Sunday, April 26, 2009

42 Challenge Completed

Novels
1. Last and First Men; Olaf Stapledon (1930) – 5/5
2. Ring Around the Sun; Clifford D. Simak (1952) – 2.5/5 Thanks to Dave for correcting me on the title of this novel - quite embarrassing on my behalf.
3. Atlas Shrugged; Ayn Rand (1957) – 1/5
4. Non-Stop; Brian Aldiss (1958) – 3/5
5. The Great Time Machine Hoax; Keith Laumer (1963) – 2/5
6. The Man Who Folded Himself; David Gerrold (1976) – 4/5
7. Strata; Terry Pratchett (1981) – 2/5
8. The Day the Martians Came; Frederik Pohl (1988) – 3.5/5.
9. Jumper; Stephen Gould (1995) – 5/5
10. The Sparrow; Mary Doria Russell (1996) – 4/5
11. Blade Runner 2: Edge of Human; K. W. Jeter (1996) – 4.5/5
12. Paris in the Twentieth Century; Jules Verne (1997) – 4/5
13. Reflex; Stephen Gould (2002) – 1.5/5
14. The Praxis; Walter Jon Williams (2002) – 4.5/5
15. The Sundering; Walter Jon Williams (2003) – 4.5/5
16. Conventions of War; Walter Jon Williams (2005) – 5/5
17. Evil Genius; Catherine Jinks (2005) – 4.5/5

Movies
18. The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) – 4.5/5
19. When Worlds Collide (1951) – 1.5/5
20. The War of the Worlds (1953) – 3.5/5
21. Logan’s Run (1970) – 3.5/5
22. Spaceballs (1986) – 2/5
23. Starship Troopers (1997) – 5/5
24. The Matrix (1999) – 5/5
25. Cowboy Bebop: The Movie (2002) – 3.5/5
26. Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust (2002) – 4.5/5
27. Donnie Darko (2002) – 4/5
28. The Matrix Reloaded (2003) – 2.5/5
29. The Matrix Revolutions (2003) – 2/5
30. Steamboy (2004) – 5/5
31. Serenity (2005) – 5/5
32. Wall-E (2008) – 3.5/5
33. They Are Among Us (2008) – 1/5
34. The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008) – 2/5
35. Watchmen (2009) Reviewed by Brideofthebookgod – 5/5

Television
36. Aeon Flux (1995) – 1.5/5
37. Firefly (2002) – 5/5
38. Children of Dune (2005) – 3.5/5
39. Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles Season 1 (2007) – 4.5/5

Videogames
40. Phantasy Star (1988) – 3/5
41. Ratchet and Clank (2002) – 3.5/5
42. Destroy All Humans! 2 (2004) – 4.5/5

Best Novel: A tie between "Jumper" and "Evil Genius", both YA SF novels. I would compare “Jumper” favourably to “Stars My Destination” – exciting and well fleshed-out characters and a wide variety of ideas, too. “Evil Genius” gets a nod for such an original plot – a child being taught to become an evil criminal mastermind like his father – and being so fun to read with few plot inconsistencies. “Last and First Men” is excluded because I have read it several times previously, and I don’t want to include a repeat viewing as a favourite, but it does deserve a mention anyway – vast scope, variety of ideas, and extremely challenging philosophy. Stapledon is quite underappreciated considering the works that he has produced.

Best Movie: Three-way tie between “The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)” “Watchmen” and “Steamboy”. "The Day The Earth Stood Still" is a quiet, intelligent character movie, and some quite interesting ideas there, too. "Steamboy" is a beautifully-drawn anime that creates a cyberpunk nineteenth-century London with some challenging moral questions. "Watchmen" (which BrideOfTheBookGod reviewed, and I largely agree with what she wrote) is an violently explicit superhero movie with insightful satirical elements set in an alternate-history America. I can not compare the three movies, all of which are quite different in presentation, ideas, and scope, but all are worth watching, and not one of those movies are done justice with the single-sentence summary I have given them.

Best Television Series: “Firefly”. There’s quite a variety of storylines attempted, yet everything makes sense in the wider Firefly universe. The characters are excellent, and so is the acting. It’s exciting to watch, too. In fact, apart from the fact that I don’t have a second series to watch, I can’t think of a problem with Firefly. Why can’t all television be this good?

Best Videogame: “Destroy all Humans! 2”. You’re an alien, invading earth, wield a bunch of cool weapons and your own UFO. It’s as cool a game as it sounds, and also enjoyable for all of the references from the 1960’s, both from the world of science fiction, and wider culture.

I would also love to thank those whom went to the effort to respond to a review I made, particularly Ardsgaine, whom I had an interesting discussion about "Atlas Shrugged" with. It's quite interesting to see different people's perspectives on what I have seen, and I have some interesting recommendations, too.