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Matt Hlinak

Matt Hlinak
Matt Hlinak is an administrator at Dominican University, just outside of Chicago. He teaches courses in English and legal studies. His short stories have appeared in 'Sudden Flash Youth' (Persea Books 2011) and several literary magazines. 'DoG' (2012) is his debut novel.

REVIEW: Mickey Spillane lives on in ‘Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer’

mickey spillane's mike hammer

Fans of the hard-boiled detective genre and grittier comics will enjoy 'Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer.' The casual sexism and senseless brutality may offend modern sensibilities. But taken as a product of the time in which it was originally created, this is a beautiful adaption, keeping alive one of pulp fiction’s most distinctive characters.

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REVIEW: Go underground with the preppers for ‘Apocalypse Any Day Now’

Tea Krulos takes another look at eccentric Americans in 'Apocalypse Any Day Now.' As usual, he lets his oddball subjects speak for themselves without rendering overt comment on their beliefs. Krulos’ engagement with this world helps his subjects open up to him and also makes for a more entertaining book than a more conventional, arms-length journalistic exercise. 'Apocalypse Any Day Now' is a fun and funny, but never mocking, dive into the bizarre world of doomsday preppers.

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REVIEW: ‘Black Star Renegades’ is an exciting space opera adventure

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Acclaimed comics writer Michael Moreci branches out into novel-writing with 'Black Star Renegades,' an homage to 'Star Wars' with a tone a bit more along the lines of 'Guardians of the Galaxy' and 'Firefly.' Fans of the genre will not be disappointed, as Moreci has the conventions of space opera down pat. This is an entertaining adventure from start to finish.

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REVIEW: ‘Luna: Wolf Moon’ howls with action and intrigue

'Luna: Wolf Moon' continues to develop the complex characters and fascinating setting established in 'Luna: New Moon,' but never skimps on page-turning action. Although incomplete, Ian McDonald’s saga already outpaces Robert Heinlein’s 'The Moon is a Harsh Mistress' (1966) as the definitive lunar epic.

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REVIEW: ‘A Conjuring of Light’ recaptures the magic of ‘A Darker Shade of Magic’

V.E. Schwab returns to form in the third book of her Shades of Magic series. A Conjuring of Light picks up at the cliffhanger ending of A Gathering of Shadows (2016). I was a little let down by the slow pace, light tone and abrupt end to Gathering, but Conjuring recaptures the, ahem, magic from series debut, A Darker Shade of Magic (2015).

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REVIEW: ‘Theology and Science Fiction’ enlightens but needs more detailed analysis

'Theology and Science Fiction' is an accessible overview of how theology and sci-fi “speak” to one another. McGrath writes clearly and explains complex concepts effectively. But the book could have benefitted from more detailed analysis of specific examples from sci-fi to illustrate his points.

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In defense of the fake-out in ‘The Walking Dead’ Season 6

*Note: This post contains a zombie herd’s worth of spoilers for both Season 6 of the TV show and Volume 17 of the comic. Season 7 of AMC’s The Walking Dead premiers on October 23. As we prepare to learn the outcome of season 6’s cliffhanger ending, I want to revisit …

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REVIEW: N.K. Jemisin is on track for more awards with ‘The Obelisk Gate’

The fight to assert one's humanity drives the narrative in 'The Obelisk Gate.' It is not merely a political aspiration but a deeply personal one, making the 'Broken Earth' series never feel polemical. N.K. Jemisin’s characters aren’t symbols; they are complex and conflicted human beings who want only to live in peace. But in the Stillness, as in the real world, sometimes you have to fight for peace.

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REVIEW: Jo Walton continues to pursue excellence in ‘Necessity’

The prolific Jo Walton returns with a sequel to 'The Just City' and 'The Philosopher Kings.' 'Necessity' completes the saga of gods and philosophers seeking to make Plato’s 'Republic' a reality. While it has an entertaining storyline, it is a missed opportunity in an otherwise exemplary and thought-provoking trilogy.

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