BrunuhVille

Aurora
by BrunuhVille (2014)


This is the result of a search in bandcamp for artists in the celtic style, like Maire Brennan (Clannad) and Loreena McKennitt. There aren’t that many artists, most of the well known artists are on major labels.
BrunuhVille comes from Coimbra, Portugal and claims to melt elements of Gothic, Orchestral, Celtic, Folk, Movie, Ethnic and World music.
While true, the most influential element is western romantic orchestral music. Elements of Celtic come through in the drums and flutes, the vocals are mainly wordless and add to the mystical style. Very full sound and fine production make this a good album to listen to in the background. There are 11 albums here.

Centurion

Centurion (Jack Sigler: Continuum #3)
by Jeremy Robinson (2017) & J. Kent Holloway

A.D. 102. Two men are locked in an eternal battle with destiny. One is a fugitive, driven mad by the deeds of his past. Haunted by a demonic force that has tortured him for more than half-a century, he fights to retain his sanity long enough to separate himself from civilization.

The other is Jack Sigler, callsign: King, a former Delta operator torn from the present and hurled into the pages of history. King must endure the long journey through the ages to be reunited with his loved ones in the world he knows.


The final book of the series. Despite being a novella length, this throws all of Robinson’s monsters at Sigler in an attempt to bring him down. Of course we know he will survive to participate in the first ten novels. An over-the-top hyped up end to the Sigler series.

This is almost a medieval setting, wonder if Jeremy Robinson will next try epic fantasy !

BSG 2.01 & 2.02

Battlestar Galactica

2.01 Scattered (2005-07-15)

With Adama in sickbay, Tigh is forced to take command of Galactica, but is quickly plunged into a crisis when the fleet and Galactica jump to separate locations.

2.02 Valley of Darkness (2005-07-22)

A Cylon boarding party wreaks havoc throughout the ship, while the stranded crewmen on Kobol struggle to stay alive.


A new series with new title sequence. The action and suspense continues from the end of the first series.

 

BSG 1.12 & 1.13 Kobol

Battlestar Galactica
Kobol’s Last Gleaming (2005-17 & 27)


(Ronald D. Moore, Executive Producer)

Part 1

The discovery of the lost birthplace of humanity causes a split between Roslin and Adama.

Part 2

The political crisis between Roslin and Adama forces Apollo to make a difficult decision, as Starbuck returns to Caprica on a mission for Roslin.


This is more like it. The final double season one cliffhanger, lots of plot threads finally come together in a spectacle of nuclear explosions and plot twists.

 

Harry Watt

Harry Watt Bounty Hunter: 2150 AD
And Harry’s Life Just Got More Complicated

by Rob Guy (2015)

 

For Harry Watt, Bounty Hunter, simply doing what he’s told was never an option. When the best hydrologist on Earth goes AWOL after first helping himself to some company funds, Judge Headlock, Harry’s employer and nemesis, instructs him to bring back the runaway to face justice.

A trip to Mars onboard one of the new ships with the StrateLine Drive sounds like fun, but Harry soon discovers something stinks about this job, and it’s not one of his socks. He realizes he must first travel to Venus Station, but it’s not easy to be in two places at once. And getting framed for murder doesn’t help matters.


The premise is interesting, but I got 30% of the way through. It’s supposed to be science fiction humour. First, there is bugger all SCIENCE in the story. Just setting something in outer space does NOT make it science fiction. The defining characteristic of science fiction is that it is literature about IDEAS. There ain’t any here, it would be better characterised as crime fiction.

Then there is the “humour”. Most of the first part of the book involves Harry trying to bed a busty fellow traveler. Having failed, he’s off the the local whore house (!)

If this is humour then it’s a very laboured ‘Three’s Company’ type. And worse, it just got in the way of advancing the plot.

Disappointing.

 

Soviet Style

I have noticed that recent purchases from bandcamp feature artists and bands from regions that were formerly part of, or adjoining the USSR:

Ukraine

https://endlessmelancholy.bandcamp.com/album/oceanmixes

Russia

https://breakmyfuckingsky.bandcamp.com/album/symbiosys-2012

http://music.tunguska.space/

Estonia

https://moderncrusader.bandcamp.com/album/long-way-home-ii

Yekaterinburg, Russia

https://desired.bandcamp.com/album/desired

Mytishchi, Russia

https://eternalwanderers.bandcamp.com/album/journey-out-of-time-unreleased-album

Romania

https://seaovclouds.bandcamp.com/album/out-world

Russian Federation

https://amodelkit.bandcamp.com/album/invention-of-love

Moscow, Russia

http://bc.unitedstudios.ru/album/the-life-we-dance

Bucharest, Romania

https://absurdcus.bandcamp.com/album/a-drop-of-calm

Hungary

https://silentisland.bandcamp.com/album/equator

https://musicformessier.bandcamp.com/album/the-pleiades

Poland

https://post-rockpl.bandcamp.com/album/the-landscape-after-the-flood-post-rock-pl-compilation-vol-3

Patriot

Patriot (Jack Sigler: Continuum #2)
by Jeremy Robinson (2015)

The year is 1775, and the first rumblings of the American Revolution are only just being felt. But the War for Independence may be over before it even begins. When General George Washington learns of a daring expedition by British troops to discover a place of ultimate power—and the key to immortality itself—he knows that to salvage the war effort, his forces must get there first.

And to find the legend, Washington must employ a legend. Rumors of an ageless pirate who has haunted the high seas for more than a century abound. General Washington commissions an expedition to find and hire the immortal pirate, Lanme Wa—the Sea King—who has been stretched to the point of breaking, and who wants nothing more than to be left alone.


 

This is an unusual story as Jack Sigler does not make his shark infested entrance until the half way mark. Then it’s a fast chase to the end. Things aren’t  wrapped up neatly like previous episodes, so maybe the next (and last) Sigler story will wrap up all the threads of this 24 book series.

BSG 1.11 Colonial

Battlestar Galactica
Colonial Day (2005-01-10)

Tom Zarek seeks to become Vice President, but President Laura Roslin thwarts him by nominating the popular scientist Gaius Baltar, who ultimately wins. A possible presidential assassin is captured but cannot be linked to Zarek. On Caprica, Helo discovers that Caprica-Boomer is a Cylon.


A political very episode. Zarek shows characteristics of a populist politician like Trump. Despite the expected ending, this one works well.

Boy + Dog

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

Based on the novel by Mark Haddon
Adapted by Simon Stephens
Directed by Lara Macgregor
Featuring Tim Earl
Fifteen-year old mathematical genius Christopher Boone sees the world differently to everyone else. He knows all the countries of the world and their capital cities, every prime number up to 7,507, he doesn’t tell lies and his favourite colours are not yellow and brown.

When the neighbour’s dog is murdered, Christopher takes the investigation into his own hands and uncovers secrets that lead him far from home and change his life forever.


All the reviews rave about this:

A white stage reveals the inner-workings of a beautiful mind in this flawless piece of modern theatre.

If this was a movie, it would be nominated for an award.

In fact it’s won many….

It won the 2015 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play, 2015 Outer Critics Circle Award Outstanding New Broadway Play, the 2015 Drama League Award for Outstanding Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Play, and the 2015 Tony Award for Best Play.

Given my experience with awards, it’s unlikely I would like it. Certainly the performance of Tim Earl is notable, if only for the amount of dialogue he has to remember.

But….

It’s got a very ‘look-at-me, I’m a modern innovative piece of theatre’ tone to it. It certainly has humour and pathos, but I’m a cold hearted bastard and wasn’t taken in by the Boy’s story.  It could have done with more plot and less silly acrobatics.

Auto Det.

The Automatic Detective
by A. Lee Martinez (2008)

Even in Empire City, a town where weird science is the hope for tomorrow, it’s hard for a robot to make his way. It’s even harder for a robot named Mack Megaton, a hulking machine designed to bring mankind to its knees. But Mack’s not interested in world domination. He’s just a bot trying to get by, trying to demonstrate that he isn’t just an automated smashing machine, and to earn his citizenship in the process. It should be as easy as crushing a tank for Mack, but some bots just can’t catch a break.

When Mack’s neighbors are kidnapped, Mack sets off on a journey through the dark alleys and gleaming skyscrapers of Empire City. Along the way, he runs afoul of a talking gorilla, a brainy dame, a mutant lowlife, a little green mob boss, and the secret conspiracy at the heart of Empire’s founders—not to mention more trouble than he bargained for. What started out as one missing family becomes a battle for the future of Empire and every citizen that calls her home.

 


This is more like it, Noir Science Fiction.

The author’s depiction of the future world is full of inventive devices and strange creatures. Told in first person, the robot protagonist is a mix of Noir Detective, Marvin the paranoid robot and Star Trek’s Data. It’s his narration that gives the story a fun tone and keeps things moving. It’s worth trying more books by this author.