An Exclusive Interview with Michael J. Martinez (Author of the “MJ-12” Series)

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Photo by Anna Martinez

A few weeks ago, the third (and final) book in the MJ-12 series, MJ-12: Endgame, was released (and you can check out my review of it here). It’s a super good, super satisfying conclusion to the series and I fully recommend anyone who’s a fan of superheroes, spies, alternate histories, or speculative fiction check it out. Recently, I got the chance to ask Michael J. Martinez (author of the MJ-12 series and the Daedalus trilogy) some questions related to the MJ-12 series, his inspiration behind it, his process of writing it, and his thoughts and feelings related to certain characters and events that happened throughout the book. NOTE: About 2/3 of the way through the interview, a few of the questions ventured into spoiler territory. Those questions have been clearly marked with a large block of texts that indicates when the spoilers begin and end. If you haven’t finished MJ-12: Endgame, I highly suggest you skip past that section until you’ve read the book.  (more…)

REVIEW – “The Diary of River Song – Series 4”

drs04_slipcase_1417sq_coverI am really enjoying these Diary of River Song box sets from Big Finish Production. River Song is one of my favorite characters that Steven Moffat created for Doctor Who. I love how her story ended up in the show and I love getting to see (or hear) more from her via these box sets. It’s a lot of fun hearing her interact with Doctors from the classic era, and her interactions with the Fourth Doctor in The Diary of River Song – Series 4 is no exception. But before we get to hear her meet the Fourth Doctor, she must first travel through time and space to escape the Discordia – a race of time traveling aliens who look like the common image of the Devil and are bent on ruling all of time and space. So, basically another Tuesday for River Song.

When River Song (Alex Kingston) visits a place where time has vanished, a genie escapes its bottle… the Discordia are freed – nihilistic time pirates, in devilish form, altering the past to make sure they never lose.

This time, River may have met her match. And involving the Doctor (Tom Baker) can only make things worse…

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REVIEW: “Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Comic #1”

mst3k-issue1-coverIn news that should surprise absolutely no one, Mystery Science Theater 3000 makes for a really funny, really enjoyable, and really good comic. Written by a team of writers that includes series creator Joel Hodgson, Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Comic features Jonah Heston, Crow T. Robot, and Tom Servo being forced into the pages of public domain comics by Kinga Forrester and her lackey, Max. To survive these trips into those comics, Jonah and the ‘bots must riff their way through them.

MST3K as you’ve never seen it before! The riffing hilarity of Mystery Science Theater 3000 comes to comics when Kinga Forrester pairs her Kingachrome Liquid Medium with her latest invention –the Bubbulat-R! Jonah Heston, Crow T. Robot, and Tom Servo find themselves thrust into the 2-D world of public domain comics, with riffing as their only defense! Created for comics by Joel Hodgson! The hit Netflix show has come to comics! Variant cover by longtime MST3K DVD artist Steve Vance!

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REVIEW: The Diary of River Song, Series 1-3

the-diary-of-river-songIn celebration of this week’s release of series 4 of Big Finish Productions’ The Diary of River Song, I figured it was about time I finally listened to the first three series. Starring Alex Kingston (reprising her role as River Song from Doctor Who), The Diary of River Song features the continuing adventures of our favorite archaeologist from the new series of Doctor Who. Each series features four new stories, all tied together by an overarching plotline, with River facing another dangerous threat, often with the help of one of her husband’s many different faces.

Alex Kingston reprises her hugely popular River Song character for Big Finish, starring in a new series of adventures in the Doctor Who universe…

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“MJ-12: Endgame” (by Michael J. Martinez) is a satisfying conclusion to the MJ-12 series.

mj-12 endgameWhat do you do when you’ve written a stellar first book of a series and an even better second book? You write a satisfying conclusion that blows both of the previous books out of the water and delivers everything fans of the series could want! I’m pleased to report that this is exactly what Michael J. Martinez did with MJ-12: Endgame, the third and final book in the MJ-12 series.

Josef Stalin is dead. In the aftermath, the Soviet Union is thrown into crisis, giving former secret police chief Laverentiy Beria exactly the opening he needs. Beria’s plan is to secretly place his country’s Variants―ordinary people mysteriously embued with strange, superhuman powers―into the very highest levels of leadership, where he can use them to stage a government coup and seize control of the USSR.

America’s response comes from its intelligence communities, including the American Variants recruited for the top-secret MAJESTIC-12 program, who are suddenly thrown into their most dangerous and important assignment yet. From the halls of the Kremlin to the battlefields of Korea, superpowered covert agents face off to determine the future of the planet―a future their very existence may ultimately threaten.

(This review may contain minor spoilers for the book – great efforts have been taken to remain as spoiler-free as possible, but you’ve been warned nonetheless)  (more…)

REVIEW: Welcome to Night Vale, Episode 133 – Are You Sure?

night vale logoWe’re literally seven seasons into Welcome to Night Vale, now, and writers Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor are still finding ways to change up the formula of the show and wow the audience, including a gimmick in this week’s episode that pushes the format of podcasting into a bold, interesting direction. This episode features the residents of the town of Night Vale experiencing the same day over and over again, but each time experiencing those events slightly differently. The fracturing timeline all seems to revolve around one particular citizen – someone dressed in a black satin mask. Who are they and how are they involved with the fracturing timelines? The answer just might surprise you. (Spoilers follow!)

Welcome to Night Vale, Episode 133 – Are You Sure?: Is this the first time you’ve heard me say this? Are you sure?

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REVIEW: “Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor Chronicles” from Big Finish Productions

bfp11thccd01_the_eleventh_doctor_chronicles_sq_cover_largeWhen it was announced that Big Finish Productions had been given the license to create new audio dramas featuring characters from the revived series of Doctor Who (in addition to the classic series license they already had), we all knew it was only a matter of time before they started doing new adventures with some of the Doctors from the new series. Unfortunately, with the exception of David Tennant (as the 10th Doctor), Big Finish has been unable to lure any of the new Doctors to do audio dramas yet. In their absence, Big Finish has still created new stories featuring those Doctors in the form of audiobook/audio drama hybrids, where an actor who can impersonate that Doctor performs the narration, the voice of the Doctor, and the voices of some other characters while a guest actor or two from the TV series comes in to provide their own voice. They did this first with the Nicholas Briggs led Ninth Doctor Chronicles, then a second time with the Jacob Dudman-led Tenth Doctor Chronicles, and most recently with another set led by Jacob Dudman, this time featuring the Eleventh Doctor. The Eleventh Doctor Chronicles features four stand-alone stories from parts of the Eleventh Doctor’s era.  (more…)

Review: “Seasons of War: Gallifrey” by Paul Driscoll and Kara Dennison

coverSeasons of War: Gallifrey is everything I wish the Star Wars prequels had been. Full of political intrigue, interesting and compelling characters, and fun callbacks to the continuity of Doctor Who, Seasons of War: Gallifrey is a delightful read. Written by Paul Driscoll and Kara Dennison, Seasons of War: Gallifrey is an unofficial Doctor Who charity novel, written and published in support of Caudwell Children.

On a planet already broken and divided, an unlikely band of friends are forced apart as a devastating time war rips their world asunder and threatens to destroy all of time and space.

In the struggle for peace, their lives will never be the same again.

But can Savalia, a poet turned soldier; Mordicai, a school drop-out turned engineer; Kendo, an idealist turned senator; and Tor Fasa, a respected academic turned war criminal, reunite to save the universe from total destruction?

This is the story of how they fought the war and how the war fought them.

Proceeds from Seasons of War: Gallifrey will go to Caudwell Children.

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The Season Finale of “Trial & Error: Lady, Killer” is a Delightful Hour of TV Filled With Twists and Satisfying Answers (SPOILERS!)

Trial & Error: Lady, Killer - Season 2All good things must come to an end, and it’s a shame that it’s looking like this might be more than a season finale for Trial & Error. If this is the final ending for this great show, at least it’s a stellar one. Trial & Error: Lady, Killer is the second season of Trial & Error, a comedy mockumentary created by Jeff Astrof and Matt Miller, and follows lawyer Josh Segal (Nicholas D’Agosto) and his associates, Dwayne Reed (Steven Boyer) and Anne Flatch (Sherri Shepherd), as they defend someone from murder charges being brought about by Carol-Anne Keane (Jayma Mays). In these episodes, Josh is trying to prove that Jesse-Ray Beaumont (Michael Hitchcock) wasn’t responsible for the murder of Lavinia Peck-Foster’s (Kristen Chenoweth) brother, Chet, and that it was really Lavinia who was his murderer.

“A Big Break”: Josh and his team continue to find themselves at literal dead ends in their casework until they unearth game-changing evidence with the help of Jesse Ray Beaumont. Meanwhile, in court, Carol Anne tries to finish the case before she has the baby. (Written by Jeff Astrof and directed by Jeffrey Blitz)

“Barcelona”: As Jesse Ray Beaumont’s trial begins, the team struggles to keep him under control while they discover more of Lavinia’s secrets. Now that the baby is born and awaiting the DA election results, Carol Anne discovers who is the baby’s father. (Written by Jeff Astrof and directed by Jeffrey Blitz)

This review will contain spoilers for the season finale of Trial & Error. Read at your own risk…  (more…)

Kristen Chenoweth is Killing It on “Trial & Error: Lady, Killer” (S02E05-06 Review)

Trial & Error: Lady, Killer - Season 2Tonight’s episodes of Trial & Error: Lady, Killer were unexpected in the best possible way. It would have been so easy for the show to just do what it did last year and have the trial last the entirety of the season, but nope. That’s too easy for this team and Trial & Error is a better show because of it. Created by Jeff Astrof and Matt Miller, Trial & Error: Lady, Killer follows the fictional trial of Lavinia Peck-Foster (Kristen Chenoweth) as she’s defended from murder charges by lawyer Josh Segal (Nicholas D’Agosto) in the town of East Peck, South Carolina.

A Change in the Team: After Dwayne testifies on the prosecution’s behalf and dismantles the timeline they established, Lavinia pressures Josh to fire Dwayne. Dwayne redeems himself when he stumbles onto a big break in the case leading to a shocking confession and Josh winning Lavinia’s case. (Written by Patrick Kang and Michael Levin and directed by Jeffrey Blitz)

New Case, Old Murder: In the aftermath of winning Lavinia’s case, the town finally embraces Josh as a real Pecker. However, Josh agonizes over whether or not Lavinia may have done it and, unable to try Lavinia again for Edgar’s murder, Josh takes a big swing by trying to open an old case. (Written by Melanie Boysaw and Nora Nolan and directed by Jeffrey Blitz)

(Spoilers ahead)

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