Silva rerum (4) feat. Star Trek

I’m not a big fan of Star Trek. I have tremendous respect for the idealistic nature of The Original Series. I’ve seen… a couple of episodes, a couple more of The Next Generation, and most of Deep Space Nine. I rather enjoyed J.J. Abrams’ 2009 motion picture, but I had my problems with that. Into Darkness… was no very good, not a Star Trek movie nor in its own rights.

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The Original Series, and, to lesser degree, it’s immediate successors, had a spirit that set them apart from (most of) the rest of s/f. With antiquated special effects and often rather silly plot it was not enough to make me enjoy watching it.

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And politically… I’ve always been a Babylon V guy. Good guys kicking ass in space for liberal democracy, more or less as we understand it 😉 I’ll have to review that one day, possibly after my next re-watch, the time is coming for that. Also aged in terms of special effects, but, as a whole, makes more sense than Battlestar. The ending is not disappointing.

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Adrian Czajkowski, Children of Time (2015)

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Children of Time is the first SF novel of Adrian Czajkowski, the author of the acclaimed Shadows of the Apt. In this doorstop of a book (over 600 pages) Czajkowski returns to the world of insects – not just any insects, but spiders in particular. And here’s the first disclaimer: Children of Time is a lot of things: a novel about the human race, evolution, religion, cannibalism, war, and the twisting ways to peace, but one thing it’s not: a book for arachnophobes. The titular children are a species of spiders, and more than half of the novel is devoted solely to them. Czajkowski loves his eight-legged friends dearly and spares us no details of their angular, hairy, multi-eyed bodies. He writes with relish about spiders jumping, hunting, weaving complex webs, eating each other and communicating by movement of their hairy palps and legs. Did I mention hairy?

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Fascinated yet? If not, here’s a bit of information: Children of Time had been recently shortlisted for Arthur C. Clarke award.

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Richard Matheson, I Am Legend (1954)

You read this pretty standard post apocalyptic horror and you think… ok, cool, but what is all the noise about. And then you realise it was written 60 years ago. And is way better than 2007 Will Smith movie.

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One of the fathers of zombie apocalypse genre, even if the monsters are called vampires. Short, grim, bitter. With a pinch of… hope, at the end? Maybe…

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Mark Millar, Steve McNiven, Civil War (2006)

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Civil War was – and is – one of the biggest events in Marvel Universe, and that says something after over half a century of modern Marvel history and many epic, all-encompassing story arcs.

Ola: Marvel Civil War spans over a hundred separate comics – from Spider-Man through Fantastic Four, Wolverine, Captain America and Iron Man or New Avengers to less-known titles, such as Deadpool and Cable or Thunderbolts.And of course, the big cross-over thing binding them all: 7-part Civil War. Mark Millar, asked to sum up the subject matter of his opus magnum, said:

Civil War is about what happens when the Marvel heroes are forced to grow up. It’s as simple as that. The public need and want the heroes. They couldn’t survive without them in a world filled with super-villains and alien invasions. However, the wild west fantasy these guys have been having, where they put on a mask and fight whoever they like just doesn’t cut it in the modern world.

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China Miéville, Un Lun Dun (2007)

Another Miéville, this time – YA. Well, if YA is 15 and up, then I’d say – this is middle grade. A highly enjoyable one, though. I’ve read it recently and it was great fun, but I’d happily recommend it to a smart 8 year old.

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UnLondon, is, well, a place, a distorted version of London, a crazy Wonderland (Lewis Carroll is the most obvious inspiration here) hidden underneath one of world’s greatest cities. And there is a crisis. The Big Bad wants to conquer and subjugate UnLondon, and only the Chosen One can stop him. Only not this time. This time, it will be (it’s for kids, of course it ends relatively well, so it’s not really a spoilter) Chosen One’s sidekick that saves the day. And a pretty opinionated one:

I know you’re not a sidekick.’
‘No one is!’ Deeba shouted. ‘That’s no way to talk about anyone! To say they’re just hangers-on to someone more important.

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Captain America: Civil War (2016)

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Fresh on our screens, already a critical and commercial success, one of the highest-grossing Marvel movies to date, with a wave of franchise and PR that resembles a veritable tsunami… And with admittedly great posters :). Who hasn’t seen, or at least heard, about Captain America: Civil War?

Ola: Yeah. And that’s why we’ll take a look at it from a bit different angle: not only the fabled “continuity” within Marvel movies, but also from the perspective of the comic books that Civil War was inspired by.

The movie contents are hopefully known to everyone by this point, but if not – BIG SPOILER ALERT: we’ll unabashedly write about events and characters appearing in the movie.

Piotrek: Yes. Here be spoilers. Seriously, go, see the movie, and get back here after that. By now, you know what the MCU is about, so there is no point in reading tonnes of reviews to make up your mind about going to the cinema.

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