Stargate Archives

Sunday, 9 January 2022

Fallout by Craig Alanson

 

Fallout (Expeditionary Force #13)Fallout by Craig Alanson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Always a delight to get a new novel in the Expeditionary Force series, there is no such thing as too much Joe and Skippy although times have changed and as the narrative has grown and become more complex the "fun" of the earlier novels has been tempered with consequences and issues for the characters. That is not to say I didn't totally enjoy this addition to the series as the Earth and the Merry Band of Pirates realise far too late that the Senior Species have thousands of years of experience in manipulating "lesser" races and a deal that even allows humanity to survive may simply not be on the table. Things get even more complex for Joe and Skippy when pressure from all sides has resulted in counting the costs of what at the time seemed sensible risks to take but when faced with a force that seems to be wiping out Maxohlx and Rindhalu fleets all bets are off and no risk is too great not only to save humanity but perhaps the entire galactic population.
As always love Craig's take on AI weaponry and the Jeraptha are an inspired race so looking forward to the next novel in the series due later in the year.

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Friday, 31 December 2021

Return of the Colossus by Nicole Grotepas

 

Return of the Colossus: A Steampunk Space Fantasy Adventure (Holly Drake Jobs Book 8)Return of the Colossus: A Steampunk Space Fantasy Adventure by Nicole Grotepas
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The eighth novel in this series continues the story of Holly Drake and her partners in crime as they live day to day in society which is obviously far more complex and mysterious and maybe even dangerous than any of them believed. As forces from outside the solar system cast shadows Holly continues to understand her fathers place in the scheming and organised crime which is an undercurrent of the 6 moon system. The core narrative of this book is the influence one Ume Kauss has over Holly and her friends, blackmail and extortion are often used to get what you want and this time Holly is having to keep her calm and play nice, naturally this doesn't last too long but there is far more going on than she suspects.
This eighth novel allowed for growth in some characters as well as inching the overall plot forward but this is a series so it's expected every novel isn't going to provide a leap forward in every aspect. Curious to see how Holly handles her "personal" relationships and keeping everyone happy as well as the demands of being a bigger player in this game.

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Christmas Movies 2021 (Part 5)

Christmas Movies 2021 
(Part 5)


It's a Wonderful Life

One of the all time classics which surprisingly didn't perform initially well at the US box office but found its way into the hearts and souls of the people through television. James Stewart is perfection in the movie and Lionel Barrymore was spectacular as the two actors played opposing forces in this small American town.


Donovan's Reef

A John Wayne christmas movie you say, yes indeed this comedy is set in December and the story is told through to christmas day. A romcom with a surprising cast and some dated (but not terribly so) ideas about class and status and the complexities of romance. 



It's 2022 tomorrow so this is the end of the christmas period and while I've certainly watched a lot more festive movies that I've listed here the bulk have been made for tv fare which only delivers a standout once and a while. Some movies becomes must watch and/or traditions and these I've mentioned over the last few weeks are mine.


Friday, 24 December 2021

Borg Cube Advent Calendar Week 4

Borg Cube Advent Calendar 
Week 4


Day 21.
Not a full sized mug (which would have impressed me regardless of the artwork) but an espresso cup which is a thing I guess.


Day 22.
A pencil sharpener, words fail me....



Day 23.
After some recent items I'm pleased to see a pin,


Day 24.
A Borg Shadow Caster and you know this may be the best item in the calendar.





Sunday, 19 December 2021

Standing Alone by Christopher G. Nuttall

 

Standing Alone (Cast Adrift Book 2)Standing Alone by Christopher G. Nuttall
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Standing Alone is the second novel in the Cast Adrift series by Christopher G. Nuttall and I have to say it really hit the mark. We return to the Earth which was given its independence from the Alphan Empire five years ago and having already fought one war from an aggressive neighbour is rapidly gearing up for major conflict with the Pashtali who are a Galactic level civilisation. If Earth can not control and regulate the regions of space they have possession of then by Galactic Law the Pashtali are free to invade and well do anything they want. Alas Earth despite a rapid building programme lack certain technologies to create ships to rival the Galactics and have had not enough time to create at least a modern space navy. The star systems they are charged with controlling are in chaos (helped by outside forces) and with no help from their former overlords or nearby alien civilisations Earth is on its own.
Standing Alone really delivered on the promise of the first novel extending plot lines along a natural path and building upon races and galactic politics only hinted at. As was expected Christopher also delivered some outstanding space battles with a nod towards ground troops as well. The technology used by both sides made a lot of sense and the cast of characters worked very well in the circumstances they were thrust into and ultimately gave this reader a few hours of great storytelling and enjoyment, looking forward to book three.

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The Vacuum of Space by Julia Huni

 

The Vacuum of Space (Space Janitor #1)The Vacuum of Space by Julia Huni
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I heard an interview with Julia Huni on a podcast I listen too and the discussion about her novels was interesting enough to have me pay Amazon a visit and buy the first novel in the Space Janitor series. The novel is centered on a lowly "bot" technician (Triana Moore) on a far flung space station (Kelly Kornienko) whose "Bots" discover a dead body, her troubles have only just begun as she is visited by station security and then by a Special Agent for the Board named Tiberius O'Neill y Mendoza bin Tariq e Reynolds and finds herself mixed a series of murders, political fall out and all the other things when dealing with the privileged upper crust of any society.
The Vacuum of Space was entertaining and I easily got caught up with the day to day life of Triana which slowly became more chaotic and dangerous as the days past. I've bought the second novel in the series which says more about my opinion than any number of words here.



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Friday, 17 December 2021

Christmas Movies 2021 (Part 4)

Christmas Movies 2021 

(Part 4)

The Christmas Lodge

One of my regular seasonal movies starring Michael Shanks and Erin Karpluk with additional faces from the BC acting pool as seen on Stargate. It has some religious leanings but brief enough not to be considered one of the "propaganda" movies you see these days. All in all a warm movie with some good characters and a happy ending.


Klaus

A delight when it premiered on Netflix a few years ago and the more traditional animation still holds up backed with some good voice acting riding on the back of a very beautiful story.


Serendipity

A favoured romcom watched mainly during christmas as I tend to think of it as fitting for this time of year. John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale are perfectly cast and the movie has great supporting actors.



Borg Cube Advent Calendar Week 3

Borg Cube Advent Calendar 
Week 3


Day 15.
Stickers which are always useful and already applied.


Day 16.
A very significant piece of metal described as a paperweight in a classic design.


Day 17.
Early Ben Sisko pin, you know when he had hair because he would have been too intimidating otherwise.


Day 18.
The artwork of Juan Ortiz is pretty spectacular, I already have The City on the Edge of Forever framed on the wall and these postcards are just as nice.



Day 19.
If you can't tell this is a metal bookmark, would not have guessed that without the hint from the included card.



Day 20.
A folding plastic "case" for a travel card or similar. Gotta say it's hard to drum the enthusiasm for some of these items.


Day 21.
An espresso mug, my thought whenever I see such a mug is WTF humanity so no real joy here.



Wednesday, 15 December 2021

Christmas Movies 2021 (Part 3)

Christmas Movies 2021

Part 3


The Santa Clause

This movie probably shouldn't work as there are certainly some dark elements lurking below the narrative but Tim Allen excels as the reluctant Santa Clause who has to deal with life and work problems.



The Santa Clause 2

Tim Allen returns as Santa in a much lighter and funnier story as he is tasked to find a Mrs Clause who turns out to be played by Elizabeth Mitchell.



The Christmas Chronicles

Kurt Russell plays Santa in this Netflix movie and does it with style. An entertaining family movie which has become a classic.



The Lemon Drop Kid

Bob Hope plays the Lemon Drop Kid a small time hustler who gets into debt to a mob boss, he has less than a month to pay back $10000 or he won't see Christmas Day. Cue little old ladies, charity Santa's and a love interest. A fun movie from the old days.



Die Hard

You can't really go wrong with this high action, suspenseful movie set in a LA tower block on Christmas Eve. A lone New York cop is pitted against a dozen well armed bad guys and Bruce Willis delivered perhaps one of his best theatrical performances of his career. Oh, Alan Rickman comes pretty darn close to stealing the show.



While You Were Sleeping

Sandra Bullock and Bill Pullman deliver a wonderful feel good movie in this comedic seasonal movie as a mixup in an ICU ward has Sandra (Lucy) believed to be the fiance of a man in coma. Embraced by his family she experiences all that was missing in her life including romance.



Saturday, 11 December 2021

Christmas Movies 2021 (Part 2)

Christmas Movies 2021
Part 2

Trapped In Paradise

A comedy crime caper sent in the small town of Paradise which is visited by three brothers
who plan to rob the local bank. Afterwards failing to flee the town the brothers experience the kindness and hospitality of the townsfolk while being chased by the FBI. 



The Muppet Christmas Carol

Henson Productions at their best as they take the classic tale and merge live action/muppets in a musical drama/comedy interpretation. Michael Caine is magnificent.



The Bishop's Wife

Cary Grant, David Niven and Loretta Young bring to life the story of an Angel sent to
provide guidance to a Bishop whose family is suffering as he struggles to fund the building of a cathedral. Sounds a little dull but the acting is spectacular and the movie full of warmth and humour.



ELF

A modern classic as we follow Buddy the ELF (who is actually human) from the North Pole to New York as he looks for his father. Hilarity ensues with a little romance and feel good elements thrown in. Zooey Deschanel exceels and has a great voice.



Borg Cube Advent Calendar Week 2

Borg Cube Advent Calendar 


Week 2

Day 8.

I don't think I would have thought of this but something certainly different.



Day 9.

A Fridge Magnet, feels solid as you would expect and I like the design.



Day 10.

I think I approve of all thing metallic, feels worthy and of course looks great.


Day 11.
Another Pin, great for the collector.


Day 12.

A Tea Towel, I like the artwork.


Day 13.

A drawstring bag intended for spectacles ala Kirk in ST:II but emblazoned with Disco.


Day 14.

A metal IDIC key ring, looks good and always useful.





Wednesday, 8 December 2021

Christmas Movies 2021

 Christmas Movies 2021


And so it begins, the festive period where I don't have to go to work and can indulge in christmas movies and catch up on some tv series I simply didn't have time for earlier in the year.

We begin with a couple from Hallmark who turn out a lot of movies but every now and again one of them just comes out very very good and these are two good well made and entertaining stories.

The Christmas Train

An eclectic group of people travel together on a 3000 miles journey
across the USA on the run up to Christmas Day.
The movie has a great cast and at heart is a romance with a twist or two.


Every Christmas Has a Story

A huge fan of Colin Ferguson who never fails to deliver great performances and as the put upon producer and former boyfriend of Lori Loughlin's character (Kate) leads to some good chemistry and drama plus lots of comedy.





Saturday, 4 December 2021

Borg Advent Cube Week 1

Borg Cube Advent Calendar 

Week 1

Did I need this, well no I didn't but I did want it so here we are ☺


Day 1

Well they didn't open big but any Trek fan would see this playing card set as worthwhile.


Day 2
Pins are quite popular now so a solid reward unless you already have this one.


Day 3
Now this was impressive, feels very solid and looks like it's worth more than you would expect.


Day 4
An art print on well sturdy paper entitled "Vashti" which I figured out was from Picard.


Day 5
It was inevitable that socks would be involved somewhere...


Day 6
They are doubling down on Pins which if you like that sort of thing is great.



Day 7
Original Series Coasters, quite nice and well made.

So that is the first week over with. A couple of nice items, a couple of well ok fair enough and two that I know many collectors will love. Overall positive given I knew we were not going to wowed by the items at the calendars price point.