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MISS MASSACRE’S GUIDE TO MURDER AND VENGEANCE – Book Review
Author: Michael Paul Gonzalez
Publisher: Perfect Edge Books, 2014
Paperback, 286 pages
ISBN: 978-1-78279-311-3

If Quentin Tarantino was a novelist instead of a filmmaker, he might write something like MISS MASSACRE’S GUIDE TO MURDER AND VENGEANCE, a vigilante tour through the vicious underbelly of a city, with an unreliable narrator as our guide. The physical state of said narrator is one of several reasons that this otherwise inherently cinematic book may be challenging to bring to the screen.

Our protagonist – let’s call her Mrs. Robinson, as some other characters do – has it very rough. She has two prosthetic legs, a scarred face and an incomplete tongue, which makes it difficult for her to be understood by others, unless they know her well and are paying close attention. Mrs. Robinson wasn’t always like this. Once she was whole, married and pretty, but something happened. Her husband and daughter are both dead, she has been mutilated and everyone responsible is going to pay, even if Mrs. Robinson cannot remember everything that happened to create this state of affairs.
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The Purge: Anarchy – Movie Review

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

The Purge: Anarchy – Movie Review

Director: James DeMonaco
Writer: James DeMonaco
Stars: Frank Grillo, Carmen Ejogo, Zoë Soul, Zach Gilford, Kiele Sanchez, Justina Machado, Michael K. Williams
Horror Thriller Movie

The Purge: Anarchy, The Purge, The new Purge Movie

One year ago, I was singing the praises of The Purge, a low budget dystopian thriller that used a combination of tight scripting, solid worldbuilding, minimal special effects, and focused violence to show a frighteningly possible near future. I was eager to revisit the world created in The Purge, and curious to see where a sequel would go.

This near future has low crime and low unemployment, thanks to the “New” Founding Fathers institution of a yearly Purge. For twelve hours, anything goes. Crimes will not be punished, police, etc. will not respond. People can look for vengeance, or just go wild and get it out of their system.

The Purge: Anarchy is bigger than the first film, but not necessarily better. There’s a solid look into the world here, this time focusing on the disadvantaged–those who can’t afford to hide behind expensive security systems, with all the safety money can buy. There are glimpses, too, of the ultra, ultra wealthy, and how they handle the possibilities of a lawless night.
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THE FIRST FIFTEEN LIVES OF HARRY AUGUST
416 pages
Written by: Claire North
Published by: Redhook
Date published: 04/08/2014
Edition: 1st
ISBN: 978-0316399616

Science fiction always boils back down to one question: ‘what if?’ In Claire North’s book The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August she asks the question ‘what if there were people who were born again at the same time, in the same place, every time they died…with all their memories intact?’

While the idea of repeating your life isn’t a new one, North’s particular approach to the questions of timey-wimey problems is both interesting and surprisingly fresh. While this isn’t a ‘rip you through by your nostrils’ kind of book, it is very compelling despite occasionally wandering off down tangents as the titular protagonist remembers past lives.

Harry August is about to be born again. Not in a religious sense, but in a very literal way. Before he dies a mysterious little girl gives him a message that he needs to take into his new life, and this one message drives the plot of the whole book, even though it doesn’t actually appear until almost a third of the way through. This delay in getting to the meat of the story would be a problem if North hadn’t handled it the way she has. Her writing style is fun and she manages to get across some extremely complex concepts in a very readable way. She looks into everything from the basis of Harry’s particular form of time travel to the ethics of scientific advancement all in ways that trust in the reader’s intelligence but aren’t needlessly complex.
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Sherlock Holmes Saves Mars

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

Sherlock Holmes Saves Mars

He can do that now.

Sherlock Holmes, Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes copyright, Sherlock Holmes rights

Arthur Conan Doyle published his first Sherlock Holmes story, A Study in Scarlet in 1887. His last, The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes, was a collection of short stories published from 1921-1927. Now, as decided by the Supreme Court on June 16, 2014, of the fifty-six stories and four novels written (all but the few stories written after 1923) forty-six stories and all four novels are now in the public domain.

Here’s a short primer how copyright works for writers who believe they will hit it big and then die dead and leave the rights to support their families. That’s what we all hope, right? Well, except for the dead part.

Anything you wrote after 1978 is protected by copyright for your lifetime plus seventy years. Your money goes to you. Then, after you are dragged screaming into the otherworld, it goes to your children, and maybe even to your grandchildren for seventy years. After that, it goes to the public domain and anyone can use it as they like. If you want your copyright to last longer, you need to live a good and healthy long life and maybe go outside sometimes or to the gym.
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INTERVIEW: ADAM BALDWIN ON “THE LAST SHIP”
By Abbie Bernstein

Adam Baldwin, Mike Slattery, The Last Ship, Adam Baldwin on The Last Ship

In TNT’s new series THE LAST SHIP, Sundays at 9 PM, the U.S. Navy destroyer Nathan James is away from port when a worldwide pandemic strikes. The scientists aboard Nathan James may be the only people on Earth capable of curing the plague, but there are forces at work trying to sink the ship, and many of the crew want to go inland to find out the fate of their families.

Adam Baldwin plays the ship’s executive officer Mike Slattery. “I’m sort of the voice of reason to Eric Danes’ character,” he explains.

Baldwin, originally from Illinois, first came to public attention when he was eighteen years old as the title character in MY BODYGUARD. Since then, he’s been in a lot of feature films, including INDEPENDENCE DAY and FULL METAL JACKET. Baldwin is also no stranger to series television, having spent five years as Special Agent John Casey on CHUCK and playing the indelible Jayne Cobb in Joss Whedon’s FIREFLY, a role he reprised in SERENITY, FIREFLY’s big-screen continuation.
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