About the Author:
As well as writing novels, David Bischoff wrote two episodes of 'Star Trek: The Next Generation'. He lives in Eugene, Oregon, USA.
AVERAGE REVIEW SCORE:
4 out of 5
Aliens vs. Predator: Hunter's Planet
A novel based on characters and situations from the awesome AvP graphic novel series. The story here involves a planet, intended as a sport hunter's paradise, where both the Aliens and the Predators are very active. However, as with all of these books, it is human monsters which are the real enemy here.
'Hunter's Planet' stars Machiko Noguchi, a woman who went from ice-cold corporate schill, to desperate survivalist, to fully-fledged Predator in previous stories. Machiko is by far and away this book's best element, being one of the best heroines in action science fiction. What I like about her so much is that, as well as being intelligent and 100% bad-ass, she is also in touch with her femininity. All too often hard case female characters are made deliberately nonsexual so as to prove that they kick ass purely on their own merits. However, I think it is greatly to the credit of Ms Noguchi's character that she openly and honestly embraces her sexuality, whilst still being hard as nails.
Here we get to see Machiko walking the fine line between her desire to rejoin the Predators and their Hunt and the need to connect with others of her own kind. I particularly enjoyed the relationship between Machiko and her android, the badly named Attila the Hun, which affords her a companion who is very human and yet not human, perfectly complimenting her own personality.
This book's main downside is that the conclusion comes a bit too quickly and neatly for my tastes, but aside from that its a solid and enjoyable read.
4 out of 5
The novelisation of the 1983 movie starring Matthew Broderick. A young computer hacker accidentally dials into NORAD's defence AI, Joshua, and sets in motion a series of war games which bring the world to the brink of nuclear war.
Up front I'll point out that I've loved the movie of this story since I was a kid (not to mention having a huge crush on Ally Sheedy) and, in all honesty, that probably impacted my enjoyment of this book in a way that wouldn't apply to someone who's never seen it. The short version is, however, that I really enjoyed this novelisation.
In the early 1980s there were three things that would've been on the mind of almost any teenage boy; computer games, girls and the very real danger of nuclear war. This story taps into all of those things by showing us a computer hacker who inadvertantly sets a war game in motion that could lead to nuclear annihilation, following his desperate attempts to avert disaster whilst simultaneously developing a relationship with a cute girl from his high school class.
It all sounds somewhat improbable, but the truth is that NORAD genuinely has been hacked in the past and for a long time mutually assured destruction was a real possibility in the tensions of the Cold War. In fact, I suspect that a great many people too young to remember the Cold War will find this the hardest part of the story to credit, but like a great many thrillers with similar themes, it is the insanity of the geopolitical situation that gives this book a great deal of tension.
Aside from the tense Cold War atmosphere, I have to admit to really enjoying the very 80s love story threaded throughout, being both a sucker for a bit of romance and for the aforementioned Ally Sheedy. All this adds up to the fact that, like the movie, I really enjoyed this little slice of 80s classic.
4 out of 5