Author Archive for Derelict Space Sheep

For We Are Many

For We Are Many by Dennis E. Taylor; read by Ray Porter (Brilliance Audio, 2017) Book 2 of Taylor’s Bobiverse series is very much an instalment, not a self-contained work. As the story progresses, we’re given greater character development and a less boundlessly optimistic narrative viewpoint, plus (at last!) a genuine antagonist/threat. Peculiarly engrossing open-ended SF speculation.    

Ghost in the Shell

Ghost in the Shell dir. Rupert Sanders (2017) A cyberpunk dystopia extrapolated from current scientific trends and mapped onto Japanese society. The usual question is asked—what is human?—but the film offers no real advancement from Blade Runner, preferring instead to focus on action and effects. Watchable but derivative.    

Endeavour, Series 4

Endeavour, Series 4 by Russell Lewis (ITV, 2017) Appreciation of classical music aside, the young Morse drifts further away from both his older and younger selves. The resulting characterisation is less quirky and the mysteries more susceptible to policework. WPC Trewlove (Dakota Blue Richards) starts to make her presence felt.    

How to Make a Wish

How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017) While not shying away from the hardships of her protagonist’s life—the cycle of neglect, growing up too soon, a barely functioning mother—Blake subtly shifts the emphasis to the difficulty of embracing good possibilities within that bad situation. Heartfelt and absorbing.    

Anchored

Anchored by Bridget E. Baker (Purple Puppy, 2021) An engaging blend of YA fantasy, intrigue and romance, the invented-world magic sitting nicely alongside its urban counterpart. Alora is a winning character—her sister-brother relationship with Jesse is a highlight—and the story unfolds nicely, though it trails off into open-endedness.    

Lucy

Lucy dir. Luc Besson (2014) Marketed as action SF, Lucy hardly even qualifies as a film. Director Luc Besson oversees a mood collage of philosophy and cod-scientific speculation spliced to a b-grade gangster plot. If not for Scarlett Johansson, this would barely have warranted a direct-to-video release.