Posts

Review: Infinite Dark

Image
"If there was another way, I would have tried it! But nothing can save us ... we weren't meant to be saved." The universe has ended. Entropic decay - a wave of darkness destroying reality itself - swept through all of space, annihilating everything in its path. Two thousand human survivors live in a huge space station, the Orpheus , protected by a pseudoreality field. Outside is absolute nothingness: not the void of empty space but a total absence of existence. Security Director Deva Karrell is haunted by the cosmic apocalypse that drove the remnants of humanity to this final oasis, and is shocked when the Orpheus turns out to be not the safe haven it was meant to be. In a deactivated district of the vast station a dead body is uncovered; a scientist brutally murdered, the crime scene covered in strange, rune-like symbols... Infinite Dark by writer Ryan Cady and artist Andrea Mutti is a sci-fi/horror drama which exploits the primal fears of the dark, the unknown and the

Review: Fallen Suns

Image
"They are real. They are coming. And they bring the end of your world with them." Earth is governed by two factions: Equilibrium and H.A.L.O., with an uneasy truce between them. Parminder Patel is a specialist in alien technology and is summoned to the Slingshot,  H.A.L.O.'s Breach Containment Facility, a fortress floating above Groom Lake, Nevada. The Slingshot contains a very unusual prisoner: Pharos the Lightbringer, an alien who arrived suddenly on Earth and killed many people before he was captured. H.A.L.O. intends to kill the intruder, but hope to gain some useful information from him before his execution. Given her area of expertise, Patel is the best candidate for the job of interrogator. Pharos - a hulking, red-skinned figure in exotic armour - turns out to be obligingly talkative. He tells Patel of his life on his home planet, where he was raised by farmers in a society of beings who have a unique relationship with plants. Using an intimate type of bonding, his

Review: Galactic Core

Image
Humanity has spread amongst the stars, finding new worlds, new friends and a new frontier, but also new enemies. In the aftermath of the Great Galactic War thousands of civilisations, human and alien alike, were left decimated. Chaos reigns in the galaxy. The Q'Bi system, Alliance space: a small starship drops out of hyperspace after making a random jump. Princess Ariesa of Natal is fleeing a fleet of the fearsome Watu Mutilons. Before she can initiate the next jump, however, her enemies are upon her and open fire. Her engines damaged, she is forced to make an emergency landing on the planet below... and hope that it can offer her sanctuary. Q'Bi 4 is home to ten million people; a technologically advanced civilisation. Ariesa crashes in the city Ch'Yuli but emerges from the wreckage unscathed... It seems Natali princesses are made of some pretty stern stuff! The Watu Mutilons despatch Raptors: armoured troopers diving from orbit towards their quarry. Here the gold-skinned p

Review: Absolution

Image
Welcome to a future in which violent criminals have a third option besides prison or execution: Absolution . You like killing people? Cool. We'll install a camera in your eye with an uplink and send you out to assassinate some sleazeball kingpin.  The whole thing will he livestreamed and the public will vote on your performance. Pundits will critique your style and technique. Your ratings will determine your fate: reach the minimum Absolution score within one month or surgically implanted explosives in your body will automatically detonate... Nina Ryan was a young woman with deep-seated anger management issues. After a short, brutal career as a hitwoman she is arrested and sentenced to death ... until a medical scan reveals a neurological basis for her homicidal tendencies. This mitigating circumstance offers her the chance to escape punishment by becoming a rather unique breed of social media star. To stay alive, all she has to do is keep on doing what she is good at ... killing.

Review: Kismet

Image
As interplanetary war threatens the Perseid system, a scientist ventures to the far reaches of space in her search for the truth: is humanity the master of its own fate, or is destiny truly inescapable?  The Republic and the Hegemony are gearing up for war. Tertia, Oracle of the Ordana, can forsee it. She is one of only two surviving clones from a batch of eight, engineered to provide guidance to the Ordana religious institution in the Perseid system. But that is not all she sees... some unseen force is disturbing the flow of mana - the source of  magic - through the ley lines of the star system.  These visions of madness destroyed six of her clone sisters... The other survivor is Octavia, who does not have 'the Sight' and instead works as a lone scientist, investigating the physical basis of the mana .  A stranger seeks her out, a man called Sebastian who hopes that she can answer a question that troubles him very deeply... the question of what he is. He wears a "glamour

Interview: Harrison Prime, Cosmic Land Studios

Image
CLICK HERE TO SEE THE VIDEO I spoke to Harrison Prime, young writer and artist, creator of science fiction comics Meta 6 and The Gold Bullet, who is based in Lagos, Nigeria. We discussed the African comic scene, how culture, politics and diversity come into play, and how technology is shaping our world. An artist always creates work that is deeply personal, and especially so in Harrison's case. What does the future hold for the comics scene in Africa, and the world? ....... You can read Meta 6 issues 1 & 2, and The Gold Bullet issues 1 & 2 FREE on the Cosmic Land Studios website: http://cosmiclandstudios.com Follow Harrison on Instagram: @harrison_prime Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/harry.hjosephat ....... SCI-FI COMIC NEXUS: Blog: https://scificomicnexus.blogspot.com Community: https://www.facebook.com/groups/801474813951393 This group is for for people who love science fiction comics - those who read them and those who make them! Starships, planets, aliens, robots...

Review: Mindset

Image
"Who do you think is in control? On the one hand it's a free world. We all make our own choices. Be whatever you want, right? But we're also shaped by our genetics. Our imposing parents. Our persuasive friends. "Our education, our politics, our religion. Our whole lives. Influenced. Branded. Brainwashed.  "And now the newest participant to code our minds ... social media. Our own devices plotting against us. Technology telling us what to do.  "So I'll ask you again. Are we really making our own choices, or are they being made for us?" Mind control.  You can probably imagine lots of disturbing things in this universe... Bug-eyed monsters with huge claws. Killer robots. A fiery meteorite aimed right at you and your city, promising obliteration... But: mind control . The absolute loss of your free will, your entire decision-making ability. To be turned into the proverbial meat puppet, the theft of control over your brain and body... That is a chill tha

Review: Project Alpha

Image
There was once a dreaded force in the galaxy, devouring everything in its path. It was the Viper Onslaught! Only three races stood between them and total conquest.  That was over a thousand years ago. This on again, off again war has strained the Triumvirate, some say beyond repair! In this current wave of peacetime, will they be able to consolidate their power? Will the Vipers return? Will the galaxy be destroyed? In "the big black nothingness that spans the distance between the islands we call planets" the RTS Cerberus patrols the borders... "keeping the empire safe from... well, nothing." Ir's the graveyard shift. Corbull (purple squid alien) is bored. Nobody has even seen a Viper for more than twenty years. He and his friend Komak (red pterodactyl alien) have flight duty. Technician Lintak (blue monkey alien) launches their fighters out into the void... ... where Corbull promptly nods off and starts dreaming of his homeworld, complete with a Jane Austen sty

Review: Wild Void

Image
A new dawn! More than three Earth years have passed since the fall of the Terran Empire and the collapse of civilization. But freedom has its price. The remains' centre is dominated by lawlessness and piracy and the void has never been more wild... The colonies at the frontier are the only places where some order is still maintained. Gunnar, a former detective, who works as a freelancer to make ends meet and protect freedom from chaos, is on his way to finish a job... It is the Earth year 2533 and Gunnar sets down on the planet Gemini 2 in the Helen Nebula. It  is a rocky, dusty wasteland of a world with just a few thousand inhabitants. A huge mechanical ring - a 'jump gate' - hangs in the sky over the city; a transportation portal for supplies (including much needed water from the ocean world Gemini Prime). It has a Wild West, frontier town vibe, the streets peppered with junkies hooked on "dust" and disreputable young women offering companionship to weary travel

Review: Digital - Chapter 2

Image
Continuing from Issue 1 , an unlikely trio of refugees flees an Earth that has been taken over by despotic artificial intelligences. Muscular stuttering 'Bear', impertinent jocular 'Noose' and acerbic suspicious Aisha blast off into space aboard a stolen ship they do not have complete control over. The ship's computer tells them that there are three humans on board and one 'unknown' ... hunting for a robot stowaway they instead find a human child cowering inside a hidden compartment. She tells them her name is Eve and she is also on the run from the A.I.s ... which leaves our original trio with an uncomfortable question: if Eve is human, one of them is ... something else . But who? And what? They have to put such questions aside when the ship needs to be repaired and a habitable planet found. Landing to make repairs, they also need to find supplies. But exploring this strange new world has its own dangers... In Digital 2 by writers Rich Watkin and Zaky Hnan

Review: The Gold Bullet

Image
"When I switch to the other side I hate who I become. But what choice do I have?" Lagos, Nigeria, 2037. Nineteen year old Harrison Ikenna moves into a new home with his family and starts college. Things go well at first; he gets on well with the other students and looks forward to the challenges of his new academic life. However, he is also haunted by a restless uncertainty, questioning his purpose in life... Events take a turn for the bizarre when he meets his new biology teacher, a man who has the same name as him. Shaking off this odd coincidence, he heads home only to find his sister in tears. Some local youths attempted to molest her. Enraged, he tracks them down and a fight quickly ensues; a fight that Harrison wins - against three opponents with weapons - with apparently no effort whatsoever. Unable to control his anger, he kills one of the boys and is subsequently arrested for murder. He is sentenced to life imprisonment. The end of his young life... or is this just t

Review: Astronaut Down

Image
"Astronaut, you've activated one of the emergency recordings in your consciousness' astronaut pack. This recording is for mission overshoot . You are outside of predictable variations.  Obtain the equation. Transmit it back through your transmission stem. Save our world." Douglas Spitzer is no ordinary astronaut. His destination is not outer space but different realities. His consciousness has been transmitted out of his body and into an alternate version of himself in a parallel universe... in which the world is not dying. In his native version of Earth, a quantum anomaly threatens to end all life. Reality itself is infected with a cancer which has spread outward from a point source at a Russian proton accelerator. Ninety per cent of the world has fallen, the remaining cities huddled behind barriers. But the barriers are failing... Douglas is one of the candidates chosen to travel to an alternate reality in which a 'cure' can be found for the quantum mutatio

Review: Junior

Image
Space sector 7141986: space cadet Junior, accompanied by her trusty miniature talking hippopotamus buddy Walter, has been given the job of repairing damage to a remote observation station in orbit of planet 811. It's punishment detail, for what we do not know, but she messed up somewhere and this is the result. Busy bitching about her predicament, she fails to notice a detail that Walter - the more level-headed of the duo - has picked out: holes ostensibly caused by meteor impacts do not look like they were actually the result of natural phenomena. Further ruminations become academic when a fireball hurtles straight towards them, forcing them back into their (now damaged) ship and en route to a very hasty crash landing on the planet below... Junior by writer/artist Alex Kmeto plunges the reader into a thrilling, tumbling ride from danger into ... well, quite probably a lot more danger. Planet 811 is full of life and it is of the carnivorous variety, complete with jaws, claws an

Review: Caspian Porter #3

Image
OK, so you're generally an all-round failure, navigating the ups and downs of life's random bouts of catastrophic chaos, narrowly surviving certain death at one moment only to emerge relatively unscathed just in time to be hurled into the next fatal predicament... At least you can console yourself with the supposition that, at some point, things cannot get any worse... Right? Cargo freighter pot Caspian Porter has escaped the frying pan of 2086 - in which he was pursued by enforcers working for the angry husband of the woman he drunkenly bedded following a card game on a space station in which he lost his entire cargo (which also belonged to said angry husband) - by falling through a random wormhole and crashing on Mars 500 million years in the past. At this point in time Mars has a thriving ecosystem - complete with slavering dinosaurs - and a population of fellow stranded time travellers. In Caspian Porter #3: The Merciless Pirates of Mars by writer Drew D Lenhart and arti

Review: The Theory (Twisted Sci-Fi)

Image
A genetically engineered virus with VERY specific targets... Mind transference machines for the terminally ill... A mechanised battlesuit that does whatever it must to keep going, utilising any available energy source at its disposal.... A collection of scenarios in which the reader's expectations are chillingly subverted: The Theory (Neil Gibson's Twisted Sci-Fi) by writers David Court, Forrest Helvie and Neil Gibson, and artists Amrit Birdi, Atula Siriwardane, Cem Iroz, Davide Puppo, Jane Elphick, Jim Terry, Phil Buckenham and V.W. Glass is an anthology of tales of alien worlds, powerful technology and the choices and actions of individuals in the efforts for social change. If we can alter things for the better, don't we have the obligation to do so? But how do we decide which outcomes are better than others? And can we accurately predict the consequences of our well-intentioned meddling? The stories are framed by a series of communiqu├ęs between Space Admiral Puppo (suit

Review: Stable

Image
When a mass of dark matter passes close to the Sun and drains a huge chunk of its hydrogen, life on Earth becomes severely time-limited. Having made no progress in living off-planet, the human race is doomed... but then help arrives in the form of a message from deep space. An advanced extraterrestrial race from the planet Kepler 186-f knows of the plight of Earth and sends details of the technology needed to build faster-than-light space arks. Construction soon begins and within twenty years three arks are created, capable of carrying a few thousand people to the homeworld of the alien benefactors. In addition to specialised personnel, the lucky few are chosen by lottery. The rest of humanity is left behind to cope as best they can in a world where all government - all law and order - has collapsed. And for all their splendour and vison, the arks are not free from discord either... Stable by writers Matthew Medley and Morgan Rosenblum and artist Francesco Pisa is an epic tale of surv

Review: Friendo

Image
  "He called me an ambulance, Rachael. He saved me life." *sigh* ... "No, Leo. He protected the manufacturer's investment." Leo Joof is an average actor and ocassional go-go dancer in Hollywood; young and photogenic but not terribly successful... but this is Hollywood following the historic signing of the Bernays Act: "a redefinition of planet Earth as a non-stop completely immersive marketing environment in which all global citizens are participants." What that means is the total obliteration of the dividing line between real life and the chaotic nightmare dimension of commercial advertising. You can do anything, commit any crime, with total immunity if it is part of a business promotion. So, when Leo deliberately crashes a car, limping from the wreckage and leaving his passenger dead in order to promote a new movie, he is not liable for reckless endangerment or even homicide.  As dystopias go, this is a pretty unique one; not the usual dictartorship

Review: Galaxy Heirs

Image
We all like to think we're special in one way or another. Desmond Jones (a.k.a. DJ) certainly qualifies, having come from poverty to working with a new mentoring program for young people in his neighbourhood. He's a humble guy, though, he doesn't really think of himself as being all that significant... So it is a bit of a shock when a strangely-dressed woman from another galaxy attacks him with a glowing sword because he is, in fact, actual royalty. The shock of such a sudden revelation somewhat eclipsed by the simultaneous threat of impending death, DJ has precisely zero time to process such a life-changing newsflash. All is not lost, however, as a team of valiant protectors appear just as suddenly and engage the aforementioned assassin in combat. Cue much in the way of combat and advanced technological weapons and gadgets as our poor unwitting hero tries to stay alive in the crossfire. Galaxy Heirs by writer Rubyn Warren II and artist Ronilson Freire is an all-guns-blaz

Review: Starburn

Image
  "So I can't value life because of my synthetic biology? Life is only valuable to organics? To truly live is to be able to die? I've seen fridges die that serve more purpose than some of these scumbags." Detectives waxing philosophical is nothing new in the pulp-noir genre, but this is a little different. Zander is a robot police detective in the city Starburn on an exotic planet with pink skies and a diverse human and alien population. The cyberpunk backdrop - sleazy neon ads illuminating warrens of dark alleyways, dive bars, disreputable virtual reality joints, flying cars, etc. - is the setting for a mystery involving the murder of a politician. Who killed the ex-mayor, and why? Starburn by writer/artist Coleton Mastick is a thriller with a twist. The police department are keen to wrap up the case as quickly as possible because the independence of the city depends upon its resolution. Anyone they can pin the blame on will do, and the city has no shortage of chara