All posts by ntbadmin

Lost in Space 02

Lost in Space 1.02 – Diamonds in the Sky

Introduction of Dr Smith, now a female character. She lands on the same planet .

The robot melts ice to save Judy. This cements his relationship with the family although they are still suspicious. Eventually the family are re-united and Dr Smith joins them.


Molly Parker as Maureen Robinson

Lost in Space 01


Lost in Space is an American science fiction television series based on a re-imagining of the 1965 series of the same name (itself a re-imagining of the 1812 novel The Swiss Family Robinson), following the adventures of a family of pioneering space colonists whose ship veers off-course.

It is written by Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless and consists of ten episodes produced by Legendary Television, Synthesis Entertainment, Clickety-Clack Productions, and Applebox Entertainment.

The story start by dumping the viewer into a card game played by unknown characters in a spaceship, place unknown. Predictably the ship launches and arrives on an unknown planet.

The best thing about the story is that it follows science fiction themes. It’s one problem after another, solved with science and technology.

Youngest family member Will Robinson finds his robot, an ingenious machine capable of transforming from an intimidating war machine to a human-like assistant, Unfortunately, while Will and the robot save they day, the method used implies that the machine has unlimited power and a capability for deus ex machina intentions.

A promising start, lets see where it leads…..


Night Master

Night’s Master
(Tales from the Flat Earth #1)
by Tanith Lee (1978)

Read as the May pick for Sword & Laser Podcast.

Written in the manner of The One Thousand and One Nights, this is a series of loosely linked short stories.

The setting is long time ago when the Earth was Flat, beautiful indifferent Gods lived in the airy Upperearth realm above, curious passionate demons lived in the exotic Underearth realm below, and mortals were relegated to exist in the middle.

Azhrarn, Lord of the Demons and the Darkness, was the one who rules the Night. Many mortal lives were changed because of his cruel whimsy. And yet, held inside his demon heart a profound mystery which would change the very fabric of the Flat Earth forever…


The first impression is an absolute mastery of english prose. It’s rich and evocative. The only author close to this style would be Mervyn Peake in his Gormanghast trilogy.

It indulges and tempts the reader  to slow down and savor each word and sentence. Withing a paragraph there is more than most authors would write in a chapter and hence the pacing moves like lightening.

This prose style suits the mythological style of the stories. It could easily come from scripture.

This is the first Tanith Lee book I have read, and it is not clear  if she uses this style consistently through her 90 novels and 300+ short stories. I can’t wait to find out.



Dark Side

King’s Bounty: Dark Side (2014)

This is the final of the King’s Bounty Series. And the longest, l spent about 100 hours the first time and 90 hours replaying the game.

This time my stats were:

Score: 1058
Battles: 437
Difficulty: Normal
Leadership: 39,392
Level: 75

Overlord List

The Top 100 Things I’d Do
If I Ever Became An Evil Overlord

From the list, my top picks:

I will not wear black. Uniforms and attire will be bright and cheery colors.

I will be neither chivalrous nor sporting. If I have an unstoppable super-weapon, I will use it as early and as often as possible instead of keeping it in reserve.

My ventilation ducts will be too small to crawl through.

Once my power is secure, I will destroy all those pesky time-travel devices.

Shooting is not too good for my enemies.

The artifact which is the source of my power will not be kept on the Mountain of Despair beyond the River of Fire guarded by the Dragons of Eternity. It will be in my safe-deposit box. The same applies to the object which is my one weakness.

When I’ve captured my adversary and he says, “Look, before you kill me, will you at least tell me what this is all about?” I’ll say, “No.” and shoot him.

I will not include a self-destruct mechanism unless absolutely necessary.

I will be secure in my superiority. Therefore, I will feel no need to prove it by leaving clues in the form of riddles or leaving my weaker enemies alive to show they pose no threat.

All slain enemies will be cremated, not left for dead at the bottom of the cliff.

The hero is not entitled to a last kiss, a last cigarette, or any other  request.

Despite its proven stress-relieving effect, I will not indulge in maniacal laughter.

I will keep a special cache of low-tech weapons and train my troops in their use.

No matter how well it would perform, I will never construct any sort of machinery which is completely indestructible except for one small and virtually inaccessible vulnerable spot.

No matter how attractive certain members of the rebellion are, there is probably someone just as attractive who is not desperate to kill me.

I will never build only one of anything important.

My pet monster will be kept in a secure cage from which it cannot escape and into which I could not accidentally stumble.

All bumbling conjurers, clumsy squires, no-talent bards, and cowardly thieves in the land will be preemptively put to death.

I will not fly into a rage and kill a messenger who brings me bad news just to illustrate how evil I really am. Good messengers are hard to come by.

I will not imprison members of the same party in the same cell block, let alone the same cell. If they are important prisoners, I will keep the only key to the cell door on my person instead of handing out
copies to every bottom-rung guard in the prison.

If my trusted lieutenant tells me my Legions of Terror are losing a battle, I will believe him. After all, he’s my trusted lieutenant.

If an enemy I have just killed has a younger sibling or offspring anywhere, I will find them and have them killed immediately, instead of waiting for them to grow up harboring feelings of vengeance towards me in my old age.

If I absolutely must ride into battle, I will certainly not ride at the forefront of my Legions of Terror, nor will I seek out my opposite number among his army.

When I capture the hero, I will make sure I also get his dog, monkey, ferret, or whatever sickeningly cute little animal capable of untying ropes and filching keys happens to follow him around.

Finally, to keep my subjects permanently locked in a mindless trance, I will provide each of them with free unlimited Internet access.


Avenger’s War

Avengers – Infinity War

Avengers: Infinity War is a superhero film based on the Marvel Comics superhero team. It is the sequel to 2012’s The Avengers and 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, and the nineteenth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Starring: Everyone (in the Marvel Universe)

One big $300m+ mess of a film.

Firstly, because absolutely every superhero is in this film, it takes its time. After each action set piece, we skip to another set of characters and Dr/Capt Explain-o  turns up to tell us what is happening and who to blame. It’s not until the final act that things come together to a cohesive narrative that moves along unimpeded by info-dumps.

The plot: Big bad Thanos wants to obtain all six infinity stones (created as the start of the universe) so he can destroy half of all life. This is because there just isn’t enough resources for everyone. So removing half will allow the other half to survive. But wait, I just read this justification in Drastic Measures where a contagion is ravaging the food supplies of the remote Federation colony Tarsus IV. The main villain Kodos has the same justification as Thanos (could they be related).

Problem Two: It is quickly established that hitting Thanos (even very hard) will not destroy or stop him. So why do the superheroes persist in this method. They must be really dumb. The only one possibly with a plan is Dr Strange who could be trying to trap Thanos in an alternative time-line.

Problem Three: Everyone gloats. Traditionally, the villain gets to yammer on about himself before being thumped by the hero. But here, the Heroes perform soliloquies before combat. There is only one unexpected attack I can recall.

And who knew that this was part two of a series. Are the writers trying to out-do the original Star Wars trilogy ?


Locus Award


Locus Magazine has announced the finalists for the 2018 Locus Awards! The winners will be announced during the Locus Awards Weekend in Seattle, WA, June 22-24, 2018; Connie Willis will MC the awards ceremony.


  • Persepolis Rising, James S.A. Corey (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
  • Walkaway, Cory Doctorow (Tor; Head of Zeus)
  • The Stars Are Legion, Kameron Hurley (Saga; Angry Robot UK)
  • Provenance, Ann Leckie (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
  • Raven Stratagem, Yoon Ha Lee (Solaris US; Solaris UK)
  • Luna: Wolf Moon, Ian McDonald (Tor; Gollancz)
  • Seven Surrenders, Ada Palmer (Tor; Head of Zeus)
  • New York 2140, Kim Stanley Robinson (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
  • The Collapsing Empire, John Scalzi (Tor US; Tor UK)
  • Borne, Jeff VanderMeer (MCD; HarperCollins Canada; Fourth Estate)


  • The Stone in the Skull, Elizabeth Bear (Tor)
  • City of Miracles, Robert Jackson Bennett (Broadway; Jo Fletcher)
  • Ka: Dar Oakley in the Ruin of Ymr, John Crowley (Saga)
  • The House of Binding Thorns, Aliette de Bodard (Ace; Gollancz)
  • The Ruin of Angels, Max Gladstone ( Publishing)
  • Spoonbenders, Daryl Gregory (Knopf; riverrun)
  • The Stone Sky, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
  • Jade City, Fonda Lee (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
  • The Delirium Brief, Charles Stross ( Publishing; Orbit UK)
  • Horizon, Fran Wilde (Tor)


  • The Bear and the Nightingale, Katherine Arden (Del Rey)
  • The City of Brass, S.A. Chakraborty (Harper Voyager US)
  • Amberlough, Lara Elena Donnelly (Tor)
  • Winter Tide, Ruthanna Emrys ( Publishing)
  • The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter, Theodora Goss (Saga)
  • The Art of Starving, Sam J. Miller (HarperTeen)
  • Autonomous, Annalee Newitz (Tor; Orbit UK 2018)
  • Lincoln in the Bardo, George Saunders (Random House; Bloomsbury)
  • An Unkindness of Ghosts, Rivers Solomon (Akashic)
  • Amatka, Karin Tidbeck (Vintage)


  • In Calabria, Peter S. Beagle (Tachyon)
  • River of Teeth, Sarah Gailey ( Publishing)
  • Agents of Dreamland, Caitlín R. Kiernan ( Publishing)
  • Passing Strange, Ellen Klages ( Publishing)
  • Down Among the Sticks and Bones, Seanan McGuire ( Publishing)
  • Binti: Home, Nnedi Okorafor ( Publishing)
  • “And Then There Were (N-One),” Sarah Pinsker (Uncanny 3-4/17)
  • All Systems Red, Martha Wells, ( Publishing)
  • The Black Tides of Heaven, JY Yang ( Publishing)
  • The Red Threads of Fortune, JY Yang ( Publishing)


  • “Children of Thorns, Children of Water,” Aliette de Bodard (Uncanny 7-8/17)
  • “The Hermit of Houston,” Samuel R. Delany (F&SF 9-10/17)
  • “Come See the Living Dryad,” Theodora Goss ( 3/9/17)
  • “The Worshipful Society of Glovers,” Mary Robinette Kowal (Uncanny 7-8/17)
  • “Extracurricular Activities,” Yoon Ha Lee ( 2/15/17)
  • “The Hidden Girl,” Ken Liu (The Book of Swords)
  • “The Mathematical Inevitability of Corvids,” Seanan McGuire (Black Feathers)
  • “Wind Will Rove,” Sarah Pinsker (Asimov’s 9-10/17)
  • “The Lamentation of Their Women,” Kai Ashante Wilson ( 8/24/17)
  • “Waiting on a Bright Moon,” JY Yang ( 7/12/17)


  • “Don’t Press Charges and I Won’t Sue,” Charlie Jane Anders (Global Dystopias)
  • “Zen and the Art of Starship Maintenance,” Tobias S. Buckell (Cosmic Powers)
  • “Persephone of the Crows,” Karen Joy Fowler (Asimov’s 5-6/17)
  • “Fire.”, Elizabeth Hand (Fire.)
  • “Dear Sarah,” Nancy Kress (Infinity Wars)
  • “The Martian Obelisk,” Linda Nagata ( 7/19/17)
  • “Fandom for Robots,” Vina Jie-Min Prasad (Uncanny 9-10/17)
  • “Welcome to Your Authentic Indian ExperienceTM,” Rebecca Roanhorse (Apex 8/17)
  • “Starlight Express,” Michael Swanwick (F&SF 9-10/17)
  • “Carnival Nine,” Caroline M. Yoachim (Beneath Ceaseless Skies 5/11/17)

Arrested Dev 1.13

Arrested Development 1.13 – Beef Consomme

The family must appear at George Sr.’s arraignment hearing, but proceedings are jeopardized by Michael and Marta’s relationship guilt and Gob’s hunt for his unknown rival for Marta.

Gob[to Michael] Tell you what. You may not be good with women, but you are great with other people’s women. I’ll give you that.


Arrested Dev 1.12

Arrested Dev 1.12 – Marta Complex

On Valentine’s Day, Marta begins to fall for Michael, to his and Gob’s misunderstanding. George Michael investigates his cousin’s parentage for validation of his crush. Buster moves out of his mother’s apartment. Lindsay wants a divorce from Tobias.

Gob: Oh, I see. She wants to talk to you. For some reason women feel safe around you. Maybe it’s because you’ve only had sex four times.
Michael: Not four times, four women! And they talk to me because I talk to them!

Lucille 2: Buster, this is exactly why our relationship does not work.
Buster: Our relationship doesn’t work?
Lucille 2: No, not as long as you keep getting me all mixed up with your mother.
Buster: It is exactly the opposite. I’m leaving my mother for you. You’re replacing my mother.
Lucille 2: Well, that’s healthy.