Scifi books reviews

13th warrior Review and Opinion

2019/08/06

The 13th Warrior (1999)
Director: John McTiernan

review by Ian Shutter

Ever since the mega-hit of Jurassic Park ensured every preteen kid wanted a cuddly dinosaur for Christmas, Hollywood's profit-hungry moguls have been falling over themselves to option Michael Crichton's older novels for the big screen. This tenth century tale of an Arab living

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13th warrior Review and Opinion

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Beowulf Review and Opinion

2019/06/13

Beowulf (1999)
Director: Graham Baker

review by Ian Shutter

A monstrous and violent thing stalks the dimly lit corridors of a besieged fortress while a vigilant army surrounding it executes anyone that tries to escape, and waits for the futuristic citadel to fall. Then, along comes Christopher Lambert in ultimate warrior guise (dressed and styled like

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Beowulf Review and Opinion

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Reign of fire Review and Opinion

2018/06/01

Reign Of Fire (2002)
Director: Rob Bowman

review by Michael Lohr

In present-day London, 12-year-old Quinn Abercromby watches as his mother - a construction engineer, inadvertently wakes an enormous fire-breathing beast from its millennia-long slumber. Twenty years later, much of the world is in ruins, scorched by the beast and its scaly offspring. As

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Reign of fire Review and Opinion

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Timeline Review and Opinion

2018/02/10

Timeline (2003)
Director: Richard Donner

review by Michael Lohr

A mystery suspense thriller based on Michael Crichton's best-selling novel about clandestine happenings at the corporate military industrial giant International Technology Company (ITC), run by David Thewlis and Matt Craven. The company's new invention, a transportation machine that is meant

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Timeline Review and Opinion

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Brotherhood of the wolf Review and Opinion

2019/05/26

Brotherhood Of The Wolf (2001)
Director: Christophe Gans

review by Debbie Moon

Okay, Brotherhood Of The Wolf (aka: Le Pact des Loups) is a swashbuckling costume drama, martial arts, Hammer-style horror movie with satanists, superstitious peasants, a werewolf, a Native American warrior, and lots of cleavage. It's based on a true story (!) oh, and

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Brotherhood of the wolf Review and Opinion

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Dogma Review and Opinion

2019/03/12

Dogma (1999)
Director: Kevin Smith

review by Steven Hampton

Certainly one of the most generically mixed up films I have ever seen, this lamely whimsical comedy fantasy is too confused to satisfy even the most undemanding viewer. It fails miserably as biblical apocalypse, road movie, counterculture satire and - whatever! The familiar characters of Jay

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Dogma Review and Opinion

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Predator Review and Opinion

2018/06/15

Predator (1987)
Director: John McTiernan

review by Octavio Ramos Jr

Okay, Predator is the ultimate testosterone movie, with its body-building, tough-talking cast, cache of weapons, including a handheld mini-gun (used by none other than Jesse 'the body' Ventura), a "scared out of her mind" woman who speaks little English, and a bone-breaking, skull

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Predator Review and Opinion

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Shiva 3000 by jan lars jensen Review and Opinion

2015/07/06

Shiva 3000
Jan Lars Jensen
Pan paperback £5.99

review by Steve Sneyd

In this far future India, the Hindu gods move among men, monstrously unpredictable. Only one force opposes them, the Baboon Warrior, part man, part ape.

Rakesh, an ordinary man adrift in this extraordinary world, sees his city, Dholapur, crushed by the mighty divine engine

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Shiva 3000 by jan lars jensen Review and Opinion

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House of flying daggers Review and Opinion

2017/03/15

House Of Flying Daggers (2004)
Director: Chang Yimou

review by Christopher Geary

Set during the decline of the Tang dynasty (circa mid-9th century), this highly intriguing slice of kung fu adventure is a tale of political subterfuge and romantic passion that takes on the stature of epic folklore thanks to the impressive visual effects and enthusiastic

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House of flying daggers Review and Opinion

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My bloody valentine 3d Review and Opinion

2016/12/20

My Bloody Valentine (2008)
Director: Patrick Lussier

review by Paul Higson

Entering the cinema on this occasion was something of a compulsion. Let's face it, another remake of another average slasher film from the turn of the 1980s is hardly a reason to venture out and exchange money on a seat. But I and My Bloody Valentine have history, having

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My bloody valentine 3d Review and Opinion

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Dark ages: assamite Review and Opinion

2019/07/01

Dark Ages: Assamite
Stefan Petrucha
White Wolf paperback $6.99

review by Sue Reider

Stefan Petrucha has created a panoramic world of vampiric possession during the Crusades. The crusaders have overrun Constantinople and are poised to continue their forays. Sir Hugh of Clairvaux, a Templar knight who is also a vampire, is leading the Christian

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Dark ages: assamite Review and Opinion

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Shenanigans by noel hannan Review and Opinion

2015/07/09

Shenanigans
Noel K. Hannan
Pendragon paperback £6.99

review by Tony Lee

This first collection of SF from comics' writer Noel Hannan contains some delightfully offbeat short stories. The opener, Seeds, is a curiously affecting little fable about militarism, in which the spawn of male robot and female golem start fighting for no reason other than

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Shenanigans by noel hannan Review and Opinion

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Wilderness, 2006 Review and Opinion

2016/05/25

Wilderness (2006)
Director: Michael J. Bassett

review by Christopher Geary

"Don't go down to the woods today," warns the publicity blurb. But, look here, why on earth would you want to, when there's very probably nothing much of interest going on there anyway? This violent horror comes from the maker of British wartime gore-fest

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Wilderness, 2006 Review and Opinion

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Riverworld Review and Opinion

2018/05/17

Riverworld (2002)
Producers: Janine Dickins, Mary Kahn

review by Michael Lohr

The Sci-Fi Channel has set about the task of adapting Philip José Farmer's Hugo Award winning novel, To Your Scattered Bodies Go into movie format and possibly a television series. A daunting task indeed, but after watching the two-hour movie, it is a challenge that

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Riverworld Review and Opinion

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Banner of souls Review and Opinion

2016/04/09

Banner Of Souls
Liz Williams
Tor UK paperback £6.99

review by Duncan Lawie

Banner Of Souls is a first class piece of world building. It is set within our Solar system at least a thousand years in the future, where catastrophes and advances of every sort have transformed worlds and humanity. Earth has become an ocean world, ruled at a distance

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Banner of souls Review and Opinion

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Wheel of the infinite by martha wells Review and Opinion

2015/05/06

Wheel Of The Infinite
Martha Wells
EOS / HarperCollins paperback $6.99

review by Amy Harlib

Martha Wells is that rarity, amidst the glut of endlessly repetitive fantasy series and recycled clichés - she is a writer whose every book features refreshingly different settings, characters, and ideas, etc. In her fourth novel of fantastic fiction, preceding

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Wheel of the infinite by martha wells Review and Opinion

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Twisted root of jaarfindor Review and Opinion

2015/05/20

The Twisted Root Of Jaarfindor
Sean Wright
Crowswing paperback £5.99

review by David Hebblethwaite

I like a book that tries to something a bit different. The Twisted Root Of Jaarfindor doesn't so much do something different as systematically demolish most of the conventions of the fantasy genre and storytelling in general. On his website, Sean

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Twisted root of jaarfindor Review and Opinion

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Challenge, 2005 Review and Opinion

2017/08/13

The Challenge (2005)
Writer and director: Johannes Jaeger

review by Christopher Geary

Apparently derived from a short film, Kampfansage 2 (2002), The Challenge (aka: Kampfansage - Der letzte Schüler), translating as 'Challenge: The Last Apprentice' is reportedly

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Challenge, 2005 Review and Opinion

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300 Review and Opinion

2017/11/05

300 (2007)
Director: Zack Snyder

review by Hugh Slesinger

In Zach Snyder's epic retelling of Frank Miller's graphic novel 300, the audience is privy to one of the year's most promising and visually stimulating pieces of cinematography to date. The premise for 300 is based upon the ancient Greek battle of Thermopylae where a small band of

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300 Review and Opinion

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Junk Review and Opinion

2018/10/22

Junk: Dead Evil Hunting (1999)
Director: Atsushi Muroga

review by Jeff Young

Three masked men pull off a jewellery shop heist and flee the scene in a getaway van driven by the girlfriend of one of the gangsters. The successful thieves plan to meet with some Yakuza guys, to fence the swag, at an old disused factory site. Of course, that's where the US

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Junk Review and Opinion

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Around the world in 80 days Review and Opinion

2017/10/08

Around The World In 80 Days (2004)
Director: Frank Coraci

review by Alasdair Stuart

This update of Verne's classic tale is in many ways more an update of the 1956 film version of the same. It has the same comedic feel, the same cast laden down with cameo appearances and the same breezy, cheerily anarchic approach to history. Faithful it most certainly

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Around the world in 80 days Review and Opinion

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Ravenheart Review and Opinion

2018/06/09

Ravenheart
David Gemmell
Corgi paperback £6.99

review by Duncan Hunter

This is the third book in the now famous fantasy series which tracks the bloody but heroic history of the Rigante, a highland clan struggling against tyranny for its survival and honour. Ravenheart is set in a time when the clan has become little more than a subject people

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Ravenheart Review and Opinion

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Onmyoji Review and Opinion

2018/07/19

Onmyoji (2001)
Director: Yojiro Takita

review by Michael Lohr

Onmyoji (aka: Yin Yang Master) is the quintessential Japanese fantasy epic. Tohokushinsha (a subsidiary of Toho, the premier entertainment corporation in Japan) released this campy but wonderful movie to widespread acclaim in Japan in 2001, but the movie received little fanfare elsewhere

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Onmyoji Review and Opinion

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Stormriders Review and Opinion

2018/03/10

The Stormriders (1998)
Director: Andrew Lau

review by Rob Marshall

With quest fantasy currently very fashionable again, as legions of fans anticipate the new Tolkien movie, this lavish genre production from Hong Kong is worth a look if you really can't wait for the big event. Instead of magic rings, though, this adventure presents swords as the definitive

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Stormriders Review and Opinion

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Heavy metal Review and Opinion

2018/12/01

Heavy Metal (1981)
Director: Gerald Potterton

review by Octavio Ramos Jr

Produced by Ivan Reitman (Stripes, Ghostbusters), Heavy Metal is not so much about the music genre (even though the soundtrack features metal bands) as it is about the magazine (inspired by the French publication Metal Hurlant), which during the 1970s

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Heavy metal Review and Opinion

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Avalon Review and Opinion

2019/06/24

Avalon (2001)
Director: Mamoru Oshii

review by Christopher Geary

From the maker of excellent SF anime Ghost In The Shell (1996), this is Mamoru Oshii's first European live-action feature. Shot in Poland using colour and sepia stock, enhanced digitally, it's a visually impressive example of SF art cinema. The scenario concerns illegal VR wargame

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Avalon Review and Opinion

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Chronicles of riddick Review and Opinion

2019/05/03

The Chronicles Of Riddick (2004)
Writer and director: David Twohy

review by Amy Harlib

When emerging genre director/scripter David Twohy, maker of The Arrival (1996) and Below (2001), unleashed his SF-horror film Pitch Black, the modestly-budgeted, taut, science fiction tale

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Chronicles of riddick Review and Opinion

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Exorcist beginning Review and Opinion

2017/05/16

Exorcist: The Beginning (2004)
Director: Renny Harlin

review by Steve Anderson

Sequels are risky. No, not to the studios - the studios scream "Known quantity!" every time a sequel script slips into their hot little hands and anticipate slightly diminished returns from the first. They know that if the original did well at the box office, the sequel, no

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Exorcist beginning Review and Opinion

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Going to pieces Review and Opinion

2017/04/11

Going To Pieces:
The Rise And Fall Of The Slasher Movie (2006)
Director: Jeff McQueen

review by Jonathan McCalmont

Based on an identically titled book by Adam Rockoff, that charts the progress of the first wave of slasher movies between 1978 and 1985, Going To Pieces attempts to cover similar ground, but also to chronicle the evolution of the

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Going to pieces Review and Opinion

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Sleepwalker Review and Opinion

2018/04/11

Sleepwalker (1984)
Director: Saxon Logan

review by Paul Higson

Lost films benefit from a mystique and, even upon rediscovery, continue on the bonus system by having then the history and the curious route to its rescue. A poor film becomes a little more than a poor film as a discussion piece, a moderately entertaining movie becomes a worthwhile recovery

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Sleepwalker Review and Opinion

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Falling out of cars Review and Opinion

2019/01/25

Falling Out Of Cars
Jeff Noon
Transworld paperback £6.99

review by Tom Matic

It is difficult to categorise Falling Out Of Cars by genre, let alone by sub-genre. If you want to use that kind of terminology, its subject matter makes it a post-apocalyptic road novel, but Mad Max it is not

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Falling out of cars Review and Opinion

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Writing science fiction and fantasy television Review and Opinion

2017/12/18

Writing Science Fiction And Fantasy Television
Joe Nazzaro
Titan paperback £14.99

review by Christopher Geary

Like many professions, writing scripts for TV series has its own peculiar jargon that you need to be aware of - before you can talk to industry insiders about their work. Journalist Joe Nazzaro talks the talk and, helpfully, kicks off this

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Writing science fiction and fantasy television Review and Opinion

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Mutant x Review and Opinion

2018/08/07

Mutant X (2000)
Produced by Avi Arad and Rick Unger

review by Daniel G. Jennings

I have a feeling that this dreary show is going to be one of the casualties of the terrorist atrocity of September 11th. Judging by the boring and unimaginative stories filled with dull one-dimensional characters and tired cliches that would not necessarily be a bad thing

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Mutant x Review and Opinion

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Cleopatra 2525 Review and Opinion

2019/04/29

Cleopatra 2525 (2001)
Created by Robert Tapert and R.J. Stewart

review by Ian Shutter

Remember that classic science fictional song, 'In The Year 2525', by Zager & Evans? It was a number one hit back in 1969, so when the millennium arrived it was probably inevitable there would be something to revive its SF theme - but I doubt the songwriters could ever

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Cleopatra 2525 Review and Opinion

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Kushiel's dart by jacqueline carey Review and Opinion

2015/10/23

Kushiel's Dart
Jacqueline Carey
Tor paperback $7.95

review by Amy Harlib

An American art historian, Jacqueline Carey, has produced an amazingly fine first fantasy aptly subtitled "a novel of passion, magic and betrayal" in Kushiel's Dart, the first volume of a trilogy, set in a meticulously conceived parallel world version of Renaissance Europe

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Kushiel

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