Better Us

Better than Us (In Russian it is called ‘Better than Humans’) is a Russian science fiction television series created by Andrey Junkovsky.

The series was purchased by Netflix, and is the first Russian series presented as a Netflix Original. On August 16, 2019, the first season was available to stream on Netflix markets outside of Russia and China.

 

Hibernal Machine

Hibernal
The Machine (2013)

Hibernal is the sci-fi post rock project of Mark Healy from Brisbane, Australia.

The first of four, this is a science fiction story with a rock soundtrack. In fact most of the time is probably spent with the music. The story is of a man who is gradually transformed, as he rises up the corporate ladder into something else. Human, machine or some strange hybrid.

The story is probably only a few thousand words long and covers themes done before in Science Fiction. Mostly notably ‘Man Plus’ (1976) by Frederick Pohl.

Still, an interesting listen for its hour duration.

 

Left Hand Dark

The Left Hand of Darkness
Ursula Le Guin (1969)

This was a paperback I owned for a long time. It won Hugo and Nebula Awards and was generally applauded. I tried reading it twice, both times gave up after frustration and boredom. So when it appeared as a radio drama production, I tried again.

The story follows Genly Ai, a native of Terra, who is sent to the planet of Gethen as an envoy of the Ekumen, a loose confederation of planets. Ai’s mission is to persuade the nations of Gethen to join the Ekumen, but he is stymied by his lack of understanding of Gethenian culture.

Individuals on Gethen are ambisexual, with no fixed sex. This fact has a strong influence on the culture of the planet, and creates a barrier of understanding for Ai.

Third time.. nope.

It’s still an unrelenting bore. Nothing really happens, and despite the interesting sexual idea, it never resolves into anything interesting.

 

Queens Rule (Rings#13)

A Rule of Queens
(The Sorcerer’s Ring #13)
by Morgan Rice (2014)

Gwendolyn leads the remains of her nation in exile, as they sail into the hostile harbors of the Empire. Taken in by Sandara’s people, they try to recover in hiding, to build a new home in the shadows of Volusia.

Thor, determined to rescue Guwayne, continues with his Legion brothers on his quest far across the sea, to the massive caves that herald the Land of the Spirits, encountering unthinkable monsters and exotic landscapes.

In the Southern Isles, Alistair sacrifices herself for Erec and yet an unexpected twist might just save them both.

 

 

 

 

AngloZan War

The Anglo-Zanzibar War was a military conflict fought between the United Kingdom and the Zanzibar Sultanate on 27 August 1896. The conflict lasted between 38 and 45 minutes, marking it as the shortest recorded war in history.

The immediate cause of the war was the death of the pro-British Sultan Hamad bin Thuwaini on 25 August 1896 and the subsequent succession of Sultan Khalid bin Barghash. The British authorities preferred Hamud bin Muhammed, who was more favorable to British interests, as sultan. In accordance with a treaty signed in 1886, a condition for accession to the sultanate was that the candidate obtain the permission of the British consul, and Khalid had not fulfilled this requirement.

The British considered this a casus belli and sent an ultimatum to Khalid demanding that he order his forces to stand down and leave the palace. In response, Khalid called up his palace guard and barricaded himself inside the palace.

2040

Award-winning director Damon Gameau embarks on journey to explore what the future would look like by the year 2040 if we simply embraced the best solutions already available to us to improve our planet and shifted them into the mainstream.

Structured as a visual letter to his 4-year-old daughter, Damon blends traditional documentary footage with dramatized sequences and high-end visual effects to create a vision board for his daughter and the planet.

Stuff Review

Guardian Review

 

Fibonacci

This artist has an interesting mix of Ambient and Vaporwave styles.

 

Synthaid

SYNTHAID 2018

This is a collective of musicians in that border between Synthwave, Funk, Jazz Fusion, electronic and just weird stuff. All very up-beat and energetic.

There are four compilations available in Bandcamp..

 

Fire Land (Rings#12)

A Land of Fire
(The Sorcerer’s Ring #12)
by Morgan Rice (2014)

Gwendolyn and her people find themselves surrounded on the Upper Isles, besieged by Romulus dragons and his million man army. All seems lost when salvation comes from an unlikely source.

Gwendolyn is determined to find her baby, lost at sea, and to lead her nation-in-exile to a new home. She travels across foreign and exotic seas, encountering unthinkable dangers, rebellion and starvation, as they sail for dream of a safe harbor.


Things slow down in this episode. New characters are introduced, more principal characters due and the narrative arc of the previous books seems to be broken.

What happens next seems to be up in the air…