I’m an Amazing Stories writer

AS-button-blog-team-MEMBER-Blue-smallI have some great news to share today; I’m now an official Amazing Stories writer. Why am I so excited? Because Amazing Stories is a place dedicated to Sci-Fi. It’s also been running, almost uninterrupted since 1926! Though it finally closed in 1996, there were two attempts at bringing it back in 1998 and 2005, and now it’s had some fresh life breathed into it! The Amazing Stories magazine goes hand in hand with an online blog and SF community to talk, review and discuss all things totally geekery (yeah – I’m so excited that I made that word up).

I will, of course, still be blogging here with news and updates, but I’ll be providing some more in-depth articles over at Amazing Stories. My first post – 4 Modern and Completed SF series that you shouldn’t miss; Part I – is now live, and I’ll be blogging every week. So, what you waiting for? Head over and take a look! šŸ˜‰

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Season 8 will be Dexter’s last

There’s been seven seasons of plastic wrapping, parcel tape, glass slides and a final stab to the heart, but it’s now been confirmed, Dexter, Season 8, will be the last. *SOB* I have loved this season from start to finish, and there have been some epic seasons….the presence of Jaime Murray (Lila) and Julia Stiles (Lumen) being Ā notable. But, even with these guest appearances, the core characters of serial killer Morgan, potty-mouthed Deb, fame hunter LaGuerta and side-kick Batista have been the real diamonds here. None of them have failed to intrigue me, and as Dexter’s world has unravelled from one season to the next, the team have been on hand to ask probing questions, second guess and cause problems for our favourite killer.

I suppose it was inevitable after Deb found out, that the end of Dexter’s world as he knew it was going to soon come to an end. And then, with the ending events of season 7, it’s difficult to see just how the Morgan’s will be able to slip the noose with this one. The one thing I hope THEY DON’T do is feel the need for moralĀ justification and end up having Dexter caught and put on death row. Not that I think that’ll happen; I’m sure they’ll have a far more interesting and twisted end to the story.

The first final season teaser has now been officially released. Here’s hoping the epic series goes out with more kills than Debra can throw a mouthful of ‘fucks’ at.

Defiance tantalises the tastebuds

Defiance-Promo-BoxDefiance has been given high expectations to live up to. Whilst the companion computer game has been a flop, marred by bugs and errors (see Digital Spy’s review), having watched the feature long pilot, I can safely say there’s a lot to tantalise the taste buds.

The first five mins of the show, pre-released online by SyFy, certainly hinted at great things to come. There’s no glossy sheen and Hollywood glitz here; it’s shot in a similar style to Battlestar Galactica, there’s a great atmospheric soundtrack and when people have been fighting, well what d’ya know, they’re actually bloodied and dirty rather than having their lip gloss and hair remaining in perfect place. Moving on past the first five minutes, the show continued to intrigue and interest me from start to finish and it ended with a ‘wow, well that was pretty good’.Ā 

The concept’s pretty simple. A group of aliens invaded the Earth after their own star system died. They’re made up of a variety of races, most of whom don’t seem to like each other and have strained relationships with one another at best. Joshua Nolan and his adopted daughter Irisa (an Irathient) land in the town of Defiance after being wounded, only to help solve a murder and discover a war party of Volge (Defiance’s one true villainous race) descending towards the town to eradicate it.

There’s huge scope for this series, and the foundation has been well started. The romeo and juliet storyline between two of the warring Defiance factions children offers promise, but only if it doesn’t go down the cliche route of star-crossed lovers. Jaime Murray (Dexter’s Lilith) excels as the wife of Castithan husband Datak Tarr and plays the role of aĀ subservientĀ wife who’s pulling the strings very well. Leads Nolan and Irisa (Grand Bowler and Stephanie Leonidas) are both strong enough to carry the story, and the pilot offers a slight glimpse of the other races and storylines that may develop over time.

The main area that Defiance MUST succeed in is to create a good overall story-arc, within which the story can grow. Fringe had the unexplained events that obviously geared towards something greater. Battlestar Galactica had the destruction of the colonies and humankind on the run. V had the arrival of aliens on planet Earth and the constant wondering of just what they were after. Defiance has, well, a town. There are flickerings of a bigger story, a plot that could put everyone’s lives in danger, but this will need to be developed carefully to keep interest brewing. Otherwise, Defiance could become just another show which loses its way several episodes in and never recovers; aka Terra Nova – the dino show with a worrying lack of actual dino’s. Defiance’s alien races need to be developed so that they don’t just look different, but have alternate views and takes on the world too. Characters need not to start out three dimensional and then fade to carbon templates. And, like so many good stories, it’s imperative that the obvious doesn’t always happen.

That said, the pilot was pretty amazing, the CGI for SyFy’s budget was good, there was no obvious bad acting and the story set the foundations for what could be a fantastic new science fiction series. I’m looking forward to next week!

Catching Fire first trailer revealed

With just over seven months until the next Hunger Games film, Catching Fire, the first official trailer has been revealed. I loved the first film, and indeed, the first book. The second book, Catching Fire – not so much. I’m pleased to see that the trailer for Catching Fire, to be released on November 22nd, revolves more around Katniss and Peeta’s Hunger Games victory tour than the next Hunger Games themselves. I always felt that the this part of the book was a little repetitive on the original novel, and it seems that perhaps the film will put more emphasis upon the rising insurgency with the Districts than with the 75th Quarter Quell. Of course, this will be part of the film, but I hope it doesn’t take centre stage.

The first trailer looks very good and captivating, so I hope they manage to grip the feeling of a rising rebellion within the film itself.

 

New Elder Scrolls Online screenshots

One of the reasons I was so excited about Star Wars: The Old Republic (SWTOR) was that the artwork in Star Wars Galaxies (SWG) had been so beautiful. There’s nothing quite like immersing yourself in an online realm which such close attention to detail that it could almost be real. Seriously, the world’s of SWG were gorgeous, Naboo and Correllia inĀ particularĀ  Then SWTOR stylized the game and my heart dropped. I don’t mind animation, but it wasn’t realistic enough to keep me interested for very long.

I’m over the moon to see that Elder Scrolls Online has decided to make their online world as real and detailed as possible, in keeping with other titles from the series. In these latest screenshots leaked and shared onĀ All Games Beta, it’s clear that the new world is set to become completely engrossing as you explore. I’m still waiting for a Beta invite….please may it come!

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The first 5 Minutes of Defiance

Defiance-Promo-BoxI’ve been looking for something to fill the void that Battlestar Galactica left for some time now, and new SyFy show ‘Defiance‘ might be just that. Until about a month ago I’d heard nothing of this show, but a brief introduction on Face OffĀ unveiled that this science fiction series is being set up to become quite epic.

Defiance takes place on Earth, 33 years after a long and drawn out alien conflict. Earth’s been terraformed, left wasted by the war that’s raged for decades. Now, humans and aliens live side by side, though it seems, almost never in harmony. With the series starting on Monday (or Tuesday depending what country you live in) SyFy UK have now revealed a video with the first 5 minutes. It looks good, as if it could really develop into an awesome new show that combines both aliens and stories on a deeper emotional level, i.e. the best form of SF that you can get.

There’s a lot of promising people on the production list for Defiance too, with Brian A. Alexander (Dexter/Desperate Housewives) and Michael Taylor (Caprica/Battlestar Galactica) taking the helm. In addition, Bear McCreary (Battlestar Galactica/The Walking Dead) is alsoĀ on-board,Ā  hopefully to bring a great soundtrack to accompany the series. There’s nothing worse than a fluffy monotonous soundtrack to ruin any potentially good scenes (watch Revolution; you’ll understand what I mean). The first five minutes has some very atmospheric music with BSG connotations, indicating that (please god) the series will NOT be the mainstream fodder that SF is so often dampened down too to cater towards the masses.

I have high hopes for this series, though part of me expects to a) be disappointed or b) be in uproar when it’s awesome and then cancelled two seasons from now. But, if you’re looking for something new to watch, this could be brilliant.