Scifi books reviews

Akira Review and Opinion

2019/07/23

Akira (1988)
Director: Katsuhiro Otomo

review by Porl Broome

Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira is a classic of the modern-cinema. When I say that I don't mean it's a classic amongst other animated films, I mean it's a classic amongst all films, be they animated, or live action. The plot is huge, the storyline is intricate, the characters are complex, and

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Akira Review and Opinion

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Steamboy Review and Opinion

2016/08/04

Steamboy (2004)
Director: Katsuhiro Ôtomo

review by Jo Johnson-Smith

Having loved Akira for many years, I was expecting something wonderfully bright, imaginative and totally enrapturing. What we have when we put this into the machine is something that should be a ground-breaker for years to come

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Steamboy Review and Opinion

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Spriggan Review and Opinion

2016/08/11

Spriggan (1998)
Director: Hirotsuge Kawasaki

review by Amy Harlib

Among the offerings at the Big Apple Anime Festival in New York City, 2003, Spriggan - a Japanese anime feature made in 1998 which already had limited theatrical distribution in the USA recently thanks to the surge in popularity of this Asian animated art form - in a word, disappoints

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Spriggan Review and Opinion

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Jin-roh, the wolf brigade Review and Opinion

2017/02/08

Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade (2001)
Director: Hiroyuki Okiura

review by Amy Harlib

The cult movie phenomenon that can give Disney a run for its money, Japanese anime features, produces consistently groundbreaking examples of animated storytelling with depth and themes of adult intricacy and sensibility. Another such exemplar, brought to us by the folks

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Jin-roh, the wolf brigade Review and Opinion

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Parasite dolls Review and Opinion

2016/11/10

Parasite Dolls (2002)
Directors: Kazuto Nakazawa, Naoyuki Yoshinaga

review by Amy Harlib

Among the myriad varieties and pleasures of the 2004 Asian-American International Film Festival, the science fiction anime feature Parasite Dolls proved a standout and, for fans of the genre, it is essential viewing. Making the rounds of the festival circuit

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Parasite dolls Review and Opinion

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Metropolis 2001 Review and Opinion

2016/12/16

Metropolis (2001)
Director: Rintaro

review by Amy Harlib

The Metropolis film that briefly enjoyed art house distribution in the USA and screened at the 2002 Big Apple Anime Festival, uses Fritz Lang's classic 1927 silent masterpiece for inspiration, borrowing its title and some basic plot components to craft a Japanese anime homage of nearly equal

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Metropolis 2001 Review and Opinion

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Ghost in the shell 2: innocence Review and Opinion

2017/04/15

Ghost In The Shell 2: Innocence (2004)
Wrieter and director: Mamoru Oshii

review by Amy Harlib

When Japanese director Mamoru Oshii's SF anime feature Ghost In The Shell (1995) debuted in the USA, it became a hit, an instant classic building on the success of an earlier, equally classic stateside SF anime release, Katsuhiro Otomo's

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Ghost in the shell 2: innocence Review and Opinion

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Monkey magic Review and Opinion

2016/12/08

Monkey Magic (2007)
Director: Kensaku Sawada

review by Sarah Ash

A young priest is sent to India (the west) to find the holy sutras, accompanied by the mischievous Monkey, Son Goku, a kappa (water spirit), and a lecherous pig.

The ancient Chinese tale of the Journey To The West has inspired many retellings over the last few years, especially

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Monkey magic Review and Opinion

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Casshern Review and Opinion

2017/08/19

Casshern (2004)
Director: Kazuaki Kiriya

review by Patrick Hudson

Casshern is a live action film based on a Japanese anime series from the 1970s, Casshern: Robot Hunter. Using digital effects and a highly stylised approach, director Kazuaki Kiriya endeavours to capture the hyper-kinetic

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Casshern Review and Opinion

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Thir13en ghosts Review and Opinion

2019/08/07

Thir13en Ghosts (2001)
Director: Steve Beck

review by Thomas Cropper

Looking at Thir13en Ghosts there is no mistaking what you're gonna get. There will be screaming, there will be ghosts (13 at the very least) and there will be girls in tight tops running down corridors and screaming. (I mention this because in movies of this genre you should

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Thir13en ghosts Review and Opinion

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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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One more for the road by ray bradbury Review and Opinion

2019/08/05

One More For The Road
Ray Bradbury
Earthlight paperback £6.99

review by Duncan Lawie

Ray Bradbury's name conjures recollections of greatness in the average science fiction reader. He is the author of The Martian Chronicles and Fahrenheit 451, principally, and of a great deal of other work as well, much of it short stories. However, very

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One more for the road by ray bradbury Review and Opinion

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One million years bc Review and Opinion

2019/08/04

One Million Years B.C. (1966)
Director: Don Chaffey

review by Ian Shutter

A British remake of Hal Roach's 1939 classic One Million BC, this prehistoric adventure was produced by Michael Carreras for Hammer and it became the studios' biggest ever success, making an international sex symbol of its star, Raquel Welch.
   The story of primitive

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One million years bc Review and Opinion

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2001: a space odyssey Review and Opinion

2019/08/03

2001: A Space Odyssey
Arthur C. Clarke
Orbit hardcover £12.99

review by Christopher Geary

A handy special edition in hardback format, this timely reprint of the novel that evolved alongside the screenplay of Kubrick's classic, is likely to have become a collectors item already. In addition to the diversive main text's variations on the film's narrative

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2001: a space odyssey Review and Opinion

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28 days later Review and Opinion

2019/08/01

28 Days Later (2002)
Director: Danny Boyle

review by Paul Higson

Whilst Dog Soldiers and My Little Eye (both 2002) were winners, the former did load both barrels of the shotgun with cartridges of comedy and horror

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28 days later Review and Opinion

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4 sided triangle Review and Opinion

2019/07/30

Four Sided Triangle (1953)
Director: Terence Fisher

review by Tony Lee

Speculative SF (predating The Fly, 1958) in which scientist Bill (Stephen Murray) and old friend Robin (John Van Eyssen) build a homemade reproducer machine that can duplicate an object (a watch chain, a signed cheque) in

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4 sided triangle Review and Opinion

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6th day Review and Opinion

2019/07/29

The 6th Day (2000)
Director: Roger Spottiswoode

review by Steven Hampton

Here you get two copies of 'der Arnold' for the price of one, as a sinister tycoon clones Schwarzenegger - to mask his own illegal carbon copy resurrection after being assassinated.
   A helicopter pilot is shocked and disturbed to find an identical 'twin' has taken his place

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6th day Review and Opinion

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8 mm Review and Opinion

2019/07/28

8MM Eight Millimeter (1999)
Director: Joel Schumacher

review by Steven Hampton

A rich widow discovers a reel of Super-8 millimetre film in her late husband's safe at home. The footage appears to be an authentic 'snuff movie'. Wary of this traceable evidence of a serious crime, she hires a reputable private investigator, Tom Welles (Nicolas Cage), and

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8 mm Review and Opinion

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Abominable snowman Review and Opinion

2019/07/27

The Abominable Snowman (1957)
Director: Val Guest

review by Steven Hampton

Another DVD release from Anchor Bay's 'Hammer Collection' that's certainly an uncharacteristic offering from the famous British studio's heyday. A monster hunt set in high Himalayan mountain valleys instead of their favourite locale - a European castle, and very much happening

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Abominable snowman Review and Opinion

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Affinity trap Review and Opinion

2019/07/25

The Affinity Trap
Martin Sketchley
Simon and Schuster paperback £10.99

review by Debbie Moon

In a future of colonisation and contact with alien races, Earth has become a major player, throwing its weight around to prevent interstellar conflicts that might be bad for trade. To stabilise a potential flashpoint, tyrannous General Myson plans to father

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Affinity trap Review and Opinion

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Airwolf Review and Opinion

2019/07/24

Airwolf (1984)
Director: Donald Bellisario

review by Mark J. Cairns

Airwolf was a futuristic action adventure from the mid-1980s about a sleek, awesome, Mach 1+ chopper that could 'kick butt' (via 14 firepower options), and its loner, cello-playing, hotshot pilot, Stringfellow Hawke (played perfectly by Hollywood hellraiser, Jan-Michael Vincent

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Airwolf Review and Opinion

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Alien hunter Review and Opinion

2019/07/21

Alien Hunter (2003)
Director: Ron Krauss

review by Rob MarshallSpoiler alert!Julian Rome is a languages teacher and former cryptologist. He receives a call from NASA for help, after a GM research project in Antarctica detects signals coming from an object buried in the ice. Flying south through a blizzard

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Alien hunter Review and Opinion

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All tomorrow's parties by william gibson Review and Opinion

2019/07/20

All Tomorrow's Parties
William Gibson
Penguin paperback £6.99

review by Amy Harlib

All Tomorrow's Parties concludes the popular trilogy that includes Virtual Light (1993) and Idoru (1996) - set towards the close of the 21st century. As much character-driven as plot-driven, the story focuses on the approach of what celebrated, American

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All tomorrow

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Alsiso project Review and Opinion

2019/07/17

The Alsiso Project
editor: Andrew Hook
Elastic Press paperback £6

review by Christopher Geary

An anthology with a difference, this intriguingly titled volume is not centred on a single genre trope or particular theme, it's a bundle of short fiction that's all inspired by a typo! Yes, the nonsense-word 'alsiso' (attributed to Marion Arnott), is used

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Alsiso project Review and Opinion

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Altered carbon by richard morgan Review and Opinion

2019/07/15

Altered Carbon
Richard Morgan
Gollancz paperback £10.99

review by Christopher Geary

Richard Morgan's debut SF novel is a genre-breaking, hardboiled noir murder mystery, with body-swap identity crises and plenty of ingenious gadgetry that's used, and abused, in the service of mass slaughter and cyberpunk adventure.
   Takeshi Kovacs was an agent

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Altered carbon by richard morgan Review and Opinion

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Amelie Review and Opinion

2019/07/14

Amélie (2001)
Director: Jean Pierre Jeunet

review by Thomas Cropper

This film came a year late when all is said and done, because it was last year when the Oscars were in the 'lets be nice to foreigners' mode, whereas this year they were closer to 'lets pretend we're all not racists.' As a result, the 'black Oscars' were to make a criminal oversight

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Amelie Review and Opinion

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Ancient track Review and Opinion

2019/07/13

The Ancient Track: The Complete Poetical Works Of H.P. Lovecraft
editor: S.T. Joshi
Night Shade paperback $20

review by Steve Sneyd

Today, the 'cosmic horror' writer H.P. Lovecraft is the ultimate cult figure, acclaimed as the most read American writer of the first half of the 20th century, his Cthulhu Mythos of humanity as hapless prey to incomprehensible

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Ancient track Review and Opinion

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Andromeda Review and Opinion

2019/07/12

Andromeda (2000)
Sky One, Mondays, 8pm

review by Ceri Jordan

There's a story in one of the Dark Terrors anthologies about a studio that holds its most famous writer to his contract until he produces a final hit show - even though he died decades ago. You can't help wondering if Gene Roddenberry's contract read like that. And alas, judging by

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Andromeda Review and Opinion

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Angel season one Review and Opinion

2019/07/11

Angel Season One (1999)
Created by Joss Whedon and David Greenwalt

review by Christopher Geary

This is the first spin-off series from Whedon's astonishingly successful TV show, Buffy, The Vampire Slayer. It stars David Boreanaz as the titular hero, a vampire cursed with a soul - the result of

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Angel season one Review and Opinion

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Angel: the casefiles volume 1 Review and Opinion

2019/07/09

Angel: The Casefiles volume one
Nancy Holder, Jeff Marionette and Maryelizabeth Hart
Pocket paperback £12.99

review by Donald Morefield

It's not often that a spinoff TV show grows to become just as successful as the original series but, with Angel, creators Joss Whedon and David Greenwalt prove that not only does lightning strike twice, it's

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Angel: the casefiles volume 1 Review and Opinion

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Appleseed by john clute Review and Opinion

2019/07/08

Appleseed
John Clute
Orbit paperback £6.99

review by Patrick Hudson

John Clute is a well-known SF critic, and his penetrating and precise criticism has appeared in SF journals since the 1960s - his early work appeared in New Worlds and he was one of the founders of Interzone. He is co-editor of The Encyclopedia Of Science Fiction

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Appleseed by john clute Review and Opinion

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Ares express by ian mcdonald Review and Opinion

2019/07/07

Ares Express
Ian McDonald
Earthlight paperback £7.99

review by Porl Broome

Oh dear, two of my least favourite literary subject matters: the Red Planet, and - gulp - trains. Still, I was careful to keep my stones un-cast until I'd at least given this novel a fair crack of the whip. The story follows the adventures of Sweetness Octave Glorious Honey-

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Ares express by ian mcdonald Review and Opinion

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