Monday, June 18, 2018

TV/Movie Talk - Battlestar Galactica: Razor

Wow, and I thought I was done with Sci-fi Month. Yes, it’s a return to the revamped Battlestar Galactica. Since I finished reviewing Season 3 last month, I’m nearing the end of my retrospective. Before I get to Season 4, I did have one place to stop at.

While I liked Season 3, I gotta admit that it wasn’t the show at its best. Apparently, someone thought the same thing because it was a year before we got Season 4. If you think waiting for Game of Thrones was horrible, try this. Since Season 3 ended the way it did, it was decided to do a stand-alone, made-for-TV movie. It would air on Sci-Fi and then get released a few days later on DVD. Ron D. Moore, the show’s executive producer, was definitely for this because it’d mean that NBC Universal would help fund the production. I remember seeing most of this when it aired in 2007 and I just recently re-watched it.

Instead of taking place during Season 3, Razor goes back in time on us. We go back to Season 2 and see what happened when Lee Adama took command of the Pegasus. We never knew how his time as commander went since it was right before Season 2’s finale. Things are pretty much the same. Starbuck’s still around and not too annoying, Tigh hasn’t lost his eye yet, and Athena (Helo’s Number 8) is still a prisoner. It’s a fun time, ain’t it? So, what happens when most of the main cast is forgotten about and the rest of the time is saved for a new character, flashbacks, and a nod to the original show? Something kind of cool.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Book Review - Foundation

And now, I end Sci-Fi Month… On June 8th. Maybe saving a 300-page novel for last wasn’t a good idea. It’s especially a problem when that novel isn’t one you can just breeze through. To the three (or four) of y’all out there, I’m sorry. Things are fine. I just had other stuff getting in the way and reading a novel got put on the backburner. Luckily, I’ve gotten to the end and can finally talk about some Asimov. It was either this or A Scanner Darkly and something tells me that Dick’s novel about drug use would have been a bit depressing.

I don’t remember when I first heard about Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series. It was probably when I read I, Robot. I know SFDebris has talked about it as well, so it could have been there too. I’m not so sure. I do know that it’s been one series that’s been on the backburner of novels I’ve acquired over the years. I have a couple of other Foundation books at the house. Now that I’ve read this, maybe I’ll finally get to those.

Foundation as a whole was released in 1951. Before that, four of the five stories were released in Astounding Science Fiction throughout the 1940’s. Asimov essentially wanted to do a story about a declining Galactic Empire. It was supposed to mirror the fall of the Roman Empire. Each story looks at events that occurred before and during the Empire’s fall. It centers on the Foundation, a group led by Hari Seldon in order to preserve the best of what the Empire was.

Writer: Isaac Asimov

BRIEF BLURB: This chronicles the events of the Foundation, a institute created to preserve the best of the galaxy as the Galactic Empire falls.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Book Review - Planet of the Apes: Tales from the Forbidden Zone

Next up for the month is a return to the Planet of the Apes. It’s been a while since I’ve talked about the franchise. Even though it’s a somewhat solid franchise, I haven’t done much in looking at things outside the movies. I haven’t even watched the animated TV series and the live-action TV series yet. Before you ask, yes, they do exist. A few months ago, I was having a bit of an itch for some POTA stuff. I finally watched the latest movie (War for the Planet of the Apes). I also found out about today’s pick, Plant of the Apes: Tales from The Forbidden Zone.

This book was released last year by Titan Books. It contains 16 short stories from modern writers about the original POTA movies. There are even stories about both TV series. Most of them fill in things or give backstories to certain characters. The rest end up being “what-if” stories or just weird stories.  Dan Abnett, Kevin J. Anderson, Ty Templeton, Greg Cox, and Paul Kupperburg were just some of the writers in this collection. They were also the only ones I recognized from other works. Rich Handley and Jim Beard ended up being the editors to the collection.

Planet of the Apes: Tales from the Forbidden Zone
Editors: Rich Handley and Jim Beard
Writers: Various

BRIEF BLURB: This collection of short stories look at the original Planet of the Apes movies and TV shows. Some include backstories, continuations of canceled shows, what-if stories, and stories that look at other types of apes.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Random Thoughts On... Star Wars: The Dark Empire Trilogy

So, Solo: A Star Wars Story was released today. Some of my favorite movie reviewers (Jeremy Jahns, Chris Stuckmann) didn’t have great things to say about the movie. Since I'm off work for the weekend, I thought I'd take a bite and go see it for myself. It was okay for the most part and was surprising in a couple of places. Today’s post isn’t about the nerf-herding pilot with a nice smile, though. It’s time to, once again, jump back into the original Expanded Universe, aka “Legends.” Today, it’s Tom Veitch’s Dark Empire Trilogy.

Star Wars: Dark Empire, six-issue miniseries, was released by Dark Horse in 1991. It was originally supposed to be released by Marvel, but things didn’t work out. Also, the writer, Tom Veitch, had to work things out with other writers like Timothy Zahn and Kevin J. Anderson because they were also doing things in the Expanded Universe. Its sequel, Dark Empire II, was released in 1994. The final story, Empire’s End, was released a year later. Tom Veitch wrote all three books. The artwork for the first two was provided by Cam Kennedy while Empire’s End had artwork done by Jim Balkie.
For some reason, this image of Luke in the Vader mask has stuck with me for years.

 It was around 2004 or 2005 when I first heard about Dark Empire. I actually found Dark Empire II at MTSU’s library. I was searching for something Star Wars-related and I found it in the young section. A few years later, I again ran into the Dark Empire Trilogy (which collected Dark Empire, Dark Empire II, and Empire’s End) at Pulaski’s public library. I didn’t finish reading it, though. Over the years, I’ve added the first two entries to my collection. Since Marvel has Star Wars now, all of their Expanded Universe series is on Marvel Unlimited. I was able to finally finish off the trilogy there. Since Empire’s End was only two issues, that was easy to do… a little too easy.