by Alan Dean Foster
We’ve highlighted movies, television, and games as our weekly picks so far, so it’s high time we gave a shout out to an honest-to-gosh science fiction novel. I used to love Foster’s “Pip and Flinx” series, but it’s been ages since I read anything by him. The writer has penned dozens of books over the past several decades, including novelizations of movies such as The Last Starfighter and 2009’s Star Trek. His new novel, which explores genetic manipulation and the boundaries of what it means to be human, comes out Wednesday. Here’s the synopsis:
In a world deeply wounded by centuries of environmental damage, two unlikely souls join forces: Dr. Ingrid Seastrom has stumbled into a mystery involving quantum-entangled nanoscale implants—a mystery that just may kill her. Whispr is a thief and murderer whose radical body modifications have left him so thin he is all but two-dimensional….
Sounds like somebody should set up a double date between Whispr and Doctor Who‘s Lady Cassandra. At any rate, Body, Inc. is headed for my Kindle, and it’s my Pick of the Week! What about you, what are you looking forward to this week? Sound off in the comments!
Alcatraz (Fox, 9/8c) — “Garrett Stillman/Tommy Madsen”
These are the last two episodes of the season, so we’ll see if Alcatraz finally gives us some answers. Or at least some more interesting questions than “Who’s the convict of the week?” Summaries for the finale claim that Hauser finds something mysterious beneath Alcatraz, so fingers crossed.
Eureka: Season 4.5 (DVD)
I hate it when they do these half-season releases. Is there seriously anybody who is so desperate to watch a show that they can’t just wait until the whole season is available? I gave up on Eureka this season, but if you’re sticking with it, you can pick up this set for a list price of $29.98. (Hint: if you actually pay that much, you’re not doing it right).
“Omega Point” by Guy Haley
Haley’s books envision a future where mankind is dealing with the advent and dangers of true artificial intelligence. One of those AI’s is Richards, a machine who is more in touch with humanity than his compatriots. Otto Klein is a hard-drinking ex-military cyborg. Together they work as security consultants. Haley’s wry, cyberpunk series kicked off with Reality 36 and continues here, with Richards & Klein trying to foil a rogue AI with plans for world domination.
Nova (PBS, 10/9c) — “Cracking Your Genetic Code”
PBS’ long-running series returns with a look at the potential — and potential dangers — of “personalized, gene-based medicine.”
Star Trek (IDW Publishing) — “Vulcan’s Vengeance, Part 1”
If you haven’t checked out this series, it follows the Enterprise crew in the aftermath of J.J. Abrams’ Trek reboot. Previous issues have adapted TOS episodes such as “The Galileo Seven” and “Operation: Annihilate!” with new twists. This issue kicks off a two-issue arc set soon after the movie’s events, with the surviving Vulcans dealing with the aftermath of their world’s destruction.
Awake (NBC, 10/9c) — “Oregon”
Somebody finally begins to question Britten’s unorthodox methods, resulting in him becoming a suspect in his own case. Just explain about the parallel worlds thing, dude, I’m sure the FBI will understand.
Touch (NBC, 9/8c) — “Safety in Numbers”
Martin encounters a homeless man who seems to have the same uncanny knack with numbers as his son, which then connects him to an abused woman, a group of African dancers, and a lady at the Coachella Music Festival. Then Martin gets super high and forgets to pick the kid up from school because he was, like, at one with the music, man.
Fringe (Fox, 9/8c) — “Nothing as It Seems”
The Fringe team investigates a case that seems eerily familiar to Peter, and that hearkens back to the show’s early days. Expect monsters.
Magic City (Starz, 11/10c) — “Year of the Fin”
I’m once again breaking our “all SF, all the time” rule to direct your attention to this new series premiering on Starz. The cast includes Watchmen‘s Jeffrey Dean Morgan and former Bond girl Olga Kurylenko in a story about a luxurious beachfront Miami hotel in 1959. The trailers look stellar, so expect an addictive mix of crime, vice, and period style.
Green Lantern: The Animated Series (Cartoon Network, 10/9c) — “Heir Apparent”
If you need more cartoons in your life, Cartoon Network is now airing an hour-long block of DC toons on Saturday mornings. In this episode Hal Jordan challenges an alien warrior for the hand of a princess. I haven’t seen an episode, so no idea where this falls on the “too kiddy” spectrum. I wouldn’t go in expecting Batman: The Animated Series levels of brilliance.
Young Justice (Cartoon Network, 10:30/9:30c) — “Insecurity”
This series, on the other hand, is good fun. It’s basically the Teen Titans series many of us would have rather seen than the anime-inspired version that aired a few years back. This week the team attempts to track down the villain known as Sportsmaster. Yes, that does sound like a piece of work-out equipment. All the good bad-guy names were already taken, okay?
The Avengers (11:15/10:15c) — “The Private War of Doctor Doom”
Get yourself ready for the summer blockbuster with the small-screen adventures of Earth’s mightiest heroes. As you might imagine, Doctor Doom is a factor.
Game of Thrones (HBO, 9/8c) — “The North Remembers”
It may not be science fiction, but it is one of the most kick-ass shows on television. Tune in to see how the show will play out after the…er, departure of one of its biggest actors.
Mythbusters (Discovery, 9/8c) — “Fire vs. Ice”
The Mythbusters pit a fire extinguisher and a flamethrower. Yeah, this should be fun.
Ultimate Spider-Man (Disney XD, 11/10c) — “Great Power”
Continuing your weekend toon dosage, this new series launches this Sunday. Based on Brian Michael Bendis’ acclaimed comic series, it follows a high-school-aged Peter Parker as his wall-crawling career is still getting started.