Dungeons & Dreamers — A Book Review

I’m very nostalgic when it comes to my inner-geek. At least once a year I read Neuromancer. I enjoy playing the original Infocom games on my iPad. I still get a wide grin on my face when I pull my copy of Tomb of Horrors (S1) off the shelf to occasionally read it through and remember the first time I ran this most hated module as a DM. I never tire of trying to get my almost-7-year-old to sit down and play a few of the Atari 2600 games with me (and he does actually enjoy both Adventure and Yars Revenge — he flipped out when I showed him the Easter Egg in Adventure, something I discovered all on my own before there were ever walkthroughs or bulletin boards to share the info.) Continue reading

The Latest Sci-Fi Novel From Daniel Suarez — Plus Interview!

Influx

I distinctly remember the day back in 2009 when I was wandering through Barnes & Noble and my eyes caught the title of a new hardback sitting in the New Arrivals section. Fresh from leaving the world of networking, servers, and operating systems, the distinct spelling of the title was still familiar to me as I picked up Daemon and read the blurb. It sounded interesting enough, so I purchased it and took it home. Little did I know that I was about to discover a new writer who would immediately be added to my Must Read List. Continue reading

The Martian — Mars Meets MacGyver

The Martian

Do you remember that scene in Apollo 13 when the engineer dumps a bunch of parts on the table and tells the other engineers in the room they need to create a carbon dioxide filter using nothing but that pile of parts? Did that scene totally make you smile? Yes? Then grab a copy of The Martian before anyone ruins it for you and read it. Seriously Read it. You won’t regret it. Continue reading

Back to the Lab: Nick and Tesla’s Robot Army Rampage

Robot Army Rampage

Robots. Say that word to kids and watch their eyes light up. Mine still do! I’ve had a fascination with robots since 1977 when I decided in the first five minutes of Star Wars that I wanted my own R2 unit. Now my workshop is full of them, and I’m even getting to teach a camp this summer for 20 lucky kids who are going to learn to build, program, and take home their own robot. My camp does have an age limit, however — we’ll be using breadboards, lots of small electronics components, and some coding will be necessary. I have an almost-7 year old son who is a bit upset that he can’t take the class, but I’ve got some other ideas in store for him this summer, and one of those includes reading through the latest book in the Nick and Tesla series from “Science Bob” Pflugfelder and Steven Hockensmith. Continue reading

Ellen Ripley Is Back!

Out of the Shadows

Ripley is Ripley, and we’re not happy if she’s not blasting aliens out of airlocks, going ten rounds in a Powerloader suit, and nuking entire sites from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure, right? So, when Titan Books asked me if I’d like to give a read of their new official trilogy that takes place between the events of Alien and Aliens, I was a bit hesitant. I mean, we all know that Ripley floated peacefully along (with Jones) for 57 years before the salvage crew found the Narcissus. End of story, right? Well, apparently 20th Century Fox knows otherwise, and has contracted three authors, Tim Lebbon, James A. Moore, and Christopher Golden, to fill in the details. Continue reading

Happy Birthday, Sherlock! (But We Get the Gifts…)

sherlock-feat

Sherlock’s “official” birthday is observed every January 6, so on this momentous day (Happy 160th, Sherlock!) here are some new Sherlock-related gifts for fellow fans that may or may not have been missed, in no particular order. Well, not completely true… the first episode of BBC One’s Sherlock is fresh on my mind from two same-day viewings, so here goes… Continue reading

The Latest Steampunk Tale from Mark Hodder (with Interview)

Abdu El Yezdi

Back in October I stated in a book review that I had two favorite authors I tended to recommend — George Mann and Mark Hodder. Between these two gentleman, I’ve got three different steampunk series that I’ve absolutely enjoyed over the years — and there are more books to come. (I’ll put some links at the end of this review to my previous reviews of their works.) Right now, Mark Hodder has just launched his latest trilogy, a follow-up series to his original Burton & Swinburne trilogy that began with The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack, got deeper and darker with The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man, and wrapped up with Expedition to the Mountains of the Moon. Continue reading

Zero to Maker Is Pure Inspiration

Zero to Maker Cover

I was very fortunate to grow up in a house where both parents were the hands-on, DIYer-types. My dad taught me a good bit of woodworking and some home repair, and my mom was more of a crafter, always having a project or two for us kids to do side-by-side with her as she sewed or glued or painted. I think it was inevitable that I would also develop that desire to tinker, fix, and create. Continue reading

Contest, Review, and More: The Adventure Time Encyclopaedia — Mathematical!

Adventure Time Cover

Last year I went on the hunt for the Season 1 DVD set of Adventure Time for my son. One of his friends had introduced him to it (even though much of it went over his head) and he just really enjoyed it. The episodes on television were the newer season and he hadn’t watched the earlier episodes, so I figured I’d grab it for him and sit down and see what all the fuss was about… Continue reading

Aetna Adrift — Indie Science Fiction and Scoundrels

Aetna Adrift

When it comes to self-published science fiction, I’ve downloaded and started a number of non-traditionally published books. Key word — started. As in… not finished. There are definitely a number of gems to be found in the growing number of indie books out there, but in my experience the ratio of bad to good for self-publishing seems to be about 100:1. That’s not to say that the traditional publishing world doesn’t produce some bad stories, but I’ve found the ratio to be completely opposite… about 1 bad book in every 100 that has made it through the gauntlet of editors (and possibly an agent or two). Continue reading

All Questions Answered With The Guild: The Official Companion

The Guild Cover

I have a confession to make: I’m really not into MMOs. I’ve played World of Warcraft, City of Heroes, and even The Matrix, but these kinds of games have never managed to hold my interest for long — level 17 for WoW, 21 for CoH, and only 11 for Matrix. But even though MMOs aren’t for me, I do have one MMO-related addiction. And I’ve had it for over 5 years. It’s The Guild. Continue reading

A Unique World Mythology — The Silver Sickle

Silver Sickle

So few science fiction stories these days attempt to provide a story in a single volume — everything’s gotta be a trilogy. Why? The Silver Sickle not only provides a stand-alone science fiction story, but it mixes together three great themes — aliens, steampunk, and a love story. It’s well done and deserving of applause. Continue reading

Review: Man of Steel Novelization

man_of_steel

have generally found that novelizations are the exception to the general rule that novels are better than movies. Where a movie screenplay is the original source material, the novel can feel thin and hurried–lacking in the depth of thought and characterization that goes into good original novels. Thus when I was asked to review the Man of Steel novelization, I agreed with low expectations. I was pleasantly surprised. Continue reading

The Pocket Scavenger Inspires Creativity … and a Contest

A to Z Scavenge

After paging through Keri Smith’s latest journal offering, The Pocket Scavenger, my kids and their friends conducted an alphabet scavenger hunt. You have a chance to win a copy of Smith’s book and matching smartphone app by conducting a scavenger hunt of your own. Continue reading

Superheroes vs. Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination — Let’s Fight!

Versus

Interested in two superhero/super-villain books, going head-to-head, in a fight to the death? It’s twenty-two villainous short stories taking on sixteen heroic short tales where the reader is the real winner. Continue reading