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: Ghostly being (Default)
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.

Book Foo

Jun. 28th, 2009 12:24 pm
newnumber6: Ghostly being (Default)
Finished: The Yiddish Policeman's Union, by Michael Chabon

Short version, I thought it was quite well written, with beautiful flowing language, but on the whole it's just not my kind of thing. Minor spoilers behind the cut. Read more... )

Started and Finished: The Player of Games, by Iain M. Banks (reread)
Started: Weapons of Choice, by John Birmingham

It's a reread, of course, so no real detailed comments. It's enjoyable, but I think it loses a bit on the reread, and feels a little more like it could be a long short story rather than a full novel.

Finished: Broken Angels by Richard K. Morgan (reread)
Started: Woken Furies, by Richard K. Morgan (reread)

So continuing my rereading of the Kovacs saga. It's interesting, I find the character strangely compelling, even though he's normally the sort I find boring. The first book is still the best, but there's enough in the other ones to be entertained, even on a reread.

I also of course watched Doctor Horrible's Sing-A-Long Blog on DVD. And, finally, all the extra features, including Commentary! The Musical. The short verdict: I was impressed by the things I wasn't expected to be, and less than impressed by the things I expected to love. Slight 'spoilery' comments behind the cut.
Read more... )

I still have my "Wrap-up of the second half of all the year's TV" review to do, but I'm almost finished Leela's time in my old school Doctor Who watching (doing an ep of Invasion of Time right now), so I'll wait till I've done that and throw that in there.
newnumber6: (rotating2)
This week I got one book:

Captain Britain and MI13 #14 (one of the best issues of the title, rousing and fun. Wish it wasn't getting cancelled)

Full reviews as usual at my comic reviews site for anyone interested.

I also finally did it. I bought Doctor Horrible's Sing-A-Long Blog, the DVD. Now that it's no longer amazon exclusive (me, lacking a credit
card and they, not liking paypal, do not get along). While I was on my way to work from the comic store I stopped into an HMV, specifically to
look for it, and lo and behold, they had it in their New Releases shelf, and for only $12.99. Since the online places I checked earlier had it
for $19.99 (plus shipping), that pretty much settled that. I will soon be sitting down to watch it while I eat my dinner. Expect the songs running through my head for the next few weeks.

Oh, and I noticed that President's Choices has a few new potato chip flavours, so I was weak and bought them. There's Baby Back Ribs, and "Greek" (Feta, oregano, and olive oil).
newnumber6: (rotating2)
So, the computer's still doing well. Haven't got an IDE enclosure yet to attempt to restore my old data, but I'm making slow progress on getting my other stuff up to speed or better than up to speed. For example, now I don't need to watch TV, sitting in my uncomfortable chair with dollar store earphones in my ears! My old PC had an internal speaker that was good for watching, this one doesn't. Luckily my brother had recently upgraded his speakers (he's one of you 'tunie' freaks who listens to 'music' for 'pleasure', and so the quality matters to him... weirdos) and still had the old ones around. With some kajiggering that left me completely soundless for a while (oops), I managed to get 'em up and working.

So, what have I been watching lately? Well, the Dead Like Me direct to DVD sequel-movie "Life After Death", for one. (some spoilers)Read more... )

Wolverine and the X-Men wasn't bad this week, though a bit low on the funny. And a NM cameo!

Terminator... From what I understand, the show has slipped severely in the ratings its first week out on the Friday Death Slot, so I'm not optomistic about it surviving another year. And judging by the last couple eps, I'm not as broken up as I would. I dunno, the writing seems to be getting more and more stilted (spoilers ahoy) Read more... )

And speaking of Friday night deathslots, Dollhouse. Dollhouse, Dollhouse, Dollhouse. I'm not feeling it. It's slightly enjoyable. I mean, I think I could really dig a hypothetical third season where (slight spoilers and longer discussion of the show ahead)Read more... ) So I'm thinking this is a slight misfire for Joss. I _almost_ wish it gets cancelled so that he can move on to doing something else awesome. But I won't add any bad wishes to it. I'll still watch but I don't think it'll be must-see for me anymore.

BSG I'm still worried has lost the plot. They're at the stage where people seem to be changing their minds and allegiences suddenly for no good reason, and (spoilers for most recent) Read more... )

Lost has been fairly enjoyable... not super exciting, but good.

What's up other than TV? Not a whole lot. My Dad, who's been out of work about two months or so, got a new job that pays much more than his previous ones, + benefits, so that's nice.

Writing-wise I should be on a writing cycle this week, but since I lost my last weekend trying to sort out my computer and otherwise not being able to enjoy myself much until I got the new one, I'm taking this one off, from my normal metered writing at least. I find I need a certain amount of unproductiveness and I lost that. However, I'm not abandoning writing entirely, I've just decided to work on unproductive writing and dipping my toe into fanfic for the first time in quite a while. Specifically, Runaways fanfic (well, sorta a crossover), set between the Secret Invasion mini and the 1st issue of vol 3. I may not actually get past the outlining stage (since for some reason I can't write comic fanfic as prose, I have to structure it as though I'm actually writing a comic script), but at least unlike my other Runaways ideas (like the What I'd Do With one, even though my ideas have moved far beyond what I have in that one entry) it's unlikely my ideas can become incompatible with the real storylines, I can actually work on it slowly without the fear that I should chuck it all into the 'why bother, it's not even theoretically possible anymore' bin. Shrug.
newnumber6: (comics)
Gateworld has an interview with Ben Browder, mostly general history and a little on the series he's working on developing (as a writer), a bit on Farscape and Stargate and his semi-acting rivalry with Nathan Fillion.

Also of interest, to Stargate Altantis fans, one of the producers gave a breakdown of what episodes the 6th season might have had, if it had gotten one. Apparently they were far enough along that they had ideas, even if many were ideas that couldn't fit in the previous year. Some potential spoilers, in that any of the elements there might be reused, and they say some might be factors in the SG:A DVD movie. Most interesting is, to me, (spoilers just for Atlantis finale, not for the future) Read more... )

Also related: Joseph Mallozzi's "Best 4 SG:A Episodes I never got to write". Somewhat more detailed.

A couple of the (collective) episodes sound kinda cool and I'm a little disappointed we'll never get to see them. Also they had some ideas I've had, too, proving once again, I should TOTALLY write for Stargate! ;) Anyway, I wish I could tap into parallel worlds sometimes just so I could see all these 'what might have beens!'. Or Nathan Fillion as John Crichton in Farscape!)

Speaking of Fillion, remember Doctor Horrible's Sing-A-Long Blog? Well, Whedon has said that it will continue in some form, but he's not sure what the form is. It may not be an internet series anymore. I dunno, I'm in as long as it's not a "I'll continue it as a comic book!", because it has to stay a musical! ;)

Anyway, talking with [livejournal.com profile] locker_monster the other day, I mentioned off-handedly that they should get Summer Glau in the sequel, and make use of her trained ballerina skills. The idea was good for a few seconds of amusement, but it also stuck with me and came to me this morning before I left for work. And I have a longish (45 minute or so) walk to work, in which it's generally too dark to read, so my mind tends to latch on any old thing and work on it. I came up with the idea of having all of Doctor Horrible's major enemies being Firefly actors. Yes, I know it's unlikely and impractical he'd ever do anything like it, but amusing (to me, which is all that counts).

So, the product of my thinking on the way to work (and a little bit after), behind the cut. It's just silly fluff, but might be worth a chuckle. I present to you: the heroic counterparts to the Evil League of Evil!

Read more... )

Edit: Oh yeah, and Doc Horrible fans in Canada, apparently the glitches with Canadian distribution are over and you should be able to reorder from amazon.ca.

Edit2: Although technically my Doctor Horrible ideas isn't a "What I'd Do With..." entry, I'm adding the tag anyway because it's related and it'll make it easier to find it again when I want to reread it. Yes, I like rereading my own ideas, I'm lame.
newnumber6: (chase)
Panel report on the Dr. Horrible Panel at Comicon, linked because, really, any panel with Fillion and Whedon is hilarious even if you're just reading their banter second hand and not hearing it. (Plus, more details than you probably wanted to know about "The Hammer", and how to apply to join the Evil League of Evil and be on the DVD)

Review on the latest Stargate Atlantis episode, "Broken Ties". Some spoilers. Overall.. a bit meh. Boring plot and one thing that really annoyed me. Read more... )

I also finally tracked down a torrent for Livewires, one of the entries from Marvel's Tsunami imprint (the same one that launched Runaways which... is pretty well the only surviving book of that, I think). I actually was going to buy it but I couldn't find it in my comic store or any bookstores, so I resorted to... magic, to acquire the scans. Ah well, I suppose at this point there was 0 chance my buying it actually affects more Livewires ever being produced. It was fairly enjoyable, actually. Maybe a _little_ too fast paced in terms of plot vs development, and a little too full of gimmicky dialog, but some really cool concepts and ideas explored, and I found myself liking the characters and wanting to see them again. And hey, I love stories dealing with AIs/AI rights and their interactions with humanity, so how did I miss this the first time? (Well, possibly because my love for AIs has grown quite a lot in recent years, and wasn't nearly so high when it came out). Plus, it's got me plotting Livewires/Runaways crossover fic in my head.
newnumber6: Ghostly being (Default)
So, what's been going on in my life? Not a whole lot. Same job, same thing day after day, in a rut and can't even see any end to it. Meh. No, I haven't seen any of the latest movies because I'm lame and don't really go to them. So, random stuff.

We may be getting a kitten (by we, I mean more the roommates who will be taking care of it mostly, I'll just be giving it occasional scritches). We already have an older cat.

Been writing some, of course, and actually more than I've been before... even on my 'off' weeks I've usually been writing a fair bit. Right now still working on a novel-length work on my on weeks and a comic project on my off.

What else. TV I guess. Since it's summer, I've resumed my watching of Old School Doctor Who. On Terror of the Zygons, which features the Brigadier in a kilt!

Doctor Horrible concluded. Spoilery thoughts behind cut. Read more... )

Watched Stargate Atlantis, but it was the kind of forgettable, 'we sort of have to do this set of character beats to get where we need to go next' type episode, and wasn't really memorable at all.

More annoying commercials. Wendy's is the offender again, with more tortured logic. Previously, we examined their analogy about cows coming from Antarctica, which really suggests that they believe they should serve their burgers raw. This time, though, they say "If chicken is good, and salad is good, then doesn't that make our chicken salad... good good?" No. I will demonstrate. "Gravy is good. Ice cream is good. So, logically, ICE CREAM COVERED WITH GRAVY, IS GOOD GOOD!". This all assumes 'good good' is a term at all.

Speaking of commercials, am I the only one disturbed that the Lucky Charms Leprechaun can now apparently CONTROL TIME? KILL IT NOW, BEFORE IT'S UNSTOPPABLE. Anyway, also disturbing, but for a different reason, here's a knife that will freeze your internal organs and make you explode when you get stabbed with it.

I had a dream where I was a time traveller back in the old West (specifically, Deadwood), and somebody said "Cool!" and so I suspected they were another time traveller, so I said something was "awesome" (explaining for the others involved that I merely meant literally inspiring of awe), to get his attention, and we later got together and confirmed that we were both time travellers. He was a historian, trying to find out what happened. *shrugs*.

And finally, the latest LJdickery... they announce "We're bringing back Basic Accounts", and make everybody happy, but you have to go to another community to see the truth - they're 'bringing them back', but they're going back on their word furthur by putting ads on them. Which means they're not actually bringing them back at all, they're removing them, and giving the name to something else. It's like "Due to popular demand, we're bringing back our vegetarian burger!" And then hiding somewhere, "Our vegetarian burgers will now all be made from beef". If you really, absolutely had to do crap like breaking the original promise and adding ads to basic accounts to survive as a business, you could earn a lot more of my respect by doing it honestly instead of constantly pulling bait and switch crap like this.
newnumber6: (rotating2)
No comics today because there was only one book on my list, and, well, I was not taking a 2 hour detour on a super hot day to pick up the first issue of a miniseries written by the one man who demonstrated his last time out that he should never be writing that character. So I'll pick up the issue next week (under the 'buy the first issue to show there is demand for the character, don't buy the rest to show that that writer should not be doing it' theory), along with the couple other books I'm getting.

Watched Act I of Doctor Horrible's Sing-A-Long Blog the other day, and of course, was quite entertaining.

And haha, you've gotta be kidding me. I now can't even access Newsarama's FRONT PAGE without javascript turned on? Man, Imaginova really killed you. Oh well, goodbye Newsarama, I get most of my comic news from CBR now anyway, now I won't even bother to visit.
newnumber6: Ghostly being (Default)
This week I got three books:

New Warriors #13 (meh, okay)
Runaways #30 (My pick of the week, some interesting tweaks to the status quo)
Secret Invasion Runaways/Young Avengers #1 (reasonably fun)

Full reviews as usual at my comic reviews site for anyone interested.

I also noticed the bookstore I got my giftcards at for my birthday/xmas was having a 'buy 3 books, get the 4th free'... not _that_ great a deal, but still, better than nothing. So I used up one of them and got:
Queen of Mazes, by Karl Schroeder
A Meeting at Corvallis by S.M. Stirling
Iron Sunrise, by Charles Stross
and
Camouflage, by Joe Haldeman (Nebula Award Winner).

Work was okay, but a bit later than usual and so got home later than I'd like, both hot, tired (from the long walk), and hungry (I wanted to stop at a Taco Bell and see if I could take advantage of Phillip Ontakos, but alas, none is ever in my path when I need one. :P). However, on the way home I did pass a strip club with "Hulk was filmed here" on the marquee (outside). You can see the one in the trailer, when the two monsters are rushing each other in the streets and you see a big Zanzibar sign in the background. I just found it was amusing that they were advertising that.

In other news, I'm reasonably pleased with myself writing wise this month. Not only have I met my writing quotas for on-weeks, but I've also _edited_ a significant amount on my off-weeks. Pretty much every day this month that would have been a writing day on an on-week has become an editing day on an off-week. Okay, sure, I may not have done as much as I would have liked on each day, but I've done a chunk that I can at least be mildly pleased with. So yay me. I think I'm also getting a little better at identifying exactly what about particular passages that doesn't sound right - before it was usually sort of a vague unease, that the words didn't flow as I wanted them to, but wasn't sure exactly what to fix. So I think I'm getting a little better at it. Yay me x2.

In TV news, well, there's Doctor Who, and... well, unlike a lot of people on my flist, I didn't much care for the latest episode. Like a lot of RTD's work, it was only okay. Well-acted, certainly. A few good moments, undoubtably. But on the whole it didn't do much for me - the basic plot has been used many times in SF (and even non SF) and, really, not done terribly innovatively here. The reason why it happened (both the sci-fi reason and the more human reason behind the title) didn't reall work well for me, nor did I see why certain elements of the resolution should work (which seemed to boil down to 'just because we need that'). There's also a lot in the episode that, because it's a tease for big events that the finale will handle, I have to hold in abeyance before I decide whether they were handled well or terribly in this episode. Midnight was much better.

Also watched the S5 premiere of Stargate Atlantis, which I watched early by... let's say 'magic'. It was also okay, but a little more on the enjoyable side. Kind of a lot there that I expected to happen, but Stargate's the kind of show that it's fun to follow along even with that. Still, one thing really bugged me (fairly minor spoiler, but cut anyway) Read more... )

Oh, and a teaser from Doctor Horrible's Sing-A-Long Blog (the Joss Whedon mini-musical with Nathan Fillion and Neil Patrick Harris), if you haven't seen it yet.
newnumber6: (rotating2)
So let's start with the TV, shall we? Doctor Who was a better episode this week with a trip to the past, and Donna's doing a good job as the Doctor's Companion. Though I do kind of wish we'd get a story set in a historical time period that _doesn't_ deal with some alien plot to destroy or take over the world, or really deal with aliens at all. I know they're the bread and butter of Who, but I'd like to see one that _just_ dealt with the history, with some of the drama being involved in being swept up in events, maybe being killed in the middle of a war, etc. Hell, I'd kind of like the same in a future story too. BSG also worked out better, with some odd developments on the cylons that were kind of cool, but (minor spoilers ahead) Read more... )

In other news about the old Televisual system, Amy Acker has joined the cast of Whedon's Dollhouse, so there's another alum of his old shows. You know when he finds someone he likes he likes using them again. There's still no official word on the renewal of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, but TV guide lists it as a 9 on "chances to return out of 1-10" and pointed out that apparently they've been adding to the production staff, so that's good to hear. I just wish they'd make it official. John Shiban's taking up a showrunning position on another series (Wizard's First Rule) which I suspect means he may be leaving Supernatural or having less of an involvement, which I only mention because there are some SN fans on my flist who might be interested. Also Ron Moore and Michael Taylor (of BSG) have a SF pilot greenlit for FOX. Let's hope it works out better than their last series, the Bionic Woman. Here's how it, Virtuality, is described: "(A) sci-fi drama which follows 12 astronauts who are sent on a 10-year journey to find a distant solar system. The explorers pass the time by hooking up to advanced virtual reality modules to explore self-created worlds. But they discover someone has downloaded a computer bug into the system -- and one of them may be the saboteur." You know, I kind of dig the description? It sounds like they're making it a Slower-Than-Light travel SF series, which is good, and as long as the virtual reality element is handled well it could be quite cool. I'm in for it. I know a lot of people don't bother with FOX because they cancel stuff, but if you ask me, that attitude's just dumb and liable to get more stuff cancelled. They want a hit as much as anyone and they as a network seem to _try_ a lot more for SF than many of the other ones, who only attempt it when another network has hit big with one. Anyway, rant over. Moving on.

Writing-wise, I'm on another writing cycle, although I was actually working on a fair bit of free-writing during my off-cycle, so it doesn't seem like much. It's going okay I guess, still a bit slogging and still don't have the whole excitment about writing back yet, and though I still have decent ideas for the SFnal aspects of a story, the more basic plots sometimes elude me. However, last week I did make some good progress on a story (a sequel, or at least set in the same universe but much later, to one I finished and was quite pleased with a while ago). In the process, I wound up wroting my first male/male sexual relationship. Read more... )

I think the lack of writing excitement probably signals I haven't entirely pulled out of my winter depression, despite it being spring. I still feel a bit hopeless, which while a realistic outlook doesn't help me get up and moving like I'd want. Helping to mitigate it though is that I've been a bit more into chatting with a new group. No offense to the other people I chat with, but, well, you suck! No, no, you don't suck, it's just there is something sort of ego-stroking about talking to a new group of people who you haven't already told your best jokes to. ;) This is actually the remnants of the old BKV online forum who since migrated to a new one after he closed it, where we also set up a chat room.

Anyway, what else is else? Oh yes, Book Foo.

Finished: Look to Windward, by Iain M. Banks
Started: Ventus, by Karl Shroeder

Look to Windward is another Culture novel, and the last of them I'll be reading for a while (since it's the last I've got right now). It wasn't bad, but not my favorite of them.
Read more... )

Ventus is a first SF novel by a Toronto writer, looking like it's a nice big idea novel, and it's pretty hefty.

Finished: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, by J.K. Rowling
Started: Otherland, Vol 3: Mountain of Black Glass, by Tad Williams

Thoughts on OotP behind cut. Short version, not bad, but some elements rankle.
Read more... )
newnumber6: Ghostly being (Default)
It's about a supervillain, and Nathan Fillion's in it (he's a Captain again!).

Really
newnumber6: Ghostly being (Default)
It seems so.

Concept's a little odd, but interesting (and although I'd love a Buffyverse series, I'm kind of pleased it's something different, too). The bad news is, it's on Fox. The good news is, it's got a 7 episode committment. Which probably doesn't mean much because Hollywood commits and then breaks your heart all the time.
newnumber6: Ghostly being (Default)
This week I got just two books:

Avengers: The Initiative #1 (Surprisingly, my pick of the week, managed to endear me to new characters and some shocks)
Runaways #25 (Good, certainly, but after all the expectations it can't help but be a bit disappointing... still, it's JOSS WHEDON WRITING RUNAWAYS. That fact alone makes it worth picking up. Whedonmaniacs on my flist, take note!)

Full reviews up as usual at my comic reviews site for anyone interested.

Work was bleh. Truck was late and a heavier load, so didn't get home till almost 6. Bleh. Ah well. Saw Vinge's Rainbow's End in paperback finally, but I'm giving it 2 weeks to see if it shows up at the used bookstore - it's happened with a couple very new paperback releases recently.

Skipped lunch, had cheerios + brown sugar mini-wheats for breakfast. Walk was good, tiring, but good for the plotbunnies... managed to shape a seed of an short story idea into a little more of a plot.

In other news, I joined facebook on a whim this weekend. Looked up some people I went to school with. Then, weird coincidences started happening. First, not an hour after I signed up, apparently someone i used to talk with on IRC randomly searched me and friended me. Then, the next morning, my mom apparently signed up to facebook for the first time, and also friended me. I had no conversation with her, we just both joined up within 1 day of each other. Weird. I don't care much for the interface though, so much prefer LJ for blogging my thoughts and updating on my status, but I'll keep the facebook account for keeping up with and randomly reuniting with older acquaintences.
newnumber6: Ghostly being (Default)
I know you've all heard me go on and on a lot about Runaways this week, and many of you on my flist don't read comics at all. However, I also know there's probably a couple people there (or who might randomly come across the journal) who are big time Whedonites. You know who you are - you don't read comics as a general rule, but you picked up Astonishing X-Men because Joss Whedon was writing it. And possibly the Serenity mini and some of the Buffy comics too.

Well, now Joss Whedon is announced as the new writer of Runaways, starting in April 2007. So, since some of you are undoubtably thinking about picking up Runaways when he starts, I thought I'd give you a little primer. And then after that I'll shut up about Runaways for a while, I promise.

Buffy started with a great capsule idea: "High School is Hell... really."
Runaways similarly started with: "Your parents are evil... really."

It's the story of 6 kids (ranging from age 12 to 17) who discover that their otherwise normal parents parents are a secret group of supervillains, and witness them committing a shocking crime. In trying to figure out what to do, they run away and try to find a way to make up for their parents evil.

Now, you may be thinking of just picking up Whedon's issues, and that's fine. But Runaways is also one of the few really good comics _created in recent years_. That means, unlike most comics, it's actually feasible to read the entirety of the series, and I recommend you do. Firstly, because it'll help you understand what's going on. Second, because it's awesome. And third, because Whedon himself is a big fan (which is why he took it over when the original creators left), and one of the creators of Runaways is a big fan of Whedon (Whedon even gets mentioned in an issue), and has a lot of Whedon-like sensibilities that would appeal to a Whedon fan.

So, first, I bring you links to read the first issue, for free, legally. (The interface may be a bit irritating, sorry).
(I should also state that I took a little while to warm up to it, and the artist improves significantly over the course of the title).

If you want a little more, here's a link to some selected scans from the first arc (though a lot of good bits are left out).

Next, I'll point you to some links where you can buy the original run:
There's the first hardcover, collecting the first 18 issue 'Volume 1'. It's a complete story and I'd recommend getting it even if you didn't plan on picking up Whedon's run. If you don't want to get a big hardcover, you can also purchase it in 3 manga sized digests (though full color): Digest 1, Digest 2 (no link available yet, might be out of print, check your comic store), and Digest 3.

I'd recommend the hardcover though, because there's some pretty art and the digests shrink it, while the hardcovers embiggen it (yes it's a word, shut up). Plus it's almost the same price for a better product.

There's a hardcover of the 2nd 18 issue run due in December, but if you need the fix quicker, you can get them in digests too: Digest 4, Digest 5, Digest 6 (not yet available). Right now we're just about on issue #20 of the second 'Volume' of the series (where they began recounting from #1 again). By the time Whedon's run is started, I expect they'll have caught up in publishing digests. I'll update this post with more links and post a reminder as we get closer to Whedon's run.

(these links do go to Amazon and they are links with my sponsor ids, but are just for example's sake - by all means, buy these at your local comic store where they're probably available, or wherever online you can find them cheapest. I'm doing this for love, not money)

Runaways: It has magic, robots, aliens, mutants, LASERS, a dinosaur, cool twists, great characters, and great dialogue, and it is extremely accessible to people unfamiliar with comics (most of the characters in the comic are completely new, though they do have a few guest stars from the rest of the Marvel Universe from time to time). If that doesn't interest you, there's something seriously wrong with you! ;) So I urge you to check it out from the beginning, so you'll get the surprises as they were intended.

For those who want a _little_ more spoilery (I refuse to spoil the major plot twists), here are the major characters throughout the series, and their 'special abilities' (not all of them are on the team at the same time though, some leave and/or die):
Read more... )

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