Let’s talk about Star Wars ( briefly )

I know that I missed posting something on the ” Star Wars ” franchise on May 4th but better late than never , right guys ? I don’t think that there is another fictional franchise out there that has influenced my life more . My father had me watch the original trilogy at a very young age . How young ? Might have been still in diapers  . Those movies were awesome and started my interest in science fiction .

If I remember right , we watched all the prequel films when they came to theatres , and I was awestruck by them . The fight choreography , the music , the mythos , everything just combined together to make the perfect movie franchise for a young boy . Of course , the movies never came out fast enough and I needed my fix damn it ! So ” Star Wars” books and video games became a big part of my life . I’ll credit ” Star Wars ” ( alongside old horror stories ) for giving me an interest in reading in the first place . I’ll include a few book suggestions at the end of this for y’all .

” Star Wars ” also taught me something else . That people can watch the same thing but feel totally different about it . ” Revenge Of The Sith ” is my favorite ” Star Wars ” film , I used to try to explain it’s value to everyone on the internet before I learned that was a waste of time , and I’ll stick by it . Maybe another day I’ll make my case for that film on this site if their is any interest .

Overall , I’ve got a lot of good memories with this franchise . Haven’t cared much for the ” Disney ” version of the series to be honest but it doesn’t change what the George Lucas movies have accomplished . A series that combines the old pulp science fiction stories with elements from samurai films , westerns , fantasy , with cutting edge film techniques and special effects … it’s the ultimate combination . The only movie to come close to that was the first ” Matrix ” in my opinion . Let’s end this with a huge thank you to George Lucas and I guess I’ll give you that list now .

  1. ” Tales of the Bounty Hunters ” edited by Kevin J. Anderson
  2. ” The Jedi Academy trilogy ” by Kevin J. Anderson
  3. ” Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina ” edited by Kevin J. Anderson
  4. ” The Han Solo Adventures ” by Brian Daley
  5. ” Splinter of the Mind’s Eye ” by Alan Dean Foster

A Little Break

Hello , I’ve been taking a little break from the website . My head has been out of it but I’ll be returning to it soon . Feeling a little guilty for not putting something up in the past two or three weeks though so I’ve decided to put up a small list of some of my favorite mad scientist stories for whomever is interested .

  1. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  2. The Island of Doctor Moreau by H.G. Wells
  3. Dr. Phibes by William Goldstein
  4. Dr. No by Ian Fleming
  5. The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris
  6. The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells
  7. The Great God Pan by Arthur Machen
  8. The Fly by George Langelaan
  9. Revival by Stephen King
  10. Dread by Clive Barker ( May not qualify but it’s close enough )

All respect must be paid to Mary Shelley and H.G. Wells for making the genre relevant . It’s a genre that has helped create some of the best horror and science fiction stories of all time and it should be treated with respect . Anyways , I hope y’all will check these stories out and tell me what you think .

Dr. Phibes by William Goldstein

” Dr. Phibes ” is a mystery/horror story written by William Goldstein , originally published in the 1970’s .

Dr. Phibes died in a car crash while speeding off to see his wife as she dies on the operating table … or did he ? Several doctors in London start dying in weird and horrible ways . The first gets killed by bees , the second was ripped apart by bats , the third involved a frog mask , and a fourth was drained of all his blood . The investigators believe these murders are based off the biblical plagues of Egypt but they don’t know why the doctors have been targeted . Will the investigators find the other targets before all ten plagues have been performed ? What involvement do they have with Dr. Phibes ? Is Dr. Phibes really as dead as people think ? Come find out in ” Dr. Phibes ” ?

I first heard about this book after watching the movie version of it that starred the legendary horror film actor Vincent Price ( which I also recommend )  . This is a fun , smooth , mad scientist story with plenty of twists and sympathetic characters . By the end of the story  , you’ll understand everything . Overall , I’d say check this one out if you’re into mysteries and old school mad scientist stories .

Metro 2033 by Dmitry Glukhovsky

” Metro 2033 ” is a post-apoclyptic horror novel written by Dmitry Glukhovsky , published in the 2000’s .

The year is 2033 , the setting is a Russian metro stations , the surface world is unlivable to normal human kind and has been over run by mutants . The story revolves around a young man named Artyom and is told mostly from his point of view . Artyom’s metro station is under constant attack from telepathic mutants known as ” the dark ones ” . One day a man called Hunter visits Artyom’s station and says something along the line of ” I’ve got a mission , if I’m not back tomorrow that means I failed and you got to finish it . ” Guess what happens ? Hunter fails so Artyom goes on an epic journey throughout the metro . A journey that has him dealing with fascist , communist , the dark ones , mutant dogs , philosophers , psychics , librarians , and more !

This is a fun but dark book , juggling different political and philosophical beliefs . Artyom knows little of how the world was before it was destroyed , so it’s his first time really dealing with all these beliefs and you feel his confusion . There is a debate throughout the story dealing with the concept of fate and if it exists or not which is interesting . The best parts of this book ( in my mind anyways) are Artyom’s nightmare sequences which are written supremely well .

Favorite quote : ” Could it be that the determination , rage , and desperation that drove him to take every next step created , in some unknown way , a reality that wove a set of chaotic events and someone’s thoughts and actions into an ordered system , thereby turning an ordinary life into a plot , as Sergei Andreyevich had said ? “

The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress By Robert A. Heinlein

” The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress ” is a science fiction novel originally published in the 1960’s , written by the legendary author Robert A. Heinlein .

In the future , the Luna is a penal colony built underneath the moon , being ran by the united government of Earth . The story is told from the point of view of a computer technician called Mannie . A small group of the colonist join together to start a rebellion against the Warden after one of their meetings get violently interrupted by the prison guards . With help from a self aware computer named HOLMES IV , the small group grows and plans the overthrow of the penal government but certain events force them to act before their ideal time . They have success but now have to deal establishing a stable government on the moon while having to prepare for potential war with Earth . Will this new society survive or will they fall underneath the pressure from the Earth’s power ?

First off , this novel is great old school science fiction . It keeps a good pace throughout once you get used to the style of speech . This novel is heavily political and normally I’d say that takes points off but this novel does it in a smart way . By telling the story from the point of a view from a character that doesn’t care much about politics and having a clear focus on his friendship with the computer ( whom treats the situation like a game ) , it keeps the story from becoming a political essay .

Favorite quote : ” Revolution is an art that I pursue rather than a goal I expect to achieve . Nor is this a source of dismay; a lost cause can be as spiritually satisfying as a victory . “

The Strange Island of Dr. Nork by Robert Bloch

” The Strange Island of Dr. Nork ” is a science fiction short story by Robert Bloch , originally published by ” Weird Tales ” magazine .

This story starts off with our narrator , a reporter , gets sent to an island and to learn about the mysterious Dr. Nork and what experiments he is performing there . The first thing he finds on the island is a bottle with a note in it stating ” To whom it may concern : Dr. Nork is a mean , nasty old thing , so there ! ” and the second thing he encounters is a talking ape ! Enjoy this tale of a mad scientist , zombies , and … comic books ?

This story is actually a parody of a story by H.G. Wells called ” The Island of Doctor Moreau ” and it is honestly one of the funniest things I have ever read . It knows how to play with expectations and subvert stock characters . The humor in the tale surprised me because the only other Robert Bloch story I’ve read to this point is ” Psycho ” which is a totally different type of story . It’s fun and creative , if you can find it then read it .

Who Goes There ? by John W. Campbell , Jr.

” Who Goes There ? ” is a science fiction horror story written by John W. Campbell , Jr ( as Don A Stuart ) , originally published in the 1930’s .

A crew of scientist are on an outpost in Antarctica . They find an alien creature and it’s ship frozen in ice . Naturally curious , they strive to thaw out both . The ship is destroyed by accident but the creature survives and starts attacking the outpost dogs . The creature is electrocuted to death but the scientist discover something that instantly frightens them . The creature was turning into one of the dogs and one of the scientist admits to dreaming about the creature . In the dreams , the creature can not only change itself into any creature it ingests but it can also read minds and project it’s thoughts into others . Come read a tale of paranoia , murder , and survival .

This is a short story but it has a huge punch inside . It is one of the best uses of paranoia in a story that I’ve ever read . If the story sounds close to the John Carpenter movie ” The Thing ” , that’s because the movie is based on this story . I would recommend this story especially to people who enjoyed that movie as well as fans of old school science fiction in general .