Scott Brick, the narrator chosen for Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park novel, is no Sam Neil or Jeff Goldblum, but he has a gift for voicing subtle accents and making the Spielbergian dinosaur adventure story most of us are familiar with appropriately ominous, reminiscent of the way Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein was also a cautionary tale to the hubris of those students of morally ambiguous science.
As a kid who was already spending hours in the dirt trying to find the correct rocks to shape Native American style arrowheads, the Jurassic Park movie was just another reason to keep digging in the dirt and search for dinosaur bones. However, the new Jurassic World trailer hardly fills me with nostalgia and excitement (motorcycles and velociraptors, seriously?). But listening to Crichton’s original story really does bring back that feeling of wonder for those enormous prehistoric beasts.
|Recommended by J. Harbinger||Wednesday, June 10th, 2015||No Comments »|
Jenny Schwartz’s steampunk novella The Icarus Plot blends the world of thriller novels and Victorian London for an enchanting tale of kidnapping, mayhem, and monsters. The main protagonist is a woman named Ivana March who learns via word of mouth in her toy shop that there’s some sort of monstrous kidnapper who is stealing children for a nefarious purpose. Determined to put an end to the kidnappings, Ivana teams up with Andre, the new Earl of Somer, in the hopes of tracking down the “Metal Man” that’s behind the dastardly crimes.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Monday, January 12th, 2015||No Comments »|
Long before STARZ decided to adapt Outlander as a television series, Diana Gabaldon’s novels were hailed as the perfect blend of romance, historical fiction, and science fiction.
The Outlander series follows a 1945 World War II nurse who gets swept back in time to eighteenth-century Scotland and falls in love with a dashing young Scottish Highlander. However, Gabaldon’s series isn’t just a bodice-ripper, it’s actually quite inspiring due to the strong female lead. Claire Randall is a forward-thinking woman who revels in her sexuality, doesn’t allow societal mores to make her act like a damsel in distress, and has agency. She’s also a skilled physician and often fights for her right to help heal the sick despite her husband Jamie worrying that she’ll get sick.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Wednesday, August 20th, 2014||1 Comment »|
Pete Kahle’s delightfully gruesome horror novel The Specimen is a surprisingly strong debut that will suck you in with its wild, imaginative twists and turns.
In the novel a shadowy presence called “The Riders” haunts the world. From the bloody temple dedicated to an Aztec God of Death and the Underworld to the conquest of England by a crippled Viking warrior, the Riders have been ever-present throughout history. Their presence is unleashed after an urban explorer finds a unique specimen jar hidden away in an abandoned asylum located deep within the mountains of northern Massachusetts. This jar contains something organic, definitely unnatural, and quite possibly alive. Now the explorer and a poor unsuspecting group of individuals have inadvertently stumbled onto one of history’s most horrific secrets and are caught in the latest battle of a millennia-old war.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Thursday, June 12th, 2014||No Comments »|
Tim Powers’ classic sci-fi novel The Anubis Gates is a thrilling adventure story with a fascinating cast of characters. The story revolves around a scholar named Brendan Doyle who is on the hunt to look deeper into the life of poet William Ashbless. When he finds himself a new job, the gig turns out to be like nothing Doyle has ever heard before—he gets paid to travel through time with a group of passengers to see a lecture by Samuel Taylor Coolridge. During his bizarre journey, he meets members of the Knights Templar, ancient Gods, ancient Egyptian sorcerers, werewolves, and other preternatural beings.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Monday, June 2nd, 2014||No Comments »|
Everybody wishes that they could turn back time, but what if you were forced to relive your life again and again? In Claire North’s The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, she lets her readers ponder the nature of reincarnation, death, and even life itself.
Harry August is what is called a kalachakra, a fate that only 1 in 500,000 births are condemned to. Every time a kalachakra dies they are forced to live their lives over and over again as well as remember every little detail. The downside to his condition is that nothing ever truly changes, and each time he comes back he remembers more and more of the cycle of his lives.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Wednesday, May 7th, 2014||No Comments »|
In Autumn Kalquist’s chilling novel The Legacy Code, humans have vacated Earth for over 300 years and the survivors are struggling to help their women give birth. Amongst the fleet, almost every colonist carries badly mangled genes that damage the unborn children; half of all the pregnancies wind up becoming miscarriages or being terminated.
When heroine Era Corinth is scheduled to undergo a test to see if her future child has the Defect, the ship she’s on mysteriously suffers a hull breach. Convinced that the incident was planned, Corinth decides to investigate and winds up going on a journey that reveals startling truths about not only the fleet, but also the real reason for the Defect and the search for a new Earth.
Unlike the usual popular dystopian novels that take place on Earth, Kalquist makes her readers ponder the real-life consequences of what will happen if humans continue to push civilization to the point of no return. The end result is a novel that’s extremely difficult to put down, especially since it forces readers to think about the more ethical implications of genetic tampering and human preservation. The Legacy Code is a spine-tingling glimpse of humanity’s dismal future if we insist on disrespecting Mother Earth and wantonly destroying our planet in the process.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Thursday, April 10th, 2014||No Comments »|