Author: Kim Stanley Robinson

Pages: 532

Publisher: Spectra Ballentine

Release Date: 8/6/2009

Genre: Science Fiction, Fictionalized Historical

Characters:

Galileo Galilei- 17th century Italian, Mathematician, Physicist and Astronomer.

Maria Celeste- Galileo’s faithful daughter.

Pope Urban VIII – Pope during Galileo’s later trial.

Cartophilius- Lives in Renaissance Italy, and works in Galileo’s household. Also from the future and transports Galileo to future.

Ganymede- Cult leader from one of Jupiter’s moons in the future.

Hera- Advanced mind therapist from future, helps Galileo work on issues.

Aurora- Future scientist that uses advanced computers and helps Galileo catch up on scientific advances.

Synopsis: Brilliant 17th century astronomer Galileo interrupts his normal real-world history with journeys to the moons of Jupiter in the future. In the 17th century he discovers 4 of Jupiter’s moons and deals with charges of heresy from the Catholic church and in the future he encounters alien intelligences. At the same time he attempts to reconcile religion and science and to avoid science being a slave to power.

Analysis:Kim Stanley Robinson has been one of my favorite author’s since I read his Mars Trilogy. His novels have a nice combination of scientific knowledge and character depth. Galileo’s Dream continues with this and really puts a human face on a great scientist and sheds light on the thought processes behind some of his discoveries. Also, up until the parts where Galileo travels into the future the novel seems close to the historical Galileo, but I would have liked to see more information about Robinson’s research.

Pro:

  • Possibly an indirect continuation of the mars series.
  • Carnival on Callisto has some really amazing costumes.
  • Galileo’s reactions to the English philosophers.

Con:

  • Reader may need to consult a dictionary, physics book and biography of Galileo.

Conclusion: This is a very good book. After 532 pages I feel as if I lived with Galileo and that he was a real living and breathing person. If the reader is like me, they will find themselves researching anyone and everyone named in the book.

Score: 4.31/5

 

Author: Stieg Larsson

Pages: 658 trade paperback.

PublisherVintage Crime

Release Date: 2009

Genre:Revenge, Thriller

Characters:

Lisbeth Salander- Genius hacker, and social introvert. Spends most of time in hospital recovering from wounds in previous novel and preparing for her trial.

Mikael Blomkvist-Reporter from Millennium magazine and is very loyal to Lisbeth.

Zalanchenko- Former Soviet spy and Lisbeth’s father.

Niedermann- Insane blonde giant, impervious to pain.

Dragan Armansky- Head of Milton Security.

Synopsis: After the events of The Girl Who Played With Fire, Lisbeth Salander is taken to a hospital to be fixed up after her father shot her in the head and buried her alive. As she is recovering, devious forces in a shady corner of the Swedish spy agency attempt to silence her about her father. They get the government to press charges against her with the goal of locking her in an insane asylum for the rest of her life. Despite her rough exterior, Lisbeth has made many friends over the years, including Mikael Blomkvist,  Dragan Armansky and Holger Palmgren and they band together to help her fight her enemies.

Analysis: As with the other two books, I could not put this novel down. Larsson really surprised me with this one in the direction it went. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was a murder mystery, The Girl Who Played with Fire was a slightly different type of murder mystery, but The Girl That Kicked the Hornet’s Nest travels into new territory with courtroom drama and international espionage.

Pro:

  • The story gets very deep quickly.
  • More depth to Niedermann character.
  • Lisbeth is master of payback.

Con:

  • Explanation of the plot to protect Zalanchenko borders on tedious at times.
  • Professional spies act like they have never heard of a surveillance camera.

Conclusion: This novel is a great continuation of the series, but it made me sad to finish it because it is possibly the last due to Stieg Larsson’s death in 2004.

Trivia: There is at least one more almost completed Stieg Larsson novel out there.

Score: 3.52/5

 

Director: Martin Campbell

RatingPG-13

Running Time: 114 minutes

Release Date: 6/17/2011

Genre: Comic Book, Superhero, DC

CastHal Jordan / Green Lantern(Ryan Reynolds), Carol Ferris(Blake Lively), Hector Hammond(Peter Sarsgaard), Sinestro(Mark Strong), Hammond(Tim Robbins), Carl Ferris(Jay O. Sanders), Tom Kalmaku(Taika Waititi), Doctor Waller(Angela Bassett)

SynopsisA dying alien selects brash test pilot Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) to take over for him as a guardian for the sector of the universe that includes the Earth. Once Hal dons the green ring and recites an oath, he becomes a member of the Green Lantern Corps with the ability to create almost anything out of green energy to battle evil. He must quickly learn to use his powers to defeat an evil entity called Parallax and his human minion Hector Hammond that are menacing the Earth.

Analysis: My personal experience with the Green Lantern was limited to Saturday morning cartoons like the Superfriends, but in High School I had a friend that was really into the comic book. I never really understood the draw because he seems like such a minor character.

The film changed my opinion by showing that the Green Lantern is part of a large organization of Aliens from all over the universe,he is actually very powerful and that there is a lot more to him that I had previously imagined. I also didn’t realize Sinestro was also a Green Lantern at first before he turns evil.

I did not like the filming style of much of the film though. It seemed like CG was over used and that the director should have just gotten rid of the real humans in the film and went the cartoon route.

Pro:

  • Very interesting hero origin story.
  • Parallax is an awesome looking villain.
  • Convincing destruction of parts of Coast City

Con:

  • Some of the music sounded like Superman the movie score.
  • Parallax’s attack on earth is a bit too much like the enemy from the Fifth Element.
  • No concept of how far things are away from each other in space. One moment on earth, the next moment right next to the sun.

Conclusion: As far as superhero movies go, I think this one a little better than most. It might disappoint the mega fans, and turn off those that do not like superheroes, but those that fall in the middle should enjoy this movie.

Score: 2.43

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