Wednesday update

July 19, 2017

I’m still, slowly, unwinding and putting my brain back together from my week of A) new book release yay! and B) turning in new new book wah!  It’s taking a long time for my brain to clean itself out, but it’s happening. I’m even able to sort of start getting ready for the next round of travel. And do some relaxing. Finish up knitting projects, that sort of thing. I should probably clean house.

Last night’s event at Barnes and Noble went great! We even had a real Irish Wolfhound attend! So many people and so much fun!

Here’s my long review of Wonder Woman, with a couple of bouts of analysis of what historical settings mean and why it’s been so hard to get a viable superhero movie featuring a woman main character.

My take on the New Doctor announcement. Meh? I know it should be more than that, particularly with the casting of a woman, but I stopped watching Doctor Who regularly a few years ago. I’ve heard this last year, post-Clara, has been quite good, and maybe I’ll try to catch up and watch the new doctor. But I’ve got so much to watch right now. At any rate, I’m happy to see changes in the show and I’m happy that so many people are happy. I like Jodie Whittaker, and if you haven’t seen Attack the Block, which features both her and John Boyega, you totally should. Like, right now.

 

trailer talk

July 17, 2017

BANNERLESS has been out a week!  Remember, Kevin Hearne and I are appearing at the Barnes and Noble in Boulder tomorrow at 7 pm!

Movie trailers. Been thinking about them lately, again. I finally saw the trailer for Blade Runner 2049, the entirely unnecessary, 35 years after the original sequel. I avoided it when it was big on social media because I’m pretty much aghast that this even exists. So I saw it for the first time on the big screen, which is exactly the way to see it. It’s spectacular. Of course I want to see this movie.

I’m still suspicious of it, because I think the trailer is playing on nostalgia rather than story. It nails the aesthetic of the original, and we eat it up like candy. For me in particular, it’s the music — Vangelis’s Blade Runner score is one of the most iconic in movie history. Those resonate synthesizer chords — nothing else sounds like Blade Runner. So when those chords start in this new trailer, it’s a pure endorphin rush in the back of my brain.  For me at least, that visceral “holy shit this is awesome!” response to the trailer is a lizard-brain adoration of the aesthetic.  It depends on my nostalgia for the original. I discuss this in my review of Stranger Things as well — is it good, or are we just so happy to see something we love that we can’t tell the difference?

Then there’s the newly released trailer for A Wrinkle in Time, which is spectacular for a lot of reasons. SO MUCH COLOR. So much amazing cosplay to look forward to.  I’ve watched it multiple times and cried every time for a lot of reasons — it’s so rich. First, the trailer has the scene that almost everyone who reads the book remembers vividly as a knife cut — the clone suburban neighborhood with the balls bouncing in perfect unison. This wins so much good will just from that scene alone: “Yes, the filmmakers know what they’re doing.” Another part of this everyone is talking about is the epic cover of “Sweet Dreams” accompanying it. Another piece of familiarity to draw people in. Skewed, this time, which tells you something about the movie. This song is probably not going to be in the final cut of the film — it’s there to pique our interest.

So much psychology goes into these things. It’s just fascinating.

 

Just a reminder, Kevin Hearne and I are doing a joint event at the Barnes & Noble in Boulder on Tuesday, July 18. Come visit!

Hearne&Vaughn_Boulder

BANNERLESS is here!

July 12, 2017

It’s finally here!  My post-apocalyptic murder mystery, BANNERLESS, hit bookstores yesterday. (And amusingly, one of its Amazon categories is “Women Sleuths.” I like that.) Early buzz is good, and my FB feed yesterday filled with cover images, which is nice.

Lots of links to share:

It’s also the book birthday for Kevin Hearne’s new Iron Druid book BESIEGED, and we’ll be doing a joint event at the Barnes and Noble in Boulder on July 18!

Here’s my newsletter announcement.  Sign up for my newsletter and get release announcements and other tidbits!

The editor’s announcement has all the links for buying, plus lots of reviews.

Clarkesworld published an interview with me about the novel.

BANNERLESS made a number of “must-read SF in July” lists:  B&N’s Bookseller picks, The Verge, and io9.

Here’s an in-depth 5 star review from Anthony R. Cardno.

This is my 21st published novel.

And I just turned in number 22.

Excelsior!

 

I spent this weekend at an SCA event that nearly got flooded out by an epic 2-hour mountain deluge and I got no sleep because I was freezing cold and I’m still dehydrated and BANNERLESS COMES OUT TOMORROW and BANNERLESS #2 IS DUE ON FRIDAY and I’m a little frazzled so here’s a quick post, with a few more thoughts on Spider-Man: Homecoming.

This one is CHOCK FULL OF SPOILERS.

Michael Keaton is a treasure, and his evolution from Bat to Bird to Vulture is tremendous fun.

A lot of comics geeks are bitching about young Aunt May, and first off it’s really wonderful to hear a 50 year old woman called young, but I really like young Aunt May, that she’s Peter’s aunt and not his great aunt, that she’s a regular harried middle aged woman, still vibrant, and she worries and has a million things going on, and there are all these implications — she’s lost her husband (as implied in the brief backstory given in Civil War), her sibling (Peter’s parent), and gosh darn it she’s not going to lose Peter, and that’s why she’s so flustered about him. I love it.

My comics geek friend is tremendously happy that this Spider-Man invented his own mechanical web-slingers, just like in the comics, rather than have it be biological because that never really worked, did it?

I’m scared to go back and watch the first Sam Raimi Spider-Man because while I loved it to pieces, I’m worried that it will now look as cheesy and dated as the first Tim Burton Batman.

I’ve been saying “I can be your guy in a chair” all weekend. I’m pretty sure that whole thing was a dig at the DC TV shows.

Just like the ferry scene was a dig at The Dark Knight.

And then when the door opened at Liz’s house, HOLY SHIT.

Those Captain America high school PSA’s were a riot.  “How many more of these are there?”

I loved the opening scene, all these real world implications of the alien invasion in Avengers, like yes there’s going to be contractors hired to clean up the city, and this is something I think the MCU is doing really well, following through some of these implications — and not in a big way. It’s part of the worldbuilding. It’s always there in the background. It’s lovely.

I loved Peter’s complete meltdown when Vulture dropped the ceiling on him. He’s still a kid. He panicked. Such a human moment.

And I loved that he fought the big last battle in his homemade sweat suit costume.

Okay that’s probably enough now…

I SHOULD BE WORKING.

 

Spider-Man: Homecoming

July 7, 2017

This was wonderful.

I’m having trouble figuring out what to say, because there’s so much I want to say, but I also don’t want to spoil a single thing because part of the joy of this is the ton of little easter eggs and jokes and just really nice moments through the whole thing. It’s clever, but doesn’t make a big deal about its own cleverness. It’s also really heartfelt. What is it like being a 15 year old kid with superpowers in the Marvel Universe? Here, this is what it’s like.  (In fact, the movie doesn’t stand alone. The plot’s deeply connected to what happens in Avengers and Civil War, and there are references to the whole MCU scattered around. But I have to say, at this point this is one of the things I love about the MCU:  they don’t spend any time trying to explain what happened before, they expect you to just know, and in the process have built up an entire world that doesn’t require any explanation, that acquires new layers with every outing.)

This is a superhero movie that’s also a nearly perfect teen comedy. That’s also an homage to teen comedies. But when the story of a teen comedy would go in one direction, this veers back into the superhero movie. So you think you know what’s going to happen, but then something else entirely happens.  We all stood outside the theater after asking each other, “Did you see THAT coming, at the start of the third act?”  “No I totally did not, did you?”  “Not even a little bit.”  We were all amazement.

And there’s the scene where Michelle is wearing a Sylvia Plath T-shirt.

Gah, I must stop now, before I start quoting lines. And stay all the way through the credits. Really really. I shouldn’t have to keep saying this…but just do it.

 

 

My next novel, BANNERLESS, is out in one week:

 

Read an excerpt of it here.

And here’s a review and interview in the Daily Camera.

This month’s Lightspeed also has an interview and excerpt.

IS IT TIME TO FREAK OUT YET AAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!