PerExWriMo

Nov. 1st, 2009 05:58 pm
newnumber6: (comics)
So, it's November, the National Novel Writing Month. Like in most previous years, I'm not doing it as expected. However, I am doing another Personal Extra Writing Month, with the goal of reaching 50,000 words, just spread about amongst various short story projects. And I've already done 2000 for today, so I'm off to a good start (even if the story I was writing is probably unsalvagable without a complete rewrite).

The truth is, however, this isn't just a Personal Extra Writing Month, it's more of a KickStart month. See, I haven't posted about this, but for the last few months I've slacked off and haven't done any of my forced writing. Which isn't to say I haven't written, it's just either been dribs and drabs when the mood struck me, or on projects I don't count. But still, not as much as I wouldn't. There's many reasons for this, but most boil down to that I've been depressed, discouraged, and lacking new ideas and drive, and for the few months before I quit the metered writing, I was just chugging along without much drive, churning it out without getting any new ideas I wanted to work on. I thought maybe a break to refresh myself might help. And to a certain extent, it has. I've had a few new story ideas in the time off. I've identified a couple of the timesinks that I think hurt me in writing, and tried to cut them out of my routine. So, I'll do PerExWriMo to try to get myself back in gear (although I'll be taking off December as usual because Christmas month is just a pain all around with too much stuff on my mind), and hopefully start fully writing again my normal way in 2010, and also submitting stories again and start the whole rejection cycle. Anyway, crossed fingers.

Anyway, one of the writing things that "doesn't count" but has taken up some of my time and writing urges, are my Runaways alternate Vol 3 outlines. And, anticipating November, I finished up Year 3. I'll be posting it next, I think. I know, most of you don't care, it's basically unformed fanfic, but it does entertain ME (sadly, more than actual comics have in some time).

In other news, well, V starts this week. I don't have high hopes, but I'll watch. I'm still liking Stargate Universe... hasn't found its legs yet, but I like it well enough that it's probably my favorite show currently on (which really says more about the lack of quality shows on now than SGU). Heroes is interesting if you can completely ignore that they're still completely ignoring their own past (a couple weeks ago Peter sought out HRG to see if he knew a Healer. While his daughter was there. You know, the one who's blood healed him from a bullet to the head? But nobody seems to remember that). Enough to keep watching it. Other shows aren't really even worth much of a mention.

I've kept watching Classic Who, actually, instead of cutting it off, just because timing worked out that way, had new eps finish d/l when I had downtime and nothing to watch. Only about 4 or so stories left in Davison's run. I'll give a more complete rundown on my thoughts when I'm finished, but I'm actually enjoying the series more than I have in a while, somewhere around the end of 4 the writing took a big jump up in quality and inventiveness.
newnumber6: Ghostly being (Default)
So, in addition to the New Doctor, and the New Companion, (and I suppose the New Logo) one of the things fans are generally eager to get an advance look at is the New Tardis... or at least, the new interior. They had to change the set for the switch to HD, and the show is known for changing the look on a semi-regular basis (they even included a line in Time Crash about 9/10's TARDIS look being the "Desktop Theme" (called Coral, for that variation). Well, we've got our first hint of what the next look will be. It's here, and it's pretty safe for spoilerphobes, don't seem to be anything in the pictures or article itself aside from the Tardis pic that could give anything away (can't vouch for comments of course, but I don't think there is anything there either).

My thoughts... okay, not as different as I expected. Read more... )
newnumber6: Ghostly being (Default)
Prisoners of Gravity to start off with again.

Writers' Workshops/Clarion - November 10, 1993
More advice for writers, this time on how to become a better writer and focusing on the various Writer's Workshops.

Part One: Damon Knight (on how Clarion is set up), Kate Wilhelm (on what Clarion/other writer workshops does for a writer, and the 'writer's apprenticeship' period), Kristine Katheryn-Rusch (on what Clarion instructors do to encourage), Connie Willis (on how critiquing other people's work is what makes you a better writer), Geoff Ryman (on the training your own editor),
Part Two: Connie Willis (on her approach to teaching writing, and the importance of plotting as a skill), Nina Kiriki Hoffman (Clarion graduate, reading a bit of a story she did at Clarion, and giving her reaction to turning it in), Kim Antieu (on why Clarion tends to lead to getting successfully published), James Alan Gardner (on advice he got at Clarion that didn't particularly work for him, a Frost quote about writing vs talking about the stories), Kate Wilhelm (on how there's multiple ways to write), story about Harlan Ellison being kicked out of a writing class, Harlan Ellison (on inspiring fear in his Clarion students, and how everyone thinks they can write),
Part Three: Harlan Ellison continued (breaking the spirit of dilettantism, and giving The Great Secret of Writing), William F. Wu (about how something Harlan Ellison said inspired him for the story he's best known for), Geoff Ryman (on what Clarion gives participants than what they did before), Connie Willis (on the Clarion Slump, and learning to write in very small bits when you have very limited time), general advice, More on Nina Kiriki Hoffman's story reading.

Games: November 3, 1993
SF Authors using games people play for story fodder.

Part One: Terry Pratchett (reading from Small Gods), Lynda Barry (on her comic character Marlys who creates her own games, and why kids like inventing their own games), Poul Anderson (on "The Immortal Game", a story about a chess game from the point of a chessman), John Brunner (on adapting a real chess game and disguising it as a novel), Greg Bear (on Anvil of Stars, in which he has characters introducing chess, a zero sum game, to a pacifist alien race),
Part Two: Kristine Kathryn-Rusch (on poker playing a big role in her DS9 novel The Big Game and how poker reflects how people think), David Brin (on why the 'Game of Life' is important in Glory Season), Nancy Kress (on her story Touchdown which involves a game centered around the ruined planet Earth), Iain M. Banks (on the importance of Play, and how we use games much like animals use play, just on a different level, and the growing importance of games to simplify the complexity of life, and designing the game of Azad in The Player of Games),
Part Three: Steven Barnes (on real role playing games vs Dream Park, and why he doesn't game), Sean Stewart (on Dreamquest, a LARP, and how the difference between fantasy novel writing), Pierre Savoie (RPgamer, on how reading Ringworld the novel improves the experience of Ringworld the RPG, and how RPG can give insights to a novel universe its based on), David Pringle (on editing novels/short stories for Games Workshop based on Warhammer, Warhammer 40k, etc, and one particular book set in Near Future Earth)

Awards: January 28, 1993
Awards and what they mean to the creators who get them.
Part One: Kristine Kathryn-Rusch (on how important different awards are to SF writers), list of dfifferent awards, Samuel R. Delany (on the impact of winning many Hugos and Nebula awards), Jerry pournelle (on the benefit of awards giving a good break), John Brunner (on how awards don't transform your career instantly, but improves your long-term sales), Sharyn McCrumb (on how publishers work and how awards alter your treatment, and how sometimes they can be meaningless based on who's giving the awards), Joe Haldeman (on how the Forever War winning the Hugo, Nebula, and Ditmar, affected him, and the political aspects to awards)
Part Two: Nancy Kress (on her first Nebula award having no visible effect on her), James Morrow (on Nebula winning having a big psychological impact and getting him on the map, and the role of politics in the Nebula), Lisa Tuttle (on declining the Nebula Award for 1981), Gibson (on winning the triple award for Neuromancer, and how the location of the Worldcon might have helped him win the Hugo)
Part Three: Story about Neil Gaiman winning a World Fantasy Award and them rewriting the rules so comics can't be nominated, Neil Gaiman (on the effect of his awards being mainly to terrify him), Dave Gibbons (on winning the special Hugo Award for Watchmen), Harlan Ellison (on how him winning awards pisses people off, his thoughts about his award winning short story, Jeffty is Five, his disdain for awards, awards being detrimental to the writer), PoG itself winning an Aurora Award.

That's the last of the PoGs posted to Youtube at the moment, so next week I probably won't be doing any more.
In PoG related news, I think Neil Gaiman may be cyberstalking me. Well, not really, but it's more fun to say it that way. It's just that last week, right after I posted about the PoG episodes I watched (including two with him in it), he posted on twitter a link to the same ep. About 2 hours after. That might just be a weird coincidence, but it's the second time something like that's happened with him where I post something fairly obscure involving him that's been around for a while, and he posts about it elsewhere within hours. (Of course, more likely either there's an intermediate step of sharing from people I know, or he's got a Google Alert out on himself. If the latter's true, Hi there!).

In other TV news, lets see... not really much to talk about, actually. SGU was a not bad episode, but (spoilers ahead, and more unanswered questions) Read more... )

And, finally had Thanskgiving, since family was working last week. And actually some was working this week too, so it was a bit of a small affair with lots of leftovers. Was good... turkey, roast potatoes, ham, carrots, greek rice, french stick bread, pretty awesome gravy, pumpkin pie with whipped cream. Was quite good, and ofcourse nice to see family that I haven't seen in a while.

TV roundup

Oct. 11th, 2009 10:32 am
newnumber6: Ghostly being (Default)
Starting as usual with PoG links.

Advice: Advice from SF/Comic Creators to people starting out in the field... (April 16, 1992)
Part One: Nancy Kress (read as much as you can, and persist, and don't write only when you're in the mood), Candas Jane Dorsey (what makes bad SF, the "Rod and Don Dialogue"), Lewis Shiner (don't start, it's a tremendously discouraging business, and if you're going to, get a day job), Kathy Gale (UK Editor, always submit in a professional way),
Part Two: Kim Stanley Robinson (responding on OSC's advice of "Primacy of Event over Character" and Card not following his own advice, kind of rips on Card a bit too), Tanya Huff (on the pros and cons on writer's groups), Ed Bryant (on Writer's Workshops like Clarion), Dan Simmons (on how the Milford Writer's Workshop helped him), Neil Gaiman (on his experience at a Milford and learning nothing about writing but learning about reading), shift in focus to comics. Frank Miller (know what you want)
Part Three: Fabian Nicieza (take writing courses, plan to have another career, work through independents/small press), M.W. Kaluta (on how he got his first full professional gig on The Shadow, and his advice), Gene Colan (you have to love it, don't do it for the fame), Sergio Aragones (practice, and think ahead at how the world may change). Summary from the host, and a closing clip from Dan Piraro (stay away, I don't want the comptetition)

Farewell (Season 1 finale)
Assorted promotions, Dick Tracy (movie and the then-recent comics), TMNT (in advance of the first live action movie), Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue, Archie news, Incredible Hulk comic, 1990 Earth Day, interviews with Max Collins, Rob Salem, artist Dale Keown... very disjointed and none of it terribly interesting so I won't do the full clip-by-clip summary. Part One: Part Two: Part Three:

Memory (December 8, 1993)

How we're defined by our memories, in SF and Fantasy and comics
Part One: Lynda Barry (on what bring childhood memories for her, a trick for remembering things in a different way that you wouldn't normally, triggering other people's memories in writing), Neil Gaiman (on converting his memories into a comic and being replaced by it), Dave McKean (on using collages to represent memory), Neil Gaiman (on suddenly realizing something about your childhood memories as an adult because as child you don't know what's significant), Michael Moorcock (on his childhood memories of WWII shaping the landscapes of his fiction)
Part Two: Harlan Ellison (on what triggers memories for him, and exorcising hurtful memories with writing, and gives a couple of his favorite quotes about memories), Howard Hendrix (on the memory of his brother shaping one of his stories, and the difference of how memory in fiction compared to real life), Harry Harrison (on how memory works, short term vs long term memory, and the disadvantages to a linear memory of computers)
Part Three: William Gibson (on Agrippa, and Cyberspace as a metaphor for memory), Iain M. Banks (on his fascination with memory and the links between identity and memory), Brian Aldiss (on writing his own autobiography, and a story of a memory he'd written when he was 16), Edward Bryant (on how our memory shapes us and lack of memory also influences us)

Medicine and Nanotechnology (December 1, 1993)
Part One: Frederick Pohl (on people selling off organs to finance their trip to Gateway, and the real black market for organs), Nancy Kress (on writing "The Mountain to Mohammed", and her growing concern about health insurance, and the tough choices involved in controlling medical costs, and worries about gene scanning to mark people as uninsurable), Joel Davis (on the Human Genome Project changing the way medicine is practiced)
Part Two: Joel Davis again (on who owns the rights to the drugs created by using human DNA), Nancy Kress (on relaxing the controls of testing drugs on the dying), John Clute (on nanotechnology as a trend in SF), William Gibson (on including nanotech in Virtual Light, and finding it creepy), Tony Daniel (on Nano as the 'new magic' of SF), Stven Barnes (on linking Nanotech and Dinosaurs in The Barsoom Project, and where he researched it), Ian McDonald (on including nanotech in Necroville and his ideas of what resurrecting the dead might mean)
Part Three: Michael Skeet (on his story Relics, and whether writers get carried away with nanotech), Dave Smeds (on the practical obstacles to reaching nanotech), Greg Bear (on writing Blood Music before nanotechnology really became well-known, and why he use it, and his own sins of treating nanotech as 'magic', and the legacy of the Frankenstein image, and his own feeling that we need to know as much as possible)

Next Week, Writer's Workshops, Games, and Awards, the last set of PoG links until the person posting them posts some more, I guess.

In other TV news, what's been new... Heroes, meh. I think it's the last year anyway, so its not really worth getting worked up about, but the developments in the latest ep do not particularly interest me. Flashforward is still entertaining in terms of its normal plot and it's done a good job of keeping me interested with some of the twists they've introduced, although some sloppiness with how the visions work still annoys me.

Glee's still okay, but I'm finding the main characters less and less likable with each ep, with a few exceptions (I liked the Quinn/Rachel scene in this week's episodes) and they really need to start focusing on the minor characters.

Supernatural had a solid MOTW episode.

The big TV story for me was that Stargate Universe had the third part of its premiere, and again, not bad. There's a couple spoilery elements I want to talk about behind the cut (including a possible "I CALLED IT" moment), and some speculation/wonderings for the future: Read more... )


I think that's it for this week. It's Thanksgiving Weekend here in Canada, so to all the Canucks on my list, Happy Thanksgiving. Except, not for me. Apparently most of my immediate family is working this weekend, including tomorrow, so we won't be doing anything until sometime a little later. So no big meal for me, alas. Oh well.
newnumber6: Ghostly being (Default)
Projects: (October 3, 1991) - Isolated upcoming projects in comics, animation, and SF.
Part One: Mike Carlin (on The Psycho), George Pratt (on a comic project about the Blues), Neil Adams (on Bucky O'Hare the animated series based on a comic)
Part Two: James Morrow (on his upcoming novel Towing Jehovah), Michael Swanwick (on Stations of the Tide), William Gibson (on Virtual Light), Dan Simmons (on doing a movie treatment for Carrion Comfort, and co-writing a SF mystery involving fractals and chaos theory)
Part Three: Simmons continued (a bit specifically on the problems of combining SF and mystery), Michael Dorn (on a storyline he'd like to see in ST:TNG, connecting Worf to Cyrano de Bergerac, and his role in Star Trek 6), fandom rumors about ST6 from Toronto Trek, Walter Koenig (on writing a treatment for a ST movie that got rejected, and a suggestion he made for ST6 involving the death of a main character), a viewer letter about the 'death of Star Trek'.

Utopia: March 18, 1993
Utopias in comics and SF

Part One: Bruce Sterling (on Utopias being Bogus), Clive Barker (on Plato's horrible definition of Utopia), Alan Moore (on exploring Utopia in Miracleman, and Utopia as a verb, and the superhero dream being antihuman), Neil Gaiman (agreeing with Utopia as a verb, but disagreeing with the idea that Miracleman actually dealt with a Utopia, and the problem with Utopia is that once you've got it, you fill it with people), Mark Buckingham (on avoiding dealing with Miracleman himself and looking at the rest of the world), Neil Gaiman again (on pulling focus back away from Miracleman himself), Samuel R. Delany (on Triton as a 'sexual utopia', differences from SF thinking and Utopian thinking)
Part Two: Clive Barker (on why fantastic fiction is the perfect place for Utopias), James Morrow (on a 'Utopia' city based on complete honesty in City of Truth and a pacifist utopia in The Wine of Violence), Geoff Ryman (on the Child Garden being an ambiguous utopia, and why utopias often focus on a particular person against the society), Ian M. Banks (on using a protagonist opposed to the Culture in Consider Phlebas, and writing along the outskirts of a Utopia)
Part Three: Sean Stewart (on Passion Play, which involves a dystopia evolving out of an attempt to create a Christian Utopia, and the need for Faith for a society to work), Kim Stanley Robinson (on his utopia novel, Pacific Edge and the question of "Utopia: Can we get there from here?", and the problem of multinational corporations being the biggest threat to a 'better world', and ending his book on a sad note)

Ecology in comics and SF: April 22, 1993
Part One: Frederick Pohl (on Our Angry Earth, a non-fiction book on ecology with Isaac Asimov, and why he doesn't think Zero Population Growth is the most urgent need), Paul Chadwick (creator of Concrete, on what he sees as the biggest Ecological Problem facing us, OverPopulation, and whether/how politics should play a role), Kim Stanley Robinson (on the importance of population control)
Part Two: Paul Chadwick (discussing the religious "be fruitful and multiply" and reading a speech from Concrete about current population expansion), Kim Stanley Robinson (on the Earth's maximum sustainable population), Jerry Pournelle (on solutions to population growth by producing wealth), Joe Haldeman (on tackling overpopulation in The Forever War, and his personal choice not to contribute to it, compared to people in third world countries who sometimes have no choice)
Part Three: Barry B. Longyear (on why Zero Population Growth became 'uncool' and the problems of enacting it in reality), David Brin (on legislating legal population limits in his novel Earth, and the US "growing up", and protecting your greatgreatgreatgrandchildren as a 'genetic investment', and visiting Easter Island)

Next week I'll do Advice (which I thought I'd do this week but got a bit behind on time), Memory, and maybe Medicine & Nanotechnology.

Continuing on TV, I finally finished Tom Baker's run on Doctor Who. Watched the first Davison episode too. Might watch one more to get a sense of him since he spent most of this one in regeneration madness. Overall, my thoughts on the Fourth Doctor (and a bit that he sheds light on Ten) Read more... )
Do like the new team of companions so far. Tegan, Adric, and Nyssa give me a little bit of the old Jamie/Zoe vibe. Nice to have a set of companions with skills that mesh together well, instead of one companion having to either be superman/woman to compete with the Doctor, or be all but useless in the face of his genius except for legwork.

Otherwise, FlashForward's still in the 'not bad, but we'll see' territory. Heroes is still marginally better. I can't help but think that if they ditched almost all of the 2nd or 3rd season entirely, and just attached this season directly to this one with maybe a tiny bit of connective plot, many of the elements would be workable, even interesting (the current status of Sylar with respect to Matt would be an entertaining way of keeping the actor but not having the problems of the uberpowerful character) but I can't completely forget the past.

The only big new series premiere of the week is Stargate: Universe. Overall, I enjoyed it, although at present I think it's below both SG1 and Atlantis in quality. The early worries/complaints (usually based solely on casting) of it being "Stargate: 90210" seem to be wholly without merit, but there is a strong taste of the new BSG in terms of style. In fact, it looks almost as though... you know in 200 where they did parodies of other SF shows (and a few non-SF shows)? It looks almost as though somebody said, "Hey, let's copy BSG's style for one of those", except instead of being a parody, they did it completely seriously. Very similar. A bit disorienting, but I'm sure I'll get used to it. (a bit more spoilery stuff behind the cut) Read more... )

TV and PoG

Sep. 27th, 2009 10:10 am
newnumber6: Ghostly being (Default)
Prisoners of Gravity links first:

Women
Women in SF, Fantasy, and Comics

Part One: Trina Robbins (on how she first got hooked on comics), June Brigman (on why women don't get into comics, and trying to change it using Barbie comics), Louise Simonson (on lack of things in conventional superhero comics for women to relate to), Kate Worley of Omaha, the Cat Dancer (on whether she's bothered by being in one of the few prominent female comics creators), Elaine Lee (on the difficulty of breaking into comics and the 'boys club'), Chris Claremont (on why he was renowned for good female characters and how it became a cliche for him)
Part Two: Steve Bissett (on why comics are so slow to recognize women, and some of the key roles women played in comics). Shift of focus to SF. Lois McMaster Bujold (on whether SF is a good platform for a treatment of women's issues, and her most 'feminist' book), Veronica Hollinger (professor on SF) (on who are the landmark female figures in SF and male writers who are most 'feminist'), Candace Jane Dorsey (on leaving out gender pronouns in her stories), Pamela Argent (on 'strong female characters' who are just men in women bodies), Gregory Benford (on the tension between the sexes as being a good thing and some of the difficulties on juggling everything in SF compared to toher fields)
Part Three: Leona Gom (on creating a 'last man' in an all female world), a story about James Tiptree Jr. (actually a woman under a pen name) being asked to leave a summit on feminism in SF. Lois McMaster Bujold (on if there are difficulties in writing male viewpoints). Switch in focus to Fantasy: Karen Wehrstein (on her own challenges in writing women characters), Tanya Huff (on whether fantasy has improved in terms of the women, and info about something she changed about her own work on realizing it was somewhat sexist), Terence M. Green (on how men and women are different), Trina Robbins (on the complaint about things that interest women being 'banal')

Leisure - May 2, 1991
How we will spend out leisure time in the future, according to SF
Part One: Lois McMaster Bujold (on mandatory zero-gee workouts and the physiological adaptations of zero-g), Andrew Weiner (on some of his leisure-centered short stories, in particular one about filling time in a permanent unemployment), Christopher Hinz (on the idea of recreational space colonies), Jack Womack (on leisure time, or lack thereof, in his Draco books), Gregord Benford (on the management of leisure, and passive leisure), William Gibson (on dismissing 'television' as 'empty calories' leisure, and the mystery of TV and media and what it's doing to us)
Part Two: Alberto Manguel (editor) (on television in the future according to Bradbury in Fahrenheit 451, and how it's somewhat come true, Terence M. Green (on children raised on TV and creating a video literate world), Bruce Sterling (on what he thinks of TV and his 1991 view of future of TV, and Virtual Reality), Douglas Adams (about Virtual Reality and using it to save the world, and creating virtual reality IN reality). Candace Jane Dorsey (on a baseball story on Mars in a collection she edits), Mark Chiarello (on baseball's imagery, and drawing a baseball card collection on the Negro League), Todd McFarlane (on how Spider-Man hangs out when not working), Walt Simonson (on how Thor spends his leisure time)
Part Three: Neil Gaiman (on how Miracle Man recharges), Louise Simonson (on Superhuman not having any leisure time, except for being Clark Kent), Ty Templeton (on his theory on how Superman kicks back), a clip of Superman Song by the Crash Test Dummies, Fabian Nicieza (on whether he'll show Alpha Flight in their leisure time, and what leisure time says about us), Steve Bissett (on the 24 Hour Comic, as a sort of 'game' for comic creators, and other games of artists (the surreal corpse)).

Censorship - October 25, 1990
Part One: Comics facing obsenity charges. Interviews with Harlan Ellison (on the good messages in a lot of SF), Kevin Eastman (on how his characterss influenced a kid to hurt himself), Harlan Ellison (on how the censors are exposed to the 'corrupting material' constantly, and standing up to censors), Steve Bissett (on the Comic Code Authority and the congressional hearings that led to it), Frank Miller (on him feeling relatively free from censorship lately), Steve Bissett (on temporarily dropping the comic code for the Spidey drug issue, and Swamp Thing deciding to do away with the CCA permanently)
Part Two: Spider and Jeanne Robinson (on the problems with censorship of sex in SF, and a particular unsavory reference that an author slipped past the censors), Jack Vance (on some of the censorship he faced), Spider Robinson (on Callahan's Lady, taking place in a brothel, and not being get the stories in the same magazine as the rest of the Callahan stories), Jack Vance (on the basic choices of censorship), Maryanne Neilsen (on whether, as an editor, she's a censor), David Lloyd (on creative choice to leave our detailed of violence and sex in V for Vendetta), Denys Cowan (on being uncomfortable with drawing a lynching scene)
Part Three: Elaine Lee (on handling violence in Starstruck), Elaine Lee and Charles Vess (on a particular censorship blowup around a comic back-up story about a young witch that includes her first period, when the first story had so much violence), Harlan Ellison (about the comic Taboo, and how art should unsettle you), Clive Barker (on worrying about a backlash, another Dr. Werthem).

Next week: Utopia, Ecology, and Advice for wannabe creators.

Now that that's out of the way, TV wrapup for the week. Doctor Who... well, I've met Adric. For some reason, in my head, I always pictured him older, from the name. Seems nice enough so far, although probably not one of my favorites. Only a few episodes left before I can say goodbye to Four and get to Five.

What premiered this week? House... it was okay, but I thought it dragged on too long focusing on House, and I wanted to see the others. And the ending annoyed me. (spoilers) Read more... )

Heroes also premiered and... well, I suppose, objectively speaking, it's probably a little better than last year. But it's still hard to watch and take seriously. The Trust has not just been lost, it's been thoroughly shattered and the pieces each taken on a separate boat ride in a different ocean by a different man who dumps it into the ocean at some random time not in sight of land. It's hard to take anything seriously after the stuff they pulled last year, because there's the feeling at at any moment, they could decide to ignore some plot point they've already established. Slightly more spoilery behind cut Read more... )

Dollhouse also premiered, and it wasn't bad, although they seem to be slightly unskeevying one of the characters at the expense of extra-skeevying one of the relatively unskeevy ones. We'll see how it goes, though, the revelations towards the end could be interesting to go on.

FlashForward... it's okay. Needs time to find it's footing to judge for sure. Not sure the premise really works as a basis for a series, but it's got my attention for a few episodes at least.

Fringe: Okay... the second episode of the second season of X-Files was about a genetic mutant Flukeman. Is it just some wacky coincidence or intentional homage that the Second episode of Fringe's Second Season feels like almost the same thing, only, you know, less interesting (because Fringe is mostly a less interesting version of X-files)?

Otherwise, not much. This week: Stargate Universe, the last thing for... oh, about a month or so probably that I'm looking forward to.
newnumber6: (lasers)
First up, Violence. Guess I was wrong about Brian Stableford being on this one. I know he was on one talking about it, maybe it was a special pacifism episode. Alas. Oh well.

Violence: March 7, 1991
The role of violence in comics and SF. Bit of a poor video/audio quality unfortunately, but not horrible-bad.

Part One: Todd McFarlane (complaining about parents complaining about too much violence nowadays), Ty Templeton (on why comics are full of violence), Walt Simonson (on the type of violence in his comics), Neil Gaiman (on how superhero comics portray an attractive portrait of violence, and taking out subtext and philosophy and such to write Batman), Bill Sienkiewicz (on his views of violence in comics and how it contrasts to the real world), Ty Templeton again (on why superhero comics dominate the form)
Part Two: Steve Bissett (on how the violence in Swamp Thing was different than most superhero comics), Lewis Shiner (on avoiding glorifying violence in fiction), Terry Beatty (on the violence in Ms. Tree and how he tries to emphasize the consequences), Peter Straub (on "the only way to understand violence is to wrap it in imagination", and whether he fears he's glorifying violence), Walter Hill (director of Warriors, Aliens 3, on how drama depends on violence
Part Three: Fantasy author Charles de Lint (on how he handles violence in his stories), SF author Jack Womack (on why he uses violence in his work), S.M. Stirling and Shirley Meier (on their novel the Cage and how much violence is in it, and how they approach violence), Lewis Shiner (on how first hand experience with violence changes people, and the attitudes that lead to violence), Neil Gaiman (on Punch and Judy).

Behind the cut: three old, not terribly good, from the first season, before it found its groove, eps, one focusing on some miscellaneous comics and anime, a Star Wars: TOS focused ep, and another Miscellaneous ep focusing a bit more on Dystopian visions)
Read more... )

And sticking with old TV, just finished Meglos, which means I'm almost done with the Fourth Doctor. Next ep I believe introduces a new companion, Adric, one of the ones I've never seen anything of. Edit: And wow, I totally did not notice, until reading the wiki for the episode, that the religious leader was played by Jacquelline Hill, who played Barbara, one of the first batch of Companions).

More modern TVwise, Supernatural was okay, with a couple eye-rolling moments. Only really new thing was Frige. And Man, I'd forgotten how much that show bored me! Well, okay, that's a little harsh, but I keep wanting the show to be so much better. And it looked towards the end of last season it was picking up, but it took a bit of a step back with this episode.

Next week, though, things really ramp up. The two hour premiere of House, 2 hour premiere of Heroes (yeah, still watching, more out of masochism and lack of TV channels than anything else), Dollhouse, and I believe Flash Forward gets its premiere.
newnumber6: Ghostly being (Default)
First up,
Form (March 22nd, 1991)
Discussions on the various forms, novella vs short story, trilogy vs series, in comics and speculative fiction.

Part One: Short Stories: Dave Duncan (on why he thinks SF works best in short stories), Crawford Kilian (on the short story as 'training ground' and area of experimentation), Jim Baen (on the strength of short stories/novellas in SF), Marianne Nelson (on why if you want to get into SF you should start with short stories). Novella/Novellette: Judith Merril (on why the Novella's almost unique to SF), a bit of history. The Serial: Neil Gaiman (on the problems and advantages of writing serial fiction, like his comic the Sandman, and the "Is Little Nell Dead Yet" phenomenon), Chris Claremont (differences on writing a novel and writing an ongoing series, and the why the book and the audience don't have to keep going together)
Part Two: Neil Gaiman (on benefits of writing Good Omens, compared to comic writing). Alternative Comics: Black and White. Gilbert Hernandez (on why Love and Rockets is Black and White), Ty Templeton (on why he enjoys black and white), Kevin Eastman (on problems he encountered in getting Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles published). Novels: Jim Baen (on the benefits of the novel in SF). The Trilogy (and other variations): Guy Gavriel Kay (on the mundane reasons the trilogy has become a standard form in fantasy fiction, on the danger of writers going back to the well), Tanya Huff (on writing a Duology, and the repeated questions about the third book despite the (big spoilers)), a bit of a clip from Misery, Tanya Huff again (on why trilogy and series are so popular), George Zebrowski (on the problems of writing long term series fiction and how they're not artistic)
Part Three: The Graphic Novel: David Lloyd (artist on on V for Vendetta, and whether it benefitted from being repackaged as a Graphic novel), Will Eisner (on why he left serial comics for the Graphic Novel, and pioneering the form with A Contract With God). Conclusion: Dan Piraro (Bizarro, experimenting with animation based on his cartoon panels)

Chaos: (March 14th, 1991)
Chaos theory. A bit more heavy on the science (popularist science reporting that is), side with only a bit of discussion on its use in art/fiction/SF.

Part One James Gleick (explaining Chaos Theory itself, Fractals, the Butterfly Effect and why it took so long to reach the public consciousness), Caleb Howard (computer hacker, on impact of fractals on computer animation)
Part Two: CGi short film Panspermia, Jeff Evans (on sterility and unnatural perfection in computer graphics being corrected by fractals and chaos theory), James Gleick (on the fractalness of Ferns, and to be wary of the human tendency to pattern-recognize). Here's the slow switching over to Chaos theory in art and fiction: Bill Sienkiewicz (on using Fractals in Big Numbers, with Alan Moore, theological/philosophical implications on chaos theory and fractals), Jeff Evans (on that last topic), James Gleick (on misunderstanding of theory in general to extend to social/philosophical problems), the host talks about the tendency of SF writers to misunderstand science or to just use it as gobledegook to base their stories around
Part Three: George Zebrowski (on his reaction to James Gleick book about Chaos Theory), Garfield Reeve-Stevens (on his reaction to the book, and whether he plans to use Chaos theory in his work), Gregory Benford (on using Chaos Theory in SF), Douglas Adams (on his reaction after reading Chaos on how everything seems to fit in with it), James Gleick (on the idea catching fire in the culture at large).

Fear: October 31, 1991

Horror, the use of Fear itself as a theme in fiction, and what scares creators

Part One: Archie Goodwin (on role of fear in storytelling, the "safe scare", Stephen Jones (horror anthologist on the two basic emotions being Fear and Love, and how the best stories combine both, and the best use of fear he's read, the "show or don't show the monster" debate), Tanya Huff (on why we like to be scared, fear being like sex). Some examples of SF that uses Fear in them. Bob Shaw (on why he's so intrigued by fear, and his own phobia, and science as 'pushing away darkness to make us feel better')Part Two: Louis Shiner (on his use of Tesla and his phobias in his story White City), Brian Stableford (on why Fear's begun to play such a large role in his work, particularly his vampire novel the Empire of Fear, the current popularity of Horror, a nice scientific look at the connection between fear and arousal), Neil Gaiman (the role of Fear in Sandman, the difference between Fear and Horror), Pete Milligan and Grant Morrison (on exploring Fear and Dread in their comics, fear as dislocating the mind and the startings of religion)
Part Three: Clive Barker (on different types of fears, and all his personal fears, and why he's using less fear in his book Imajica, and how he doesn't think his early stories really evoked fear, or why fear's not especially interesting on its own, on what medium fear works best in), Jeff Ryman (and the role of Fear in the Wizard of Oz, fear as social control)

And Profiles, an episode where he profiles 3 specific creators, Daniel Clowes (independent comic 8Ball), Peter Straub (horror author), and Marv Newland (animator), but none of them especially interest me so no detailed breakdown (however, Part 2 does contain the complete short film "Bambi Meets Godzilla", done by Newland, and the third part is mostly Straub talking about horror so it works as a nice companion to the Fear ep).
Part One Part Two Part Three

Looking forward to next week, Violence, which I believe has interview bits with Brian Stableford about his pacifist space opera hero, Star Pilot Grainger, the first time I've seen it since I actually read (and loved) the books. PoG was one of the reasons for me trying them, too.

In other news, been having a bit of headaches lately, think it's probably eye strain. Which is annoying, cause I only have one left working and so many things I enjoy doing involve using it. Need perfect cyber-eyes to get invented now. And to become rich and handsome, and not at all socially awkward, so long as I'm dreaming.

TVwise... Glee's 2nd episode wasn't bad, not quite as fun as the first, but okay. Supernatural had its premiere, and, well, it was okay, a few fun bits, a few meh bits, but Bobby is awesome as usual.

Been watching old school Who as usual. I'll probably finish Four's run and then take a break for a while. Not because I specifically want to, but once regular TV starts up again I find I have less time for it since I have more I need to download (often legally, thanks to TV channel websites) that I missed during the regular week. I can pick up with Five in the summer or during the rerun-gaps that crop up every once in a while in the regular season. Just finished Shada, and the season's been reasonably fun. Think the Nightmare of Eden was one of my favorites of the recent batch. As for the big "Which Romana is better" debate? Right now I'm still putting them about even. I don't have a particular preference one way or the other. II has a slightly more friendly chemistry with the Doctor, true, but I kind of liked the slight standoffishness of I. So, again, they're about even, just II had a longer time to shine and slightly better stories, I think, but that's not the actress' fault so I can hardly hold it against that version.
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That time again...

Februray 14th, 1991 - Projects: (Highlighting a few specific projects by creators in SF, Fantasy, and Comics, in 1991)

Part One: Interviews with Todd McFarlane (on changing the look of Spider-Man and how he writes), Charles Vess (on a Spider-Man story and illustrating a Sandman story about A Midsummer Night's Dream), Neil Gaiman (plans for the Sandman story Seasons of Mists and how he uses overly long chapter titles), George Pratt (on Enemy Ace and using it to make a statement on Vietnam),
Part Two: Interview with Will Eisner (on To The Heart of the Storm), bit of a rant on how SF and comics are disrespected in culture, Interviews with Frank Miller (on Elektra Lives Again and how Lynn Varley's coloring made some big differences), Jack Womack (on the Draco Corporation novels, specifically the 4th novel, Elvissey and the last books), Fabian Nicieza (on editing Barbie comics)
Part Three: Interview with Neil Gaiman (on The Books of Magic), a bit of 'cartoons for adults' but this ep cuts off abruptly before the interview with the creator.

Sci-Fi's True North (February 12, 1990)

Early ep (overuse of cheesy effects, longer interviews on more wide ranging topics), on the Canadian Identity in SF. Kind of a lame ep too.

Part One: Interviews With Lorna Toolis (on Toronto's library SF collection, on whether there's a Canadian style in SF, themes that crop up a lot in Canadian SF compared to US, top Canadian Writers, the Tesseracts collection (of Canadian SF), various magazines and the Canadian SF community), communications with other SF libraries)
Part Two: Bernie Finklestein (Rock & Roll guy and SF fan, on his earliest SF memories, the intersection of Rock & Roll and SF, the 50s paranoia about nuclear annihilation)
Part Three: Kent Burles (Canadian
comic artist, on his Planet of the Apes project, how he works with an American writer long-distance), Dave Ross (Canadian artist, about drawing Wolverine, problems with being a Canadian artist working in an American field, missing deadlines), viewer mail

Will Eisner and the Spirit - October 18th, 1990.
50th anniversary of the Spirit. Just links here, no summaries, because although I respect his contributions, I'm just not personally terribly interested in an ep all about him and the Spirit.

Part One Part Two Part Three

M-Space: Moebius and Merril, Spotlight on comic creator Moebius and SF Author Judith Merril, December 13th, 1990)
Part One: Mail, Interviews with Frank Miller (on Moebius' work), Jean Giraud (Moebius himself, on why he chose to work in comics, how he got started with drawing, why he still does it), Steve Leialoha (on why he likes Moebius' work), Moebius (on his collaborationals with filmmaker Alexandro Jodorowsky), Sergio Aragones (on Jodorowsky), Steve Bissette (on Moebius and Jodorowsky's comic colaboration Eyes of the Cat)
Part Two: Moebius (on The Incal, how he got into Science Fiction, Trina Robbins (raving about Moebius and why they have small audiences), Moebius (on how he sees himself). Switch in topic to Merril. Interviews with Judith Merrill (on how she got into writing Science Fiction, nice story about Ted (Theordore Sturgeon?)convinced her to try writing Science Fiction), Guy Gavriel Kay (on Merril's importance in improving the quality of the actual writing in science fiction), Merril (on being one of the very few women writers over her time, on her derivative novels she co-wrote super quickly, that became the most popular thing she's written)
Part Three: Merril's influence on an editor, introducing the New Wave, Interviews with Merril (on producing an anthology, producing Tesseracts Canadian SF anthology, why she left the US permanently for Canada during the Vietnam War, the Roshdale experiment, bringing her huge SF collection with her and so starting the Spaced Out Library, the SF Library in Toronto (now known as the Merril Collection))

(Next week's should be better, Form, Chaos, and Fear)


---

Now that that's done, what else is new? Long weekend technically, but not for me, cause I still work. But yay, extra money. And yay for September, because it means the dry season for TV is nearing a close. I think most things I watch or am interesting in starting to watch start NEXT week, but there's a trickle here and there.

So far there's just one show that's hit my attention index, and it's a bit of a surprising one. Glee. Apparently it aired the first ep last year after American Idol, but since I don't care about that I never even heard about it, and just saw commercials and, last Wednesday, when it was on and nothing else was, decided to give it a try. ANd, y'know, I liked it. Which is odd, because I don't listen to music, so that it's set around a new Glee Club full of social rejects doing musical numbers doesn't do anything for me. And the show is a bit predictable and obvious in some ways. But it's also had a bit of a quirkyness to it that I liked. I think I like it in part because it hits on a couple of my squeepoints (like squickpoints, but opposite). (more behind cut). Read more... ) I'm not 100% sold on it, but I liked it enough to give it a couple episodes to try out.
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February 28, 1991 - Marketing & Merchandising.

Not an especially interesting episode to me, but for completeness' sake, and there's a bit of interest here.

Part One: Spider and Jeanne Robinson on Marketing of SF and what audience to target, Jack Vance on how Dune had trouble getting published and how it gained its appeal and sequels, Spider Robinson on an autograph session and a particularly stupid distributor, Guy Gavriel Kay on the prevelance of fantasy and its commercial success and how success attracts hacks, Jim Baen on the crowded marketplace and the sales life-cycles of books, Terry Brooks on how he explains his sales.
Part Two: George R. R. Martin on whether he considers himself a "science fiction" writer and the difficulty of marketting writers who don't fit into boxes, Peter Straub on readers expectations of writers can cause problems, Bob Kane on the Batman marketting machine growing from the 80s movie, and the danger of overexposure, Kevin Eastman on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and how marketting made it a megabrand, James L. Brooks on the merchandising of the Simpsons, Sam Simon on whether think the merchandising is overwhelming the show
Part Three: Matt Groening on why the Simpsons show itself is popular, Fabian Nicieza on marketting of concepts and why certain comics (Todd McFarlane) get super marketting gimmicks). Bill Marks on the marketting of Todd McFarlane's Spider-Man and his invention of sealed bagged comics, and marketting to try to direct people to the good, and stangnation of the comic industry and trying to diversify the industry (in 1991)


April 11, 1991 - Villains in SF, comics, and fantasy:
Part One: General introduction and a quote about Villains by Mary Wollstoncraft, Comics first. Interviews with Max Allan Collins (on Dick Tracy's Villains), Montage of comic creators on what makes good villains and favorite villains (Archie Goodwin, Louise Simonson, Mike Mignola), Fabian Nicieza (on what makes a good supervillain and well-motivated villains, the remotivating of Lex Luthor), Gregory Benford (If the 'idea' in a SF novel is the hero, what's the villain), Nancy Kress (on creating villains in SF with complexity)
Part Two: Jack Womack (on the lack of real villains in his Draco books), Charles de Lint (on what makes a great fantasy villain), Tanya Huff (same topic), Ty Templeton (on favorite comic book villain, Luthor, and why, and also on how the Joker complements Batman so well), Kate Worley (on the lack of individual villains in Omaha, the Cat Dancer as opposed to corporate or systemized evil)
Part Three: Steve Bissett (on the more recent nuanced view of evil in comics, and his feelings on what caused it for him - Watergate), Neil Gaiman (the problem of villains, and how they're just people, with good and bad in them), and moving on to the Serial Killer as the last bastion of pure evil, with Peter Straub (on the fascination with serial killers in fiction compared with the almost mundanity of the real facts of them), Garfield Reeve-Stevens (on the power and appeal of the Joker)

January 31, 1991 - Voice/American Artform

Whether comic books and SF are international artforms or there's a strong 'American' voice to them, and a look at some other country voices.
Part One: Some extended jokes about a Canadian-voice Star Trek, Interviews with Nancy Kress (on how classic SF started as British, even if they weren't always marketted as SF, whereas American SF was ghettoized), Candas Jane Dorsey (on the origins of US SF and being extremely formulaic, and various phases of SF), Gregory Benford (on the US not being great on the traditional forms, and how the strength was in their 'invented' genres, and why good SF elsewhere in the world isn't widely popular), Jim Baen (whether there's still an American voice in SF, and what it is, and how the experience of Vietnam altered American SF's voice),

Part Two: Nancy Kress (on one of the persistant theme of American SF), Jean Giraud/Moebius (on whether SF is an American form, or an English-language form, and the differences in his (French) outlook and how it influences his work, and whether he feels comics are an American artform or European), Harlan Ellison (on comic books as one of the 5 native US artforms even though it's exploded wildly elsewhere), Will Eisner (on greater respect in Europe for comic artists than in the US), Denys Cowan (the view of American comics, in America, as 'trash'), Bill Sienkiewicz (on the new energy of comics in US and England, in the early 90s), Chester Brown (on his Canadian autobiographical comic Yummy Fur, and how much Canada influences his work and what Canadian readers get out of his story), some speculation on whether a canadian setting is enough to make something Canadian, and how Americans often write Canadian settings incomics like Alpha Flight.
Part Three: Editor of Canadian short SF Anthology "On Spec", Marianne Nelson (on the 'Canadian voice in Science Fiction'), Judith Merril (on how the looming presence of the environment in Canadian lives makes us more inclined towards SF even in mainstream works), Garfield and Judith Reeves-Stevens (on whether there's a particular Canadian voice in SF, and their view of no), Candas Jane Dorsey (on Canadian SF, and why it's so hard to recognize the Canadian SF community), Dave Duncan (the lack of the size of Canadian market making it hard to create a market for Canadian SF, but they do well across the border), Tanya Huff (about how Canadian settings are being a bit trendy), Spider Robinson (on his belief that Canadians are coming out of the closet), Guy Gabriel Kay (on it being okay to be a Canadian writer now, in general), Tanya Huff (on how we're between US and British styles)

April 18, 1991 - Ecology
Part One: Douglas Adams (on his non-fiction book about endangered species and how he came to write it, and some stuff about Madagascar), Garfield and Judith Reeves-Stevens (on why SF and Ecology are nothing new to SF, even if they're especially popular lately), Spider Robinson (about David Brin's novel Earth), Robert J. Sawyer (on Face of God, and a sort of eco-conscious aliens), Julian Grant on ecological themes in SF movies being as early as the 50s
Part Two: Steve Bissette (on Swamp Thing and how it evolved ecologically, and how DC lost interest in the ecological message after they left), Ty Templeton (on Clorophyll Kid and designing a terminally-ill Raccoon mascot for the Canadian government that wasn't looked upon too kindly), Gregory Benford (on whether technology and its waste byproducts will destroy us and why technology itself isn't a bad thing), Spider Robinson (on what he hopes from future technology and nanotechnology), Lewis Shiner and Larry Niven (on two competing ideas, why looking for technological solutions are a little wrongheaded, vs terraforming the Earth), Nancy Kress (on how the contradictory reports make it hard for the layman to really get a sense of how much, if any, danger there is)
Part Three: James Trefil (on how much science you need to know to understand the environmental issues), Gregory Benford (on why he feels people opposed to Nuclear Power usually aren't thinking things through). Pamela Sargent (on Terraforming, specifically terraforming Venus, and the moral issues behind it), Lois McMaster Bujold (on terraforming in Barrayar novels, and whether she thinks its too dangerous to try, and views on Nature, and whether smart is actually a survival characteristic long term), Douglas Adams (on sliding towards the edge of disaster, and whether humanity will go extinct, and his lack of despair at the idea)
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Wow, over the last week or so a whole lot of Prisoners of Gravity eps have appeared on Youtube. So, I'll do my usual link thing. Probably a couple/few a week till I catch up. I know my flist doesn't care about it, but I love this stuff and the interviews with SF authors on SF topics, so nyah.

Time Travel (December 1992)
Part One: Host Introductions and brief history of Time Travel in fiction, Interviews with L. Sprague deCamp (on Lest Darkness Fall, and inspirations for writing it, and problems in time travel of dealing with/understanding earlier versions of one's own tongue), Michael Moorcock ("Behold the Man", on why Time Travel's so compelling, and his novella/novel), John Gribbin (on the scientific plausibility of Time Travel)
Part Two: Gregory Benford (on his novel Timescape and time-reversibility of scientific equations, paradoxes), Geoffrey Landis (on drawing on Dirac's theories of time in his story Ripples in the Dirac Sea), Robert Silverberg (Ugly Little Boy/Up the Line, on the narrative choice to not go into much detail on the science, and his favorite time travel stories), Spider Robinson (on Heinlein's story "All You Zombies", full spoilers)
Part Three: Joe Haldeman (on his nebula award winning story The Hemmingway Hoax), Connie Willis (on Firewatch and Doomsday Book, and why her time travellers mess with the past, and on the perspective of future compared to the presence, plus a bit of talking about her not-at-that-point-released book To Say Nothing of the Dog)

Shared Worlds: (December 1992)
Part One: Interviews with James Morrow (on his objections to 'fiction to order' and shared worlds as literature by committee being anti-art, and yet his own contributions), C.J. Cherryh (on the shared world as a new literary form, and how the process tends to work), George R.R. Martin (on Wild Cards, and advantages/disadvantages of shared world setup and how multiple authors points of view can avoid making the author's moral views 'succeed')
Part Two: Neil Gaiman (on pitfalls of shared worlds to avoid, and how Sandman, one of his most famous works, is a shared world character he doesn't own, so how does he protect it), Fabian Nicieza (on how the X-books all fit together into one continuity. he also gets spit on), John Byrne (on keeping characters 'pure' in a shared world and correcting things you don't like in other works "right now" as opposed to waiting till they're gone, and Next Men, benefits of owning your own characters vs working on company characters), Walt Simonson (on playing in others sandboxes in comics)
Part Three: Peter David (on attractions of writing in shared worlds - Marvel, Trek, compared to the problems of being restricted in what you can do with the characters), J.M. Dillard (working on Star Trek novels, and how working with established characters is something of a 'free ride', but also restrictions), Judith and Garfield Reeve-Stevens (on writing Prime Directive, on how you maintain suspense when you know that the characters can't really be in any danger, and how you approach writing 'famous' characters), Harlan Ellison (on how he abhors shared worlds and that anyone who gets involved with them serves the devil)

Medea/Murasaki (Shared Worlds Part II) (December 1992)
Continuation of last episode: A look at two specific shared world concepts, one developed by Harlan Ellison himself, the second designed as Medea's "heir".

Part One: Origins of Medea in 1975, and the worldbuilding specs of the world, designed by the likes of Poul Anderson, Hal Clement, Larry Niven, Frederick Pohl, and others. Interviews with Harlan Ellison (on how it all started), Robert Silverberg (on receiving the specs and discussing them over dinner, and the seminar), notes about the biology of the Fuxes.
Part Two: Frank Kelly Freas (who did paintings and illustrations for the project, on the Fuxes unique life-cycle, Harlan Ellison (on choosing the last two writers after the seminar, and why only one female author was included), Kate Wilhelm (on her story for the book), Jack Williamson (on coming in late), Robert Silverberg (on writing the second-last story in the book, and forcing Harlan to write the last), Harlan Ellison (on what he thinks of Medea increasing the popularity of shared worlds). Introduction to Murasaki, designed as a fundraising effort, and some of the specs (by Pohl and Poul)
Part Three: Interviews with Frederick Pohl (on the different approaches to worldbuilding in Medea and Murasaki), David Brin (on how he got involved), Gregory Benford (on whether Murasaki is different/groundbreaking enough to warrant the effort, his arguments against the 'anti-art' argument, and failures of Murasaki), Nancy Kress (on being the only female author in Murasaki, and working with someone else's aliens), Robert Silverberg (on whether he things Murasaki lived up to Medea, and why Medea's out of print)

(Man, I wish we still had Prisoners of Gravity around).
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No comics of course. New Mutants seems to be running a little less-than-monthly, since I should have been out to get that by now, and it wasn't on the list for next week either. At this rate, it might come out along with Runaways, making it only one trip to the comic store this month.

Work was okay, though hot. Quite hot. As was the walk home. Sweat got in my eye which is always a pain.

In other news, Neil Gaiman won the Hugo for his novel The Graveyard Book, making me once again one short of having completed all the winners. DAMN YOU NEIL GAIMAN! I was actually semi-rooting for Cory Doctorow's Little Brother because I've read and enjoyed it, but Gaiman's usually a good read so I have no qualms about buying another one. The other big Hugo news for me was Whedon and Doctor Horrible's Sing-A-Long Blog winning the Hugo for best Short Form movie/tv/video

And... yes, something I've been waiting for for a while. AMC has announced that it will be adapting Robert Kirkman's comic "The Walking Dead" as a series. That's right, an ongoing zombie survival TV series. I've only read bits and pieces of the comic (I have a series interest-block on Black & White stuff), but what I've read seems pretty good. (Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] angelophile on the heads up on that) Maybe this will make up for AMC's travesty of the Prisoner. (Okay, I'm pre-judging there, which I shouldn't do. But it's so FUN! I will watch that and give it a fair chance, even if some of what I've seen does not fill me with excitement).

Found an announcement on what the 'Big Disaster' in the upcoming (midseason) series "Day One" is. Here. I dunno, normally I'd be all over that as a TV series premise, but somehow it seems less than what I'd hoped for _that_ as a series. Oh well, still probably worth a look.
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Thought at first I might not be able to go, on account of thunderstorms around noonish. However, they cleared up, and so I shambled towards the Danforth looking for Gyros like zombies shamble towards human flesh.

The shambling was due to the slight mugginess in the air despite the recent thunderstorm. Not the most pleasant. Crowd looked a bit thinner than in recent years, but possibly also because of the storm.

Anyway, my hunger was sated, and it was delicious, although it could have been saucier. I'm talking about the gyro, of course, I assume the human flesh was about its usual level of sauce.

Also enjoyed some honey balls with cinammon. I should stress once again I am not talking about human flesh. Just to be safe.

Other news, well, there's not much else. Almost finished Romana I's tenure on Who. She's not bad, maybe a tiny bit grating in the first serial but got over it quickly. Have to see about II.

Not much new in TV yet here. Checked out the first episode of Defying Gravity, which was described everywhere as "Grey's Anatomy in Space". And.... well, that about sums it up, actually. But I liked early Grey's Anatomy. Science seems a bit wonky at times but at least it's not horrifically bad. It's watchable so far, that's all I can say, and as we're still in summer dead zone for TV, watchable's good enough to keep watching.

Book Foo

Jul. 25th, 2009 03:34 pm
newnumber6: Ghostly being (Default)
Finished: Weapons of Choice, by John Birmingham

Thoughts behind the cut. Short version: Enjoyed the premise, execution was a bit dry and uninteresting at parts. Not many plot-specific spoilers ahead beyond general plot outline. Read more... ) I'd read the rest of the series but I'm not salivating over it- I'll happily wait until I find it in a used bookstore.
Started and Finished: Sunstorm, by Stephen Baxter and Arthur C. Clarke
Started: Tehanu, the Last Book of Earthsea by Ursula K. LeGuin (Nebula Winner, forgot to mention I got it Wednesday).

Thoughts on Sunstorm. Slightly spoilery for both it and the previous novel in the series, as well as for Stargate, by analogy. Short version: Okay, but a bit meh, and didn't even have the coolness of the first book. Probably would have been better off skipping it. Read more... )

Finished: Woken Furies, by Richard Morgan (reread)
Started: Ventus, by Karl Schroeder (reread)

Woken Furies is a reread, so I don't have much to say. Enjoyed it of course, and I probably will reread the series again at some point. I did make a bit of a connection to why the main character interests me, and I should have made it earlier, considering his name. (Some spoilers)Read more... )

What else is new in my life? Not a whole lot, sadly. My life is pretty stagnant. Wake up, hang around on the internet wasting time that isn't at work, just making it through one day after another. Don't go out much other than work, shopping, and occasional grocery stuff. Don't even especially feel like my old hobbies like icon-making, and most of my discussion forums have disappeared, yet I haven't found anywhere to replace them, probably because most of them are comic related and I'm down to two comics a month now, and not as excited about either as I once was. Meh.

Speaking of, working a bit again, after taking something of a break, on my Runaways Vol 3 outline, thanks to a couple positive comments that energized me a bit. May post the outlines for issues #12 to 24 in the next few weeks, rocketting me right past where the real book is now.

TVwise nothing much is on, just reality shows (so I am watching Big Brother I guess), and downloading old Who's. (And man, Global, how many times do you have to air The Unit in one week... don't you have other shows to air?). Thinking of rewatching another old series, maybe Veronica Mars, to help fill the empty hours. SDCC's on now but no news has particularly excited me. New trailer for Stargate Universe looks interesting enough, but that's about it. But still a couple days left for it.

But overall, meh. I'd say I need a life, but the truth is I probably wouldn't know what to do with it is I had one.
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Like I did for the midseason, here's my thoughts of the second half of the TV season, stretching roughly from the new year, up until now. I'll generally not be commenting on the whole season, just the second half (excepting of course shows that only debuted in the new year, etc). My criteria for inclusion is if I watched it with most of my attention, most of the time (either now, or up until the midseason point... there've been some dropoffs). There WILL be spoilers, but I'll break each show into a cut.

Prison Break: In short: Well, it's over, and ended up okay, but I still think it should have ended over half a season earlier. Read more... )

Heroes: You know how a guy being tortured to death might look over to another guy being tortured to death, but by a window, and say, "Hey, at least you have a nice view."? Well, that's sort of what the second half of S3 is like from the perspective of the first half. It's still a cluster$!@$, but it's the tiniest bit better. Read more... )

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (cancelled, sadly): Short version: Second half of the season started very very poorly, but got kickass at the end. I'll miss it. Read more... )

Lost: Complete season ran in this half, so let's discuss it. Short version: Quite liked it. One of the few cases of a show that's picked up from a couple bad seasons and has gotten better, and, what's more, gone from a show that started with limited SF influence (a couple hints here and there in the first season), to one that is definately all out SF. Read more... )

Dollhouse (new show): Short version: Started poorly, and still probably Whedon's weakest show, but it did pick up. Read more... )

House: This is kinda episodic, so there's not much to say. Short version: The big development shortly after the midseason started, although full of emotional play that made for a good few episodes surrounding it, can't help but lower my interest for the show. Read more... )

Criminal Minds: (cut and pasted from the midseason review since it still applies) Another episodic show. I don't even know why I like it, especially since the awesome Inigo Montoya (that's his name for me from now on) left, but I still mildly enjoy it. No spoilers, no cut. Still enjoying it, maybe because it's my only real 'serial killer crime' show I watch.

Bones: Another show I watch more by circumstances than choice - it's on, nothing else is, and I like it enough to watch it regularly so long as nothing conflicts. I kind of like the way they use rotating assistants, which allows for a variety of different fun characters they use again. Otherwise, the show's okay.

Supernatural: Short version: Mixed, not feeling the arc so much but still enjoy the series. Don't really like a lot of the big developments this year and don't expect that'll change next year.
Read more... )


The Office: Not much to say here. Why? Because I stopped watching it. Not a deliberate act, but it conflicted with Supernatural and somewhere along the way I just stopped bothering to look for episodes online. It was my last half hour comedy show, and now it's gone. Since half the fun of watching it is the ongoing plotlines that don't mean much in isolation, I don't even know if it's worth watching reruns,since they'll skip episodes. *shrug*.

Stargate Atlantis (ended): There were only two episodes left at the end of my midseason review, so it still technically qualifies for this. And those last two episodes were pretty good. Not great, but enjoyable. Still I'm more looking forward to Stargate Universe than I am to an Atlantis movie. They had a good run, but if it ended there I'd be okay with it. (Whereas SG1, I'd still be very disappointed if we never got anymore)

Doctor Who (Planet of the Dead only): I don't have a lot to say about it, I think I already did a post about it. In retrospect, a decent stand-alone episode. Not great, not horribly bad and full of stupid, but almost completely forgettable. In fact, aside from the companion and the general thrust of the plot, I'm having trouble remembering anything about it at all. Can't wait till RTD's gone.

Doctor Who (classic): I finished my run on Sarah Jane Smith some time ago, and just recently finished the Leela run. Short: I quite liked Leela. But the Doctor's a bit of a jerk. Read more... )

Wolverine and the X-Men: Short version: Still pretty enjoyable. Not up to Evolution enjoyability yet, and too much focus on Wolvie, but fun. Read more... )

Spectacular Spider-Man: Watched S2 in this midseason arc, and you know... I think I'm going to call it. This is now the best of the Spider-Man cartoons ever. Read more... )

Battlestar Galactica: All I have to say about this I've said before. It jumped the shark with the final five. Sure, they did a couple cool things with it, but on the whole it's left me a little cold this year, and a very poor ending.

The Listener (new show): There's very little new SF out there, so I wanted to give a new one a chance. This is a Canadian show picked up in the US during the writer's strike. And, you can tell it's Canadian... because it's crap! Okay, not really, but it's a little lame, overearnest, and not all that great. Read more... ). I officially gave it a chance and I am done with it.

I think that's about it. If there are any other shows you know I watch (or wonder if I watch) that I left out, feel free to comment and I'll let you know what I think.
newnumber6: (lasers)
Damn, just heard that the local Tori Stafford case was solved and, well, it's the worst case scenario. Man. I was kinda hoping, since it was presumed that a woman led her away, that it was one of those freaky, "I want my own kid" situations, which is good in the sense that the kid may be treated okay or maybe even a ransom. But no. Some messed up people in the world.

Anyway, no comics today, but work was okay. Came on time and not too heavy, so I got out pretty early. A bit warm though, and hungry now.

Oh, and I am amused by small and immature things sometimes. At the local large chain grocery store, I was checking out the flyer to see if they had any good deals. One of the advertised special, was those little dried-soup-in-a-cup, selected varieties. Except, the sample picture of it proudly proclaimed C*CK FLAVOUR (no censoring, and of course, meaning chicken). Now, since there are presumably multiple varieties, somebody had to have said specifically, "Okay, for the sample pick, we're going to use this variety." It gave me a giggle, anyway.

And just a brief rant. Now, I generally don't agree with the Conservative Party (of Canada, which is still usually less conservative than the US one) on issues. But there's one thing that inspires my rage in them like nothing else - their ads. Specifically, their negative campaign ads. THERE'S NOT EVEN A $#!!ING ELECTION SCHEDULED. STOP PLAYING YOUR ADS SLAMMING THE LIBERAL LEADER REPEATEDLY. We get enough of that crap during an election. You might have had a fair point had you played them then, but now all I get when I see the ads is more hatred for you.

And while I'm on a rant, is it just me, or have the standards of Lucky Charms fallen in recent years? Before, the rainbow mushroom actually looked a little like a rainbow, like it does on the box. Now, it's just a rainbow shaped marshmallow with either random splatterings of cover, or with horizontal bands of color rather than arcs, so it doesn't really look like a rainbow at all. Is a little pride and craftsmanship in the field of mass-produced tiny consumer marshmallows too much to ask?

On to TV and other entertainment media. Since it's nearing the end of the season, I've been saving my thoughts on show episodes for my big 'end of year wrapup'. So I'll just talk about Renewals and Cancellations. Old news to most, but I haven't posted about it.
The good news: Dollhouse is renewed. A bit surprising, actually, but good on them. I hope, if nothing else, this will cause the kneejerk FOX-haters to reconsider their "I will never watch anything on FOX because they don't support good genre shows" (they follow the money, and approve more genre shows than most, and in some cases, like this, where the ratings do not support renewal, they STILL give it another shot? What more do you ask? Especially when you won't watch the shows they put out.). It has gotten a lot better since the first ep, although I don't think it'll ever be a favorite.

A couple other renewals of course, but nothing I personally care about all that much that wasn't already pretty well certain.

Now the bad news. In comics, Captain Britain and MI13 is coming to an end, which will bring my monthly list back down to 2 (it went up to three when New Mutants started. Runaways is the other one). That's sad, it was a pretty fun comic. How can you not like a comic with Dracula living on the moon and launching an assault on Britain using ships that shoot vampires?! Bah, people have no taste.
Also cancelled, officially although most of us knew it was coming, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Damnit. I say again, Damnit. Seriously, I would have traded Dollhouse for Sarah Connor in the cancellation stakes in a heartbeat. I also would have traded all those shows I don't watch that were bubbled and saved. Sorry, fans of those shows for my hypothetical callousness. Anyway, Dollhouse would likely have been the only theoretical 'if only one could be saved' situation might have existed. Dollhouse, I enjoyed, and would have liked to see where it went, but I really WANTED to see how SCC would have dealt with their cliffhanger, and of course more Cameron and all the issues there. But at the same time I can't entirely blame Fox, based on the ratings. Frankly, I'm surprised they got the back end of Season 2 pickup, and I'm thankful for that, because at least they ended strongly (albeit on a cliffhanger) than on the weak stretch of eps that made up mid-S2. And of course I won't hold the cancellation against Dollhouse. How could I?

Oh, and speaking (a ways back) of Runaways, I had a Runaways-related dream. All I could remember was a) We were running cross country, I think in something like the Steinbus instead of the much cooler Leapfrog.
b) Chase had a girlfriend who was rather cool but not really connected to the Runaways, and he broke up with her on the way and we left her behind.
c) Klara was running a three-card-monte style game (can't remember the specifics, but it was some sort of gambling-related 'cheat the unsuspecting') to help earn money, but was secretly thinking of leaving the group and not meeting at the rendezvous we'd set up.
d) The only actually Runaways to appear were Chase, Klara, and Molly, with the dream 'set' sometime in the future after the rest had been rotated out, I think. Which is odd because if I was going to rotate out, Klara would be an early choice.

I guess Runaways dreams will happen when you have Runaways plot-bunnies running through your thoughts regularly. Seriously, it's getting out of hand. In my idle times I've been noodling around a sort of 'what I'd do with if I took over the book after Whedon's run/the Secret Invasion crossover' (I ignored Moore's and beyond, not only because I'm not all that happy with it but because I need a specific break or I never get anywhere beyond updating my plans because of whatever happens in the book). I've got decently fleshed out 3 arcs with loose plans for something like 6 or 7 beyond that, creating subplots, new supporting characters/recurring and/or one-shot villains/initiative members, and long term character arcs for everybody. Bah. The world will never know the genius of MONOK (Mental Organism Now Opposed To Killing), an attempt by an AIM offshoot to recreate MODOK, thwarted when he converted to the Mormon faith and joined the Utah initiative! (The Runaways have to pass through Utah on their way back since when we left off they were still in New York). And that's only one of many ideas! Okay, it's silly, but I have fun with such things.
newnumber6: Ghostly being (Default)
Finished: Lady of Mazes, by Karl Schroeder (reread)
Started: The Algebraist, by Iain M. Banks

It's a reread, so I don't really have extended comments, but it does reread very well, and I expect I'll be reading it again sooner or later.

Finished: Altered Carbon, by Richard Morgan (reread)
Started: The State of the Art, by Iain M. Banks (novella + short stories)

Another reread that works pretty well. This time around as I was rereading it part of my mind was attempting to see it almost as a movie script - determining
what to keep, what to cut, how to depict certain aspects. I actually think it could work pretty well as a movie.

Don't think I mentioned before, but I also watched the Caprica pilot. Not bad, maybe a bit slow at spots, but it has some potential there, and deals with a number of my favorite SF themes more directly, it seems, than BSG did. So we'll see when the series comes out.

Had a dream the other night where I was in the future, trying to find information on a digital plague that destroyed the world's computers in 2010. I wanted to get an anti-virus protocol that would stop it. Anyway, it was something like 500 years in the future, but the only real hi-tech I saw was that escalators, if you started to go up the down escalator (or vice versa) and nobody else was on it, would automatically change direction. Most people in the future had no idea (and one of the people I asked was Deadpool, who had lived all this time since then, but he couldn't remember it or much of that century), but I finally found somebody right as I was about to be pulled back to the present (my trip was time dependant) and he started downloading the information into a USB key. Then somebody knocked at the door and somehow I knew it was a killer, after me, sort of a Terminator but not a robot. It burst through the door and shot different people in the room (including Deadpool), but I grabbed the USB key and disappeared back into the present with it, at which point I woke up. Then a little later I dreamed I was touring a house somebody won on the Price is Right, for some reason. Pretty wide range there in imaginative dreaming.
newnumber6: (rotating2)
First, Happy Birthday [livejournal.com profile] geomant!

Secondly, I just want to rant a bit on Heroes, season finale last night. Major spoilers behind cut.

Read more... )
newnumber6: (lasers)
No comic day of course, as it seems I only pick up comics every other week.

Work was okay.

In other news, today was the day. It comes once a year. Children around the world look forward to it. Well, okay, not the last one, unless my life is a lot weirder than I expected. It's... Haircut Day. Yes, I got my annual haircut (I like my hair longish during the winter for warmth, short during the summer for coolness). No pictures though, you'll just have to imagine.

In other other news, remember way back when my old new computer died and I had to get a new one? Well, left wondering all that time was the status of my data, which existed on a HD that was dying and possibly precipitated the total death of the computer. Anyway, I finally got an IDE External HDD enclosure (late B-Day gift), so I could connect that drive to my new computer through USB. It's very slow, chiefly because, every once in a while, the drive decides it'll go to sleep for an hour or two and not transmit any data at all (when it's working well it's a little slow but a respectable speed). And sometimes it just doesn't recognize it at all. But I eventually got the most critical stuff copied over, and am now slowly copying over the non-essentials (the "yeah, I could probably download this again but it'd be a pain to find it all and remember what I had and why" stuff), and then I will perform an autopsy, reclaim the vital internal organs, and give the HD its final rest. Technically even if I couldn't recover data off it it wasn't that big a deal, I'd already backed up the essential stuff some months back, on my old old computer. About what I would have lost is something like 5 months worth of the writing I did on the old new computer (but I do most of my writing on my old old computer so that wasn't much), and maybe a couple passwords.

However, my new computer came close to getting me evicted! Well, and my own stupidity. See, yesterday we got a notice from the landlord company, basically saying the rent cheque bounced and we had 24 hours to give them a money order or they'd start eviction proceedings. As it turned out, I'd forgotten to deposit my paycheck at the end of the last month (actually, my last two). I thought I had enough money to cover it regardless, but as it turned out, I had just _slightly_ less. As in, 'much less than the cost of my computer', so if I didn't have to buy one of those a couple months back, it really would have been fine. Embarassing, but, ah well, one rushed trip to the bank later and it got sorted out.

And, Book Foo. 3-for-1 special! Or technically 4-4-1 special.

Finished: Chasm City, by Alastair Reynolds
Started: Altered Carbon, by Richard K. Morgan (Reread)

So I didn't much care for Revelation Space, the first novel by Alastair Reynolds. But I figured, it was his first novel, maybe I'll give him another chance. Short version: Not bad. Wouldn't be one of my favorites, but I liked it enough that I'm more willing to try more books by him. I don't really have much in the way of long or spoilery comments, though.

Finished: Shadow and Claw, The First Half of the Book of the New Sun by Gene Wolfe

This actually counts as two books, "Shadow of the Torturer" and "Claw of the Concilliator", which were, I believe, originally published separately. However, it's also clear that they're all intended to be part of one book. Still, I'm counting it as two, mostly because I didn't much care for it. I can see skill there, but it falls into that category of "Not My Thing". (Minor spoilers beyond, mostly just furthur thoughts) Read more... ) Anyway, Claw of the Conciliator part was a Nebula Award winner which means I had to read it eventually. I probably won't finish it though, unless I happen to find the next parts really cheap.

Started and Finished: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith
Started: Lady of Mazes, by Karl Schroeder (reread)

We all know the plot of PaPaZ, at least in broad strokes. It's mostly Pride and Prejudice, but with zombies. And 'mostly Pride and Prejudice' is, for good or ill, truly what it was. I think after reading this I can satisfy myself that Jane Austen also falls into the category of "not my thing". I can certainly see how other people, people who are not me, can really dig it, but it leaves me cold. Zombies were the only thing that could have gotten me to read it at all. I will be talking more specifically about how they managed the introduction of that element, and so that may count as spoilers, behind the cut, but for my 'short version', I will only need two lines. The first of which is exactly the same as what my review would probably be for Pride and Prejudice. The other is likely not. The two line review: "Needed more zombies. Also, (and I cannot believe I am typing this) needed fewer ninjas." Read more... ) So although I didn't much enjoy reading it, I did get it for free and am kinda happy I own it, as a conversation piece if nothing else, if I was the type who had conversations with people or indeed had people over at all. Actually, one of the best parts of the book were the tongue-in-cheek "discussion questions" at the end, which might be perfect if your book club wound up choosing it, [livejournal.com profile] locker_monster. ;)

And finally, most of the TV rumor mills are saying Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles is dead. I'll wait until official word from somebody involved before losing all my hope, but if its true, I can't say it was unexpected, although it really is too bad. It had a weak middle of the season, but it picked up significantly and I really wanted to see where they'd go from where they left off. It'll probably the show I miss most of this year's cancellations (including likely or even possible cancellations). You know, sooner or later, somebody's going to move a series from TV, and, upon cancellation, take the risk and become a DVD-only TV series. Not a series of DVD movies like Stargate, but an actual series with different episodes. Somebody's gotta be the first. And it'll probably be a SF series that does it. I wish it would be this one, but I doubt it. Oh well, if it does end up here, at least it frees up Summer Glau to play Ninja Ballerina (shut up, I live in my own little fantasy world, the rent's cheap and I have an in with the landlord).

I don't even really blame Fox this time around, because, for whatever reason (and again, I can't blame Fox), the ratings just sunk after a phenomenal premiere. I guess it just wasn't everybody's tastes in a Terminator series. We were lucky to get a full second season at all.
newnumber6: Ghostly being (Default)
I'll start with TV. SCC was pretty good this week. I'm going to miss the series when it's gone, as I'm feeling is likely (but not officially confirmed yet, so I hope I'm wrong), despite the big, sudden events in this ep. Dollhouse has also been getting better. It's still nowhere near as good as any of Whedon's other shows, but I find myself watching it as opposed to leaving it on in the background while I do something else.

And found another episode of Prisoners of Gravity. I know none of you care but I do, helps me if I want to find a particular interview later.

This one's on Children in SF & Fantasy.

Part 1: General introduction, John Clute on stories about children and adolescents in general in SF and the SF as 'right of passage' (and the actual book by that title). Kristine-Kathryn Rusch on why SF has so few child characters compared to fantasy, the host lists some examples of kids in SF.
Part 2: (mostly) Kids in Fantasy. Mercedes Lackey on how much she draws on her own childhood to write kids, and the life of kids in medieval times. Robert Holdstock (the Bone Forest) on why he likes writing from the child's perspective, Jane Yolen on the difference between writing about children vs writing for children, and rules for writing for kids. Nancy Kress back on the topic of the lack of children in SF.
Part 3: Nancy Kress again on how having kids affected her view of the world. Other SF writers on how kids have affected their writing careers (Gwyneth Jones, Esther Friesner, Pat Cadigan). More general interview with Monica Hughes (of the Isis Trilogy): how she started writing SF for children, inspiration for the Isis Trilogy, and whether she feels she's competing with the more commercialized entertainment for children.

Speaking of children in SF/Fantasy, writing update. Really, it's mostly been slogging it again. I haven't felt particularly inspired about anything recently. However, while I was exhausted of writing one of the things I was writing on last, I still had words to write for the week and went to an old story, one of my longer unfinished novel-like works. Read more... )

Anyay, I think the reason I still have the lack of writing-excitedness is I'm still in my winter depression, despite the fact that it's spring. I don't really feel much like _anything_ except the occasional fancy that strikes me. You're supposed to go away now, thanks! Oh well, at least I seem to have shaken that cold (or series of colds) that've been dogging me for months.

And since this post is going to be using the canadiana tag anyway, just for an idle bit of fun. A number of my friends have mentioned the Law and Order: UK series. So, as is my wont, I began to think about Law and Order: Canada. So a Canadiana Challenge for any Canadians on my flist who want to participate (either in comments or your own journal). Cast a Law and Order Canada. The rules:
Read more... )

Finally, I think I'll talk about the biggest of my recent timesinks lately. As you may remember, I got a new new computer recently. Now, my old new computer was rather old, and so I couldn't really play much in the way of games on it (I still have my old old computer, but it's pretty much just for web browsing my favorite sites, writing, and e-mail). I think the newest (non flash or simple puzzle) game I played on it was Planescape Torment. Or maybe Black and White. Whichever was newest. But now I can actually play new games. And, as it turned out, my brother had a copy of Fallout 3. So, I've been playing that. It's a post apocalyptic semi-RPG, semi-shooter. And it's reasonably fun. I think I'm about halfway through the main quest, but there are so many side quests I keep getting distracted with. I'm playing Good, because, well, I find it hard to play evil. I even started a new character to play evil for a while and whenever I tried to choose the evil conversation options I thought, "I don't want to say that, that's mean!". Not to mention things like blowing up a whole town.
Anyway, the game is fun but there are some annoyances, like characters who you just finished talking to a few seconds ago, asking you if you're back from the assignment they _just_ sent you on. And unrealistic things like where you see something happening, go away, do something else for a few days of game time, come back, and the people you left are all pretty much doing the exact same thing, as though no time had passed for them. Which got me thinking. What if you made a game that made use of that failing as a game mechanic, much like Planescape: Torment did with dying and respawning. And continued thinking and came up with a general plot sketch:
Read more... ) In conclusion, I should totally write for video games!! Anyway, given that games play with time a lot, and how little I'm 'plugged in' to gaming news, I wouldn't be surprised if somebody already did something much like that. But it amused me anyway.

In comics, Marvel's announced Dark X-Men with a lineup of mostly people not usually in X-books, and continuing Marvel beating the adjective Dark into the ground. Personally, I'm waiting for Dark Runaways, with a returned Alex leading Topher (brought back to life for Dracula's war effort), Excavator, Penance/Hollow, and an alternate universe Squirrel Girl where she's a master thief who stole Doctor Doom's universe-travelling gear, her killer giant mutant squirrel Monkey Joe, and Mordred the Magician who's astrally inhabiting the body of Lotus, who accidentally summoned him. Or not. Anyway, although the lineup (of Dark X-Men) is kinda-sorta interesting in parts, I'm not bothering and can't wait until Marvel unDarks everything.

I think that's it for today. I do have a few memes saved up I need to get to but this is getting a bit long so I'll save them for a bit later.

Edit: Weird, while I was looking up the link to my review of Planescape: Torment, I stumbled on this post, from 2006, where (among other things), I relate a dream, that seems to be the general concept of (the most recent) New Warriors, combined with the title of Young X-Men. Marvel, are you reading my journal and stealing my ideas and making them crappier? Or reading my dreams?

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