Explorer of the Fantastical

I Love It. I hate It. Red Rising

– Posted in: Science Fiction Book Reviews
I have a love, hate relationship with this book. On one level it's excellent, but on another, it needs a shot of feminist sensibility.

Just the other day, I was telling my daughter that I don’t like trilogies, but they seem to find me. A debut novel and the first book in a trilogy, Red Rising by Pierce Brown is a science fiction dystopian novel set on terraformed Mars. Dystopian novels abound and some people are getting tired of [...]

Looking for a Star-studded, Zany, Steampunk, Fairy Tale?

– Posted in: Film Reviews
Looking for a fun, zany, Steampunk, Fairy Tale movie? Here's a good choice.

It's hard to imagine that there's someone out there who hasn't seen Stardust, but if there is, then I have one thing to say, "Go rent it." For me, summer is about having fun, enjoying life, hanging out with family and friends, and watching fun movies. This is one of my favorite lighthearted films. It's [...]

Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec

– Posted in: Film Reviews
Love Steampunk? Don't miss this review of "The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec"

Set in 1911,The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec is a French Steampunk film based on Jacques Tardi's comic book series. If you dislike subtitles, you can watch an English dubbed version, which I didn’t watch because I heard it was badly dubbed and takes away from the movie. If there’s one thing I like about [...]

Know What Happens During the “Fool” Moon?

– Posted in: Fantasy Book Reviews
Harry Dresden is at it again. Find out the good, the bad, and the ugly. Book review of the second book in the Dresden Files series.

With a title like Fool Moon, it’s not hard to guess what the book is about. The second book of the Dresden Files fell flat for me. There was plenty of action, lots of fighting, and some plot twists, which I figured out too quickly because the clues weren’t subtle. To be fair, I’m not [...]

Wizard Detective? In Chicago?

– Posted in: Fantasy Book Reviews
Looking for a fun, quick read book? Like urban fantasy? Wizards? Crime? I might have the perfect book for you.

Storm Front by Jim Butcher is a good candidate. I read Storm Front, the first book in The Dresden Files series, a few years back, found it engaging, and moved on to other books. I liked it, but I wasn't dying to read the next one. In the interim, about a dozen people have told [...]

Fathers of Steampunk

– Posted in: Science Fiction
Here's a different Father's Day blog post: The Founding Father's of Steampunk

Cards? Gifts? Outings? Giving appreciation to the men who made our lives possible is definitely the theme of the day. When I was a kid, I’d make my dad a card and buy him a yellow shirt. He had blue eyes and somewhere, somehow, I decided that yellow matched his eyes. Weird? Yeah, but I [...]

Frank and The Robot: Humor, Fun, and Heart

– Posted in: Film Reviews
Robot and Frank

Last November my daughter came to visit, and one evening, we decided to watch a movie. My daughter had seen a poster for Frank and the Robot, so not really knowing much about it, we chose it on Netflix. It's one of those Indy films that doesn't have the Hollywood glitz, but does have top [...]

How to Break Out of a Creative Rut!

– Posted in: General Writing Guidelines
Writers: have you ever fallen into a creative rut and floundered? Here's help so that you can tap into your creativity and get back on track.

In fiction and non-fiction writing, creativity plays a major role in writing prose people want to read. I've had times when my writing rolls along almost writing itself; then boom, my creativity plunges over the cliff, and I scream "Noooo . . ." as I fall into an abyss. Poof the magic is dead. Or, [...]