Category Archives: SciFi

SciFi Book Review: Replica

Replica by Lauren Oliver

Synopsis:
Lyra’s story begins in the Haven Institute, a building tucked away on a private island off the coast of Florida that from a distance looks serene and even beautiful. But up close the locked doors, military guards, and biohazard suits tell a different story. In truth, Haven is a clandestine research facility where thousands of replicas, or human models, are born, raised, and observed. When a surprise attack is launched on Haven, two of its young experimental subjects—Lyra, or 24, and the boy known only as 72—manage to escape.

Gemma has been in and out of hospitals for as long as she can remember. A lonely teen, her life is circumscribed by home, school, and her best friend, April. But after she is nearly abducted by a stranger claiming to know her, Gemma starts to investigate her family’s past and discovers her father’s mysterious connection to the secretive Haven research facility. Hungry for answers, she travels to Florida, only to stumble upon two replicas and a completely new set of questions.

Review:
Lyra and a fellow clone escape their facility only to learn horrifying truths about their pasts. Gemma helps Lyra and 24 escape, and finds herself in the middle of more danger than she could imagine.

Replica is a unique and fascinating story told from two different characters’ points of view. It’s the first in a YA scifi duology. It’s a flip book, as one side of the book is Lyra’s story, and you flip the book over to start reading Gemma’s which ends in the middle of the book. The pacing is steady and flows well – even when we switch to Gemma’s side, it doesn’t get repetitive. Full of suspense, intrigue, drama, and a bit of romance – this is an exciting thriller that I won’t soon forget.

Blu-Ray Review: The Circle



The Circle Blu-Ray Edition

Synopsis:
When Mae (Emma Watson) is hired to work for the world’s largest and most powerful tech and social media company, she sees it as an opportunity of a lifetime. As she rises through the ranks, she is encouraged by the company’s founder, Eamon Bailey (Tom Hanks), to engage in a groundbreaking experiment that pushes the boundaries of privacy, ethics, and ultimately, her personal freedom. Her participation in the experiment and every decision she makes begin to affect the lives and future of her friends, family, and all of humanity.

Review:
Imagine a Big Brother tv show out in the real world, and that’s what Mae subjects herself to. Zero privacy and interacting with her viewers every waking moment. I can’t imagine it being entertaining with no scripting, but it re-iterates the point of the movie of losing privacy for security. When tragedy strikes, Mae is forced to reevaluate her view on total transparency.

I didn’t have any expectations before watching The Circle. I hadn’t seen any positive reviews, but the cast was great and it seemed like something I’d enjoy. The acting was fantastic. It was bittersweet to see Bill Paxton in his last role. When Mae first goes to work at the Circle, it’s very reminiscent of what working at Google mixed with Apple must be. However, it suddenly takes a weird turn when she realizes she’s expected to interact with her colleagues to the point of not having a life outside of work. The mood is creepy and tense throughout. There is a predictable climactic scene, followed by Mae’s epiphany. But the ending falls flat with the push back against “total transparency.” A lot of build up with little resolution. I really wanted to like this one, but it feels like something I’ve already seen before. It’s not a bad film, just a little disappointing.

BLU-RAY / DVD SPECIAL FEATURES:
• “No More Secrets: Completing The Circle — A Four-Part Series” Featurette
• “The Future Won’t Wait: Design and Technology” Featurette
• “A True Original: Remembering Bill Paxton” Featurette

Get The Yondu Look – Tribute Event in West Hollywood

Any Guardians fans in SoCal? Here’s an awesome upcoming opportunity!

LONG LIVE YONDU!

[From Press Release:] In loving memory of everyone’s favorite Ravager, come celebrate the Blu-ray™ release of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 with Yondu himself – Michael Rooker!

On Tuesday, August 22nd from 9:00am-12:00pm, fans around Los Angeles will be able to come pay tribute to the beloved Ravager, Yondu, with a morning of prizes and activities at Shorty’s Barber Shop in West Hollywood!

Michael Rooker (‘Yondu’ in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2) will be on location to commemorate his character and interact with fans!

Activities Include:
– The first 50 fans will receive a $50 gift certificate to Shorty’s Barber Shop to come back and Get the Yondu Look.
– Additional giveaways will include Blu-ray Combo Packs and Digital Copies of Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, posters signed by Michael Rooker and other Guardians themed items.
– Themed photo opportunity
– Get the Yondu Look by getting your hair styled into a faux hawk and hair sprayed red.

For those of you hardcore enough to go FULL YONDU*, there will be room for ten lucky Ravagers to get a full hair dye and shave. Those that pledge their loyalty to the captain will not only meet Rooker himself, but will head out with various Guardians loot!

But wait! There’s more, y’all! Two lucky fans will also walk out of Shorty’s with an awesome custom-made Yondu umbrella to keep that new ‘do safe from the LA sun!

* If you volunteer to be one of the 10 fans to get the Full Yondu you will need to be over 18 years of age, be available to get your hair dyed on Monday, August 21st, and shaved or styled from 9:00AM-12:00PM on Tuesday, August 22nd.

To schedule for the Full Yondu, please e-mail your name and mobile number to gettheyondulook@gmail.com.

All colors and cuts will take place at Shorty’s Barber Shop.

Shorty’s Barber Shop
755 N Fairfax Ave
West Hollywood, CA
90046

MARVEL STUDIOS’ “GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2”
Now Available Digitally and Blu-ray on Aug. 22

SciFi Book Review: Pawn

Pawn by Timothy Zahn

Synopsis:
Nicole Lee’s life is going nowhere. No family, no money, and stuck in a relationship with a thug named Bungie. But, after one of Bungie’s “deals” goes south, he and Nicole are whisked away by a mysterious moth-like humanoid to a strange ship called the Fyrantha.

Once aboard, life on the ship seems too good to be true. All she has to do is work on one of the ship’s many maintenance crews. However, she learned long ago that nothing comes without a catch. When she’s told to keep quiet and stop asking questions, she knows she is on to something.

Nicole soon discovers that many different factions are vying for control of the Fyrantha, and she and her friends are merely pawns in a game beyond their control. But, she is tired of being used, and now Nicole is going to fight.

Review:
Nicole is a down and out, and pretty much given up when she’s suddenly abducted by aliens. She and other humans are used to work as laborers aboard the spaceship. And as it turns out, Nicole has a special gift that makes her especially valuable to her abductors. She is able to communicate with the ship – as it tells her specifically what the work crews need to fix. But Nicole stumbles upon another section of the ship that will push her to do more.

Pawn is the first in a new, original scifi series. The story wasn’t quite what I expected. The majority of the story takes place entirely on the ship, as Nicole uncovers a mystery. It’s well-paced, and full of drama and suspense. Fyrantha is an intriguing ship, and I feel like we’ve just scratched the surface in this first installment. Zahn has created another engaging universe of diverse aliens and complex characters. I look forward to the next in this promising series.

Box Giveaway: ThinkGeek Capsule

ThinkGeek Capsule

Courtesy of ThinkGeek, I have an extra July THINKGEEK CAPSULE with a tshirt in Junior’s Medium for one (1) lucky winner!

Contest is open to US residents only. No PO Boxes please. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends August 18. I’ll draw a name on August 19, and notify winner via email.

ENTER DAILY TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING!

Good luck!

Continue reading Box Giveaway: ThinkGeek Capsule

Box Review: Bam Box – July 2017

Bam Box

The Bam Box was founded in 2015 by Bloof, the same team of geeks, comic book lovers and pop culture collectors that started ComiconAuction.com. We love collecting. We love the thrill of it, the mystery of it and especially that feeling you get when you have a collectible in your hands that you are really excited about. So we set out to bring something different to everyone.

There are some great subscription boxes on the market, but we felt there was still something missing. We went to the drawing board with the goal of creating the box we would want to show up on our doorstep. After a lot of ideas and prototypes we arrived at the Bam Box. From the design of the box to the items inside to the instant winners we send out, we accomplished what we wanted to do: give you the subscription box we would be jealous of.”

Cost: 1 month plan starts at $24.99 plus $7.99 s/h

*SciFiChick.com received a box for review purposes.

Bam Box

PriMates Pin

Bam Box

Prop Replica Wolverine Dog Tags – These are really cool, nice heavy tags. I’ll be keeping these.

Bam Box

Thundercats Patch
Hogwarts School House… um, I’m not sure what these are… It’s a cute pin-like emblem on a leather patch. There’s nothing on the back. So it’s a paperweight? Just an emblem? I’m not sure. Hufflepuff for me!

Bam Box

Death of Gwen Stacy Print – This is a very cool print. There was a black & White variant too, but I prefer this color version.

Bam Box

Greg Cipes Signature (Beast Boy) on Teen Titans Go – While I love the Teen Titans comics, I don’t care for the cartoon at all. My nephew does though, so he’ll enjoy this.

Summary:
This was kind of a slim box, not much to it. I liked the Hogwarts emblem – just not sure what it’s use is. And the Wolverine dog tags were a nice addition.
Also, there was a vote, and this will be the last box with a theme. They don’t want to be limited about what can be included, so no more themes going forward!

Book Excerpt: Bad Girl Gone

Awakening

When I tried to remember exactly how I came to be lying in the cold black room, my mind couldn’t focus.
I could feel myself slowly climbing upward, clawing my way out of the clutches of a nightmare. This was usually a good feeling, because you knew you were just dreaming, and the nightmare was over. Except this time it wasn’t. My hands felt clammy. I gripped the sheets until I knew my knuckles must be white. Help me, I thought. Somebody please help me.

I had no idea where I was, and for a terrifying second I couldn’t even remember who I was. But then I remembered my name. Echo. Echo Stone. My real name is Eileen. When I was a toddler, I waddled around repeating everything my parents said and they called me “Echo,” and it just stuck.

Remembering my name and how I got it kick-started my brain. I knew who I was. I remembered that I was sixteen years old and lived in Kirkland, Washington, with my mom and dad. It was all coming back to me. Mom was a dentist and Dad taught middle school English. Good, I could remember parts of my life. But I was still in a dark, cold room and had no idea how I got there. I held back a scream, my chest tightening. Don’t lose it, Echo, keep it together, I told myself. Calm down, think good thoughts.

I pictured Andy, my boyfriend. Six feet tall, broad shoul- ders, blue eyes, and long golden-brown hair. He loved to feed me cookie bites and called me his rabbit. I called him Wolfie. Sometimes he got the hiccups for no reason at all and usually laughed them away. Thinking of Andy momentarily made me feel warm inside, even though the room was freezing.

Where was I? I was shivering and yet also bathed in sweat, my skin slick with it. I clutched for my trusty Saint Christo- pher necklace. But it wasn’t there. Mom gave it to me to protect me when I traveled. Would it protect me now? I would never have lost it. The chain must have broken. And then I had an ugly thought. What if someone had ripped it from my neck? I shuddered. Where are you, Andy? I need you!

Continue reading Book Excerpt: Bad Girl Gone

VALERIAN: CITY OF ALPHA Mousepad and Art Print Giveaway!

Valerian

To celebrate the mobile game release of VALERIAN: CITY OF ALPHA, the official mobile game of the feature film Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, Spil Games is offering us a giveaway!

It is the official mobile game of Luc Besson’s upcoming sci-fi movie Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets starring Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne. The legendary director is famous for creating sci-fi blockbusters including The Fifth Element and Lucy.

The film has been described as visually spectacular and the mobile game creates an engaging experience that will draw players into the Valerian universe.

Valerian: City of Alpha was built from the astonishingly intricate backstory created for the movie. Gamers get to explore that super cool universe for themselves.

“Spil Games has successfully captured our movie in a mobile game,” says Virginie Besson-Silla, the movie’s producer. “What we see is an immersive experience that Valerian fans will have fun with.”

The movie is set on the astonishing City of Alpha — an ever-expanding metropolis where species from all over the universe have converged over centuries to share knowledge, intelligence and culture with one another.

The mobile game begins 590 years earlier when Alpha is still just a space station. The aim is to explore and discover the aliens and planets that will come to be featured in the movie. Players must complete exciting missions, connect with alien species and come up with strategies to help them create the knowledge-sharing metropolis. The ultimate objective is building for themselves the biggest and best version of the City of Alpha.

Much more than just a game of a movie

• Revel in stunning artwork
• Explore the entire universe in which the movie is set
• Connect with mind-blowing alien cultures and snag their technologies
• Create the Alpha metropolis — your imagination is the only limit
• A unique combination of city building, exploration and diplomacy

IOS download link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/valerian-city-of-alpha/id1161756765?ls=1&mt=8
Android download link: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.spilgames.Valerian

Valerian

Valerian

Courtesy of Spil Games, I have a Mousepad and Print (see above) for one (1) lucky winner!

Contest is open to US residents only. No PO Boxes please. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends August 18. I’ll draw a name on August 19, and notify winner via email.

ENTER DAILY TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING!

Good luck!

Continue reading VALERIAN: CITY OF ALPHA Mousepad and Art Print Giveaway!