Category Archives: SciFi

4K Blu-Ray Review: Justice League

Justice League 4K Blu-Ray

Synopsis:
Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to find and recruit a team of metahumans to stand against this newly awakened threat. But despite the formation of this unprecedented league of heroes—Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash—it may already be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions.

Review:
When the evil Steppenwolf arrives from another world, he threatens to remake Earth into a hellish landscape. And only a team of super heroes can hope to defeat him. Batman and Wonder Woman seek out Aquaman, The Flash and Cyborg to help. But the newly formed team is awkward and disjointed. And Steppenwolf is unlike any villain they have fought before.

Justice League has been the culmination of several films to a big team-up movie. DC hasn’t had the best track record lately with films, Wonder Woman being the exception. The pacing is a bit disjointed. The gathering of the team slows the film down, when the pacing should be sped up as Steppenwolf is only growing stronger as he gathers the mysterious boxes (that resemble the tesseract from Avengers). In fact, it’s hard not to compare Justice League to the Marvel films. Thankfully, this wasn’t as dark as Batman v Superman and contained a lot more humor. Ezra Miller as The Flash was great comedy relief, and a great character with the role of an over-excited little brother. In fact, the three newest recruits have the most interesting backstories that demand standalone films. While there wasn’t any character-development in the villain, we were able to get more story from the team leading up to an exciting finale.

The most disappointing element – that just about ruined the film for me, was Henry Cavill’s ridiculous CGI-removed mustache. It was awful and hard to ignore. It would have been better if he was written out of the film altogether. Despite the faults, it was still an entertaining film with bits of promise for future films. It was certainly action-packed and full of suspense. I still look forward to future DC films, hoping they learn from past mistakes.

Own Justice League on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack, Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD on March 13, or Own It Early on Digital on Now!

Comet TV March Box

comet tv

This awesome box of scifi memorabilia is from Comet TV to promote this month’s lineup!
Comet TV has now partnered with Charge! and includes Action films as well!

About Comet
COMET is a new television channel dedicated to sci-fi entertainment offering popular favorites, cult classics, and undiscovered gems, every day. Watch COMET and Space Out.

Where Can I Watch COMET?
COMET is available over the air, on cable, streaming for free online and now on ROKU and APPLE TV!

Box Review: Bam Box – February 2018

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

There is a nice, glossy page of the items included, which is a necessity for some items at times!

Bam Box

T-800 CPU Brain Chip ReplicaTerminator fans can power up their Skynet unit. This is a nice, heavy replica that’s definitely heavier than an actual chip would be. But it won’t break!

Dana Scully FBI Badge Prop ReplicaX-Files fans could have also received a Fox Mulder badge.

Bam Box

Laura Vandervoort Signed Print – She played Supergirl on Smallville, she was the star of Bitten, but my favorite was her role on the V reboot.

Bam Box

“Harley Girl” Fan Art Print – This is a miss for me, as I don’t care for the pin-up look nor Harley Quinn.

Bam Box

Wakanda Fan Art Print – I usually don’t care for fan art. But this print of Black Panther is pretty great.

Summary:
There were no filler pins this time, which I didn’t mind at all! The descriptions on the list of included items is nice, but if I wasn’t a fan of the show or movie, I wouldn’t have known what franchise some items are from, like the chip. The Laura Vandervoort signed print was impressive. But the Black Panther print was my favorite item.

SciFi Book Review: Embers of War

Embers of War by Gareth L. Powell

Synopsis:
The sentient warship Trouble Dog was built for violence, yet following a brutal war, she is disgusted by her role in a genocide. Stripped of her weaponry and seeking to atone, she joins the House of Reclamation, an organisation dedicated to rescuing ships in distress. When a civilian ship goes missing in a disputed system, Trouble Dog and her new crew of loners, captained by Sal Konstanz, are sent on a rescue mission.

Meanwhile, light years away, intelligence officer Ashton Childe is tasked with locating the poet, Ona Sudak, who was aboard the missing spaceship. What Childe doesn’t know is that Sudak is not the person she appears to be. A straightforward rescue turns into something far more dangerous, as Trouble Dog, Konstanz and Childe find themselves at the centre of a conflict that could engulf the entire galaxy. If she is to save her crew, Trouble Dog is going to have to remember how to fight…

Review:
The Trouble Dog and her small crew are sent to rescue the poet Ona Sudak on a war-torn planet. But Ona isn’t just a poet. And The Trouble Dog is mysteriously warned away from the mission.

Embers of War is an exciting, science fiction space opera. The human-like, sentient Trouble Dog spaceship is a memorable character, both brilliant and sympathetic. This action-packed, adventure has plenty of drama, suspense, and intrigue. With colorful characters and an unpredictable plot, I thoroughly enjoyed this start of a fun, new trilogy.

Box Review: TeeBlox – February 2018

TeeBlox

TeeBlox is a t-shirt subscription service that brings 100% authentic licensed geek and gamer shirts to your doorsteps every month. No hidden fees. Cancel anytime. Satisfaction Guaranteed.”

Get 1 shirt and 2 other items starting at $12.99/mo and use code: SCIFICHICK24 to get 24% off your first month!

Subscribers can pick from the following categories: SciFi, Marvel, DC Comics, Cartoons, Movies and TV, Games, Hot Meex, or Disney!

*SciFiChick.com received a box for review purposes.

Tee Blox

Star Wars Shirt – This is a fun cartoon design on a charcoal gray shirt. It’s a nice material that I’ll enjoy wearing.

Tee Blox

Star Wars Stickers – These were fun filler that matched the Star Wars theme.

Summary: I was happy to see a gray shirt instead of black again. The color and quality is great!

Remember, use code: SCIFICHICK24 to get 24% off your first month!

Received in February

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

Mystery Boxes:
TeeBlox
Bam Box

Amazon Press / 47North:
Secondborn by Amy A. Bartol
Traitor Born by Amy A. Bartol

BBC Books:
Doctor Who: The Pirate Planet by Douglas Adams
Doctor Who: Who-ology Regenerated Edition by Cavan Scott

Daw:
Lady Henterman’s Wardrobe by Marshall Ryan Maresca

Del Rey:
Daughters of the Storm by Kim Wilkins

Disney Hyperion / Free Form / Marvel:
Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Ship of the Dead by Rick Riordan
Star Wars: The Last Jedi Cobalt Squadron by Elizabeth Wein
Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi The Legends of Luke Skywalker by Ken Liu
City of Bastards by Andrew Shvarts
Ship It by Britta Lundin
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: 2 Fuzzy, 2 Furious by Shannon Hale
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Squirrel Meets World by Dean Hale
A Wrinkle in Time: A Guide to the Universe by Kari Sutherland

Gallery Books:
Star Trek: Discovery: Drastic Measures by Dayton Ward

Harper Teen:
The Final Six by Alexandra Monir

Harper Voyager:
Awakened by James S Murray
King of Ashes by Raymond E Feist
The Queen of Sorrow by Sarah Beth Durst
The Poppy War by R. F Kuang
Blood of the Four by Christopher Golden

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt:
The Robots of Gotham by Todd McAulty

Kensington Books / Rebel Base:
A Choice of Crowns by Barb Hendee
Through a Dark Glass by Barb Hendee

Night Shade Books:
The Song of All by Tina LeCount Myers
The Devil and the Deep: Horror Stories of the Sea by Ellen Datlow

Penguin / Putnam:
The Hunger by Alma Katsu

Pyr:
Blade and Bone by Jon Sprunk

Scholastic / Chicken House:
The Fandom by Anna Day
Damselfly by Chandra Prasad

Simon and Schuster / Saga Press:
The Tangled Lands by Paolo Bacigalupi

St Martin’s Press:
The Coincidence Makers by Yoav Blum
Halcyon by Rio Youers

Subterranean Press:
Blood’s a Rover by Harlan Ellison
Mira’s Last Dance by Lois McMaster Bujold

Titan Comics:
Assassin’s Creed Uprising Volume 2: Inflection Point by Dan Watters

Tor:
Head On by John Scalzi
Good Guys by Steven Brust
If Tomorrow Comes by Nancy Kress
Dayfall by Michael David Ares

Tor Teen / Starscape:
Max’s Story: A Dog’s Purpose Puppy Tale by W. Bruce Cameron
To Right the Wrongs by Sheryl Scarborough
Pacifica by Kristen Simmons

William Morrow:
The Feed by Nick Clark Windo

SciFi Book Review: Star Wars: Cobalt Squadron

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Cobalt Squadron by by Elizabeth Wein

Synopsis:
Will Rose and Paige help save a planet, or will their actions lead to all-out war?

Review:
Sisters Rose and Paige Tico are a part of the resistance and the bomber group Cobalt Squadron. Paige is a gunner and Rose a brilliant technician. Cobalt Squadron assists Atterran citizens from a First Order blockade. The people of Atterra are dying from a lack of resources – a scene all too familiar for the Tico sisters.

Star Wars fans were introduced to Rose and (briefly) Paige in The Last Jedi. The sisters have a sweet relationship and unbreakable bond. This is an exciting story with plenty of drama and intrigue. However, I would have liked a bit more character development – especially from other members of the Cobalt Squadron. Not knowing some of the characters better, lessens the impact of events. This quick, fast-paced read is a just one short adventure that ties in to an event in The Force Awakens – and ends just before The Last Jedi. I can’t get enough of these new characters.

Author Guest Post: Gareth L. Powell

FIVE CLASSIC SPACE OPERAS THAT STILL HOLD UP TODAY
by Gareth L. Powell

‘Space opera’ has been around since the heyday of the pulp magazines in the 1930s and 1940s. Initially the term was one of derision, likening the genre to tacky ‘horse opera’ westerns. However, just as the hippies and punks of the 1960s and 1970s took their derogatory labels and wore them with pride, so the term ‘space opera’ came to be used for action-packed stories featuring big spaceships and weighty themes.

Looking back now, not all of those stories have aged well. Some are frankly unreadable, either due to their dreadful prose, cardboard characters, or woeful science. But if you look hard enough, there are still plenty of gems to be found.

Below, I have picked ten classic* space operas that still have much to offer the modern reader.

*For the purposes of this list, I have defined the term ‘classic’ as including books written or published before the turn of the Millennium.

1. Nova by Samuel Delany. Without doubt, one of my favorite books, Nova is set a thousand years into the future, and tells the story of Lorq Von Ray, last scion of a powerful and rich dynasty, and his quest to harvest the rare mineral illyrion from the core of an imploding sun. Filled with literary fireworks, the book relates Von Ray’s quest to tarot lore and the Arthurian Grail legends, while simultaneously using the literary ambitions of one of its characters to provide a meta-commentary on the process of novel writing itself.

2. The Centauri Device by M. John Harrison. Harrison takes the tropes of pulp space opera—starports, lone traders, and naval engagements—and gives them a cyberpunk makeover. Crews have to jack directly into their ships via sockets on their wrists. The main character deals amphetamines and is discharged from the army because he wets himself every time a gun goes off. Whether or not it was written as a criticism of the genre, it paved the way for the grittier ‘New Space Opera’ of the 1990s.

3. The Ship Who Sang by Anne McCaffrey. When I sat down to write Embers of War, I re-read this book to help get me in the mood to write about a sentient starship. I hadn’t read it since I was a kid, and I was relieved to find it just about held up. Taken at face value, it’s a fun, if episodic adventure. Unfortunately, modern readers might baulk at the idea of data held on magnetic tape, and the titular ship’s constant yearning for a man to make her life complete.

4. The Game Of Rat And Dragon by Cordwainer Smith. This is only a short story, but I decided to include it because a) it’s quite extraordinary, and b) this is my list and I can do what I want. In the far future, human starship are routinely attacked during faster-than-light travel by invisible aliens that drive their crews insane. The only way to protect against these attacks is to use cats paired with human telepaths. The cats perceive the aliens as rats and destroy them with miniature nuclear weapons. If you haven’t read it, you really should. And while you’re at it check out Smith’s other stories, such as ‘Mother Hitton’s Littul Kittons’, and ‘Golden the Ship Was-Oh! Oh! Oh!’

5. The Forever War by Joe Haldeman. Based at least in part on the author’s experiences fighting in the Vietnam War, this tale of interstellar conflict follows the fortunes of William Mandella, a physics student conscripted into the war against the mysterious Taurans. Due to the time dilation caused by interstellar travel, he finds each tour of duty—while only lasting a couple of subjective years for him—throws him further and further into the future, with the result that every time he returns to Earth, he finds it changed almost beyond all recognition.

Honorable Mentions:
Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds
Shards of Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold
A Fire On The Deep by Vernor Vinge
Consider Phlebas by Iain M. Banks
Downbelow Station by C.J. Cherryh
The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester
Dune by Frank Herbert
Gateway by Frederik Pohl

Embers of War by Gareth L. Powell is published by Titan Books. You can find Gareth on Twitter @garethlpowell