Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Sunday Review

TV this week:

  • Doctor Who: "The God Complex" - I really felt for them, ending up in a 1980s hotel. Hard to imagine a worse time and place. Kind of freaky just on its own. Then you add in the fear rooms. Yikes. I seem to recall the Doctor having to break someone's faith in him before this, shades of Curse of Fenric anyone?
  • Doctor Who: "Closing Time" - Wow. I really really really like Stormageddon. And Craig made for a really really good companion in this one. In short, this was a really fantastic episode for the moment just before the end of the series. So I just had to wonder what was going to happen in the next episode with the intriguing name.
  • Doctor Who: "The Wedding of River Song" - The only way this works is if time's wibbly-wobbly removes memories from some people as they go along. Or adds them. Or something. But while I was watching it, the strangeness didn't bother me and I just wanted more. So I guess that's cool. More? Soon?

  • Sarah Jane Adventures: "Sky" - It was far harder to watch this, or at least to start watching it, than I thought it would be because I knew we'd only get three stories, then it was over. But the tale of the baby who affects the power grid took me in, and I was soon enjoying it just like I was supposed to. I was a little surprised at the end, but not stunned, I guess.
  • Sarah Jane Adventures: "The Curse of Clyde Langer" - Bits of this one definitely didn't make sense from a perspective of the whole alien confined thing, but the premise was so neat (as well as the special effects) that it almost didn't need to make sense. A lot more about Clyde growing up in this one. I liked it a lot.
  • Sarah Jane Adventures: "The Man Who Wasn't There" - I suspect that if we'd gotten the other three episodes of the series, which were set before this one, then we would have gotten a sense of how Sky was getting nervous of Luke, and Luke was feeling replaced by Sky, and the whole relationship of the two at the beginning of the episode would have made more sense. But it still worked as it was, and I loved the way the kids made Serf dance. I bet the actor had either a fantastic time or the worst time ever performing that role. The end of this one made me cry, but I cannot think of a better memorial to Elizabeth Sladen than being forever remembered.

Here are reviews of the DCBS comic books that I've gotten around to reading and reviewing, sorted by the original shipping date:
  • Aug 24th
  • Green Lantern Movie Prequel: Sinestro #1 - This might have worked if it had actually come out before the movie, and before the book that it talks about as coming soon in the end. Maybe. But coming out as late as it did... bleah.
  • Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors #13 - So not impressed with Guy Gardner, but then I'm not much impressed with Batman in this one either. I guess I'm just not much of a Green Lantern fan.
  • Flashpoint: Hal Jordan #3 - Sweet and sad. Not much else to say about this one, really.
  • Action Comics #904 - More of the strange Doomsday plotline, not real excited about it. Kind of glad it's all over.
  • DC Retroactive: Justice League of America the 90's #1 - I'd forgotten that I don't really much like the Giffen League, and haven't read enough of it to be familiar with the characters. So I was confused, amused, and in the end bored. The back-up story didn't fit the tone of the new story at all.
  • DC Retroactive: Green Lantern the 90's #1 - I read Kyle's stories as they came out, sort of. I recall a lot of the whole thing, so I understood this one. Not bad for a Kyle Lantern story.
  • Superman Beyond #0 - Nice story. Of course, I'm just happy to see Aquagirl again. I was going to say that there wasn't much Batman for being Batman Beyond... but it's not Batman Beyond, is it?
  • Justice Society of America #54 - A bit annoying how the writing and art tried to misdirect and yet failed because it was completely obvious that misdirection was happening. Otherwise, not too bad. I think I'll mostly miss this book.
  • Young Justice #7 - The secret origin of Artemis? I liked it. Even if the team was barely in it, and I don't think Aqualad made any appearance aside from the cover. I still liked it.
  • Northlanders #43 - Again, I wish I had remembered the previous issue before getting into this one. But once I *did* remember, well, that all came together. Brutal story.
  • Doctor Who Ongoing V2 #8 - Multiple Doctors, multiple everyone, I understand the solution, but I really need to reread the previous issue to remember why it works. Not a bad series, per se, just annoying.
  • Doctor Who Annual 2011 - Four little stories. The first one was just bizarre. Second one was a nice little peaceful one that made me happy. Third was strange mix with the companions and the Doctor and references to adventures we aren't going to see in detail. The fourth was a start to a new adventure with the new companion that I really didn't expect, so it'll be fun. No, seriously, I though the new companion was a joke.
  • Aug 31st
  • Flashpoint #5 - So, that's how it all ends... and begins. Because the Flash changed a little something in the past, everything changed in the entire DC Universe. It'll be interesting now to see what those changes are. Now I just need to catch up on my comic reading and I'll know.
  • Justice League #1 - No Aquaman, metahumans hunted and hated by the authorities. Not impressed, not yet. And, sorry, Vic is a Titan. I'm having a very difficult time accepting that he'll be a member of the League and J'onn won't. I wonder if the Flash will undo this universe if it doesn't sell well enough.
  • The Power Within - A part of the It Gets Better project, which talks about how kids are bullied and mistreated, usually for being gay. A very strong little story. I felt for the kid, but that last panel was a nice moment.

My short story this week was Tanglefoot (A Story of the Clockwork Century) by Cherie Priest. I read Boneshaker some time ago, and loved it. I plan to read the rest of the books in the Clockwork Century series as soon as I can get time. This short story actually preceded Boneshaker, and it's strikingly good, terrifying and heartbreaking all at once. Since it's free and available online, and not very long, I suggest you read it and decide if you like it yourself.

My Kindle book this week was Robert's Rules of Writing: 101 unconventional lessons every writer needs to know by Robert Masello. I admit it, I "buy" every free book I can find on Most of them I'll never read. But once in awhile a true gem is turned up, and this book qualifies as such a gem. A good book to read in pieces, each lesson is short and sweet. And the lessons are surprisingly good, too. Excellent little chunks of advice, written up in an understandable way. Some of this advice has already benefitted me in my new job. Other bits I plan to use later, as I can put them into practice. But it's certainly a book worth reading if you want to be a writer and need some helpful hints.

Fortean Times #278
Fortean Times #278 (September 2011). Nice cover, classic style with that lovely ghost look. I liked the cover article as well. It was a good analysis of the Time Slip and what likely happened for real. I'd heard the original story of the two ladies who "traveled back in time" once before, but the research this article lent to the experience and to the events surrounding it made it much more interesting.

Strangedays has the usual round up of insanities. The poor woman who can't eat anything but rice reminds me of health issues that people all over are experiencing nowadays. Health issues make me shudder, and there are plenty of them in the first pages of this issue. The Durham Hum interested me quite a bit. I've heard of drumming and droning in some places that drive people nuts before, so it's always intriguing to hear about another one. The tribe that has no concept of time is a good one, if it's true. I can't quite understand it myself, which makes me doubt its veracity. Stories like that always make me think that the person doing the studying is misunderstanding something critical. I love Fortean Follow-ups, and wish that more articles got followed up on. There's a lot of fun garbage in this magazine that I would love to read more about later. I like the two Dutchmen who both are preparing for the end of the world, but not particularly well. The death page is particularly morbid this month with a complementary article to Strange deaths.

I liked the Science article about talking with animals. Nicely thought out and argued. Ghostwatch was properly chilling with the first story of the ghostly bus passengers, and I thought the black dogs article was fun... particularly since I've seen a "black dog" once, myself. Alien Zoo has some good bits as well, but then I like Cryptozoology. Mythconceptions was an interesting look at how Britain views itself, and how people in Britain view history. The Archaeology section was as deep as usual, with a particularly tragic story of remains found in a medieval well. Classical Corner is about suicide, which is not my favorite topic, but eh. The UFO files had some good stories, but nothing that jumped out at me. The Random Dictionary was about mysterious disappearances, and again had some good critical thinking.

I wasn't sure what to make of the Canine Intellectuals story, except that it ties in with the Science topic. There's a good review of the British Library exhibit "Out Of This World: Science Fiction but not as You Know It" that made me sort of wish I could go see it, but also sort of glad I didn't. A good short article on the Art of Bruce Pennington that should have had more examples of his art.

The rest is as inspiring as usual. Good forums, good reviews, good letters to the magazine. If you aren't getting this mag, you don't know what you are missing.


Dwight Williams said...

So here's a question for you:

Has Barry Allen become the Patron Devil of the post-Flashpoint DC Universe?