Archive | Reviews

30 April 2018 ~ 0 Comments

HUGO REVIEW: Novelette Finalists

Science fiction award season is here again, and the Hugo final ballot was announced for WorldCon 76 in San Jose.

On to the novelette category, my favorite category of all the Hugo categories, covering stories between 7500 and 17500 words.  This review covers all six finalists.

Continue Reading

25 April 2018 ~ 0 Comments

HUGO REVIEW: Short Story Finalists

Science fiction award season is here again, and the Hugo final ballot was announced for WorldCon 76 in San Jose.

On to the short story category, my favorite category of all the Hugo categories, covering stories less than 7500 words.  This review covers all six finalists.

Continue Reading

20 April 2018 ~ 0 Comments

THEATER REVIEW: Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny

Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny are two short theatrical presentations currently being toured by Mermaid Theater of Nova Scotia.  Based on the famous children’s books written by Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by Clement Hurd from 1947 and 1942 respectively.  Both shows are performed using puppets.

Continue Reading

13 April 2018 ~ 0 Comments

TV REVIEW: Kevin (Probably) Saves the World Season 1

Kevin (Probably) Saves the World is a fantasy comedy/drama fantasy series with what I might call a light Christian backdrop (I wouldn’t call it Christian TV, particularly, I’ll get into that later).  Season one was 16 episodes and ran on ABC between October 2017 and March 2018.  At the time I write this article it’s unclear whether it will be renewed for a second season.

After surviving a suicide attempt, businessman Kevin Finn (Jason Ritter, who might recognize as the voice of Dipper Pines from Gravity Falls) moves back to his hometown to live with his sister Amy (JoAnna Garcia) and her daughter Reese (Chloe East) while he recovers.  Soon after he moves in he starts getting visited by Yvette (Kimberly Hebert Gregory), who only he can see, who claims to be sent by God to guide and protect him as he saves the world.  Not only that, but he is one of the 36 “righteous” in each generation that helps guide the world.  Except… the other 35 are nowhere to be found.

Continue Reading

06 April 2018 ~ 0 Comments

Anime Review: Chronos Ruler

Anime Review: Chronos Ruler

chronoruler

Chronos Ruler teeters on the brink of being a really good show, but doesn’t take full advantage of the best parts of its story. It’s like the writer had a lot of ideas, kept throwing them out, and chose to stick with the most cliched plot threads because the audience would be most comfortable with them. And yet, there are parts that are genuinely good that make Chronos Ruler more than yet another show about people fighting monsters.

Continue Reading

30 March 2018 ~ 0 Comments

MOVIE REVIEW: Get Out (Ray Bradbury Award Finalist)

Just a few days ago I reviewed most of the Ray Bradbury Award finalists (an award that is held alongside the Nebula Awards for movies), but I didn’t review Get Out because I hadn’t quite gotten a rental of it yet.  Just before the Nebula voting deadline, I’ve watched it and slipped in the review–the voting deadline is tonight!

Get Out is a thriller/horror film written by Jordan Peele and distributed by Universal.  It won the Academy Award for Best Screenplay and was on the final ballot for Best Film of 2017.

Photographer Chris Washington reluctantly agrees to accompany his girlfriend Rose Armitage to her parent’s isolated rural estate.  Chris worries that her parents won’t be welcoming of a black man dating their white daughter.  He meets her neurosurgeon father Dean and hypnotherapist mother Missy and brother Jeremy, who all (unsurprisingly to Chris) make discomfiting comments about Black people.  There are a lot of things that are… off about the Armitages and what goes on on their property.  Their servants (both Black) (Marcus Henderson and Betty Gabriel) are oddly intense and hostile toward him, and Missy repeatedly pushes Chris to let her hypnotize him out of his cigarette habit.  One night, when he comes back into the house after sneaking a smoke, Missy catches him alone and seems to hypnotize him, but he wakes up sure it was a dream.  The next day the Armitages have company, a yearly gathering of all their friends, and things only get weirder.

Continue Reading

26 March 2018 ~ 1 Comment

Ray Bradbury Finalists Review 2017

The Ray Bradbury Award is given out every year with the Nebula Awards but is not a Nebula Award in itself.  Like the Nebula Awards, the final ballot and the eventual winner are decided by votes from members of SFWA, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (which despite the name has an international membership).

I like to use the award every year as a sampler of well-loved science fiction and fantasy movies from the previous year.  I have been very happy with this tactic, and this year is no exception.

Not included in this review is a nominated episode of The Good Place, because I don’t seek out individual episodes of TV shows for these reviews.

Continue Reading

21 March 2018 ~ 0 Comments

BOOK REVIEW: From Dead to Worse by Charlaine Harris

From Dead to Worse is a romance/mystery/horror novel from 2008, the eighth in the Sookie Stackhouse series of novels by Charlaine Harris (which is the basis of the HBO show True Blood).  The previous books are all reviewed here earlier on the Diabolical Plots feed.

After surviving the deadly bombing of the vampire summit, and surviving the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Sookie just wants things to get back to some semblance of normality.  But her boyfriend Quinn (a weretiger) is missing, she learns that she is descended from fairies and meets her great-grandfather who is fairy royalty, she is recruited to help investigate a series of mysterious werewolf disappearances, and the vampire King of Nevada seeks to wrest control from the wounded and bankrupted Queen Sophie-Ann of Lousiana.  So, well, I guess that is normality for Sookie.

Continue Reading

07 February 2018 ~ 0 Comments

BOOK REVIEW: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

A Wrinkle in Time is a young adult science fiction novel written by Madeleine L’Engle and first published in 1962–it has been adapted for a movie that will come out in March 2018.

Thirteen-year-old Meg Murry is a smart girl, but who gets into trouble at school.  She excels at math, but not in the way her teachers want her to do the work.  She lives with her mother (a scientist) and her five-year-old brother Charles Wallace is a prodigy.  Her father (also a scientist) has been on a mysterious scientific mission for quite some time and Meg’s not sure when he’s coming back.  They encounter their eccentric new neighbor Mrs. Whatsit, who it soon turns out is a creature from another planet, one of a trio that are nearby. Mrs. Whatsit knows where Meg’s father is, and she knows that he’s in trouble.  Together with the neighbor boy Calvin they set out with Mrs. Whatsit and her friends to transport themselves to another planet and save Mr. Murry.

Continue Reading

31 January 2018 ~ 0 Comments

MOVIE REVIEW: Despicable Me 3

Despicable Me 3 is the 3rd in a series of comedy/action computer animated films feature ex-supervillain Gru and his family:  three adopted daughters, and his partner also-ex-supervillain Lucy.  Gru and Lucy work together at the Anti-Villain League to take down villains like they themselves used to be. Together they track down the 80’s child star turned villain Balthazar Bratt, but fail to capture him.  This combined with an AVL change in management, and both Gru and Lucy are fired from the AVL.  Lucy is struggling with her newfound status as parent, and now Gru is struggling to deal with being unemployed–should he take up his first occupational love–supervillainy?  Pulling him out of his doldrums, Gru is contacted out of the blue by a brother he never knew he had named Dru.

Continue Reading