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AGE OF IRON by Angus Watson

AGE OF IRON Angus Watson

Bloodthirsty druids and battle-hardened Iron Age warriors collide in the first volume of this action-packed historical fantasy trilogy.
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SYMBIONTMira Grant

The second terrifying novel in the Parasitology series by New York Times bestselling author Mira Grant!
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Civilisation: are we doomed? SKYFALL and 3 other ways of looking at it . . .

The poster for the latest Sam Mendes bond movie Skyfall, starring Daniel CraigLast weekend, along with millions of other people I’m sure, I went to see the latest Sam Mendes Bond movie, SKYFALL. I found the film highly entertaining – with some very impressive action scenes, a slickest of slick opening sequence, a surprisingly believable plot (for an action movie I mean…), and a rather irresistible performance from the easy-on-the-eye Daniel Craig.

But I also found it interesting (with my Orbit hat on) that this time, 007 wasn’t having to save the world by disarming a nuclear warhead (think MOONRAKER or THUNDERBALL) or stopping the spread of a deadly virus (think ON HER MAJESTY’S SECRET SERVICE) or prevent an evil communist plot (think CASINO ROYALE and a whole host of other Bonds).

This time, Bond’s role was to combat the destruction looming from the leak of confidential information – by the world’s most sophisticated cyber-terrorist. Highly believable in this age of Wikileaks and hackers being potentially extradited for infiltrating US military systems.

It seems that the disasters befalling the various James Bonds have been evolving through the years – seemingly to keep up with the ways in which our world, our technology and our political and social struggles have been constantly changing. Because it appears that as we progress as a species, the potential pitfalls waiting to bring down Western world and civilisation itself seem to be constantly evolving too – and growing dangerously more numerous by the day.

So the question is, like medicine trying to combat an eternally mutating virus, how do we keep protecting humanity from constantly changing threats? How do we reduce the risk that as we  develop better and better technology and scientific understanding, we might be the cause of our own downfall? Or should the question be: if we can’t prevent the occurrence of an apocalyptic event, how do we learn to recover from the aftermath?

These themes seem to be a constant in the works of David Brin, who is qualified to talk on this subject not just because he’s a trained scientist and respected political blogger, but also for having won about every major science fiction award out there.

Today sees the release of three books from David Brin: his latest novel of the near future, EXISTENCE (UK | ANZ) , and reissues of two of his most famous and enduring classics: EARTH (UK | ANZ) and THE POSTMAN (UK | ANZ).Each of these three books tackles the question of mankind’s potential demise in different ways.

Existence  - a science fiction novel of the near future by the Hugo, Necula and Locus award-winning author David Brin

Earth  - a science fiction novel and ecological thriller by the Hugo, Necula and Locus award-winning author David BrinEarth - a post-apocalyptic science fiction novel by the Hugo, Necula and Locus award-winning author David Brin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EARTH is an ecological thriller that earned David his reputation as an accurate futurologist – since it was acknowledged to have foreshadowed future threats such as global warming and cyber-terrorism. With a gripping, edge-of-your-seat plot and an underlying question of “how do we prevent an oncoming environmental disaster?”, this novel still remains very relevant to our world today and and I urge anyone interested in near-future SF to give it a go.

THE POSTMAN looks at our potential oncoming doom in a different way – being a post-apocalyptic tale about a devastated world that already lies in tatters. However, it still shows that an enlightened civilisation will not be easily eradicated if its spirit lives on within a few determined individuals.

EXISTENCE, however, is based in a future world which has suffered several potentially devastating events, yet humanity has endured and remained more-or-less on the course of progress. That is, until another uncontrollable influence comes into play – in the form of extra-terrestrial life. And this raises a whole new set of challenges for humanity.

Each of these books, in their own way looks at the question – what is it in our future that we’re so afraid of? And will we be able to do anything about it?

For more on all the books above, see the fantastic video below from David Brin. Within it he brings up the rather juicy question of THE POSTMAN – and what the author of the award-winning novel thought of the (not always so highly regarded) Kevin Costner movie based upon it…Enjoy!

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  1. Rahul

    November 1, 2012
    at 12:04 pm

    We saw it with loads of hope. The 1st 50 minutes is pure Bond; but after tht the movie sags…Sam Mendes v cleverly posted that “Train top fight shot clip” 2 months ago vetting the appetite of millions (and so million saw it and are watchingit – making millions for this movie); BUt really plainly speaking – The last 1 hour (In Skyfall Villa) are one of the most predictable ./ rather boring screenplays sequences. Dont get me wrong; DC as Bond is great / charming, but the movie is a Ripoff – we felt cheated, all of us infact who had gone..But one thing its much much better than QOS,

  2. Ingles Hideaway

    November 26, 2012
    at 12:07 pm

    An ode to the early days of Bond, complete with minimal technology and a tribute to the Aston Martin.
    While great on paper, it really doesn’t make any sense in the year 2012.

    For me, Skyfall was somewhat boring. It’s just not something I would bother rushing to see again. I doubt I’d even watch it when it hits the television airwaves. The villain, while a decent actor was more or less comedy thrown into the mix.

    Also, are we lead to believe Bond’s old homestead mansion, complete with drapery covered furniture and chandeliers, was lived in all these years by a jolly old family-friend hiding in the shadows? Come on…

    Here’s hoping the next Bond film will leave more than a hollow deadpan feeling upon leaving the movie theatre…

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