BUCK ROGERS IN THE 25TH CENTURY BY ADDISON E. STEELE

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Copyright 1978.

The year is 1987 and NASA launches its last deep space probe. Ranger 3 and Captain William “Buck” Rogers encounters a meteor storm and it freezes Buck in suspended animation as his ship goes into an orbit around the solar system. An orbit that will take five hundred years to return to Earth. In five hundred years he is found by the Draconians an intergalactic empire. They are on a peace mission to Earth but in reality plan to conquer the planet. Killer Kane and Princess Ardala decide to use Buck to find a way through the Earth’s defenses.

So Captain Rogers returns to Earth and finds it has been devastated in a nuclear holocaust back in the twentieth century. They think he is a spy for the space raiders and banish him along with two droids who backed him into Anarchia. The nuclear ruins of Chicago that are overrun by mutants. Luckily the Earth directorate figures out a use for him and rescues him. Thus Buck manages to infiltrate the Draconian ship and single handedly destroy their ship and expose the invasion plan.

This is the adaptation of the Buck Rogers pilot for the TV series. It was from a screenplay by Glen Larson and Leslie Stevens. Fresh off of Battlestar Galactica Larson recycled the effects and some props for this classic series. He also released the pilot as a theatrical movie to generate interest. This series has been described as a disco series in space. A bit harsh but probably accurate. It was a cheezy but fun series that was basically a James Bond in space. Buck Rogers would single handedly save the day against overwhelming odds. This with his wise cracking droid Twiky and Colonel Wilma Deering in a sexy skintight spandex uniform.

So the book is written by Richard A. Lupoff under the pen name Steele. It is a competent adaptation. Not much new. We get a little glimpse into the launch of Buck’s ship in 1987. Apparently gas was $4 a gallon so the apocalypse was not to far away. The Anarchia scene has them banishing Buck where in the movie he went out on his own initiative to find out what happened to his family. This was probably the original screenplay and you can see where some stuff that didn’t work out was dropped in the final product. An enjoyable little bit of nostalgia.

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PLANET OF THE APES TALES FROM THE FORBIDDEN ZONE EDITED BY RICH HANDLEY AND JIM BEARD

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Copyright 2017.

UNFIRED by Dan Abnett

A group of mutants is making a pilgrimage to the holy church in the east. They are lead by a mutant who is unfired i.e. surgically altered so he does not have his psychic power and can kill to protect the pilgrims. They deliver a recently discovered holy scripture the launch codes for the Alpha-Omega missile.

MORE THAN HUMAN, LESS THAN APE by Nancy A. Collins

A young Cornelius goes on an archaeological expedition. They are ambushed by a tribe of baboons. Cornelius befriends the leader and lives among them and learns their culture. An army of gorillas comes and massacres the tribe. Baboons are monkeys and not apes so there is no violation of the sacred scrolls.

BLOOD BROTHERS by Will Murray

From the TV series. Galen, Virdon and Burke are continuing their quest and come to the Napa valley. It is inhabited by Native Americans lead by a gorilla. The gorilla was raised by the tribe and is their chief. He is also the brother of General Urko. He defeats Urko and the fugitives continue on.

THE PACING PLACE by Bob Mayer

An alternate world in which Taylor and Nova are not captured by mutants. They found a settlement called Fort Wayne and teach the younger humans how to talk. The pacing place is the place that Taylor paced while waiting for the birth of his son. A tradition starts where all men pace when their women are giving birth. Taylor dies with a thriving human civilization started.

MURDERER’S ROW by John Jackson Miller

A TV producer for the Hexagon Broadcasting Network has a show that will make the network competitive. He will get the future apes Zira and Cornelius to do a variety show on Saturday also known as Murderer’s Row for the killer competition.

ENDANGERED SPECIES by Greg Cox

Years before the movie a young chimpanzee researcher named Janae is studying humans. She notices that they seem to suppress the ability to speak and decides to try and teach a human to speak. She is murdered by gorillas to stop this heresy.

DANGEROUS IMAGININGS by Paul Kupperberg

A brilliant chimpanzee in an alternate future where the Earth wasn’t destroyed finds the backpack of the astronauts. He uses what he finds to invent new and wondrous inventions. This causes Zaius and the science council to crack down because these inventions are inspired by human technology.

OF MONSTERS AND MEN by Kevin J. Anderson and Sam Knight

A young Zaius goes on a scientific expedition to the Forbidden Zone. It is attacked by lizard creatures and while taking shelter in an old museum learns the truth about humans.

THE UNKNOWN APE by Andrew E.C. Gaska

A story from the animated series. General Urko has taken control of the Alpha-Omega missile and plans to use it against his enemies. Then a mixed army of apes, humans and mutants are lead by the Unknown Ape. This ape is Caesar from the past. With his friends Virgil and MacDonald have traveled to the future to stop the destruction of the world. Caesar manages to destroy the missile by sacrificing his life. Peace ensues between humans, mutants and apes.

SILENCED by Jim Beard

A tale of a young woman who was Taylor’s girlfriend. She had his daughter who was a worker at Ape Management when Caesar takes over. Later a descendant is the queen of the last human city. Finally the last descendant is Nova who speaks just before she is killed.

WHO IS THIS MAN? WHAT SORT OF DEVIL IS HE? by Robert Greenberger

General Urko from the TV series is recovering from his injuries with his family. He tells them of a time year before when he killed other human astronauts that arrived.

STONE MONKEY by Greg Keys

In Asia a siamang is hunted by a gorilla warlord. The warlord wants to live forever and forces the siamang to lead him to the immortal stone monkey. Instead he lead him to a refuge for oppressed monkeys that kill him. It is revealed that the siamang is the immortal monkey from human experiments long ago.

MILO’S TALE by Ty Templeton

Milo is from an advanced chimpanzee society far to the south. He comes with an expedition to investigate the crash of an old human ship. While rebuilding it he meets Zira and Cornelius. While in the ship an army of gorillas arrives and forces them to launch. They witness the destruction of Earth.

MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE by Dayton Ward

Galen, Virdon and Burke from the TV series come on the ruins of an old missile silo. Inside they find a message from a group of humans located at Area 51. They invite the fugitive and they manage to flee before General Urko arrives.

THE KING IS DEAD-LONG LIVE THE KING by Rich Handley

Caesar twenty years later is ruling a prosperous settlement. He decides he wants to make peace with the mutants and sends his son. The mutant ruler Mendez comes but Caesar’s son then kills his mother while the wife of Mendez kills her husband. The mutants leave and it is revealed that a mutant with mind control staged the killing because he was opposed to the peace.

BANANA REPUBLIC by Jonathan Maberry

A temple being built on the fringes of ape civilization uncovers a secret. The New Orleans Naval Reserve armory. Inside are stacks of assault rifles and grenades. An orangutan and gorilla decide to use the weapons against the growing power of the heretical chimpanzees.

An anthology of short stories from the original Planet of the Apes universe. Not only all the movies but the TV series and Saturday morning cartoon. What a great idea. Every story was excellent and there wasn’t a dud in the whole book which is rare for a seventeen story anthology. Obviously the level of writers and their passion for the subject helped. Hopefully there will be many more of such anthologies. A true must read for any Planet of the Apes fan.

THE X-FILES ORIGINS DEVIL’S ADVOCATE BY JONATHAN MABERRY

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Copyright 2017.

It is 1979 and a fifteen year old Dana Scully has moved to the small town of Craiger, Maryland. Moving to a new place is always hard but this time it is complicated by visions that Scully is having. She sees visions of murdered teens and a very public incident has now branded her a freak. She does have support from her more popular sister Melissa. She also makes a boyfriend. This boyfriend has an uncle who is a detective and investigating the mysterious deaths of teenagers. All of them seem to die in car accidents that are drug related. Still the statistics for so many in such a small community are highly suspicious. With the files that her boyfriend has access to she puts together that the teens are being killed as Jesus and his apostles died. Then they are being covered up in cleverly disguised car crashes.

Now how to get this information out. On top of this the town is a secret experiment for the evil syndicate and the murderer is part of their plans. Throw in the visions and a kooky psychic named Sunlight and his new age shop and you have a mystery filled with danger and excitement.

The second YA X-files book and now its Dana Scully’s turn. I was not expecting to like this book as much as I did. Dana was the more boring of the characters on the series but Jonathan Maberry turned in a real page turner. This is the first time that I have actually read his writing and am definitely impressed. The story had some unexpected turns and stayed true to the character. Like Mulder’s story this shaped her future. In this instance her desire to go into medicine and her health skepticism. It complements the first book in the origins series perfectly.

THE X-FILES ORIGINS AGENT OF CHAOS BY KAMI GARCIA

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Copyright 2017.

It is 1979 and Fox Mulder is seventeen and about to graduate from high school. He is relocated with his father to Washington D.C. who has work to do for the State Department. His father wants him to enroll in Georgetown and continue on with a career in politics. Mulder doesn’t know what he wants but doesn’t want that. He hears about a young girl that was recently abducted. It sounds just like what happened to his sister Samantha. He later witnessed the crime scene of a young boy whose body is found in a crypt that was also similarly abducted. He becomes obsessed with finding the killer in the hopes of finding out what happened to his sister. Together with his friend Gimble and his girlfriend Phoebe he embarks on his own investigation. It takes him to an isolated cabin in the woods of Maryland and a confrontation with the kidnapper.

So I start to read some good books after the crapfest that was the Marauders. It was a great change of pace. This book is a Y.A. X-files novel and very interesting to boot. Kami Garcia wrote a short story with Mulder as a teen for one of the anthologies and it was an interesting take. Here we get to see a teenage Mulder trying to figure out what he wants to do with his life just like we all had to do at that age. He still has an obsession with finding his sister which was a constant in the series. His friends are a colorful supporting cast. Gimble has a father that was a former Air Force major who witnessed the governments dealings with extraterrestrials. Because of that he was discharged and now is a paranoid nutcase. His girlfriend Phoebe is one of those women who are both hot and a geek into science fiction. Now who doesn’t want a girl like that. Plus the Cigarette Smoking Man and Agent X are secretly observing him. At the end Mulder takes his first steps toward a career with the FBI as a profiler. A very satisfying read.

THE X-FILES SECRET AGENDAS EDITED BY JONATHAN MABERRY

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Copyright 2016

SEEK AND YOU WILL FIND by John Gilstrap

Manassas, Virginia 2000 Mulder and Scully investigate a murder were the alleged perpetrator claims the victim disappeared. It leads Mulder to an opening to an alternate dimension.

PERITHECIA By Andy Mangels

A body of a man is discovered inside a grain silo in Oklahoma. The man’s head exploded. The investigation leads to a secret government facility conducting experiments on prisoners to perfect a fungus that controls the mind.

GIVE UP THE GHOST By Jade Shames

A murder investigation leads to a man who was able to develop a program that transplants his personality into the minds of others.

TRANSMISSIONS By Marsheila Rockwell & Jeffrey Mariotte

An investigation of a rash of men killing their families then committing suicide. The trail leads to alien transmissions.

DESPERATELY SEEKING MOTHMAN By Jim Beard

Mulder is stuck in a small town in Virginia. He gets involved with a woman seeking help from the mothman. She turns out to be a demon that skins people.

LOVE LOST By Yvonne Navarro

While investigating an incident at the Baltimore airport Scully runs into her old boyfriend that disappeared when she was a teenager. The man has not aged in thirty years and was a victim of an alien abduction, and the aliens are trying to get him back.

THANKS AND PRAISE By Joe Harris

The chess prodigy Gibson Praise from a TV episode is now grown up. He has mentally recreated the members of the syndicate and cigarette smoking man. They try to find Mulder and Scully who have gone in hiding.

BORDER TIME By Bryan Thomas Schmidt & Kate Corcino

A series of abductions and a murder occur around El Paso. Mulder suspects alien abductions and the two agents find out a cult working with the shadow government.

A SCANDAL IN MOREAUVIA, OR THE ADVENTURE OF THE EMPTY HEART By Nancy Holder

Mulder gets a message from an old flame in London. This leads the two agents to England and secret base run by the Syndicate.

STRYZGA By Lauren A. Forry

A series of murders at a summer camp in Pennsylvania lead the agents to a mutant monster and some strange kids that were victims of the Three Mile Island disaster.

AN EYE FOR AN EYE By George Ivanoff

A series of people in New Jersey have their left eyes taken from them. The trail leads to an optometrist and a possessed rag doll.

KANASHIBARI By Ryan Cady

Japanese-Americans in southern California are dying under mysterious circumstances. Mulder suspects a Kanashibari an old hag spirit that can suffocate people.

ALL CHOKED UP By Lois H. Grash

A homeless man is murdered. His body is crushed to death without any other marks on him. Later a maid to the CIA director is strangled. The trail leads to the Cigarette Smoking Man and use of smart clothing.

ALONG THE SCENIC ROUTE By Lucy A. Snyder

Mulder and Scully are coming back from an case and taking the scenic route. In a small town in North Carolina people are seeing images of angels and giant horned snakes. The cause may be from tainted ham at the local farm.

GRANDMOTHER BLACK HANDS By Weston Ochre

On an Apache Indian reservation the agents uncover an old curse of Grandmother Black Hands. A massacre that occurred a century ago has a curse where once a year the kids are taken over and kill.

So this is the third anthology series. I liked all the stories and hope to read more.

THE ESSENTIAL DOCTOR WHO THE MASTER EDITED BY MARCUS HEARN

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Copyright 2015.

The Master the renegade Time Lord that is the Doctor’s greatest enemy. Back in 1971 Terrence Dicks and Barry Letts the script editor and producer came up with introducing a new opponent for the Doctor. They decided on a Professor Moriarty type character who was also a Time Lord and an equal to the Doctor. Thus Roger Delgado stepped in an gave his iconic performance during the Pertwee era. Later other actors would step into the part Anthony Ainley, Eric Roberts, John Simm and the current incarnation by Michelle Gomez. The book has a summary of each episode that the Master appeared in. These include the radio, comics and books. There are biographies on each of the actors that played the Master. Also interviews with Terrance Dicks(creator),Katy Manning?(Jo Grant), Richard Franklin(Captain Mike Yates),Mathew Waterhouse(Adric),Gary Russell, and Michelle Gomez the current Master(or Mistress as she now calls herself).

I finally got around to reading this Christmas give from a friend at work. I am a big fan of Doctor Who and I found this to be a very interesting and informative book. Definitely a good source for anything about the Master.

THE X FILES THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE EDITED BY JONATHAN MABERRY

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Copyright 2016.

Volume two in an anthology of X-files short stories.

DEAD RINGER By Kelly Armstrong.

1993 Comstock Pennsylvania. A young boy disappears from his home and winds up seventy miles away with no memory. So is this an alien abduction or some sinister evil fairy. The truth may lie with a woman that had a similar experience when she was a child. Interesting story to start the anthology with.

DRIVE TIME By Jon McGoran.

2016 Cameron Massachusetts. A top secret experiment in time travel is taking place. An intruder specifically asks for agent Mulder. He claims to be from the future and was sent back by a rival to kill the professor at the institute so the rival can get credit for inventing time travel. His plan is to send back the same assassin from different periods of his life thirty-five times so thirty-five men can assault the experiment. The oldest of these returnees wants to stop it because the man that sends them back becomes a cruel tyrant. This is a fascinating idea with a time travel twist.

BLACK HOLE SON By Kami Garcia.

1977 Chilmark, Massachusetts. A teenage Fox Mulder must endure the horrors of high school and his bickering parents. He hears from a friend about a young woman that was found whose disappearance was similar to his sister. He sneaks into the mental hospital were she’s at. He doesn’t get much information but has his first encounter with the Cigarette Smoking Man. A fascinating idea to explore Mulder as a teenager. And he gets his first encounter with CSM man although he doesn’t remember because he is drugged to forget.

WE SHOULD LISTEN TO SOME SHOSTAKOVICH By Hank Phillippi Ryan.

2017 Washington DC. A recently married Dana and Fox are moving into a new apartment. They receive a gift of a painting from a Russian artist that may have a clue to aliens. A strange story that has the two married in the future with a daughter on the way. Contradicts this years episodes in that Dana’s mother is alive when she dies this season.

MUMMIYA By Greg Cox.

1996 Bellingham, Washington. A homeless man stabs what he claims to be a mummy that attacked him. An autopsy reveals a young woman that was recently mummified by the same procedures the ancient Egyptians used. The trail leads to her boyfriend who is obsessed with Egyptology and hoping to bring back his terminal girlfriend. Another interesting story.

PHASE SHIFT By Bev Vincent.

1996 Houston, Texas. A family is trapped inside their home by a mysterious force. It looks like a possible alien experiment. A ok story with an implied gruesome ending.

HEART By Kendare Blake.

1995 Holmdel, New Jersey. Arthur Linninger is a mild mannered man who has a heart attack. The transplanted heart he received once belonged to a mobster. Now he starts taking on the characteristics of the mobster. Two FBI agents investigating murders has him worried. Other transplant recipients are found to have murdered the men responsible for the mobsters death and could Arthur be next. An OK story.

MALE PRIVILEGE By Hank Schwaeble.

2006 Horn, Arkansas. A strange condition causes all the men in Horn to suddenly develop large breasts. The investigation leads to a witch, a dragon and an ancient curse that involves the sacrifice of a young man. A good story.

PILOT By David Liss.

1996 Washington D.C. Mulder and Scully are investigating reports of strange lights. The witness seems to know the two agents and has an offer for them. He claims to come from an alternate reality where the X-files is a TV show. He gives them the pilot episode and wants money for all the others. This was a unique idea and I enjoyed this story.

ROSETTA By David Sakmyster.

2014 Arcadia, South Carolina. Mulder and Scully are there to meet a man that has proof of aliens from a recent probe landing on a comet. They may come face to face with genuine E.T.s. A interesting story but has a major error in X-file continuity. The Lone Gunmen are in it and they died some fifteen years ago.

SNOWMAN By Sarah Stegall.

2001 Mt. Rainier, Washington. Agent Doggit is approached by his former Marine commander for help. A covert team testing communication systems have disappeared. The two find Mulder also investigating and the bodies of the team. They seemed to have fled in terror and died of exposure. Now the three are stalked by what appears to be Sasquatch. Nice to remember someone remembers Doggit and I always love a good Sasquatch story.

VOICE OF EXPERIENCE By Rachel Caine.

1993 Washington D.C. Mulder meets an old flame on his lunch break. She is soon found to commit suicide. His investigation takes him to a famous author that may be stealing life energy from victims to write successful books. Another good story.

XXX By Glenn Greenburg.

1999 San Fernando Valley, California. Two porn stars have their heads suddenly explode while on set. The investigation leads to an anti-porn activist using an alien virus but the truth may be with the telekinetic abilities of the star porn actress Ashley Ford. An interesting story that lead to an unexpected ending.

FOUNDLING By Tim Waggoner.

1997 Ambergris Falls, Ohio. The inhabitants of a small town vanish without a trace. Mulder and Scully investigate and find a baby on the street. They have to fight ghostly figures and a mercenary employed by a billionaire. This was a fascinating story.

WHEN THE COWS COME HOME By David Farland.

2000 Gallup, New Mexico. A rancher is gored to death by a bull. Strange lights, crop circles and mutilated cow corpses point to aliens. The investigation take them to a Navajo witch doctor. The shortest and weakest story in the anthology.

Now two new books in a row. This one came out in February so it is probably the newest I ever did from this blog. Volume two of the anthology series was as enjoyable as the first. Once again stories with aliens, ghosts, time travel, alternate realities, the Lone Gunmen, Doggit, government coverups and conspiracies and plenty of general weirdness.

I even got a message from the editor. Makes me feel real important. He says he’s working on a third volume titled “Secret Agendas”. Something to look forward to.