Scifi books reviews

Time machine Review and Opinion

2018/02/09

The Time Machine (2002)
Directors: Simon Wells (and Gore Verbinski)

review by Gary Couzens

First published in 1895, H.G. Wells' novella is one of the founding texts of modern science fiction. A film version was inevitable once special effects were up to the task - indeed, those in George Pal's 1960 version won an Oscar. That 1960 version became a favourite

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Time of the wolf Review and Opinion

2018/02/08

Time Of The Wolf (2002)
Writer and director: Michael Haneke

review by Peter Schilling

An unspecified but obviously widespread disaster reduces mainland Europe to a land of nervous refugees and nomadic survivors. Newly widowed Anne (Isabelle Huppert) leads her children, teenage Eva (Ana�s Demoustier) and impressionable young Ben (Lucas Biscombe), through

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Time out film guide Review and Opinion

2018/02/06

Time Out Film Guide
editor: John Pym
Penguin paperback £19.99 / $24.95

review by Christopher Geary

The 2004 edition is a weighty beast of a reference book, sharing many key contributors with the BFI's magazine Sight & Sound, yet having a rather brighter and less conservative and even more international outlook than you might expect from a book

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Tooth fairy by graham joyce Review and Opinion

2018/02/04

The Tooth Fairy
Graham Joyce
Gollancz paperback £6.99

review by Debbie Moon

It's the 1960s, but the permissive society hasn't yet penetrated to the grimy wastelands on the edge of Coventry. Thoughtful Sam, brainy Clive and down-to-earth Terry are normal lads, amusing themselves with vandalism, dares, and hanging around in the woods. But family tragedy

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Top 10 by alan moore Review and Opinion

2018/02/03

Top 10: Book One
Alan Moore, Gene Ha
Titan graphic novel £12.99

review by Jeff Young

Precinct ten is a cop shop on an alternative world where everyone is a superhero, with one sort of incredible power or another. That means anything can happen, especially when you're a rookie policewoman and it's your first day on the job. Robyn 'Toybox' Slinger finds

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Tracker Review and Opinion

2018/01/29

Tracker (2001)
Created by Gil Grant

review by Michael Lohr

Adrian Paul (TV's Highlander) stars in a new Sci-Fi Channel series, Tracker. The debut episode of this series has to rate as one of the all-time classics for original science fiction on television. It was well written, very, very funny and extremely refreshing. Subsequent episodes

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Transmetropolitan Review and Opinion

2018/01/27

Transmetropolitan: Spider's Thrash
Warren Ellis, Darick Robertson and Rodney Ramos
Titan paperback £10.99

review by Patrick Hudson

Spider Jerusalem is a gonzo-journalist living a surreal near future city, with a take-no-prisoners dedication to truth, justice and what used to be called the American way. Rather than the bank robbers and communist spies

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Treasure planet Review and Opinion

2018/01/26

Treasure Planet (2003)
Directors: Ron Clemens, John Musker

review by Richard Bowden

There have been critics of the unscientific aspects of Disney's most recent animated feature, of the ships with 'solar sails', travelling through space as if the void was breathable, the peculiar arrangement of the heavens, and so on. But one shouldn't find these liberties

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Triffids Review and Opinion

2018/01/25

The Day Of The Triffids
John Wyndham
Gollancz hardcover £14.99

The Night Of The Triffids
Simon Clark
NEL paperback £6.99

reviews by Patrick Hudson

John Wyndham is a pen name for John Wyndham Parkes Lucas Beynon Harris, who wrote from the 1930s to the 1960s, and was responsible for a handful of minor classics over his varied career

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Tristan Review and Opinion

2018/01/23

Tristan (1999)
Writer and director: Michael J. Murphy

review by Paul Higson

In Tristan director Micheal J Murphy turns his attention to this Cornish legend one more time having previously filmed it in 1970 as Tristan and Iseult and secondly in 1986 as Legend Of A Hero, delivering it as he principally sees it, a tragic Celtic romantic

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Troy Review and Opinion

2018/01/22

Troy (2004)
Director: Wolfgang Petersen

review by Hugh Slesinger

In Wolfgang Petersen's modern interpretation of Homer's epic poem The Iliad, the audience is witness to a spectacular display of cinematography and elaborate CGI sets, which serve as a backdrop for a storyline that substantially deviates from the original text, but manages to entertain

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Troy Review and Opinion scifi-movies

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Tuxedo Review and Opinion

2018/01/21

The Tuxedo (2002)
Director: Kevin Donovan

review by Ian Shutter

Taxi driver Jimmy (Jackie Chan) is hired as a chauffeur for wealthy playboy Clark Devlin (Jason Isaacs). When Devlin is attacked, federal agent Steena (Debi Mazar) recruits Jimmy as a spy to work alongside enthusiastic rookie Del Blaine (Jennifer Love Hewitt) on a mission to uncover an

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Two for the lions Review and Opinion

2018/01/19

Two For The Lions
Lindsey Davis
Warner paperback $6.95
Arrow paperback £6.99

review by Amy Harlib

Lindsey Davis, the British writer of an award-winning series of mystery novels set in first-century Rome, produced another winner in her 10th book featuring her protagonist Marcus Didius Falco, for Two For The Lions won the first Ellis Peters

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Uglimen by mark morris Review and Opinion

2018/01/18

The Uglimen
Mark Morris
PS Publishing paperback £8 / $14

review by Patrick Hudson

Rob Loomis is a twenty-something wannabe musician living in London with a girlfriend, a flat and a day job in a bookshop to keep him occupied. When his father commits suicide, he begins getting strange phone calls suggesting that he's going to be next. Soon, he's glimpsing

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Unbreakable Review and Opinion

2018/01/16

Unbreakable (2000)
Directed by M. Night Shyamalan

review by Ceri Jordan

After the worldwide success of The Sixth Sense, hopes were high for Shyamalan's second feature. Of course, it could never live up to the hype, and perhaps it was designed specifically not to. Unbreakable is one of those ideas that you either accept or you don't, and

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Unbreakable Review and Opinion scifi-books

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Underworld Review and Opinion

2018/01/15

Underworld (2003)
Director: Len Wiseman

review by Michael Lohr

Vampires and werewolves are sworn enemies and a war has been raging for centuries. Selene (Kate Beckinsale) is a death dealer, assigned to hunt down and eradicate the last of the Lycan. Things change. Selene, who's famous for her unyielding strength, relentless drive and werewolf-hunting

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Universal soldier Review and Opinion

2018/01/14

Universal Soldier (1992)
Director: Roland Emmerich

review by Rob Marshall

Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren both play American GIs killed in Vietnam (one's from Brussels, the other one's Swedish - but you know it makes sense, right?), then bought back to life as zombie super-troopers pumped-up with steroids and reprogrammed from blank-slate deathliness

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Unlucky monkey Review and Opinion

2018/01/13

Unlucky Monkey (1998)
Director: Sabu

review by Richard Bowden

Unlucky Monkey (aka: Anrakk� monk�) was the third film by writer and director Hiroyuki Tanaka (alias: 'Sabu'), who, over seven features, has established himself as one of Japan's leading comedic directors, establishing a growing reputation overseas. Eschewing the over-familiar repetitions

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Urban ghost story Review and Opinion

2018/01/12

Urban Ghost Story (1998)
Director: Genevieve Jolliffe

review by Gary Couzens

Glasgow. A car accident, and 12-year-old Lizzie's (Heather Ann Foster) best friend is dead. As Lizzie lies on the tarmac, for three minutes she 'dies' and is taken into the light... only to be revived by paramedics. Months later, Heather is living with her mother Kate (Stephanie

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Valentine Review and Opinion

2018/01/11

Valentine (2001)
Director: Jamie Blanks

review by Ellen Cheshire   [SPOILER ALERT!]

Stalk 'n' slash has been a genre staple since its inception in the 1970s. The rules are simple: the killer, usually male, has had a traumatic past experience, which he re-enacts within the narrative. The victims are

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Valentine Review and Opinion scifi-movies

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Vampyres Review and Opinion

2018/01/09

Vampyres (1974)
Director: Joseph (alias: José) Larraz

review by Steven Hampton

Horror film fans in the UK should note that this DVD from enterprising Anchor Bay is uncut, and so includes the three minutes of sex and violence cut by British censors - an emasculated release which Spanish director, Larraz, sardonically refers to as the "Vatican version."

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Vao by geoff ryman Review and Opinion

2018/01/07

VAO
Geoff Ryman
PS Publishing paperback £8

review by Debbie Moon

Victim Activated Ordnance. It's the only way to keep safe. The moment some ruffian sets foot on your nice green lawn or sneaks into your secure car park, it blasts them with microwaves or sound waves, torturing them into submission. And it's their fault for being there...
   Well,

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Science fiction art of vincent di fate Review and Opinion

2018/01/05

The Science Fiction Art Of Vincent Di Fate
Paper Tiger hardcover £20

review by Christopher Geary

A genre illustrator for more than 30 years, Vincent Di Fate worked for legendary SF magazine editor John W. Campbell, and is the author of Infinite Worlds (1997), an invaluable study of art in science fiction. This book, as you would expect from a gifted

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Visitants by john kinsella Review and Opinion

2018/01/04

Visitants
John Kinsella
Bloodaxe paperback £7.99

review by Steve Sneyd

Bloodaxe is one of the big three UK mainstream poetry publishers yet here is a collection drawing heavily on science fiction themes, even terminology and sources (although the blurb carefully avoids the SF-word!). Name Australian poet Kinsella uses the possibility, and actuality

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To wake the dead Review and Opinion

2018/01/02

To Wake The Dead
Richard Laymon
Leisure hardcover $24.00

review by Michael McCarty

This first edition hardcover horror novel is about a 4,000-year-old mummy wandering around modern-day California.
   Yes, you read it correctly - Mummy. There haven't been that many Mummy tales to hit the book shelves lately - mostly the silver screen with the Universal

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Well of lost plots Review and Opinion

2017/12/30

The Well Of Lost Plots
Jasper Fforde
N.E.L. paperback £6.99

review by Tom Matic

Jasper Fforde's first two books introduced the novel-hopping detective Thursday Next. In The Eyre Affair, Thursday rescued Jane Eyre from those who had kidnapped her from Charlotte Bronte's novel. In the sequel

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Wendigo Review and Opinion

2017/12/29

Wendigo (2001)
Writer and director: Larry Fessenden

review by Donald Morefield

City dwellers George and Kim take their eight-year-old son Miles (Erik Per Sullivan) into the snow country of upstate New York, for a quiet family weekend away from it all at a friend's empty farmhouse. On the winter evening's drive, their Volvo hits and injures a young stag

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Wendigo Review and Opinion scifi-movies

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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 scifi-movies

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What planet are you from? Review and Opinion

2017/12/27

What Planet Are You From? (2000)
Director: Mike Nichols

review by Trent Walters

What Planet Are You From? is less of a science fiction than a clever comedy of generic male and female relations. Bear in mind the segregation of genders is analogous to the segregation between species.
   Aliens, whose genitals have shrivelled now want to conquer

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Wheelers Review and Opinion

2017/12/26

Wheelers
Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen
Earthlight paperback £10

review by Ceri Jordan

Ex-archeologist Prudence Odingo, robbed of the credit for an extraordinary discovery, takes to space exploration and returns with something even more fantastic: alien artifacts from the surface of Callisto. The ensuing trial by media seems certain to destroy her once

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Whole wide world Review and Opinion

2017/12/25

Whole Wide World
Paul McAuley
Voyager hardcover £16.99

review by Christopher Geary

This one reads like an attempt by worthy British SF author, McAuley, to break into both the detective novel and spy thriller stakes, using a triple whammy of cyberpunk motifs, grisly murder details, and conspiracy theory chills. And yet, offbeat futuristic underworld

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Wicker man Review and Opinion

2017/12/24

The Wicker Man (1973)
Director: Robin Hardy

review by Octavio Ramos Jr

I first saw The Wicker Man when I was in college. At the time, the film seemed a boring affair, given that it boasted Christopher Lee and Ingrid Pitt yet neither of them seemed scary or even particularly menacing. The ending was cool, and there were several scenes that showcased

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Witchblade Review and Opinion

2017/12/23

Witchblade (2000)

review by Michael Lohr

Not since the first seasons of Hercules and Xena or the Highlander television series has a mythic-oriented action/adventure series caught my attention with this much intensity and bravado.
   Witchblade has all the panache of the above shows but without any of the campy fare that (with

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Witches of chiswick Review and Opinion

2017/12/22

The Witches Of Chiswick
Robert Rankin
Gollancz hardcover £9.99

review by Tony Lee

From a crime-free, 23rd century police state to a hi-tech industrial Victorian London of the steampunk variety, time-travelling adventurer Will Starling quits his job at the Tate gallery - after saving Richard Dadd

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Wolves in the walls Review and Opinion

2017/12/21

The Wolves In The Walls
Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean
HarperCollins hardcover $16.99

review by Michael McCarty

Fantasist extraordinaire and bestselling writer Neil Gaiman and artist Dave McKean have been collaborating on a series of superb books for younger readers. It began with the witty picture book The Day I Swapped My Dad For 2 Goldfish,

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Wooden sea Review and Opinion

2017/12/20

The Wooden Sea
Jonathan Carroll
Gollancz paperback £6.99

review by Debbie Moon

Small town Chief of Police Frannie McCabe has seen a few things in his time. Done a few things he shouldn't, back in his wild youth, too. But suddenly that wild youth is standing right in front of him, in the form of his 17-year-old self - and telling him that the destiny

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Wooden sea Review and Opinion scifi-books

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Wrong turn Review and Opinion

2017/12/17

Wrong Turn (2003)
Director: Rob Schmidt

review by Paul Higson

First the British showed Hollywood how to do it and now the Canadians are cocking a snoop at Los Angeles horror. Did I see a few bad reviews for this earlier today? Instead I went by the simple recommendation of an American friend and hey, if it isn't a proper horror movie.
   The principal

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Xchange Review and Opinion

2017/12/16

Xchange (2000)
Director: Allan Moyle

review by Tony Lee

From the director of Empire Records, this SF thriller suggests a cyber-future of executive travel by means of exchanging bodies with a suitably psych-screened individual already in the place you want to go - and be there in such a hurry that supersonic flight is a needless delay. The basic

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X-men Review and Opinion

2017/12/15

X-Men (2000)
Director: Bryan Singer

review by Tony Lee

In Washington, a wily US senator demands the public exposure and registration of naturally occurring human mutants, as the first step in his political war against the new evolutionary offshoot of mankind, a race of homo superior that, he fears, will supplant sapiens as the dominant species.
   

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X2 Review and Opinion

2017/12/14

X2 (2003)
Director: Bryan Singer

review by Debbie Moon

The Mutant Registration Act has been defeated, the militant Magneto is safely in jail, but humanity's hatred and fear of those born different is still growing. When an assassin with extraordinary powers attacks the President, Colonel Stryker is given free rein to deal with the 'mutant problem'. His

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X the unknown Review and Opinion

2017/12/13

X The Unknown (1956)
Director: Leslie Norman

review by Octavio Ramos Jr

One of Hammer's successful forays into science fiction laced with dark fantasy (much like the Quatermass series), X The Unknown attempts to create not so much horror (a guttural response to something frightening) but rather terror (a paralysing response to the unknown

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X the unknown Review and Opinion scifi-movies

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Xxx Review and Opinion

2017/12/12

XXX (2002)
Director: Rob Cohen

review by Debbie Moon

Xander Cage is an extreme sports star that specialises in headline grabbing - and extremely illegal - stunts, broadcast over the Internet to an adoring audience. When the CIA catch up with him, however, they realise he's just the man to infiltrate a gang of East European anarchists hatching a dastardly

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Xxx Review and Opinion scifi-movies

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Yesterday's dreams Review and Opinion

2017/12/11

Yesterday's Dreams
Danielle Ackley-McPhail
Vivisphere paperback £16

review by Duncan Lawie

Yesterday's Dreams is a modern Celtic fairy tale set in New York. Such a summary offers every possibility of total disaster, but the author is better than that. The protagonist is Kara, a native New Yorker and an only child of an Irish father. As the book

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