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The Host

Human beings are "the host" for space parasites in this sci-fi novel. Most of the human race has been taken over by the "souls" from space. These invaders destroy human consciousness but leave human memories. That is, until a soul named Wanderer is implanted in Melanie. Her consciousness fights back, leaving her with a kind of split personality. Wanderer has a superior named Seeker. Seeker wants to make sure all humans have been converted and nags Wanderer to hurry up and get on with Melanie's take over.

There is so much more to tell, but I don't want to give away too much. It's really good. The unique aspect of the story is that it's told from the viewpoint of Wanderer, the parasite.

The Host (2008) by Stephenie Meyer is available via Overdrive. You can read the ebook or listen to the audiobook. If you choose to listen, you're in for a treat: narrator Kate Reading does a good job matching voices with personalities.

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Source Code

This movie is the Sci Fi version of Groundhog Day except that if the main character doesn't get it right soon, millions of people will die. Confused, Captain Colter Stevens wakes up in another man's body, but the encounter only last's eight minutes--the last eight minutes of his life. Reliving the same eight minutes again and again, Stevens must find information to prevent a nuclear terrorist attack. Will he discover who the terrorist is in time? Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, and Vera Farmiga.

Source Code is available for checkout on DVD.



The Land that Time Forgot

A rip-roaring adventure from the creator of Tarzan. It's 1916 and the Great War is raging. The U-33 has been sinking allied ships and capturing survivors. A series of twists leaves the survivors in charge and the U-33 off course and lost. The sub, following an underwater passage, surfaces to find itself on a thermal crater lake in a strange land and almost out of fuel. There is high drama, double cross, and dirty tricks as the German crew and their English and American captors fight dinosaurs, sub-humans, and each other.

The Land That Time Forgot (1918) by Edgar Rice Burroughs is told in first person from a manuscript found in a bottle at the Greenland coast. The manuscript was written by an American from California but it is a British citizen that finds the bottle and reads the manuscript. Narrator Raymond Todd reads the story with a British accent.

This is the first book in the Caspak trilogy. Listen to the audiobook or read the ebook via Hoopla.



The Lost Continent

It's the 22nd century and the Pan American Navy aero-submarine Coldwater is in trouble. Coldwater's antiquated engines, anti-gravity screens, and communications have all failed. The vessel heads for the English coast for repairs. Devastating war has left Europe a forbidden zone for 200 years. Nevertheless, Lieutenant Turck and a few crewmen use a small boat to find food and fresh water ashore. Instead, they find civilization living in primitive camps and wild beasts, descendants of escaped zoo animals, prowling free.

This is classic Edgar Rice Burroughs. What makes this edition special is the narrator. Finn J. D. John teaches New Media Communications at Oregon State University. He begins The Lost Continent (1916, originally titled Beyond Thirty) with a foreword that sets the background for the book and a thumbnail biography of Burroughs. His organization, Pulp-Lit Productions, features annotated editions of Blackwood, Burroughs, Robert E. Howard, Lovecraft, and Seabury Quinn.

Visit Hoopla to listen to the audiobook or read the ebook today.



Station Eleven

Set in the near future, after an airborne disease has wiped out much of the population of the planet, Station Eleven (2014) follows a troupe of traveling musicians and actors as they migrate from town to town to put on shows. The plot bounces back and forth in time describing the first days of the pandemic then returning to the future, showing the evolution of the characters. Emily St. John Mandel skillfully brings these seemingly disparate storylines together as the main characters converge in the end.

Check out our list Welcome to Dystopia for similar titles. Visit Overdrive to read Station Eleven as an ebook or audiobook.



Rick and Morty. Season 1

Rick is a drunk, sarcastic, old scientist who is the smartest man in the universe, and Morty is his average grandson. Together, they go on wacky adventures through the universe using Rick's portal gun and spaceship to go to faraway planets.

The adventures rarely go as planned as something usually goes wrong. When they are not traveling through space, they are together as a dysfunctional family.

If you are a fan of wacky zany humor and don't mind plenty of swearing, then this is a show for you. Watch season 1 of Rick and Morty(rated TV-14) on Hoopla today.




11/22/63

This is a long book, over 30 hours, but worth every minute. It's the story of Jake Epping. His friend Al has found a time portal to September 9th, 1958. Al has been using it to try to prevent the Kennedy assassination. But now Al is dying. He shows the portal to Jake and convinces him to take over the project. What could possibly go wrong?

Plenty. The portal has rules. First, while everyone else is whatever age they were in 1958, Jake is still aging normally. Second, the past doesn't want to be changed. The bigger the change, the bigger the resistance to change. Third, every trip through the portal erases any changes made during previous trips. Jake has to start from scratch each time he enters the portal.

Stephen King did a great job researching Lee Harvey Oswald. Jake has to be sure he's got the right man.And then there's Sadie.

Check out 11/22/63 (2011) today. You can read or listen to the book via Overdrive.


Ready Player One

In the year 2045, the real world is so dismal that everyone escapes by spending as much time as possible in a virtual reality universe known as the OASIS. When the creator of this universe dies, he bequeaths his vast fortune and rights to the OASIS to the first person who can find three eggs hidden in the game itself. In order to find these eggs, the gunters (short for "egg hunters") must learn everything they can about 1980s pop culture, especially about how to play the video games of the time.

Wade Watts, an indigent teen living in a stacked trailer park, is determined to be the winner of the contest. Standing in his way is IOI, Innovative Online Industries, a corrupt corporation that will stop at nothing to take control of the OASIS. This sci-fi thriller is exciting right until the end, and especially appealing to anyone who grew up in the 1980s.

Borrow Ready Player One (2011) instantly on Overdrive—both the ebook and audiobook are available.

And stay tuned: Ernest Cline's sequel Ready Player Two will be released November 24.



The Vor Game

Miles Vorkosigan is a military cadet about to be stationed to his first assignment. His father is a famous general and has a long list of accomplishments. Miles isn't so lucky; at first look, he is seen as a failure by his peers due to the physical abnormality he was born with. He must work harder, think harder, and be better to get the recognition he feels he deserves.

The world in The Vor Game (1990) by Lois McMaster Bujold is an expansive one with a rich history and backstory around it. Miles is very sarcastic but endearing in what he wants and expects from others. If you are looking for a great series that has an interesting main character and world, then this is a good option to explore.

Listen to the book on Hoopla today.



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Westworld

This series was so well done. Set in the future, Westworld (2016-) explores a theme park inhabited by artificial hosts and the wealthy humans who vacation there. Visitors are allowed to live out their fantasies, whether good or evil. The park indulges every wish, all with no consequences, with the motto being "Live without Limits." That is, of course, until the hosts start to deviate from their expected parameters. 

In my opinion, Evan Rachel Wood and Thandie Newton steal the show from an all-star cast, including Anthony Hopkins. These two powerful actresses show such a deep scope of emotions as they slowly come to the realization of what they were created for.


Mr. Mercedes. Season 1

Having read and enjoyed Mr. Mercedes, the first novel in a trilogy by Stephen King,  I was curious to see how another of Stephen King's books was adapted into a TV series.

The story begins as a madman in a stolen Mercedes plows into a crowd of job seekers, killing eight people and injuring many others.  Several months later, we meet Bill Hodges, a now retired cop turned private detective whose life is deteriorating as he is haunted by the unsolved case of the Mercedes killer.  We then meet the psychopathic killer who starts tormenting Bill with letters and emails, taunting him with the promise of another evil act violence.  Only Bill and two new, unusual allies can stop the killer before he strikes again.

The casting of the series is great, led by Brendan Gleeson as Bill.  I thought Mr. Mercedes season 1 (2017, rated TV-M) was entertaining and thrilling.  I followed it by watching Season 2 which was the story of the third book, End of Watch.  I am eagerly awaiting the release of season 3, an adaptation of the story in book 2, Finders Keepers.

Stephen King fans can follow one of the characters introduced in this series, Holly Gibney, in the excellent adaption of King's novel, The Outsider, recently released on HBO.

Get started by watching season 1 of Mr. Mercedes on Hoopla today.


Big Hero 6 (2014) PG

844856_1_ftcBig Hero 6 is a superhero movie that adults would enjoy watching with the whole family.  The plot revolves around orphans Hiro and Tadashi, technological whiz kids living with their aunt.  College-age Tadashi created an inflatable robot named Baymax, whose purpose is to act as a portable paramedic/doctor. When someone steals younger brother Hiro’s invention to use for evil, Hiro gives Baymax a few superhero upgrades.  Also, check out our list, Great Movies: Kid Movies for Adults.

 
 

The Matrix (1999) R

51vpnbwfhrl-_sy445_Neo (Keanu Reeves) is a computer hacker with a somewhat ordinary life…but all is not as it seems.  When government agents suddenly show up at his work looking for him, Neo is forced to enlist the aid of a mysterious man named Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne), who promises to reveal the true nature of reality—the Matrix.  Should Neo join Morpheus’s secret group?  The Matrix is full of amazing visual effects with a mind-blowing plot that will keep you on the edge of your seat right ‘til the end.

Jurassic World (2015) PG-13

jurassicworld2In this action movie that is full of adventure, two boys go to visit their aunt who works at Jurassic World, a theme park. When a carnivorous dinosaur escapes, it causes other dinosaurs to run from their territories—which results in huge mayhem. An animal expert (Chris Pratt) takes charge and uses his special skills to save two brothers and all the tourists from the assault of the dinosaurs in Jurassic World.

Ant-Man (2015) PG-13

antmanAnt-Man is a fun movie. Although it has more comedic moments than your typical Marvel superhero film, Ant-Man faces serious threats, and there is plenty of action. Paul Rudd is great in the title role, especially when he unexpectedly battles one of the Avengers, and Michael Douglas and Evangeline Lilly give great performances. This origin movie is a must see for Marvel followers as Ant-Man will definitely be appearing in future films in the Marvel universe.