Category Archives: SciFi

Book Giveaway: Salvation

Courtesy of Del Rey, I have a copy of Salvation by Peter F. Hamilton for one lucky winner!

Contest is open to US residents only. No PO Boxes please. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends September 21. I’ll draw a name on September 22, and notify winner via email.

ENTER DAILY TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING!

Good luck!

Continue reading Book Giveaway: Salvation

DVD Review: Young Sheldon The Complete First Season

Young Sheldon: Season 1
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the DVD I reviewed in this post. The opinions I share are my own.

Synopsis:
For 9-year-old Sheldon Cooper, being a once-in-a-generation mind capable of advanced mathematics and science isn’t always helpful in East Texas where church and football are king. And while the vulnerable, gifted and somewhat naïve Sheldon deals with the world, his very normal family must find a way to deal with him. His father is struggling as a high school football coach and as father to a boy he doesn’t understand. Sheldon’s mother fiercely protects and nurtures her son who just doesn’t fit in. Sheldon’s older brother does the best he can in high school, but he’s also in the same classes with Sheldon. Finally, there’s Sheldon’s twin sister who remains the one person who can reliably tell Sheldon the truth. For 10 years on The Big Bang Theory, audiences have come to know the iconic, eccentric and extraordinary Sheldon Cooper. Now meet him as he embarks on his innocent, awkward journey toward the man he will become.

Review:
Sheldon is easily the most iconic character on the Big Bang Theory. Now, we get to see him as a young, boy genius, raised in a average family. The actors are fantastic – especially the child actors Iain Armitage and Raegan Revord as young Sheldon and Missy respectively. Each episode is very funny, with wonderful wit. But there are plenty of times of sweetness and drama that give this show plenty of heart. It feels very different from it’s predecessor, but Young Sheldon can stand on its own as a fun, family comedy.

Received in August

The following are the books, movies, television shows, etc. I received last month for review and/or giveaways:

Blu-Ray / DVD:
Blindspot Season 3 DVD
Supernatural Season 13 DVD
Young Sheldon Season 1 DVD

Mystery Boxes:
TeeBlox
Bam Box
ThinkGeek Apparel

Ace:
Irontown Blues by John Varley

Amulet:
Wicked Nix by Lena Coakley

Angry Robot:
Implanted by Lauren C. Teffeau

Crown:
Fire and Heist by Sarah Beth Durst

Daw:
Search Image by Julie E. Czerneda

Del Rey:
Tarnished City by Vic James
Salvation by Peter F. Hamilton

Disney Hyperion:
A Circle of Elephants by Eric Dinerstein
Prosper Redding The Last Life of Prince Alastor by Alexandra Bracken
The Isle of the Lost: The Graphic Novel by Melissa De la Cruz

Harper Voyager:
Temper by Nicky Drayden
Timeless by R. A. Salvatore

John Joseph Adams / Mariner:
The Spaceship Next Door by Gene Doucette

Kensington / Rebel Base:
A Meddle of Wizards by Alexandra Rushe

Little, Brown / Jimmy:
Escaping From Houdini by Kerri Maniscalco
Light Years by Kass Morgan

Pyr:
Black City Dragon by Richard A. Knaak

Random House Children / Knopf:
Grump: The (Fairly) True Tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves by Liesl Shurtliff

Scholastic:
Night Flights: A Mortal Engines Collection by Philip Reeve
Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve

Simon Teen / Simon Pulse:
This Cruel Design by Emily Suvada

Spark:
Resistant by Rachael Sparks
Deepest Blue by Mindy Tarquini

Subterranean Press:
The Big Crush by David J Schow
More Walls Broken by Tim Powers
The Prisoner of Limnos by Lois McMaster Bujold
Virtue Signaling and Other Heresies by John Scalzi

Titan Books:
Star Trek: Lost Scenes by Curt McAloney

Tor:
Denied by Cathy Clamp
The Fated Sky by Mary Robinette Kowal

SciFi Book Review: Sanctuary

Sanctuary by Caryn Lix

Synopsis:
As a citizen of Omnistellar Concepts, the most powerful corporation in the solar system, Kenzie has trained her entire life for one goal: to become an elite guard on Sanctuary, Omnistellar’s space prison for superpowered teens too dangerous for Earth. As a junior guard, she’s excited to prove herself to her company—and that means sacrificing anything that won’t propel her forward.

But then a routine drill goes sideways and Kenzie is taken hostage by rioting prisoners.

At first, she’s confident her commanding officer—who also happens to be her mother—will stop at nothing to secure her freedom. Yet it soon becomes clear that her mother is more concerned with sticking to Omnistellar protocol than she is with getting Kenzie out safely.

As Kenzie forms her own plan to escape, she doesn’t realize there’s a more sinister threat looming, something ancient and evil that has clawed its way into Sanctuary from the vacuum of space. And Kenzie might have to team up with her captors to survive—all while beginning to suspect there’s a darker side to the Omnistellar she knows.

Review:
Kenzie lives with her parents aboard a prison in space. This prison contains teens with abilities that make them a danger to people on Earth. When the teens try a prison break, Kenzie is caught in the middle. But an even bigger danger looms as Sactuary is invaded by an unknown presence.

Sactuary is an impressive, YA science fiction debut. Kenzie is a relatable girl, who is conflicted between duty and this group of teens who she begins to sympathize with. The characters are diverse and complex. And the story is action-packed and full of suspense, mystery, and drama. This is definitely one of my favorite reads of the year. Super-powered teens meets an alien invasion – the plot alone is fantastic. Don’t miss this exciting, thriller.

DVD Review: Blindpost Season 3

Blindspot: The Complete Third Season

Synopsis:
The non-stop adrenaline rush continues in the third electrifying season of Blindspot. Following the shocking second season finale, which revealed a new set of bioluminescent tattoos that mysteriously appeared on Jane Doe’s body, season three jumps forward two years as FBI Agent Kurt Weller (Sullivan Stapleton) finally tracks down Jane (Jaimie Alexander), who has been on the run. After the two discover her new hidden tattoos, Jane is forced to return to the FBI, where Weller, Jane and the rest of the team set out to solve these new puzzles and stop the dangerous conspiracies they reveal. The tattoos however, reveal the team’s darkest secrets.

Review:
When a contract is put out on her life, Jane flees to protect those she loves. But Weller finally tracks her down with a clue left that unlocks a whole new set of tattoos on Jane’s body. It seems that Roman wants revenge, and Jane’s tattoos will reveal secrets about the former team in hopes of tearing them apart.

This third season has a nice revamp – with familiar faces and dark secrets. At the end of season 2, I thought that this story had reached a conclusion. This is more of an emotional journey for Jane as she learns more about her past. And Roman’s complex character becomes someone very different. I love that the only thing predictable about each episode is that something unexpected will happen. Each episode is packed with clues, twists, and non-stop suspense. I thoroughly enjoyed this latest season, and look forward to the next.

Special Features Include:
– Surveillance On Set: Agent Zapata
– Deleted Scenes
– Gag Reel

Book Giveaway: The Fated Sky

Courtesy of Tor, I have a copy of The Fated Sky by Mary Robinette Kowal for one lucky winner!

Contest is open to US residents only. No PO Boxes please. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends September 14. I’ll draw a name on September 15, and notify winner via email.

ENTER DAILY TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING!

Good luck!

Continue reading Book Giveaway: The Fated Sky

FearlessWomen Tour: Book Excerpt: The Fated Sky

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The Fated Sky Excerpt

Now I faced the wall, running a Fibonacci sequence to try to calm down. At least I didn’t throw up anymore. Usually.

1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144 . . .

Behind me, Parker paced in tiny circles, shaking his hands as if he were trying to get blood back into them. An assistant with a clipboard waited by us, one ear covered with a giant earphone, as if he were at Mission Control.

. . 233, 377, 610, 987, 1597, 2584, 4181, 6765 . . .

The man with the clipboard leaned next to me and whispered, “You’re on.”

Onstage, Jack Paar said, “Please welcome my next guests, Colonel Stetson Parker and Dr. Elma York.”
I turned away from the wall in time to see Parker snap his genial smile into place. He gestured for me to lead the way. “Ladies first.”

My smile felt brittle and plastered on. Crinoline shushing against my legs, I strode out into the lights and the wall of applause. Beyond the banks of lights and cameras, real people sat in the auditorium. Beyond them, millions of people sat on the other side of television sets.
. . 10946, 17711, 28657 . . .

Mr. Paar shook my hand and then Parker’s, and we went through the requisite smiling and waving to the audience before we were seated on matching leather chairs next to his. A silver microphone stood on the floor between Parker and me, and I had to cross my legs carefully to keep from hitting it with my pumps.

With a tug on one of his signature ties, Jack Paar leaned over to us as if we were the only people in the room. “Thank you both so much for joining us. I tell you, I don’t think I’ve ever gotten over being five years old. I know it’s obvious, but I just need to say it . . . You’ve both been to the moon?”

Parker laughed. He really does have a good laugh. “I can’t believe it either. There are days when I have to pinch myself.”

“And, Dr. York . . . You live on the moon, is that right?”

“Yes, I live in the lunar colony about six months out of the year.”

“That must be fascinating.” Jack Paar leaned closer, smiling with all the fidgety interest of a child. “What’s it like?”

“More like Earth than you might think. I pilot one of the transport ships, ferrying geologists and miners out to various sites. I have a regular route, so it’s not much different from being a bus driver, really.”

Beside me, Parker chuckled. “Don’t let Dr. York sell her-self short. Piloting one of these ships requires a lot of skill because of mascons.”

Jack Paar raised his eyebrows almost to his hairline. “Mass cons? Is that a convicted mascot?”

Bless him for making me laugh, even if it was a poor joke, or I would have gaped at Parker’s compliment. “Mascon is short for mass concentration. There are local heavy spots on the moon where the rocks have more density, so it causes the ship to dip unexpectedly.”

“Wait—there are really spots where there’s more gravity on the moon?”

I nodded. “Here on Earth, too, but it’s so slight that you wouldn’t notice it. It’s one of the reasons we can’t automate a ship around the moon, because the math is too complicated for a mechanical computer that’s small enough to fit on the spacecraft.” Not that anyone wanted to hear about math. My job was to extoll the virtues of the Mars program. “But the lunar colony does give a taste of what our Mars colony will be like. It’s much the way living on the frontier must have felt for early Americans.”

THE FATED SKY Summary:
Mary Robinette Kowal continues the grand sweep of alternate history begun in The Calculating Stars, The Fated Sky looks forward to 1961, when mankind is well-established on the moon and looking forward to its next step: journeying to, and eventually colonizing, Mars.

Of course the noted Lady Astronaut Elma York would like to go, but there’s a lot riding on whoever the International Aerospace Coalition decides to send on this historic—but potentially very dangerous—mission? Could Elma really leave behind her husband and the chance to start a family to spend several years traveling to Mars? And with the Civil Rights movement taking hold all over Earth, will the astronaut pool ever be allowed to catch up, and will these brave men and women of all races be treated equitably when they get there? This gripping look at the real conflicts behind a fantastical space race will put a new spin on our visions of what might have been.

About Mary Robinette Kowal:
Mary Robinette Kowal is the author of the historical fantasy novels Ghost Talkers and the five books in The Glamourist Histories series. She is also a multiple Hugo Award winner. Her short fiction has appeared in Uncanny, Tor.com, and Asimov’s. Mary, a professional puppeteer, lives in Chicago with her husband Robert and over a dozen manual typewriters.

About #FearlessWomen:
Women are shining in every genre of speculative fiction, and it is no longer enough to say “Women are here.” Instead, #FearlessWomen everywhere are taking a stand to say “Women will thrive here.”
Highlighting major titles from bestselling authors V.E. Schwab, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Jacqueline Carey as well as titles from acclaimed and debut authors such as Mary Robinette Kowal, Tessa Gratton, Sam Hawke, and Robyn Bennis, #FearlessWomen will be a coordinated social media celebration encouraging fans to start a dialogue about women in publishing, their worlds, their voices, and their unique stories.
Tor Books’ handles across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (@torbooks) will be using the hashtags #FearlessWomen (and #FearlessFantasy and #FearlessSF) to promote excerpts, exclusive content, quizzes and giveaways beginning in May. There will also be exclusive giveaways at BookCon, San Diego Comic-Con, and New York Comic Con. Follow Tor Books online, join the conversation – and get reading!