BookCon2015: New Adaptations of the Star Wars Saga

The Wookiee Gunner

Bestselling children’s book authors Tony DiTerlizzi (The Adventures of Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight), Alexandra Bracken (Star Wars: A New Hope), Adam Gidwitz (Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back), and Tom Angleberger (Star Wars: Return of the Jedi) came together at BookCon 2015 to discuss how the classic Star Wars saga comes to life in their highly anticipated adaptations.

When Bracken joined the team of authors back in November 2014, the press release stated, “Each of these celebrated writers will bring their contemporary, unique voice to the project, bridging the multi-arc storyline in anticipation of the release of Star Wars Episode VII in December 2015.”

Published by Disney Publishing Worldwide, this series of new illustrated novels based on the original Star Wars film trilogy is scheduled to be released on September 22, 2015.

star-wars-a-new-hope-alexandra-brackenA New Hope: The Princess, the Scoundrel, and the Farm Boy
by Alexandra…

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The Water Knife – Paolo Bacigalupi

New book from one of the very successful modern SF authors…

Track of Words

In his first novel, The Windup Girl, Paolo Bacigalupi created a bleak future world with which to highlight issues around sustainability and genetic modification. Continuing the theme of big issues, in his latest book, The Water Knife, he turns his attention to water scarcity and how America would cope without a plentiful supply of H2O. Another bleak, alternative world, where drought is the norm and individual States battle to maintain their grip on the few sources of water still remaining, it’s a powerful and scarily believable concept.

Set largely in water-starved Phoenix, Arizona, the story is told through the eyes of three people from wildly different social statuses – a journalist choosing to live through the city’s death throes, searching for the real story in its downfall; a young woman scraping a living on the barely-tolerated fringes of society, dreaming of a way out; and a Water Knife –…

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Review – Peacemaker

Bibliophibian Inc.

Cover of Peacemaker, Marianne de PierresPeacemaker, Marianne de Pierres
Received to review via Netgalley

I’ve been meaning to read something by Marianne de Pierres for ages. I don’t know if this was a good place to start, but I usually enjoy Angry Robot books; they usually have interesting ideas, and they’re quick reads. And I got this on Netgalley before I cut down my requesting habits, so I have finally, finally got round to reading it. And I enjoyed it! It keeps up a hell of a pace, there’s a bunch of interesting mysteries (some characters are mysteries in themselves, there’s a larger mystery which causes all the mayhem, and there’s an ongoing question yet to be solved, presumably awaiting further books), etc.

In some cases, it felt a little too scattered, waiting for something to pull it all together: why is Heart so involved in Virgin’s life? Why does Hamish care? How much does…

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Everythings ends in space-New writing

So here I am at the very end of May 2015 and I think that it does seem I can now tell you that my new science fiction novel is finished. It could have expanded or been a shorter book, but as it is right now, I think it seems right.

Next step from here, taking this new tale and making it a book and ebook for all you good and interested readers everywhere. This may take a few months, I will be soon working on different projects. More info shortly.

Small screen but big thrills…TV Sci-fi/Fantasy

Let’s talk of the genre shows on the box which are doing their job well and keeping us tuned in every week (or with Netflix, letting us sitting in one place for six to nine hours possibly).

I have got past a period of desperately attempting to keep up with and regularly watch around three or four or more sci-fi/horror/fantasy shows-most people might find this a challenge, even when the shows are highly entertaining and great but try also writing a new full length novel at the same time…

Yes, often I might be watch tv more than reading fiction-I try to keep a balance-but these days there are often enough good shows worth giving my time and these shows also can help my inspiring writing in many useful ways just as well.

So what have we got going on currently?What shows have been to recent great achievements for fans of science fiction, fantasy or horror on the smaller screen?

It has been away for a few months now really but also leaving a long-lasting impression, yes I am thinking about Dr Who. With the bold change-over to much older and slightly more morbid Doctor this time, did it keep you watching? There was of course some extreme reactions to Capaldi, but you know, here we have such a talented actor, working at his craft for decades and a personal big Whovian himself, it strengthens the show. The distinctive difference mostly was in the casting aside of the built up series-long sorty arc this time, in favour of a number of seperate but each rewarding individual tales, which also gave us a more challenging and stronger Clara this time.

After new Who, 2015 moved along with the return of some shows and others which continued on after the christmas period. American Horror Story came to an end as the Freak Show series wrapped up. It became much more of a tragic murder mystery, losing some of the more regular shocking or shlocky horror moments we usually would expect but a good season anyway.

One show that I did seem to watch almost in a couple of days most of the time was Penny Dreadful a few months ago. I am going to rewatch the first few episodes again prior to the new season starting soon. Now that was one show which  could have often really sent dedicated gothic horror fans into a rage, as it reworked, redesigned and almost rewrote a number of classic and well-known gothic horror icons and characters from literature into what was certainly a spook-show hell-cart ride of loud manic screams, exploding monsters and dripping gore every week.

We do still experience on a regular basis, some shows which may seem interesting and in another time may have grown to become long-lasting cult shows, but with some many channels, shows, social media and more dividing our precious free time, one or two regularly get cut before the third or even second season and often unfairly so.

This had now happened to one of the shows which I have enjoyed the most over the last couple of years. The show I speak of is called Continuum, and is a great, very intelligent and at time very relevant science fiction time-travel show. Starting with characters which come from 2027 who fall back to our present time, it then becomes a kind of paranoid detective thriller show but over series two and now having just finished watching season three, when it knew that it had been cancelled officially-it then obviously moved on and gave the viewers a number of often very bold and challenging episodes, flipping back between time periods, the future, our present day, and then alternative futures and creating alternative versions of some of the main characters from the time-travel adventures; it has been a show to watch very carefully but one of the best in recent times for certain. Sadly it has been cut short, been due to interest and obvious fan following, it has been allowed one last if shorter season to fit the pieces of the dramatic time-travle tale together.

With regrets I can say that while Marvel’s Agents of Shield has returned to UK screens in the last month or more, I have found it fairly difficult to make time or keep interest with it, which I do feel has been a bad decision now. Could be the tone of the show, the shameless use of it to promote the Marel movies, it could be some of the actors in the show, but I often lose interest with it. It might be that it is just not what I want it to be, or hoped that it could have been. It really has been great at times, and I might now finally be getting more interesting with it once again.

The other main SyFy channel show which held my interest was Defiance, which inititally had a great deal resting on it. It was built up with a lot of hype when it first began, with a related MMO online computer game which seems to mostly have disappeared now. The show however, thankfully has more to offer than simple basic gimmick tied to various mutli-social media. The writing is good, often at times reminiscent of classic sci-fi shows such as Star Trek or Firefly regularly. Like Doctor Who until the recent series, it has developed a brace of strong story line arcs to take it through while the events with individual characters are often funny, tragic or simply entertaining and well produced with very pleasing post-apocalyptic near future Earth sets and visual effects.

Finally most recently, there has been the television version of 12 Monkeys which is inspired by the 90’s Terry Gilliam movie. Another time-travel series, and that is probably where I struggle this time. I have only just finished watching the end of season 3 of Continuum while 12 Monkeys was starting and two time-travel shows at the same time has been possibly too much to balance. They do also have much of the same tone and style of drama, with paranoid groups, undercover or double-agent characters and that kind of story writing.

Besides all of these worthwhile shows, in the last few weeks we have also have Netflix drop the entire Marvel Daredevil series on us. Have you seen this yet? What did you think? Does it sit well among the many other Marvel characters on screen?