‘Roswell’ flashback: ‘No Good Deed’ (2001) (Book review)

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tarting when Max heals Liz in the pilot episode, “Roswell” is a show about actions and consequences. The first tie-in novel,” “Loose Ends,” has fun with the question of “What if Liz ran into the guy who accidentally shot her?” But the second novel, Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s “No Good Deed” (September 2001), is a more direct and robust sequel to a TV episode, in this case “A Roswell Christmas Carol” (2.10).

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PKD flashback: ‘VALIS’ (1981) (Book review)

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hilip K. Dick reworks the themes from “Radio Free Albemuth” (written in 1976, published in 1985) in “VALIS” (1978, 1981), after “RFA” was initially nixed by his publisher. The result is a rare example of a publisher preferring a less accessible, less mainstream novel when given two options. “VALIS” is the weaker book, in my opinion, but it’s still fascinating to follow PKD on an intellectual adventure that calls to mind TV shows like “Lost” and “Westworld.”

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‘Roswell’ flashback: ‘Loose Ends’ (2001) (Book review)

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fter Melinda Metz’s 10-book YA series “Roswell High” (1998-2000) handed the baton to the TV series “Roswell” in 1999, Jason Katims and his writing team took the teens in a different direction from the books. So when the book line returned in May 2001 with Greg Cox’s “Loose Ends,” it was of course a tie-in with the TV series. Written as Season 2 was airing, and hitting bookshelves during the season’s homestretch (which is also when it takes place), “Loose Ends” became the first of 11 novels that fill in gaps and ultimately take the story beyond the end of the TV series.

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PKD flashback: ‘Radio Free Albemuth’ (1985) (Book review)

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ooks about an individual being pestered by an authoritarian government are often difficult to read because of their hopeless nature, and a sense that it’s preaching to the choir (me, the reader). There’s also sometimes the problem wherein the author doesn’t make the government antagonistic enough, allowing paths for the hero to rebel that don’t exist in the real world. But Philip K. Dick’s “Radio Free Albemuth” (1985) avoids those traps because it has so many layers. And of course, it’s a PKD book, so it’s easy and fun to read, although in this case he tries out some uncharacteristic approaches.

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PKD flashback: All 18 stories from ‘The Collected Stories, Volume 4’ (1987), ranked (Book review)

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ecause the five volumes of “The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick” have been reprinted many times under many different names, I’m referring to them here by their volume number, which is what they are known by in their original 1987 publication by Underwood-Miller.

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Throwback Thursday: ‘First Blood’ book (1972) and movie (1982) explore the physical and psychological brutality of war in different ways (Reviews)

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ith “Rambo: Last Blood” – Sylvester Stallone’s supposedly last (haha) go-around with the famous Vietnam veteran — hitting theaters this week, I’m taking a look back at the stories that started it all: David Morrell’s 1972 novel “First Blood,” and the movie adaptation that came a decade later:

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PKD flashback: All 23 stories from ‘The Collected Stories, Volume 3’ (1987), ranked (Book review)

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ecause the five volumes of “The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick” have been reprinted many times under many different names, I’m referring to them here by their volume number, which is what they are known by in their original 1987 publication by Underwood-Miller.

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PKD flashback: All 27 stories from ‘The Collected Stories, Volume 2’ (1987), ranked (Book review)

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ecause the five volumes of “The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick” have been reprinted many times under many different names, I’m referring to them here by their volume number, which is what they are known by in their original 1987 publication by Underwood-Miller.

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PKD flashback: ‘A Scanner Darkly’ (1977) (Book review)

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y sharpest memory from my first read of “A Scanner Darkly” (1977) was the very Philip K. Dickian scenario of a police detective investigating himself, but not realizing he’s investigating himself. Broadly, it’s a delicious jab at the absurdities that can result when a government agency goes beyond investigating crimes and starts getting into long-term stings where it artificially creates the surrounding reality in order to nab an individual under the law. And indeed, if one wants to read “A Scanner Darkly” as a critique of the War on Drugs, it can play that way.

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PKD flashback: All 25 stories from ‘The Collected Stories, Volume 1’ (1987), ranked (Book review)

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ecause the five volumes of “The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick” have been reprinted many times under many different names, I’m referring to them here by their volume number, which is what they are known by in their original 1987 publication by Underwood-Miller.

Continue reading “PKD flashback: All 25 stories from ‘The Collected Stories, Volume 1’ (1987), ranked (Book review)”