Reading the Horus Heresy, Book 15: “Prospero Burns” by Dan Abnett

I know I’m late to the party, but I finally decided to start reading the “Horus Heresy,” a huge series of novels set in the universe of Warhammer 40,000 (though it is set much earlier than the year 40,000). I thought it would be awesome to blog the series as I go. With more than 50 novels and many, many short stories, there will be a lot of posts in this series (I doubt I’ll get to all the short stories). I’m reading the series in publication order unless otherwise noted. There will be SPOILERS from the books discussed as well as previous books in the series. Please DO NOT SPOIL later books in the series.

Prospero Burns by Dan Abnett

I have rarely been so baffled by the disconnect between a book’s description and its contents as I have with Prospero Burns. The official Black Library (the publisher) description of the book reads:

The Emperor is enraged. Primarch Magnus the Red of the Thousand Sons Legion has made a terrible mistake that endangers the very safety of Terra. With no other choice, the Emperor charges Leman Russ, Primarch of the Space Wolves, with the apprehension of his brother from the Thousand Sons’ home world of Prospero. This planet of sorcerers will not be easy to overcome, but Russ and his Space Wolves are not easily deterred. With wrath in his heart, Russ is determined to bring Magnus to justice and bring about the fall of Prospero.

Read it because
Vlka Fenryka! The Space Wolves charge into the Horus Heresy as their part in the events leading to the fall of the Thousand Sons is revealed. Spies, intrigue, plenty of action and a glimpse at Terra in the early days of the Great Crusade make this an unmissable read.

One could be forgiven, I think, for believing the book would primarily focus on the Space Wolves trying to capture Magnus the Red and/or burning Prospero (as the title and the first paragraph imply. What the book is actually about, though, is a remembrancer who gets sent to the Space Wolves and their interactions with him. So the last sentence of the “Read it because” is closer to reality, though the “plenty of action” is a bit of a stretch.

I’ll admit it, this had me both confused and frustrated. I kept flipping to the description, wondering if I was reading the wrong book–maybe some bug had crossed over my book with a different one when I got it on Kindle. But that’s not it–it’s just that the book is nowhere close to its description. And that’s annoying. I understand we’d already seen Prospero in A Thousand Sons and that this book was intended to be read alongside that earlier work, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t expecting to see the Space Wolves’ side of the conflict, because I trusted the publisher to provide an accurate vision of what the contents might be.

As for the actual contents of the book–it’s decent. Abnett is a great writer, as we’ve seen time and again throughout the Warhammer universe. The switching of perspectives is sometimes fairly abrupt and makes the book difficult to follow at times. Abnett certainly makes the Space Wolves quite interesting, though, as he notes time and again that they’re not just generic space Vikings; they’re the Emperor’s executioner. But the whole first 90% of the book is basically summarized in that point along with (here are spoilers for the ending, in case you’re worried about that) the revelation that our remembrancer was, in fact, planted by the Thousand Sons as a spy, and that the Space Wolves knew about it the whole time but didn’t really care if their rivals knew what their plans were.

This means, that, like many of the books in the Horus Heresy so far, Prospero Burns would have made a much better short story or novella than it does a 450 page novel. 400 of those pages could have been condensed into about 50, all while getting the same point across. Abnett’s writing mercifully carries those 400 pages along so that they never quite descend into total triviality, but it also leaves you with a sense of regret at the end. Is that it? one might ask. Did I really just read 400 pages of the same point repeated through an unreliable narrator just to get about 15 pages of action at the very end of the book? The answer is, unfortunately, yes. The payoff here simply does not align with the investment of time and energy.

I’ve seen the point that readers already experienced the fall of Prospero in A Thousand Sons, but this is hardly relevant. (It’s also somewhat untrue–we only experienced glimpses of this fall so far, which makes the lack of a book that is one massive conflict a bit disappointing.) This book was advertised as–hell, even titled as–the fall of Prospero from the perspective of the Space Wolves. It manifestly is not that. That, plus the fact that the actual contents we get are dragged from a short story’s plot into a lengthy novel’s duration makes this a pretty disappointing entry to the Horus Heresy. If I hadn’t had my expectations completely set up to fail going in, I definitely would have enjoyed this one more. As it stands, I’m left feeling bittersweet about what might have been.

Prospero Burns ends my streak of 5-star reads in the Horus Heresy. I’d almost say it’s skippable but it does at least give some insight into the Space Wolves that makes them more interesting as rivals (presumably) throughout the rest of the series.

(All Amazon Links are Affiliates)

Links

Horus Heresy and Warhammer/40K Hub– Links to all of my Warhammer-related reviews and writings, including those on the Horus Heresy, 40K, and Warhammer Fantasy (pending) can be found here. 

J.W. Wartick- Always Have a Reason– Check out my “main site” which talks about philosophy of religion, theology, and Christian apologetics (among other random topics). I love science fiction so that comes up integrated with theology fairly frequently as well. I’d love to have you follow there, too!

Be sure to follow me on Twitter for discussion of posts, links to other pages of interest, random talk about theology/philosophy/apologetics/movies/scifi/sports and more!

SDG.

Watching Babylon 5 For the First Time: “In the Beginning” – the TV movie

Hello Darkness, my old friend.

I am very late to the Babylon 5 party. As it came out, I was a bit young for the show and the few times we tried to watch as a family, it was clear we had no idea what was going on. After several people bugged me, telling me it was the show I needed to watch, I grabbed the whole series around Christmas last year on a great sale. I’ve been watching it since, sneaking it in between the many things going on in my life. It quickly became apparent that I’d want to discuss the episodes with others, so I began this series of posts. Now I’ve finished the series, but am working my way through the movies, related works, comics, and books. Please don’t spoil anything from other works here! 

In the Beginning

The first scene opens, and we see an older Mollari! This instantly makes me hopeful that this movie may answer some of my left over questions from the series. In particular, I want to know about the Shadow ally and whether Mollari ever escapes it. And he tells a story to two young Centauri children, which of course features a younger… Mollari! Time to sit back and enjoy this ride! 

What a ride it is! We get an enormous amount of backstory for the whole series. I was thrilled to see that we might be getting insight into the Earth-Minbari War. We see Mollari chastising the humans for their audacity to confront the Minbari. We witness Delenn’s discussion with the Gray Council. The outbreak of the Earth-Minbari War is a major part of the movie. And it gives us a lot of background into what our favorite characters were doing way back when. Including Ivanova! And G’Kar! Seeing G’Kar as an arms dealer is excellent. He’s doing it to help his people, of course, as it seems he’s done everything. And Dr. Franklin, already an expert on alien biology, apparently, gets arrested for refusing to use his knowledge to help kill Minbari. 

One of the best scenes is when Mollari is voicing over the near-end of the war: “In the end, they didn’t run out of courage–they ran out of time.” The scenes going past during this voice over are well-done and beautiful at times. Most of the rest of the scenes are things we already know with a bit of expansion. 

Mollari intersperses comments throughout. At one point,  we witness his condemnation of the arrogance of humans, then we see him blaming himself for the war. But the format made me worry that I wouldn’t be getting any answers to my most pressing question after all: what happens to Mollari after the series!?

The end gives us a quick peek at an earlier point in the series, in which we saw old Mollari confronting our heroes–Delenn and Sheridan. Mollari toasts them as he apparently gets into a drunken stupor to placate the Shadow Keeper. And that’s the end! we don’t find out more here! But it’s a tantalizing look. I wonder if I’ll have to wait to go through the books before I find the main answer I’m looking for. 

Links

Babylon 5 Hub– Find all my Babylon 5-related posts and content here.

J.W. Wartick- Always Have a Reason– Check out my “main site” which talks about philosophy of religion, theology, and Christian apologetics (among other random topics). I love science fiction so that comes up integrated with theology fairly frequently as well. I’d love to have you follow there, too!

Be sure to follow me on Twitter for discussion of posts, links to other pages of interest, random talk about theology/philosophy/apologetics/movies/scifi/sports and more!

SDG.

My Read-Through of the Hugos: 1973

Not the original cover, but I picked it because… what is it trying to say?

I’m a huge science fiction fan, and, having read a list of what are alleged to be the top 200 science fiction novels, I decided to next tackle a read-through of all the Hugo Award winners and nominees for best novel. Let me know your thoughts and favorites. Here are the nominees and the winner of the 1973 Hugo Awards. I’ve marked the winner as well as my own choice for which novel would win, had I the choice among the nominees.

The Gods Themselves by Isaac Asimov (Winner)- Grade: B-
Another proof that Asimov is capable of at least somewhat interesting characters. The first part of the story is the most compelling, as an apparently free source of energy is revealed to have dire consequences and pretty much nobody cares. Free energy is free, right? So who cares if everyone will die billions of years in the future? It’s the exact kind of reasoning that would probably be used, to the end of us all. But that dire feeling is mostly lost at the end of the book as Asimov changes its tone into a kind of future look at human colonization of the moon and the problems that might face. Yes, there are still references to the earlier portions of the book, and the solutions offered are interesting, but it lost something of the truly bleak and all-too-reasonable feel of the beginning chapters.

When HARLIE Was One by David Gerrold- Grade: B-
Apparently this is one of the first books ever that is strictly about AI and emergent intelligence. It was fascinating in many ways, especially as the designers interacted with HARLIE and came to appreciate the difficulties of doing anything with AI. Frankly, the book may have been better if Gerrold didn’t even bother trying to put characters into it. Where it bogs down is entirely in the places where characters interact with each other, and Gerrold attempts to tie the human interactions into the AI/human interactions. Thus, the love story that is central to the characters ultimately seems nothing more than a foil for trying to explain love to HARLIE, the AI. It seems to cheapen the overall effect. Nevertheless, for a “first ever” effort in this field, this is a great, imaginative book that lays out some of the questions we’re still asking about now: like how to tell if a machine is intelligent, what that might mean, and how parameters that we set for such intelligence may be bent or broken.

There Will Be Time by Poul Anderson- Grade: D
I think I’m getting to the point where I can definitively say that Poul Anderson just isn’t my thing. He’s a highly decorated author, so, as with anything, this is just a matter of preference. For this specific book, I thought the style was pedestrian, the interlude chapter with “definitions” was so on-the-nose that you could almost see “Libertarianism is the best system ever” smacked into the back of your eyeballs while you read it. I mean, that chapter is probably what killed my interest in most of the rest of the book. It’s sardonic, not even close to witty, and so full of self-congratulatory ideas that I just couldn’t get over it. The plot drags quite a bit too, and, as with too many of these early sci-fi novels, uses rape as plot device. As far as the actual time travel ideas, Anderson did avoid some of the pitfalls of time travel, as he used it much better as a device for his characters than as a gimmick to have a historical fiction novel. However, the time travel seemed somewhat inconsistent as we’re forced to wonder whether time is immutable (or not) at points. Overall, not my jam.

The Book of Skulls by Robert Silverberg- Grade: B
I feel extremely torn about this book. It has some of Silverberg’s best (that I’ve read, anyway) atmospheric writing. He writes with whit and foreboding, sometimes together, often apart. But it is also filled with some really awful comments about women, disabilities, and more. As is often the case, it’s difficult to tell whether these last aspects are all truly representative of Silverberg’s view, or whether they are his own satirical attack on the same. If the former, I would downgrade the book significantly. If the latter, it hovers maybe a touch higher. For better or worse, The Book of Skulls is a book that is still making me think about it, weeks after reading it. It has staying power, and it wriggles its way under your skin. It’s strange, compelling, repulsive, alluring, haunting, disturbing–it needs a lot of adjectives to describe it! I’d recommend it to readers who want to dig deeply into New Wave sci-fi, warts and all.

Dying Inside by Robert Silverberg (My Winner)- Grade: A
Considered Silverberg’s masterwork by many, I initially read this book at the beginning of my attempt to appreciate older science fiction and this is definitely not the book I would recommend to try to sell someone on vintage sci-fi. It’s dense. The prose is awkward at times. It doesn’t have the bells and whistles that at lot of people tend to expect when they hear “science fiction.” My first read of this was a disaster. I didn’t catch any of its themes. I didn’t really understand it at all. Since then, I’ve grown in appreciation of older science fiction and of Silverberg in particular. On a third reading, now, I finally understood some of its core themes. In particular, that of “Dying Inside.” This is truly a haunting tale about loss that everyone experiences, set in the mind of a telepath who is losing his abilities. The main problem I had the first time reading the book is that the main character isn’t particularly likable–he’s not. But when considered in light of this central interpretation–as a kind of metaphor or allegory of loss through aging or other loss, it becomes transformed into a thing of beauty. It haunts me. Dealing with my own loss recently, it helped me reflect on that more and come to see some of the light at the end of the tunnel. I loved this book. Give it a try… or three.

A Choice of Gods by Clifford D. Simak- Grade: A-
Simak has quickly ascended to being one of my favorite sci-fi authors. His pastoral way of writing means he can introduce some truly bleak and heady themes at times without you as a reader really even noticing. In A Choice of Gods, some of his major themes make their appearance–religion, robots, and pastoral settings. Lumped into this are some kinds of questions about colonialism as well. Standing alongside these questions, one is forced to ask about cultural appropriation, at points. Simak even touches upon this concern, though it’s never explicit; only implied. It’s much headier than it seems at first, though the central mystery of the plot is kind of a let down when it is fully revealed. There are several lengthy monologues, each of which I enjoyed immensely, but it might not be for everybody. I wouldn’t recommend this as an entry point for Simak, but it’s a great read if you’re already into him.

1973

Six novels nominated for Hugo this year, and frankly 5 of the 6 I wouldn’t be mad at winning… except that Dying Inside definitely should have won, finally giving Silverberg a Hugo win (he’s been nominated 9 times with no wins for best novel, and I think at least a couple of them deserved the win). But more seriously, this is overall a great slate of nominees. Asimov is never my favorite, but The Gods Themselves has a cool premise that (as with several of his novels, in my opinion) ultimately collapses when he tries to bring it to a conclusion. When HARLIE Was One is strangely compelling in its AI, though the rest of the characters are cutouts. The Book of Skulls probably changed my perception of driving forever, and it stays with me to this day. Dying Inside is an all-time great. Simak’s entry this year, A Choice of Gods, is fascinating but has some flaws that lead many to dislike his work (lengthy monologues, somewhat inconsistent in its pastoral setting). Finally, There Will Be Time served as proof that Poul Anderson just isn’t my thing. What did you think this year?

Links

Science Fiction Hub– I have scores of reviews of Hugo nominees, Vintage Sci-Fi, modern sci-fi, TV series, and more! Check out my science fiction related writings here.

My Read-Through of the Hugos– Read more posts in this series and follow me on the journey! Let me know your own thoughts on the books.

Be sure to follow me on Twitter for discussion of posts, links to other pages of interest, random talk about theology/philosophy/apologetics/movies/scifi/sports and more!

SDG.

Babylon 5 Retrospective After Finishing the Series- I have questions

I already miss this crew.

I finished watching the main Babylon 5 series, and reviewed the whole series along the way. I adored it. It has grown into my favorite TV show of all time. But, having finished the finale, I have some questions to ask before diving into the offshoots, movies, comics, and novels. There will be SPOILERS for the whole main series in this post, but please don’t spoil ANY offshoot series, movies, comics, or novels here.

Vorlon are Angels? Wha-?

Remember that episode where we found out the Vorlon are literally angels? Remember how basically nothing happened with that after we saw the angelic Vorlon save Sheridan’s life? I’d love to know more about the Vorlon. So many fans seem to love them, but to me, they are opportunists who manipulated the history of other species for hundreds or thousands of years just for their own ends. What makes them such fan favorites? Is it the enigmatic nature of them? Is it just that we don’t know about them, and that makes them fascinating? 

Mollari- What the hell?

Okay, I honestly have to say this is the one that upsets me the most about the whole series. What the heck happens to Mollari and the Centauri between the second to last episode and the finale (and beyond)? We see Mollari sneak a Keeper into Sheridan and Delenn’s possession, and then we just lose that plot thread? Please tell me it gets resolved somewhere! I do recall that in one of the episodes Mollari seems to be drinking to drive off some inner demons–perhaps that’s to stop the Keeper from intervening at a certain point? I don’t know.

G’Kar?

Speaking of future Mollari–wasn’t G’Kar with him in that time traveling scene? And if so, what does that mean for where G’Kar ends up? Where does he go with Lyta? What do they discover, and how does that inform his life going forward? Does he continue to be a religious icon for his people? 

Girabaldi and Lyta- what next?

Will there be war against the Psi Corps? And if so, how will that play out? If anyone can do it, I would think Lyta and Girabaldi would be the ones able to do so. Remember–Lyta was apparently turned into a kind of nuclear telepath option by the Vorlon, which makes her extremely powerful and dangerous to any of her enemies. Her experience with Byron changed her, as well, but she’s clearly not following his pacifistic path. At a guess, I would say the Psi Corps trilogy of books that I got will probably deal with this. 

Resolving the Questions

The good news is that I still have several movies to watch, as well as the single season of the offshoot show “Crusade” to help ansqer these questions. I’ll also be reading the books, several of which were written after the series concluded. Presumably, some of these will answer the questions that remain. I certainly hope they will, anyway, because some of these questions are burning to get answered. If not, I honestly think I’ll probably go looking for some fanfic somewhere to help wrap up some of the plots in my head. I’ve not read a lot of fanfiction, but I did read some to help wrap up the Star Wars expanded universe, for example. 

Anyway, I look forward to exploring these questions with you going forward!

Links

Babylon 5 Hub– Find all my Babylon 5-related posts and content here.

J.W. Wartick- Always Have a Reason– Check out my “main site” which talks about philosophy of religion, theology, and Christian apologetics (among other random topics). I love science fiction so that comes up integrated with theology fairly frequently as well. I’d love to have you follow there, too!

Be sure to follow me on Twitter for discussion of posts, links to other pages of interest, random talk about theology/philosophy/apologetics/movies/scifi/sports and more!

SDG.

“The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky the 3rd” – Video Game Review

I want to tell you about a story. It’s a story that starts with a young man and woman. It begins as a simple coming of age story. They work for a guild that is a quasi-police force that operates internationally. They encounter colorful characters across many parts of their land. And, ultimately, they become embroiled in a vast political plot. Later, we want to learn more about the many, many characters they encountered. Trails in the Sky the 3rd is that latter story. It’s the conclusion of the Trails in the Sky trilogy. 

The gameplay of the 3rd is different in some ways from the first two. The first two allow players to explore the nation of Liberl. This game is essentially a lengthy dungeon crawl with huge story asides scattered throughout. It’s a gameplay loop that may turn off some players but quickly becomes addictive as you get through the dungeon to learn more about side characters. This is largely done through the discovery of Sun, Moon, and Star doors which unlock minigames and flashbacks that tell sometimes lengthy stories about characters who had–at times–only minor roles in the first two games. Some of these are carefree fun. Some are heartfelt. A couple are… honestly devastating emotionally. The depth of the game’s story is almost impossible to overstate. The main plot is a good enough tale to keep you invested, but discovering even more about all of the characters on the side sustains the plot. Until you get towards the end and discover even more about the two main characters of this game–Ries and Kevin (pictured here). You become hugely invested in these two as well. 

The dungeons are occasionally sprawling, with a few easy puzzles and tons of treasure to find. The fun of the gameplay for me was found in messing with the Orbments (the game’s magic system) and equipment to make unstoppable parties that rolled over normal enemies. With a huge cast of characters to choose from, it’s fun finding combinations of characters who play well together and balance each other out. 

I hope you’ll give the “Trails in the Sky” trilogy a chance. If you’re a fan of role-playing games at all–especially if you’re a fan of traditional turn-based JRPGs–you owe it to yourself to give these games a try. The first game is a slow burn, but eventually you’ll find a beautiful, epic story that 

Links

Video Games– Check out all my posts on video games here.

J.W. Wartick- Always Have a Reason– Check out my “main site” which talks about philosophy of religion, theology, and Christian apologetics (among other random topics). I love science fiction so that comes up integrated with theology fairly frequently as well. I’d love to have you follow there, too!

Be sure to follow me on Twitter for discussion of posts, links to other pages of interest, random talk about theology/philosophy/apologetics/movies/scifi/sports and more!

SDG.

o games in the plot arc. The

Reading the Horus Heresy, Book 14: “The First Heretic” by Aaron Dembski-Bowden

I know I’m late to the party, but I finally decided to start reading the “Horus Heresy,” a huge series of novels set in the universe of Warhammer 40,000 (though it is set much earlier than the year 40,000). I thought it would be awesome to blog the series as I go. With more than 50 novels and many, many short stories, there will be a lot of posts in this series (I doubt I’ll get to all the short stories). I’m reading the series in publication order unless otherwise noted. There will be SPOILERS from the books discussed as well as previous books in the series. Please DO NOT SPOIL later books in the series.

The First Heretic by Aaron Dembski-Bowden

History is a hugely important part of the Horus Heresy books, and in The First Heretic, we get some stunning insights into the background of the Word Bearers Legion. To start off, I have to say this is certainly among the best of the Horus Heresy books I’ve read so far. It doesn’t overly rely upon action to carry its story, nor does it devolve into a series of scenes with people just standing around talking to each other. It’s excellent.

The scene in which the Emperor comes and visits the Word Bearers/Ultramarines is absolutely awesome. I think it honestly raises real-world questions about deity and theology, which makes it even more interesting to me. The book constantly asks questions of what it means to be “a god” or even the “god.” While its obviously not a theological treatise, there are several scenes that poignantly ask these questions alongside questions about humanity’s need for faith and belief. As is always the case, trying to read too much into this discussion set in the Grimdark future would be a mistake, but it’s still fascinating to reflect on how these characters in the far future are still dealing with questions about faith and deity.

Dembski-Bowden also gives us Cyrene, one of the more interesting non-Marine characters in the series so far. Initially, I thought she might be a one-off character from the prologue to give us a sense of how the destruction of her city impacted a civilian. However, Dembsk-Bowden developed her into a kind of martyr-saint figure who was celebrated with adulation by the people who followed the Word Bearers. Ultimately, her death at the hands of Aquillon was tragic, and one of the more heart-rending scenes in the series for me. What made the use of her as a character particularly powerful is that it helped put some perspective into the book for the broader conflict.

For example, the overarching plot of the Word Bearers trying to find their way having been denounced by the Emperor is a much more sympathetic quest when set alongside the more human aspect of how that denunciation and retribution impacted “normal” people. As a reader, I genuinely felt the Word Bearers were generally in the right throughout the book, no matter what one thinks of their underlying beliefs. The brutal, shocking act of the destruction of the crown jewel world of the Word Bearers work surely could be anticipated as setting up a major crisis of doubt for the whole Legion. As such, it is hardly unexpected that the Word Bearers end up on the side of the Heretics.

Of course, this doesn’t mean the horrible acts they took to get there were themselves good or justified–it means only that they were understabndable.  And that says quite a bit about the writing of this novel. It’s very good. It makes you sympathize with the “bad guys.” It also makes one question whether there really are any “good guys” in this grimdark future.

The First Heretic is a fantastic read, and one that will surely pay long-term dividends for the rest of the series.

(All Amazon Links are Affiliates)

Links

Horus Heresy and Warhammer/40K Hub– Links to all of my Warhammer-related reviews and writings, including those on the Horus Heresy, 40K, and Warhammer Fantasy (pending) can be found here.

J.W. Wartick- Always Have a Reason– Check out my “main site” which talks about philosophy of religion, theology, and Christian apologetics (among other random topics). I love science fiction so that comes up integrated with theology fairly frequently as well. I’d love to have you follow there, too!

Be sure to follow me on Twitter for discussion of posts, links to other pages of interest, random talk about theology/philosophy/apologetics/movies/scifi/sports and more!

SDG.

I started watching “Buffy: The Vampire Slayer”… so here are thoughts after two seasons

It turns out that there are a lot of shows I’ve wanted to watch for a while but never got around to. I’ve been catching up, though! I recently finished my first-ever watch-through of Babylon 5 (check out my posts on the series) and now I’m already 2 seasons deep into Buffy. This show is… phenomenal. My discussion of the first two seasons follows, and will have SPOILERS for those seasons. Please do not spoil later seasons for me!

Look, no small amount of my love for this show comes from straight-up nostalgia about the 90s. That’s there in oodles. It’s even better because it’s absolutely unintentional. If you grew up in the 90s or have any interest in that decade, you’re going to adore the show just because of that. The “high schoolers” (played by 20+ year olds, of course) wear the most 90s jeans, the most 90s hair, and the most 90s makeup all the time. The slang, the concerns, the social commentary–it’s all there, and it is so much fun.

But nostalgia would only take me so far. The show is genuinely fun to watch. Every single episode has great one-liners, fun characters, and new threats for Buffy to face. Every character gets genuine development throughout, moving from some one-dimensional characters to people you’re involved with, even as you often wish they’d make much better choices. So far, I think my favorite is the hapless librarian, Rupert Giles. He has such a winsome manner while also being there when you need him. I like him a lot. Obviously, Buffy is another favorite.

Season 1’s plot centered around a generically evil baddy trying to unleash hell on their small town (with an exceptionally high murder rate due to vampires–they should probably talk to Jessica Fletcher from Murder, She Wrote about this). It’s a fine story, and it gives us a chance to flesh out the main characters while not having to worry too much about intricacies of plot. Of course, there are some great standout episodes that pad that plot. The silliness of Teacher’s Pet, an episode in which the baddie turns out to be a giant preying mantis cannot be overstated–yet it works. It works phenomenally well because they embrace the campiness, and it becomes a recurring joke in later episodes. Speaking of that–the series has continuity of plot that actually builds on itself over time. That doesn’t sound like a big deal in our era of huge epic plots that continue throughout whole series, but shows like Buffy (and Babylon 5, and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) had to build that basis. These aren’t a bunch of one-off episodes. Things placed in seemingly random fashion in one episode turn out to be bigger deals than initially thought–like Amy the witch from episode 3, who turns up big in season 2!

So yeah, there are some great moments throughout, and no small amount of nostalgia involved. It’s just an extraordinarily fun show to watch all the way through. Season 2 ramps up the intensity with a cast of antagonists (and huge development of Angel–good or evil?) who are far more three-dimensional than the generically evil “Master.” I gotta admit, some of the developments with Spike in particular caught me off guard. He and Drusilla are quite dynamic as “baddies,” and that is a credit to the writers and their acting. Drusilla has that kind of offhand glee for evil that makes her much more interesting than she’d otherwise have been.

Also, Buffy’s mom is just… not good. The finale of season 2 really brings that out. Maybe she turns into a more dynamic and kind character later, but she’s basically done nothing but blame Buffy or anyone but herself for everything that goes wrong the entire time. And then her reaction to finally finding out that Buffy is the Slayer is… to kick her from the house? What an idiot!

I’d be remiss to not mention Jenny Calendar, a “techno-pagan” who steals the show in multiple episodes. She becomes a fascinating character through season 2, and then she’s ripped away from us–and Giles!–in devastating fashion by Angel. I don’t know how, but I am hoping they’ll find a way to resurrect her at some point.

Anyway, we couldn’t leave the show alone after the ending that left Buffy distraught about killing (banishing?) Angel. On to season 3!

Links

Science Fiction Hub– I have scores of reviews of Hugo nominees, Vintage Sci-Fi, modern sci-fi, TV series, and more! Check out my science fiction related writings here.

Be sure to follow me on Twitter for discussion of posts, links to other pages of interest, random talk about theology/philosophy/apologetics/movies/scifi/sports and more!

SDG.

Presidential Biographies: Woodrow Wilson #28

My quest to read (at least) one biography per President continues with Woodrow Wilson, the twenty-eighth President of the United States. The biography I chose with my selection process (reading reviews online and utilizing and this website- My Journey Through the Best Presidential Biographies) was, once again, twofold. First, I read The Moralist: Woodrow Wilson and the World He Made by Patricia O’Toole. I grabbed it from the library on a whim because I couldn’t find one of the most recommended biographies. This much more recent biography (published in 2018) was a fascinating look at Wilson. I had already put in a request for Woodrow Wilson by John Milton Cooper, Jr. at the library, and read that one as well. It was another great biography that helped illuminate periods and decisions that the first biography I read did not. 

Here, I’ll offer my thoughts on that biography, and proceed to present my official ranking for the DEFINITIVE RANKING OF PRESIDENTS OF THE UNITED STATES!!!!!! The full list of the rankings with all the Presidents as well as comments on their careers, updated as I read through this list, may be found here.

Woodrow Wilson- The Moralist by Patricia O’Toole and Woodrow Wilson by John Milton Cooper, Jr. 

Woodrow Wilson was a principled man who, unfortunately, compromised on some of the most important principles. Patricia O’Toole’s biography especially emphasized Wilson’s moral leadership, which he himself emphasized at key moments throughout his life. John Milton Cooper, Jr.’s biography was instead a more traditional whole-life biography. 

Wilson distinguished himself in academia before becoming President. A celebrated scholar of political theory, he would be the President of Princeton University. There, he engaged in a lengthy battle with the trustees over various reforms of the university–both the ones he wanted to pass and those that he didn’t. For example, he opposed admitting African Americans to the university. On the flip side, he also nominated the first Jew and the first Roman Catholic to the faculty. Wilson’s white supremacy would guide him throughout his life in decision making, as he inconsistently talked about equality for all while continually compromising equality for people of color in favor of elevating others. Wilson’s own Presbyterian faith would also guide his decisions, and he apparently saw no discord between his white supremacy and the teachings of a Jewish man of color named Jesus who commanded that people treat others as they would be treated.

Wilson had a progressive agenda as President of the United States. Confronting the notions of tariffs, trusts, banks, and monopolies, Wilson argued that “We naturally ask ourselves, how did these gentlemen get control of these things? Who handed our economic laws over to them? …The high cost of living is arranged by private understanding” (54). Wilson saw clearly the collusion in moneyed interests to keep power and wealth in the hands of the few, and he had the moral leanings to fight against it. He agreed that the United States was extremely prosperous. But he asked, “Prosperity? Yes, if by prosperity you mean vast wealth no matter how distributed” (51). This comment is a direct allusion to income disparity and Wilson thought this was a huge problem for the country.  He actively fought for destruction of monopolies, and he was influenced in the direction of free market economies regulated by the government. This helped him differentiate from Roosevelt and Taft, his competition in the election for President. 

As President, Wilson immediately worked to free the market up by easing up on crippling tariffs that favored huge monopolies and businesses that dominated the wealth of the nation. The way that he managed to get his economically progressive laws passed, however, was by making racial concessions to Southern and racist interests. Specifically, he bought votes for his Federal Reserve Act, which brought great strides in cutting down class barriers, by agreeing to segregate public services. In essence, he traded some economic equality for whites for even more inequality for people of color. This would be a theme during his Presidency, as he failed to stand up to segregation in military services in World War I, a decision which had no small negative impact on the war effort by relegating people to certain jobs (eg. a cook) purely based on race. Wilson’s legacy includes the legacy of segregation at the federal level, and no discussion of his successes can be complete without noting this blight on his record. However, his policies that created less income disparity for whites in his lifetime would ultimately benefit all Americans as time wore on. The benefits, however, were unequal in their impact, such that even though they eventually would help all Americans, they’d help white Americans more. Wilson’s allegiance to white supremacy is unquestionable, as he was willing to bow to supremacist interests in order to pass his preferred policies. This adds another layer of complexity to his legacy that makes him difficult to fully judge.

Wilson’s foreign policy is clearly most important related to World War I, but also involved no small amount of conflict with Mexico and Japan. treating the latter first, California’s white leadership continued to pass racist laws based entirely on prejudice. For example, alleging that, in California Japanese-descended farmers were a threat to white American farmers, the state passed laws that excluded Japanese people from passing ownership of land through inheritance or from buying new farmland. These were laws explicitly targeting Japanese people, and the Japanese government responded with outrage, even to the point of contemplating war, which at this point would have been disastrous because the United States had no effective navy in the Pacific and would have had to go around Cape Horn to fight against Japan (the Panama Canal wasn’t complete yet). Wilson essentially let the crisis play itself out, but the bad faith the United States had shown to Japan would fester and lead to clear wider consequences later. Regarding Mexico, Wilson failed to act with policy consistent with previous Presidents regarding recognition of new governments. He therefore set a precedent for the President to become an even more powerful, unilateral force in international affairs. The later fight with Pancho Villa and Wilson’s punitive–and possibly illegal?–raids in Mexico exacerbated poor U.S.-Mexico relations. 

World War I is the obvious major event in Wilson’s Presidency, and his leadership during the pre-war period for the United States was defined by his efforts to avoid war. Wilson could not bring himself to support armed conflict, especially when the United States was not directly at risk from enemy attack. Though he was clearly not a thoroughgoing pacifist–as evidenced by the resignation of his Secretary of State, William Jennings Bryan (yes, that William Jennings Bryan) once it became clear Wilson was favoring the United Kingdom, in particular–he vastly preferred peaceful negotiation to any kind of conflict. He was inconsistent in this application, as he continued to favor the British more and more as the war dragged on, but he would not have joined the war if he hadn’t been convinced that “the world must be made safe for democracy.” The passive voice, as noted by John Milton Cooper, Jr. in his biography of Wilson, expresses quite a bit. Wilson did not wish to impose democracy on the world, but rather wanted to ensure its survival in an era of increasingly hostile and totalitarian nation states. 

Once the United States entered the War, Wilson and those he appointed managed feats that others had deemed impossible, such as raising a huge army and deploying it in Europe in a swift enough manner to turn the tide of war. Wilson’s quiet but powerful speeches stirred people across the States and Europe. Once the war was over, Wilson’s dream of the League of Nations was almost successful, but an increasingly embattled congress rejected entry into the League. This and other actions while building the League would undermine Wilson’s powerful vision for an organization that could help usher in world peace. 

Woodrow Wilson was a flawed President with lofty aspirations that he compromised for the sake of some policy successes. Like too many Presidents before and after him, he did this to favor white people over any others. The reforms that he got through, however, did lay groundwork for additional reforms. One might argue that Wilson’s Presidency was a “one step back, two steps forward” success. There’s no question that many of his ideas and policies have positive impacts to this day, but his legacy of racial injustice also continues to fracture and divide. 

Woodrow Wilson’s Original Ranking in THE DEFINITIVE RANKING OF PRESIDENTS OF THE UNITED STATES (Full and Updated List Here)

Woodrow Wilson (28th President – Original Ranking #7)- There is no question that Wilson’s impact on the United States outlived the man himself, even into today. This impact is both for good and ill. Wilson’s willingness to compromise on racial integration helped underline systems that continue to this day to exclude others. However, his willingness to do so also was probably the only way he was able to pass legislation that would help many Americans stay on their feet through financial hardship. His legislative legacy also helped break up monopolies and usher in a more beneficial–and regulated–free trade in the United States that would ultimately benefit all Americans. Wilson’s legacy is incredibly complex due to the long term intended and unintended consequences of his decisions. Nevertheless, he almost must rank highly because he, unlike many, many previous Presidents, actually made some strides against inequality while also benefiting the United States directly. These strides weren’t intended to help all Americans, but they do now. His legacy is one that should lead us today to wonder: how do we judge figures of the past? 

Links

J.W. Wartick- Always Have a Reason– Check out my “main site” which talks about philosophy of religion, theology, and Christian apologetics (among other random topics). I love science fiction so that comes up integrated with theology fairly frequently as well. I’d love to have you follow there, too!

Be sure to follow me on Twitter for discussion of posts, links to other pages of interest, random talk about theology/philosophy/apologetics/movies/scifi/sports and more!

SDG.

Watching Babylon 5 for the First Time, Season 5: Episodes 21-22 (SERIES FINALE)

Surely, just a harmless gift from a friend right? Oh gosh… oh no! Oh my!

We made it! I never thought when I started watching Babylon 5 that it would turn from a show I had mild curiosity about into my favorite show of all time. Right around season 2, I already thought it might become my all-time favorite show. By the end of season 3, I knew it would have to be hugely messed up to not become my favorite show, and I started buying all the novels, comics, and random memorabilia I could find and afford. I started writing posts after season 1, and discussed the whole season in my first-ever post about the series. After splitting season 2 into two posts, I realized how much fun it was to analyze and discuss each episode, and started doing deeper reviews. I’m so glad to have had you all along the ride. Be aware: after I finish this first watch-through, the plan is to watch all the movies, the offshoots, read the books and comics, read books about the show, and re-watch the whole series, leaving reviews on here for each one as I go. There is so much more discussion coming, so keep checking in on the Babylon 5 Hub, and let me know what you think as we continue! Here, I’ll say, please DON’T SPOIL any books, movies, etc. for me or anyone else on this or previous posts in the series! 

Here we go, the discussion ending my first-ever watch of the entire series of Babylon 5! Once again, thanks for coming along on this journey with me, and I can’t wait to keep talking about the show, books, movies, and more with you.

21: Objects at Rest

This place “kind of grows on you.” – Summary of my thoughts about this whole series. My heart is full as I get towards the end. It’s perfection.

G’Kar leaves a message for Ta’Lon encouraging him to take up leadership of the Narn, as he also offers a number of beautiful pieces of advice. Dr. Franklin does something similar for his successor, noting that one has to be a generalist to be on Babylon 5. Lennier comes to speak with Delenn, and whistfully looks on at the photograph of Sheridan and Delenn together. Holloran briefs Sheridan on a number of problems and intelligence pieces. But Holloran will be staying behind on Babylon 5 to use it as a “hotbed of information,” as it is. Girabaldi offers the “troublemakers” at Edgars Industries a salary increase as well as numerous new aspects of their job, and Dr. Franklin departs in a solitary looking flyer to go take on his position. 

Sheridan and Delenn’s “secret” departure is broken on ISN, and they are forced into speaking. Sheridan defers to Delenn, which is somewhat hilarious. “Our souls are a part of this place… and we will pass this way again.” Yes! We love you, Babylon 5. I’m tearing up watching this part. The crowd parts to let them through, as they watch the statespeople of Babylon 5 leave. Zack says good bye in perfect fashion for him. Sheridan turns the ship around to finally look back at Babylon 5, his home for so many events and years. Lchochley salutes as Sheridan returns it, and they depart for the Minbari homeworld. 

Sheridan goes for a walk around the ship but gets caught up in a coolant leak. Lennier sees him, but doesn’t open the door, leaving Sheridan, apparently, to die! This is the betrayal! He goes back to help after his conscience catches up to him, but only after Sheridan has already saved himself and the Ranger or Minbari who was alongside. Sheridan glares at Lennier, who flees when Delenn asks what happened. 

The one thing that continued to irk me: what is happening with Mollari? Is he just going to be left to his isolationism and helping the Shadow-ally people for the rest of his life?

And… there he is! He says he was playing to the audience when it came to his cold attitude towards Delenn and Sheridan last time–a way to fire his people up for rebuilding. But as he sits at dinner with them, the Shadow creature seems to take over, in part, and Delenn possibly senses it. She leaves the dinner, though, to take a message from Lennier, who explains that he is hoping no longer to earn her love, but her forgiveness. As Sheridan and Delenn depart, Mollari assures them that they will always be his friends no matter what. He can’t–physically cannot–seem to share the pain and tribulation that he’s going through. We see him looking on as the ship departs, being praised by the Keeper and Shadow ally. The Keeper says “We await the passage of years… we are very patient.” Oh! And the gift that Mollari gave to Delenn and Sheridan has its own Keeper! I should have known! I did know! And I missed it. Somehow I wasn’t hugely suspcious. I’m so hoping they manage to stop it right now, turn around, and save Mollari! Come on! We can’t have the series end without this being tied up! 

Sheridan delivers a lengthy monologue to his future child while we see the people of Babylon 5 dispersed across space. It’s a lovely moment, but I can’t help but keep wondering: what about Centauri? What about the Keeper thing right in that urn! It’s right there! Will I have to wait for the books to wrap it up? I hope we get closure on this last major thread before the very end.

I thought I had time to dive into the last episode right away after this one, but I didn’t! So, I endured a somewhat agonizing wait for the last episode.

Rude.

22: Sleeping in Light

This is it! The Finale! 

We see all the series regulars hanging out in various places–I especially love the Dr. Franklin/Garibaldi friendship as a major thing 20 years later–and getting a certain type of envelope delivered by a Ranger. This, after Sheridan tells Delenn he is dying, because he was only granted a certain number of years on his resurrection-ish. Throughout, we get tantalizing hints of how the universe has developed in 20 years, with Vir as Emperor, and Londo a no-show, apparently? Ivanova is a general, off doing Earthforce things. 

Much of the episode is spent between Sheridan and Delenn, as one might expect, given that they’re essentially saying goodbye forever. They return to Babylon 5, and Sheridan is told that the station has “become sort of redundant.” He takes it in stride–the station and Sheridan are tied together, he assumes. And interspersed with this we see Lorien’s words: “one day, he will simply… stop.” 

Sheridan flies to Coriana 6, where he meets again with Lorien, and a bright light shines as he closes his eyes. Ivanova’s voice over tells us that they found his ship but his body was never seen again. Some Minbari apparently believe he’ll return one day, but she never saw him again. The assembled crew disperse from Babylon 5 as the crew shuts it down, and they fly away together as Babylon 5 is demolished. We hear Ivanova again. This time, she tells us Babylon 5 was the last of the stations, and that there was never another. The station changed the future by showing all the Alliance peoples that they have to care for each other, and that true strength comes from unlikely places. (I’m paraphrasing her here.) “Mostly though, I think it gave us hope that there can always be new beginnings, even for people like us” she says. Delenn always watched the sun come up until the day she died, and apparently she’d occasionally see Sheridan sitting next to her. And that, after some flyovers showing the cast and crew quickly, is that. And I’m crying again.

The Finale was good, but really it felt like the last 3 episodes added up to a finale. Together, they make up a wonderful goodbye to the characters I’ve grown to love over 5 seasons.  I can’t say how much I loved this experience.

I will miss you, Babylon 5, but the good news is I can always come back. And, it’s clear that some of the canon novels will be covering the few threads left standing–and beyond. And I still have the movies. In particular, I want to find out about the following: Garibaldi vs. Psi Corps (possibly the premise for the Psi Corps trilogy?); What the hell happens with Mollari and the Keeper/Shadow things (possibly one of the movies or the Centauri trilogy of books?); where does G’Kar go with Lyta, and what happens? These are huge questions, but even if the main series were all we had, I’d be satisfied. It’s a beautiful, incredible experience. There’s no doubt in my mind that this is the best series that has ever been made. I’m a massive sicence fiction fan, and I’ve watched a lot of sci-fi, but this outstrips them all. My heart is full, and I love this series. The characters are amazing, and the story is amazing, and everything is amazing.

Thank you for coming along on this amazing journey. And it’s not over! Next, I’ll be watching the movies, Crusade, and reading the books and comics. Several of the books are considered “canon,” and I’m sure we’ll see a few of the questions I have left getting answered. I also plan to read and review several related works and rewatch the series with some insights from having seen it once before (and some read-along books, too!). Again, thank you! Let’s continue, together, talking even more about Babylon 5!

Links

Babylon 5 Hub– Find all my Babylon 5-related posts and content here.

J.W. Wartick- Always Have a Reason– Check out my “main site” which talks about philosophy of religion, theology, and Christian apologetics (among other random topics). I love science fiction so that comes up integrated with theology fairly frequently as well. I’d love to have you follow there, too!

Be sure to follow me on Twitter for discussion of posts, links to other pages of interest, random talk about theology/philosophy/apologetics/movies/scifi/sports and more!

SDG.

A Crucial Re-Examination of Stan Lee’s Legacy- “True Believer: The Rise and Fall of Stan Lee” by Abraham Riesman

When I was younger, I never thought I’d be writing about how much I love reading biographies. They were part of that section at the bookstore I never wandered into–all those stuffy history books and books about people! Who cares? Now I have been devouring biographies at an obscene rate and churn through history books as quickly as I can get my hands on them. People change. That’s what makes them so interesting, and that’s why real life is often so fascinating to read about. Stan Lee is certainly best known for his work with Marvel comics, but what went on behind the scenes is of great interest for those wanting to know the “real story” behind the explosion of comic book popularity. True Believer: The Rise and Fall of Stan Lee gives deep insight and raises many questions about who should really be credited for Marvel’s fame and characters.

All of this background is to say I didn’t have much invested here beyond a passing interest in the people involved and the characters around which Stan Lee and the other major players in the biography would revolve. True Believer: The Rise and Fall of Stan Lee struck me like a hurricane. Abraham Riesman is clearly a skilled biographer with both the passion for the subject and strong prose required to make virtually anyone fascinating. And Stan Lee’s life is interesting on its own, for all that a large portion of it revolves around trying to make ends meet at a publishing company that would eventually turn out the now titanic Marvel.

Riesman gives readers background into why Stan Lee’s family ended up in America–fleeing anti-Semitism abroad. Lee’s father wanted his children to be devout Jews, but was ultimately disappointed by Stan. Reading the early life of Stan Lee gives the impression of someone who desperately wanted to make a name for himself and have that name acknowledged and acclaimed. What’s striking is that even in telling stories about how he landed his job in publishing, Stan Lee’s own tale changed. Did he just happen to have a talent for writing acknowledged long ago by newspaper editors (though documentation shows his story about this is a stretch of the truth as well), or was it because he was related to big shots in the publishing company he went to work for? In Lee’s telling[s], it’s all him, all the time. The credit belongs to him, and so does any fame that comes with it. That’s the story again and again throughout Stan Lee’s life.

The documentation Riesman provides is strong. He admits when he is putting forth conjecture or trying to piece together information from multiple, oft-conflicting primary sources. That latter point is worth reflecting on: Jack Kirby, Stan Lee’s long-time artist and compatriot, claimed credit for many of the same things Stan Lee did, whether that was the invention of the Fantastic Four or characters like Thor. Their origin stories of these larger-than-life characters are incompatible. Ultimately, one of them is telling something closer to the truth. Riesman notes the danger for the historian is trying to meet halfway in between and assuming that each has some portion of the truth. That goes beyond what the evidence can show and essentially means the historian or biographer is making their own account of what actually happened. That doesn’t mean something in the middle is untrue. It’s possible that Kirby and Lee collaborated on the idea of Thor, but when Lee claims a special interest in mythology led him to the idea (an interest Riesman points out is undocumented anywhere else) while Kirby’s own acknowledged and documentable interest was alleged to be his own inspiration, it becomes even murkier. Examples like this abound throughout the book and analysis thereof takes up many pages.

Readers interested in this kind of careful analysis of documentation, sources, and trying to piece together the facts of someone’s life will love it. Those looking merely for another work giving Stan Lee unvarnished acclaim will be deeply disappointed. Stan Lee certainly had revolutionary ideas. There seems to be a solidified notion in my mind that his innovation of having all of the Marvel comics inter-connect was a revelation at the time. But who gets credit for individual characters? It seems that, at best, Lee overstates his own genius in this regard throughout his life. Looking at interviews from the 60s vs. the 80s shows a decided change of tone from Lee. Earlier, he’d acknowledged collaboration and even credited others for ideas or writing of comics, while later the story changed to give himself virtually all the credit of any kind. Of course, the notable “Marvel Method” of collaboration on comics–which basically has the writer provide a generalized plot while leaving the innovation of layout of the panels and other big picture notions to the artist–likely helped yield a number of wonderful stories and superheroes also makes it extremely difficult to decide where credit is due.

And why does it matter? Well, certainly there’s a lot of cash on that question, and apparently some extremely large sums of the same were paid out in settlements behind non-disclosure agreements. But beyond that, it matters because there are others like Steve Ditko who deserve more credit for the creation of some of these iconic characters than they get. Hey, it’s all just superheroes, though, right? In a sense, sure, but as Riesman points out–sometimes even through Lee’s own defense of the cultural impact of comics–these characters have had monumental influence on many people’s lives and even on their beliefs. Ultimately, True Believer tells that tale as well: about how stories shape us and mold our perspectives in ways we may not truly expect.

After a lengthy portion of the book is dedicated to the burgeoning years of Marvel’s growth, Riesman sweeps us along Lee’s pursuit of Hollywood, his several failed attempts to market his name, and ultimately to his death. Lee’s later years have their own share of controversy, as people fought over who controlled his legacy and, ultimately, over who controlled Lee himself. Each of these stages of life are as elegantly covered through Riesman’s strong prose as the early Marvel years, though they don’t necessarily feel as intense. It’s like Lee himself put so much effort and energy into those years that it made the rest of his life kind of feel like it was winding down from there. What he’d set in motion–and really, there’s still reason enough to say he helped the Marvel ball roll along–kept going even as his own aspirations floundered and took hits as he missed opportunities or invested in the wrong interests and, sometimes, people. The end of his life is a messy, tragic tale of people deceiving him, trying to deceive the public, and many questions that still need to be asked. Lee died with some of his inner circle mourning him, while others sought to immediately exploit it, and some of his closest, longest friends having long been alienated by his own relentless pursuit of sole credit.

True Believer is a tragic story of a man whose legacy deserves a more objective look. Lee wanted to make a name for himself and craved fame. He got those things–but at what cost? Was alienating all of his friends and even his family worth the gains he had? I don’t think so. It’s a tragic story that lies at the heart of Marvel. It will take decades to sort everything out even more, and I doubt we’ll ever know the facts of who invented which character or where credit lies. Ultimately, Riesman’s biography is important not just as a correction of Lee’s legacy, but also as a key work for touching of future exploration. Fans of speculative fiction, comics, and biographies should all be grabbing True Believer and reading it as soon as they can.

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Links

Science Fiction Hub– I have scores of reviews of Hugo nominees, Vintage Sci-Fi, modern sci-fi, TV series, and more! Check out my science fiction related writings here.

Be sure to follow me on Twitter for discussion of posts, links to other pages of interest, random talk about theology/philosophy/apologetics/movies/scifi/sports and more!

SDG.