A thousand years have passed since the Earth was abandoned, the population transported to Nova Prime, a stark and desolate world of apparently no discernable variation in weather, where life is prosperous other than when marauding aliens drop fearsome creatures, Ursas, on the surface, to hunt and kill the newcomers. Blind but able to sense the chemical signature of human fear, the population is protected by the Global Ranger Corps, and General Cypher Raige has just returned home to announce to his wife his intention to retire, only to find out his competitive son Kitai has not passed his final examinations. Angry and disappointed, Cypher takes his son with him on a final voyage which is met with disaster; seriously damaged, the ship crashlands on their interdicted home planet, and, in a mathematical fluke, they are the sole human survivors, though it is possible the captive Ursa which was on board in the tail section may not have been killed.
While the three films that made up The Lord of the Rings were all critical and commercial successes, the trilogy that will comprise the prequel films have not been so fortunate. Even before release, many commentators felt that the decision made after principal photography had been completed to restructure the two planned films to three was motivated by a desire to generate ticket sales rather than an artistic need to allow the already slight story full room to breathe. While undeniably successful, with global takings of $1.02 billion, the global take for The Fellowship of the Ring, $871 million, if adjusted for inflation is $1.20 billion, whereas the adjusted global haul of The Return of the King is $1.45 billion. Suddenly Smaug's golden treasure does not glitter so. Will the second part redeem the failings of the first? The Geek Chocolate team weigh in with their opinions.
Although this may be her debut novel, G Willow Wilson has been writing professionally for over a decade, as a journalist on Cairo Magazine and with numerous series and graphic novels through Vertigo and DC Comics including Air, Cairo and two issues of Superman. Here her fascination with the mysteries of the Middle East where she lived for many years have taken shape in a modern adventure which has one foot in the shifting sands of history and myth and the other in the modern world of politics and the digital.
"My story can never be told. I write of what I cannot speak. The truth." So begins the tale of Eleanor Webb, trapped as an eternal teenager, sixteen years old for two hundred years, desperately wishing to move on, to be an adult. Her mother, Clara, by contrast, cannot move forward, having plied her trade for two centuries, unwilling to adapt to new times or new possibilities, never willing to settle, always moving as soon as the past they run from threatens to catch up with them.
Geek Chocolate were recently lucky enough to sit down for a long chat with the profilic and innovative writer Charles Stross, and in that conversation, he shared with us the saga behind the saga of The Merchant Princes. Originally published in six volumes between 2004 and 2010, The Family Trade, The Hidden Family, The Clan Corporate, The Merchants’ War, The Revolution Business and The Trade of Queens, these have now been bound together in three volumes, The Bloodline Feud, The Traders’ War and The Revolution Trade as a prelude to the new stories in the same universes he is currently planning.
It is thirty two years since the final episode of Blake’s 7 left a generation of fans shocked and reeling, the rebellious freedom fighters finally cornered and decimated by Federation guards on the remote planet Gauda Prime, all seen to be killed except the devious computer expert Kerr Avon, the final blasts of Federation blasters over the end credits leaving the slim possibility that he alone had not been executed. In the intervening decades, actor Paul Darrow has kept Avon alive in the novel A Terrible Aspect which told his interpretation of the origin of the character, in numerous audio plays, but has now moved the story forward in his new novel Lucifer.
In 1944, as waves of German ninjas parchute into Kent, Britain’s best hopes for victory lie with a Spitfire pilot codenamed “Ack-Ack Macaque.” The trouble is. Ack-Ack Macaque is a cynical, one-eyed, cigar-chomping monkey and he’s starting to doubt everything, including his own existence. As back cover blurbs go Gareth Powell’s latest novel certainly grabs the attention. The book versus cover argument is valid, but there are exceptions for every rule and this is one of them. What’s not to love about a monkey in a flight jacket wielding a bazooka and a really big gun?
The best science fiction and horror stories are those which are not actually about what they are about. Written and directed by James DeMonaco, The Purge is being marketed as a violent home invasion shocker, but is more genuinely a slow burning social commentary which makes no attempt to hide a scathing appraisal of modern American values.
The programme has been announced for the 2013 Edinburgh International Film Festival, the second season under artistic director Chris Fujiwara. Running from Wednesday 19th to Sunday 30th June, while the specific offerings in horror and science fiction particularly are less strong than previous years, this is not to say that there is not much of interest to genre fans, as many of the other films feature genre talent.
It’s been thirteen years since a low budget science fiction film shot in Queensland, Australia, stunned viewers across the world with its bold and uncompromising vision of the future, seen through the eyes of a convicted murderer who escaped from the confines of his cryostasis when the ship transferring him when it was struck by cometary debris and crashlanded on a desert planet inhabited solely by nocturnal alien predators. In his third cinematic outing, once again written and directed by David Twohy, Vin Diesel has returned to the role that made him an international star as we prepare for another encounter with Riddick, the last of the Furyans.