Twenty Years On: Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 1
James C. Rocks [01-09-2019]

 Twenty Years On: Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 1

"Buffy, The Vampire Slayer" was a series set in the fictional community of Sunnydale, a place full of all kinds of evil and is where vampire slayer, Buffy Summers, ends up after burning down her old school gym. Twenty years on, the series may (for some) be less appealing, arguably no longer as innovative as it once was. In my view, despite its age, the plot still works, still feels fresh, still original and, although it has weaknesses, the storylines remain good.

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On Sprinting
James C. Rocks [2019-08-13]

 On Sprinting
As a budding writer I would spend many hours sitting at my computer writing things that might be considered irrelevant to my core goal of actually writing a novel. I end up distracted, not only by other things I could do instead of write (emails, Facebook, the internet in general) but often by relatively unimportant tasks that can still be classed as writing. Until I took an interest in "sprinting" it seemed to me that I was simply be wearing myself out for no particular gain.

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Book Review: "Red Sparrow" by Jason Matthews (2013)
James C. Rocks [2019-07-24]

 Book Review:

"Red Sparrow", the debut novel by ex-CIA operative Jason Matthews (I'm told his wife is also ex-CIA) is the first of a trilogy featuring the beautiful Russian spy, Dominika Egorov, and American CIA operative, Nathaniel "Nate" Nash. The book was made into a film of the same name in 2018, starring Jennifer Lawrence and Joel Edgerton. This review concerns the book.

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Giving Something A Fair Review (2019)
James C. Rocks [2019-07-21]

 Giving Something A Fair Review (2019)
I've seen enough reviews in my lifetime to realise that reviewers are often heavily swayed by their emotions and, whilst there will always be an aspect of personal preference, I felt some sort of objective method of comparison was necessary. This article outlines the self-developed method I now use and the categories I use to do them and all of the reviews on this site follow this method. I gave this idea some thought and my intent to create a consistent approach to reviews that is entertaining yet that little bit more objective.

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Free Stuff
James C. Rocks [2019-05-10]

 Free Stuff
Writing is a slow process, especially for me but I am (I assure you) working on stuff, the second book in my "Abyssal Void War" trilogy and another cooperative project I am working on with a fellow author. So, I include here some of my earlier work for your interest along with some work by fellow authors.

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Brexit: A Letter To My MP
James C. Rocks [2018-11-12]

 Brexit: A Letter To My MP
I was one of the 48% of those who voted to Remain and, though I sometimes have despaired of some of the things said by those in my camp, I am still a Remainer. A relative "know nothing" beforehand, far more interested in science than politics, the 2016 referendum changed everything especially since it has become increasingly clear that I know a lot more than most. On that day, that one fateful day, I was asked to become a politician, a diplomat and an economic specialist for one day. Of course, I couldn't become that but I did do some research and, very briefly, voted remain for philosophical, economic, immigration reasons but mostly because there hasn't been a single war in the Eurozone since the end of WW2.

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'Game Changer' by Douglas E. Richards, A Very Personal Review
James C. Rocks [2018-10-20]

 'Game Changer' by Douglas E. Richards, A Very Personal Review

"Game Changer" is a book written by Douglas E. Richards, someone I would normally have considered extremely tech savvy and, until reading this book, one of my very favourite authors. I do not lie when I say literally devoured every book of his I could get my hands on; superb writing, good grammar and an incisive ability to create suspenseful situations. And then, completely out of the blue, it wasn't. I detested this book so much so that I doubt I could ever read one of Richards' books again.

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Science In Science Fiction
James C. Rocks [2018-10-20]

 Science In Science Fiction
Science fiction is easy enough to write but not necessarily well and old bookshops (and now, I suppose, the equivalent virtual stores) are full of often exciting but essentially daft space literature. Whilst some liberties can, arguably must, be taken, having chosen to write science fiction the author needs to reign in his or her excesses and confine their tale to something more believable. I would argue a science fiction writer has to have a good grasp of what is or is not possible, not necessarily now but in the future and, more than that, it has to be reasonable. Hollywood space films have conditioned us to expect scenes of rolling asteroids, fighters swooping in and out of danger, manoeuvring around each other in aerial style dogfights, missiles streaking after ships in long curving paths and, of course, the classic sounds of laser and explosions. None of these can really happen in space and a science fiction author should consider such things carefully before using such tropes.

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'Tales of the High Avenging Angel: #1-3' by Dietmar Wehr
James C. Rocks [2018-03-24]

 'Tales of the High Avenging Angel: #1-3' by Dietmar Wehr
Hoch Racheengel, former star pilot and star of Dietmar Arthur Wehr's dark science fiction tale, "High Avenging Angel", a brave attempt by the author to be original that is only partially successful. Set in a world the author calls "space noir", an idea based on the old cinematic idea of "film noir" the book has a fair degree of action and violence with stories ranging across Earth and several other systems. The tales all followed the same basic outline overused convenient high-tech devices leading to a lack of believability and suspense. Although I found the book readable, I felt it a shame it couldn't have been more adventurous and interesting. A good try that failed to meet its potential.

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James Cameron's 'Avatar' (2009)
James C. Rocks [2018-03-01]

 James Cameron's 'Avatar' (2009)

Quite possibly my all-time favourite film, a heady mix of science-fiction and fantasy, James Cameron's "Avatar" combines aspects of "Dances With Wolves", "Titanic", "The Last Samurai" in a heady mix of science, fantasy and romance. As he often does, Cameron takes a swipe at the industrial excesses of corporate commercialism, with human/corporate greed clashing with the natives of a distant world. Credited as the one which kickstarted modern 3D film technology, "Avatar" set the 3D bar and, in many ways, has a lot to answer for.

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Quotes

It was love at first sight

Joseph Heller (Catch 22)

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