Category: Con Culture


Regular borg readers know about novelist Elizabeth C. Bunce′s reviews here at borg.  Last year her novel Premeditated Myrtle won the Edgar Award at the 75th annual honors (awarded by the Mystery Writers of America and named for mystery writing pioneer Edgar Allan Poe).  She was also a finalist for both the Agatha Award (honoring mystery author Agatha Christie), and Anthony Award (honoring mystery author Anthony Boucher).  As I shared previously, Elizabeth was a 2022 finalist–her second consecutive year–for the Edgar Award and the Agatha Award this time for the latest novel in her Myrtle Hardcastle Mystery series, Cold-Blooded Myrtle.  This year’s finalist list has been released for the 2022 Anthony Awards, and Elizabeth has been nominated yet again, making her one of only three novelists in the history of the awards to be a finalist twice for all three honors, and the second novelist to be so honored in back-to-back years.

The Anthony Award is an annual recognition for mystery authors, named to honor mystery writer and Mystery Writers of America co-founder Anthony Boucher (shown above, with cat friend).  Past novelists recognized by the Anthony Awards include J.K. Rowling, Daphne Du Maurier, Agatha Christie, Dashiell Hammett, Stephen King, Lilian Jackson Braun, Robert B. Parker, Max Allan Collins, Jill Thompson, Louise Penny, Lawrence Block, Sue Grafton, Jonathan Kellerman, Patricia Cornwell, Donald E. Westlake, Rick Riordan, Lee Child–and Elizabeth (shown above with Sophie, the inspiration for Peony the Cat in her series).

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Review by C.J. Bunce

You have two days left to get in on Free League’s Kickstarter for the new Blade Runner roleplaying game (check that out here).  It’s already achieved unprecedented success (nearly $1.5 million pledged!), and if you sign up by May 26 you can get in on a stunning supply of unlocked stretch goal extras.  If you haven’t tried a FL RPG yet, you might want to start with the FL’s officially licensed rule book to Alien: The Roleplaying Game (available here at Amazon).  For anyone who loves the Alien franchise movies and novels (reviewed here) and its Colonial Marines, anyone who wants to see Weyland-Yutani get their just desserts, or anyone just willing to jump into the realm of horror roleplay–where you don’t always make it out alive–let’s dig into this recent RPG release.

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The officially licensed roleplaying game for Blade Runner is almost here, and you have less than three days left to get in on its Kickstarter and some unlocked stretch goal extras.  Fully funded in just three minutes, the Kickstarter from RPG publisher Free League is approaching a whopping $1.5 million in pledges.  Set in the year 2037, Blade Runner: The Roleplaying Game begins with a core rulebook of more than 200 pages featuring an adventure set shortly after the Wallace Corporation debuts a new cyborg: its Nexus-9 Replicants, giving players the choice to play as either human or Replicants.

Check out the Blade Runner: The Roleplaying Game Kickstarter here and its website here now for more information, and below is a look inside the first release, its core rulebook.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

Sometimes a movie is exactly as advertised and exactly what you want.  If you love a good John Carpenter movie and are intrigued by a director’s ambitious attempt to create a worthy homage to Carpenter’s most memorable early work, then Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City is for you.  With pacing, cinematography, music, and characterizations found in Carpenter’s Halloween, Assault on Precinct 13, The Fog, The Thing, and Escape from New York, writer-director Johannes Roberts (47 Meters Down) delivers more mood than scares, but it’s the perfect beginning to a video game franchise movie series and a fantastic throwback 1980s-style horror romp.  Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City is available on physical media here at Amazon and currently has a $9.99 sale price for digital streaming at Vudu.

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A year ago here at borg we reviewed the intriguing Star Wars tie-in book The Art of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.  For fans who have been lucky enough to experience firsthand Disney’s Black Spire Outpost, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge: Treasures from Batuu will take readers back to Oga’s Cantina and Savi’s Workshop, and take home some souvenirs, too.  The new “vault” type book is coming in July from Titan Books in the UK and Insight Editions in the U.S. and available for pre-order now here at Amazon.

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More than a year ago we previewed a new line of Super7’s retro-style Kenner action figures featuring Star Trek: The Next Generation.  This was a reboot of a line of Star Trek original series figures we discussed here at borg back in 2015.  The second wave includes Commander Will Riker, Counselor Deanna Troi, Lt. Cmdr. Geordi LaForge, Dr. Beverly Crusher, the notorious Q, and… that black oil slick that killed Tasha Yar called Armus (yes, Armus gets a figure before Yar!).  Even better, Super7 is taking a 19th century Victorian theme next.  Following Wave 2 fans will get their first Captain Picard of the seafaring HMS Enterprise, plus newly promoted Worf (both from Generations) along with Data and Geordi as Holmes and Watson.

Don’t confuse these with what we revealed this past January–those toys were from the company called Playmates, which returned with its own line, too.  Playmates was the original toy company that made its name creating a stunningly expansive line of Star Trek action figures (okay, it’s actually the second company that introduced the figures after Galoob’s short run).  Playmates released a small-sized Worf from Generations, but not a sea captain Picard, and Data and Geordi from the Victorian episode “Elementary, My Dear Data” were only issued in a special nine-inch edition.

Check out the new designs for the second wave of Super7 figures, and their new cardbacks, plus links to pre-order all of the first 16 ReAction Star Trek: The Next Generation action figures:

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Any time is a good time for more Bruce Campbell.  With a new Sam Raimi movie in theaters, whether you’re a Sam Raimi or Evil Dead or Bruce Campbell fan–or all the above–it’s a good time to capture Super7’s line of Army of Darkness action figures, available here at Entertainment Earth.  Featuring Campbell’s Ash Williams, one of our favorite members of the Borg Hall of Fame, check out the cardbacks, figures, and variant packaging below.

   

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This year will be a busy one for gamers thanks to Wizards of the Coast.  As we previewed here at borg last month, Mordenkaiden’s Presents Monsters of the Multiverse is coming in May, and here we discussed Mordenkaiden’s Presents Monsters of the Multiverse coming in August.  But in between those volumes, the next collection of adventures is on its way in June.  The 5th Edition of Dungeons & Dragons has already introduced players to anthologies including last year’s Candlekeep Mysteries (reviewed here) and Tales from the Yawning Portal (reviewed here).  Wizards of the Coast is delivering 13 new adventures in Journeys Through the Radiant Citadel, available for pre-order now with a regular cover here at Amazon or with the game shop variant cover here.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

Which pair of characters exemplifies the best friendship in all of the Star Trek franchise?  Who do you think made the best BFFs?  How about Geordi and Data?  Or better yet, who represents friendship–its ups and downs–the best?  Like Tuvok and Neelix?  Kirk and Bones?  Or frenemies Bones and Spock?  Maybe for you its Worf and Riker, or Kes and the EMH.  Or Naomi Wildman and Seven of Nine, or Quark and Odo.  Of course there’s no right answer, but writers Robb Pearlmann and Jordan Hoffman explore the subject in a very fanboy conversation in the new gift book The Star Trek Book of Friendship The best part?  It’s filled with new artwork by the best Star Trek artist in the franchise’s 55 years, celebrated poster and comic book painter J.K. Woodward.  It’s available for pre-order now here at Amazon.

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Last week Wizards of the Coast hosted its first D&D Direct, a jam-packed show revealing everything coming to Dungeons & Dragons, from new books to video games and more.  First off, the long-awaited tie-in movie, Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, will hit theaters March 3, 2023.  The next big news is Spelljammer: Adventures in Space is coming.  It’s a collection of books that allow Dungeon Masters and players to explore Wildspace and the Astral Sea.  Combining themes of nautical exploration with deep space, Spelljammer brings the wonder of science fiction to 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons.  With the help of magic, spelljammers can cross the oceans of Wildspace, ply the silvery void known as the Astral Sea, and hop between worlds of the D&D multiverse.

The set, available for pre-order now here at Amazon, contains everything a Dungeon Master needs to run adventures, as well as new options for players who want to create characters in this setting including:

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