Review

Why The Shannara Chronicles by Terry Brooks Is Worth Reading

June 29, 2016 by Rincewind. 6 comments
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On the surface it may seem like another fantasy series and one that has been around for a while so nothing new… But you could not be further from the truth. The many books of the Shannara series is a first glimpse into a number of genres, fantasy and otherwise. Within its epic fantasy there lies hints of science fiction, epic fantasy, grimdark fantasy, urban fantasy, low fantasy and even a little post apocalyptic fiction. It is a series that is molded by elements of many genres and it is a series that has within its unassuming covers something for everyone. That can’t be said about many series.

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The Riyria Revelations by Michael J. Sullivan and why it is the BEST fantasy series EVER!

June 22, 2016 by Rincewind. 6 comments
Riyria Revelations book covers

Riyria Revelations book covers

Let us start with the two main characters, Royce Melborn and Hadrian Blackwater. Both are the best sort of characters one might ever wish to come across in a fantasy series.

Royce, a former member of the Black Diamond and Assassin, is an enigma wrapped in a puzzle surrounded by dead people who looked like they might one day be in the way. Or because they breathed, looked like they were up to something, or for any reason really. Royce has issues about not killing people.

Hadrian, on the other hand, is a open book who just might kill you. But unlike Royce he will feel bad about it afterwards and maybe even say sorry. The son of a small town’s Blacksmith, Hadrian is a Swordsman of great skill and in certain parts of Calis a rather famous one. He and Royce in the beginning somehow manage to not kill each other and one day become what one could even call friends. Although like all people they get on each others nerves once in a while.

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Doctor Who Series 9 Review – Part 2 of 2

June 2, 2016 by Rand al'Thor. 2 comments

After an interval of eight weeks (or possibly eight seconds, or eight hundred years, or minus eight weeks, according to whose timeline you may be following), here we are again with the second of the two instalments of my Doctor Who Series 9 review.

The episodes in this series are on a steep uphill climb, with nearly every story being better than the last. We’ve already seen a two-parter involving Missy and Davros (which, despite some interesting aspects, was mainly fanwank), a “base under siege” two-parter (standard Doctor Who fare, plus a time-travelling twist), the first Ashildr episode (more standard Doctor Who fare, but a nice snapshot of the Doctor doing what he does best), and the second one (an even less interesting storyline, but with some fascinating exploration of the life of an immortal). Now it’s time to move on to the second half of Series 9, in which every one of the stories makes Doctor Who history while also being fantastic in its own right.

Once again, of course, SPOILER ALERT.
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The Great Science-Fiction/Fantasy TV Showdown: Final Round

May 31, 2016 by Rogue Jedi. 3 comments

Welcome to the final round of the Great Science-Fiction/Fantasy TV Showdown! Round 4 went very well, with a full 40 people participating.

Here are the results from Round 4. The bolded numbers give the scores.

  1. Star Trek: The Next Generation made it to the final frontier by beating Daredevil. 28/11
  2. “Thor taught us to have no fear of death! But what did he teach you of pain?” Stargate: SG-1 lost to Firefly. 25/12
  3. “You don’t know the Bat. He don’t let up! He’s the dark angel of death, man, and he wants me!” Batman: The Animated Series beat Futurama. 19/14

And now, on to the Final Round of the Great Science-Fiction/Fantasy TV Showdown! This round will be a little different from previous ones. Members must vote for one of the three shows. Whichever show get the most votes is the final winner of the event.

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To vote in the Final Round, just click here.

Remember, you can also chat about all aspects of the competition here!

 

X-Men: Apocalypse spoiler-free review

May 26, 2016 by Dr R Dizzle. 9 comments

There is a short scene in X-Men: Apocalypse that sees several of the new characters discussing the quality of the films in the original Star Wars trilogy, all of them agreeing that the third film is always the worst. It’s an obvious piece of meta-commentary on the original X-Men trilogy that takes a shot at X-Men: The Last Stand while praising director Bryan Singer’s original two films, which is gaudy enough on its own – but those paying attention will remember that X-Men: Apocalypse itself is the third film in this new timeline. Is this just a staggering lack of self-awareness, or a direct acknowledgement from the film-makers that they’ve badly messed up? It really doesn’t matter. X-Men: Apocalypse is a bad film all the same.

The story this time sees the various characters we’ve been following over the last couple of X-Men films reunite in order to try to stop an ancient mutant named Apocalypse and his four horsemen from taking over the world. It’s a simple tale of good vs bad basically, far removed from the more soap-operatic, character driven drama of the previous films in the franchise, and unfortunately X-Men: Apocalypse suffers for it.

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The Great Science-Fiction/Fantasy TV Showdown: Round 4

May 23, 2016 by Rogue Jedi. 3 comments

First up, the results from Round 3!

The bold numbers represent how many people voted for each series.

  1. Buffy may fight demons, but she couldn’t defeat this devil. Daredevil beats Buffy the Vampire Slayer21/12 
  2. Star Wars: The Clone Wars loses to Stargate: SG-111/15
  3. Firefly kept flying right over Quantum Leap24/3
  4. Farscape lost to Star Trek: The Next Generation. 21/5
  5. Futurama  resoundingly beat TMNT (Original) 26/2
  6. Batman: The Animated Series beats Supernatural. 19/8

And now, on to The Great Science-Fiction/Fantasy TV Showdown, Round 4!

I used Random.org to input the six properties. I then took the pairs to use for the brackets.

 

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  1. Daredevil VS Star Trek: The Next Generation
  2. Firefly VS Stargate: SG-1
  3. Futurama VS Batman: The Animated Series

To vote for Round Three, just click here.

Remember, you can also chat about all aspects of the competition here!

 

The Great Science-Fiction/Fantasy TV Showdown! – Results and Round 3 (2nd Edition)

May 10, 2016 by Rogue Jedi. 6 comments

First, an explanation and an apology. This is not the original Round 3. The first version had different rankings, that in retrospect, were not the best. After multiple people expressed their views on it, I decided to start Round 3 over. Sorry for the poor choice and confusion, and hopefully this will go better the second time around.

Now, the results from Round 2! I’m happy to write that 37 members voted, eight more than Round 1.

The bold numbers represent how many people voted for each series.

  1.  “I’m old enough to know that a longer life isn’t always a better one. In the end, you just get tired; tired of the struggle, tired of losing everyone that matters to you, tired of watching everything you love turn to dust. If you live long enough, Lazarus, the only certainty left is that you’ll end up alone.” Doctor Who just barely lost to Star Trek: The Next Generation. 17/16
  2. “What do we say to the God of death?” “Not today.” Game of Thrones lost to Firefly22/12
  3.  “Pants are an illusion, and so is death.” Perhaps not, as Avatar: The Last Airbender lost to Star Wars: The Clone Wars. 13/11
  4. Batman: The Animated Series and Justice League Unlimited tied.  Out of necessity, a coin was flipped and Batman: The Animated Series won. 9/9
  5. The man with no fear beats the fastest man alive. The Flash loses to Daredevil19/9
  6. Stargate: SG-1 beats Babylon 5. 13/9
  7. Transformers was apparently exactly what met the eye, and lost to TMNT. 17/8
  8. Futurama beat MLP:Friendship is Magic. 20/8
  9. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy didn’t have anything on how to beat Quantum Leap. 20/9
  10. Buffy the Vampire Slayer beat X-Files. 17/12
  11.  Farscape was far more popular than The Twilight Zone. 13/8
  12. Supernatural beat Sabrina the Teenage Witch, (super)naturally. 13/10

 

And now, on to The Great Science-Fiction/Fantasy TV Showdown, Round 3: Back with a Vengeance!

I used Random.org to input the 12 properties. I then took the pairs to use for the brackets.

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  1. Buffy the Vampire Slayer VS Daredevil
  2. Stargate: SG-1 VS Star Wars: The Clone Wars
  3. Firefly VS Quantum Leap
  4. Farscape VS Star Trek: The Next Generation
  5. Futurama VS TMNT (Original)
  6. Batman: The Animated Series VS Supernatural

 

To vote for Round Three, just click here.

 

Remember, you can also chat about all aspects of the competition here!

The Great Science-Fiction/Fantasy TV Showdown! – Results and Round Two

May 2, 2016 by Rogue Jedi. 2 comments

First off, I’d like to thank everyone who’s helped me with this, including, but not limited to everyone who helped choose shows, everyone who voted and predicted,  Jack B Nimble for all the blog stuff and especially, Rand al’Thor, for helping me, giving positive feedback and defending this entire event multiple times.

And now, the results! I’m happy to write that 29 members voted and 19 predicted. The bold numbers represent how many people voted for each series.

  1. Star Trek: The Original Series went boldly where no show had gone before and lost to Star Trek: The Next Generation.  17/3
  2.  Futurama beat Rick and Morty. 17/3
  3. Adventure Time just barely lost to MLP: Friendship is Magic. 9/8
  4.  Buffy the Vampire Slayer slew Angel. 12/8
  5.  Nu-Who beat Classic Doctor Who so much it couldn’t even regenerate. 20/2
  6.  The Legend of Korra couldn’t redirect Avatar: The Last Airbender‘s lightning. 11/4
  7.  LOST lost. The X-Files won.  15/4
  8.  Batman: The Animated Series beat Classic Batman like it was the Joker’s henchman. 11/4
  9.  And the twist is that The Twilight Zone beat The Outer Limits. 11/5
  10.  “This is a rebellion, isn’t it? I rebel lose to Star Wars: The Clone Wars“. 12/5
  11.  TMNT (2012) was dishonorable defeated by TMNT (Original)12/5
  12. “When you play the Game of Thrones, you either win, or you die.” Let’s just say they didn’t die to The Walking Dead. 9/7
  13. Babylon 5 wasn’t the one who only got 5 votes. That was Battlestar Galactica (2004). 10/5
  14. The Flash just barely outran Arrow. 9/8
  15.  Justice League Unlimited apparently has unlimited appeal, compared to The Spectacular Spider-Man10/1
  16.  Farscape beat Red Dwarf. 12/8
  17.  Daredevil beat Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Blindfolded. 12/5
  18. Supernatural superbeat Once Upon a Time. 10/4
  19. Stargate: SG-1 beat The Sarah Conner Chronicles across all of time and space. 14/4
  20. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy defeated The Incredible Hulk. He’s presumably quite angry now. 10/6
  21.  Gravity Falls gravity fell. Transformers won. 9/6
  22. Sabrina the Teenage Witch beat ALF, therefore answering the age old question “who’s more popular, a magical teenager girl, or a minuscule alien who enjoys consuming cats?” 12/7
  23.  Quantum Leap quantum leapt right over Torchwood. 14/8
  24. Firefly kept flying right past Fringe.  21/5

 

Here are the prediction recaps. Bold means the show is still in the running.

  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: 4
  • Firefly: 3
  • Nu-Who 3
  • My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic2
  • Daredevil: 2
  • Game of Thrones: 2
  • Batman: The Animated Series: 2
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: 1
  • Star Trek: The Original Series: 1

 

And now, on to The Great Science-Fiction/Fantasy TV Showdown, Round Two!

After thinking about it for a long time, I’ve decided to arrange the surviving shows in an attempt to prevent steam-rolling. This may not not be entirely “fair” but I argue it gives better data on what shows are more popular among our user-base. For example, everyone knows that Firefly is far more popular than Once Upon a Time, but as of now, we don’t really know whether Supernatural or Sabrina the Teenage Witch are more popular.

 

  1. The Heavy Contenders #1: Star Trek: The Next Generation and Nu-Who
  2. The Heavy Contenders #2: Game of Thrones and Firefly
  3. Dave Filoni: Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Avatar: The Last Airbender
  4. DC Animated: Justice League Unlimited and Batman: The Animated Series
  5. Marvel VS DC: The Flash and Daredevil
  6. Science Fiction with Numbers in their Names: Babylon 5 and Stargate: SG-1
  7. #80’s: Transformers (Original) and TMNT (Original)
  8. Animation Across the Nations, 2.0 Edition: Futurama and MLP: Friendship is Magic
  9. Old School: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Series) and Quantum Leap
  10. 90’s and Beyond: Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The X-Files
  11. Left-Overs (Part 1): Farscape and The Twilight Zone (Original)
  12. Left-Overs (Part 2): Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Supernatural

 

It’s too late to predict, but you can still vote for Round Two! Just click here.

 

Remember, you can also chat about all aspects of the competition here!

The Great Science-Fiction/Fantasy TV Showdown!

April 25, 2016 by Rogue Jedi. 4 comments

HungerGames

 

If there’s one thing science-fiction and fantasy fans like more than watching, reading and playing science-fiction and fantasy, it’s arguing about watching, reading and playing science-fiction and fantasy. Marvel vs. DC. Star Wars vs. Star Trek. Classic Who vs. NuWho. These debates may very well rage on for the rest of time.

But now, The Science Fiction and Fantasy Stack Exchange is going to what they can to help settle these debates. Every month or so (hopefully), we’ll host a bracket, where all members of the site will be able to vote in order to determine the best of the science-fiction and fantasy best.

This month, we’re doing science fiction and fantasy TV shows. I, with help from other members of site, have selected 48 science fiction and fantasy TV shows from across the decades. These 48 shows were chosen by popularity and notability, and range the full spectrum of sub-genres and fan-bases. I have arranged them to hopefully prevent any round one steam-rolling.

So without further ado, arranged in no particular order for the primary bracket, the shows!

  1. Trek Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself:
    Star Trek: The Original Series /
    Star Trek: The Next Generation

  2. Not Your Children’s’ Cartoons:
    Futurama /
    Rick and Morty

  3. Fun For All Ages:
    Adventure Time /
    My Little Pony Friendship is Magic

  4. The Family That Slays Together:
    Buffy the Vampire Slayer /
    Angel

  5. Who Are You? Who, Who, Who, Who?:
    Classic Doctor Who /
    Nu-Who

  6. The Element Of Surprise:
    Avatar: The Last Airbender /
    The Legend of Korra

  7. Mysteries And Stuff:
    LOST /
    X-Files

  8. Batman V Batman: Dawn of Batman:
    Batman (‘60s) /
    Batman: The Animated Series

  9. What A Twist!:
    The Twilight Zone (Original) /
    The Outer Limits (Original)

  10. Jedi Did Not See That Coming:
    Star Wars: The Clone Wars /
    Star Wars: Rebels

  11. Turtle Power!:
    TMNT (Original)  /
    TMNT (2012)

  12. No Spoilers!:
    Game of Thrones /
    The Walking Dead

  13. Space And Stuff:
    Battlestar Galactica (2004) /
    Babylon 5

  14. DC on CW:
    Arrow /
    The Flash (2014)

  15. This IS A Place For A Hero:
    The Spectacular Spider-Man /
    Justice League Unlimited

  16. Aussies and Brits:
    Farscape /
    Red Dwarf

  17. Simply Marvelous:
    Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D /
    Daredevil

  18. Currently Airing Fantasy:
    Supernatural /
    Once Upon a Time

  19. The Spin-Offs:
    Stargate: SG-1 /
    The Sarah Connor Chronicles

  20. The Classics:
    The Incredible Hulk (1978) /
    The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (TV series)

  21. Animation Across The Nation(s):
    Transformers (1984) /
    Gravity Falls

  22. Pretty Funny:
    Sabrina the Teenage Witch /
    ALF

  23. Time After Time:
    Quantum Leap /
    Torchwood

  24. There Are Two Left Over And I Can’t Think Of Any Connection But They Both Start With F, So Let’s Go With That:
    Firefly /
    Fringe

 

In addition to choosing the most popular series, there also a chance for you to win. During the first week of the event, everyone will have the opportunity to choose the show they think will be the most popular. After the winner is chosen, everyone who correctly guessed will go into a raffle, and a randomly chosen member will get a 100 Rep bounty.

 

To vote and predict, just click on this link!

 

 

Batman v. Superman: Not a Review

April 19, 2016 by Thaddeus. 2 comments

Spoiler-filled analysis from the point of view of one who reads comics, not who reviews movies.

This article originally ran on medium.com and was reposted here with the permission of Thaddeus Howze

batmanvsuperman

For the record. I hate writing reviews. Why? Because criticism is easy. Any idiot can sit in a theater and have an opinion. Any art critic can, with the weight of their degree in art literacy, define why a thing fails to deliver whatever THEY think it should deliver to an “audience.” As a writer who struggles to find that proper beat to put a story to while I am writing it, I am always reminded movies are a special breed of writing.

Movies are a collaboration. They are a story written by at least one person, massaged by two or three other people, edited by another person before being turned into a script which gets changed daily. As the shots are reviewed and then taken from different angles, all that work is gathered together and digitally enhanced, cinematic effects added, CGI constructs placed and then this beast is edited down to fit a designated time pattern.

This is one of the most important parts of a movie’s creation: No matter what vision a director might have, arbitrary decisions made as to what stays in and what goes out are often made by executives whose reasons for doing what they do are completely their own but presumably were meant to make the film more “profitable,” based on some movie-making algorithm only they understand.

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