Mark Lawrence, One Word Kill (2019)

One Word Kill

Author: Mark Lawrence

Title: One Word Kill

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 204

One Word Kill, the first installment in the Impossible Times sequence and Lawrence’s first foray into a SF territory, came on the heels of his success with Book of Ancestor trilogy.  The book met with enthusiastic reviews and has been recommended by many fellow bloggers – Mogsy, Aaron and Drew, to name just a few. As I haven’t read anything by Lawrence, One Word Kill was suggested to me as a good entry point – and by now I can firmly attest to the popular conviction that Lawrence knows how to write. His writing skills are a thing to behold, especially in such a short novel as One Word Kill, where every word counts. It’s a mark of professionalism to spin an intriguing story, build a convincing world and create compelling characters within a couple hundred pages. As much as I would love to wholeheartedly recommend the book, however, I can’t. To borrow Bookstooge’s latest food metaphor, One Word Kill reminded me mostly of a solid fast food meal: it had all the necessary ingredients, maybe even chosen with care for their environmental impact and health benefits, it was very professionally made and quite substantial, but by no means was it a masterpiece or a sensory delight.

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Avengers: Endgame (2019)

Avengers: Endgame. Movie to conclude the major plot points of 21 movies, stories of multiple characters that took place throughout the galaxy. Thanos won part 1, but we just knew not all was lost. It would go against every rule off modern profitable film-making, and some of us read comics…

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WARNING! There will be spoilers. The movie has been in cinemas for three weeks, so you had time enough to see it 😉 It will be our discussion on how successful it’s been in summing up the complicated history of MCU and opening avenues for new adventures.

Piotr: I’m a bit tired of my role of enthusiastic simpleton, yet I’ll start with a decisive yes. It was not a perfect movie, it was not the best Marvel movie, but it was a movie well suited to play its unique role within the MCU. Heroes ultimately won, but it wasn’t easy, and not without serious sacrifices. There were hilarious moments, spirit-rising speeches, epic battles – the final battle was, IMO, better than the one from Infinity War. Three hours, but I was not bored and could even stay in the cinema a little longer 😉

Ola: I am also quite tired of playing the unsmiling Dirty Harry to your Pollyanna, and yet I cannot endorse this movie. It is well-made, very professional and full of perfectly choreographed and rousing action scenes, but ultimately it remains empty, the promises of Infinity War for something deeper unrealized. I was intrigued and dismayed in turn, and what really killed my pleasure of enjoying this movie was the lack of internal coherence and logic. For a film that makes so much fun of Back to the Future it should really show a better alternative to time travel – and one that is not blithely disregarded half an hour later.

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L. Sprague de Camp, Lest Darkness Fall (1941)

I’ve read Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court long ago, and I was too young to cherish it. Although, in my defence, it was a very simplified comic book version. Historical fiction fan, I couldn’t appreciate that, while not a faithful depiction of the Middle Ages, nor a realistic speculation on what could have happened if a modern man was thrown into Dark Ages, it was a brilliant satire of late XIX-cent. Well, I missed it then, I honor it now, I put the Yankee on a venerable genre classic bookshelf and I move on. To newer stuff.

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Not the latest stuff though, not this time. I’ve written about decent time travel novels in the past, now something from 1941 – L. Sprague de Camp’s Lest Darkness Fall. Not as classic as 1889 Yankee, and much less ambitious, it’s recommended only for hardcore fans of slightly embarrassing pulp fantasy. Continue reading

A Few Examples of Time Travel Stories Featuring Advanced Militaries Pounding Less Developed Adversaries

Time travel as a genre fiction concept is not new. There is “The Time Machine” by Wells, like the rest of his books, a venerable classics almost unreadable for modern audience (at least that’s my firm opinion, and I’ve read a few). Dr Who, a great tv series – with dozens of tie-in books – is based around time travel, and a new season is starting. And not long ago a short gem of a book was reviewed here. But I’m not going to write a history of a subgenre. My limited goal is to talk about a few specific examples of easy reads featuring time travel. As it will soon become clear – not pillars of the subgenre, but something from the guilty pleasure section of my library. Shelf with guns and simplistic political ideas, not the one to the rigth, with early Laurell K. Hamilton novels 😉

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