Couple of recent TV shows:

The Punisher:  Once again, I’m the one person on the internet who seems to not like this thing everyone else is raving about. I found it incredibly long, slowly paced, heavy handed, and downright repetitive. Every episode had a scene of Madani in her office going on about Kabul, plus a group session, plus a flashback, plus Micro creepily spying on his family. . . you get the idea. Another Marvel Netflix show that’s 13 episodes that should have been 8. Ironically, The Defenders was 8 episodes and should have been 5. Speaking of Defenders, I’m trying to get a friend of mine to do a video of all the fight scenes along with “Kung-fu Fighting.”

Another Netflix show, Marco Polo:  So I got home from L.A. last week, incredibly exhausted and sleep-deprived, but it was only like 7 pm so I didn’t want to go to bed yet, so I decided to watch something kinda pretty but mindless but probably not all that good ’cause I hadn’t heard much about it and I didn’t want to get attached ’cause I’ve got nine million other things to watch . . . .  So of course I love it. Binged the whole first season in under a week. My only complaint is it does the Game of Thrones thing where if there’s a woman in Act 1 she’ll be naked by Act 3, but that actually eases off by the end of the season.  In favor of trebuchets. TREBUCHETS, PEOPLE.  This show is so freaking gorgeous visually, great cinematography, and the costumes, and the acting, and the music. . .  But most of all it reminds me of reading Guy Gavriel Kay. It’s kind of historical but also kind of not, with lots of political intrigue, culture clashes, lots of good earnest characters and a few wicked ones. Seriously, if you liked Marco Polo, go read Guy Gavriel Kay. And if you like Kay, I bet you’ll enjoy Marco Polo.

I’m waaaaaay behind on the Star Treks and CW Superfriends shows because the group of people I watch those with has been scattered here and anon over the last six weeks and we’re going to try to get together to binge them all soon, I hope. I miss Supergirl.



December has arrived…

December 1, 2017

….and not a moment too soon. This year has just seemed to drag. Probably because we’ve all aged about ten years, given current politics, amirite?

So I did it, I wrote up a long review of Geostorm for Lightspeed. Because I had some things to say about it, you know? The December issue is now available to purchase.

I had a good time at Loscon but it’s taken me a few days to recover, so I’ve been laying low this week. Reading books, even! I’m in the middle of two right now. One brand new, The Book of Dust by Philip Pullman, a prequel to the magnificent His Dark Materials trilogy. I love that world, but I have to admit, while engagingly written, this one suffers a bit from being a prequel — I know how it all turns out, right? And “Lyra is such a magical baby!” is not that interesting as it turns out.

The other is the cyberpunk classic Synners by Pat Cadigan, which I somehow had not read before now. It’s dense and complicated and pretty much perfectly predicts the current social media landscape. It also fits neatly into my Grand Cyberpunk Evolution Theory as a transitional text between the classic 80’s cyberpunk era and the next generation of cyberpunk ala Snow Crash, for lots of various reasons. (Synners was released in 1991.)  I’m also giggling like mad because around page 170 or so we meet the spontaneously arisen AI entity, right on schedule. Spontaneously Arising AI is one of the classic 80’s cyberpunk tropes, and I’m just so pleased to see it here.

Not finished with the book yet so no spoilers!


Reviewer extraordinaire James Nicoll has been doing a “20 core lists” series — 20 core books of various sub-genres that everyone should read. He’s just done one for Urban Fantasy — hooray!  And Kitty and the Midnight Hour is included. Double hooray!

I know some of my readers are always looking for suggestions:  here ya go.

For my own self I would add Agyar by Steven Brust and Sunshine by Robin McKinley.



November 24, 2017

Loscon is happening…like right now! Right this very minute!

The schedule is available here.

Now excuse me while I go Guest of Honor the place up!



Justice League

November 22, 2017

I liked it!

This isn’t to say it doesn’t have a lot problems, because it does. But it also includes this line of dialog:

Barry Allen (speaking to Bruce about Diana):  “If she kills you the rest of us will cover for her.”

So there’s that. What saves the movie for me are lots of little wonderful character moments. I want to spend time with these people. The plot? Derivative and nonsensical. Pacing? Choppy, because they have to do so much exposition to set everything up.

This is the point where I actually feel sorry for the DC movies, and this one in particular. Because it’s being judged not just against the MCU, but also the CW/DC TV shows. I think we’d be having very different conversations about these if they had been the first superhero films out of the gate over the last ten years or so, if they were the only superhero movies out there. But they aren’t, and as I’ve said before the bar on this genre is very, very high at this point.

As a fan of the CW shows I surprisingly wasn’t bothered by the different handling of the world and characters, because it’s coming from a consistent philosophical underpinning:  this movie is about loners and misfits who’ve been in isolation learning to come together. The CW shows have all been about family, about heroes who already have support networks and how those networks change and grow. So that’s fine.

But alas, the last few DC films have always looked like they’re playing catch-up to the MCU. Except in exactly one area:  DC got out a woman-led movie first. They’ll always have that flag.

Of course, that means a lot of us think that all their movies from here out should just be Wonder Woman. Like, all of them. That would be okay.


kooshy gloves!

November 20, 2017

I knitted a thing! These are the kooshiest gloves ever! (And they’re actually more symmetrical than the picture makes them look.)

Friday roundup

November 17, 2017

At long last, my in-depth review of Blade Runner 2049 is live at Lightspeed. I could have said a lot more, there’s really a lot here to pick apart, and I wonder if it’s only worth the effort because the expectations were so very high. I wouldn’t have spent so much time thinking about this if the words “Blade Runner” weren’t attached to it. Then again, maybe I would, thinking back on how much time I spent talking about that wretched Total Recall remake.

A bit of trivia:  the title “Blade Runner” actually comes from an entirely different science fiction novel, The Bladerunner, by Alan E. Nourse, which I have actually read, and which I think would make a fantastic movie or TV series. Particularly relevant now, in how it deals with the health care system.

I’m way behind on pretty much all TV watching. My usual gang of superfriends have all been busy and traveling this fall, so we haven’t had a chance to sit down at our usual shindigs. I’m hoping to get through it soon, because ep. 4 of this season’s Flash was amazing.  Hilarious and serious and over the top and cohesive and Danny Trejo and the worst pun in TV episode title history. (“The Elongated Journey into Night.” I KNOW RIGHT?!) It’s great.

And I will go see Justice League at some point, for purely academic reasons of course. I just have to see for myself what they’ve done with it.