Since debuting in 1938, Superman has confronted many imposing adversaries, including Lex Luthor – a formidable foe whether characterized as an obsessed bald scientist or scheming corporate tycoon; the alien computer Brainiac; Terra-Man, armed with an endless array of ingenious weapons; several Kryptonian supervillains who survived the destruction of their planet in the Phantom Zone; and the ancient Kryptonian monster Doomsday, who once succeeded in killing the Man of Steel. ...Read MoreRead more
Without a doubt, Patty Jenkins’s Wonder Woman is the very best of the recent “DC Extended Universe” superhero films – yet the praise doesn’t mean as much as it should, inasmuch as its undistinguished precursors – Man of Steel (2013 – review here), Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016 – review here), and Suicide Squad (2016 – review here) – set the bar very low, to put it mildly. ...Read MoreRead more
by Gary Westfahl
It is not a critical term that often comes to mind, but David Ayer’s Suicide Squad strikes me as a very meh kind of film – a hodgepodge of characters and moments that work, and characters and moments that don’t work, tossed together in a story line that sometimes makes sense and sometimes doesn’t. Further, the film cannot escape the perception that it is a stopgap measure, ...Read MoreRead more
Much to my surprise, I actually enjoyed watching Justice League, which can be appreciated as unpretentious fun, featuring likable characters and some moments of genuine humor. To be sure, it is not an ideal film, but the concept of bringing together popular superheroes to battle against common foes is appealing enough to overcome the recurring infelicities that have marred almost all of the recent films in the DC Extended ...Read MoreRead more
Godzilla: King of the Monsters has a lot of things in it that will please Godzilla fans, and plenty that will piss them off. It is a sequel to 2014’s Godzilla, which was directed by Gareth Edwards, and picks up shortly after that movie’s destruction of San Francisco and Godzilla’s subsequent disappearance. Mark Russell (Kyle Chandler), who lost his son in the attack, wants Godzilla and all other “Titans” ...Read MoreRead more
Robots vs Fairies, Dominik Parisien & Navah Wolfe, eds. (Saga 978-1-4134-6236-5, $27.99, 384pp, hc) January 2018.
It certainly started long before Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier’s Zombies vs. Unicorns anthology a few years ago, and before the movie Batman vs. Superman turned a game kids had been playing for a half-century into gloomy sludge, and it probably even dates back before things like King Kong vs. Godzilla. But ...Read MoreRead more
Winners of the 1941 Retro Hugo Awards, honoring work from 1940, were announced August 18, 2016 at a ceremony at MidAmericon II, the 74th World Science Fiction Convention, held at the Kansas City Convention Center in Kansas City MO, August 17-21, 2016.
The Retro Hugos are awarded 50, 75, or 100 years after a Worldcon in which the Hugos were not previously awarded.
Best Novel (352 nominating ballots)Slan, ...Read More Read more
MidAmericon II announced a correction to the 1941 Retro Hugo Award finalists on June 19, 2016. Administrator Dave McCarty explains:
The finalist “Darker Than You Think” by Jack Williamson was mistakenly categorized as a novelette. The story is a novella, but did not receive enough nominations to be a finalist as a novella. It has been marked as not eligible. The novelette “Vault of the Beast” by A.E. Van Vogt ...Read MoreRead more
Finalists for the 1941 Retro Hugo Awards, honoring work from 1940, have been announced by MidAmericon II, the 74th World Science Fiction Convention, to be held in Kansas City MO, August 17-21, 2016.
Best Novel (352 nominating ballots)Kallocain, Karin Boye (Bonnier) Gray Lensman, E.E. ‘‘Doc’’ Smith (Astounding Science-Fiction 1/40) Slan, A.E. Van Vogt (Astounding Science-Fiction 12/40) The Ill–Made Knight, T.H. White (Collins) The ...Read More Read more
Winners for the 2015 Chesley Awards, given by the Association of Science Fiction & Fantasy Artists (ASFA), were announced during Sasquan, the 73rd World Science Fiction Convention, held in Spokane, Washington, August 20, 2015:
Best Cover Illustration – Hardback BookJulie Dillon, for Shadows Beneath: The Writing Excuses Anthology, Brandon Sanderson, ed. (Dragonsteel) Jon Foster, for Zombie Baseball Beatdown, Paolo Bacigalupi (Subterranean) Todd Lockwood, for The Tropic of ...Read More Read more
Finalists for the 2015 Chesley Awards, given by the Association of Science Fiction & Fantasy Artists (ASFA), were announced:
Best Cover Illustration – Hardback BookJulie Dillon, for Shadows Beneath: The Writing Excuses Anthology, Brandon Sanderson, ed. (Dragonsteel) Jon Foster, for Zombie Baseball Beatdown, Paolo Bacigalupi (Subterranean) Todd Lockwood, for The Tropic of Serpents, Marie Brennan (Tor) John Picacio, for Endymion, Dan Simmons (Subterranean) Michael Whelan, ...Read More Read more
Coming Home, the latest entry in Jack McDevitt’s long-running series on the adventures of antiquities dealer Alex Benedict and his pilot Chase Kolpath, also runs parallel plot threads: the search for a possible cache of very early space-age artifacts, and the attempts to rescue the passengers and crew of a starship caught in an anomalous hyperspace glitch. This latter thread connects directly to one of the series’ previous volumes, ...Read MoreRead more
Karen Joy Fowler points out this clip from a recent, controversial Andrew O’Hehir review of the Avengers:
At what point is the triumph of comic-book culture sufficient? Those one-time comic-book pariahs are now the dominant force in pop-culture entertainment, and their works are deemed to be not just big but also relevant and important…. It’s a neat little postmodern trick, actually, to simultaneously position this movie as ...Read MoreRead more
Claude Lalumière: At first, Chronicle appears to be nothing special, yet another entry in the teen POV-cam subset of fantasy cinema, made especially popular with The Blair Witch Project and Cloverfield. The first act introduces the main characters: a nerdy boy (Andrew, played by Dane DeHaan) with an abusive, alcoholic father (played by Michael Kelly); his ordinary-Joe cousin (Matt, played by Alex Russell); and their uber-cool friend (Steve, ...Read MoreRead more
I recently tossed out the following topic to the Roundtable discussion group: The summer blockbuster movie season is upon us, and as usual various forms of genre film are dominating the screens. This year the offerings range from comic book movies (Thor), sequels to sequels (Pirates of the Carribean 4), kids films (Cars 2), and new outings from big-name directors (Super ...Read MoreRead more
by Gary Westfahl
The modern comic book character of Green Lantern, originally Hal Jordan, has lasted for over half a century. He was born from the ashes of a Golden Age superhero who combined awesome powers with a senseless origin story and a disheartening propensity for spending his time in the company of an idiot wielding a wrench. Created to protect his sector of the galaxy from cosmic menaces, he ...Read MoreRead more