Book Review of Redux: the Lost Patrol, A SciFi Time Travel Novel

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Some weeks ago, author Gregg Cunningham asked if I’d mind reading and reviewing his novel Redux: the Lost Patrol, A SciFi Time Travel Novel. To that end, he sent me a PDF formatted ARC copy.

I started to read Part One of the novel “War Pig.” I’ve read War Pig at least twice and so burned through it a third time. Then I hit Part Two “The Lost Patrol.” I was most of the way through Chapter 1 “Time” all the while feeling like I’d read this before. Then I checked Amazon and saw I had bought the book last May. Yikes.

I checked my reviews and I hadn’t published one, but when I checked the digital book on my Kindle Fire, I found my notes. I feel really dumb. I’d read Gregg’s book months ago, but never wrote the review.

Sorry about that, Gregg.

Well, it’s never too late so here we go.

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Spring Into SciFi : 2022 in the Top 27 SciFi Kindle Anthologies at Amazon

scifi

Cover art for the Cloaked Press anthology “Spring Into SciFi 2022”

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As I write this, the Cloaked Press anthology Spring into SciFi 2022 edition ranks #27 in Amazon’s Science Fiction Anthologies (Kindle Store) and #94 in Science Fiction Anthologies (Books). That’s pretty impressive.

The accompanying graphic (see below) I received from the publisher gives a slightly different figure, but they tend to float. It also says that this humble, indie SciFi anthology is in very good company.

My short story “Tiamet Descending” is among the tales nestled between the covers.

My blurb for the story goes like this:

What is the mystery of the Tiamat and what happened to her passengers and crew? Marine Captain Elisha Rush and five mission experts aboard the military spacecraft Belisama have been sent to rendezvous with Tiamat just inside the orbit of Mars. What they find on board will lead to either a miracle for humanity or our extinction.

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Book Review of Martha Wells’ “Exit Strategy” (2018), Book 4 in the Murderbot Series

exit

Cover art for Martha Wells’ book “Exit Strategy”

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I’m still enjoying Martha Wells’ Murderbot Diaries having just finished the fourth installment, Exit Strategy. I’ve already read and reviewed the first three, novellas rather than novels, really.

Side Note: I’ve mentioned this before in one of the previous reviews, but even though the security unit/murderbot has no gender, even though partially organic, I can’t help but hear her voice as a “her.” Maybe it’s because I’m aware that the author is a woman, or maybe it’s because Wells projected a “female” personality into her voice during the writing, but that’s how I think of “her.” I know some people are going to object to this (for gender identity reasons), but for this and other reviews, the SecUnit is a “she” to me. That’s what I’m going to call her.

Picking up right where the previous installment left off, Murderbot has decided to give her evidence against the CrayCris corporation directly to Dr. Mensah. However when she checks on Mensah’s whereabouts, she’s not in her home system of Preservation and figures out she has been kidnapped by GreyCris which is looking for the evidence Murderbot acquired at Milu.

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Comparing the Original “Quantum Leap” to the Current Series, Part 2

somebody

From Quantum Leap Ep3 “Somebody Up There Likes Ben”

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Continuing to try and figure out the course of the current Quantum Leap TV show on NBC by looking at the past show, I ran across a few things such as the current show’s ratings.

According to Comic Book News, the show is hemorrhaging viewers, but their opinion is in the minority. Besides, even though the show airs on NBC Monday nights, it is available for streaming starting the next day. As far as I can find out, Episode 3 “Somebody Up There Likes Ben,” had an uptick overnight. I suppose that includes me. People could continue to view it throughout the week, or for that matte, for weeks to come.

So far, the leaps Ben (Raymond Lee) takes aren’t particularly remarkable. Episode 2 Atlantis was the most interesting thus far because Ben leapt into an astronaut just as the space shuttle was launching. Other than that (there have only been three episodes aired to date), Ben leaps into someone and helps fix a life with the help of Addison (Caitlin Bassett), much as it happened with Sam (Scott Bakula) and Al (the late Dean Stockwell).

While the original show was almost exclusively focused on Sam and Al and their adventures in the past, the current show toggles back and forth between Ben and Addison in the past and the Quantum Leap team in the present. Add to that, Al’s oldest daughter Janice or Janis (Georgina Reilly), her mysterious relationship with Ben, and how and why she seems to be manipulating Ben’s leaps.

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Review of Episode 1 of the New “Quantum Leap”

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Promotional poster for “Quantum Leap”

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I’ve been a long-time fan of the original Quantum Leap (1989-1993) starring Scott Bakula and the late Dean Stockwell so naturally when the series relaunch starring Raymond Lee and Caitlin Bassett was announced, I was curious. At first, I had no intention of watching the show. So many reboots and remakes of classic TV shows and films lately have been total disasters so why would I waste my time on another one?

Like I said, I’m a fan of the original show, but I can’t say I’ve seen every episode. I don’t recall seeing the series closer at all, and maybe I should since it’s rather infamous. NBC cancelled the show with no warning at all, and after Sam (Bakula) changed history saving Al’s (Stockwell) marriage, there was only a text notice at the end saying that Sam (misspelled last name because they did it in a hurry) never made it home.

Bakula and Stockwell lobbied NBC for years to do a made-for-TV movie to resolve the show but they always said no. That might be one of the reasons why Bakula refused any connection with the new show.

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Book Review of “Infinity Engine: Transformation Book Three”

infinity engine

Cover art for Neal Asher’s novel “Infinity Engine”

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It’s been three-and-a-half years since I first started this trilogy with Dark Intelligence and almost three years since I read and reviewed part two, War Factory. Now I wrap up Neal Asher’s Transformation trilogy with Infinity Engine.

The hardest part of reading these books is keeping track of all of the characters. In Book One, Thorvald Spear seemed to be the central character and he still receives a lot of the focus, but the Black AI Penny Royal (I love the name) is the intelligence that is manipulating all of the other characters and circumstances to their own ends.

A main component was introduced in the last book, “Room 101,” a former weapons factory orbiting a supergiant star that, according to Penny Royal’s design, is being remade into something radically different.

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Review of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, Ep8, “The Elysian Kingdom”

kingdom

Scene from Star Trek Strange New Worlds ep8 The Elysian Kingdom

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What can I say? Episode 8 The Elysian Kingdom of Star Trek Strange New Worlds is my absolute favorite. I loved that everyone got to play different, and quite frankly, far more interesting characters than they normally do on the show.

Actually Ortegas (Melissa Navia) played pretty much the same character as the warrior fiercely loyal to the King (M’Benga). Pike as the foppish Chamberlain was perfect and I loved that his hair was different. He was a coward and a traitor or, more or less, as ineffectual as Pike is as a Captain most of the time.

Uhura as the evil queen was delicious as was Spock as her Wizard.

It was implied that Ortegas’ character and Number One as the Druid archer were lesbian lovers, but that was momentary and played for comedy.

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Review of “Spider-Man: No Way Home” (2021)

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Just finished watching Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021) last night. It’s about two-and-a-half-hours long, and like a lot of superhero movies, it tries to cram too much into that space.

The movie starts out where Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) left off, with the recording of Mysterio/Quentin Beck (Jake Gyllenhaal) saying that Spider-Man (Tom Holland) killed him and that Spider-Man is Peter Parker.

Peter’s life goes downhill immediately and so do the lives of his girlfriend MJ (Zendaya), his wingman Ned Leeds (Jacob Batalon), his Aunt May (Marisa Tomei), and even Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau).

Federal agents detain all of them, but in spite of all their bluster, they can’t really hold any of them except Hogan who has ties to the Stark technology used in the previous movie. Even that doesn’t stick very long.

There’s a cameo of Charlie Cox appearing as attorney Matt Murdock (Daredevil) and a cute little scene where he catches a brick thrown through the Parker’s apartment window from behind. It was a tragedy that Daredevil didn’t appear in the movie because a Spider-Man/Daredevil team up would have been awesome.

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Review of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, Ep5, “Amok Spock”

Spocks

Scene from Star Trek Strange New Worlds “Spock Amok”

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Just finished watching Star Trek: Strange Worlds E5 Spock Amok. I’m fairly certain that Theodore Sturgeon, who wrote both Amok Time and Shore Leave, is spinning in his grave.

Oh, they did use the same “combat” music in the dream sequence as we heard when Kirk and Spock were fighting in “Amok Time.” It was kind of cool.

This was supposed to be the “comedy” episode of the season. The original Star Trek had several including I, Mudd and The Trouble with Tribbles, but in the case of “Spock Amok,” it wasn’t funny.

I mean I can see how Goldsman and Kurtzman tried to make it funny. I think they believed it was funny. But the best they got was “awkward.”

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Get “The Fallen Shall Rise” for Free Starting Tomorrow!

@james.pyles

Free #scifi #ebook offered on #Amazon July 16 – 20, 2022 by James Pyles and Starry Eyed Press . https://www.amazon.com/Fallen-Shall-Rise-224-Verse-ebook/dp/B09SP7VK38

♬ Science – TimTaj

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Free five-day giveaway from Amazon to your kindle starting tomorrow! Please feel free to write an honest review.

Excerpt:

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