Author Archives: redstarreviews

About redstarreviews

A reader (primarily of SciFi & Fantasy) who desires to share his thoughts on the books that he reads. Also on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Tumblr with the same username.

Modern Military SciFi In War Stories!

Y’all, when Apex Publications asked if reviewers would be interested in reviewing books from their back catalog to help spread the word that in September their entire back catalog would be on sale I jumped at the opportunity to join in! Now I know September is flying past so I’m only now letting you know that their back catalog of books is on sale for 25% off for this month if you use the discount code of SEPTEMBER and I apologize for that lateness BUT when you look at the cost and value of the book I’m reviewing for them I think that even if you read this post at a later date you’ll still want to obtain this book and give it a read! Ok let’s dive into this book now:

First off: it is tricky to get a good photo of an e-book cover! Ha! But this cover is perfect for this book. WAR STORIES is a short story collection of new Military SciFi by a variety of authors and it is hard hitting and thoughtful right from the start! If you’re curious what Military SciFi is then I’ve got a lovely post for you on that topic HERE but the short version would be SciFi that deals with military experience as a central factor rather than a story that just has a conflict/war in it. Military SciFi takes a deep look at humanity and holds a mirror up in front of us to confront us with ourselves and what we as a species do to one another and for what purpose. I love Military SciFi and in reading this short story collection I’ve been hit hard with the stories I’ve read. Well thought out. Very thought provoking. Fiction that feels real and challenges me. This is the type of book that takes me a while to work through because I find myself stopping to reflect after every story I read. Y’all, War Stories is an excellent intro to Military SciFi for those new on the scene and it’s an excellent one to cause lifelong Military SciFi readers to gain new perspective. It’s available HERE on APEX Publication’s website.

While you are there please look around at their entire catalog and even if you can’t take advantage of their September discount I think you’ll find books that will capture your interest!

Vintage SciFi Month Is Fast Approaching!

Vintage SciFi Month 2020 is almost here! This year for the lead up to the month we’ll be having some different bloggers hosting guest posts about the month to help spread the word to a wider audience! Stay tuned for more info!

My Subjective Rankings Of The Alien And Predator Movies

That title describes this post well! 😂 I realized the world is lacking in the area of my subjective rankings! So while I’m working on my rankings of the Presidents, of the Star Wars films, and of my top ten fantasy series of all time I figured I’d share my completely subjective (yet still correct) rankings of two SciFi Horror movie franchises that have become so intermingled that they should be ranked together! Y’all ready to disagree with me!??

From best to worst here they are:

1) Alien. This will forever be the standard for me when it comes to SciFi Horror. Yes there are slow points. Yes the tech is outdated. BUT this movie ROCKS! Ripley is perfect in this film. The Alien is terrifying in this film. The tension created by this film is unreal! This is deservedly number one on my list. However I ALMOST placed it second because the second place movie on this list is one of my favorite films EVER! But the tension that Alien creates makes it one of the greatest movies ever so it stands atop my list.

2) Prometheus. DON’T YOU @ ME LOOKING FOR A FIGHT! 😂 Prometheus is one of my favorite movies EVER. The scenery shot in the opening scene alone could have won my heart. The musical score alone could have won my heart. The tension, the acting, the storyline, everything here won my heart. Prometheus has held up time and again on rewatches. Love it.

3) Predators. This one captivates me every time it is on. I can’t put my finger on why, but there’s a few movies that have the ability to pull me in every time I notice them on the tv (like Constantine) and this is one of them. Based on that, it outranks other movies in the franchise that might be more worthy of this spot.

4) Alien3. Ok so if y’all weren’t already yelling at the screen you probably are now. But Alien3 is special to me. It is the first Alien movie I watched. Before I watched it I read the comic book adaptation and the novelization AND listened to the soundtrack. Even being that familiar with the story this was the first time I saw a Xenomorph on screen and it made quite the impression on me. Alien3 has flaws but it’s a solid film nonetheless.

5) Alien: Covenant. Michael Fassbender is my favorite actor, so I need no other reason for ranking this high! 😂 BUT it is an intense and horrific film! With Covenant I felt that RS was really returning Alien back to the SciFi Horror genre, since it has been pulled into the SciFi Action genre by so many other directors.

6) Alien Vs Predator. This one was fun. I’ve long been a fan of the AVP comic books and it was good to finally watch an AVP movie!

7) Aliens. When I originally watched this I thought it was awesome. Obviously I was very impressionable. It doesn’t hold up well. James Cameron wanted to make an action film out of a SciFi Horror. I do like that we get Colonial Marines and the comic book series that this launched was good but yeahhhhhh…. I’d rank this one lower but that wouldn’t be fair. It has a few ok moments.

8) Predator. GET TO THE CHOPPA!

9) Predator 2. In an interesting twist of fate I saw Predator 2 before I saw Predator. Weird, huh? It’s not that it’s a bad movie, it just could be so much better than it is.

10) Alien Resurrection. The Alien film that shouldn’t have been made. What a waste.

11) Alien Vs Predator Requiem. The WORST Alien or Predator movie made. Basically a gore fest of going after the low hanging fruit that up till now had been avoided in the franchise. Killing children and pregnant mothers in order to try and shock the viewers? Just bad.

Not Ranked: The Predator because I’ve not yet seen it. But unless it is just AMAZING the highest it would probably make it is 6th because that top five is pretty solid in my mind.

I hope you enjoyed my subjective rankings!!

READ THIS BOOK!

If there is one book I could convince you to read right now it’s this book I’m about to tell you about! As y’all know one of my goals with RedStarReviews is to draw attention to books that are published either independently or via a small publisher with my Star In The Sky reviews. The concept is that there are so many stars shining brightly in the sky and I want to use my platform to point out some that have grabbed my eye and today I have a very bright shining star of a story to share with you!

The Deadbringer by E M Markoff is the first book of The Ellderet Series and it is AMAZING!!! The author is a member of the Bookstagram Community and I somehow missed that she was an author! One day I saw her post about her characters and thought that they sounded cool so I decided to give the first chapter of the book a try. I hoped I’d like it. I didn’t just like it, Reader, I LOVED IT. This book is so damn awesome! It is a Dark Fantasy with elements of Horror within it. The world created by the author is interesting, the characters are so alive they could step off the pages and into your home. The interpersonal conflicts are some of the best I’ve ever encountered in a book in my reading life. This is a book that grabbed ahold of me and refused to let go! Seriously if there is one book this year that I recommend that you give a chance to please let it be this book! E M Markoff has created such an incredible story that I know you’ll love. After you’ve read it please let me know what you think!

If you’d like to hear me talk more about this story check out the latest episode of my RedStarReviews Podcast

Also! Another reviewer of books Nick T Borrelli has constructed a list of his Top Ten Favorite Fantasy Series and it is an excellent list! It’s inspired me to construct my own top ten so right now I’m stuck with 16 possibles and trying to narrow that down so I can share it with you. Hope to have my list for you soon, but please check out Nick’s list while waiting, and please read The Deadbringer!

Reading With A Baby

Reading your own books with a baby can be tricky. Good luck!

😂 Ok ok I’ll be fair and write more. I did have to pause because baby girl is napping in my arms as I type this and she decided to move. Nap times and night time are the best times I’ve found to read. I’d say lunch time at work but that’s often my nap time nowadays 😊 The kindle app on my iPhone has become my primary book because I can read while she sleeps without a bright light to wake her and it is easy to hold while my baby sleeps in my arms. Also audiobooks are great because I can listen to them on my work commutes.

Yes, reading with a baby is tricky BUT she is worth every missed page and delayed completion of books. Plus I get to spend a lot of time reading her books with her and that’s a joy!

Podcast, reading, reviews, all things bookish definitely take a back seat to my baby and that’s ok. I still enjoy a good tale, they’re just read in smaller increments.

All this to say to my fellow readers and reviewers: I often see so many apologizing for how much time passes between photos, reviews, etc… because life! Please don’t stress. Bookstagram is still here. Your bookish friends understand and we support you placing life first. This is a labor of love for most of us so it’s ok if it takes a hot minute to post. In the middle of everything please remember that you matter, and find the joy in the midst of what you’re doing.

Yes reading with a baby is tricky, but I have a wonderfully amazing and precious bundle of love and joy napping in my arms right now and that is what matters. Peace and love, y’all.

A Crooked Tie

My tie is crooked.

I’m on my way to a funeral.

My baby girl thought my tie was delightful and wanted to play with it. I think she thought her daddy was wearing a bib like she does.

I’m late for the funeral, and my tie is crooked.

I’m always late. I hope to be late to my own funeral. A few minutes earlier I held my laughing baby as she played with my tie. Now I’m headed to a funeral with a crooked tie. Now I’m thinking about time.

I measure distances in time. How long will it take me to get there is always my question. Miles and kilometers aren’t my measurements because they don’t matter when compared to time. Time is our only commodity. Time is all we have, until we don’t have it any more. Time is fleeting. Time is precious. Time passes.

My tie is crooked, but today I beheld the joy on my baby girl’s face while she played with my tie. She has her mother’s smile. For that smile I have all the time in the world.

My tie is crooked, my time is all I have, and I give it to my daughter and my wife.

What I’m Listening To!

I thought it’d be fun to share what podcasts I’m listening to and enjoying! Not all are book related but each one has grabbed my attention and has an impact on my life so I wanted to let you know about them and about what they mean to me. Here’s a few podcasts that are off the beaten path!

First there’s mine! 😂 but for real if you didn’t know I have a podcast I do want to let you know about it! RedStarReviews is a labor of love that has provided a creative outlet that really brings me joy. Keep on reading for more amazing podcasts including the one that helped inspire me to launch mine!

If you follow me on any social media then you’ve seen me talk about The No Fly List because it is AMAZING! In it you have a comedian and a journalist who interview incredible people on what it is like to be a POC in America. It’s funny and insightful, and I recommend it so highly!

Read This F___ing Book is a book discussion podcast that not only features two great hosts: they also feature SciFi and Fantasy books!!!!! They feature books I’ve read or want to read and that makes for a fun experience.

The Robcast is the podcast that finally gave me that last little push I needed to launch my own podcast! Rob Bell has long been an inspiration to me, and he constantly encourages his listeners to do the thing they’ve been thinking about for ages. Just step out and try. So I did and I’m thankful I did! He brings wisdom, insight, motivation, and peace. This podcast is SO GOOD!

Y’all know I consider Battlestar Galactica (Reboot) to be the greatest tv show EVER!!! I’ve been wanting to rewatch it and so imagine my joy when Battlestar Galacticast launched! Here’s a chance to rewatch the series and enjoy some fine discussion about it!

I just recently discovered The Frontline Club and I’ve greatly enjoyed this news show’s formatting and content. They take journalists and politicians who were at the heart of conflict and have them discuss those situations in front of a very argumentative audience. Recommended for those who like modern history.

Fareed Zakaria is the host of the best news show in America and while I love watching his tv show on Sunday mornings I enjoy getting to hear his thoughts and interviews while commuting to and from work!

Stories With My Muslim Mom is a great podcast in which a son interviews his mother about her life experiences and opens our eyes to so many things! https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/stories-with-my-muslim-mom/id1434519106?mt=2

And for fellow history lovers Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History just can’t be beat! Do yourself a favor and dive right into his episodes on WWI https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/dan-carlins-hardcore-history/id173001861?mt=2

So while you’re waiting for the latest episode of RedStarReviews you now have a list of some excellent podcasts to enjoy!