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Review by C.J. Bunce

TV historian and Star Trek expert Marc Cushman is back to continue his second trilogy of books about the development, production, and struggles behind the first two decades of Star Trek.  In These Are the Voyages: Gene Roddenberry and Star Trek in the 1970s, Volume 2 (1975-77), at last we get to delve into the biggest Star Trek project never delivered: The 1970s Star Trek: Phase II series that would be parted out and become Star Trek: The Motion Picture and later Star Trek: The Next Generation.  And that’s not all–ideas and early scripts for Phase II continue to be tapped in the 21st century Star Trek series and films.  Even better, Cushman digs into the ever-developing Star Trek novels, conventions, and more, which became the practice grounds for the wider, broad world of pop culture fandom as a whole.  How did Star Trek finally movie forward from the original series to become what it is today?  How did the fans play a major role in making that happen?   View full article »

Review by C.J. Bunce

After what I viewed as the best superhero series pilot yet here at borg back in May, Stargirl never let up, never let us down, and with this week’s season finale rises to become the very best superhero series yet.  We can slice and dice and compare series like The Flash and Arrow, Supergirl, and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but did any of them adapt the comic book mythos to the screen as written and drawn by years of comic book writers and artists?  Or did they all twist the stories to cut away at what made the stories enduring in the first place?  Even Riverdale and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina–two fantastic comic book adaptations–were nudged aside by thirteen perfect episodes of comic books in TV form.  Not since the heart in the original series The Flash, The Incredible Hulk, and the animated series Superfriends has a series full of superhero characters gotten so much so right.  And one scene in the season finale was so good, so surprising, it may have you stand up and cheer.

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You have good villains and bad ones.  In the category of most vile villains, the ones you don’t actually love to hate but just hate, it’s hard to top Louise Fletcher’s icky, nasty, and… hateful Nurse Ratched from the 1975 Academy Award-winning movie One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.  If you’re the type of person that can’t get terrifying imagery out of your head, you’re going to want to skip the trailer for the new prequel series Ratched.  From the people behind American Horror Story, the series Ratched is the next spin-off of a classic horror film character–think Vera Farmiga’s Norma Bates in A&E’s Bates Motel–the spin-off prequel of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

Forty years of Alien It’s worth celebrating.  Ridley Scott blended science fiction and horror in a way never seen before, and it’s in large part due to the uniquely dark imagination of H.R. Giger, who we’ve discussed for years here at borg.  Plus he gave us one of sci-fi’s greatest heroines (in Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley) and cats (in the ginger crewmember Jonesy).  We’ve taken a look at multi-artist tribute concept books before at borg, including the massive The Thing Artbook, Star Trek: 50 Artists/50 Years, and The Mike Wieringo Tellos Tribute books.  Anytime we showcase a major benchmark in comic book titles, like Detective Comics 1000th issue, Wonder Woman’s 750th issue, and The Amazing Spider-Man Issue #800, or charity projects like the Wonder Woman 100 showcase, we’re seeing the same thing: a variety of artists interpreting an icon of popular culture.  In Alien: 40 Years/40 Artists, we’re seeing another artist challenge, and the result is among the best of the bunch.  The new tribute arrives at bookstores tomorrow, so you have one more day to pre-order it at a discount here at Amazon.

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I was thinking about re-publishing a list of war movie recommendations in November for Veteran’s Day, recommendations provided by my father, Milton L. Bunce, Jr., movies that I recommended here at borg years ago.  He passed away Saturday at the age of 79, and as a tribute to him I thought I’d go ahead and share again now two sets of recommendations of movies he enjoyed, which also influenced me and my movie preferences over the years.  These are 20 films, one list of classic war movies that he thought reflected his own experiences in the U.S. Navy, and another, showing the preferences of a kid growing up during World War II at the local movie house.  My father went to the movie theater every Saturday with his sister, and spent the day enjoying many of these great films on the big screen.  If you have more time at home as many do this summer, what better opportunity to catch a classic you may have overlooked?

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Director Danny Boyle has championed some unique stories into films, including 28 Days Later, Slumdog Millionaire, and Trainspotting.  His 2019 film Yesterday fit into this grouping nicely, a very British story about a singer/songwriter named Jack, played by Himesh Patel (The Aeronauts), who encounters a miracle of sorts: a solar event that changes several aspects of the world.  The key change?  The world never knew a band called The Beatles.  But the twist is only Jack can remember The Beatles.  It’s a goodhearted drama with a dose of comedy and a bit of a love story.  It’s also science fiction.  Yesterday is now streaming on HBO Max, along with other digital streaming platforms.

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As Guerrilla’s PlayStation 4 action game Horizon Zero Dawn: The Complete Edition arrives on the Steam gaming platform today, a new comic series begins, expanding on the storyline.  In Titan Comics’ monthly series Horizon Zero Dawn, a hunter heroine named Aloy adventures across a post-apocalyptic land dominated by magnificent, robotic creatures.  Aloy joins another hunter heroine, the noble Talanah, after the events of the game, as humanity fights for survival on a new earth.  Co-created by one of the writers of the Horizon Zero Dawn game, the comic catches up with Aloy as she meets a new breed of mechanized killers.  Check out a preview of the first issue of the series below.

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Titan Books has released the first images of the next Star Trek book, and fans of the franchise will want to check it out.  It’s The Art of Star Trek: Discovery, Paula M. Block and Terry J. Erdmann’s latest look inside the extensive Star Trek universe.  Star Trek: Discovery, the newest chapter in the Star Trek Universe, follows the exploits of Vulcan-raised science officer Michael Burnham and the crew of the U.S.S. Discovery as they boldly go where no one has gone before.  You can now pre-order the book here at Amazon, and we have a preview of The Art of Star Trek: Discovery for borg readers below.

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Stephen King has penned his next crime novel for Hard Case Crime.  In Later, King creates another character with special powers, a young man drawn into a crime tale.  King’s non-horror works are our favorites, including Joyland, an incredible story of a young man working a carnival for the summer with a dose of murder, which we previewed in King’s original book tour here at borg, and The Colorado Kid, reviewed here, a story of quirky characters and a dead guy who may be from nowhere or somewhere.  Later is coming to bookstores and online retailers in March 2021, and it is now available for pre-order here at Amazon.

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Before the actual Ghostbusters returns next year with its sequel Ghostbusters: Afterlife, you can relive the theme in a new Amazon series.  Another new 2020 television series previewed at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con 2020 that is coming your way features the stars of the popular Cornetto trilogy horror-comedies Shaun of the Dead, The World’s End, and Hot Fuzz (plus Paul, and the series Spaced).  Nick Frost takes the lead over Simon Pegg this time in Truth SeekersPegg plays his boss, the head of a broadband company who may have his own secrets.  The eight-episode, half-hour series follows Frost as Gus, an Internet installer who is also a ghostbuster.

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