The latest in Martha Wells's stellar Murderbot series, novella-length Fugitive Telemetry, is out. [more inside]
I just went through the book posts for the last three months. There's lots of books I'm considering reading, and one book I read a while ago but don't remember well enough to do deep insightful commentary. In order to get more synchronicity on this, does anyone want to start a book club? Or even a couple in different genres? I would love a romance, science fiction, fantasy and/or nonfiction book club.
Leaving a dilapidated Earth behind, Quakers across the globe pool funds and resources as they select colonists to send to a newly discovered planet to start life anew in this “miraculous fusion of…science fiction with unsparing realism and keen psychology” (Ursula K. Le Guin).
Altered Carbon: Out of the Past Season 1, Ep 1
Waking up in a new body 250 years after his death, Takeshi Kovacs discovers he's been resurrected to help a titan of industry solve his own murder.
Black Mirror: Black Museum Season 4, Ep 6
On a dusty stretch of highway, a traveler stumbles across a museum that boasts rare criminal artifacts -- and a disturbing main attraction.
Black Mirror: Metalhead Season 4, Ep 5
At an abandoned warehouse, scavengers searching for supplies encounter a ruthless foe and flee for their lives through a bleak wasteland.
Black Mirror: Hang the DJ Season 4, Ep 4
Paired up by a dating program that puts an expiration date on all relationships, Frank and Amy soon begin to question the system's logic.
Black Mirror: Crocodile Season 4, Ep 3
Architect Mia scrambles to keep a dark secret under wraps, while insurance investigator Shazia harvests people's memories of a nearby accident scene.
Black Mirror: Arkangel Season 4, Ep 2
Worried about her daughter's safety, single mom Marie signs up for a cutting-edge device that monitors the girl's whereabouts -- and much more
Black Mirror: USS Callister Season 4, Ep 1
Capt. Robert Daly presides over his crew with wisdom and courage. But a new recruit will soon discover nothing on this spaceship is what it seems.
Doctor Who: Twice Upon a Time Season 10, Ep 13
Two Doctors stranded in a forbidding snowscape, refusing to face regeneration. [more inside]
In 2027, in a chaotic world in which humans can no longer procreate, a former activist agrees to help transport a miraculously pregnant woman to a sanctuary at sea, where her child's birth may help scientists save the future of humankind.
Stranger Things: Chapter Nine: The Gate Season 2, Ep 9
Eleven makes plans to finish what she started. (Season finale) [more inside]
Stranger Things: Chapter Eight: The Mind Flayer Season 2, Ep 8
An unlikely hero steps forward when a deadly development puts the Hawkins Lab on lockdown, trapping Will and several others inside. [more inside]
Stranger Things: Chapter Seven: The Lost Sister Season 2, Ep 7
Psychic visions draw Eleven to a band of violent outcasts and an angry girl with a shadowy past. [more inside]
Stranger Things: Chapter Six: The Spy Season 2, Ep 6
Will's connection to a shadowy evil grows stronger, but no one's quite sure how to stop it. Elsewhere, Dustin and Steve forge an unlikely bond. [more inside]
Stranger Things: Chapter Five: Dig Dug Season 2, Ep 5
Nancy and Jonathan swap conspiracy theories with a new ally as Eleven searches for someone from her past. "Bob the Brain" tackles a difficult problem.
Stranger Things: Chapter Four: Will the Wise Season 2, Ep 4
An ailing Will opens up to Joyce -- with disturbing results. While Hopper digs for the truth, Eleven unearths a surprising discovery.
Stranger Things: Chapter Three: The Pollywog Season 2, Ep 3
Dustin adopts a strange new pet, and Eleven grows increasingly impatient. A well-meaning Bob urges Will to stand up to his fears.
Stranger Things: Chapter Two: Trick or Treat, Freak Season 2, Ep 2
After Will sees something terrible on trick-or-treat night, Mike wonders whether Eleven's still out there. Nancy wrestles with the truth about Barb.
Stranger Things: Chapter One: MADMAX Season 2, Ep 1
As the town preps for Halloween, a high-scoring rival shakes things up in the arcade, and a skeptical Hopper inspects a field of rotting pumpkins.
Dark Matter: It Doesn't Have to Be Like This Season 3, Ep 2
The crew is fulfilling their promise to take the fight to Ryo [more inside]
Dark Matter: We Were Family Season 2, Ep 4
Three reconnects with his former crew; the Android finds herself in unique company.
In the imaginary science of 'Pataphysics there's the concept of the "clinamen", or "swerve". As method in the arts, it can be roughly paraphrased as: "To create art you must first create a system. Once you have the system, you must introduce an anomaly which brings the system into a state of chaos. Then you have art." To put it bluntly, until writing "The Mule", Asimov's Foundation series was a perfect system, described by the imaginary science of psychohistory. Things were moving predictably to a predicted end. But then there came a swerve, in the form of "The Mule", a warlord not predicted by Hari Seldon. And in the titular character, Asimov created one of the most interesting anti-heroes of early science fiction. [more inside]
"The General" is the last of the classic Foundation stories. In it Asimov tackles the central dynamic head on, setting the "living will" of a single human being against the "dead hand" of psychohistory. It should be no surprise, and indeed is no surprise to modern readers, that the long arc of history doesn't bend around brilliant individuals. There are other characters than the titular general, but Bel Riose is the only one that matters. He knows exactly what he's up against, and backs himself to win. He's undoubtedly the purest example of a tragic hero in the series. [more inside]
The next jump forward in the Foundation storyline takes us well into the second century of the 1000 year plan (which, incidentally, was the original name of the the first book). A merchant from the Foundation on a trading mission to a distant planet runs afoul of local laws and customs. Another trader, Linmar Ponyets, is sent to save him. [more inside]
Compared to the previous story, there's a lot more going on in "The Mayors". While "The Encyclopedists" is a bit bare bones, this story is painted on a much bigger canvas. Political intrigue, deluded mobs and huge warships flying through space all feature. All of this is familiar from space opera, both modern and contemporary to the Foundation series. But in this story, it isn't the most destructive weapon that wins the day, but the soft power of religious authority. [more inside]
Science fiction fandom was introduced to the Foundation and psychohistory in a 1942 short story called "Foundation". When it was collected in a book, it was renamed "The Encyclopedists". It is the story of a library on a worthless planet on the far edge of a collapsing empire. And it's the story of a small city mayor who rises to the occasion presented to him by history, becoming one of the most beloved heroes of science fiction, Salvor Hardin. [more inside]
The Foundation Trilogy is the space epic's space epic. It follows the history of The Foundation for centuries, from its beginnings as a library on a rinky dink planet on the edge of the Milky Way, to burgeoning galactic empirehood. But before there's a Foundation, there's one guy with a plan, Hari Seldon. [more inside]
Continuum: The Dying Minutes Season 3, Ep 12
John Doe's revelations force Liber8 to regroup and its members to reconsider their mission. A new character, The Traveller, is introduced. Carlos pulls himself together. The Freelancers face a familiar enemy.
Continuum: 3 Minutes to Midnight Season 3, Ep 11
The pieces begin to come together: A direct attack from Liber8 puts John Doe and Kiera in danger. But now that John Doe has learned more about his past and future, his revelations could change everything.
Continuum: Revolutions Per Minute Season 3, Ep 10
A shocking discovery is made by Kiera, whose connection with the mysterious John Doe grows deeper. At the same time, her relationship with the Freelancers becomes more strained. Meanwhile, Alec crosses the Rubicon to protect his legacy.