Showing posts from August, 2017

What Happens in a Future with Too Many People

A recent entry in the dystopian sci-fi thriller arena--with undertones of “Logan’s Run”, a bit of “Blade Runner”, and, borrowing most heavily from “Orphan Black”--Netflix’s “What Happened to Monday?” turns out to be a pleasant surprise.
The quandary for government and scientists: How to deal with an epic food shortage for a massive population explosion… just bio-engineer more food, right? Yeah, bad plan. Mucking around in Mother Nature’s genetic pool always seems to lead to unexpected hinky-ness in the consumers of all that not-so-natural food, and in this case, causes an epidemic of multiple births… basically the exact opposite of how to solve a burgeoning population. So, part two of the brilliant plan (with Glenn Close playing the role of mastermind at the sci-tech conglomerate responsible for solving the problem)? Cryogenically freeze any additional babies from multiple births, so every family has but one child. Problem solved!
Until, of course, some family decides to buck the system…

Battling Baddies in Bruges

A fascinating and beautiful medieval city. A young American woman on temporary foreign assignment, coping with the unknowns of working in a strange land and with the hassle of trying to avoid her misogynistic new supervisor. A host of vampires, witches, ghosts, and assorted other fae creatures. What could be more entertaining? 
Well, a lot of things, actually—although there are, fortunately, a few high points—in E.J. Stevens’ urban fantasy, Hunting in Bruges
Jenna Lehane is a young—check that, very young—member of the American order of a worldwide organization known as the Hunters’ Guild, whose mission it is to keep humans safe from all manner of dangers… especially those of the supernatural variety.
It seems nefarious paranormal activity has recently picked up in the ancient city of Bruges, and the Guild there—woefully understaffed—has put out a call for assistance. Fresh off a job that had kinda gone sideways, Jenna’s boss knows an opportunity when he sees it,…

A Study in Opposites: Bloodline Failed Abysmally, while Ozark is a Triumphant Joy

In general, I’ve never been a big advocate of making snap judgments; to my way of thinking, it behooves no one to be too hasty when deciding on something—or someone’s—merits.
That vegetable you think—for no good reason—you don’t like (because crazy Aunt Ida managed to massacre it into oblivion each Thanksgiving, and you vowed to never, ever let it pass your lips again)? It may be absolutely delicious prepared by more skillful hands. That book your workmates are raving about, which just isn’t "your genre"? Could prove to be as all-absorbing as the watercooler talk purports it to be. Or that guy/girl who, at first blush, isn’t really your “type”? Might turn out to be the one who values your worth and ends up stealing your heart.
The point is, you just never know… which is why I always try to give things that don’t immediately hook me a fair shake. I’ll read sixty pages into a book I’m not enjoying if I have reason (say, trusty recommendations) to think it might actually be good…