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14 November 2010

Book Review: The Road

I’ve been on a bit of a post-apocalyptic kick this year. It all started when I got Fallout 3 last Christmas, and once I finished that game I moved on to reading some of the classics of the genre like On the Beach and I am Legend and The Stand. There’s something oddly fascinating about seeing characters face the end of the world, and to me it’s even more interesting …

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24 July 2010

HP dv6t Select Edition Notebook Review: First Impressions

Please excuse me while I geek out about my new laptop… My work now involves some really significant number crunching, to the point that I was regularly using all the CPU and RAM of my previous laptop, and was then struggling to get anything else done while the calculations were running. And then they would crash. It also helps that I will soon need to renew the license on one …

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11 July 2010

Review: On the Beach

Last week I reviewed the post-apocalyptic horror novel I am Legend. As it so happens, I am Legend was a rather short book, and I finished it only partway through a rather long weekend of traveling to and from a wedding in Wyoming. I was already in a post-apocalyptic mood, so I bought a copy of the classic post-apocalypse novel On the Beach by Nevil Shute for my Kindle. On …

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5 July 2010

Review: I am Legend

No, not the Will Smith movie. The classic 1954 post-apocalyptic vampire/zombie novel that inspired the movie. I am Legend, by William Matheson, is a quick read and well worth it. It is intensely atmospheric, conjuring a very dark future in which the world’s population has succumbed to a disease that turns them into vampire-like monsters. The sole survivor is the main character, Robert Neville. Neville spends his days hunting down …

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8 April 2010

Review: Bioshock

When Bioshock came out, I heard rave reviews about its revolutionary gameplay, deep storyline, tough moral choices, arresting visuals and general awesomeness. So of course, when I decided to give in to my old gaming addiction and get an XBox 360, it was near the top of the list of games I wanted. Well, I just finished playing and sadly, I was pretty underwhelmed. The premise of the game is …

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10 March 2010

Review: Fallout 3

Other than Spore, which I played briefly (but intensely!) last year, and occasional multiplayer games when I visited with friends, Fallout 3 is the first serious single player game that I have played in a very long time. I used to be extremely addicted to video games, and for most of undergrad and grad school I had steered clear of them because I felt like I couldn’t afford the time. …

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24 January 2010

Book Review: Revelation Space

I just finished reading Revelation Space, a hard sci-fi space opera written by Alastair Reynolds. The premise of the story is that in the distant future, when humans have spread into deep space, they discover the remains of the Amarantin civilization that was wiped out just as it discovered spaceflight. The main character, Dan Sylveste is a scientist studying that civilization, driven by an unstoppable compulsion to solve the mystery …

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21 December 2009

Avatar Review

Avatar was spectacular. I always worry when a movie gets as much hype as Avatar did that in the end it will not live up to expectations, but Avatar delivers. It is probably the most beautiful movie I’ve ever seen and one of the best sci-fi movies in recent memory. And even better, it is not a sequel or a remake or based on a comic book or novel. It …

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18 November 2009

Review: Earthlight

What happens when humans expand to the planets, but then the planets try to assert their independence? It’s a common science fiction storyline, and the central focus of Earthlight. Earthlight is one of Arthur C Clarke’s earlier novels, originating as a short story in 1941 and published as a novel in 1955. It is set at an astronomical observatory on the moon. There is war brewing between Earth and the …

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29 September 2009

Dueling Mars Movies

Last week and this week, Dwayne day posted two very nice reviews of the dueling Mars movies of 2000, a.k.a. Mission to Mars and Red Planet. Now, I know, neither was the greatest movie, but Dwayne’s reviews do a nice job of discussing what was done well in addition to what was done…less well. Take a look, and feel free to discuss these cinematic masterpieces in the comments! And in …

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