Lovegrove steps up his game in third ‘Firefly’ novel, ‘The Ghost Machine’ (Book review)

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fter leaning into the Western side of sci-fi/Western in his first two “Firefly” novels, James Lovegrove uses sci-fi to good effect in “The Ghost Machine” (March). His first effort, “Big Damn Hero,” includes cargo that could blow up if handled improperly, but “Ghost Machine” features a more thematically interesting crate: the titular Blue Sun sonic weapon that makes people passive. The way it does so is by sending them into dreamland; first, their dreams are pleasant, but then they turn dark.

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Frightening Friday: ‘Bone Tomahawk’ (2016) is a gritty, brutal and great horror Western (Movie review)

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one Tomahawk” (2016) is a rare horror-Western and also a standout example of the genre. Writer-director S. Craig Zahler mashes up John Wayne and Eli Roth, and it shouldn’t work, but it comes together beautifully because of his smart structure. It also doesn’t hurt that he employs four elite actors who are intensely watchable even when they’re simply crunching across the bleak rocky landscape.

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Throwback Thursday: Yeah, baby! ‘Austin Powers’ trilogy (1997-2002) mostly connects in making fun of Bond tropes (Movie reviews)

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ow that I have a grounding in James Bond tropes, I watched the “Austin Powers” trilogy (1997-2002), a tour de force of performances by Mike Myers with jokes that connect about half the time. At first blush, the timing for these films is 10 to 20 years too late, since they make fun of the classic “Bond” clichés at a time when people were loving the hip updates of the Pierce Brosnan films. But at least the first entry, “Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery” (1997), achieves timelessness.

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An outsider’s take on the James Bond saga: ‘Quantum of Solace’ (2008) (Movie review)

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ith “No Time to Die” coming out in November, I’m looking back at the eight modern-era James Bond films from the perspective of a newcomer, from July 11-26. Next up is the 22nd Eon-produced film and second starring Daniel Craig, “Quantum of Solace” (2008):

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PKD flashback: ‘Now Wait for Last Year’ (1966) (Book review)

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ow Wait for Last Year” (written in 1963, published in 1966) is narratively about an intragalactic war between three races and drug-induced time-travel. Yet it’s clear that the issue most on Philip K. Dick’s mind was his relationship with his wife (and perhaps past relationships with past wives and girlfriends).

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First episode impressions: ‘The Alienist: Angel of Darkness’ (TV review)

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ith all the depressing news in the world lately, it’d be nice to get a happy new TV show to watch. So on Sunday, TNT launched the new season of – cue record scratch – “The Alienist.” While this is perhaps not the type of series we need right now, there’s no denying that in its second season — subtitled “Angel of Darkness” and running in two-hour blocks over four Sundays — it remains one of the best-looking shows on TV.

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‘Firefly’ flashback: ‘Bad Company,’ ‘Boss Moon’ and ‘The Outlaw Ma Reynolds’ (2019-20) (Comic book reviews)

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s comic companies are wont to do, Boom! Studios has accompanied its regular “Firefly” series with a handful of one-shots throughout the early part of the run, focusing on specific characters and their backstories. Here’s a look at three such books, from 2019-20:

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