Thursday, February 5, 2015

Closing: The 2015 Science Fiction Experience

Space by Stephan Martieniere
My participation in The 2015 Science Fiction Experience was minimal. Nevertheless, it was no less enjoyable as I spent most of my time reading great reviews posted by the rest of the participants. Thanks to Carl V. from Stainless Steel Droppings for hosting once again.


The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
This book is all about the journey. I loved traveling through the galaxy along with this crew. I particularly liked the episodic style utilized in this novel and the ensemble of characters that become so central to the overall journey.


Gravity (Warner Bros, 2013)
I'm a big fan of science fiction films, yet I waited a long time to watch Gravity, a highly regarded film by many. It all comes down to personal taste. I have found that the nitty gritty details and slow moving plotting I often enjoy when reading hard science fiction books are lost on me when translated to film. As suspected, I couldn't wait for this movie to end. The plot did not keep me at the edge of my seat and the improbability of the events as they develop at the end did not help. So, as much as I love science fiction, Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, this film was not for me.

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014, Marvel Studios)
This is a similar story with a different ending. I refused to go to the theaters last summer to watch Guardians of the Galaxy because I thought I would not like the film. Wrong!! I loved everything about Guardians of the Galaxy. That scene close to the opening with Chris Pratt as Peter Quill singing along to a 1980's song just about did me in. I was hooked by it. I love the soundtrack, the humor, and the action. But really the best part of this movie is how five outsiders who don't belong anywhere get together and become a family. I loved that about this movie. And I fell in love with Groot and Rocket. A sequel is scheduled to release in 2017. I won't miss it!

Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn (Microsoft Studios, 2012)
I rented Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn on a whim knowing that it is military sci-fi based on a game. Since I am not a gamer, however, there is not much I can say about the contrasts between the original storyline and characters in the game and the movie. The movie plot vaguely reminded me of Starship Troopers with cadets training to go to war in a world where it is expected that they should join the service and hate the enemy without question. Young Cadet Thomas Lansky, however, is ambivalent about his future and his role in the service, so a coming-of-age story is incorporated into the overall plot. A surprise attack toward the end of the movie changes everything -- no more questions, no more choices -- and Master Chief shows up in all his glory to help survivors. I loved Master Chief's character and was disappointed that he did not have more screen time. The end was a sort of beginning. Although the first half of the film is a bit cliché, the second half picks up and Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn ends up being an entertaining sci-fi film with great action.

Reading Habits: Thoughts on Introductions
2014: Top Books of the Year


  1. I'm so glad you participated. The book you reviewed looks fun. I like episodic stories with ensemble casts too.

    Sorry you didn't enjoy Gravity. I suspect you might not enjoy Interstellar either. Both are slow-moving, a fact that I actually enjoyed. But its not for everyone, and I understand the criticism.

    Guardians is great. I saw it twice in the theater and recently shared it with friends who had not seen it. SO MUCH FUN!

    1. Carl, I believe you would enjoy The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet. It is no Star Trek, but if you think of the crew and each chapter as an episode then you get the idea of how this book works. The end is really inconsequential in many ways, the relationships and the journey are the key to enjoying the story.

      Yes, Gravity... I own that my problem with the film comes down to personal taste. As far as Guardians, from the trailers I thought the film would be a total farce. Instead it was fun. Love it!

      I'm sure that it will get easier to participate next year, Carl. I returned to blogging in November and December was a tough month. I'm still trying to get back on the groove. Thanks for your enthusiasm.

    2. Guardians could have went in completely the wrong direction, and I am so happy it did not. I'm looking forward to the second film for the soundtrack as much as the movie itself.

      You weren't alone in your problems with Gravity. And if we all liked the same thing, there wouldn't be much variety in the world.

      I'm actually more interested in the book because of your description about the end. Seems very much like the sort of thing I might like.

    3. Carl, I hope you give the book a try. If you do, I'll look forward to your thoughts. :)


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