#tbt review: Lisey’s Story by Stephen King

This review originally appeared in the Times Union on March 1, 2007. “Lisey’s Story” by Stephen King. Read by Mare Winningham. Unabridged, 19 hours, 16 CDs. Simon & Schuster. $49.95. In ancient Greek drama, deus ex machina was used when the plot got so out of control that only divine intervention could resolve it. “Lisey’sContinue reading “#tbt review: Lisey’s Story by Stephen King”

#tbt review: Intergalactic Nemesis live-action graphic novel

This review originally appeared in the Times Union on Jan. 12, 2012. “The Intergalactic Nemesis” has landed at Proctors in Schenectady with an answer to the question, “What exactly is a ‘live-action graphic novel’?” That’s how “Nemesis” bills itself, and though that term may bring to mind Christopher Nolan’s “Batman” series of movies, “Nemesis” isContinue reading “#tbt review: Intergalactic Nemesis live-action graphic novel”

#tbt review: World War Z by Max Brooks

This review originally appeared in the Times Union on Jan. 2, 2007, long before the Brad Pitt movie came out. “World War Z,” by Max Brooks. Read by a full cast. Abridged, 6 hours. Random House Audio. $29.95. The stellar cast includes Alan Alda, Carl Reiner, Mark Hamill, Henry Rollins, John Turturro, Rob Reiner andContinue reading “#tbt review: World War Z by Max Brooks”

Why are war and science fiction so often connected?

Why is it that some of the greatest sci-fi out there has everything to do with war? I’m thinking of “Star Wars,” “The Forever War,” “Old Man’s War,” “War of the Worlds,” for example (and those are just some of the ones with “war” in their titles). But also “Ender’s Game,” “Battlestar Galactica,” and soContinue reading “Why are war and science fiction so often connected?”

#tbt Book Review: Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go

This review was originally published May 8, 2005, in the Albany Times Union. Kazuo Ishiguro is a master of the writing of memory. In fictions about an English butler, a Japanese artist and a world-renown pianist, he has found life-defining secrets, decisions and failures in the smallest moments, and uses them to create literary novelsContinue reading “#tbt Book Review: Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go”

Readercon wrap-up: ‘You don’t look Filipino’

Readercon is awesome. The conference for speculative literature is always worthwhile, as it offers a deep dive into issues and concerns that are at the forefront of literature. So I got to hear luminaries like Michael Dirda and Peter Straub talk about their development as readers and writers. (Dirda doesn’t have time to reread books;Continue reading “Readercon wrap-up: ‘You don’t look Filipino’”

Reading at Readercon

I’ll be one of the readers reading a story from the anthology “Long Hidden” at Readercon next week’s Friday. What’s Readercon? It’s a literary conference that focuses on “imaginative” literature. It is like a sci-fi / fantasy conference but without the costumes, games, movies and music. It’s all about writers and writing, and readers andContinue reading “Reading at Readercon”

Review: ‘The Year of the Flood’ of The MaddAddam Trilogy by Margaret Atwood

Everything and nothing changes in “The Year of the Flood,” the second book of Margaret Atwood’s “MaddAddam Trilogy.” I have to admit, when I first read “Oryx and Crake,” I didn’t know it was going to be part of a trilogy. When I first read “The Year of the Flood,” I thought of it asContinue reading “Review: ‘The Year of the Flood’ of The MaddAddam Trilogy by Margaret Atwood”

First impression: MaddAddam in development for HBO

Today’s news that HBO will be adapting Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam trilogy comes with mixed feelings. That it is HBO? Awesome, because that will mean the three novels (Oryx and Crake, The Year of the Flood and MaddAddam) will get space and time to unfold and be more fully realized than they probably could be asContinue reading “First impression: MaddAddam in development for HBO”