Drawing on Dada, punk and the modernist movements of the twentieth century, XX is assembled from redacted NASA reports, artwork, magazine articles, secret transcripts and a novel within a novel. Deconstructing layout and language in order to explore how idea propagate, acclaimed designer and artist Rian Hughes's debut novel presents a compelling vision of humanity's unique place in the universe, and a realistic depiction of what might happen in the wake of the biggest scientific discovery in human history. [more inside]
The latest in Martha Wells's stellar Murderbot series, novella-length Fugitive Telemetry, is out. [more inside]
Resident Alien: The Green Glow Season 1, Ep 7
Fearing he's facing failure, Harry enlists an unlikely ally to help find his ship. [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.
William Gibson's "sequel and prequel" to 2014's The Peripheral.
Another Life: Through the Valley of Shadows Season 1, Ep 2
As tensions rise aboard the ship, the crew gets ready for an expedition to explore the planet; on Earth, Erik tries to decipher a clue from the artifact.
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]
Blakes 7: Seek – Locate – Destroy Season 1, Ep 6
In which our intrepid seven heroes encounter the ruthless Queen of All Space, and her peeved henchman with a gun arm, Travis. Travis hates Blake, Servalan wants power, Avon wants money, Vila wants to steal something, and Blake just wants to be left alone long enough to steal to bring down the tyrannous Federation … except he leaves something important behind. [more inside]
Blakes 7: The Web Season 1, Ep 5
Aka The One With The Mud Men. The crew get new outfits, including Gan who chooses a lovely macrame vest. But one of the crew is a traitor! Who are The Lost? What's the deal with the mutant baby in a jar? And what is the secret of The Space Web that has ensnared the Liberator? And, can Blake make the ultimate decision? [more inside]
Blakes 7: Time Squad Season 1, Ep 4
The Liberator crew intersects a strange ship, and finds a group of killers from the past on board who will stop at nothing to kill Blake's Six and take over the ship. But why? And can Gan and Jenna stop them? What is Gan's dark secret? Meanwhile, in the other plot, Blake decides to become a terrorist with a fiendish plot to blow up a Federation communications outpost, but does he have the skills to avoid flesh-eating plants, the Federation's crack security forces, a super-high tech killbot? And can he, Avon and Villa trust a silent, mysterious stranger?
Blakes 7: Cygnus Alpha Season 1, Ep 3
Blake, Jenna, and Avon commandeer the alien ship, which is surprisingly easy to fly, and decide to jet off to the fearsome Cygnus Alpha, the prison planet they have just escaped being sent from to find a crew for the newly-named Liberator, but what is the fearsome mystery of Cygnus Alpha, who will survive, and what is BRIAN BLESSED shouting about? [more inside]
Blakes 7: Star Fall Season 1, Ep 2
Blake, Jenna and Vila (and some other potential members of the eponymous Seven, who may or may not make it to the end of the episode) take an all expenses paid cruise to the mysterious planet, Cygnus Alpha... and you won't believe what happens next... [more inside]
Blakes 7: The Way Back Season 1, Ep 1
Roj Blake, brainwashed by the Federation, learns of his true identity - a major resistance leader against what appears to be a corrupt society. Unbelieving at first, he is persuaded to attend a rebel's meeting illegally outside the dome... and then things get interesting. [more inside]
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.