Tuesday, January 15, 2019

The Queen's Stories: How Long 'Til Black Future Month by N. K. Jemisin

N. K. Jemisin has been having a great few years.  She won three consecutive Best Novel Hugos for her Broken Earth trilogy, a ground breaking (literally) revitalization of the fantasy genre with hints of science fiction.  I recently heard her referred to as The Queen of the Genre, and it's hard to dismiss this as hyperbole.

Many of her fans, including this one, were anticipating her first collection of short fiction.  So, how is it?

Friday, January 11, 2019

Story Time: The Wind Through the Keyhole: A Dark Tower Novel by Stephen King

As Constant Readers of this blog know, I've been on a bit of a Stephen King kick in recent months, which has included an unexpected obsession with his epic Dark Tower series.  I plan to write a post on why I love the Dark Tower books so much, but before that I realized I had one more book to read: The Wind Through the Keyhole.

Just when you thought the Dark Tower books were done with The Dark Tower: The Dark Tower VII (published in 2004), King added another book in 2012.  The Wind Through the Keyhole is a fun trip to the Dark Tower multiverse that's suitable for newcomers and Constant Readers alike, but it's not as trippy as the core books.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Putting the Hype to the Test: Ready Player One, David Weber, and Jim Butcher

Geekdom is awash in hype.  But how much of geek/nerd culture lives up to the hype?

Several months ago I decided I should try to read some really popular stuff in the SF/F world to see what the hype is about.  Many years ago this is how I discovered Harry Potter, which shows that sometimes books really do live up to the hype.  Once in awhile the results are just terrible.  My experience of Ready Player One comes to mind (more on the book and the movie below).  Other times stuff is not for me, but I can see why other people like it.  This was the result when I read David Weber's first Honor Harrington book a few months ago (see my review below).  And occasionally something isn't my favorite, but it's hard to deny it's a lot of fun, as with Jim Butcher's famed Dresden Files (more below).

Friday, December 28, 2018

Random Thoughts, Part 2

Made at: https://www.jasondavies.com/wordcloud/

Back in "Random Thoughts, Part 1" I listed some of the random thoughts I decided to start writing down several months ago.  Alas, we have come to "Random Thoughts, Part 2," in which I continue this project.  I've saved some of my longer thoughts for this part, so get ready.  And read to the end for a surprise announcement.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Journeys in the Metafictional Multiverse: The Dark Tower: The Dark Tower VII by Stephen King

The Dark Tower series is a journey like no other.  And The Dark Tower: The Dark Tower VII is the destination as the final* volume in the series (*Not exactly the final book: King added volume 4.5 in 2012).  One of the strongest threads running through the series is a tension between being fixated on the goal (Roland) and enjoying the journey itself (Oy, and as we come to learn but could have guessed earlier, King himself).  I'm definitely an "it's about the journey not the destination" kind of person, but I have to say I loved this destination, probably precisely because I wasn't fixated on it.  As the Buddha figured out thousands of years ago, sometimes the best way to get something is to stop wanting it so much.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Random Thoughts, Part 1

Made at: https://www.jasondavies.com/wordcloud/

I have a lot of random thoughts.  Walking down the street, in the shower, doing the dishes, watching a movie, standing in line at Taco Bell, waiting to fall asleep, clearing the cobwebs from my mind in the morning...  There's really no telling when a random thought will strike.  I guess that's what makes them random.  Several months ago I started writing some of them down, not always right away and sometimes with a little editing.  But I thought it might be interesting project to keep a record of some of my random thoughts and to subject the internet to a handful of them.  Enjoy!

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Mortal Engines and Liking What You Know Isn't Good

A small city being pursued by London in Mortal Engines

I have a strange habit of occasionally liking movies I know aren’t very good.  I have defended Jupiter Ascending.  I was one of about four people who liked The Dark Tower movie.  For reasons I don't entirely understand, I've watched all nine Hellraiser films.

I went into Mortal Engines with few expectations.  I knew Peter Jackson had something to do with it, it was based on a book I had never heard of, and from the trailer I knew it featured cool-looking giant cities on wheels in a post-apocalyptic world (seriously, go watch the trailer!).

While I can't say it was a good movie, I was entertained.  It was one of those movies I enjoyed a lot while I watching it, but I liked it less as the movie went on and as I thought more about it later.