Monthly Archives: May 2005

Neal Asher – Gridlinked

Far-future thriller in which Earth Central Security agent Ian Cormac has to track down a ruthless terrorist in command of a psychopathic android, and pit his wits against a cryptic alien entity known as Dragon to find out the real cause of the destruction of an interplanetary transport facility.

The future universe Asher outlines is nicely detailed, full of wonder, and dangerous around the edges. The adventure story is tense and well plotted, building up to an explosive climax. The last few pages move very fast and feel a bit muddled (I had to re-read them to catch what really happened), but on the strength of the rest of the book I bought the other two in Asher’s Polity series, and I’ve not been disappointed in the slightest.


Clever, bizarre, self-referential, and wonderfully structured story from the same writer/director team that did Being John Malkovich. It’s an apparently sensible adaption of Susan Orlean’s book The Orchid Thief (a real book, despite having a touch of the S. Morgenstern to it), wrapped in the story of screenwriter Charlie Kaufman struggling to find a way of writing the film adaptation of same…until it goes totally off the rails, straying beyond the boundaries of the book, and into an off-kilter pseudo-thriller. Brilliant stuff.

The Pacifier

I’m actually one of these people who think Kindergarten Cop was a pretty good movie. The Pacifier takes the same basic theme–tough guy (played by an actor known for his action hero roles) gets put in charge of a bunch of children, where his muscle and hard-nosed attitude count for little–but doesn’t do nearly as much with it. The plot is passable, but the humour is limp and the characterisation weak. It just doesn’t try to be anything more than just by-the-numbers, and thus succeeds at being mediocre.