PKD flashback: ‘We Can Build You’ (1972) (Book review)


hilip K. Dick melds three ideas into one book in “We Can Build You” (written in 1962, published in 1972), but it flows better than overstuffed efforts such as “Dr. Futurity” and “The Game-Players of Titan.” While this is certainly a sci-fi novel, a lot of the sci-fi is silly and/or unnecessary, as if PKD is satisfying an editorial directive to add futuristic elements. An exception is the existence of simulacra of Edward M. Stanton and Abraham Lincoln, who aren’t treated as jokes.

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‘X-Files’ flashback: ‘Origins: Devil’s Advocate’ (2017) (Book review)


onathan Maberry delivers an amazing Dana Scully story in “X-Files Origins: Devil’s Advocate” (2017) that not only shows what our favorite red-headed agent is like at age 15, but it’s also the best character piece about Scully, period. The author – who was previously the editor of the three short-story anthology books – builds from the conceit in episodes such as Season 1’s “Beyond the Sea” and Season 5’s “Emily” that Scully believes in God despite being the skeptic in the “believer-skeptic” dynamic with Mulder.

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Frightening Friday: ‘Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives’ (1986) goes full Frankenstein’s monster, adds a smidgen of meta humor (Movie review)


riday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives” (1986) wraps up the “Tommy Trilogy” in blandly competent fashion. This entry, written by directed by saga newcomer Tom McLoughlan, doesn’t descend into utter absurdity like some of its predecessors. In fact, it checks some boxes of things the “F13” saga should have done before this: One, the sheriff (David Kagen as Garris) and his deputies actually pursue Jason in the wake of his killings. Two, there are actually kids at the camp.

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First episode impressions: ‘Stargirl’ (TV review)


targirl” (Mondays on DC Universe; Tuesdays on CW) – one of 14 current TV series executive-produced by Greg Berlanti – falls into the category of what my buddy Michael calls “product”: something that exists for commercial rather than artistic reasons. That doesn’t mean it can’t be good, but this latest addition to the DC TV universe is as stiff as the Cosmic Staff wielded by its title character, teen Courtney Whitmore (Brec Bassinger, “47 Meters Down: Uncaged”).

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