Alphas: Origins by Ilona Andrews

I couldn’t do it. I’ve enjoyed some of the other Ilona Andrews books that I’ve read, but I couldn’t bring myself to like this one—not even a little bit. There are just some themes that should not be in fiction at all, and especially not mucking up decent SciFi and Fantasy.

And the number one theme that fits that category is the romance novel trope of Stockholm Syndrome.

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World War 97 Part 1

Update: Book Discontinued Prior to February 25, 2017

I just discovered that this book is no longer available for sale on Amazon, and I cannot find it anywhere. But I have left the review intact in case Mr. Normoyle reconsiders.

###Review of World War 97 Part 1

I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, and I was not disappointed. In fact, if there was any disappointment at all, it was that it’s a serial and I had to wait to read Part 2. The story starts out quickly with a character who is immediately engaging and interesting. It’s a fun surprise to learn that his brother is the president of the United States. So often books star the obvious people, and I’ve always wondered what it would be like to be a sibling of someone famous. Not that this book really answers that question…

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Mystery, SciFi, Alternate History—It’s All Here

Different World: A Gina Stone MysteryThis story is hard to describe. It’s an alternate history story, but it’s set in modern day Seattle. It’s a modern crime investigation, but the deaths are being discovered in the 1800s. It’s science fiction, but it’s also a murder mystery.

I started reading this book and immediately got hooked. The main character, Gina Stone, is engaging and interesting. She presents a believable portrait of a beleaguered police officer who has decided to take a less stressful job in a small town. It’s just that her small town is New Essex and it’s across a portal in a world where the American revolution never happened.

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Why I like SciFi

“I’m a sci-fi girl. If I can have anything in life, I’d want tons of great science-fiction movies and stories. It’s so progressive, beautiful, and imaginative.”

— Zoe Saldana

Where are the Strong Women?

Nora Ephron didn’t direct Science Fiction movies. But her death is a loss to all of us, and especially women. She made movies that women like, movies for and about strong, caring women.

Science Fiction movies, on the other hand, tend to be for, by, and about men. Even when women are in them, they are either glorified sex objects or men with breasts. Part of the reason Sigoourney Weaver was so funny in Galaxy Quest was because she was playing the only role women have had in most Science Fiction movies — the phone operator. It was especially ironic to cast her in that role when she’s best known as Ripley in the Alien movies.

But Hollywood seems to forget women all the time. When the Avengers came out, 40% of the opening day tickets were bought by women, and yet the only strong female character was reduced to acting as a dogs-body and gopher for all of the other “real” super heroes. Why is this and why do women tolerate it?

Yes, Ripley is a powerful female character, but even though I can name dozens of strong female protagonists in SciFi books, I can’t name even ten strong female characters in movies. Here’s what my husband and I came up with. We were able to come up with 9 when we included TV as well.

It’s just sad to me how difficult it was for both of us to find examples of strong, powerful women in Science Fiction movies and TV. I’d love to hear from you if you can think of others. Please share in the comments.

I would love to see a movie made of some of the strong female characters that abound in Science Fiction. It’s not that they aren’t there, it’s just that Hollywood doesn’t want to make movies about them. I’d love to see Friday on the big screen, or Petra Arkanian (Ender’s Game) or Cordelia Naismith (Barrayar – Vorkosigan Saga).

This article was written in response to: Memo to Hollywood: Women Go to the Movies Too

Children of Men

“Children of Men” (2006)
Starring: Julianne Moore, Clive Owen and Chiwetel Ejiofor
Directed by: Alfonso Cuarón

This movie came out a while ago, but I was lucky enough to see it in the theatre, even though my local theatres don’t usually play art films or nearly any film that isn’t first run. I don’t like to have to drive to Seattle just to see a film, so it’s nice when the local theatres get something new.

I learned of “Children of Men” from a friend who isn’t a fan of Science Fiction. She had seen it and told me I had to see it, no matter what. And she was right. As I said to her “this is why I read and watch Science Fiction.”

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