Jan 24, 2017

Otherland Speculative Fiction Book Club

Only two and a half weeks to go!

Everybody in Otherland is reading the 2016 Nebula and Locus awards winner Uprooted by Naomi Novik.
Next meeting: Friday, February 10th, 07.30 pm at the Otherland Bookshop.

Jan 22, 2017

Horror Revisited

Night Shadow (1989)

by Inci German

Welcome back to Horror Revisited!
What's better than watching old horror movies on cold, dark days like these? Reading about them, of course! Let's get on with it, then:
Werewolf meets kung fu! Can it get any better?
Yes, it can.
To tell the truth, most things are better than this movie. Now I’m not the type to kick’em when they’re down and I’m all about supporting independent movie makers but this one is junk even for a B movie, one of the lowest specimens of its kind: a horror movie that’s not remotely scary or repulsive, distinctive 80’s tackiness, some of the worst acting performances these eyes have witnessed, a croaking plot, a concept that rises hopes and then dashes them quite expectedly. It has everything a bad movie needs.

Jan 18, 2017

Laird Barron's Swift to Chase, Part 1 of 3

The Golden Age of Slashing

I tend to ration new collections by my favourite horror author Laird Barron; for one thing, I'm not always in the mood for horror, and more importantly: When the mood strikes me, It's the greatest thing to have somethin new by Barron at hand. Therefore, and because the author chose to split his collection into three segments, my review of his new collection Swift to Chase comes in three parts, each about one of them.
The first segment is entitled "The Golden Age of Slashing", and the four stories that comprise it are connected by the character of Jessica Mace, which, after reading the first to stories of the collection, I characterized in my head as a hard-bitten sword&sorcery heroine in a modern horror/thriller world.

Jan 8, 2017

Otherland Speculative Fiction Book Club

Samuel R. Delany's Tales of Nevèrÿon 

Deconstructing Fantasy


by İnci German

Were I to describe Samuel R. Delany’s Tales of Nevèrÿon in two words, they would probably be “dawdling movement”: meanings shifting; myths, expectations and prototypes reversing, turning upside down and inside out; hierarchies being turned around and pulled apart; even the authors of story, preface and appendix switching places and identities; everything becoming a shadow of something else… Like a child who doesn’t like the overly neat Lego-structure his parents have presented him, Delany removes, pushes, warps, twists, turns and relocates one Lego brick at a time to create his own structure. Mighty dragons? Brave warrior men? Eve seducing Adam? Civilization as we know it? Forget all about it - Delany changes everything and the attentive reader will soon find themselves pondering upon concepts like power, gender, culture, language, relationships and even economics. This is not your average sword and sorcery-book!

Jan 7, 2017

The Fortunate Accident of the most recent Planet of the Apes Reboot

In the last few year's I've had a hard time becoming excited about upcoming sf movies (most recently looking at you, Alien: Covenant). I've even found myself cynical about Interstellar (mainly because of my strong dislike of Nolan's Batman movies) and Arrival (because hell, how could that movie be remotely as good as the short story "Story of Your Life" by Ted Chiang it is based upon), and I missed out on both of them in the cinema.
However, the new Planet of the Apes series that began in 2011 with Rise of the Planet of the Apes (RotPotA for short) is the one movie series that really keeps me engaged and looking forward to the next installment; the third movie, War for the Planet of the Apes, will be out in August 2017.