Review: The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, Vol. 8

By Josh Storey


Strahan, Jonathan, ed. The Best Science Fiction & Fantasy of the Year, Vol. 8. Solaris (April 10, 2014). USD $19.99, paperback. ISBN 978-1-78108-216-4.


Gathered from across publishing media – from traditional print to online magazines and single-serving digital downloads – The Best Science Fiction & Fantasy of the Year, Vol. 8. paints a picture of the current state of science fiction and fantasy. So, if a year’s best anthology is a snapshot of the last 365 days …

IFPReview: The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, Vol. 8

Column: On the Marches of Dreamland: Review: Menial: Skilled Labor in Science Fiction

By Randy Stafford

Jennings, Kelly and Darrach, Shay, eds. Menial: Skilled Labor in Science Fiction. Crossed Genres Publications, 2013. USD $11.95. ISBN 0615705618.

What I wanted from this anthology was what I call “a day at work” stories, science fiction tales that don’t have the usual glamorous and exciting heroes: scientists, cops, criminals, diplomats, hackers, doctors, and engineers. I wanted people, as the book’s blurb puts it, “who understand and maintain the building blocks of civilization,” people who maintain …

IFPColumn: On the Marches of Dreamland: Review: Menial: Skilled Labor in Science Fiction

Review: Doctor Who 7.01: The Asylum of the Daleks

By Heather S. Vina

Written By: Steven Moffat

Recap: “First, there were the Daleks. And then there was a man who fought them. And then, in time, he died. There are a few, of course, who believe this man somehow survived and that, one day, he will return.”

The episode begins with a woman on Skaro (named ‘Darla von Karlsen’ on Wikipedia, played by Anamaria Marinca, but never named in the episode), calling on the Doctor to help him save …

Heather S. VinaReview: Doctor Who 7.01: The Asylum of the Daleks

Column: Summer Screams: War of the Worlds

By Paula R. Stiles

Return with us to the thrilling, chilling days of yesteryear for a summer full of radio terror. For 14 weeks, we’ll review audio dramatisations of horror stories, both old and new. Some of the material will come from the Gentleman from Providence. Other reviews will look at other authors, both inside and outside Mythos.

First up – the granddaddy of reality TV, the pinnacle to which all other radio horror aspires, the original 1938 radio broadcast …

Paula R. StilesColumn: Summer Screams: War of the Worlds

Review: Doctor Who 7.00 (Christmas Special 2011): The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe

By Heather S. Vina

[spoilers ahead]

Written by: Steven Moffat

Recap: There are ships above Earth, moving in to fire on the planet below. A mechanical voice announces, “People of Earth, you stand alone,” right before something on the ship explodes! The voice changes into an “intruder alert” system, and the ship begins to explode more.

Inside the ship, the Doctor is running down the exploding corridors, the Sonic Screwdriver out as he uses it to open the doors in …

Heather S. VinaReview: Doctor Who 7.00 (Christmas Special 2011): The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe

Review: The Walking Dead 2.03: Save the Last One

By Harry Markov

[spoilers are in here, of course]

“Save the Last One”, the third episode in the second season of The Walking Dead, should have been better, given the individual vignettes with big-cast and small-cast characters. The writers shone a light on lesser-developed characters and, on an individual level, every vignette worked to a degree. However, the episode failed to convince me and flatlined.

In a short, not-necessarily-chronological sequence, here is what happened in “Save the Last One” …

HarryReview: The Walking Dead 2.03: Save the Last One

Review: Doctor Who 6.13: The Wedding of River Song

By Heather S. Vina

[spoilers ahead]

Written by: Steven Moffat

Previously: The Doctor finds out about his death at Lake Silencio, Utah. Madame Kovarian takes River away. The Teselecta (people dedicated to justice in time, who travel in a shapeshifting ship) reveals that Melody Pond, AKA River Song, is the person who kills the Doctor. The Doctor finds out that the Silence – a religious movement dedicated to preventing the asking of the oldest question in the universe – want …

Heather S. VinaReview: Doctor Who 6.13: The Wedding of River Song

Review: Doctor Who 6.11: The God Complex

By Heather S. Vina

[spoilers ahead]

Written by: Toby Whitehouse

Recap: In a mysterious Earth-like hotel (think the Jack Nicholson movie, The Shining), a female police officer named ‘Lucy Hayward’ (Sarah Quintrell) is walking down the halls, checking things out. While she does this, she is narrating what has been happening there and it seems that she’s the last one left. She talks about the rooms, and not knowing what is in “your room” until you see it. While …

Heather S. VinaReview: Doctor Who 6.11: The God Complex

Review: Torchwood: Miracle Day 4.10: The Blood Line

By Heather S. Vina

[spoilers ahead]

Story: Russell T. Davies

Teleplay: Jane Espenson and Russell T. Davies

Previously: Rex and Esther reunited with the CIA, in the form of Shapiro, who promptly deported Gwen and shot Jack. Esther took off with a wounded Jack, while Oswald ran away from Jilly, who hooked up with the Mystery Man from the Families.

Recap: Having discovered that Jack’s blood will lead them to the Blessing, Gwen in Shanghai follows the blood to a …

Heather S. VinaReview: Torchwood: Miracle Day 4.10: The Blood Line

Review: Doctor Who 6.10: The Girl Who Waited

By Heather S. Vina

[spoilers ahead]

Written by: Tom MacRae

Recap: The Doctor is bringing Rory and Amy to the planet Apalapucia, which was voted #2 planet in the top 10 greatest destinations for the Intergalactic Traveler. When Rory asks why they aren’t going to the #1 planet, the Doctor tells him it’s hideous, basically a tourist trap.

However, when they step out, expecting to look upon a beautiful world, all they find are doors and a sterile white room. …

Heather S. VinaReview: Doctor Who 6.10: The Girl Who Waited

Review: Torchwood: Miracle Day 4.09: The Gathering

By Heather S. Vina

[spoilers ahead]

Written by: John Fay

Previously: Rex and Esther reunited with the CIA in the form of Shapiro, who promptly deported Gwen and shot Jack. Esther took off with a wounded Jack, while Oswald ran away from Jilly, who hooked up with the Mystery Man from the Families.

Recap: A masked person barrels into a pharmacy and shoots out the camera. Turns out it’s Gwen and she’s stealing drugs. An old man bystander interrupts her …

Heather S. VinaReview: Torchwood: Miracle Day 4.09: The Gathering

Review: Doctor Who 6.09: Night Terrors

By Heather S. Vina

[spoilers ahead]

Written by: Mark Gatiss

Recap: On a council estate in London, an old woman named ‘Mrs. Rossiter’ (Leila Hoffman) is going on the lift and bringing home her grocery cart. A young mother named Claire (Emma Cunniffe) is putting her little boy (Jamie Oram) to bed – or trying to, anyways. He’s very scared of the sound of the lift and scared in general of the “monsters” in the room. Claire flips on and …

Heather S. VinaReview: Doctor Who 6.09: Night Terrors