Tuesday 31 January 2017

Graphic Novel Review: Witchblade vol 1 by Ron Marz & Mike Choi

Pros: artwork

Cons: too many questions, anti-climactic ending

NYC Detective Sara Pezzini is in a coma. When she wakes up she doesn’t remember what happened to her, but she intends to find out. 

According to the back cover, this is a reinvention of the Witchblade comic and was meant to help introduce new readers to the world. It collects issues 80 - 85. As the only Witchblade comic I’ve read, I’m not sure it succeeds.

The graphic novel asks a lot of questions and teases a lot of answers, but doesn’t tell you much. There’s a mystic Asian man who know stuff but won’t say anything. Sara also knows stuff but only gives a very brief and basic explanation of what the Witchblade is and how she got it, right before the final battle. There’s so much talking around what the reader wants to know that it becomes quite frustrating at times.

The main plot doesn’t make much sense either. There are priests who’ve spent hundreds of years planning for something, who don’t seem to have really considered what their plan means. I’d expected their creature to turn on them, which it might have done, given more time.

The climactic battle was a let down, the creature being defeated remarkably fast.

The artwork, however, was stunning. Beautiful frames full of motion. I loved how each frame with the Witchblade showed it growing, and how it completely covers Sara at the end.

I liked the concept and loved the artwork, but the story didn’t impress me.

Sunday 29 January 2017

Shout-Out: Passing Strange by Ellen Klages

San Francisco in 1940 is a haven for the unconventional. Tourists flock to the cities within the city: the Magic City of the World's Fair on an island created of artifice and illusion; the forbidden city of Chinatown, a separate, alien world of exotic food and nightclubs that offer "authentic" experiences, straight from the pages of the pulps; and the twilight world of forbidden love, where outcasts from conventional society can meet.

Six women find their lives as tangled with each other's as they are with the city they call home. They discover love and danger on the borders where magic, science, and art intersect.

Inspired by the pulps, film noir, and screwball comedy, Passing Strange is a story as unusual and complex as San Francisco itself from World Fantasy Award winning author Ellen Klages.

Friday 27 January 2017

Cookbook Review: Big Buttes Book by Michelle Enzinas

Pros: photos of many of the recipes, supplementary recipes, footnotes

Cons: some photos are dark or blurry

This is a translation of Dyets Dry Dinner (1599) by Mr. Henry Buttes, with a fair amount of added content by the author, Michelle Enzinas. Enzinas is a historical re-enactor and at the very end of the book gives a short description of the dinner party she threw following Buttes’ dinner plan. The introduction gives information about Buttes and why he wrote the book, the manuscript itself, the breakdown and organization of the recipes, humour theory, etc. Each menu item has 7 pieces of information: choice (how to pick good/ripe ones), use (it’s positive qualities), hurt (it’s negative qualities), preparation and correction (how to eat the item, which is sometimes the only ‘recipe’ given), degree (where it falls with regard to humour theory), season, age and constitution (when to eat the item and who benefits best from it), and finally story for table-talk (etymology, often with some sexual humour, designed to entertain the guests during the feast). At the bottom of most pages are the footnotes, with translation and vocabulary aids. At the back of the book are references, a glossary, and two appendixes, one with foods sorted by humour and degree, and one with supplementary pie crust recipes.

Buttes doesn’t always have many recipes included (or any in a few cases), and some of his ‘recipes’ are really just advice on cooking/preparation methods, rather than something we’d consider a recipe, so the author decided to supplement his recipes with some taken from eleven other cookbooks from the same period. It was a great decision and enhances the book. 

I couldn’t find a photography credit, which leads me to believe that the author also did the photography. It was great seeing what a lot of the recipes look like and the photographer had an artistic bent. However, some of the photos are quite dark (like the lemony mutton steaks photo on pg 306), and some are blurry due to camera jiggle and low light conditions. It’s a real shame that this is the case, but on the whole the photographs are helpful.

I loved that there were some comfort food recipes, like warm milk & honey. 

As with other historical cookbooks, there were a lot of … unique flavour combinations (note, these might taste great, but sound unusual to modern readers). Buttes also uses interesting categorizations: salt for example is categorized as a sauce, rather than a spice, and the herbs category includes vegetables.

While the author did a great job with the footnotes, giving translations and vocabulary definitions, there were a few instances when Latin was left untranslated (as with the first line of the prayer on pg 41).

I tried the stewed leeks in honey recipe and there are several others I wouldn’t mind attempting when the fruits or vegetables required are in season. On the whole though, the book is more of a historical curiosity than full of recipes I’d want to prepare and eat.

I’ve looked through a few historical cookbooks and thought this one was well put together. There are a good number of recipes included. If you’re interested in what people ate in Elizabethan England, this is a great volume.

Thursday 26 January 2017

Shout-Out: Heartstone by Elle Katharine White

A debut historical fantasy that recasts Jane Austen’s beloved Pride & Prejudice in an imaginative world of wyverns, dragons, and the warriors who fight alongside them against the monsters that threaten the kingdom: gryphons, direwolves, lamias, banshees, and lindworms.

They say a Rider in possession of a good blade must be in want of a monster to slay—and Merybourne Manor has plenty of monsters.

Passionate, headstrong Aliza Bentaine knows this all too well; she’s already lost one sister to the invading gryphons. So when Lord Merybourne hires a band of Riders to hunt down the horde, Aliza is relieved her home will soon be safe again.

Her relief is short-lived. With the arrival of the haughty and handsome dragonrider, Alastair Daired, Aliza expects a battle; what she doesn’t expect is a romantic clash of wills, pitting words and wit against the pride of an ancient house. Nor does she anticipate the mystery that follows them from Merybourne Manor, its roots running deep as the foundations of the kingdom itself, where something old and dreadful slumbers . . . something far more sinister than gryphons.

It’s a war Aliza is ill-prepared to wage, on a battlefield she’s never known before: one spanning kingdoms, class lines, and the curious nature of her own heart.
Elle Katharine White infuses elements of Austen’s beloved novel with her own brand of magic, crafting a modern epic fantasy that conjures a familiar yet wondrously unique new world.

Wednesday 25 January 2017

Video: India’s 3rd gender

A few months ago I saw a video on facebook talking about hijra or Kinnar (the terms don't mean quite the same thing but the video gives definitions), the politically recognized third gender in India. (According to wikipedia, this terms is only used for male-to-female transgender individuals in Pakistan and India, while other areas use different terms.) 

For some reason I didn't get the link and I couldn't find it again. I did, however, find this video by the Huffington Post from November 2016, which does a better job of explaining the terms used and the problems transgender people face in India. Unfortunately it doesn't go into the religious aspect of their role, so I've included a passage from wikipedia below, explaining a little about that.

There are several religious roles Hijras play, one of which is this:
In some versions of the Ramayana, when Rama leaves Ayodhya for his 14-year exile, a crowd of his subjects follow him into the forest because of their devotion to him. Soon Rama notices this, and gathers them to tell them not to mourn, and that all the "men and women" of his kingdom should return to their places in Ayodhya. Rama then leaves and has adventures for 14 years. When he returns to Ayodhya, he finds that the hijras, being neither men nor women, have not moved from the place where he gave his speech. Impressed with their devotion, Rama grants hijras the boon to confer blessings on people during auspicious inaugural occasions like childbirth and weddings. This boon is the origin of badhai in which hijras sing, dance, and give blessings. (wikipedia)

Tuesday 24 January 2017

Book Review: Dreadnought by April Daniels

Pros: complex issues, great world-building, transgender protagonist

Cons: a few minor complaints

When the superhero Dreadnought dies in front of Danny, he gives the teen his mantel, which changes Danny’s body from male to female. Now in the body she’s always wanted, Danny’s never been happier, though she feels guilty about how she got it. Her new body also causes her new problems, as her parents and schoolmates finally see the real her, and not everyone’s happy with her transition. The superhero community is different from what Danny’s always believed, and she faces several difficult choices - including whether to go after the supervillain who killed Dreadnought. 

The book deals with several complex issues, not the least of which is Danny’s gender transition. I appreciated that the author didn’t pull punches, and showed Danny’s conflicted emotions and real consequences for both long term and short term actions.

It was great seeing a transgender protagonist, and the author showed how difficult things are: from coming out to friends and family, dealing with opposition, and learning to feel good in your skin. I especially appreciated the scenes where Danny learns about make-up and gets her first bra. While the book didn’t make me cry, I did feel for Danny on multiple occasions and was frankly shocked by a lot of the things that happened.

While Dreadnought is described as being invincible - his death notwithstanding, Danny quickly realizes she has limitations and can still feel pain and hurt herself. So there was tension and actual concern during fights that things might not go well for her.

I also appreciated that there was no romance in the book. There were times I thought the author was heading in that direction, but Danny had so much to deal with already, I think a love interest would have been too much. Having said that, I wouldn’t mind seeing a romance develop in later books.

The world-building is quite good, with some basic history into where super humans come from and how they’ve impacted recent history. While you don’t learn everyone’s backstories, some of them - specifically Calamity’s - are very realistic. Others are brushed off as comic book style transformations (specifically ones dealing with mythological or mystical origins). 

The plot is great. while I saw one or two of the complications that cropped up, I was blindsided by most of the plot twists. The mystery of Utopia’s identity kept me guessing, and I enjoyed seeing Calamity teach Danny the ropes of ‘caping’.

I had a few minor complaints, like Danny’s insistence that her best friend would come around to her new body quickly. Considering the fact that Danny didn’t feel she could share that she was transgender with him, something about her friend must have tipped her off to the fact that she couldn’t trust him with the news. 

I also had trouble picturing the action in some of the airplane rescue scenes, though the author did a great job explaining Danny’s powers in other scenes.

This is a fantastic debut and I’m really looking forward to seeing how the series progresses.

Thursday 19 January 2017

Video: Logan Trailer #2

Ok, this new Logan movie looks pretty awesome. Out March 3rd.

In the near future, a weary Logan cares for an ailing Professor X in a hideout on the Mexican border. But Logan's attempts to hide from the world and his legacy are up-ended when a young mutant arrives, being pursued by dark forces.

Wednesday 18 January 2017

Video: Eye Art by Tal Peleg

My husband showed me an article a few days ago with the most incredible eye art. The artist is Tal Peleg (facebook page). Here's an interview with her, which explains - among other things - that her works take between 1.5 and 4.5 hours (averaging at 2.5)!

Tuesday 17 January 2017

Book Review: Lock In by John Scalzi

Pros: great premise, diverse cast, complex plot

Cons: Chris’s connections start to feel contrived, Chris’s wealth 

Chris Shane contracted Haden’s syndrome at the age of 2 and has been ‘locked in’ ever since, aware of his/her surroundings, but unable to move. There have been numerous technological advances in the years since the disease first hit, including the creation of threeps, robot bodies that lock ins can use to live normal lives. The day other Haden sufferers go on strike to oppose a new legislative bill that strips them of a lot of their protections, Chris starts his/her job at the FBI. When an integrator, a person who can carry around a Haden sufferer’s consciousness, is found standing over the dead body of a man, Chris starts his/her first case.

First off, had I not read when the audio book came out that there were two versions, one with a female narrator and one with a male, I might not have noticed that Chris’s gender is never specified. Hence my use of his/her.

The book deals heavily with disabilities - the language used to talk about it, how people with disabilities are perceived by those without disabilities, there’s a very brief conversation about whether cures are the best course of action, etc. It’s great to see a book deal with these issues in a frank way. It also goes into discrimination in some ways, for example, while Haden’s sufferers are able to use threeps, no one else can, including people with other debilitating physical conditions - like quadriplegics. 

I loved some of the technology used in the book, particularly the 3D crime scene maps and the agora.

The plot was pretty complicated and had a lot of great twists. I did start to feel that a few of the connections Chris made were contrived - Tony being the exact person they need to help with their case, meeting with the heads of the pertinent Haden corporations the week everything’s happening. They’re realistic given the context, their location, and the number of Haden’s concentrated in DC, but they still felt a bit too lucky.

It started to annoy me how quickly Chris was to throw money at his/her problems. Yes he/she is rich, but he/she can’t afford to do this kind of thing on every job - replacing threeps, paying for services people he/she meets on cases can’t afford, agreeing to pay Tony whatever he wants, regardless of the budgetary concerns of restrictions of the FBI (they don’t even see if the FBI has their own contracted programmers who could do the work for them before hiring him).

I thought it was a great mystery with some thought provoking ideas.

Sunday 15 January 2017

Shout-Out: Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Couthurst

Betrothed since childhood to the prince of Mynaria, Princess Dennaleia has always known what her future holds. Her marriage will seal the alliance between Mynaria and her homeland, protecting her people from other hostile kingdoms. But Denna has a secret. She possesses an Affinity for fire—a dangerous gift for the future queen of a land where magic is forbidden.
Now Denna has to learn the ways of her new kingdom while trying to hide her growing magic. To make matters worse, she must learn to ride Mynaria’s formidable warhorses before her coronation—and her teacher is the person who intimidates her most, the prickly and unconventional Princess Amaranthine, sister of her betrothed.
When a shocking assassination leaves the kingdom reeling, Mare and Denna reluctantly join forces to search for the culprit. As the two work together, they discover there is more to one another than they thought—and soon their friendship is threatening to blossom into something more.
But with dangerous conflict brewing that makes the alliance more important than ever, acting on their feelings could be deadly. Forced to choose between their duty and their hearts, Mare and Denna must find a way to save their kingdoms—and each other.

Friday 13 January 2017

Movie Review: Seventh Seal

Directed by: Ingmar Bergman,1957

Pros: effective use of lighting, realistic medieval depictions

Cons: boring at times, the squire threatens a woman into joining him

A knight, returned home from the crusades, plays chess with the personification of Death to give himself time to find out if God is real. On his way home he passes through villages terrified of the plague.

This is a black and white film that looks absolutely stunning. Bergman made great use of light and darkness to create different atmospheres during the film. The scene with the flagellants is disturbing, while scenes with the actors Jof and Mia are full of hope and love. I loved Death’s design, the white face with a black cape and gloves. It evokes a skull without the gothic overtones and thus avoids feeling overdramatic. Instead, the human face seems terrifying, as we see throughout the film how humans treat each other in the face of death.

The acting was quite good, and the costumes looked amazing. I’d argue the historical accuracy of this film is better than most of what’s made nowadays, despite our better understanding of the medieval period. 

For the most part I liked the squire, but there’s one scene where he helps a woman and then basically forces her to come with him because he ‘saved her life’. That’s not to say it isn’t a realistic scene, it just made me like the squire a whole lot less.

The opening is a bit slow and a few parts seemed to meander, but on the whole it was a good movie.

Thursday 12 January 2017

Shout-Out: Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day by Seanan McGuire

When her sister Patty died, Jenna blamed herself. When Jenna died, she blamed herself for that, too. Unfortunately Jenna died too soon. Living or dead, every soul is promised a certain amount of time, and when Jenna passed she found a heavy debt of time in her record. Unwilling to simply steal that time from the living, Jenna earns every day she leeches with volunteer work at a suicide prevention hotline.
But something has come for the ghosts of New York, something beyond reason, beyond death, beyond hope; something that can bind ghosts to mirrors and make them do its bidding. Only Jenna stands in its way.

Wednesday 11 January 2017

Video: So You Want To Be Batman

This looks like a new series by Cracked. I thought this was pretty good and am curious to see who else they do.

Tuesday 10 January 2017

Book Review: Last Year by Robert Charles Wilson

Pros: great characters, interesting premise, thought provoking 


It’s 1876 and the City of Futurity is close to its fifth and final year of existence, when the mirror, the portal that connects it to an alternate world’s future, will close. The city is a tourist attraction for people on both sides of the portal, though information and technology is carefully controlled on the past side. Jesse Cullum is a local man, hired on as security. When he prevents an assassination, he’s promoted to help with an investigation with a 21st Century woman.

I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this. The book takes place entirely in the past, though there are a few conversations that mention the future. The interesting thing for me were the moments when the past and present collided in terms of societal and cultural norms. There is ‘historical’ language, that is to say, some offensive terms are used, in context, and often called out by the future characters. I loved that the author kept Jesse mentally commenting that he didn’t understand what his partner, Elizabeth, is talking about. In the same vein, I also appreciated the occasional reminders of some fundamental differences between the future and the past, the dangers of childbirth being one, and how Elizabeth often forgot about or overlooked these differences.

A few scenes are from alternate points of view, but the majority of the book follows Jesse, who’s had quite an interesting life. His amiable personality and quiet confidence makes him a fun character to follow, even as the story goes through two transitions. Each part gives a more comprehensive look at how the future and past have affected each other, while the third has quite a bit of action compared to the other two parts, as you finally learn more about Jesse’s past in San Francisco.

Elizabeth was a former soldier and Jesse’s observations about how she differs from the women of his time are great. 

Several scenes make you think - some about how things used to be and others about how things are now. The ending especially asks some hard questions about the decisions people make and the consequences others face because of them. The book doesn’t answer any of the ethical questions that come up, but they’d be interesting to discuss.

I really enjoyed this. I suspect a deeper knowledge of the period might have increased my enjoyment, knowing some of the events being discussed and how the presence of the futurists changed things, but as someone who knows very little about the USA during the late 1800s, I found the depiction of life fascinating.

Saturday 7 January 2017

Reading Resolutions for 2017

I wasn't going to do any reading resolutions this year. When I did my blog stats and saw what I'd read, it didn't seem like my resolutions were helping. I've also been inundated with negative 'resolution' videos lately, about how they always fail.

Then I saw this post by Tobias Buckell about bullet journaling and suddenly I wanted to make resolutions again. But I didn't want to make sweeping resolutions that I couldn't achieve or that wouldn't survive contact with the real world. I wanted to make small, defined resolutions that would effect my life in concrete ways so that at the end of the year I would see actual results. I wanted little check boxes I could tick off every day to show accomplishment (I'm an 'achiever'. To me, lists and check boxes are really important and I feel somehow a failure if I don't get to tick things off in those boxes).

So my resolutions look different this year.

I started out by making a chart:

It's not all filled out here, but I did fill it all out in my notebook. 

I then made a concrete list - with check boxes - for the specific books and types of books I want to have read by the end of the year. My goal is to read 40 books, which is clearly doable. Of those, 5 will be history books (and I've picked out which ones I'm going to read). I've got spaces for 10 books published in 2017, several of which have already been filled in (these are books I desperately want to read, and some books I've requested from publishers. I may not get those books, so this list may change, but my intent here is to give myself a physical representation of what I have the physical time for. Once that column is full, I cannot accept new reading requests without bumping another book off my list (at the end of the year if my list is done, I can add a few extra titles. But I have a habit of taking on too many requests and so not getting through the books I otherwise plan to).

As with previous years, my biggest concern is clearing some backlog books. I have 10 older titles from my shelves. I'm starting with books I've bought that I haven't had time to read but really really want to. These books have been bumped off my reading pile for years. That stops this year. I've also got 5 'older titles' listed. These are from my husband's shelves and tend more towards classic SF. I've filled that list so I don't need to think about which book to pick - which can get daunting, and is part of why there are so many I haven't read (that and time - never enough time).

One of my categories is to read 5 diverse books. I'm hoping to get more than that, so it's a fluid list in terms of number. I already have two in other lists. I was having a bit of trouble coming up with possible diverse books so I went on Goodreads and looked through a few of those lists. I came up with the following:  
I'd forgotten how many great books I still want to read (many of which I own) fall under the 'diverse' umbrella. I'm trying for more 'own voices' books here. I don't think reading 5 will be a problem. Deciding which one to read first though...

I'm also planning to read 10 graphic novels and 5 magazines. I keep getting magazines and story collections in kickstarter campaigns and ebook bundles. This year I plan on reading a few of them. I'm hoping to read more than 5, but we'll see. Stories take longer to review, so I don't do as many of them.

The following pages have my yearly goals written concisely, followed by what I have to do each month and each day in order to meet my goals.

I've got more medieval posts planned. I wasn't able to do many last year, and I'm planning to do one plant and one saint post a month this year. 

I also think the key to making resolutions/goals stick is to check in once a month and see if you're on track. It's something I haven't really done before, so I want to keep myself focused this year. I also want to be flexible with my time. If I don't have time for a book, I'll throw in a graphic novel or movie for review. 

So, what resolutions have you made this year? 

Friday 6 January 2017

Blog Stats for 2016

It's the start of a new year so once again I'm looking over what I accomplished last year.

Due to a large family project that took up a lot of my time and an exercise program I undertook so I could walk the Inca trail, I only managed to read 44 books (down from 53 in 2015).

Of those 44 books, one was an autobiography, one was general fiction, one was history, and one was about linguistics.  The rest broke down as follows:

science fiction = 21 (5 of which were YA)
fantasy = 10 (2 YA)
urban fantasy = 7
horror = 2

I also read two graphic novels.

My male to female ratio was 21:19, so pretty even.

In terms of diversity, I read 4 'own voices' books and 4 books where the character was POC or disabled, etc. but as far as I'm aware the author wasn't.

This was my best year for urban fantasy for quite some time. I loved the originality of the books that came out this year and hope to see more of it going forward.

I'm doing a separate post on my reading resolutions for this year, which will go live tomorrow.

Thursday 5 January 2017

Shout-Out: Scythe by Neal Shusterman

In a world where disease has been eliminated, the only way to die is to be randomly killed (“gleaned”) by professional reapers (“scythes”). Citra and Rowan are teenagers who have been selected to be scythe’s apprentices, and—despite wanting nothing to do with the vocation—they must learn the art of killing and come to understand the necessity of what they do. 
Only one of them will be chosen as a scythe’s apprentice. And when it becomes clear that the winning apprentice’s first task will be to glean the loser, Citra and Rowan are pitted against one another in a fight for their lives.

Wednesday 4 January 2017

Video: A Cure For Wellness Trailer

I was sent an email about A Cure for Wellness, which looks very creepy and comes out in February.

An ambitious young executive is sent to retrieve his company’s CEO from an idyllic but mysterious “wellness center” at a remote location in the Swiss Alps. He soon suspects that the spa’s miraculous treatments are not what they seem. When he begins to unravel its terrifying secrets, his sanity is tested, as he finds himself diagnosed with the same curious illness that keeps all the guests here longing for the cure.

Tuesday 3 January 2017

Movie Review: Passengers

Directed by: Morten Tyldum, 2016

Pros: thought-provoking, some great special effects

Cons: not scientifically accurate

A malfunction after passing through an asteroid field opens the sleeping pod of Jim Preston (Chris Pratt), 90 years before Starship Avalon is due to reach their destination of Homestead II.

I really enjoyed this film. I was a little worried going to see it as I had read an article about it that I’ll discuss in the spoiler section below.

The movie takes a simple premise: What would you do if you were going to be stuck on a spaceship, alone, for the rest of your life? Jim does several things, starting with trying to access the crew sleeping pods so he can wake someone up who will be able to help him, and trying to fix his sleep pod. As more and more time passes he becomes depressed and suicidal. He then decides to do something that both helps and hurts him.

I think the film did a great job of showing his decline and the amount of soul searching he did before making some of the decisions he makes. He isn’t impetuous. And while he doesn’t exactly own the decision to wake up another passenger, he doesn’t shy away from it once it’s revealed. As an aside, it was great seeing Chris Pratt play an actual decent guy, rather than the a-holes he usually plays.

I thought Aurora (Jennifer Lawrence)’s reactions when she wakes up and when she realizes why she woke up, were realistic and honest. 

The romance aspects worked for me. I thought they developed it slowly and over enough time to feel real under the circumstances.

There are some great special effects, especially the sling shot scene. The android bartender looked great, with a seamless transition between its his human upper half and robot bottom. I also loved the infinity swimming pool and observatory.

While some scenes looked great, the science wasn’t accurate. There were some… plot questions as well. Things like, if the crew quarters are locked off so permanently, why are the tools so easy to access? I was actually surprised that Jim didn’t go through the passenger manifest, for entertainment if not to find someone to awaken who might be able to help solve his problems.

I was a bit surprised by the ending, in that I thought they’d go with a more thought provoking, less conventional, idea. 

I enjoyed this. It’s what good science fiction is about, examining how technology affects people and what people do when put into difficult circumstances.


I read an article that claimed the film perpetuated rape culture by 1) having Jim wake Aurora and then, 2) when she discovered the truth, had him ignore her desire to distance herself from him by going over the PA system to tell her why he did it.

1) The decision Jim makes wasn’t a spur of the moment thing. He doesn’t want to do it. He tries not to do it. When he finally does it - because he’s going to kill himself if he’s stuck alone any longer - he immediately regrets it. 

I appreciated that he gave her space when she woke up and didn’t try to force his company on her. They honestly spend some happy time together. Based on a lie? Yes. But it’s happy time nonetheless. The romance did not feel forced to me, or creepy, despite Jim’s omission.

2) Once Aurora discovers the truth she wants nothing to do with Jim anymore. End of story. Yes, he uses the PA system to explain himself and the movie addresses that by having her scream that she doesn’t care why he did it. She just does not care. And she does not forgive him. 

When Gus Mancuso (Lawrence Fishburne) wakes up he neither absolves nor condemns Jim for his decision. I expect the audience is meant to do the same. What he did was wrong. But it was also human. While there might be a small percentage of people who could live entirely without human interaction, I would say that the majority of people in his position would either kill themselves or do the same thing.

My husband and I both thought Jim would die at the end and put Aurora in the position Jim had been in. That having to make that choice herself, she’d come to understand why he did what he did. My husband actually thought they’d have a Twilight Zone ending and show her opening someone else’s pod before fading to black.

But I think it’s important to point out that Aurora only forgives Jim when she’s faced with his death, with her own looming future alone on the ship. Nothing less than being in his shoes could have resolved their storyline and made the final romantic nod feel honest. And when he explains that the medical pod can be used to hibernate, she makes the decision to not go into it. 

For more scientific inaccuracies, my husband pointed out that the water bubbles during the anti-gravity scene should have been easy to swim out of, and that a cascade failure is pretty much instantaneous, so they'd all be dead.