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Allen Adams

Allen Adams

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Friday, 16 November 2012 10:39

The Curious Steambox Affair' a near miss

Steampunk mystery never quite finds its feet

The relative popularity of steampunk as a literary genre makes a good deal of sense. It combines the romanticism of the Victorian era with the trappings of science fiction, resulting in a mash-up to delight history buffs and sci-fi fans alike. The possibilities of a world where major scientific advances are made with the power of steam are myriad.

Of course, having a lot of directions in which to go also means that there are a lot of directions not worth going.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012 22:46

The evolution of a spy Skyfall'

Newest Bond film reinvigorates the franchise

It's hard to fathom, but the James Bond film franchise is celebrating its 50th year. That's half a century of a single iconic character evolving right alongside our culture. Starting with Sean Connery first gracing the screen as Bond in 1962's 'Dr. No,' there have now been 23 cinematic outings featuring the now-archetypal superspy.

(And yes, I'm aware that there are a handful of 'other' Bond movies; we're just talking about the projects from Eon Productions.)

Wednesday, 14 November 2012 17:40

A master at work

Notes on watching Louis C.K. live

PORTLAND I am sitting in perhaps the best seats I have ever had for a live performance. We're in the second row and I'm right on the aisle. I am about to get up close and personal with a master of the craft.

I'm about to see Louis C.K.

For those who are unfamiliar, Louis C.K. is perhaps one of the most prominent stand-up comedians out there today. His FX television series 'Louie' is providing a whole new insight as to what is possible with scripted television. With his show, C.K. has a degree of autonomy unseen in the TV world; not only is he the star, but he writes and directs every episode. He even edited much of the first season-plus himself, though those duties have apparently been at least partially handed off as of late. The end result is a deconstruction of the situation comedy; something old is new again.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012 17:35

Embracing the everyday with Penn Jillette

'Every Day is an Atheist Holiday' humorous and honest

There are plenty of writers out there who celebrate their respective faiths. Religion is a great part of our world's wonderful literary tapestry. Authors everywhere wax poetically about the whats and whys of their beliefs.

And then there's Penn Jillette.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012 16:52

Celebrity Slam - Nov. 14, 2012

The end of an era

Here at Celebrity Slam, we've seen a whole mess of famous people riding the romantic roller coaster. In a world jam-packed with people who are both pretty and pedantic, it's no surprise that their relationships come and go at a fairly high frequency. Most of the time, it's just business as usual.

However, when a pop culture power couple bites the dust, it warrants our attention.

Wednesday, 07 November 2012 23:06

If it ain't broke Wreck-It Ralph'

Disney film offers glimpse inside the lives of video games

For people of a certain age, there's nothing quite like classic video games. Sure, technology has advanced far beyond the simple arcade games of the 1980s, but for many of us, those are the games that we'll always remember.

Disney has found a wonderful way to capture that sense of nostalgia with 'Wreck-It Ralph,' giving us a brand-new look at some of those iconic characters.

Wednesday, 07 November 2012 23:03

Kicking it with The Man with the Iron Fists'

RZA film an homage to classic kung-fu

Let's get this out of the way right up front: 'The Man with the Iron Fists' is not a good movie.

However, when you're walking into a theater to see a kung-fu movie written by, directed by and starring RZA of the Wu-Tang Clan (and produced by Quentin Tarantino), you're already operating under different expectations with regards to what 'good' means.

It isn't a good movie. That doesn't mean that it isn't a lot of fun to watch.

Wednesday, 07 November 2012 19:08

Mysteries on the moon The Cassandra Project'

Sci-fi novel offers space race conspiracies

What if we went to the moon before we went to the moon? That is, what if Neil Armstrong wasn't the first?

That's the central conceit of 'The Cassandra Project' (ACE, $25.95), a team-up offering from science fiction mainstays Jack McDevitt and Mike Resnick.

The year is 2019. Jerry Culpepper is the main spokesperson for a rapidly deteriorating NASA; the government has been increasingly less interested in funding the sort of blue sky science that the Agency does. The Space Age has lost its luster - the shuttle program is shut down, orbiting space stations are considered boring and the logistics of a manned Mars mission remain inscrutable.

Wednesday, 07 November 2012 18:44

Awards season big-league style

Predicting MLB's 2012 award winners

The 2012 Major League Baseball season is in the books. The World Series is over and the San Francisco Giants have been crowned the champions for the second time in three years. Now, 30 MLB teams get to gather round the hot stove and start planning for next year. We're looking at a few months of minor league hype, trades and free agent signings to get us through to the spring.

However, before that happens, MLB has to dish out its individual awards. Here are one man's thoughts on how that hardware might be distributed:

Wednesday, 07 November 2012 17:42

Celebrity Slam - Nov. 7, 2012

Impersonating an agent

As regular readers of this space well know, we feel strongly that some of the best idiocy is drunken idiocy. When the rich and famous are in their cups, we tend to get a glimpse of how they really feel; that sense of 'I'm above the rules' entitlement really comes to the forefront 'In vino veritas' and all that.

Our latest entrant in that particular intoxicated moron pageant is actor Sam Worthington.

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