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  • 19Jun

    Book Review: Cinder

    Cinder by Marissa Meyer $10.98 I mentioned my love for fairy tale retellings in my holiday guide last year, so it is no surprise I was excited to see Cinder in my local independent bookstore. Like Ash, this is a re-imagining of the Cinderella story (as you can probably tell from the title), but it is a very different setting and characterization. In this story, Cinder is a cyborg. She was adopted by a businessman from New Beijing while he was visiting Europe, and brought back to live with his wife and stepdaughters, but he died soon after. As a cyborg, Cinder is legally owned by her stepmother, so she has even less freedom than Ella in the traditional tale. She has no memory of her life before the surgery that made her into a cyborg, but it becomes quickly apparent that she is more than what she seems to

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  • 13Jun

    Book Review: Partials, by Dan Wells

    Partials by Dan Wells $10.98 There are so many post-apocalyptic YA novels these days, I can afford to be choosy. I love post-apocalyptic novels, but that doesn’t mean I’ll read anything in the genre. I have spent a lot of time in the YA section of my local bookstore lately, though, because I am finding a lot of high quality stuff there. Partials is no exception. I had heard of Dan Wells as a horror author–I am Not a Serial Killer and ts sequels, I Don’t Want to Kill You and Mr. Monster received good reviews. I’ve heard good things about him, but I overdosed on horror when I was a teenager, and now I am very easily creeped out, so I haven’t dived in to his books, even though they sound very good. Still the good reviews encouraged me to give this book a try. I am so glad

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  • 06Jun

    RIP, Ray Bradbury

    Ray Bradbury, author of Fahrenheit 451 and The Martian Chronicles, along with many other novels, stories and plays, died Tuesday night at the age of 91 after a long illness. Although widely celebrated as a science fiction writer, he considered all of his works to be fantasy, except for Fahrenheit 451, saying: First of all, I don’t write science fiction. I’ve only done one science fiction book and that’s Fahrenheit 451, based on reality. It was named so to represent the temperature at which paper ignites. Science fiction is a depiction of the real. Fantasy is a depiction of the unreal. So Martian Chronicles is not science fiction, it’s fantasy. It couldn’t happen, you see? That’s the reason it’s going to be around a long time — because it’s a Greek myth, and myths have staying power. His influence on science fiction writers and fans was deeply felt, however. He was named an

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  • 05Jun

    Book Review: Insurgent, by Veronica Roth

    Insurgent By Veronica Roth $10.79 Not too long after I bought this book on the day it was released, I came across the book on my dining room table at bedtime. I was heroically letting my daughter read the book first, so I brought it upstairs for her. “Did you know you left Insurgent downstairs?” I said. I wanted her to finish it so that I could read it! “Yes,” she replied, alarmed, something almost like hysteria in her tone,”I can’t have that book in my room at bed time! And neither should you!” She had a point. When I read the first book in the series, Divergent, I ended up staying up far too late and not getting enough sleep before work. I took the book back downstairs. This book was worth the wait. It opens with Tris dealing with a bit of PTSD due to the events at

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  • 29May

    Summer of Science!

    Recently, I wrote on my personal blog about all of the things I am trying to do to keep my kids from watching television for 10 hours a day over the summer. There will be books and writing and physical fitness, but I am really looking forward to our science goal: we will be conducting weekly science experiments/projects as a family. I told the kids that I would start by choosing a few activities, but I hope that they will choose some as we go on with the summer. I told a good friend about our goals, and she picked up the latest issue of Wired Magazine for me, with Adam Savage on the cover, and I am so glad she did. While I could wish they called the article ”How to Be a Geek Parent,” there are many great projects in there, from building an artbot to cooking up glow worms to

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  • 23May

    Fantasy Fiction Has Real World Applications!

    Did you see this amazing story about the boy who survived a plunge over the edge of a waterfall because of advice he got from Pendragon, by D.J. MacHale? In the water, the teen quickly thought of advice from a fantasy-novel character Bobby Pendragon of the Pendragon Adventure books by D.J. MacHale: “Go feet first, stay to the sides and kick off the rocks,” the Seattle Times reported. He managed to scramble onto a narrow rock shelf just before the main falls. The whole story is amazing, complete with a video of the rescue, go check it out. What strikes me about the whole situation is his presence of mind, but also the way he was able to cope with real life danger based on what he read in a fantasy book for kids. Whoever said teens don’t gain anything from dangerous fiction?

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  • 22May

    Amigurumi!

    Crocheting is my latest obsession, and one thing that has really caught my eye on Pinterest, craft blogs and the wider internet is amigurumi. Have you seen this stuff? It is so cute, and the potential for geeky fun is enormous! For instance, check out Nerdigurumi (on youtube, too!). Also, just look at how much Star Wars Amigurumi you can buy on Etsy! This free Yoda Amigurumi pattern is pretty awesome, too. I have been resisting taking the plunge into amigurumi myself, because I have so many other projects already in progress. However, this weekend I couldn’t wait any longer, and I had to buy Crobots by Nelly Pailloux. I am so glad I did! The little stuffed toys are so cute, from an adorable dogbot to a hilarious zombiebot to an awesome ninja. My 9 year old son is so enamored of the entire concept that he asked me

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  • 11May

    The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo Graphic Novel Due in November

    DC will be releasing a graphic novel based on the popular Steig Larsson novel The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo in November of this year. The book will be written by Denise Mina, a Scottish author who has written multiple novels, a couple of plays, and contributed to the Hellblazer comic series in addition to journalism and academic writing. Frankly, I am glad to have seen this news if only for the introduction to Mina; I am not sure how I missed her work before this. She writes the kind of modern British mysteries I have been getting into lately, a modern, more disturbing extension of the Agatha Christies I grew up loving. The entire project is international–the artists, Leonardo Manco and Andrea Mutti, are from Argentina and Italy, respectively. Manco has worked as a regular artist for the Hellblazer comic series, including the stories written by Mina, and he has also

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  • 06May

    Rockstar Games releases Max Payne 3 comic series

    Rockstar Games has announced that they are releasing a comic book series for Max Payne 3. Rockstar teamed up with Marvel to release the series. The first chapter can be downloaded as a pdf here. Note that the comic is for adults and should not be read by kids. Max Payne 3 is a mature rated game. After the Fall, will shed light on Max’s life highlighting key events from Max Payne and Max Payne 2. The comic will be available for free and There are details here on how you can try to get a limited printed edition of the comic. The limited editions will be given away to Rockstar Games Social Club members starting now through June 2012. I have to admit, I don’t think I have played the Max Payne series, maybe a little of it here and there, but the comic showed me a look at

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  • 04Apr

    Review – Heart #4

    Publisher: Image Release Date: March 18, 2012 Writer: Blair Butler Artist: Kevin Mellon Price: $2.99 Age range: Mature (violence and profanity) When last we saw Oren, he had just gotten the crap beat out of him. In the final issue of the series, we find out how having his clock thoroughly and completely cleaned effects him and how or if he gets back on his feet again. This entire series has been a wonderful character study from start to finish. The fact that the study was on a character that probably isn’t the first choice for many to fill the role of protagonist. Oren was pretty much a royal jerkface the entire series, his jerkiness growing with every MMA match he won. But with a title like “Heart”, I kept expecting him to show a little in some form or another. So while the route Butler takes with Oren at the

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