#Dystopian Worth Reading: Appleseed #BookReview #scifi #fantasy

Appleseed by Matt Bell is a beautifully written and highly original work that explores themes of power, survival, and redemption. The novel follows the life of a man named John Chapman, who becomes known as “Johnny Appleseed” for his efforts to plant apple orchards across the Midwest in the 19th century. The story follows his many reincarnations, and I find myself still thinking about this book.

Bell’s writing is exquisite, painting vivid and captivating images of both the natural world and the human condition. His imaginative use of language creates a rich and immersive experience for the reader. Additionally, the book is structured in a unique and innovative way, using a non-linear narrative that jumps back and forth in time to explore the various facets of John Chapman’s life.

While the book’s originality and writing are its strengths, it is also fair to note that the novel can feel long-winded at times.  But, overall Appleseed is an impressive and ambitious work that showcases Bell’s talent for storytelling and mastery of language. It is a recommended read for anyone looking for a thought-provoking and beautifully written exploration of the American frontier and the myth of the American dream.

Here’s the blurb:

A “breathtaking novel of ideas unlike anything you’ve ever read” (Esquire) from Young Lions Fiction Award–finalist Matt Bell, a breakout book that explores climate change, manifest destiny, humanity’s unchecked exploitation of natural resources, and the small but powerful magic contained within every single apple.

In eighteenth-century Ohio, two brothers travel into the wooded frontier, planting apple orchards from which they plan to profit in the years to come. As they remake the wilderness in their own image, planning for a future of settlement and civilization, the long-held bonds and secrets between the two will be tested, fractured and broken—and possibly healed.

Fifty years from now, in the second half of the twenty-first century, climate change has ravaged the Earth. Having invested early in genetic engineering and food science, one company now owns all the world’s resources. But a growing resistance is working to redistribute both land and power—and in a pivotal moment for the future of humanity, one of the company’s original founders will return to headquarters, intending to destroy what he helped build.

A thousand years in the future, North America is covered by a massive sheet of ice. One lonely sentient being inhabits a tech station on top of the glacier—and in a daring and seemingly impossible quest, sets out to follow a homing beacon across the continent in the hopes of discovering the last remnant of civilization.

Hugely ambitious in scope and theme, Appleseed is the breakout novel from a writer “as self-assured as he is audacious” (NPR) who “may well have invented the pulse-pounding novel of ideas” (Jess Walter). Part speculative epic, part tech thriller, part reinvented fairy tale, Appleseed is an unforgettable meditation on climate change; corporate, civic, and familial responsibility; manifest destiny; and the myths and legends that sustain us all.


#SciFi Worth Reading: Klara and the Sun #BookReview

best in science fiction book review Klara and the SunKlara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro

If you’re looking for a science fiction worth reading book, this is a novel you won’t want to miss. This thought-provoking and deeply emotional, this work of fiction is a testament to the power of storytelling, and it explores themes of love, sacrifice, and what it means to be human.

Set in a not-too-distant future, Klara and the Sun follows the story of an Artificial Friend named Klara, who is designed to provide companionship to children. Through her unique perspective, Klara becomes increasingly aware of the complexities of human emotions and relationships.

Ishiguro is a master storyteller, and his writing style is both sparse and precise, yet it conveys a tremendous amount of emotion and depth. His ability to peel away layers of the story, revealing unexpected depths and complexities, is truly remarkable. The result is a wothy work of science fiction that transcends the genre and speaks to the human experience.

The novel is a reminder that even in a world that is increasingly driven by technology, human emotions and relationships remain at the heart of our existence. That’s a worthy epiphany to walk away with and chew on when reading time is over.

Overall, Klara and the Sun is a science fiction worth reading that deserves all the accolades it has received. It is a deeply moving and engaging work of fiction. I highly recommend this novel to anyone who is looking for a thought-provoking and emotionally resonant read.

Book Blurb:

Here is the story of Klara, an Artificial Friend with outstanding observational qualities, who, from her place in the store, watches carefully the behavior of those who come in to browse, and of those who pass on the street outside. She remains hopeful that a customer will soon choose her. Klara and the Sun is a thrilling book that offers a look at our changing world through the eyes of an unforgettable narrator, and one that explores the fundamental question: what does it mean to love?



2067: #SciFi #MovieReview

The opening shots of this movie reminded me of Blade Runner and the new Total Recall. For a few minutes, the movie seemed very familiar. Then it went off on its own path. The beginning was really promising and grabbed my attention.

In 2067, there is no more oxygen and no more plants. The last humans are dying. The main character is soon sent into the future in an attempt to save humanity from extinction.

As I said, it started great. In the middle, well, I wasn’t entirely sure as to what was going on. Normally, I’m okay with this. However, a little bit of a hint would have been nice. I think the moviemakers were being too clever, and only they were in on what they were being clever about.

The visuals were nice. The beginning and ending were interesting. As usual, with most sci-fi movies, a little bit more time spent on the ending would have made it a more satisfactory watch. There was lots of crying by the characters. There was too much time spent on the main character lamenting over his tragic past.  This could have been better told and more interesting by keeping the story moving forward.  I would have liked more character growth and action. There were twists, but I’m not sure they made sense.

There were a few spots where I had to go back because I had no idea what had happened. Even rewatching those parts, I wasn’t entirely sure.

There was no dancing or cheese. Both would have made the movie more fun. The addition of human-munching dinosaurs or land sharks would have been a plus as well. As it is, I give this movie a 2.5 beer rating. It could have been better, but it could have been worse. And, I’ve seen worse. Much worse. Yup, it’ll take at least 2.5 beers to enjoy this flick. 2067 is currently streaming on Hulu.



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The Colony: #SciFi #MovieReview

Colony on Netflix is a dystopian where those who left Earth to colonize another planet want to see if their survival has better odds if they return to Earth.

The colonists on Keplar can’t reproduce. The radiation off-world has killed any hope of humans thriving. Earth, however, is all water.

This movie has a lot of flaws, however, it is nicely filmed and the acting is very good. The main character, Louise Blake, had me rooting for her through the entire movie. She has a lot of obstacles to overcome, and she does so with confidence and grit. She will see her mission completed… for the many. However, she has other motives for returning to Earth.

If you think too much about the story, the logic will slip like sand through your hands. Same goes for the ending. It was rather vague and ambiguous. Two minutes could have been spent with something more solid and meaningful. At least, I would have appreciated that.  Every story deserves a decent ending.

It’s worth a watch, though. I was entertained and would actually like to know more about this version of Earth. So for that and the acting, I give this movie a one beer rating. One is enough to have fun.

It’s streaming on Netflix. Here’s the trailer if you want a peek:



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#SciFi Worth Reading: Cage of Souls #BookReview

Cage of Souls by Adrian Tchaikovsky is a richly woven tapestry on a future Earth that resembles an alien planet. Inhabited by monsters and mechs, the residents are surrounded by a planet bent on destroying them.

It starts with the main character on his way to prison. There are only two civilized places: the main city and the prison.  The creatures attacking the boat on the way to the ‘Island’ were horrifying and fatal. They were as alien as if they came from another planet.

This story was thick with lots of atmosphere and character and layers and ideas. Through the terror of the prison, we learn that life outside the prison isn’t any easier. Once the darkness of the Island has steeped into the  psyche, the city is made known. Its inhabitants and culture didn’t seem like freedom either. To me, it seemed like a different type of prison.

In this epic, we’re human to the end with all our flaws. I was constantly searching for what had made our world this way. The characters didn’t know so the reader is left to infer with hints and clues here and there. Which was rather fun.

It’s not a quick read, but it’s a story worth knowing from cover to cover. And if you care to delve into the mirror written in the pages, it’s easy to see our current culture and society. Makes me wonder about the bars of my cage…

The sun is bloated, diseased, dying perhaps. Beneath its baneful light, Shadrapar, last of all cities, harbours fewer than 100,000 human souls. Built on the ruins of countless civilisations, Shadrapar is a museum, a midden, an asylum, a prison on a world that is ever more alien to humanity.

Bearing witness to the desperate struggle for existence between life old and new is Stefan Advani: rebel, outlaw, prisoner, survivor. This is his testament, an account of the journey that took him into the blazing desolation of the western deserts; that transported him east down the river and imprisoned him in the verdant hell of the jungle’s darkest heart; that led him deep into the labyrinths and caverns of the underworld. He will meet with monsters, madman, mutants.

The question is, which one of them will inherit this Earth?




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