Claire Thorne

Claire Thorne

Favorite Book: The Lord of the Rings
Favorite Apocalypse: The Stand . . . no, The Walking Dead . . . no, The Road . . . no, definitely The Stand.
Favorite Soundtrack for the Apocalypse: Anything by Tom Waits

It feels like an impossible task to sit down and write coherent words about Anton Yelchin’s sudden and tragic death in a freak, single-vehicle accident in Los Angeles. On hearing the news, my immediate thoughts were stuck in a numb refusal to accept the idea. “This has to be a hoax.” “He’s too young.” “He has too many movies coming out.” “But his career is just getting going.” As the news was confirmed, I started to look through his IMDb credits and realized that, with 65 roles under his belt by the age of 27, Yelchin was much further along that I realized.

Warning: Spoilers for the TV series, Fringe, are inevitable.  Proceed with caution.

There has been no time in history when humans have not been trying to work out family issues through some form of artistic expression, culminating in an immense catalog of art forms devoted in one way or another to this topic. A quick mental scan through pop culture media will generate an extensive checklist of characters with complicated paternal relationships, including Thor, Tony Stark, Peter Quill, Franklin Richards, Damian Wayne, Tyrion Lannister, Luke Skywalker, Indiana Jones, Marty McFly, Danny Torrance, Wilson Fisk, Michael Bluth, the Winchester brothers, Boromir and Farimir, Carl Grimes, Sherlock (in the Elementary version), Nemo (the Pixar clownfish, not the Jules Verne Captain), and on, and on. We’ve begun a tally that can almost not be completed, and we haven’t even started on the villains with “daddy issues.”

I am a Lumberjanes reader from way back when it was hip. (Oh, wait…it’s still hip!)   I’m a complete newbie to Gotham Academy.  Contrary to my natural instincts, I jumped into Lumberjanes / Gotham Academy #1 without doing a stitch of research - no reading up on the characters, past story arcs, universe, or canon.  (Of course, the name Gotham was a helpful clue.)

One of my favorite movies in recent memory is the 2014 What We Do in the Shadows (directed by and starring Taika Waititi who is currently directing the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok for Marvel), a delightful parody of all-things vampire and reality TV.  Shot in the faux-documentary style of The Office and following the daily lives of a group of vampires sharing a flat in New Zealand, What We Do takes on every vampire (and werewolf!) trope imaginable to hilarious effect.

*Be sure to find out how to win your own copy of Bioethics and Philosophy in Orphan Black below the review!

After the airing of the last episode of Fringe in 2013, leaving me bereft of serious and densely packed science fiction in my TV landscape, I went on the hunt for a new series that could fill my need for truly mind-bending sci-fi concepts and themes.  I’ve partly filled the void with shows like Person of Interest and…well, several whole-series binge re-watches of Fringe

I recently made the mistake of starting Lucy Knisley’s new book, Something New, early one lovely Friday evening.  The problem, of course, is I quickly found myself irrevocably sucked in, and pretty soon, my Friday night was entirely lost to Lucy’s charming world.  (As I write this review, I’m finding myself re-reading whole sections.)  As a veteran of her previous book, Relish: My Life in the Kitchen, I should have predicted that I wouldn’t be able to put Something New down once I’d started it.  Also, it’s actually quite difficult to think of a more delightful way to spend a Friday evening than with her lovely stories and artwork.

Spectrum #0 brings to life the plot of a fictionalized show within a fictionalized show that circles tantalizingly around the very real fan obsession with a too-soon-cancelled actual cult TV favorite and its intrepid cast and characters.

I’ve always wanted to travel in space.  I’m talking serious interstellar travel to destinations at the far reaches of our universe.  This desire is fueled by a completely unrealistic expectation that these journeys would be filled with Hubble photo gallery vistas or at least have the feel of the Star Trek: The Next Generation opening title sequence.

The Nameless City in Faith Erin Hicks' graphic novel of the same name has been conquered and re-conquered and overthrown so many times that the natives no longer try to keep up with the latest titular revision. They keep their heads down and let the waves of occupiers wash over them.  Enter Kaidu and Rat, young occupier and young native, respectively.  They have nothing in common and every reason to dislike each other, so, of course, their paths immediately and inextricably cross.

What do you do when you have a compulsive need to catalog and collect all the planets in the universe, and the slot on your alphabetized shelf between “Db” and “Ea” is woefully empty?  You head for Earth, of course.  And, if you are a super-intelligent (albeit insane) extraterrestrial android named Brainiac, you won’t expect anyone or anything to be able to stop you.

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