The Harper government has been taking a beating recently, and resignations and cabinet shuffles are a sure sign of either rats leaving the sinking ship, or trying to sweep embarrasing Ministers under the rug (like my favourite MP Rona Ambrose). I won’t say that Vic was asked to resign, but his non-answer of wanting to return to private life is a pretty strong indicator that he is being moved out.
In any case, this douche-bag is finally gone and, with any luck at all, will no longer be an embarrassment to Canada. So long Vicki, don’t let the door hit you on the ass on the way out.
A hard-boiled, corrupt cop noir story infused with some science fiction. As a noir mystery/thriller, KOP is pretty good. As science fiction, it’s not so good. While the author manages to create a believable and consistent colony world, the science fiction extends no further than that. Neither the plot, nor the ultimate resolution, rely on science or any of the common science fiction tropes or themes. Simply setting your story on an alien world and giving the characters laser pistols does not make your book science fiction.
Still, I really dug the narrator’s voice, and the protagonist was a true anti-hero; refreshing in this current trend of being grim and angry supposedly makes a character an “anti-hero”. The mystery at the heart is nothing special, but the author’s talent (Hammond is a crime writer) manages to keep the twists believable and he keeps the reader from figuring it all out in the first 100 pages.
All in all I was disappointed in the lack of any real science fiction, but I enjoyed the story and the character enough that I bought the two sequels. If you are looking for a solid read and like noir detective stories, you might want to give KOP a try. The setting is well conceived if not particularly science fictiony, and the Hammond manages to add in enough detail to keep the verisimilitude going.
There has been a spate of Cthulhu and Mythos themed children’s books on Kickstarter lately. I am a sucker of most things Lovecraftian, and the very idea of “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” (which was, and still is, one of my favourite children’s books) transformed into Cthulhu was too terrible (!) and awesome to resist.
If this kind of thing appeals to you as well (as it bloody well should), head on over to the Kickstarter page and support The Very Hungry Cthulhupillar.
It will be money well spent, especially if they make the $8000 stretch goal. If they do, supporters get a hardcover book instead of paperback!
I’ve been watching these guys since they released “The Gamers: Dorkness Rising”. Having cut their teeth on that seminal fantasy gaming comedy, Dead Gentleman Productions leveraged their loyal, if small, fan base to produce JourneyQuest.
This is great stuff. Funny, well acted and high production values considering the budget they must operate on. I am downloading JourneyQuest – City of the Dead, which is the second “season” of this fantasy comedy, as we speak. I will be loading up on my favourite gamer food and hitting the couch to watch it this very night.
If you haven’t heard of this hilarious take on epic fantasy before, I urge you in the strongest terms to find “The Gamers: Dorkness Rising” and watch it. When you have finished laughing, buy JourneyQuest and JourneyQuest – City of the Dead, watch them and laugh some more. They are 100% fan supported and can use all of the support they can get. Dead Gentlemen Productions is running a great deal right now: download JourneyQuest and JourneyQuest 2 in HD mp4 or MKV for only $10.00 USD. Trust me, if you are a gamer and you like “The Guild”, you will love this.
An award winning book which has taken the nerd-verse by storm. A hilarious send up the of Star Trek trope that the characters wearing red shirts are the ones who die, but the bridge crew is always unscathed. This was my first Scalzi book, and while it was funny, clever and somewhat thought-provoking, I was left disappointed by the end of it. The codas felt completely tacked on, as if Scalzi’s editor told him that he needed another couple of thousand words because the book was too short. It would have been better to integrate the material in the codas into the novel itself.
But I was greatly disappointed by the direction the novel took once the characters figure out what exactly is happening to them. It would have been a much better story if they had exploited “The Narrative” to survive rather than travelling back into the past to solve their problem. The novel as written felt like Scalzi was taking the “hilarious send-up of the original Star Trek” a bit too far, relying on a solution that the actual Star Trek used twice. Once the crew journeys to 2010 Hollywood the novel begins to flag and the humour wears thin.
Scalzi is an accomplished and talented writer, to be certain, and parts of Redshirts are laugh out loud funny, but for the life of me I cannot understand why the internet makes this out to be the best novel of the year. It certainly isn’t the best novel nominated for the Hugo this year.
If you like lighthearted, comedic, but not particularly challenging or deep, Science Fiction, give Redshirts a read. You need not be a Star Trek fan to get the jokes, but it certainly does help.
Escape Pod, a podcast the releases audio adaptations of high quality science fiction short stories (for free! every week!) is currently featuring one of my all time favourite short stories: “The Very Pulse of the Machine” by Michael Swanwick. I don’t want to say too much about the story since anything I will say might give away the ending, but if you are a fan of science fiction you owe it to yourself to listen to this excellent audio adaptation.