Posted in books

The Girl who takes an Eye for an Eye by David Lagercrantz

imageThe Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye, is David Lagercrantz’s second novel in Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series of novels, featuring Crusading Investigative Journalist Mikael Blomkvist and Troubled Goth Super-Hacker Lisbeth Salander, (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo). It follows on from the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest and The Girl in the Spider’s Web and continues the story of Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander.

In this novel Lisbeth continues to search for answers to her own traumatic past with the help of Mikael Blomkvist, while also trying to right injustices and making many enemies along the way, this time she manages to antagonise an anti-Muslim gang, the Russian mafia, and a sinister shadowy group of people involved in a “pseudoscientific experiment” called The Registry. David Lagercrantz, has also hinted at the identity-defining secret which may be revealed in the fifth book. (Hint: It’s got something to do with a certain tattoo.) The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye is Published September 12, 2017.

Posted in books, films & DVD

Along Came a Spider by James Patterson

I am about to start reading Along came a Spider, the first exciting novel in James Patterson’s series about Washington, D.C. homicide investigator and forensic psychologist Alex Cross. It begins with Cross investigating the brutal murders of two black prostitutes and an infant. Then, at an exclusive private school, math teacher Gary Soneji kidnaps Maggie Rose Dunne and Michael Goldberg. Cross is aked to investigate the kidnapping. He meets Jezzie Flannagan, the head of the children’s Secret Service detail. At an old farmhouse, Soneji buries the children alive in a specially made coffin. Angered by FBI agent Roger Graham’s contemptuous comments about him on TV, Soneji later impersonates a reporter and kills Graham. Meanwhile, Cross, his partner John Sampson and the FBI search Soneji’s apartment, discovering his obsession with kidnappings, particularly that of the Lindbergh baby, and his desire to become a world-famous criminal.

Some time later, Michael Goldberg’s corpse is discovered, and the Dunnes receive a telegram demanding $10 million. Cross, Sampson and the FBI investigate, and Cross begins an affair with Jezzie Flannagan. He is ordered to deliver the money to Walt Disney World in Orlando, wondering how Soneji knows about his involvement. A man takes him on a plane, flying to a small island and taking the money, but never delivering Maggie Rose. At the old farmhouse, police officers find the empty graves where the children were held. Soneji returns to his home in Wilmington, Delaware.

In Washington DC, Soneji, dressed as a public utility employee, murders a teacher from the private school. Cross and Sampson are sent to the scene and, seeing the way he mutilated the body, quickly realize that Soneji is also behind the killings they investigated before and after the kidnapping. In the murdered prostitutes’ neighborhood, an elderly woman recalls a man going door to door selling heating systems. They soon find out that a man named Gary Murphy works for the company, and put observation on his family home in Wilmington, but Soneji manages to escape. A day later, he walks into a McDonald’s and holds several people hostage. Soneji is almost killed, but Cross saves him.

The trial of Gary Soneji/Murphy lasts eleven months. Cross hypnotizes him several times, discovering that he has a split personality; Gary Murphy, his everyday persona, is a gentle family man, while Gary Soneji is a vicious sociopath. Despite the defense’s best effort at an insanity plea, Soneji is imprisoned. Meanwhile, Cross learns that someone was following Soneji and knew about the kidnapping. Cross suspects Mike Devine and Charley Chakely, the Secret Service agents in charge of protecting Maggie Rose and Michael when they were kidnapped. He meets with Soneji, who confirms he may have been followed.

Cross meets with the FBI, who have believed for some time that Devine and Chakely took the ransom money, hiring and later murdering the pilot from Florida. Cross also learns that no other than Jezzie Flannagan masterminded the kidnapping using her lover, Devine, as a pawn. Around the same time, Soneji escapes from prison and goes to Washington, where he tortures and later kills Devine to find out where the ransom money is.

Cross confronts Flannagan about her actions. She explains that Devine and Chakely noticed Soneji driving by the Goldberg house, and followed him. The ransom was her idea, and they removed Maggie Rose after Michael died accidentally. Flannagan is arrested based on a recording Sampson made of the conversation, and Maggie Rose is found with a family in South America, where she had been living for the past two years. Then, Soneji attacks Cross at his Washington home, attempting to kill his grandmother and children and is hunted through the capital and eventually cornered on Pennsylvania Avenue, where he takes two children hostage in a thrilling finale.

Posted in Art, books, Fantasy, Science fiction

J.Scott Campbell

American author and illustrator comic book artist J. Scott Campbell was Born 12 April 1973. He was initially known professionally as Jeffrey Scott, but is best known as J. Scott Campbell. He rose to fame as an artist for Wildstorm Comics, though he has since done work for Marvel Comics (most notably as a cover artist on The Amazing Spider-Man), and the video game industry. After graduating from high school in Aurora, Colorado, Campbell began doing freelance commercial art jobs. As Campbell prepared to show his samples at the 1993 San Diego Comic Con, the series WildC.A.T.S premiered by Jim Lee’s publishing studio, Wildstorm Productions (then called Homage Studios). One issue advertised a talent search for which readers could submit artwork, so Campbell put together a package that included a four-page WildC.A.T.S story and sent it in. A week and a half later, Jim Lee telephoned Campbell and asked him if he would move to San Diego to work for him. Initially working under the professional name Jeffrey Scott, Campbell’s first comics work was two pinups for the Homage Studios Swimsuit Special in 1993. His subsquent work for Wildstorm includes spot illustrations in WildC.A.T.S Sourcebook. and Stormwatch #0.

Campbell went on to co-create the teen superhero team Gen¹³, which debuted in Deathmate Black (September 1993), before going onto to star in their own five-issue miniseries in January 1994. In 1998, Campbell, together with fellow comics artists Joe Madureira and Humberto Ramos, founded the Cliffhanger imprint as part of Wildstorm Productions and launched his comic series Danger Girl, which has since spawned a Playstation video gameas well as several comic spinoffs in the forms of limited series and one-shots. In August 2005, Campbell published Wildsiderz, which he co-created with his Danger Girl writing partner Andy Hartnell. In 2006, Campbell provided a variant incentive cover for Justice League of America and In 2007, Campbell illustrated the covers to the Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash six-issue limited series. Between 2001 and 2013 Campbell also worked on Marvel Comics Amazing Spider-Man series with writer Jeph Loeb.

Posted in books, films & DVD, Television

Tom Clancy

Best known for writing exciting and technically detailed espionage and military thrillers set during and after the Cold War, the American Novellist and Historian Thomas Leo “Tom” Clancy, Jr. Was born April 12, 1947. Clancy’s literary career began in 1982 when he started writing The Hunt for Red October which became immensely popular and was adapted for film starring Sean Connery. The novels Patriot Games (1987), Clear and Present Danger (1989), and The Sum of All Fears (1991), have been turned into commercially successful films with actors Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, Chris Pine and Ben Affleck as Clancy’s most famous fictional character Jack Ryan, while his second most famous character, John Clark, has been played by actors Willem Dafoe and Liev Schreiber. All but two of Clancy’s solely written novels feature Jack Ryan or John Clark,These being The Cold War epic Red Storm Rising and The first NetForce novel (titled Net Force and published in 1999 which was adapted as a 1999 TV movie starring Scott Bakula and Joanna Going.

The first Op-Center novel was released to coincide with a 1995 NBC television mini-series of the same name (Tom Clancy’s Op-Center published in 1995) starring Harry Hamlin. With the release of The Teeth of the Tiger (2003), Clancy introduced Jack Ryan’s son and two nephews as main characters; these characters continued in his last four novels, Dead or Alive (2010), Locked On (2011), Threat Vector (2012), and Command Authority (2013).

Clancy also wrote several nonfiction books about various branches of the U.S. Armed Forces And branded several lines of books and video games with his name that are written by other authors, following premises or storylines generally in keeping with Clancy’s works. His other interests included sport and In 1993, Clancy joined a group of investors that included Peter Angelos and bought the Baltimore Orioles from Eli Jacobs and also reached an agreement to purchase the Minnesota Vikings however he abandoned the deal due to financial commitments elsewhere. French video game manufacturer Ubisoft has also used Clancy’s name in conjunction with video games and related products such as movies and books. So far Seventeen of his novels have been bestsellers and more than 100 million copies of his books are in print. His name was also used on movie scripts written by ghost writers, non-fiction books on military subjects and video games. He was a part-owner of the Baltimore Orioles and Vice Chairman of their Community Activities and Public Affairs committees. Sadly though Clancy died on October 1, 2013, of an undisclosed illness but his novels remain popular.

Posted in Science-tech

Cosmonautics Day/ Yuri’s Night

Cosmonautics Day takes place annually On April 12 to commemorate the anniversary of 12 April 1961, when, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human to travel into outer space and perform the first manned orbital flight, circling the Earth for 1 hour and 48 minutes in his spacecraft Vostok 3KA-2 (Vostok 1) . To mark the occasion Cosmonautics Day was established in Russia (День Космона́втики, Den Kosmonavtiki) and some other former USSR countries, and Yuri’s Night Is also held internationally every April 12 to commemorate this milestones in space exploration. The launch of STS-1, the first Space Shuttle mission, is also honored, as it was launched exactly 20 years afterwards on April 12, 1981.

Gagarin’s flight was a triumph for the Soviet space program, and ushered in a new era in space exploration. Gagarin became a national hero of the Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc and a famous figure around the world. Major newspapers around the globe published his biography and details of his flight. Moscow and other cities in the USSR held mass parades, the scale of which was second only to WWII Victory Parades. Gagarin was escorted in a long motorcade of high-ranking officials through the streets of Moscow to the Kremlin where, in a lavish ceremony, he was awarded the highest Soviet honour, the title of Hero of the Soviet Union, by the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev

The commemoration ceremony on Cosmonautics Day usually starts in the city of Korolyov, near Gagarin’s statue. Participants then proceed under police escort to Red Square for a visit to Gagarin’s grave in the Kremlin Wall Necropolis, and continue to Cosmonauts Alley, near the Monument to the Conquerors of Space. Finally, the festivities are concluded with a visit to the Novodevichy Cemetery. In 1968, the 61st conference of the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale resolved to celebrate this day as the World Aviation and Astronautics Day. On April 12, 1981, exactly 20 years after Vostok 1, a Space Shuttle (STS-1, Columbia) was launched for the first orbital flight. On April 7, 2011 United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution declaring April 12 as the International Day of Human Space Flight.

Yuri’s Night, also known as the “World’s Space party”, is held internationally every April 12 in many locations, including museums, schools and bars, to commemorate this milestones in space exploration, increase public interest in space exploration, inspire a new generation of explorers and create a global community of young people committed to shaping the future of space exploration while developing responsible leaders and innovators with a global perspective. In the past Yuri’s Night events have also been attended by space-related figures including author Ray Bradbury, space tourist Dennis Tito, X-Prize founder Peter Diamandis, *NSYNC’s Lance Bass and Nichelle Nichols (Uhura from the original Star Trek series) and have been held at the NASA Ames Research Center at Moffett Field in Mountain View, CAlifornia.and The launch of STS-1, the first Space Shuttle mission, is also honored, as it was launched 20 years to the day of Vostok 1 on April 12, 1981. In 2013, Yuri’s Night was celebrated at over 350 events in 57 countries and In 2011 the crew aboard the International Space Station also recorded a special Yuri’s Night celebratory greeting.