Return to Sender, movie review

Not quite a horror movie, but bordering on it. It’s a slow developer, but you’ll get a good reward at the end. A woman is raped (not to be seen if you’re squeamish), but ends up befriending the attacker after he’s sent to prison. Simple story, but the character development and story are very well done. It’s also a freebie, available on Netflix.

The Lazarus Effect, movie review

Another accidental (and freebie) discovery on Netflix. It reminded me of Flatliners, an older film that was also pretty scary. A medical team has developed a serum that can bring dead animals back to life. During one of these experiments, an electrical accident kills one of the workers. They can’t resuscitate her, but her husband, one of the developers, has the brilliant idea to use the experimental Lazarus serum. And that’s when the fun begins.

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Red Rising, by Pierce Brown

An adult version of Hunger Games, with more advanced syfy mixed in. By adult, I mean a lot more brutality, but also more intense drama. By syfy, one example would be that the story takes place on Mars. And surgeons can completely modify your body, adding muscle and changing bone structure.

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The Martian, by Andy Weir

The movie is getting ready to come out, so be sure you read the book first. It’s not syfy, in the sense of outer space exploration or fighting aliens, but more along the lines of a slow motion Gravity. But, it’s pretty clever in how the guy survives.

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Doctor Sleep, by Stephen King

The sequel to The Shining. And yes, you need to read The Shining first to appreciate Danny’s past. Danny was the kid, and in this book, he’s grown up. But he has not forgotten the horrific events that led to the death of his father. In fact, he’s grown up to be a druggie, so he can blot out those memories. And his mental powers are pretty much forgotten.
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Hacking Work: Breaking Stupid Rules for Smart Results, by Bill Jensen

Got this for one penny at Amazon. Of course, shipping was $3.99, but it’s still a great deal. The book doesn’t have a boiler plate of tools to use for hacking, but it does give a good sales pitch about the risks and benefits. By the way, the work hacking is not the malicious kind–it’s about going around rules when you can get the job done faster, while benefiting the company.

Nocturnal, by Scott Siglar

This was quite a roller coaster ride. Siglar has really grown as a writer, compared to his earlier stuff, like Infected and Contagious. We start with an unknown man seeking refuge in the middle of the night and being turned away from the door of a friend. Then, he turns up dead. But, not just dead, half eaten.

Then, we move to the story of 12 year old boy, bullied at home by his mother, and bullied after school by three evil classmates. Who has very strange dreams–he’s hunting the bullies.

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Wicked, by Gregory Maguire

Witches and magic–what could go wrong? I read this mostly out of curiosity–who can resist anything connected to the phenomenal story and movie, The Wizard of Oz. It’s the prequel, by an entirely different author, of course, but Maguire is a very good writer–and if you think you can skim through this book with the brain power of watching the movie, you’re going to miss a lot. I had to read some of the sentences twice or more to “get” the intent, but it was always worth it. Here’s a sample:

“People who claim that they’re evil are usually no worse than the rest of us… It’s people who claim that they’re good, or any way better than the rest of us, that you have to be wary of.”

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Skeptical of Skeptic Magazine

Ever hear of Skeptic Magazine? I browse it once in a while, and most of the articles have good logic. But a couple of times I have found articles that made fun of global warming skeptics. I thought, how odd, that a mag that specializes in being skeptical of popular dogma would NOT be skeptical. Then I read this article and felt better. It also has a link to a famous one minute lecture by the physics god Richard Feynman.