Archive | Reviews

30 March 2015 ~ 1 Comment

My Nebula Ballot 2015

The Nebula awards are nominated and voted by members of SFWA, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. I have been a member of SFWA in the past, but have chosen not to maintain my membership dues so I am not currently a member. So I can’t actually vote. But I do still follow the Nebula awards, and so I thought it worth posting my ballot as if I had the right to vote. The Nebula ballot has only 5 categories, four of them for lengths of written fiction and one for the Ray Bradbury Award for film. Unlike the Hugos, its voting system only allows you to vote for one thing, rather than rank-ordering all of them and doing instant runoff votes like the Hugos, so I will structure my post accordingly. You can find the full list of nominees here.

Because I don’t tend to read many novellas, because the Nebula voting period is so short, and because I was spent some of the Nebula voting period reading books for short-term review deadlines, I didn’t read any of the novella nominees this year.

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27 March 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Ray Bradbury Award Nominees 2015

The Ray Bradbury Award is not a Nebula, but nominations and voting and announcement are all tied up with the Nebula Awards, so its easy to bundle it in. The Ray Bradbury award is for science fiction and fantasy movies and is voted on by the members of SFWA, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. There is often some overlap with the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form but because of the difference in the voting groups this one seems to veer a bit more toward movies that are heavy on craft while the Hugo tends to lean toward fun popcorn movies.
I tried to watch all the movies before the Nebula voting deadline on end of day March 31st, but I acquire them by renting from Redbox and the release date on Redbox for one of the nominees (Interstellar) isn’t until March 31st. So that’s not enough time in my schedule to rent the movie and watch it. I’ll watch that movie later and give it a separate review.

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23 March 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Nebula Novelette Review 2015

The Nebulas are voted for by the members of SFWA, the Science Fiction/Fantasy Writers of America, based on all the published stories from 2014. The Novelette category covers stories between 7500 and 17500 words.

I have only had time to read three of the six stories before the SFWA voting deadline. It’s Ferrett Steinmetz’s fault, really. His first novel FLEX released the first week of March and my reading time was all occupied with reading his book.

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20 March 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Nebula Short Story Review 2015

The full Nebula nominee list is here. The Nebulas are nominated and voted every year by members of SFWA, a professional organization for science fiction and fantasy. The short story category covers stories of 7500 words or less.

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04 February 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Anime Movie Review: Fafner: Dead Aggressor: Heaven and Earth

Fafner: Dead Aggressor: Heaven and Earth is the movie sequel to the TV series Fafner: Dead Aggressor. Having been animated six years later, 2010’s Heaven and Earth is able to take advantage of improvements in CG animation (the alien Festum really benefited) and a bigger budget as everything looks much, much better.

Unfortunate the story is not as strong. Being constrained to an hour and a half, the movie reveals that the Festum were not defeated so much as divided by the destruction at the end of Fafner: Dead Aggressor, though the people of Tatsumiyajima Island have been able to enjoy what appears to have been two or three years of peace.

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30 January 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Anime Catch-Up Review: Fafner: Dead Aggressor

Fafner: Dead Aggressor is a series from ten years ago, and it shows in the character designs and the 4:3 aspect ratio of the original broadcast, but those do not detract from making it one of the more unusual mecha shows I’ve seen.

While Fafner starts with the usual teenage protagonists as the pilots, what draws me in is the attention paid to their parents, who are both their commanders and their support crew in the war that suddenly finds their figurative Eden.

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26 January 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Winter 2015 Anime First Impressions (with Fall Bonus)

Unlike last fall, which had an anemic number of shows that interested me, this winter has several. It’s also becoming more common for TV series consisting of more than 13 episodes to split their cours to run in staggered seasons rather than back to back. Hence last summer’s Aldnoah.Zero and Tokyo Ghoul are both returning for their second halves this winter, and this winter’s Durarara!! x2 will take a hiatus in spring and return in summer.

assassinationclassroomWith Aldnoah.Zero and Tokyo Ghoul returning, and two of the fall shows I did enjoy continuing into winter (Yona of the Dawn and Parasyte), this winter is experiencing something of a logjam and something’s gonna give, but I’m not sure just what yet.

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01 December 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Anime Catch-Up Review: Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Anime Catch-Up Review: Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Originally airing in 2011, I didn’t watch Puella Magi Madoka Magica because I dismissed it as another magical girl show, which I’ve largely aged out of. The magical girl genre typically features elementary to middle school aged girls (more rarely high school) who get nifty transformation sequences to turn into superheroes that combat evil. Themes typically include love, friendship, and doing the right thing.

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24 November 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Anime Catch-Up Review: Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

Anime Catch-Up Review: Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

fullmetalalchemistbrotherhoodFullmetal Alchemist has been around since the early 2000s. It was one of those anime series famous enough that it was hard to be a fan and not have heard of it.

In 2009, a few years after the first FMA wrapped up, it was rebooted. That felt unusually soon, but the first series had deviated heavily from the original manga (at the creator’s request, since the manga was still ongoing) and the second series was going to be true to the soon-to-be ending manga. The buzz around the second series, titled Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood in English, was even stronger than the first one.

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21 November 2014 ~ 0 Comments


Chains is a color-matching app-style game released by At first glance, it looks like other color matching app-style games like Bejeweled and Candy Crush. Not that there’s anything wrong with those, mind you, but Candy Crush already does what it does so well that most people don’t need another Candy Crush.

The concept is similar, to link up adjacent like-colored objects to clear them out. But Chains goes above and beyond by giving a much more varied level design and with different objectives.

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