Director George Miller makes a stunning return to his classic post-apocalyptic future series with Tom Hardy very ably filling the role Mel Gibson originated years ago. Miller also co-wrote this all-out, non-stop spectacle with Brendan McCarthy and Nico Lathouvis. This time, a game and indomitable Charlize Theron provides the heroic loner with a fierce if sometimes reluctant […]Read more "FILM REVIEW: Mad Max, Fury Road (2015)"
Rewrite by Gregory Benford (SF/Time Travel Novel, 2018). A much-honored and old-school SF writer, Gregory Benford built a considerable reputation for works of a “hard science” nature. As such, some readers and critics were doubtless surprised when, in the 1970s, he produced Timescape. In general, time travel books are considered prime examples of the less-than-realistic sort of […]Read more "BOOK REVIEW: Rewrite"
Temper by Nicky Drayden (Fantasy Novel, 2018). Drayden’s second novel, like its predecessor, offers elements of multiple genres (including SF and horror), but overall it’s mostly a fantasy. The setting is the southern tip of an alternative Africa. Here magic of a sort is a commonplace and a pair of Gods (one allegedly all-good, the other […]Read more "BOOK REVIEW: Temper"
We had quite a good and varied crowd at last night’s coffeehouse at Windber’s Grand Midway Hotel. Plenty of regulars, a few past guests we hadn’t seen in a while and a sprinkling of total newcomers. It being the last one before Halloween night, I again donned the creepy Bell Boy costume from last weekend’s […]Read more "Windber Coffeehouse Nights: 25 October 2018"
The Map of Salt and Stars by Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar (Novel, 2018). Whether it’s the mood of the country/world, various authors responding to what’s in the news or just plain coinicidence, I’ve noted several recurrent themes in novels (and even nonfiction books) I’ve been reading. For one thing, I’ve been encountering plots involving women in either […]Read more "REVIEWED: The Map of Salt and Stars"
Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo” by Zora Neale Hurston (Historical Folk Memoir, 2018). Zora Neale Hurston was one of the bright lights in the flowering of African-American culture centered in Harlem in the 1920s. An acclaimed novelist, antropologist and folklorist, she published numerous short stories, nonfiction articles, essays and seven books in her […]Read more "REVIEWED: Barracoon"
Searching for the Amazons by John Man (History versus Myth, February 2018). Historian John Man specializes in topics related to Asia. In addition to being thorough and doing excellemt research, he is also a skilled writer, making the past come alive. For instance, last year’s excellent biography of Saladin, which I reviewed in an earlier blog […]Read more "REVIEWED: Searching for the Amazons"