Monthly Wrap up, Uncategorized

March Wrap Up

I don’t usually do wrap-ups but as this month I didn’t manage to find the space for a monthly TBR post I decided to try one. Most of the books I’ve read this month have been reviewed here already so I won’t go into huge detail but just thought it would be nice to have it all in one place, in addition, I also wanted to include not just books but other forms of media I’ve enjoyed too. I’m not sure yet if this will be an every month occurrence yet or just a one-off for March but let me know if you enjoy it and we’ll see where it goes!

Books

The Near Witch by V.E Schwab XXXX (Spoiler free review here)
A brand new reprinting of V.E Schawb’s debut novel, The Near Witch is an absolute gem. It’s dark and spooky with the perfect amount of angst and a little romance. This debut, although not as polished as her later works it still very decidedly hers though and well worth a read even if you’ve read it before as this new version, in addition to being absolutely gorgeous also features an extra short story “Ash born boy” which was fantastic and well deserving of a XXXXX rating all of it’s own.

Firefly: The Magnificent Nine by Jame Lovegrove XXXXX (Spoiler free review here)
This was such a fun book to read, a fantastic tie in to the original TV series and although it certainly is an enjoyable book to read without any prior knowledge of the show its crowning glory is the brilliant way James has managed to really capture the whole feeling of the show and it’s world as well as it’s characters as well as giving us a deeper look into those characters in a way we weren’t able to get through the media of television but translates easily to the written word. A must for Firefly fans especially is Jayne Cobb is your favourite. I also did a Q&A with James which you can check out here.

Once and Future by Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy XXXXX (Spoiler free review here)
The only words to do this justice are ones I’ve already used in my full review…SWORDS, JOUSTING, SPACESHIPS, STRONG QUEER WOMEN, TEENAGE MERLIN, GORGEOUS FLUIDS AND NON BINARIES, MAGIC, ANGST, SEXUAL TENSION AND DID I MENTION THIS IS MOSTLY SET IN SPACE BECAUSE YES. Once and Future absolutely blew my mind, it riled me up, it crushed my heart then it brought me back, shoved a sword in my hand and it told me to go save the world. This is an absolute whirlwind of a book and despite the King Arthur type story, or even the reincarnation of King Arthur, Once and Future not only manages to feel new and unique, it feels damn well revolutionary. There is SO much fantastic rep to be found here and I honestly love it so damn much.

Currently reading: Summer Bird Blue By Dawn Akemi Bowman (Review to come soon!)
I’m SO close to finishing this book right now! I wasn’t sure how I would feel jumping from sci-fi into contemporary which isn’t my favourite of genres but Akemi has excelled once again, as with Starfish it explores complicated feelings and relationships and how her characters deal with those, in the case of Summer Bird Blue, Rumi loses her sister and is consumed by not only the sadness that we often associate with grief but also the anger and resentment we feel as well. A spectacular, moving story that I know is going to continue to break my heart.

Films

The Conjuring 2
The start of a slippery slope deciding to try out a horror film as I don’t ever really watch them at home but thought heck why not. This was actually really great. It had some great twists and a nice variety of different scares with the story actually being really interesting and making me really want to watch the third one now.

Don’t Knock Twice
Second horror film after the first one went so well, the trailer was pretty damn creepy and this one definitely had some moments and I actually screamed once but honestly, there was just too much talking for my liking and I did nod off a little once or twice.

The Lego Movie 2
My four year old has recently become obsessed with the first lego movie and it’s accompanying video game so we took a trip to the cinema together to check out the second film and it was fantastic, I really liked the first one and this sequel did not disappoint. It made fun of itself, there were some genuinely sad moments, some great twists and in the vein of the big twist/reveal at the end of the first one we got another great reveal that had been hinted at throughout the film and was done really well. I also have to say that I’m in love with the soundtrack and downloaded it the moment I got home, the catchy song is fantastic as is a slightly different version of “everything is awesome” towards the end of the film and the song that plays over the credits is just gold. Definitely, want to see this again.

Passengers
On my Sci-fi kick and when trying to decide on a film to watch this one really seemed interesting and was one we both hadn’t seen before and decided to try out. Really glad we did, I wasn’t sure what direction it would take and it definitely surprised me. Not to mention there was an android I got attached to. This film really went to places I wouldn’t have guessed and ended up being pretty thought-provoking and harrowing in places while also being sweet as well as having a good amount of action when the need called for it. Will be watching this one again as well.

TV Shows

Star Trek Discovery – Season 2 episodes 7-9
I have absolutely loved getting to see young, slightly crazy, hot Spock with a beard these past few episodes and it’s been super interesting finding out what really happened to him, not to mention we got to see parts that directly connect to the very first episode of the original series. Also I can’t help it but every episode I have to tell Chris (the husband) how much I just adore Captain Pike, he’s just so wholesome while also being a little damaged by his past and he’s just such a perfect character and Anson Mount has done an amazing job at portraying him, he’s an absolute gem.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this slightly different post from me, I enjoyed writing it and recapping my month. Where there any particular stories that you loved this month? Tell me all about them!

 

 

#SixforSunday

S4S – An ode to Sci-Fi

I always thought my favourite genre was fantasy because I liked sword fights, court intrigue and magic but after reading Once and Future I now know I can have my cake and eat it as over the past few years I’ve realised I actually really like space ships and new planets, moons and stars, I like rag tag crews flying their (usually) crappy ships through the black just trying to get by and getting dragged into the wrong fight for the right reasons or vice versa, sometimes both. I love rouge A.I’s, I love cyborgs and sentient machines and advanced technology. I love Science Fiction for so many reasons and today I’ll give you six.

Science Fiction:
noun
noun: science fiction; noun: SF; modifier noun: science-fiction
Fiction based on imagined future scientific or technological advances and major social or environmental changes, frequently portraying space or time travel and life on other planets.

1. SPACE. This point kind of covers a lot of ground, space means the potential for unexplored moons and planets, unearthing ancient civilisations and finding new ones, it means somewhere for our characters to hide because DAMN space is beyond even the concept of vast and then there’s the technology required to even live and travel in space which is often a lot of fun and then there are the consequences of it as well, be that the time it takes to travel anywhere or characters perhaps being confined in close quarters to each other meaning we get a great chance for interaction where it would have been a case of simply walking away if they were somewhere that didn’t need an airlock? Oh there’s also the fact that space will almost certainly try to kill you if you mess with it too. there are just so many interesting factors brought in when dealing with space and I am nowhere near articulate enough to explain them all but I hope this makes at least a little sense.
2. THE FUTURE! Although space isn’t always a given for science fiction time is often a factor, ether travelling through it or the fact that time is needed for certain technological advances and or changes therefore almost always putting us into the future. I can’t imagine there are a lot of people out there who haven’t imagined what the future will look like in one way or another even in the simplest of terms and so this is always such a fun part, looking at the way things have changed and sometimes imagining why things have come to be as they are. A good amount of science fiction based in the future, especially the dystopian variety I think also causes us to reexamine the way we do things and what impact our actions and even day to day lives can have on our own future.  Science fiction is at it’s heart, about where we’re going and how we get there.

3. NEW TECHNOLOGY! There is a never-ending of new technology in most science fiction, some of it wonderous, some of it terrible and some of it is overlooked as an everyday occurrence. I’m not especially technologically minded myself and even I find myself inspired by the new creations we see in Science Fiction. Did you know that American inventor Simon Lake was first inspired by undersea travel and exploration ever since reading Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and years later his company built the Argonaut which was the first submarine to operate successfully in the open ocean! OR when Martin Cooper, head of research and development at Motorola credited the communicator design from Star Trek as inspiration for his first design of the first mobile phone back in in the early 1970’s, Cooper was quoted as saying “that was not fantasy to us, that was an objective.” Not to mention influences on Atomic power, the rocket, helicopters, face time and many many more. Also just last month I had to google to find out if artificial gravity was actually a real thing…

4. TACKING BIG ISSUES! No matter when or where Science Fiction is set, often the issues that are at the heart of things can be directly tied to events that affect us in the here and now, Divergent explores early on, the repercussions of things such as stereotyping and shoe horning people into different categories and corrupt governments, much later going as far as to hold peoples genetics against each other and considering them lesser citizens for circumstances of birth which draws a frightening parallel to extreme racism and more (check out the ebook Divergent thinking for loads of great essays about this entire series) and then we have books like Enders Game which although they feature a ten-year-old main character and can easily be enjoyed as a fast paced, action packed, space fighty kind of book it is so multi-layered that it can also act as a scary close look at the ethics and accountability of modern warfare. These are two just two tiny examples, if you look closely there are a huge amount of Science Ficiton Stories out there that are no afraid to tackle big issues, even if they are disguised as an insectoid alien race.

5. ALL OF THE DEBATES AND DISCUSSIONS! Who would win in a fight, Han Solo or Captain Mal Renyolds? Could Spock beat Data at 3D Chess? Would a star destoyer or the Star Ship Enterprise win in a space battle? Is a lightsaber even possible? One of my favourite things about Science Ficiton are the discussions and debates!! I have spent COUNTLESS hours watching videos like the “Becasue Science” ones on the nerdist chanel, last week I watched one entitield “Are Alien Xenomorphs really no match for Darth Vader”, “How every Mass Effect Biotic Power works” and Could The Matrix actually be powered by human batteries?” and so on and so on. Then I go and talk about them to my friends and/or husband and some hilarious debates have come out of these, they’re fun and silly but also really get your head working.
6. NEW PROSPECTIVES! I love it when a “villains” story or prospective gets revealed and a story gets turned on it’s head, especially when the big bad is perhaps a seemingly crazy A.I or an alien race that just wants to survive, or maybe the Duplo pieces just want to be friends and play together!? (Don’t even get me started on how much I liked the new Lego Movie). These kind of reveals and reversals are one of my favourite science fiction “troupes” I love anything that can turn a story on it’s head and even better if they create moral questions and dilemmas like these often do, Star Trek has a great track history of doing this and as their crews are usually very moral people I love the turn of events this often gives the story and again it makes you think, what would you do in that situation, given that choice? I know this is something that can be present in many genres but it’s my favourite when use in Science Fiction especially.

So that ended up being a lot more involved than I thought it would so I apologise for going on, know this. I love science fiction and although those six points may suggest I love the big epics that make you think, honestly I’m such trash for space opera novels with some moral dilemmas and some good ole fighting. I’m easily pleased and happy to admit as much. Some of my favourite science fiction novels are (obviously) The Illuminae Files, Once and Future (review coming Tuesday!), The Loneliest Girl in the Universe, The Quiet at the End of the World, Skyward, Adrift, Invictus and much much more including a huge list of Star Wars, Star Trek and Mass Effect tie-in novels I won’t go in to now. Do you have a favourite Science Fiction book? Let me know!
Note: I’m aware that Star Wars isn’t technically Sci-Fi but I’m including it anyway.