Remembering Patrick McGoohan

Patrick McGoohanPatrick McGoohan

Reading the New York Times yesterday, I was surprised and saddened to see that the actor Patrick McGoohan had died. As a teenager, I became quite a fan of the cult 60's television series The Prisoner which McGoohan created and starred in. It was a strange sci-fi/spy series about a retired spy known only as "Number 6" who is trapped in an unusual retirement village for people who know too much. We are never quite sure who is holding him there, and the series uses his story of opposing his mysterious jailers to contemplate ideas of personal freedom and government oppression. I'm not doing it justice here, but this was a wild and wonderful creation of McGoohan's imagination, so check out The Prisoner yourself from our collection.

P.S. McGoohan is also known for his role in the movie Braveheart later in his career.

Second Foundation

Isaac Asimov, one of the world's greatest science fiction authors wrote the Foundation series. Many authors have written stories within Asimov's universe. Three of them are Gregory Benford, Greg Bear, and David Brin. Between them, they wrote Second Foundation trilogy, Foundation's Fear, Foundation and Chaos, and Foundation's Triumph. The stories follow the rise, fall, and rise again of the human galactic empire.

You Cannot Change the Laws of Physics

Well, maybe the laws of physics can be changed. At least they can be in author S. M. Stirling's Emberverse series. It all starts in Dies the Fire. An electrical storm centered over the island of Nantucket has rendered all electrically powered devices useless and firearms inoperable. The works changes in an instant as people band together in feudal groups to survice. The story continues in The Protector's War, A Meeting at Corvallis, The Sunrise Lands, and The Scourge of God.

What is your favorite post-apocalyptic book?

Invasion of the saucer people, kind of

While conducting a seismic survey in the Sahara, Rip Cantrell makes a startling discovery, a flying saucer. Rip and his girlfriend Charlotte Pine do all they can to protect the saucer from profit seekers who try to steal the saucer for their own gain. Follow their adventure in Stephen Coonts' Saucer. Our heroes return in the sequel Saucer: the Conquest.

Majority rules... NOT

What happens when the majority is wrong? Philip K. Dick has an idea in the Minority Report. Ask Police Commissioner John Anderton, Tom Cruise in the film version. Commissioner Anderton helped form the Precrime System. It uses "precogs" to see future crimes, identifying criminals to prevent crimes from ever happening. Unfortunately, Anderton becomes a victim of his own system. The precogs identify him as a future criminal. The only way he can survive is by finding the truth buried within the precog's "minority report."

If you don't have time to read the story, we also have it available on BOCD.

Good vs. Evil

People have been talking about the end of the world for a long time. Author G. P. Taylor's stories show how it may have happened in the 1700's. In the story Shadowmancer, Vicar Obadiah Demurral decides to take on God and take over the universe. Only two youths and a mysterious person from Africa stand in his way. Wormwood tells the story of Agetta Lamian, the young housemaid of Dr. Sabian Blake. Dr. Blake has found an ancient book titled Nemorensis, which has the power to unlock the secrets of the universe. Can they save not only London but the world from the certain destruction by the comet Wormwood?

What is truth?

Author Ken MacLeod explores truth, deception, and blogs in his novel The Execution Channel. After the 9/11 attacks on Boston and Philadelphia, the war on terror has continued. Terrorist attacks are still taking place. Conspiracy theories are everywhere as the world slides towards further division. Government-backed bloggers post disinformation to help spread the chaos. And in the background, the Execution Channel, a pirate TV station, shows state-sponsored executions 24x7.

What is truth? Is history (truth) written by the victor?

What if...

the United States no longer existed. The country has fallen apart. It is primarily composed of two countries, one Islamic-based and the other Bible Belt Christians. What happened? In 2017, Massad agents detonated atomic bombs in several cities in the United States and also at Mecca. The result? Many people in the northern states converted to Islam and the country became divided. When young Islamic historian tries to find the true bombers, her lover must protect her and the truth. This is the world of Robert Ferrigno in Prayers for the Assassin and Sins of the Assassin.

A tribute...

About a year ago I blogged about one of my favorate books, Starship Trooper. Author Robert Buettner pays homage to Robert A. Heinlein's story in his novel Orphanage. Set in the not too distant future, the Earth is under attack by mysterious aliens. We don't know who they are or why they are attacking.

Global cooling from dust in the atmosphere is blocking the sun light. Plants are dying and the human race isn't expected to survive. What are we supposed to do? Jason Wander and his fellow infantry men and women must make the first manned space flight beyond our Moon to Jupiter's moon Ganymede to attack the enemy. Will they survive and make it home?

Star Wars: Clone Wars

If the recently released animated Star Wars film inspired your curiosity in the story of the Clone Wars, check out the graphic novel series of the same name. Clone Wars is a nine volume collection of graphic novels from several series in the Star Wars world. These volumes tell the story of the events following Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones up to and including Anakin Skywalker's transformation into Darth Vader. Also featured are the stories of some characters not seen in the films such as Quinlan Vos and Asajj Ventress. These graphic novels are written with a slightly older audience in mind and have a higher level of violence and a more serious mood. Full of action, espionage, and epic battles, this collection is sure to satisfy fans of the iconic Sci-Fi series.

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