Category: Fantasy Realms


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 we 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 with the mystery writing trifecta 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, Laura Lippman, Nancy Pickard, 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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Dynamite has announced its next James Bond comic book series.  Promising more focus on 007’s spycraft, the monthly series Ian Fleming’s James Bond 007 will be coming to comic shops this summer.  This time writer Phillip Kennedy Johnson partners with artist Marco Finnegan to adapt the latest tie-in for the long-running British spy franchise.  Bond finds himself outplayed on a Russian excursion, forced to eliminate an asset he was meant to extract.  A shootout with his enemy counterparts leaves Bond with more questions than answers… questions about their American accents, their cutting-edge technology, and most importantly, how they seem to know so much about him.

Check out some covers and interior art below, courtesy of Dynamite.

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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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Review by C.J. Bunce

We first previewed the big-budget Death on the Nile here at borg back in 2018, possibly the most pandemic-delayed film of any.  Based on Agatha Christie’s 1937 novel, it’s the second in Branagh’s series of opulent, major cast, big-screen films after 2018’s Murder on the Orient Express (reviewed here).  That movie was far more spectacle, more Hollywood, a faithful, exciting film filled with genre stars including Branagh as Christie’s famous detective Hercule Poirot, plus Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Josh Gad, Daisy Ridley, Willem Dafoe, Judi Dench, and Penélope Cruz, with a particularly engaging performance by Tom Bateman as Poirot’s friend Bouc.  Bouc, a new character brought along by Branagh is the only returning character with Poirot for Death on the Nile.

A sort of Christie twist on Romeo and Juliet, the story and its core murder plot on Egypt’s great river remains identifiable, but Branagh updates nearly everything else, unlike in his first Christie adaptation. So like Branagh’s Frankenstein, this really is Branagh’s Death on the Nile, although also credit the changes to writer Michael Green (Logan).  After a theatrical run beginning in February, it’s now available on Vudu and digital and other home media.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

The Lost City arrived in theaters a little more than a month ago, but it’s already made its way to streaming provider Paramount+.  It’s a step above your average rom-com, a better than average new release and a worthy unofficial remake of the 1980s classic Romancing the Stone.  If you miss classic rom-coms steeped in adventure and lighthearted fantasy, this should be your next watch, a Sandra Bullock star vehicle with 16 years younger actor Channing Tatum as the potential love interest, a rare and welcome Hollywood choice–when was the last time you saw an older woman with a younger man in a major production?  Add Brad Pitt and Daniel Radcliffe, and some goofy humor and high adventure and The Lost City is movie that would have been difficult for anyone to get wrong.

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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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Another May the Fourth came and went this week and with the annual Disney-marketing Star Wars Day a new trailer and poster arrived featuring the return of Ewan McGregor in the forthcoming six-episode Disney+ mini-series Obi-Wan Kenobi.  The first teaser-trailer for the series (discussed here at borg) revealed Lucasfilm’s decision to lean hard on the aftermath of Revenge of the Sith and the prequels style of storytelling instead of the look and feel of Alec Guinness’s character in the original trilogy.  If you were a fan of the prequels and the animated Star Wars: The Clone Wars, this seems made for you, as the music and characters new to the live-action side of the franchise are firmly seated in that source material.

Check out this trailer for Disney’s Obi-Wan Kenobi:

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Review by C.J. Bunce

With a small but significant first–and possibly only–season now behind us, the latest Marvel series proved the promise of the series opener wasn’t just a fluke.  With unusually fantastic superhero storytelling and backstory, top acting, and unparalleled art production and music, Moon Knight is a serious contender for not only the best of Disney’s era of superhero series, it also springs ahead as better than all the Netflix Marvel series and any series (DC, Marvel, or indie) that came before in the superhero genre, complete with a Dark Knight villain done right, and a Wonder Woman who finally delivered on the excitement and potential of nearly a century of comic book superheroines.  The sixth and final episode of the season is now streaming on Disney+.  We’re only through four months of 2022, and even with some high calibre shows so far, if you see only one series this year, so far this is the one not to miss.

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