RogerBW's Blog

Blackout/All Clear, Connie Willis 29 September 2018 - 13 comments

2010 Hugo- and Nebula-award-winning science fiction. Historians from Oxford in 2060 are visiting England in 1940, but things are going oddly wrong. Warning: this is going to be a bit of a rant.

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The Yiddish Policemen's Union, Michael Chabon 08 July 2018

2007 Hugo- and Nebula-award-winning alternate-world noir. In 1940, refugee Jews from Europe were granted a temporary homeland in Alaska; sixty years later it's about to be handed back to the USA. But for homicide detective Meyer Landsman, that can't get in the way of solving the latest murder.

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Demons of the Void, David Adams 28 May 2018 - 4 comments

2011 military science fiction, first of an ongoing series. In 2029, previously-unknown aliens destroy three cities, with a warning: "Never again attempt to develop this kind of technology." Earth responds in the only way possible: space battleships! Spoilers.

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American Gods, Neil Gaiman 10 May 2018

2001 Hugo- and Nebula-award-winning modern fantasy. Shadow finishes his time in prison… but learns that his wife has died just before he was due to be released. He goes to work for Mr Wednesday, who's gathering forces for a big fight…

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Doomsday Book, Connie Willis 14 March 2018 - 4 comments

1992 Hugo- and Nebula-award-winning science fiction. At Oxford University in 2054, a history student is being sent back in time to the Middle Ages. But things are going to go about as wrong as they possibly could.

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Speaker For the Dead, Orson Scott Card 10 February 2018

1986 Hugo- and Nebula-award-winning science fiction. Having gone from universally loved to universally reviled, Ender Wiggin continues to suffer for your sins.

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Wisdom of the Crowd 09 February 2018

2017 science fiction/investigation, 13 episodes; a tech billionaire, obsessed with finding the murderer of his daughter, builds a crowd-sourced crime-solving system.

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Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card 12 January 2018 - 2 comments

1985 Hugo- and Nebula-award-winning science fiction, expansion of an earlier short story. Ender Wiggin is brought up to be the tactical genius necessary to fight off the alien invaders.

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Armada, Ernest Cline 16 August 2017

2015 science fiction. Zack Lightman is a dreamer and geek with anger management problems. But his video gaming skills are going to be needed to fight off a real alien invasion. Spoilers.

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Too Like the Lightning, Ada Palmer 11 June 2017

2016 Hugo-nominated science fiction, first book of Terra Ignota. Even in a techno-utopia, there are people who are unhappy with the rules.

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Spider Light, Sarah Rayne 29 September 2016 - 3 comments

2006 psychological thriller. After a highly public series of tragic incidents, Antonia Weston goes to Cheshire to stay in a cottage near a small market town, hoping for anonymity and peace. But she soon experiences a series of events which seem to be echoing the past she's trying to forget.

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The Mad Scientist's Daughter, Cassandra Rose Clarke 29 July 2016 - 3 comments

2013 science fiction/romance. Finn is a robot who looks and acts human; he arrives in young Cat Novak's life as her tutor, and stays as the years pass.

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The Floating Admiral, The Detection Club 09 June 2016

1931 English detective fiction, in fourteen chapters by fourteen authors. The body of retired Admiral Penistone is found in a small boat on the river, stabbed through the heart. Everyone has a story, and everyone has something to hide.

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Despicable Me 2 23 December 2015

2013, dir. Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud; IMDb / allmovie

The former supervillain Gru is trying to be a good father. But supervillainous schemes are still afoot.

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Superposition, David Walton 26 October 2015

2015 science fiction. Jacob Kelley's old friend shows up at his house, babbling about artificial intelligences in the quantum computer that is the universe. Later, the old friend is found dead – having apparently been murdered the night before he turned up – and Kelley is put on trial for his murder.

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The Annihilation Score, Charles Stross 24 September 2015 - 11 comments

2015 modern occult secret service, sixth in the Laundry Files series. As CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN continues, more and more people are developing occult powers, and they envision them according to their own mythologies. Which means superheroes. Mo O'Brien, combat epistemologist and wielder of the last Zahn violin, now has to run a super-crime-fighting squad.

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Jaggy Splinters, Chris Brookmyre 07 September 2015

2012 collection of six short stories.

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Don't Point That Thing At Me, Kyril Bonfiglioli 17 August 2015

1972 comedy, first in the Mortdecai Trilogy. Charlie Mortdecai is a cheerfully corrupt, vaguely aristocratic and thoroughly cowardly art dealer, who finds himself called on to act as an unwilling assassin.

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Shadow Ops: Control Point, Myke Cole 30 July 2015 - 3 comments

2012 modern fantasy. For a few years, people have been manifesting magical powers; in the US, the military has taken control of it all. Some powers are allowed, some aren't. Oscar Britton, Army helicopter pilot, is about to develop one of the ones that isn't.

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The Deaths of Tao, Wesley Chu 09 July 2015

2013 SF, by the only non-slate nominee for the Campbell this year. Unaging aliens and their human hosts struggle across the Earth.

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Chernobyl Diaries 27 June 2015

2012 horror, dir. Brad Parker, Jesse McCartney, Jonathan Sadowski: IMDb / allmovie

A tourist trip into the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone goes horribly wrong.

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Starhawk, Jack McDevitt 09 March 2015 - 2 comments

2013 SF, seventh in the Academy series and a prequel. Priscilla Hutchins is just completing interstellar pilot training, but already demand for pilots is dropping. And terrorists are threatening the terraforming project. Spoilers.

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USS Seawolf, Patrick Robinson 16 November 2014 - 2 comments

In an attempt to get details of the latest Chinese missile submarine, an American attack boat is sent in to shadow her. Spoilers.

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Parts per Billion 19 September 2014

2014, dir. Brian Horiuchi, Frank Langella, Rosario Dawson: IMDb / allmovie

As a runaway biological weapon devastates the world, three couples consider the meaning of love.

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The Last Days on Mars 29 April 2014

2013, dir. Ruairi Robinson, Liev Schreiber, Elias Koteas: IMDb / allmovie

Towards the end of a manned mission to Mars, things start to go wrong.

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Apollo 18 17 April 2014 - 7 comments

2011, dir. Gonzalo López-Gallego, Warren Christie, Lloyd Owen: IMDb / allmovie

The found-footage story of the secret final Apollo mission in 1974.

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