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Reviews in Project: Big Hair, Big Guns! (39)

Just a Soul That’s Changing Its Shape

The Shattered Stars

By Richard S. McEnroe  

22 Aug, 2019

Big Hair, Big Guns!

4 comments

Richard S. McEnroe’s 1984 The Shattered Stars is a standalone (ish) SF novel which takes place in McEnroe’s Far Stars and Future Times setting.

Moses Callahan is the proud owner of the independent trader Wild Goose, which is another way of saying he is a cash-short, desperate man pushed into an economic corner by larger, richer concerns who can afford ships with up-to-date tech. Just the sort of captain who might be greedy enough that he wouldn’t examine closely a chance to earn some quick cash. 

Might.


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Mr. Lonely

The Quiet Earth

By Geoff Murphy, Bill Baer, Bruno Lawrence & Sam Pillsbury  

29 Jun, 2019

Big Hair, Big Guns!

5 comments

1985’s The Quiet Earth was written by Bill Baer, Bruno Lawrence, and Sam Pillsbury; it was directed by Geoff Murphy. It is (loosely) based on the novel of the same name by Craig Harrison. It stars Bruno Lawrence, Alison Routledge, and Peter Smith. 

Zac Hobson (Bruno Lawrence), a scientist working on Project Flashlight, isn’t there at the New Zealand Flashlight facility on the morning of July 5th. That’s when the project will be tested. The effects of the test are obvious. To quote Zac: 

[quote] Zac Hobson, July 5th. One: there has been a malfunction in Project Flashlight with devastating results. Two: it seems I am the only person left on Earth.” [quote]

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Catch Me As I Fall

The Falling Woman

By Pat Murphy  

14 Jun, 2019

Big Hair, Big Guns!

3 comments

1986’s The Falling Woman is a standalone Nebula-Award-winning fantasy by Pat Murphy. 

Elizabeth Waters has escaped unwanted motherhood and a stultifying marriage at great cost to herself. Her reward: a career as a field archaeologist. Elizabeth is a valuable colleague at any dig because she seems to have a sixth sense for promising sites. 

This is because she has a literal sixth sense. She sees the shades of the dead. The ghosts of the past guide her. 


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To Get What I Want

Crisis on Infinite Earths

By Marv Wolfman & George Pérez  

4 Jun, 2019

Big Hair, Big Guns!

3 comments

Crisis on Infinite Earthswas a twelve-issue miniseries from DC Comics1 published from 1985 to 1986. It was written by Marv Wolfman, and pencilled by George Pérez2.

There are many versions of the Earth, each with their own histories. The superheroes of Earth One made contact with their counterparts on Earth Two an indeterminate time ago. In what almost seemed to have become an annual tradition, Earth One’s Justice League periodically teamed up with Earth Two’s Justice Society to deal with crises affecting both worlds. 

Now there is a crisis affecting not just Earth One, and Earth Two, but all the worlds. 

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You Say You Got A Real Solution

Schismatrix

By Bruce Sterling  

27 Apr, 2019

Big Hair, Big Guns!

2 comments

Bruce Sterling’s 1985 hard SF novel Schismatrix is the sole novel set in his Shaper/Mechanist universe, a setting also featured in handful of short pieces1.

The human colonies of the Solar System are divided into two factions: the Shapers, who want to enlist biology in reshaping humanity, and the Mechanists, who rely on technology. The two sides loath each other and are engaged in an increasingly tense cold war. It isn’t clear which camp will shape humanity’s future. 

Abelard Lyndsay, born to a high-ranked family in the Mare Serenitatis Circumlunar Corporate Republic, was sent as envoy to the Shaper city-states in the Rings of Saturn. This was during a brief period when the Republic was flirting with a Shaper alliance. Once the lunar aristocrats allied with the Mechanists, Abelard found himself an embarrassing relic of a failed policy. 

Already radicalized by the Shapers, Abelard turned to extreme political gestures. Upshot: Abelard’s lover Vera dead, and Abelard an exile from his former home. 


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Wounds Are All I’m Made Of

Akira

By Katsuhiro Otomo  

22 Apr, 2019

Big Hair, Big Guns!

0 comments

Katsuhiro Otomo’s manga Akira was serialized in Young Magazine from 1982 to 1990. The first English translation was published by Marvel Comics’ Epic line from 1988 to 19951. The US edition pioneered the use of computer colourization, courtesy Steve Oliff. For many North Americans this was their introduction to manga. 

Viktor Haag was kind enough to lend me his Epic collection. 


Since I am not sure how the Epic volumes map onto the current version from Dark Horse, I decided to review the entire, 2000+ page work as a whole. 

All together now: 

TETSUOOOO!”


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Like Dragons in the Dead of Night

Voyage From Yesteryear

By James P. Hogan  

16 Apr, 2019

Big Hair, Big Guns!

4 comments


James P. Hogan’s 1982 Voyage from Yesteryear is a standalone science fiction novel. 

Faced with seemingly inevitable nuclear war in the near future, the North American Space Development Organization and its Asian partners decided to take the bold step of re-purposing the SP3 interstellar probe. Five years before its 2020 launch, the probe was redesigned to deliver human life to Chiron, the habitable world in the Alpha Centauri system. But there’s a catch. 

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I Ran So Far Away

Starfarers  (Starfarers, volume 1)

By Vonda N. McIntyre  

8 Apr, 2019

Big Hair, Big Guns!

5 comments

1989’s Starfarers is the first volume in Vonda N. McIntyre’s Starfarers Quartet. 

The near approach of a cosmic string1 offers humanity superluminal access to Tau Ceti. A light-sail spaceship can hitchhike on the string to explore the nearest star system. A consortium of nations builds the Starfarer as a traveling university, one that will send back dividends of new knowledge that will more than pay for its creation. 

That is, if it is allowed to do what it is designed to do. Some of its government supporters have other notions of best use. 


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