Matthew Hunter

Senior Software Engineer

I, Robot

By Matthew Hunter |  Jul 5, 2023  |
I would not classify this as an adaptation of “I, Robot” for Asimov purists. Rather, it’s an action-adventure set in Asimov’s universe that happens to draw upon some of the characters from the stories. But as a stand-alone story, it’s remarkably well done, better than most of what Hollywood produces by leaps and bounds. If the success of Lord of the Rings inspired this movie to cash in on the perceived new market, it worked and it worked well.
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Innocence

By Matthew Hunter |  Jul 5, 2023  | anime
Innocence is a sequel to the popular anime Ghost in the Shell. And it’s a sequel that gives the lie to sequelitis: Innocence may even surpass it’s predecessor. Fans of Ghost in the Shell will recognize Batou, who returns in the sequel as the solemn, philosophical cyborg cop. Since the disappearance of the Major, his partner, he has withdrawn further and further into himself. He’s assigned a new partner and put on a case involving robots that are killing their human owners and committing suicide.
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Interstellar

By Matthew Hunter |  Jul 5, 2023  |
The one-line review is that Interstellar is the movie that 2001 should have been. It has a mysterious anomaly orbiting Saturn, a realistic depiction of a space mission to investigate and explore. But it also has so much more: incredible, moving performances from the leading actors and actresses, an emotional investment on both the personal and the species level, strange and wonderful and terrible things to find, and a powerful human drama that plays out across that background.
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Into the Thinking Kingdoms

By Matthew Hunter |  Jul 5, 2023  |
Having crossed the Sea of Aboqua, Etjole Ehomba and his companions must find passage west across the Semordria Ocean somewhere in the Thinking Kingdoms. Though these kingdoms are supposed to be (and in some ways are) bastions of civilization, they harbor their own unique man-made hazards. Surmounting obstacle after obstacle, the story remains fresh only in the strangeness of the situations; Etjole’s seeming invulnerability lends a faery tale quality to the writing that some might term ‘shallow’.
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Jhereg

By Matthew Hunter |  Jul 5, 2023  |
The best way to understand the world of Vlad Taltos, assassin, is to begin with the knowledge that he works almost exclusively for the elvish mafia. Yes, there are elves in the mafia. There’s also magical pollution, talking lizards, and lots of good swashbuckling fun.
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Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell

By Matthew Hunter |  Jul 5, 2023  |
Told in a particularly dry and witty voice, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrel chronicles a brief resurgence in English magic, thanks to the queer friendship and rivalry between the two most prominent English magicians of the Napoleonic Era. Fiction is woven so well into the rich tapestry of legend, myth, and poetry that it is impossible to discern where one leaves off and the next begins. Exquisitely footnoted with tidbits of tangential information, this is a fantasy novel for historians, and a history book for fantasists.
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Kil'n People

By Matthew Hunter |  Jul 5, 2023  |
The creative exercise in this book is the cheap and easy creation of human ‘dittos’, copies of one’s mind complete with a body, albiet one that only lasts 24 hours. Once the life of a ditto is nearly over, its creator can inload its memories, effectively allowing people to experience multiple lifespans. Even the poorest people can create at least one ditto a day to earn a wage as an unskilled laborer.
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Kindred the Embraced

By Matthew Hunter |  Jul 5, 2023  |
Kindred: The Embraced is something I think was fairly unique in its time… a television series (or, arguably, soap opera) based on a roleplaying game. Specifically, based on White Wolf’s Storyteller system, the first game in which was Vampire: The Masquerade. As you might expect from such a humble beginning, this series wasn’t exactly the best thing on TV. Even so, it wasn’t awful. The series lasted for 6 episodes and was not renewed.
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Knife of Dreams

By Matthew Hunter |  Jul 5, 2023  | wheel-of-time
This latest novel in Robert Jordan’s long-lived and long-winded epic fantasy series represents an improvement over his low point, now established as books 7-10. Important and long-awaited prophecies are finally being paid off; the plot is moving forward steadily. While there are many decisions that I would have made differently, and many, many wasted opportunities, there is at least progress in a forward direction. This is not a book that is worth returning to the series if you have already abandoned it.
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Knights Magi

By Matthew Hunter |  Jul 5, 2023  | spellmonger
Knights Magi, the fourth book in the Spellmonger series, focuses on the adventures of Tyndal and Rondal as they grow into their roles as Knights Magi. At over 600 pages, there’s a lot of material to cover, but the content is perhaps best described as an adolescent romp. It’s not serious enough to qualify as a coming-of-age tale (though probably the author intended it as such), nor explicit enough to qualify as soft porn.
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