Scifi books reviews

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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Ukm: ultimate killing machine Review and Opinion

2016/06/21

UKM: Ultimate Killing Machine (2006)
Director: David Mitchell

review by Alasdair Stuart

At a secret research facility, a US Army project headed by Doctor Stroheim (John Evans) and Major Blevins (Michael Madsen) has perfected a means of making super soldiers. But when the process goes wrong and veteran, Sergeant Dodds is driven mad, the project hits

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Ukm: ultimate killing machine Review and Opinion

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E.t. Review and Opinion

2019/02/06

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
   20th Anniversary Edition
Director: Steven Spielberg

review by Gary Couzens

Twenty years is a long time in film-going terms. With a long string of box-office hits (and one deserved flop, namely 1941), Steven Spielberg was allowed to make his small-scale film about a little boy who befriends an alien

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E.t. Review and Opinion

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Jack and the beanstalk Review and Opinion

2018/11/07

Jack And The Beanstalk: The Real Story (2001)
Director: Brian Henson

review by Donald Morefield

The highlight of Britain's terrestrial TV viewing for Christmas 2003 was this wonderful updating of the fairy tale, offering an agreeably postmodernist and contemporised adaptation of the traditional story, while retaining all its best-loved elements. It opens

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Jack and the beanstalk Review and Opinion

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Gandahar Review and Opinion

2017/04/20

Gandahar (1988)
Writer and director: René Laloux

review by Paul Higson

One Sunday in the 1970s, my family followed up a Sunday morning picking blackberries with cinema visit. I and my sister quite young, so we were looking for a family film. The only double-bill on offer at the Studio 1-4 bore the promising titles of Crystal Voyager and Fantastic

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Gandahar Review and Opinion

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Solaris Review and Opinion

2018/04/05

Solaris (1971)
Director: Andrei Tarkovsky

review by Ceri Jordan

This Soviet era classic, adapted from the novel by Stanislaw Lem, sprawls across two discs in Artificial Eye's DVD release, perhaps in emulation of Tarkovsky's epic vision of the future. Sometimes called "the Russian 2001", Solaris is, on the surface, a simpler story than Kubrick

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Solaris 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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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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Quiet earth Review and Opinion

2018/06/10

The Quiet Earth (1985)
Director: Geoff Murphy

review by Gary Couzens

One morning, Zac Hobson (Bruno Lawrence) wakes up to find himself alone. He seems to be the only person left on Earth.
   For the next half-hour of screen time - the best part of the film - Lawrence is alone on screen, apart from a couple of voiceovers and one of Zac's scientist

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Smallville Review and Opinion

2018/04/08

Smallville (2001)
Creators: Alfred Gough and Miles Millar

review by Daniel G. Jennings

Basically, this show is an attempt to update the classic 1950s, 1960s and 1970s Superboy comics which chronicled Clark Kent's high school years in Kansas, as a modern angst filled teen show like Buffy the Vampire

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Smallville Review and Opinion

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Brief history of science Review and Opinion

2019/05/29

A Brief History Of Science:
As Seen Through the Development of Scientific Instruments
Thomas Crump
Constable hardcover £20

review by Christopher Geary

In the preface, Thomas Crump notes the sad lack of useful scientifically-inclined history books, today, and he asks why, if authors still write general histories of other subjects has science

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Brief history of science Review and Opinion

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Deep blue sea Review and Opinion

2019/03/21

Deep Blue Sea (1999)
Director: Renny Harlin

review by Steven Hampton

Saffron Burrows plays an ambitious scientist using shark brains to find a cure for Alzheimer's. Samuel L. Jackson is the wealthy but demanding investor, curious enough about this line of medical research to visit Aquatica, Burrows' oceanic lab with many tons of hi-tech equipment. The

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Deep blue sea Review and Opinion

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Pioneers of wonder Review and Opinion

2018/06/26

Pioneers Of Wonder - Conversations with the Founders of Science Fiction
Eric Leif Davin
Prometheus hardcover £27

review by Steve Sneyd

This is a book that definitely 'does what it says on the tin', and for anyone with even a passing interest in the extraordinary growth of the genre in 1930s

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Bourne supremacy Review and Opinion

2019/05/22

The Bourne Supremacy (2004)
Director: Paul Greengrass

review by Debbie Moon

Jason Bourne has escaped his former life as a brainwashed CIA assassin, and is living quietly with girlfriend Marie. But the headaches and the nightmares won't leave him alone - and neither will the ruthless killer who keeps tracking him down. Meanwhile, a botched operation in

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Bourne supremacy 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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Brothers of the head Review and Opinion

2017/09/10

Brothers Of The Head (2006)
Directors: Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe

review by Paul Higson

Brothers Of The Head has never been off the production slates since Brian Aldiss' graphic novel was published in 1976, several companies and film directors shaking their heads and walking away, chalking it up to experience. Too strange and not enough money

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Brothers of the head Review and Opinion

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Cubby house Review and Opinion

2019/04/11

Cubby House (2001)
Director: Murray Fahey

review by Denise Wayne

Australian terror can occasionally be exceptional and innovative but, sadly, this is not one of those rare cases. Following a prologue about child murders by drugged out hippies back in the 1960s, the film opens with a dodgy estate agent (played by Craig McLachlan from TV series, Bugs

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Cubby house Review and Opinion

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5ive girls Review and Opinion

2017/11/02

5ive Girls (2006)
Director: Warren P. Sonoda

review by Gary McMahon

Everything about the absurdly titled 5ive Girls is ordinary: acting, direction, script, tone, and intent. The film comes across like a tame Sci-Fi Channel cocktail of The Craft meets The Exorcist, all aimed at the teen market, but lacking any kind of style or integrity

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5ive girls Review and Opinion

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Core Review and Opinion

2019/04/23

The Core (2003)
Director: Jim Amiel

review by Debbie Moon

On an ordinary day in an ordinary American city, dozens of people suddenly drop dead. Pigeons in Trafalgar Square start re-enacting Hitchcock. Crack NASA pilot Beck Childs finds herself landing the space shuttle hundreds of miles off course after the instrumentation fails.
   Madcap geophysicist

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Core Review and Opinion

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House of 1000 corpses Review and Opinion

2018/11/23

House Of 1000 Corpses (2003)
Director: Rob Zombie

review by Octavio Ramos Jr

With modern filmmaking less about entertainment and more about mass appeal, product placement, and political correctness disguised as carefully structured 'rebellion', no other genre has suffered more than horror. For example, look back to 1972, when Wes Craven unleashed

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Session 9 Review and Opinion

2018/04/28

Session 9 (2001)
Director: Brad Anderson

review by Richard BowdenSpoiler alert!After writing, editing, and directing the more romantically-based projects of Happy Accidents (2000) and Next Stop Wonderland (1998), Brad Anderson turned to horror to make this, his next and just as effective

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Session 9 Review and Opinion

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Gothika Review and Opinion

2018/12/09

Gothika (2003)
Director: Mathieu Kassovitz

review by Michael Lohr

Premise: criminal psychologist Dr Miranda Grey (Halle Berry) awakens to find herself a patient in the very same mental institution in which she works, with no memory of the murder of her husband Doug (Charles S. Dutton) that she's accused of committing. As she tries to regain her memory

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Gothika Review and Opinion

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Confusion by neal stephenson Review and Opinion

2016/03/04

The Confusion
Neal Stephenson
William Heinemann hardcover £16.99

review by Patrick Hudson

The Confusion is the second part of Neal Stephenson's Baroque cycle, which began with Quicksilver earlier in the year and will conclude with The System Of The World to be published

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Confusion by neal stephenson Review and Opinion

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Supernova Review and Opinion

2018/02/28

Supernova (2000)
Director: Thomas Lee

review by Tony Lee

The new captain of a space-going ambulance is stranded on a doomed planetoid, when a patient that he's just rescued takes over his starship and plots to destroy everyone with a strange alien device.
   Judging from the thrashing this SF mystery thriller received from many film critics, I was

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Supernova Review and Opinion

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Valis by philip k. dick Review and Opinion

2015/05/18

VALIS
Philip K. Dick
Gollancz paperback £6.99

review by Mike Philbin

"It is about madness, pain, deception, death, obsessive delusory states of mind, cruelty, solitude, imprisonment, and it is a joy to read." quotes The Washington Post on the cover of VALIS. One can only wonder which of Philip K. Dick's books this review blurb was borrowed

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Valis by philip k. dick Review and Opinion

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Children of dune Review and Opinion

2019/05/06

Frank Herbert's Children Of Dune (2003)
Director: Greg Yaitanes

review by Michael Lohr

The Sci-Fi Channel got something right. With all the recent controversy and hub-bub over the Battlestar Galactica miniseries, people may forget that Children Of Dune was also released this year. This sequel to Frank Herbert's

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Re-animator 2 Review and Opinion

2019/05/31

Bride Of Re-Animator (1990)
Director: Brian Yuzna

review by Ian Shutter

Bride Of Re-Animator (aka: Re-Animator 2) is a wickedly amusing sequel. Brian Yuzna, the producer of Stuart Gordon's Re-Animator, pulls double duty here producing and directing, and follows his successful

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Losers: ante up, double down Review and Opinion

2015/10/10

The Losers volume one: Ante Up
Andy Diggle, and Jock
Vertigo / DC graphic novel $9.95

The Losers volume two: Double Down
Andy Diggle, Jock, and Shawn Martinbrough
Vertigo / DC graphic novel $9.95

reviews by J.C. Hartley

Way back in the 1960s, the original of The Losers was a DC comic featuring a team involved in some of the

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Losers: ante up, double down 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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Man bites dog Review and Opinion

2018/09/11

Man Bites Dog (1992)
Directors: Rémy Belvaux, André Bonzel, and Benoit Poelvoorde

review by Michael Brooke

I still remember my first encounter with Man Bites Dog as though it were yesterday - I was booking films for Hampstead's venerable Everyman Cinema at the time, and in May 1992 my boss told me to have a look at what he described as "an interesting

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Man bites dog Review and Opinion

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Series 7 the contenders Review and Opinion

2018/04/30

Series 7: The Contenders (2000)
Director: Daniel Minahan

review by Ellen Cheshire

The Running Man meets Survivor in Minahan's hip take on the current phenomenon of reality television programmes - Series 7: The Contenders.
   'The Contenders', thankfully a fictional reality game show, is now in series seven. At the beginning of

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Series 7 the contenders Review and Opinion

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Negadon attacks Review and Opinion

2016/11/25

Negadon Attacks (2006)
- three animated odysseys from Japan

review by Amy Harlib

A New York-based media company, Central Park Media, that imports Japanese manga (comics) and anime (DVDs) for sale in the USA, arranged for limited theatrical distribution for a 90-minute presentation of a trio of its best offerings under the title 'Negadon Attacks: three

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Negadon attacks Review and Opinion

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Mist Review and Opinion

2016/12/11

The Mist (2007)
Director: Frank Darabont

review by Octavio Ramos JrSpoiler alert!There's little doubt director Frank Darabont has a knack for adapting material written by Stephen King. Darabont's adaptations of The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile were effective, perhaps because

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Mist Review and Opinion

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What lies beneath Review and Opinion

2017/12/28

What Lies Beneath (2000)
Director: Robert Zemeckis

review by Christopher Geary

It's not often that you see two big stars like Michelle Pfeiffer and Harrison Ford in a relatively low-key Hitchcock style thriller like this. All the more surprising is the fact that this film is a suspenseful murder mystery ghost story directed by one of Hollywood's top

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What lies beneath Review and Opinion

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Capote Review and Opinion

2017/08/27

Capote (2005)
Director: Bennett Miller

review by Roger Keen

Capote is destined to be remembered for the dazzling central performance of Philip Seymour Hoffman as the eponymous writer, who will most probably take this year's best actor Oscar. It is indeed the kind of role where all the work, the technicalities are upfront and visible, and the transformation

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Capote Review and Opinion

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Surface Review and Opinion

2016/07/26

Surface: The Complete Series (2005)
Creators: Jonas Pate and Josh Pate

review by Alasdair Stuart

One of the several Lost clones that never survived beyond its first year (Threshold and Invasion being the others), Surface is a fascinating idea ultimately hobbled

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Surface 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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