Review “Embers” 2015

What are you if you lose your memory? What parts of you are shaped by experience and what parts are in-built? If you don’t remember who you are, are you still you? These questions are posed by the 2015 film “Embers”. It’s a post-apocalyptic scenario, filled with deserted, ruined cities and scattered survivors. The apocalyptic…

Your next stop – The Twilight Zone (part 2)

I thought I might continue to praise this ground-breaking series by talking about some favourite episodes from the second season. As before, I am not necessarily saying these are the best episodes, only favourites of mine. “The Howling Man” starts with a man remembering the past, which is very gothic – night, a storm, a…

Your next stop – The Twilight Zone (Part 1)

There is a fifth dimension, beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is…

Review “Hard to be a God” by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky

Arkady and Boris Strugatsky were writing in Soviet era Russia, and the environment in which they worked gives their books an added nuance, knowing the societal constraints under which they were working, and what they managed to achieve. This is the second book I have read by these authors, and I have enjoyed it just…

Review “Cat’s Cradle” by Kurt Vonnegut.

(First published 1963.) Vonnegut is not for everyone, and I suspect many would find him far too cynical to truly enjoy. His world view has always seemed to me to be without illusion, though sometimes lacking in joy or hope. That being said, his books are always interesting and thought-provoking. “Cat’s Cradle” starts with the…

Review “Colossus: The Forbin Project” (1970)

Take cold war fears of nuclear annihilation, and add in an intelligent super-computer gone amuk, and you have ”Colossus: The Forbin Project”. This was certainly not the first time a computer taking over had been depicted on film – both “2001 A Space Odyssey” and “Alphaville” predate this, for example. The idea also appeared in…

Review “Timescape” by Gregory Benford

First published in 1980, “Timescape” won the Nebula Award that year. It is a science fiction novel, dealing with ecological disaster in the year 1998. There seems to be no way to resolve what is happening, but technology that uses tachyons allow researchers to attempt communication with the past. In 1962, a scientist starts to…

Review “Annihilation”

“Annihilation” is a science fiction film that was released in 2018. It’s about a mysterious phenomenon referred to as the ‘shimmer’, and an expedition comprised of five scientists that enter it to investigate. They are the latest in a long line of teams that have been sent in and not returned. There has been one…