also takes an interesting look in family and personal relationships.  Fortunately there will be more after he finishes the 5th Chtorr novel. 

The  Fairly Oddparents
(TV Series)  For kids this is a good and fun way to learn some of lives lessona.  For adults, this should remind one of what they should have learned as kids. 

The Triplets of Bellville
(Theatrical Film) - How can an animated film which deals with bicycling be bad.  It was beautiful film.  Great music.  Great art. Great themes.  What was interesting if you think about it is that the film is like Finding Nemo.  A guardian going to any lengths to help their child.   Sheer determination going up against incredible odds.  It shows the integrity of the Academy that this film got its  nomination.

March 2004

Wonderfalls (TV Series) -  This is fun.  I like Joan of Arcadia better since Joan has a choice while Jen does not.  The creatures will drive her mad if she does not follow them.  I hear this a story arc planned.  Want to see what they do with it.

More Than Human by Theodore Strugeon - We meet a couple of individuals. Lone is a hermit in the woods.  Janie is a telekinetic.  Bonnie and Beanie, twins, can teleport.  Gerry is a telepath.  Baby, a defromed child, is a supergenius capable of building an antigravity drive in the crib.   Together they make a gestalt or group organism.  They have to deal with the world and each other.  Thrown into the mix is Hip Barrows an Air Force officer who has discovered this gestalt.  The book explores this relationship and development of a new ethical and moral sense this new organism needs.  Sturgeon was one of the greats.  I reread alot of this to get the the full impact.  You get into these individuals psyche and see what makes them tick.  Sturgeon was the master of psychological SF.

Jersey Girl (Thetrical Movie) -  Kevin Smith shows he has a grasp of the human heart.  He explores the nature of fatherhood and it keeps your eyes on the screen.  Best part is the conversation between Ollie and a celebrity.  This is what two father/men talk about.  It seems as real any conversation you would hear at work or at  any gathering place.  Smith should get a nomination for writing on this one. 

Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind  (Theatrical Movie) -  A small film with big questions.  Is it better to erase a memory of a bad realtionship or go on with both the bad and the good?  The sequences inside Joel's mind are brilliant.  Everybody in this film are great.  In a time when most films show relationships in a simplistic light,  it is good to see one which shows the complexities in a relationship.  Kaufman should also get some writing nominations.

Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson (Reader's Group Choice) - The rich and priviliged have the city of Toronto.  Those who stay behind eek out an existance as best they can.   Tony gets mixed up with a powerful crime lord.  He tries to get help from his ex girlfriend Ti-Jeanne and her grandmother Gros-Jeanne.  Both women are very powerful in magic although Ti-Jeanne has not had much training.   Can Ti-Jeanne learn enough to fight the forces which closing in on  her family?  It is always interesting to see the world through another cultures prespective. Hopkinson gives us a taste of Carribean-African culture.  She gives the reader a new set of myths and believes.  It is an old fashion good versus evil story.   The only downside is getting through the language Hopkinson gives her characters.  Very good for first novel.

April 2004

Danny Phantom (TV Series) - A nice new teen superhero.  Really like Sam as the independent goth girl.  My only problem is why does Butch Hartman has goofy but well meaning parents in his work?

The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman - The first of the Dark Materials series. Imagine a world where one is never alone.  Everyone has a daemon by there side.  At childhood they can assume any shape. They lock into a single animal form when one reaches adulthood.  We follow a young lady named Lyra who grew up in Oxford.  Elsewhere children are getting stolen.  Lyra leaves Oxford after her friend Roger gets taken.  She get wrapped with an expedition to find the children and rescue her benefactor who has been captured.  Intricate plot.  Good coming of age story.  There are even some real scary bits for Lyra.  Need to get back to the rest of this series soon.

The Passion of the Christ (Theatrical Movie) -  It is an intense film.  A bit over the top in some places (the bridge scene and the raven scene).  Still a good film.  It is the perfect Good Friday/Holy Week film.

Hellboy (Theatrical Film) -  Never read the book.   It is a good story.  Easy enough to follow without knowing the book.  There are some nice character moments when the action slows down.  Would not mind seeing more of Hellboy in the future.

Needle by Hal Clement - An alien police officer is in hot pursuit of a criminal.   He calls himself the Hunter.  Arriving on Earth he forms a symbiotic realtionship with a teenage Pacific islander named Robert Kinnaird.  Robert helps Hunter to find the fugitive he is after.  The fugitive has also formed a symbioyoc relationship with someone on the island.  Robert and Hunter have to figure out who it is before the fugitive can escape.  It is a cop and robbers tale with a twist.  As always with Clement the science is well thought out.   It is interesting to see the realtionship between Hunter and Robert develop. 

Coyote by Allen Steele (Reader's Group Choice) - A collection of stories dealing with a group of humans escaping a facistic United States.  They go to a planet in a distant star system.  The planet is named Coyote.  It is a moon orbiting a ringed gas giant.  There the people, in particular the children, must learn to deal with their enviornment.   There are some good parts such as the Hugo nominated "Stealing Alabama" and "The Days in Between".  The ending makes one think.  There is cynisim in it.  Yet the colonists escape the dogmas of the past and embrace a challenging future.

Seduced by the Moonlight by Laurell Hamilton - Merry is in the thick of fairy intrigue.  Someone makes an attempt on her life.  Powers start to manifest themselves. Merry prepares to face both the Unseelie and Seelie courts.  The plot takes awhile to get moving (the same ith the last Anita Blake).  But when things start to happen it gets fun.  Next book should bring us to Seelie court.  I will be there.

Kill Bill Vol II. (Theatrical Film) -  A satisfying conclusion.  Not a simple shoot out or fight sequence but some really interesting character exploration.  I have to disagree with Bill's take on superheroes.  Clark Kent represents the everyman with the potential to be super and noble.  This film and Jersey Girl show what the important things in life are.

13 Going 30 (Theatrical Film) -  Another film discussing what is important about life.  Loyalty.  Friendship.  Compassion. Family.  It was a film which leaves one with a nice squishy feeling.  I hope that people doing "Thriller" does not become a fad.

Illium  by Dan Simmons (Hugo Nominee)- A  historian from the 21st century is observing the Trojan War.  A groups of artifiical life forms called moravecs from the Jovian moon system go to Mars to investigate the high rate of quantam activity there.  On Earth,  there are approxiamtely 1 million humans who live for 100 years.  The spend there time faxing (aka teleporting) from amusement to amusement.  A group of human decide to find out about the nature of there world.  All of these stories will converge.  This novel is ambitious.  It works.  All the players whether they be eloi like humans, Greek, Trojans, gods and machine are interesting.  The only bad thing it is only half a novel.  The next part should be in this year.  Will be there too.

May 2004

Singularity Sky by Charles Stross (Hugo Nominee) -  An entity known as Festival gives an isolated backward planet cell phones to give them their hearts desire.  Then they do.  The home planet of this colony sends a fleet to take back.  Throw in an engineer working for a super AI and a very beautiful superspy and its a great ride.  There is action.  There is romance.  There are deep questions.  What happens when an oppressed people suddenly can get whatever they want?  Some very good SF.

Blind Lake (Hugo Nominee)  -  Advancements in technology has made it possible to observe life from a distant star system.   After some reporters come  to see the facility at Blind  Lake there is a clamp down.  Blind lake and all of its inhabitants  are cut off from the world. 
Marguerite Hauser observe the alien while fighting her ex husband Ray Scutter, now head of Blind Lake after the clamp down, for custody of her daughter Tessa.  What is Tessa connection with the alien.  Why the clamp down?  Strong plot which proposes the need for narrative to understand the nature of anything.  The characters are very complex and realistic.

Van Helsing (Theatrical Film) -  Had its moments but the film needed valium.  It tried to do something but got caught up in the effects.  Also there is a big logic error which the writer missed or (more likely) did not care.  Focus more on story rather than having fun with the CGI.

June 2004

Shrek 2 (Theatrical Film)  -  Great continuation of the story.  Both the old and the new cast were great, especially Puss in Boots.  Fun time had by all.

Galveston by Sean Stewart (Readers' Group Choice) - The city of Galveston becomes half magic and half normal.  Two people try to figure out their place in this world.  Sloan Gardner is the heir to control Galveston but can she or should she.  Joshua Cane is a healer to the lower stratas of Galveston yet is not part of that community.  Both of them need to find how they fit in.  Sloan goes to mystical side of Galveston and gets lost in the Mardi Gras atmosphere.   Joshua  is blamed for her disappearance and is exiled but comes back to help after a hurricane.   There is a lot going on. Families trying to hold on to power.  Class struggles.   Instead of using the feudal structure, seen in a lot of fantasies, this one uses the Southern class structures.  Its OK but at the end I wanted a more clear ending.  It did not seem that Sloan or Joshua were comfortable in their roles.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Theatrical Movie) -  The series keeps getting better.  The hippogrif sequence was a bit long.  For the most part the plot was well edited.  Wonder how will they trim the next one.

Salem's Lot (Mini-Series) - Never saw the original or read the book.  It was scary but I wish the effects guys would be reign in.  It seems when vampires die they have to die more spectacularly the last one.  The great thing about Buffy was that a vampire disposal was quick and consistent.  Nice to see King handled well.

Paladin of Lost Souls by Lois McMaster Bujold (Hugo Nominee) - Dowager Royina Ista goes on piligrimage.  Along the way she runs into trouble.  Trouble that only she can solve.  The abilities Ista has been given must used or catastrophe will result.  Not my cup of tea.  Not into the medieveal fantasy thing.  Still well structured.   Ista is great as the reluctant hero yet does her duty when the you know what hits the fan.

Mala 2010 (Theatrical Film) - An odd little film.  A cat Mala leaves Earth to find the answers to her life.  She lands on planet Q.  The rest of the plot leaves scracthing your head.  Its is well drawn but surreal. Might be better to wait for the DVD with some explanations. 

Farenheit 9/11 (Thetarical Film) -  Moore has a point.  He gets it across and I agree with some of it.

Skyfall by Catherine Asaro -  Roca part of the ruling family of the Skolian Empire must get home to prevent her son from starting a war.   While in route she comes to the planet designated as Skyfall.   There she falls in love with a local lord named Eldrinson.  Can she stop the war?  Will her family accept Eldrinson?  This takes to an earlier part of the Skolian saga.  Again Asaro combines romance and SF and makes it work.  You want to know what happens next.  Always a fun universe to visit.

July 2004

The Eyre Affair and Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde - In alternate universe reading is big, the government has time travel, and Crimean War is still going on in the 20th century.   This is the world of Thrusday Next a British literary investigator.  In the first book a supervillian has taken Jane Eyre hostage.  A device known as the prose portal makes this possible.  Thursday has to stop this.  In the second book Thursday learns how to get into prose without the portal.  While doing so she has to save her husband whose past has been erased.   This series is fun.  It is smart.  It is full of wit.  Must read next two books.

Spider-Man 2
(Theatrical Film) -  The best comic movie ever.  Sam Riami and his screenwriters, which include Pultizer winner and fan Michael Chabon,  capture the character perfectly.  They recreate the famous "Spider-Man No More" storyline.  I like the added dimension they gave to Doctor Octtaviaus aka Doctor Octupus.  Good execution of the action sequences. Great set up for the third installment.

The 4400 (TV Limited Series) - Interesting.  Got some of the best talent from Star Trek: The Next Generation. It seems to be going somewhere.  Lets hope it will not be anticlimactic like Taken.

The Subtle Knife
and The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman - Lyra journeys between worlds including ours.  She meets a boy named Will from our world.  Together they try to unravel the mystery of Dark Matter or Dust as Lyra's people call it.   Along the way Will finds a knife that can through anything including portals to other worlds.  The also find a scientist who also searches for answers to the Dust and unknowingly will tempt Lyra.  Everyone is after Will and Lyra. Both do some growing up in these books.  Harsh decesions have to made in the end.  Engrossing.  Pullman is more scary than Rowling.  Only problem I wish he could have been more clear about the fate of two of his characters.

The Grid
(TV Limited Series) - Very Clancyesque.  Engaging.  Like Clancy, the writers of want to give everyone some depth.  It does make want to figure out the resoultion.

Foyle's War (TV Series) Interesting place to set a police series, in the south cost of England during the height of World War II.  Foyle and his team will do their duty no matter what obstacles come befiore them.  I missed the first set hope they rerun it.

Justice League Unlimited (TV Series) - A great new chapter to TV DC Universe.  It will be great to seemany of the popular second and third string DC characters.

August 2004

The Village (Theatrical Film) -  I  understand why people may not like this film.  The speaking voices of the elders get annoying.  I like it since one must examine the motives of the elders.  The twists are questionable but I like the idea of showing less is more.  There were some really scary momenets in this film.  I will be there for the next Shyamalan film.

Iron Sunrise by Charles Stross -  A sequel to Singularity Sky The planet of Moscow is destroyed under suspicious circumstances. The planet New Dresden is suspected of destroying the planet.  All is not ehat it seems.   Muscovite survivor Wednesday is being chased by someone for something she saw.  She is being helped by a voice in her head.  Rachel, super agent from Earth, is sent to sort out the mess.  There are twists galore.  Stross adds more details. Space opera at its best.  A real  a blast.  There seems more to come.

Camouflage by Joe Haldeman - Two aliens who have shape shifting abailties land on earth millions of year ago.  Both become humnas in the 30s and learn the aspects of humanity.  One becomes benevolent and the other malevolent.  They avoid each other for until the mid 21st century an artifact in Samoa is found.  Both feel drawn to it.  It is interesting to seeing humanity from alien eyes.  It is interesting to see how they are formed by what they see.  AS always great plot and character.

Land of the Lost(1st season) (DVD)- Finally! It is great to see one of the best SF series back.   A lot of good extras involving the writers of the show.  A good history of the show are included in the extras. 

Summertime by Michael Chabon (Readers's Group Choice)- Ethan Feld is recruited as a catcher for baseball team.  A team that has to save all of creation from the Coyote.  Ethan has to rescue his father at the same time.  He is helped by Jennifer T. and Thor.  They meet and play with sasquatches, giants, rats and other fantastic creature.  Its an American fantasy centered around the national passtime.  It works. 

September 2004

Dime Store Magic by Kelley Armstrong -  Paige Winterborne, a witch , has to take care of Savannah Levine.  Savannah is a a thirteen year old orphan witch whose powers are beginning to manifest.   Certain parties would like to take Savannah and use her power to advance their own ends.  Paige faces threats from from without and within.  Her own coven is not supporting her.  Savannah's supposed biological father is demanding custody and he is being helped by witch who killed Savannah's mother. Paige's only hope is a lawyer named Lucas Cortez.  Unfortunately Cortez is rebel son of a powerful sorcerer Cabal and thus cannot have Paige's trust.  Can they work things out before Savannah's future is determined by others.  Pretty good for a middle of the series.  Enough explaination to understand the universe.  A lot like Laurell K. Hamilton.  The magical world is underground.  Good plot and characters.  Might be worth a second look.

Cyborg by Martin Caidin - The novel which isnpired The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman.  The pilot followed the book most of the time.  In the book Austin's could see with the bionic eye. It was a great spy camera.  It was a pretty cool Cold War romp.  Easy to see why it was bought by by Hollyweird.

Doctor Who: Pyramds of Mars  (DVD) -  Its about time.  Highlights include a documentray examining the Hinchcliff/Holmes era and a documentary on the show itself.  The humorous film on Sutekh's post Doctor Who career is also fun.  Watch the hand in episode 4. 

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (Theatrical Movie) - All right it is not perfect.   Story is bit thin.  There is a sincere attempt to develop the characters.  Like the bits where they are bickering at real critical moments.  Its a visual feast.  Cool thinking of all the references in the film.  Like to see more from this director.  This film deserves an A for effort and B for execution.

The Batman (TV Series)-Its good but I keep comapring it to the Dini/Timm version.  The older version is still fresh (particulary since that Batman is still on Justice League).  The stories are good.  Everybody sounds right.  Keep watching.

Nine Layers of Sky by Liz Williams -  Ilya Muromyets is an immortal Russian hero who has lived for 800 years.  Elena Irinovna is a scientist who worked on the Russian space program.  Now Elena must clean buildings to support her family.  Elena finds a strange metal artifact from a dying man.  Ilya on a bender is asked by mysterious stranger to recover this object.  Ilya saves Elena from being attacked by rusalka (A Russian water spirit).   Ilya convinces her to hand over the tool.  Unfortunately the men they were going to give it to are killed.  Elena and Ilya are on the run.  The object is portal to a parallel world.  A world were things turned out better.  Still there dangers from this world and the new one.  Can Elena and Ilya figure out what to do before it is too late.  Cool all the stuff about Russian history and culture.  Williams describes the bleak world of post Communist Russia.  Elena and Ilya are classic Russian characters trying to make the best of seemingly hopeless situation.  

October 2004

The Best of Cordwainer Smith/The Instumentality of Mankind by Cordwainer Smith -  Simply breathtaking.  One of the greats in the field whose life was tragically cut short.   Smith constructing gripping future of believeable war machines, cats who protect mankind,  a family who saves and later smothers humanity.  not easy to summarize.  Find the books. NESFA Press reprinted a collection a few years back.

The Scary Godmother (TV Special)- This was sweet.  A little gem from artist Jill Thompson, who gave me my favorite look for Delirium of the Endless.  Hope they adapt the next book of the series,

The World Inside by Robert Silverberg -  In the future large buildings called ubermons house humanity.  An ubermon can hold 800,000 people.  Cities have disappeared.  Humanity has gone vertical.  This has allowed world population to 80 billion.   The unbermons have everything man can want.  They are completely self suffcient.  The novel explores the entire ubermon society.  There are no limits on reproductions.  Traditional sexual mores have been replaced.   It is interesting world.  Silverberg gives us a complete world.   A masterpiece form the New Wave.

Veronica Mars (TV Series)- Intriguing.  A Nancy Drew for the 20th century.  It may be over the top at times.  I mean do teenagers now really act like this?  Even in California?  Still  I am there to find out what is really going on in Neptune.

The Grudge (Theatrical Movie) -  Nice to see a non gory horror film.  There are some really creepy moments.  Sarah Michelle Gellar really shines.  Love that they kept setting in Japan.

Incubus Dreams by Laurell K. Hamilton - Anita Blake is trying to deal with new powers and abilities.  At the same time she has to stop a serial killer targeting strippers.  These powers can create some unusal situations.    Anita also tries to heal some strained friendships.  Dealing with the ardeur creates for some ver interesting situations.  I wish the arduer could be sorted out so we can focus on the crime related plot.  Still I really like Anita.  A good person trying to make best decesions under incredibly stressful situations.  Some decesions work out other do not.  Just like life.   

November 2004

Wolf's Head, Wolf's Heart by Jane Linskold (Reader's Group Choice) -  Firekeeper must recover stolen magic artifact.  If there secrets are discovered by the wrong people it could disrupt the peace fo the whole region.   With her close human friends and her pack brother Blind Seer they go into the heart of enemy territory to find the items.   It s a fun book.  There is a lot of medieval type intrigue.   There is plenty of action.  Still  the fun part is seeing the world tthrough Firekeeper's eyes.  Although she is more used to the world of man, she is still has characteristics of a wolf.  A great new heroine for the 21st century.

The Incredibles (Theatrical Film) -  Pixar does it again.  Part classic Marvel comics, part 60s James Bond and whole lot of fun.  The music for this just so sweet.  Top it all there is message.  The feature with the sheep was great.  Both feature and short should take away the Oscar.

Some of Your Blood by Theodore Sturgeon  -  In the late 50s/early 60s a soldier strikes a superior officer for reading his mail.  Army psychologist  Philip Outerbridge is assigned the case.  He request the man called George Smith to write his autbiography.   What follows a series of letters  from Outerbridge to his superior officer.  Outerbridge tries to find what is wrong  with Smith.  The result is materful short novel in psychological science fiction.  Sturgeon shows that SF is not just the domain of space travel.   Sturgeon shows there  no limits.

December 2004

Mitch Albom's The Five People You Meet in Heaven (T.V. Movie) - Moving.  An interesting take on the afterlife.  Voight is great as Eddie.  the character is guy is who did his best under the trying circumstances.  Easy to see how this became a bestseller.

Legend of Earthsea (TV Mini Series) -  At first glance you think its OK fantasy.  Unfortunately it claims to be based on a series by Ursula K. LeGuin.  Ms. LeGuin has gone on the record saying how this adaptation is a botched job.  I just do not get it.  They spend a ton of cash to get the rights to something and then they ignore the source material.  Hopefully future SciFi Channel endeavors, which include Ringworld, will be handled better.

Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (Theatrical Film) - Unlike the previous entry this is more closer to the original work.  Order events may have been changed but the essence of books were kept.  The look of the film is great.  Future Victorian.  I like the message to keep going despite what live throws at you.   The kids face their problems and overcome them.  Hope to see more.  Got to check out the books.

Dream State by Diane Roberts -  The history of the state of Florida as told by some whose family lived it.  Ms. Roberts family has lived in Florida for eight generations.  The book looks at all the aspects that are Florida.  The roots of the goofiness go back a long way.  Its an interesting story.  It shines a light to the highs and lows in not just the state's history but the country's.

Return of the Black Widowers by Isaac Asimov -  The last collection.  It has the uncollected stories.  It also has an original story from Charles Ardai.  It also has great intro by Harlan Ellison.  Ardai's story uses a character based on Harlan.  As always it fun.

The Disappeared by Kristine Kathryn Rusch - In the future to keep peace with aliens we must obey their laws even when the meet out harsh punishment for minor offenses.  To help people who have gotten trouble with aliens, for a price one can disappear.  Miles Flint, a detective for the police on the Moon,  has two cases to deal with.  A spaceship is found with all hands murdered.  At the same time a group of aliens have been detained for kidnapping children.  The aliens claim the children belong to criminals and by law they have the right to take them.  Flint has to sort the mess out.  He questions the system he has to support.  Rusch sets up a universe where a solution to keep the peace can cause a lot of problems.  There are no easy solutions.  There is more to come in this series.  Bares watching.  

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