Tag Archive: multiverse


Review by C.J. Bunce

It’s fun to both know what you’re getting and to get some surprises, too.  That’s the case with Hard Case Crime’s latest novel, Jason Starr’s The Next Time I Die.  It’s billed as a paranoid thriller, a mix of Philip K. Dick and The Twilight Zone.  But the publisher is the home of classic crime novels, right?  It so happens that not only is The Next Time I Die a retelling of sorts of a few PKD short stories, it’s a mix of a number of sci-fi tropes while pulling in a protagonist you might find in old crime stories like Rudolph Maté’s D.O.A., James M. Cain’s Double Indemnity, and Vera Caspary’s Laura.  All in, it’s a lot of fun.

Continue reading

She was one of the best aliens introduced in Star Trek: The Next Generation, a friend of Captain Jean-Luc Picard with a past never to be revealed.  She saved the galaxy from a bad timeline through Picard’s loyalty to her instincts alone in “Yesterday’s Enterprise.”  In Star Trek: Generations she’s one of the only links to the meaning of the Nexus, thereby putting together an unlikely team of Picard and Captain James T. Kirk.  Her past on Earth goes back as least as far as run-ins with the likes of Mark Twain.  She knows how to wear a cool hat, and the last we saw her was as a guest at the marriage of Will Riker and Deanna Troi.  The wait is over.  Oscar-winning actress Whoopi Goldberg returns as Guinan next month in the second season of Star Trek: Picard.  

Continue reading

Review by C.J. Bunce

The late great economics teacher Gordon Blenderman used a similar approach to Yanis Varoufakis’s back in the 1980s, along with the requisite readings from Samuelson: Prove that you understand theories of economics by writing a book review of classic novels, explaining the plots in purely economic terms.  Varoufakis, the former finance minister of Greece, a current member of the Greek parliament, and economics professor, uses an age-old tack in his new political science fiction novel, Another Now Varoufakis sees the banking/market crisis of 2008 as one of those key, fixed points in history that is the subject of many a parallel universe, alternate history, or multiverse tale.  As if digging into the circumstances behind the split into two worlds that occurred in the science fiction TV series Counterpart, the author leans hard into economics theory to hypothesize his idea of a better political structure than capitalism by building a parallel world that responded differently to its crises up to and including the COVID-19 pandemic.

Continue reading

Review by C.J. Bunce

Ancient philosophers have discussed the concept for millenia: What is the nature of life?  Are we part of the plan of an architect of all things or do we have a say in our future?  The latest exploration of this subject uses science fiction stories as analogies to these unanswered questions in The Simulated Multiverse, by Rizwan Virk.  Virk skips over the scientific method to dabble in ideas of pseudoscience like Erich von Däniken or an episode of In Search Of…, blending bits of the history of science with the “what ifs” of a Dan Brown novel, James Rollins’ The Last Odyssey, or the Wachowskis’ The Matrix.  It’s an interesting trip full of elements that are integral to understanding much of pop culture fiction.  The book’s impetus is an obscure postulate by science fiction’s own Philip K. Dick, and the conversation interconnects everything from Sliders to Star Trek.

Continue reading

Review by C.J. Bunce

A cyborg Red Sonja?  Red Sonja with a gun?  A Sonja multiverse?  “Purple Sonja?”

One Sonja to rule them all–into the Sonjaverse.  What Dynamite Comics bills as “the most important comic book to ever come out in the history of the world” is at a minimum likely to become the publisher’s biggest book of the year.  Some ideas are “money” and that is true for a story of Red Sonja in her own multiverse.  It’s coming the first Wednesday in February with the arrival of the first issue of Sonjaversal, a new, awesome, action book full of all kinds of fun.  An evil force is punishing parallel world versions of Sonja by forcing each Sonja to kill the other.  Who will stop the madness before there is only one Sonja left standing?

Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: