Aug 30

Watercooler Review – Armada by Ernest Cline

armada-ernest cline

Ernest Cline’s sophomore effort seems to target a certain demographic, a trait it has in common with his first novel, and I feel lucky to be part of that group. This book is full of period references and jokes, and if you were a geek and attended high school in the 80’s then you get them all.
This book appealed to me basically because it panders to that teenage male (geek) fantasy (or at least the one that doesn’t involve female anatomy) that video games skills would translate into something heroic. The main character saves the world and gets the girl, something we have all dreamed of (admit it) Ernest speaks to a generation when he gives voice to this part of us.
Is this book art? Probably not. Is it literature? Good luck debating that. Is the book good? If you are part of the target dempgraphic then yes. If not, then maybe. But if you like science fiction, video games and the 80s, then you should read this book.
The audio version is narrated by Wil Wheaton, who does an amazing job with the story and draws you in the the listening experience. I’d pretty much listen to anything Wil narrates but putting him together with Ernest Cline’s vision is something that borders on wonderful. I heartily recommend the audio version of this book.
Review by Scott Rose

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May 10

Watercooler Review – Warspite by Christopher G. Nuttall

Warspite takes place in the Ark Royal universe and takes place several years after the series ends. This story introduces a new ship and a whole new cast of characters that has little connection to the characters in the Ark Royal series. Like the Ark Royal series, the Britishness of these characters and ships is refreshing in a genre of Americanized or generic cultural influences. I enjoyed the feel of this book and pleasantly surprised to find a character of non-standard sexual orientation as not only the main character but in a position of power and respect, something that is sometimes lacking in our “modern” society.

While this novel takes place after the Ark Royal series, beyond a number of technological references there are not very many ties to the original storyline. That makes this novel a good place to test the waters for this universe. I would recommend this book to anybody interested in military science fiction and specifically for those interested in stellar naval operations.

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Mar 05

Black Tide Rising Book Series by John Ringo

Zombies seem to be all the rage these days with movies and TV series reaching heights of popularity and bringing the genre into the mainstream. With that said the genre has reached a saturation point where the stories tend to blend together and originality is rare. The Black Tide Rising series follows a different take on the Zombie Apocalypse genre and for once the main characters are not running from the zombie hoards but taking the offensive.

The characters are unusual and interesting with the main “combat” character being a 13-year old girl with a natural talent for knives and considerable mental issues. I found the storyline to be interesting across the four books the resulted in a satisfying conclusion in book 4. The writing by John Ringo is excellent as we have come to expect from him and his descriptive style makes visualizing the scenes easy, not always a good thing considering the subject mater. I doubt I will ever take vacation on a cruise ship…. ever.

The audible recordings of this series were well produced, the voice talents of Tristan Morris are commendable and make for a thoroughly enjoyable listening experience.

If you like zombies then this series is a must read/listen.

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Mar 05

New Book Releases – March 2015

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Feb 06

Ark Royal series by Christopher G. Nuttall

If you wish for peace, prepare for war. -Royal Navy Motto Seventy years ago, the interstellar supercarrier Ark Royal was the pride of the Royal Navy. But now, her weapons are outdated and her solid-state armour nothing more than a burden on her colossal hull. She floats in permanent orbit near Earth, a dumping ground for the officers and crew the Royal Navy wishes to keep out of the public eye. But when a deadly alien threat appears, the modern starships built by humanity are no match for the powerful alien weapons. Ark Royal and her mismatched crew must go on the offensive, buying time with their lives And yet, with a drunkard for a Captain, an over-ambitious first officer and a crew composed of reservists and the dregs of the service, do they have even the faintest hope of surviving … … And returning to an Earth which may no longer be there?

The Ark Royal series by Chrostopher G. Nuttall starts off a bit slow and seems to be just another iteration of an old trope, mainly obsolete warship with obsolete crew save the day. However, once you get past the first couple of chapters the characters take on a life of their own and you really start to care about them. If Christopher Nuttall has a strength, a he of course has many, the main one would be character development. The stories develop well and proceed at a good pace. The Audible versions of these books are well produced and narrated by Ralph Lister, whose voice talents lend a legitimacy to the Royal Navy setting.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the first three books and eagerly await the production of the fourth book in audio format.

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Feb 01

New Book Releases – February 2015

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Dec 04

Star Wars: I.M.P.S The Relentless Season 1

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Nov 28

Goliath (2011)

This was a trailer for a proposed movie back in 2011. It’s obviously low budget, but when you realized the budget was $150 then you have to give them credit for a pretty descent job. The plot is a bit obvious but I still found it interesting.

Directed by Alex Popov
Produced by Jim Wedaa

A signal from space ignites a worldwide race to decode it. The Russians decipher it first and learn that a warring alien race is on its way to attack earth. The message, from a second, friendly alien race intent on helping mankind, supplies the Russians with blueprints for a mechanical-human hybrid army of biodroids to defeat our mutual enemy. When the alien armada arrives, however, they wrest control of the newly built biodroid army and it is revealed that there never was a friendly alien race. We have been duped into building that army that destroys us. With the planet in shambles it is up to a group of American soldiers to free the enslaved Russian hybrid army and together defeat the alien invaders.

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Oct 01

Releasing in October

JOURNEY BEHIND THE SCENES WITH THE SERIES’ CREATORS. For over thirty years, science-fiction fans have been enthralled by Battlestar Galactica and the captivating saga of humanity’s war with the chilling Cylons. From its innovative special effects to its controversial storylines, the franchise has fascinated generations of viewers. Now, drawing on unique insights from the original producer, Glen A. Larson, and exclusive interviews with David Eick and Ronald D. Moore – creators of the series’ acclaimed reimagining – Battlestar Galactica Vault offers a complete visual history of the show’s evolution, from 1978’s ‘Saga of a Star World’ to spin-offs Caprica and Blood & Chrome. Featured herein are concept artwork by legendary artist Ralph McQuarrie, annotated scripts and storyboards, candid behind-the-scenes photography, and ten meticulously reproduced pieces of memorabilia for readers to remove and examine. Stunningly illustrated and fully authorised, Battlestar Galactica Vault is the ultimate celebration of a series that changed TV sci-fi forever.

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Jun 13

Pacific Rim Trailer

This film opens on July 12, 2013.

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