Sunday, November 6, 2011

Book Review: Triptych by JM Frey

Had the pleasure of reading the début novel from author JM Frey earlier this year, but only now have had time to write a proper review.

In Triptych, earth has become the last refuge of a race of bipedal aliens whose planet has been destroyed in a cataclysmic explosion. While the majority of people have been accommodating and accepting, with many nations formally working to integrate the aliens into Earth civilization, there still exists groups whose racism and bigotry have found new targets.

Enter two reasearchers with The Institute, Gwen Pierson and Dr. Basil Grey who are working with the alien Kalp to help reverse engineer some of the alien tech and acclimatize to each other's cultural norms. Frey's trio of characters are the emotional heart and soul of the story. Their journey from workmates to an "aglunate", a type of intimate social unit common on Kalp's home planet, is what drives the story. Not everyone is ready to accept this level of integration and conflict ensues.

Oh and did I mention there is time travel? While not the focus of the novel, time travel does play a pivotal role in the story and is used to good effect.

You can read my full review here -Review of Triptych by JM Frey

Friday, September 16, 2011

Why I Hate Terra Nova

Review contains some swear words - If you are easily offended stop reading now

Okay maybe HATE is strong word considering I haven't seen it yet, but as a fan of most things time travel related, I am NOT looking forward to Terra Nova's debut later this month on FOX.

For starters the premise strikes me as clichéd - human race is doomed, scientists decide to save the human race by exporting our problems to some other planet or in this case time period. It sounds like Earth 2 meets Land of the Lost.

If you were actually going to use a time machine to try to save the human race, I would not choose the  Cretaceous period. For starters there's that nasty problem of carnivorous dinosaurs to deal with and if that weren't enough civilization is still likely doomed in 65 million years when that big old meteor comes crashing to Earth. I could probably give you another 50 reasons why this little colony is more doomed than first settlers at Roanoke.

Okay so I gather from early reviews that perhaps the pioneers were misled about the time period, but still the scientists should have known better. The only logical reason I can think of transporting back to the era of T-Rex and his bad ass buddies would be for pure entertainment purposes. Oh, wait that's right, this is TV and people lapped that Jurassic Park shit up 20 years ago. It would make for killer TV right?

I dunno, I am not sold. YET. I'll try not to prejudge it more than I already have, but its going to be hard to get over my distaste for the premise.

I could think of a lot more DRAMATIC and interesting times to transport people back to if you were going to try to give humanity a better chance of surviving. I gathered from previews that the expedition is largely American-centric so why not send the crew back to pre-Columbus times in America. It's your country anyhow right. [Sarcasm Alert] Who's going to argue if you go back and colonize America a few hundred years earlier. Sure you mess up the timeline (just a little), but it would make for interesting drama. You could have factions that want to do it right this time around and come up with some sort of Utopia where they live in harmony with the aboriginal people (Native Americans or as we Canadians say First Nations people.) Except they're not Native Americans yet, its their land still, ain't it. So the assholes among the expedition want to "do it right this time around" and "assimilate" them before they become a problem. Ah, now I see the problem, people don't want to deal with that sort of racism and race issues on TV.

So they give you dinosaurs. No one can get upset about blowing up some T-Rex because they threaten your plans to conquer the world.

I somehow doubt this overpriced show will last more than one season, but I wait for them to prove me wrong.

For anyone unfamiliar with the show here's the First Look Trailer on YouTube

If you want a second opinion check out the NY Times Review here