MOVIE REVIEW: Spies In Disguise

written by David Steffen Spies in Disguise is a 2019 computer-animated action/comedy film produced by Blue Sky Studios and distributed by 20th Century Fox. The movie follows super-suave celebrity spy (ala James Bond) Lance Sterling (Will Smith), who is on the top of his game, able to infiltrate an enemy’s facility and make it look … Continue reading MOVIE REVIEW: Spies In Disguise

The Best of Podcastle 2019

written by David Steffen Podcastle is the weekly fantasy podcast published by Escape Artists, which at the beginning of 2019 was co-edited by Jen Albert and Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali.  During the year Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali stepped down and now at this time the podcast is co-edited by Jen Albert and Cherae Clark. As well as weekly full-length … Continue reading The Best of Podcastle 2019

The Best of Escape Pod 2019

written by David Steffen Escape Pod is the weekly science fiction podcast, one of the Escape Artists family of podcasts, edited by S.B. Divya and Mur Lafferty. Escape Pod published a total of 41 stories in 2018, which is lower than it has been in some years because of a combination of longer stories that … Continue reading The Best of Escape Pod 2019

DP FICTION #60A: “Invasion of the Water Towers” by R.D. Landau

The water towers never showed up on film. That should have been a sign. In the before times, there were water towers on every rooftop. They were highly visible, distinct from the rest of the landscape, cylindrical bodies with conical heads and long spindly legs. Maybe if we hadn’t been so busy whining about work … Continue reading DP FICTION #60A: “Invasion of the Water Towers” by R.D. Landau

TABLETOP GAME REVIEW: Pass the Pigs: Pig Party

written by David Steffen Pass the Pigs: Pig Party is an expanded version of the game Pass the Pigs. In case you haven’t played Pass the Pigs (which I’m guessing you haven’t) it is a simple game where you score points based on how the pigs land. For instance, a single pig on its feet … Continue reading TABLETOP GAME REVIEW: Pass the Pigs: Pig Party

TABLETOP GAME REVIEW: Uno: Super Mario Edition

written by David Steffen Uno: Super Mario Edition is a special edition version of the familiar Uno game much-beloved by generations (which in itself I’m guessing is based on the existing game Crazy Eights, but with trademarks and special cards). For those not familiar, the goal of Uno is to get rid of all of … Continue reading TABLETOP GAME REVIEW: Uno: Super Mario Edition

BOOK REVIEW: Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke

written by David Steffen written by David Steffen Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell is a 2004 fantasy novel by Susanna Clarke conveyed as a historical account of two magicians interested in the revival of English magic in the 19th century. English magic has been on the decline for centuries, to the extent that those who … Continue reading BOOK REVIEW: Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke

DP FICTION #59C: “Gorilla in the Streets” by Mari Ness

He’s hairy. He grunts a lot. He can be – there’s no kind way to put this – a little clumsy, and even his best friends say his table manners could use a little work.

But at barely the age of 30, he’s become Wall Street’s best performing hedge fund manager, with an estimated fortune of $36 billion, and with bankers, CEOs and even – it’s rumored – a United States president and several prime ministers jumping at the mere twitch of his finger.

Despite being a – there’s no way to put this politely – a gorilla.

How, exactly, a lowland gorilla managed to claw his way to the top of the financial industry is one question that’s brought me here today, to this charming New York café overlooking Central Park. Trees have a calming effect on Magot Stanton, I’ve heard, and “calming” is definitely the mood you want when you are about to meet up with a five foot, 10 inch gorilla who can easily rip your arms off, if he wants. At the suggestion of one of his extremely efficient personal assistants, I’ve ordered one of the café specials for both of us: a New York version of a full British high tea. The assistant has assured me that Stanton is particularly fond of the finger sandwiches created with freshly baked banana bread, with strawberries and cream for dessert.

ESSAY: Tadashi Hamada’s Legacy

written by David Steffen This is an essay contemplating the Marvel/Disney movie Big Hero 6 (reviewed here), an excellent animated superhero mystery comedy with one of my favorite characters of all time: Baymax, the inflatable healthcare companion android who gets (improbably) recruited to be part of a superhero team by teenage genius Hiro Hamada. I … Continue reading ESSAY: Tadashi Hamada’s Legacy

BOOK REVIEW: Mind of My Mind by Octavia Butler

written by David Steffen Mind of My Mind by Octavia Butler was the second book published in the Patternmaster series (preceded by Patternmaster), as well as the second book in the chronological order (preceded by Wild Seed). I read the books as a collection that included the four main books in chronological order, rather than … Continue reading BOOK REVIEW: Mind of My Mind by Octavia Butler