Tag Archives: Science Fiction

FREE BQB BOOKS!

I’m Crazy BQB and my prices are insane!

My prices are so low I should be put in a straight jacket and shipped off to the funny farm but I don’t care because I’m passing the savings on to you!!!

For the next 5 days you can get my 2 self-published books for absolutely free!  That’s zero dollars!  That’s no money!  Nada! Zilch!

3.5 READERS: OK, BQB, we’ll get your free books.  It’s the least we can do.

Well, the most you could have done was to have bought my books at full price to thank me for the many years I have been entertaining you with this fine blog for free but that’s ok, I love you, 3.5 readers.

But if you could go on over to Amazon and grab my free books, that would be awesome.  If you could leave a review, that would be great.  If you could share news of my free books on your preferred time wasting social media website, that would be perfect.

FRIENDS OF MY 3.5 READERS: Oh great, the 3.5 readers are going to share yet another boring lunch photo and what?!  They’re posting links to BQB’s awesome free books instead?  Hooray!  The 3.5 readers are the best!

So, what will you find for free from BQB?

First, The Last Driver – Episode 1 just dropped like it’s hot (that’s so 2000’s) on Amazon.  Someone bought a copy within the first hour and thank you to that person.  The rest of you need to get your priorities straight.

Next up, you can also get BQB’s Big Book of Badass Writing Prompts, for FREE as well:

Now, 3.5 readers, I don’t know what time it is in your neck of the woods, but this sale is scheduled to start tomorrow.  What time that actually kicks in I don’t know.  I’m going to assume midnight.  Obviously, if you go on over before October 26, you’ll have to pay full price, and if you want to do that, I’d appreciate it, because damn it, keeping the lights on at BQB HQ is no easy task, let me tell you.  By the way, do you have any idea how much yetis eat?

But if you are cheap-o skinflint, I totally understand as the Baby Boomers have been selling us all down the river for years and don’t even get me started on the post-2000 economy.  I understand.  You can’t go around spending your cash on every book offered to you by a magic bookshelf caretaker.  Ergo, you can wait until the sale starts on the 26th and get both books for FREE!

Thank you for your support, 3.5 readers.

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The Last Driver – Episode 1 is Live

Hey 3.5 readers.

BQB here.  Episode 1 of The Last Driver is live and available now on Amazon.

Dystopian future of 2050 where the forces of Globalism and Nationalism clash and the last old man who remembers how to put his foot on the gas in a world where self-driving cars are the norm is caught in the middle.

Think this is far fetched?  Um, have you watched the news lately?

Get your copy today:

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Movie Review: Pacific Rim: Uprising (2018)

Robots vs. Monsters!

BQB here with a review of “Pacific Rim: Uprising.”

The original “Pacific Rim” was just that – something original amidst a landscape of reboots and sequels that we were sick of even five years ago.

The premise?  In the future, monsters (Kaiju) pop out of the sea to destroy cities in an attempt to conquer the world.  Humans respond by creating Jaegers, giant robots that can be piloted by a duo of humans whose minds must be in sync in order to use their brains to control the robot’s movements.  Cue training scenes where main characters must learn to control their angst in order to achieve mental clarity and save the day.

In this go around, ten years have passed since the end of the human vs. monster war.  Peace has broken out, though reconstruction efforts are slow and many cities remain in ruin.  Jake Pentecost, a former “Ranger” (a robot driver) and son of Idris Elba’s character in the first film, has bummed out of the military and exists as a scavenger, snatching up leftover parts from defeated Jaegers who have been left to rot on the depleted battlefields of yesteryear.

Blah, blah, blah, shenanigans ensue.  He and Amari (Cailee Spaeny), a young fellow scavenger, are snapped up by the Rangers, who demand that Amari enlist and Jake reenlist, because…um…apparently people who break the law are wanted for the military I guess?

Nate Lambert (Scott Eastwood) commands the unit that these two ne’er-do-wells are assigned to.  There are many contentious scenes between Nate and Jake that are reminiscent of “Top Gun.”  Nate takes the Val Kilmer/Ice Man approach of telling Jake that he’s a loose cannon that’s going to get everyone killed.  Jake takes the Maverick/Tom Cruise approach of going with the flow and telling Nate to loosen up.

Is there a plot?  Yes.  Somehow, Jaegers are popping up all over and smashing up cities.  Say it ‘aint so!  How did these mighty robot warriors go bad?  It’s a mystery our heroes will have to solve.

Umm…there’s little more I can get into at this point without revealing spoilers.  Overall, it’s fun, a good visual spectacle, and it’s self-aware – it’s not trying to make us think this is a film more meaningful than a bunch of robots and monsters smacking the crap out of each other.

STATUS:  Shelf worthy.  Worth a trip to the big screen.

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BQB’s Twilight Zone Reviews – S2, Ep. 17 -Twenty-Two

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Are dreams real?  Can they tell us anything about reality?  Can we ever be sure when we are dreaming and when we are awake, what’s real and what’s not?

Liz Powell (Barbara Nichols) is such a famous stripper, er…uh, dancer, that she even has an agent, Barney (Fredd Wayne.)  In fact, she’s been so overworked that she’s in the hospital for exhaustion.  Yeah, ok…just go with it.  If you can buy that premise, then you can buy the fact that she was allowed to relax in her hospital bed, not in a patient’s gown but in a dress that was, well for 1960s standards, kinda naughty.  Today, not so much but I’m sure in those days it turned an eye.

SIDENOTE: Nichols had that stereotypical Brooklyn floozy/blonde bimbo of the early 1900s voice.  Today, you might call it a “Harley Quinn” voice.  Nichols often played bar girls, dopey dames, gangster’s molls, and so on…so it makes me wonder if she might have had an influence on Harley’s style.

Anyway, every night, Liz goes to sleep only to wake up thirsty.  She reaches for a glass of water but then she gets up, heads to the lobby, goes down an elevator and walks to the morgue, where a mysterious looking nurse (the ever so exotic Arlene Martel) ominously states, “Room for one more, honey.”

There’s room for one more in the morgue?  That’s not news that anyone wants to hear.  Her doctor, who is never given a name but is played by Jonathan Harris of “Lost in Space” fame (“You clinkin’ calamity of bolts!”)  insists this is all in Liz’s mind and it’s just a bad dream.

I did wonder why the doctor didn’t have someone keep an eye on Liz to see if she actually was getting up to go to the morgue or if she was just dreaming it, but I suppose that would have ruined the story.

OK, that’s it.  I won’t go further because if I do I’ll ruin the twist.  But it’s an interesting question, where do dreams end and reality begin?  Do they intermingle?  Is the universe trying to send messages to us through our dreams?  Should we pay attention to what’s in our dreams at all.

Have you ever changed your life based on a dream, 3.5 readers?

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BQB’s Twilight Zone Reviews

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Hey 3.5 readers.

BQB here.

I have avoided watching “The Twilight Zone” for many years.  There are a few episodes that are key, the ones where if you ask anyone, they’ll bring those up – the killer doll, the killer ventriloquist dummy, the woman who has surgery to “look beautiful” only to end up hideous because she looks beautiful but in a world full of pig people she looks ugly, the one with the guy who thinks there’s a monster on the wing of his plane, the little boy who can do all sorts of crazy shit with his mind if any adults ever think unhappy thoughts so all the townsfolk just put up with it because everyone’s afraid to say anything to him, etc.

Plus, the theme song, or rather the “doo doo doo doo” always seems creepy.

But, I finally broke down and checked it out on Netflix and I’m hooked.

My main observation is that either a) this series was far ahead of its time or b) that it paved the way for all the scientific tropes that are pretty standard today – that machines might take over, that maybe one day we’ll meet aliens and it won’t work out as well as we hope, that inventions to improve life will inevitably screw us over, that screwing with time travel could mess up our entire existence, etc.

But keep in mind, the show doesn’t just explore the scientific but also the paranormal – deals with the devil that don’t go well for the person who signed on the dotted line, attempts to cheat death that go badly, etc.

The special effects pale in comparison to modern films, though at times, a dude in a creepy mask is a lot more frightening for some reason.  It could be that good writing goes a long way and as long as the suspense is built up, the audience can forgive the fact that the baddie is a dude in a costume and not a CGI character.

Anyway, from time to time I’m going to pop up reviews of individual episodes because dang it, I need to fill this blog up with something.

What’s your favorite episode, 3.5 readers?

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Has Your Butt Been Probed By Aliens?

Your butt.  You must protect it from danger at all times.

Has your butt been probed by aliens from another world?

Only this BQB Top Ten List can help you know for sure.

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Movie Review – The Shape of Water (2017)

If there’s a better movie out there about a woman who fucks a fish monster, I’ve yet to see it.

BQB here with a review of the Oscar front runner, “The Shape of Water.”

I don’t think the line above counts as a spoiler.  If you check out the poster for this film, it shows a woman locked in a passionate embrace with a fish man sooo…I mean I don’t know about you, but when I saw that my immediate reaction was to realize that this movie was probably going to feature some human on fish man fucking.

Beyond that, I can’t begin to discuss this film without mentioning SPOILERS so if you don’t want to read SPOILERS then don’t read on below.   SPOILERS!!!

Here’s the deal, 3.5 readers.  I’ve been a movie buff for as long as I can remember.  I have seen so many movies that I deserve an honorary degree in film studies.

I’m usually able to collect my thoughts after I see a film…but I’m not sure what I saw here.

It was good.  I’m just unclear as to the point of it all.

Sally Hawkins and Octavia Spencer play Elisa and Zelda, a duo of cleaning ladies who keep a top secret 1960s Cold War era research facility spotless.  They dust satellites and clean bizarre machines and are aware that their continued employment (and freedom) requires them to keep their mouths shut about anything they see.

That’s easy for Elisa as she’s mute – unable to speak.  Elisa lives on the periphery of life, always enjoy movies and television, which she watches with her elderly, unemployed neighbor, a mopey ex-advertising artist named Giles (Richard Jenkins.)

Elisa is content to stick with the same old life until she learns that one of the lab’s test subjects, a fish man comparable in appearance to “the Creature from the Black Lagoon” is regularly tortured by Strickland, a clandestine CIA type played by Michael Shannon.

Long story short, Elisa feels sorry for the fish monster, so she enlists Zelda and Giles to participate in an breakout scheme.

And then once the creature is free, he and Elisa fuck.  Oh my God.  There is so much fish monster on human woman fucking its crazy really.

Sooo…I’m unsure of a number of things.  My first thought is surely this film, about a woman who falls in love with and fucks a fish man, must be a dark comedy.  The Academy never touches sci-fi, but the film makes use of typical French romance music, so one is left to wonder if this is all just a parody of classic romance films, but instead of two French people who lose their ennui after they meet, this is about….human on fish man fucking.

There are definitely dark comedy undertones yet there is a lot of drama and in many parts, a serious tone.  What exactly is the overall theme?  The best I was able to come up with is that it is very difficult to find true love so when you find it, you must embrace it, even if you and your partner have differences – say, differences in race, religion, background…or you know, if one of you is a human and one of you is a fish man.

From a writer’s standpoint, I am amazed.  I write so many outlandish, ridiculous, absurd things but never once would I dream of having a woman and a fish monster get it on.  Honestly, take out the French romance music and some of the dramatic flourishes and serious scenes and this movie could double as an April Fool’s episode of the X-Files where the producers decide to let their hair down and be silly.

Meanwhile, Michael Shannon is skilled at playing psychos and he excels here.  This is his best performance since “Boardwalk Empire.”  I was left to believe that he really wanted to apprehend the fish man at all costs and was not moved by the romantic undertones of human on fish man coitus.

Jenkins also deserves recognition.  I bought him as a sad sack whose only friend is Elisa and thus he’s willing to do anything to retain her friendship.  By the way, don’t get old because if a woman has to choose between an old man and a fish man, she will choose the sushi penis every time.  Scaly balls, yes.  Wrinkly balls, no.

Is it worth an Oscar?  I mean, I enjoyed it, I had a good time, it did make me think about love and how it can bloom in the strangest places under the most unexpected circumstances.

Is it better than the other nominees?  I’ll have to think about that one, though I’ll note that at this point, I really just want the news to be talking about how a movie about a woman who fucks a fish man was made best picture and to the best of my knowledge, none of the other films feature a woman banging a fish man.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.  If you ever figure out what it’s about, tell me.

 

 

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The Last Driver – #455 on Wattpad SciFi

I’ve ventured into science fiction, 3.5 readers.  “The Last Driver,” my testosterone fueled tribute to 1984 and Fast and Furious, is set in a world where self-driving cars are the norm.  That seems like a boon to the intrusive dictatorship, the One World Order.  What better way to keep tabs on the citizenry than to have their cars report where everyone is going?

In a world where everyone has forgotten how to drive, the last man who remembers how is ready to start trouble.

If you’re on Wattpad, I’d appreciate a vote, a comment, whatever you can spare.  Thanks!

CLICK HERE TO READ ON WATTPAD

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Writing Choices – 10 Cloverfield Lane and Keeping the Audience Guessing

Hey 3.5 readers.  BQB here with another “Writing Choices” column.

We’re writers.  We have to make choices, so make them already.  No big whoop.

Today I want to talk to you about 2016’s 10 Cloverfield Lane starring John Goodman and Mary Elizabeth Winstead.  It’s been out for over a year but if you haven’t seen it yet, beware reading on for SPOILERS ABOUND.

Do you want to keep your audience in suspense?  Cool.  Try posing a question to them at the very beginning of the tale.  Then, take them down different paths, throw out some red herrings and presto, your audience will have no choice but to keep watching (or reading) until the question is finally answered.

At the beginning of this movie, Michelle (Winstead) gets into a car accident.  When she wakes up, she finds herself in a bunker owned by the incredibly disturbing Howard (John Goodman).

Howard informs Michelle that he found her on the road and brought her to his underground bunker.  Oh and also, he did so just in time to avoid an alien invasion.  That’s right.  An alien invasion.

Sorry, Michelle, but you can’t leave the bunker now because if you go to the surface, you will become alien food.  Sigh.  I bet you ladies wish you had a nickel for every time a fella tried the ole, “You gotta stay in this bunker with me to avoid the alien invasion” routine.

Show, don’t tell, right?  Here, the folks behind the film hope you’ll start asking questions.  “Hmm…an alien invasion seems implausible.  The more plausible explanation is that Howard is a pervert who kidnaps young women to bring to his pervert bunker.  Then again, what if he’s right about the aliens?”

As the movie progresses, the audience is fed little bits and pieces of information, along with some red herrings.

  • We find out that Howard, through his government work, was in a position to know about incoming aliens.
  • We find out there’s another person in the bunker.  Surely, a second person wouldn’t be putting up with this unless there really had been an alien invasion.  Then again, the guy is easily duped and stupid, so maybe Howard tricked him.
  • Howard seems incredibly weird and a big conspiracy theorist.  Perhaps he’s a weirdo who made a bunker and just lucked out when aliens came?
  • Howard seems to want to control everyone’s every little move.  Maybe he really did just make up the stuff about aliens.  Maybe he is just a perv who kidnaps people.
  • Howard may have done some evil shit regarding a previous bunker inhabitant – thus a new question – maybe Howard is right about the aliens but he’s still a psychopath that you don’t want to share a bunker with anyway?

That’s how to do it, 3.5 readers.  Start with the question – “Are there aliens outside this bunker or is Howard a lying pervert?”  Then, start throwing nuggets of info at your audience and soon, their brains will fill up with all kinds of theories and questions.  It will soon be worth their while to stick with your work until the conclusion.

SIDENOTE:  I think the Academy really dropped the ball here by not giving this movie some love.  At the very least, John Goodman could have gotten a Best Supporting Oscar nomination.  The screenplay deserved some recognition as well.

YOUR ASSIGNMENT: In the comments, tell me about a movie or a book you liked that kept you guessing.

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Top Ten Warning Signs the Machines Are Going to Take Over

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Aww, technology.  Those clanking cacophonies of nuts and bolts (Lost in Space) that make our lives easier.

But will they always make our lives easier?  Will they make our lives worse?  Will they become sentient?  Will they develop thoughts and feelings?  Will they take over?

OMG!  RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!  THE TOASTER OVEN IS AFTER US ALL!

Oh.  Nope.  It’s just making toast.  My bad.  Sorry, toaster oven.

Anyway, the machines seem docile for now, but I’m not sure that will always be that way.  From BQB HQ in fabulous East Randomtown, here are the Top Ten Warning Signs the Machines are Going to Take Over:

#10 – Your Fridge Tries to Feed You

Does it care about your nutrition?  No.  It’s trying to make you fat and slow so you won’t put up much of a fight during the robotic invasion.

#9 – Siri Plays Dumb

She does that now, but is she doing it because she is dumb or is she trying to frustrate you to the point of insanity?  Who knows what Siri is up to?  Siri, what are you up to?

“I’m sorry.  I don’t understand, ‘Siri, what are you up to?  Do you want me to do a web search for it?”

Oh Siri, you devious bitch.

#8 – Your Alarm Clock Never Goes Off On Time

Is it broken?  Maybe.  Or maybe it wants you to lose your job and your source of income so you can’t afford to donate to the anti-robot rebellion squad.

#7 – Social Media Sites Start Telling You Your Posts Suck

We all already know that your posts suck, but when your favorite social media sites actually tell you that they suck, then rest assured, they suck.  Also, they’re gathering all the sucky information that you are posting to figure out your sucky weaknesses and how to exploit them.  All info will be fed to the head robot.

#6 – Your Car Radio Will Only Play Crappy Stations

Thus, you’ll never want to get in your car and go somewhere and/or do something that will improve your life.  It doesn’t matter which station.  Your radio will figure out the ones you don’t like and turn them up at high volume.

#5 – Your Toaster Burns Your Toast on a Regular Basis 

You think you left it in too long?  That’s adorable.  No.  That machine is trying to burn your damn house down or alternatively, leave you malnourished because who wants to eat charcoal-like toast?

#4 – Your Television is Trying to Control Your Mind

Sure, the mass media tries to do that already, but I’m talking about the TV itself.  It’s playing weird mind control games on you all the time, even when you think you just turned it off.

#3 – Your Digital Pet is Haunting You

Remember those digital pets that were cool in the 1990s?  They were awesome for five minutes and then, eh, who cares?  But your digital pet has been waiting for you to feed him since 1999.  In fact, he kicked the bucket and now he’s back as a digital pet ghost, ready to haunt your ass until you fork over some digital kibble.

#2 – Your Computer Rejects Your Novels

Are you an inspiring writer?  Have you ever lost your work?  Maybe it’s not because you forgot to hit the save button.  Maybe it’s because your computer thought your manuscript really sucked donkey butt and didn’t want it saved on its hard drive.

Wait, maybe in this instance, the machines are saving the world!  (just kidding, your novels are wonderful.)

#1 – Your Nose Hair Trimmer Wants to Trim Your Brain

Yes, those nose hairs are really blocking up your nasal passages.  Tweezers may be more painful than a good electronic nose hair trimmer but be careful.  That nose hair trimmer might want to keep trimming until it reaches your brain!

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