Ubik

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Review by Ashley Chapman

Ubik (1969) by Philip K. Dick has that deceptively straightforward prose style that is as once as engaging as it is profound, a rare combination of a voice that is guile-free but coloured with a zany irascible humour.

‘Dick is comfortable with ideas like psy-phenomenon, the parapsychological, telepathy, precognition, psychokinesis and near-death, in his hands, all made so innocuous you begin to feel at ease with the non-living.’

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Cyberpunk Classic Neuromancer Revisted

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Review by Ashley Chapman

 

Neuromancer, the book that introduces us to the concept of the Matrix was, according to its author William Gibson, inspired by watching kids playing video games in arcades.

‘Reading his prose feels like being inside a computer as an electron-spawned visitor travelling along the soldered pathways of circuit boards.’

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Interstellar

Interstellar
Review by Ashley Chapman

Film: Interstellar (2014)
Director: Christopher Nolan
Script: Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan
Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway and Jessica Chastain and Michael Cain
Released: November, 2014
Production: Syncopy and Lynda Obst Productions
Details: 12A; Sci-Fi; 169 min

Day 1: I actually watched Interstellar twice as, first time round, the Computer Exchange DVD was kinked, developing into a full-blown play challenge as we hit the worm hole sequence. Time literally came to a noisy, slow-time, juddering freeze-frame stop, as I tried to navigate through the wormhole sequence and into the beyond, but had to abort mission…

Day 2: New DVD.

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A Party Too Far — The Shah of Iran’s Ultimate Downfall.

Review by Ashley Chapman

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Decadence and Downfall: The Shah of Iran’s Ultimate Party, Storyville, 2015-2016 now showing on the BBC iPlayer is about how Shah Pahlavi of Iran spent the entire state budget, over $600 million dollars, in 1970 on a lavish party in the fabled city of Persepolis, while his people, battered by the fearful exigences of his secret police, the feared SAVA, wallowed in deprivation.

“The guests, beneath yards and yards of suffocating pink satin sit in the banqueting marquis, served exquisite Gallic food prepared by  Maxim’s of Paris…while outside the locked-out millions watched on TV the noisy emptiness of it all.”

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