Archive | Reviews

18 August 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Anime Review: Brynhildr in the Darkness

Brynhildr in the Darkness tried very hard to make me stop watching it, probably more so than any other series I can think of in recent years. On the one hand it has a smart and likeable main character who manages to pull off being a high school student protagonist without coming off as unrealistic wish fulfillment. Ryota is definitely not that powerful and works within the limitations of being an ordinary human caught up protecting artificial witches from the secret organization that created them.

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04 August 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Anime Review: The World is Still Beautiful

worldisstillbeautifulwritten by Laurie Tom

The World is Still Beautiful is based off an ongoing shoujo (girls) manga of the same name. Teenage Princess Nike comes from the small and relatively powerless Duchy of Rain, and in recent years a furious warlord known as the Sun King has conquered most of the known world. In exchange for leaving the Duchy of Rain alone, he asks for one of their princesses to be sent to him as a bride.

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30 July 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Hugo Novel Review (Partial): Neptune’s Brood by Charles Stross

Neptune'sBroodThis is the first year that I’ve actually managed to read all of the nominees in the Hugo novel category, at least a portion of each. Charles Stross’s Neptune’s Brood is the last of the batch, and I only got my hands on it mid-July when I borrowed it from a friend–the publishers decided not to put it in the Hugo packet, and neither Stross nor Penguin were interested in providing a review copy so I had been intending to just skip the book until the opportunity to borrow it came up. I haven’t finished reading the whole book yet. I’m at about page 150 of 340. But the Hugo deadline is tomorrow and this is the last posting slot I have before the deadline, so if I want to share my review before the deadline it’s got to be a partial. You can consider this part 1 of the review; I’ll write up the rest when I’ve finished the book.

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28 July 2014 ~ 0 Comments

My Hugo Ballot 2014

The voting deadline for the Hugo Awards is tomorrow, July 31st, and I’ve read as much of the Hugo content as I’m going to have time for. So, the time has come for me to cast my ballot and put awards aside until next year. As I’ve done the last couple years, I’ve publicly shared what my ballot is going to look like, as kind of a final section of my Hugo review that is kind of an overarching look at what I thought of the categories. I didn’t read work in all the categories, so I’ve abstained from voting in those that I had no familiarity with and left them off the ballot.

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25 July 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Summer 2014 Anime First Impressions

Summer 2014 Anime First Impressions

aldnoah.zerowritten by Laurie Tom

July means the start of the summer anime season, so I’m taking a look at most of the new shows that have caught my interest. Typically I watch 2-3 series as they air so I don’t intend to finish all of these, and I’m still watching last season’s m3: the dark metal, leaving less room for newcomers.

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21 July 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Anime Review: One Week Friends

oneweekfriends written by Laurie Tom

One Week Friends started off as my one must-watch show of the spring season, despite having only the barest of speculative elements (in that Kaori’s malady is not a real world condition). Though the rest of the series never again hits the high of the first episode, it remains an enjoyable watch throughout.

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18 July 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Hugo Novel Review: Warbound by Larry Correia

Warbound is the third book in Larry Correia’s Grimnoir Chronicles, preceded by Hard Magic and Spellbound. It takes place in a fantasy alternate-history 1930s. The branch in history took place in the 1850s when a magical force called The Power chose some subset of humanity to draw on its magical resources and become superpowered to give them the power to fight against the monstrous Pathfinder that eats magic and twists that magic to its own devices. And the Pathfinder itself is only an advance scout of its even more powerful master.

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14 July 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Hugo Dramatic Long Form Review 2014

Another Hugo category, this one for Hugo Dramatic Long Form, which usually means feature films. Three of them are repeats from the Ray Bradbury award that I’ve already reviewed this year, so those three are pretty much the same review text. I look forward to these every year because I don’t have time for a lot of movies, but I can use this as a quick-start guide for the year’s notable movies. Since movies are such a popular form, the category gets a ton of votes, so is an even better representation of SF fan tastes than most.

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09 July 2014 ~ 3 Comments

Hugo Novel Review: Parasite by Mira Grant

In the near future, The American medical corporation Symbogen releases a product that dramatically changes the medical industry–the Intestinal Bodyguard, a a genetically engineered tapeworm that manages most of your medical needs, including suppressing allergic reactions, and producing insulin for diabetics. Within a few years, the tapeworm implants are so ubiquitous, you would be hard pressed to find an American who doesn’t have one, and cheaper models have even become popular in third world countries where they help keep people healthy who have never known good health. They are the universal cure-all elixir. There can be no doubt that they have all the marvelous effects that are claimed–these are well documented. What may not be so well documented are the side effects that may come with that little traveling companion in your gut.

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07 July 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Anime Catch-Up Review: Vampire Knight

written by Laurie Tom

I’ll start by saying I’m not a typical fan of vampire media. I dislike vampires as love interests. What I like is shooting/staking/killing vampires. In short, I like the hunters.

I first heard about Vampire Knight several years ago. It was about a high school where there is a Day Class for humans and a Night Class for the vampires, which at the time I thought was a neat twist. (Vampire Knight beat Twilight to market by a year.) Yuki Cross is a school Guardian charged with monitoring the Night Class to make sure they behave and do not prey on the humans in the Day Class, but unsurprisingly for a story aimed at the young female audience, she quickly finds herself torn between two boys: the immortal pureblood vampire Kaname Kuran and her vampire hunter foster brother Zero Kiryu.

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