Monday, April 24, 2017

Oh, Hugo...

I got my email that voting for the Hugo Awards is now open. There has been at least one change to the ballot since I first posted it, but anyone who actually wants to keep up with the Hugos should already be following File 770 and therefore should already know about the change.

I have until July 15th to make my decisions. Whew.

And, no, I haven't gotten the packet yet. I hope to get that soon enough to really dig in, but in the meantime I'm working off this list. I hope I get into a serious "reading mood" soon so I can get through my piles of comic books AND all the Hugo reading.

Where I stand right now:

  • Novels - none read.
  • Novellas - one read.
  • Novelette - two read.
  • Short Story - two read.
  • Related Work - none read.
  • Graphic Story - none read. (no, I haven't read any of the finalists. Shush. I'm more a DC girl than Marvel and Image.)
  • Dramatic Presentation (Long Form) - two seen.
  • Dramatic Presentation (Short Form) - one seen.
The remaining categories aren't for individual works, but I have some idea of how I'm going to vote in a couple of those categories - with the possibility of my mind changing when I get the packet and check everything out, of course.

There aren't as many puppy poops to worry about this time, if I do reviews I'll note any that I'm ignoring on the strength of them being previously puppy-associated or being clear puppy manure.

And, yes, I have my Worldcon supporting membership for both next year and 2019 now. I'm going to continue to vote and nominate as long as I'm able.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

A Sunday Doctor Who Review

SPOILER ALERT --- SPOILER ALERT --- SPOILER ALERT --- SPOILER ALERT

I will be discussing my thoughts and feelings of the Doctor Who episode "The Pilot" after the cut. I will not worry about spoiling the plot, so read at your own risk.

SPOILER ALERT --- SPOILER ALERT --- SPOILER ALERT --- SPOILER ALERT

A Sunday Review

DCBS
Here are reviews of the DCBS comic books that I've gotten around to reading and reviewing, sorted by the original shipping date:
  • Aug 17th
  • Aquaman #5 - Ah, the big blue boy scout. I wondered when he would make an appearance. This issue is mostly just showing the escalation by the United States of the problem, with side bits to show how Manta and Tula are doing. But it still manages to be pretty cool all around. I like the bickering between Mera and Arthur - and dislike it as well. Stressful in tone, and worried, but still loving in many ways. Overll, decent issue.
  • Green Lanterns #5 - Not a whole lot of progress in this issue. In fact, I'm not really sure the story has progressed at all. The pacing is definitely way too slow. Information that could be conveyed in a few panels takes an entire book to tell. I'm just bored, now.
  • Justice League #3 - Aquaman seems to have some sort of solution in his grasp, but hasn't made the connection. As for Superman, I laughed aloud when he noted that using his heat vision wasn't going to work. Ha. Not too bad.
  • Scooby Apocalypse #44 - I'm really liking this book, and especially the relationships growing between the characters. Scooby is awesome, but I could do without the other dogs showing up in that scene. I wonder what Velma found, which makes that a nicely effective cliff-hanger. While this certainly isn't the Scooby-Doo I grew up with, I am enjoying this version, enough to recommend it to open-minded fans.
  • Teen Titans Go #17 - Two silly stories, as usual. I wasn't overly impressed with them, but then, I'm not the target audience. I do enjoy the Mad Mod, and his story was ok. The first one was almost incomprehensible. Good art, some funny jokes... I don't particularly recommend it, though.
  • Back To The Future #11 - Seems like a happy ending, but is it really? Marty admits to himself that he's just craving adventure, having missed the "fun" of his experiences with Doc Brown in the past. I like that Jennifer gets involved.
  • Doctor Who Supremacy of the Cybermen #2 - Lots of Doctors and companions and a confusing storyline from which I gleaned that this is a nasty full-scale invasion throughout time and space - and includes the Time Lords getting involved. I hope this pulls together as we go along. Some of the artwork is a bit off, in my opinion, but overall it's just ok.
  • Xena Warrior Princess #5 - So Octavius wants a PR person? And Xena is giving him the handle over Gabrielle he needs. And... where did Ares go? Art is still very sketchy and the story is only slightly understandable.
I can't believe how far behind in my comic books I am, but that's what depression will do to a person. I'm going to make efforts to catch up, but I don't know if they will work, all things considered. I'm still trying to pull myself together, and my private writing is improving almost to the point I'm willing to share it... I did share a goofy short story/thought experiment a week or so ago, so I know I'm beginning to feel a little confidence again.

I also hope to start looking at the Hugo Finalists soon, since I do plan on voting. When I can, I'll try to post thoughts on them here.

In any case, back to my piles of comics. I need to get through them if only to keep Inkwell from knocking them to the floor.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

A Sunday Review

DCBS
Here are reviews of the DCBS comic books that I've gotten around to reading and reviewing, sorted by the original shipping date:
  • Aug 10th
  • Earth 2 Society #15 - What's with the artwork in the first few pages? It looks like it was done in 20 minutes on a faulty wacom tablet. Beyond that, though, not a horrible issue. Not great, either. I can't imagine this particularly universe lasting much longer.
  • Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #2 - So the Green Lanterns are decimated, but back in their own universe and, presumably, time. Meanwhile, Hal is making friends? This all felt very typical of the current DC Green Lantern books. Just an incremental step toward something else, without much actual action.
  • Spider-Man 2099 #13 - I'm really confused about exactly where we are in this story - but there are lots of helpful hints and a huge summary to remind me. Even with that, the whole thing seems a bit complex. At least we have some action: Captain America of the future headed out to find her family, a dire warning, and then a rash response. I think I need to read Peter David's stuff all in one sitting, but overall this works ok.
  • Doctor Who 9th #4 - Ah, messing with the future. I think the Doctor made a serious mistake answering that call. And poor Mickey. I liked the double-cliffhanger, and I'm looking forward to seeing where this one goes.
  • Doctor Who 10th #2.13 - Another nice cliffhanger in this one. I do like that the Doctor Who comics have a summary at the beginning to help people catch up on the action, although Dorothy Bell would be hard to summarize in any case. A fun issue with lots of tie-in to previous issues.
  • Doctor Who 12th #2.8 - The Twelfth Doctor getting a punk rocker from an almost lost colony to join him on his travels? Who would've thought it. I did enjoy his little side comments, and the Foxkin are a nice addition to the DW Universe. It's mostly a satisfactory ending, although I would have liked to see what the other Foxkin thought of coming out of the shadows. I can't imagine it was a popular decision all around.
  • Spongebob Comics #59 - No Mermaid Man, but a couple of mild funny stories. I enjoyed the seahorse one with Sandy. Overall, about average. If you like Spongebob, you will like this, but if not don't bother.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Thought Crime

Here's a story I wrote - rough draft.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Thoughts

My mind is all over the place today, so I'm not sure what to write.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

News I'm Following Today

I'm not much of a newshound at the moment, mostly due to being severely depressed about the state of the world, but here are some things going on that won't leave my mind, so I thought I'd blog about them.

1) Russia. Yeah, I still think Trump and Putin are in bed, and I firmly believe all the bluster about Syria - including the utterly ineffectual bombing - is cover for them making sweetheart deals with each other. Your mileage may vary.

2) North Korea. Trump is provoking them, and I don't know what will happen. All I know is that it isn't good.

3) United Airlines is evil. That's my opinion, of course, but I have no reason to doubt it. I've heard horror story after horror story, and experienced my own horrible trip on one of their planes. It's hard to not see the video of a man being dragged off a United flight - after he'd been seated and even though he had a valid ticket. I'm not a big fan of Jimmy Kimmel, but he gets it right (YouTube link).

3a) The people bringing up the victim's past and making a big deal out of it are scum.

3b) Two industries I know of use "overbooking" as an excuse - the hotel industry and the airline industry. I don't think either industry does enough to compensate customers who are victims of this practice. While I wouldn't go so far as to ban it outright, I think it should really hurt them if they overbook and as a result are unable to deliver what they've sold. And I mean really hurt by 5 to 10 times as much as the cost of the ticket/hotel room, in cash, not some worthless vouchers.

4) Sean Spicer is... really really bad at his job. And that's literally the nicest thing I can say about him. I don't want to say he's a Holocaust denying alt-right moron, because I'm not really sure he is. But anyone who makes this sort of gaffe should NOT be the White House press secretary. Heck, he should probably look for a job that isn't in communications.

5) San Bernardino. I don't have much to say on this one, but it's in my heart and I'm crying inside for the victims and their families.

6) Ardian Syaf, an artist for Marvel Comics, hid hateful anti-Jew and anti-Christian messages in his artwork. He's been fired. It's upsetting that someone would use X-Men, a comic about acceptance and the struggle over hatred, to promote such hatred. But I think Syaf himself, based on comments he's made, does not understand why people would find his messages hateful. Gail Simone graciously laid out her own experiences working with him. I'm sorry for everyone involved - though Syaf really did bring it upon himself.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

A Sunday Review

DCBS
Here are reviews of the DCBS comic books that I've gotten around to reading and reviewing, sorted by the original shipping date:
  • Aug 3rd
  • Aquaman #4 - I love how Aquaman points out that he can escape at any time. I also love Tula calming Mera down - although *that* didn't last long. Tula's role, in general, is refreshing to see. Having her become a real character in her own right instead of just that girl Aqualad likes is nice. I also liked the relationship between Black Jack and Black Manta in this issue. It was a very short interaction, but it illustrated intelligence along with respect. I found myself both horrified and giggling at Mera when she finally has enough and decides to go "rescue" Aquaman. And the final splash was a nice little cliffhanger. Overall, an excellent issue.
  • Justice League #2 - Another day, another invasion of some sort. I liked the Atlantis bits of this one, particularly the Zodiac Crystals, which I swear I've seen in an Aquaman comic before. Maybe the blue suit mini? In any case, lots of action, lots to think about. This is what a Justice League book ought to be like.
  • Green Lanterns #4 - Well, overall a fairly cheesy issue. I liked the bits with Simon's relatives, but Simon and Jessica aren't particularly compelling to me. And while there were some nicely funny moments throughout, this just isn't my favorite book. It's ok, but I could take it or leave it.
  • Batman Beyond #15 - Finally, the reveal! Took long enough for Batman and Matt to figure out who Rewire was. The pace of modern comic books is often way too slow, and this one has a glacial pace when read monthly.
  • DC Comics Bombshells #16 - Wow. The second half of this issue made me squee repeatedly, and I'm probably going to keep squeeing and rereading it. Arthur's true heritage revealed, Mera's true destiny pushed on her... I'm gonna have to go reread this one. Did I mention the art is fantastic? A nice touch is taking the name of Mera's sister from the Silver Age books (Hila) and explaining how she became Siren. Very nice.
  • Batman '66 Meets Steed and Mrs Peel #2 - For a "villain" that only showed up on a couple of episodes of The Avengers, the Cybernauts have had staying power unlike just about anything else. And here they are again, with Catwoman! I have to admit, this is a pretty fun book for any fan of both shows. And the cliffhanger is pretty darn good, as well.
  • Doctor Strange #10 - If that's a victory, then I don't really want to know what failure would have looked like. Not a happy comic at all. The art makes the action a bit hard to follow, which is my biggest complaint, but otherwise it's a solid little book.
  • Torchwood #1 - I'll admit to quite a bit of confusion on the new characters, but there's enough of the old to follow the story so I'll roll with it and complain more in the future if they aren't introduced well enough as we go. Overall, not a bad start. Decent art, not my favorite style, but decent. Plenty of story threads dropped in. And a couple of favorite characters. So, worth checking out for Torchwood fans.

Friday, April 07, 2017

Hugo Finalists...

File 770 has posted an extremely useful list of where to find the Hugo Finalists online, if they are available for free. For those that aren't, there are links to trailers or excerpts or the actual work on Amazon.com.

I've read a handful of the nominees, watched two of the movies and the Doctor Who episode, and read one of the series up for "Best Series".

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Reading the Newbery Winners: The Dark Frigate

I'm still not quite sure what to make of the third Newbery Medal winner, The Dark Frigate by Charles Hawes. It's not written quite like a modern day children's book, so it was a little harder for me to get into it at first. But the story of Philip Marsham and his struggles to find a place in the world of seventeenth century England will look pretty familiar to many readers. The early chapters reminded me of something Charles Dickens might write, with his becoming orphaned and cast from situation to situation before finally landing a place on a ship, the Rose of Devon. Then things turn into something more like Robert Louis Stevenson, as the ship is taken by pirates, and Phil must hold on to his values and ideals in a situation that makes that extremely difficult. He comes out all right in the end, of course, but he has many adventures before it's all over. There are many hints of even more adventures, but sadly Hawes died shortly before the novel was published, so he never got the chance to see his prize, nor write more about Marsham.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Hugo Nominations...

The finalists for the Hugo awards have been announced, and here's the announcement:


And the list, with works that were on the Puppy slate listed in italics (note the low impact this year, thank goodness):

Best Novel

  • All the Birds in the Sky, by Charlie Jane Anders (Tor Books / Titan Books)
  • A Closed and Common Orbit, by Becky Chambers (Hodder & Stoughton / Harper Voyager US)
  • Death's End, by Cixin Liu, translated by Ken Liu (Tor Books / Head of Zeus)
  • Ninefox Gambit, by Yoon Ha Lee (Solaris Books)
  • The Obelisk Gate, by N. K. Jemisin (Orbit Books)
  • Too Like the Lightning, by Ada Palmer (Tor Books)

Best Novella

  • The Ballad of Black Tom, by Victor LaValle (Tor.com publishing)
  • The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe, by Kij Johnson (Tor.com publishing)
  • Every Heart a Doorway, by Seanan McGuire (Tor.com publishing)
  • Penric and the Shaman, by Lois McMaster Bujold (Spectrum Literary Agency)
  • A Taste of Honey, by Kai Ashante Wilson (Tor.com publishing)
  • This Census-Taker, by China Miéville (Del Rey / Picador)

Best Novelette

  • Alien Stripper Boned From Behind By The T-Rex, by Stix Hiscock (self-published)
  • "The Art of Space Travel", by Nina Allan (Tor.com , July 2016)
  • "The Jewel and Her Lapidary", by Fran Wilde (Tor.com, May 2016)
  • "The Tomato Thief", by Ursula Vernon (Apex Magazine, January 2016)
  • "Touring with the Alien", by Carolyn Ives Gilman (Clarkesworld Magazine, April 2016)
  • "You'll Surely Drown Here If You Stay", by Alyssa Wong (Uncanny Magazine, May 2016)

Best Short Story

  • "The City Born Great", by N. K. Jemisin (Tor.com, September 2016)
  • "A Fist of Permutations in Lightning and Wildflowers", by Alyssa Wong (Tor.com, March 2016)
  • "Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies", by Brooke Bolander (Uncanny Magazine, November 2016)
  • "Seasons of Glass and Iron", by Amal El-Mohtar (The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales, Saga Press)
  • "That Game We Played During the War", by Carrie Vaughn (Tor.com, March 2016)
  • "An Unimaginable Light", by John C. Wright (God, Robot, Castalia House)

Best Related Work

  • The Geek Feminist Revolution, by Kameron Hurley (Tor Books)
  • The Princess Diarist, by Carrie Fisher (Blue Rider Press)
  • Traveler of Worlds: Conversations with Robert Silverberg, by Robert Silverberg and Alvaro Zinos-Amaro (Fairwood)
  • The View From the Cheap Seats, by Neil Gaiman (William Morrow / Harper Collins)
  • The Women of Harry Potter posts, by Sarah Gailey (Tor.com)
  • Words Are My Matter: Writings About Life and Books, 2000-2016, by Ursula K. Le Guin (Small Beer)

Best Graphic Story

  • Black Panther, Volume 1: A Nation Under Our Feet, written by Ta-Nehisi Coates, illustrated by Brian Stelfreeze (Marvel)
  • Monstress, Volume 1: Awakening, written by Marjorie Liu, illustrated by Sana Takeda (Image)
  • Ms. Marvel, Volume 5: Super Famous, written by G. Willow Wilson, illustrated by Takeshi Miyazawa (Marvel)
  • Paper Girls, Volume 1, written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Cliff Chiang, colored by Matthew Wilson, lettered by Jared Fletcher (Image)
  • Saga, Volume 6, illustrated by Fiona Staples, written by Brian K. Vaughan, lettered by Fonografiks (Image)
  • The Vision, Volume 1: Little Worse Than A Man, written by Tom King, illustrated by Gabriel Hernandez Walta (Marvel)

Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form)

  • Arrival, screenplay by Eric Heisserer based on a short story by Ted Chiang, directed by Denis Villeneuve (21 Laps Entertainment/FilmNation Entertainment/Lava Bear Films)
  • Deadpool, screenplay by Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick, directed by Tim Miller (Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation/Marvel Entertainment/Kinberg Genre/The Donners' Company/TSG Entertainment)
  • Ghostbusters, screenplay by Katie Dippold & Paul Feig, directed by Paul Feig (Columbia Pictures/LStar Capital/Village Roadshow Pictures/Pascal Pictures/Feigco Entertainment/Ghostcorps/The Montecito Picture Company)
  • Hidden Figures, screenplay by Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi, directed by Theodore Melfi (Fox 2000 Pictures/Chernin Entertainment/Levantine Films/TSG Entertainment)
  • Rogue One, screenplay by Chris Weitz and Tony Gilroy, directed by Gareth Edwards (Lucasfilm/Allison Shearmur Productions/Black Hangar Studios/Stereo D/Walt Disney Pictures)
  • Stranger Things, Season One, created by the Duffer Brothers (21 Laps Entertainment/Monkey Massacre)

Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form)

  • Black Mirror: "San Junipero", written by Charlie Brooker, directed by Owen Harris (House of Tomorrow)
  • Doctor Who: "The Return of Doctor Mysterio", written by Steven Moffat, directed by Ed Bazalgette (BBC Cymru Wales)
  • The Expanse: "Leviathan Wakes", written by Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby, directed by Terry McDonough (SyFy)
  • Game of Thrones: "Battle of the Bastards", written by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, directed by Miguel Sapochnik (HBO)
  • Game of Thrones: "The Door", written by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, directed by Jack Bender (HBO)
  • Splendor & Misery [album], by Clipping (Daveed Diggs, William Hutson, Jonathan Snipes)

Best Editor – Short Form

  • John Joseph Adams
  • Neil Clarke
  • Ellen Datlow
  • Jonathan Strahan
  • Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas
  • Sheila Williams

Best Editor – Long Form

  • Vox Day
  • Sheila E. Gilbert
  • Liz Gorinsky
  • Devi Pillai
  • Miriam Weinberg
  • Navah Wolfe

Best Professional Artist

  • Galen Dara
  • Julie Dillon
  • Chris McGrath
  • Victo Ngai
  • John Picacio
  • Sana Takeda

Best Semiprozine

  • Beneath Ceaseless Skies, editor-in-chief and publisher Scott H. Andrews
  • Cirsova Heroic Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine, edited by P. Alexander
  • GigaNotoSaurus, edited by Rashida J. Smith
  • Strange Horizons, edited by Niall Harrison, Catherine Krahe, Vajra Chandrasekera, Vanessa Rose Phin, Li Chua, Aishwarya Subramanian, Tim Moore, Anaea Lay, and the Strange Horizons staff
  • Uncanny Magazine, edited by Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas, Michi Trota, Julia Rios, and podcast produced by Erika Ensign & Steven Schapansky
  • The Book Smugglers, edited by Ana Grilo and Thea James

Best Fanzine

  • Castalia House Blog, edited by Jeffro Johnson
  • Journey Planet, edited by James Bacon, Chris Garcia, Esther MacCallum-Stewart, Helena Nash, Errick Nunnally, Pádraig Ó Méalóid, Chuck Serface, and Erin Underwood
  • Lady Business, edited by Clare, Ira, Jodie, KJ, Renay, and Susan
  • nerds of a feather, flock together, edited by The G, Vance Kotrla, and Joe Sherry
  • Rocket Stack Rank, edited by Greg Hullender and Eric Wong
  • SF Bluestocking, edited by Bridget McKinney

Best Fancast

  • The Coode Street Podcast, presented by Gary K. Wolfe and Jonathan Strahan
  • Ditch Diggers, presented by Mur Lafferty and Matt Wallace
  • Fangirl Happy Hour, presented by Ana Grilo and Renay Williams
  • Galactic Suburbia, presented by Alisa Krasnostein, Alexandra Pierce and Tansy Rayner Roberts, produced by Andrew Finch
  • The Rageaholic, presented by RazörFist
  • Tea and Jeopardy, presented by Emma Newman with Peter Newman

Best Fan Writer

  • Mike Glyer
  • Jeffro Johnson
  • Natalie Luhrs
  • Foz Meadows
  • Abigail Nussbaum
  • Chuck Tingle

Best Fan Artist

  • Ninni Aalto
  • Alex Garner
  • Vesa Lehtimäki
  • Likhain (M. Sereno)
  • Spring Schoenhuth
  • Mansik Yang

Best Series

  • The Craft Sequence, by Max Gladstone (Tor Books)
  • The Expanse, by James S.A. Corey (Orbit US / Orbit UK)
  • The October Daye Books, by Seanan McGuire (DAW / Corsair)
  • The Peter Grant / Rivers of London series, by Ben Aaronovitch (Gollancz / Del Rey / DAW / Subterranean)
  • The Temeraire series, by Naomi Novik (Del Rey / Harper Voyager UK)
  • The Vorkosigan Saga, by Lois McMaster Bujold (Baen)

John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer

  • Sarah Gailey (1st year of eligibility)
  • J. Mulrooney (1st year of eligibility)
  • Malka Older (2nd year of eligibility)
  • Ada Palmer (1st year of eligibility)
  • Laurie Penny (2nd year of eligibility)
  • Kelly Robson (2nd year of eligibility)

Friday, March 03, 2017

ECCC Day One Preview

Ok, I didn't actually GO to the first day of the convention this year, that was yesterday... but MY day one, Friday (today), was filled with lots of fun. And if I had any energy left I'd edit all the photos I took and post them all along with pithy commentary on how awesome cosplayers are. However, you are only going to get a small sampler, because I'm just too freakin' exhausted to do more.










Sunday, February 26, 2017

A Sunday Review

Eric and I finished watching the first seasons of Class and Timeless this past week. Both shows have an uncertain future, but both shows finished on a cliffhanger. Overall, I enjoyed them both and wouldn't mind seeing more.

  • Class, a Doctor Who spin-off, features a group of students at Coal Hill Academy who have to deal with alien threats and incursions due to rips in the timestream at the school. Yes, it's the same school that Susan went to and Barbara and Ian taught at in the first episode of the original Doctor Who. But the show itself is a bit over-the-top, like the deranged lovechild of Torchwood and Sarah Jane Adventures, leaning a little heavily on the Torchwood side. While I liked the characters and the actors, the show never really gelled. It wasn't bad - it just wasn't as good as it ought to have been. At the end of the show I realized I would miss the characters if the show isn't renewed, but the lack of the show itself won't bother me. Which is a really strange way to look at it. Regarding the season as a whole: You do not put a rifle on the wall in the first act unless you intend to use it in the last act. I expected that finale, I just wasn't sure what form it would take. Last I heard, the show isn't going to be renewed.
  • Timeless is another time travel show, featuring a historian who is recruited to help stop a madman who stole a time machine and is trying to alter the past. Each episode peels away assumptions and beliefs, and changes who is considered a "good" guy or a "bad" guy. There is a central mystery to the series in the form of a diary that the villain claims was written by the hero historian. We don't quite find out how it came about by the end of the first series, but we get very close with two major hints and a few minor ones. Each episode tackles a different historical event, with the team trying to stop the villain from altering history. However, every single time they go into the past they alter history themselves - as seen in the first episode when the first trip erases the historian's own sister. I have to wonder at the cumulative weight of the changes they make. How is the timeline even slightly intact? If we get a second season, perhaps that question will be addressed.

  • DCBS
    Here are reviews of the DCBS comic books that I've gotten around to reading and reviewing, sorted by the original shipping date:
    • Jul 20th
    • Aquaman #3 - It's a bit depressing that the relations between the US and Atlantis are so bad that Aquaman doesn't even know the proper channels to go through to contact US leadership for a discussion. Add in the repeated references to the Atlantean attacks on the surface... well, this doesn't make for a good connection. Then you have Black Manta and ... BLACK JACK!?!?? Oh yeah, somebody has looked into Aquaman's past and found a little treasure trove. This could be excellent if it's handled right. Nice cliffhanger as well. Some of the artwork seemed slightly off model to me, but it was still very nice and did the job. Looking forward to catching up on this book more than any other. Obviously.
    • Justice League #1 - Massive world-destroying threat, taking out cities across the globe including Atlantis. *yawn* I don't mind "big" stories, but does the world have to end in nearly every story arc nowadays? Can't we have a few stories where people don't die because the heroes did their jobs before the threat became world-shattering? Please?
    • Green Lanterns #3 - I can think of at least one other person cured from being a Red Lantern. That said, it still argues that Simon has some abilities that way outshine other Green Lanterns we've seen in the past. The argument could be made that Lanterns are changing after all the events in the last few years. I just wonder where that road is leading?
    • Adventures of Supergirl #6 - Everything wraps up as Supergirl takes out the baddie - but not without help from her family and friends. The story of Rampage's sister was enough to make me sad, but it also echoed what happened with the Martian Manhunter in this DC universe. Overall, not a bad book for one based on a TV show.
    • Astro City #37 - Wow. This is one to savor. I literally had to read it about three times before I was ready to write anything on it, and even now I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed by the sheer amount of story in this book - despite there not being a proper story. It's in three parts, starting with a framing sequence setting up our storyteller. Then there's the tale of Silverstring and his connection to Astro City. The third portion is about the legacy of music in the early pre-Astro City days and what came from that legacy. The book covers aspects of racism and ethnicity that I've never seen addressed before, mostly because those aspects are pretty much forgotten. The result is something that is almost hard to understand - a careful balancing act done by Kurt on how racism works in a world with superheroes. I almost want to see what ancient Greece looked like in that universe. In any case, powerful stuff. Definitely one to re-read.
    • Scooby Apocalypse #3 - I feel like I should hate this book, but every time I read and issue I like it more. It's certainly not the Scooby-Doo I remember, but it's a fun reimagining - an Elseworlds version if you like. There's room in my fangirl world for both the original and this. I am enjoying the way the relationships are developing, and it's fun to already have voices for all the characters. In short, this isn't going to be a book everyone likes, but I'm really finding it fun. Odd, but fun.
    • Usagi Yojimbo #156 - Inspector Ishida and Usagi don't seem to be getting much closer to finding out who killed two of Lord Shima's men, but the action continues as Usagi has a really bad nightmare and stops an act of destruction. What is the secret behind the painting? And will Ishida and Usagi manage to stop the killer before he, or it, strikes again? As usual, great stuff. I'm going to have to reread this story from the top when I get through it.
    • Back To The Future: Citizen Brown #3 - Wow, that took a really disturbing turn. Doc Brown is a 1984-type dictator in a utopia? I loved how he "woke up" when Marty showed him the time machine. But the story seems a little hard to escape... that's the best kind. Looking forward to the rest of the story.
    • Xena Warrior Princess #4 - Ah, still very hard to understand with mixed quality artwork. I think I followed enough of the story to understand it... but I'm not sure I care.
    • Jul 27th
    • Titans #1 - Garth wants to name the big bad "Keekblu" so they can stop referring to it as a massive interdimensional threat? That's... darling. Ahem. Lots of character development in this one, with a re-establishment of the Titans as they once were. It's kind of odd to see them working to fit into their roles while still remaining their new selves. I like that Garth thinks through the problem and makes a decent suggestion, but found it odd that none of them knew who Psimon is. As for the final few pages... oooh, I wonder how *that's* going to play out?
    • Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #1 - So, Sinestro used Soranik and will now be enforcing his own rule with fear. Who didn't see that one coming? As for the rest... meh, it's not that exciting for me. I like Soranik, so I'm not sure how much this book is going to appeal to me in the future, unless she suddenly learns a way to fight back.
    • Future Quest #3 - Two shorter stories in this issue that introduce some of the characters. This was pretty useful for me, since I'm not as familiar with the characters as I'd like to be. I don't know if any of this was new or if it was all made clear on the original shows, but I still enjoyed them.
    • Scooby-Doo Team-Up #17 - Hawkman and Hawkgirl with the gang! I found it incredibly funny that the museum employee called in Scooby and his friends simply because she didn't know how to reach the Hawks. The cute explanations given in the comic nicely filled in the details for any fans of Scooby unfamiliar with the heroes. I enjoyed this one a lot.
    • Doctor Who 11th #2.11 - Alice witnesses the War Doctor in action, and provides a little bit of unexpected advice. The Volatix Cabal is frightening, especially when Alice is being examined by them. Very effective, as well. This is powerful issue.

    Sunday, February 19, 2017

    A Sunday Review

    DCBS
    Here are reviews of the DCBS comic books that I've gotten around to reading and reviewing, sorted by the original shipping date:
    • Jul 6th
    • Future Quest #2 - My lack of detailed familiarity with the characters makes this book oddly more interesting. I know there is backstory, but I don't know it. So what I'm reading is fascinating - but I'm not emotionally connected yet. I'm looking forward to finding out more. Great book.
    • Peanuts: Friends Forever 2016 Special - A solid little collection. I feel for Peppermint Patty, having to wear a dress. I despise dresses and hate wearing them for even a little while. The ending of that story was a beautiful moment for me.
    • Doctor Who Supremacy of the Cybermen #1 - Four Doctors, four storylines, lots of companions and a visit to Karn. It's a promising start... but a bit confusing as to how the storylines will converge. And, for that matter, when certain events happen in relation to the tv series. I'll just wait and see, shall I?
    • Jul 13th
    • Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps Rebirth #1 - Hal's hard-traveling villain schtick is finally over? Good. I was getting a bit bored with it. As for the rest - well, it's interesting that he decided to do what couldn't be done. Very Hal Jordan-y. But I'm guessing there will be consequences. I'll find out when I get to the new series, I guess.
    • Earth 2 Society #14 - A possible solution, but if it fails, everyone dies. That really does make for a compelling bit of tension. Add in the personal reasons behind Batman's interest combined with the current villain's unwitting use of a very important person - and wow, a pretty good tale with a nice punch at the end.
    • DC Comics Bombshells #15 - Now *THAT'S* a cover. Whew. Oooh-la-la! Arthur and Mera. The story picks up with the two romancing as Mera continues to heal. But all is not well, and she's reminded of duty even while she tries to enjoy her time with Arthur. One thing I really liked about this issue was the idea of Arthur singing to her. She seemed to enjoy it, so we have an Aquaman with a nice voice? Lovely. In any case, we get a little more of Mera's history in this one, which was also nice. Oh yeah, and the rest of the issue had some Harley and Ivy and Batwomen and stuff.
    • Doctor Who 4th #4 - With Sarah Jane out of the picture, the Doctor has a new companion to run around with for the extent of the story. As usual, the Doctor tries to take the high road, but it's also an uphill battle. And, as usual, there's a wrinkle. But then there's the cliffhanger. Oh Nellie, that's going to be interesting.
    • Doctor Who 10th #2.12 - Wow, that was a depressing end. Lots of creative problem-solving, but in the end the one person who needed to be saved wasn't. I thought the bit with Gabby figuring out that the Doctor had already left and come back was a particularly interesting moment between the two. She's developed into quite a companion.
    • Back To The Future #10 - A wonderful catch-up issue, in which we find out what happened to Doc Brown and why he lost his memories. All while an outside threat slowly becomes more threatening. I'm not seeing much of anything wrong with this book.
    • Legends of Oz Tik-Tok And Kalidah #3 - Well, the door led the trio into Ix, which is a well-known place from the Oz books. The strange girl is safe, but what will happen to her protectors? This one left me sad, but I hope that someday we'll find out why this was an important little chapter in this version of Oz.
    • Rough Riders #4 - Aliens, Teddy Roosevelt, and a bunch of history that isn't what we learned in school. I love it. This book has great art, a ripping tale of a story and some fun moments in history to cover. Can't wait to see more.
    • Spongebob Comics #58 - No Mermaid Man, but some truly surreal moments with Patrick. This book is entirely what you bring to it.

    Thursday, February 16, 2017

    Trying to recover

    My writing lately has been limited to tweets and FB posts, along with the occasional attempts at a writing sample for job applications. It wasn't working.

    I decided to try something new, just to get my brain in gear. I've set my alarm so I will get up at the same time every day, and my plan is to write first-thing each morning. This morning I got through part of a fictional story, something I wanted to write that's been banging around in my head. It's not good, it's not even passable, but it's writing. Tomorrow I hope to finish it, then maybe I'll try to edit it. Or I'll start another story. But the goal is to structure my days again, and get back to "normal". I've been letting the anxiety and nightmares rule me for too long.

    I don't know if this will work, but I've got to try. I'm sick of being sick.

    Monday, February 13, 2017

    Shadow Cat

    Sunday, February 05, 2017

    Icicle? Hand? Handy Icicle?


    The weather can't make up its mind, but it's making a hand.

    Thursday, January 26, 2017

    Inkwell's Favorite Toy

    When my Mom, sisters and niece visited at the beginning of the month, they brought some presents for Eric and I. The presents, including a mix for pumpkin cheesecake which I made yesterday and it tastes fantastic, were packed in a large gift bag with tissue paper around them. Inkwell LOVES the tissue paper. He's been slowly ripping it to shreds, and "nesting" in it. Every night when I go to bed I can hear him careening through it and tearing it into ever smaller pieces. We pick up the little pieces and throw them away, and eventually he will run out of this gift, but right now he's in kitty heaven...


    Inkwell says, "I have the best Grandma EVER!"

    They also gave me a little electric mouse, which Inkwell loves to play with, but has to be monitored because he will eat the tail off if I don't take it away from him promptly. He was scared of it at first, but now he chases it around the kitchen, snags it by the tail and walks around the house with it, usually chased by me.

    Friday, January 20, 2017

    Ug.

    Happy birthday to me
    Life's really sucky

    Yeah, that's enough of that...

    Wednesday, January 18, 2017

    Time...


    I blacked out the name of my friend because the post was marked to friends only...