Sharknado!

DVD cover image for Shardnado

2013 was a watershed moment for disaster films. While many folks were updating their anti-Zombie kits some of us were shopping for chain saws in case the absolute worst-case came to be – a Sharknado. This terrifying premise is exactly what it sounds like – a huge Oz-level tornado sucks up sharks (and only sharks) from the sea and throws them at large municipalities and at a few people specifically. The movies aren’t comedies per se, but play it straight with tongue firmly planted in cheek.

In the opening installment, the main character, Fin, appropriately, is on a mission to save his estranged wife and daughter during the height of this cloudburst of cartilaginous killers using the best tool at hand – a chain saw. By the end, Fin has saved his family and sawed a swath through Los Angeles’ aquatic infestation.

But wait! There’s more! Five more monsoons of man-eaters!

DVD cover image of Shardnado 2

Sharknado 2: The Second One takes us to New York where Fin’s now-safe wife April (Tara Reed) is promoting her new book about surviving a deluge of toothy torpedoes. Little do our heroes know that weather systems WILL follow you across the country when thwarted to taunt you a second time.

 

 

DVD cover image of Sharknado 3

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#BookBingoNW2018: First in a Series

2018 Summer Book Bingo is upon us, so let the booklists begin! This list will focus on that pesky category First In A Series. There are many, many beloved series out there, many of them in genre fiction. Hopefully there will be a little something for every reader here.

The Patrick Melrose novels by Edward St. Aubyn are a delightfully savage take on modern British aristocracy. Never Mind starts the series and is included in the omnibus edition of all 5 novels (Showtime is releasing a miniseries based on the novels starring Benedict Cumberbatch). For a lighter, shopaholic take on modern aristocracies, try Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan (also soon to be in film), a voyeuristic look into the lives of China’s uber rich from the perspective of Rachel Chu, the American Born Chinese protagonist and girlfriend to the heir of one of China’s richest families, the Youngs. If snarking about the fabulously rich isn’t your jam, Rachael Cusk stretches the novel to new shapes with Outline, Transit, and Kudos (forthcoming). The novels merge oral history with fiction as a recently divorced woman encounters and listens to the stories of strangers and friends while her apartment is being renovated. Finally, if you haven’t read Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels, starting with My Brilliant Friend, maybe this is the summer to check that off your list. Continue reading “#BookBingoNW2018: First in a Series”

Series for Nonfiction readers

~posted by Frank

Think series are for fiction readers only? Think again. Check out the diverse offerings from these five nonfiction series.

Food52founded by Amanda Hesser, former food editor for The New York Times Magazine, brings together the best recipes from amateur cooks and voted on by top chefs.
 The Food52 Cookbook (James Beard Publication of the Year in 2012)
• The Food52 Cookbook, Volume 2
• Genius Recipes
• 
Baking
 Vegan 
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Science Fiction Checklist Challenge: Science Fantasy

~ posted by David H.

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” ~Arthur C. Clarke

Though many fans will vehemently deny it, the truth is that science fiction’s most closely related sister genre is fantasy. Both tell fantastic stories set on different worlds with unusual societies and often featuring non-human characters. But while science fiction strives to base its explanations in scientific knowledge, fantasy often feels free to explain no further than the words “it’s magic”. For this column, we’ll be taking a look at novels that blur the lines between them. Continue reading “Science Fiction Checklist Challenge: Science Fantasy”

Science Fiction Fridays: Something in the Sky. Something BIG!

By Richard C.

Remember that huge cylinder hovering over Earth, desperately sucking up the ocean in search of long lost whales in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home?

Well the “gigantic and probably dangerous object in the sky” theme makes great science fiction. No “take me to your leader” message here, folks, instead an unfathomable confrontation with an artifact that dwarfs your imagination. The best part is the mystery, knowing nothing about origins or destinations. But headlong into the dark unknown you go, reading below with these three works of something in the sky

Bowl of HeavenBOWL OF HEAVEN
By Larry Niven and Gregory Benford

Mysterious radio waves draw humanity’s first deep space mission, but mid-journey and thousands of light years from Earth crew members wake up to a surprise – through the view screen is a gigantic structure cupping an entire star. It’s as big as a million Earths, but does anybody live on this strange bowl-like structure? Or more importantly, will they like visitors? This is a fast moving, first installment of a series that’s sure to entertain. The sequel, Shipstar, just came out in 2014. Continue reading “Science Fiction Fridays: Something in the Sky. Something BIG!”