Sunday, August 28, 2016

"Triplanetary" by E.E. "Doc" Smith [Review]

Triplanetary (Lensman, #1)Triplanetary by E.E. "Doc" Smith
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This review is for any modern reader who didn't grow up reading pulp fiction from the 1930s: this probably isn't the story for you. "Triplanetary" is a classic science fiction story, but it doesn't hold up well compared to modern fiction.

I was born in the seventies, so this story is about forty years ahead of my time to begin with, but I'm a big fan of pulp sci-fi. While a lot of it is cheesy and thin compared to works of today, I enjoy the over-the-top action, and lack of concern for scientific accuracy. If they wanted to have green bug-eyed Martians flying around space in hot air balloons, they did it, and didn't think twice about whether they'd be proven wrong. That's kind of refreshing with the hard sci-fi of today. But even compared to pulp fiction of the time, this story is pretty weak.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

"Operation: Masquerade" is Now "Infiltration"

I've been doing some work behind the scenes, including hiring out to design new covers for some of my books. Because I suck at cover design, period. I'm ready to unveil the biggest change, which is coming to what was formerly Operation: Masquerade. I always thought the title was a bit confusing, and never thought it was a good indicator of what the book is about. When I ordered the new cover, I also changed the title. Henceforth, the novel will be called...dun dun dun...Infiltration.

Here's the old cover:

And here's the new cover.

As always, you can order it at

"My name is Timothy McGill, and I'm a time travel addict..." Time Junkie, only 99-cents for a limited time!

Monday, July 25, 2016

The Most Feared Books of All Time [Infographic]

Works of art have always been met with harsh criticism. If a book is deemed controversial, it can be challenged, and if that challenge is successful, it can be banned. Books ranging from The Bible and “The Communist Manifesto” all the way to seemingly innocent stories like “Green Eggs and Ham” and the “Harry Potter” series have been met with challenges, or even been banned. put together a list of the most feared books of all time in the infographic below.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

"Neuromancer" by William Gibson [Review]

Neuromancer (Sprawl, #1)Neuromancer by William Gibson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"Neuromancer" is the classic novel that kickstarted the cyberpunk genre. It didn't invent cyberpunk, but it certainly set the tone for all the novels and movies that followed.

The novel is pretty much what we all thought computers would be like in 2016. Instead of clumsy keyboards and screens, users plug computers directly into their brains. "Neuromancer" tells the story of Case, a hacker who navigates cyberspace, a virtual reality representing all the computer networks of the world. After getting his hacking ability surgically removed by a double-cross, he jumps at the chance to recover his lost ability and pull off a new and dangerous job. But he soon discovers that the people he's working for have a hidden agenda, and he becomes embroiled in a conspiracy involving an ancient and powerful family and an evolving artificial intelligence.

I'm Writing For

I've joined a new team at Comic Book Resources, where I'll be writing lists and news articles. Here's a handful of the articles I've written.

"Surge Order" Sends Fans on a Comic-con Scavenger Hunt For Rare Comics
New "Star Trek Beyond" Clip Sees Scotty's Introduction to Jaylah
Report: "Divergent" Finale Could Move to TV, Spawn Spinoff Series

"My name is Timothy McGill, and I'm a time travel addict..." Time Junkie, only 99-cents for a limited time!

Monday, June 20, 2016

4 Almost Forgotten 80's Toys Getting Their Own Movies

Marvel changed the face of Hollywood with its series of interconnected movies (Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, and Hulk), culminating in the massive crossover success of Marvel's The Avengers. The movie world they've created has become known as the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And it's a gold mine. Ever since, other studios have been crawling all over themselves to create their own cinematic universes, in particular DC with Batman v Superman and the upcoming Justice League movie. But in December 2015, Paramount surprised everyone with an announcement that they would be working with Hasbro to turn its hit G.I. Joe movies series into a cinematic universe. And the other properties they planned to combine it with took everyone by surprise.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

"Fantastic Four" (2015) Somehow Makes Superheroes Boring

Fantastic Four (2015), Source: Fox
Summary: When a group of teenagers enter an alternate dimension, a freak accident grants them superpowers. Bound together by their new abilities, they become a Fantastic Four. But when one of their team plans to destroy the world, they must work together to stop him.

I'd read all the reviews, and seen all the news about the debacle that became Fantastic Four (sorry, that should be Fant4stic, according to the movie poster). I thought it really couldn't be as bad as everyone said. And I was right. Fantastic Four isn't the worst superhero movie ever, despite all the negative press. Superman IV: The Quest for Peace still holds that crown. If anything, Fantastic Four is actually okay up to a point. The problem lies squarely in the middle and end, which is why it's so disappointing. There was plenty of potential to this movie, which makes its wasted resources so frustrating.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

"Ready Player One" by Ernest Cline [Review]

Ready Player OneReady Player One by Ernest Cline
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was an amazing book. It was the kind of book that I was sorry I'd read, because it ended, and I could never again read it for the first time.

I've seen this book described as Willy Wonka meets The Matrix, and that's a fair but simplistic assessment. The novel is about a shy and poor kid named Wade Watts who lives in a near and unpleasant future. The environment has collapsed to the point where gasoline is almost non-existent. He lives in the Stacks, literally a sort of shantytown made of recreational vehicles stacked on top of each other to form makeshift apartment buildings. His only escape is OASIS, a virtual reality where most of the population lives, works, and plays. But when the creator of OASIS died, he revealed that he created a complex scavenger hunt within the game. Whoever can solve the riddles will get his entire fortune as well as control of OASIS. The clues to finding his legacy are related to the world he grew up in, the pop culture world of the nineteen eighties. Wade decides to try to find the creator's fortune, and stumbles onto the solution to the first clue. The book is basically about him and his friends on a virtual treasure hunt while other forces who want the money and control of OASIS pursue him in the real and the virtual world.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

DC Is Desperately Trying to Ruin "Watchmen"

DC Universe: Rebirth #1 by Gary Frank, Source: DC Comics
[Major Spoiler for DC Universe: Rebirth follows.]

DC Universe: Rebirth is a relaunch by DC Comics in 2016 of its entire line of superhero comics. In case you're not familiar with New 52 (hoo-boy), New 52 in 2011 was an initiative intended to reboot all of DC, and start over. Characters like Superman were depicted as just starting out, instead of having been around for decades. Other characters like Batman were relatively unchanged. Not everyone was happy with the changes, especially Superman fans who were disappointed he wasn't romancing Lois Lane. DC Rebirth is intended to restore the DC Universe to its pre-New 52 self, while still incorporating some popular elements of The New 52. That's the part we all knew.

But at the end of DC Rebirth #1, readers were shocked by an unexpected twist. It was revealed that New 52 wasn't caused by the 2011 Flashpoint crossover changing history as previously depicted. Instead, it was caused by Dr. Manhattan. Yes, that Dr. Manhattan. From Watchmen.

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