Friday, August 18, 2017

In the still of the night / I hear the wolf howl, honey / sniffing around your door

There's never a bad time for White Snake¹.

And if that's not enough, here's a pretty damn snazzy cover by the band Halestorm!

Lzzy Hale has some pipes on her, that's for sure.

¹Except, you know, during natural disasters, alien invasions, and when your president has clearly gone off the deep end.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Nerding it up in a computer lab at General Dynamic's Astronautics Division, 1968.

Atlas Negative Collection Image

Jodie Whittaker reacting to people cosplaying the Thirteenth Doctor is cute as heck

I like the positive reaction, because I can imagine that being cast as The Doctor can be a bit overwhelming for anybody. I know I certainly would be! Kind of amazing that people are already cosplaying as the new Doc when we haven't even seen what she'll be wearing on the show. Then again, the fandom works fast.


Friday, August 11, 2017

Women clean up at the Hugo Awards

Note: This is a cross-post from my sci-fi blog, Rayguns and Space Suits.

You can see all of the nominees and winners here, but suffice to say, goddamn.

Best Novel: The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin.
Best Novella: Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire.
Best Novelette: The Tomato Thief by Ursula Vernon.
Best Short Story: Seasons of Glass and Iron by Amal El-Mohtar.
Best Series: The Vorkosigan Saga by Lois McMaster Bujold.
John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer: Ada Palmer.

Overall, women won 15 out of the 17 categories and counting Palmer netting the Campbell (which is award at the Hugos but isn't a Hugo), they won 16 altogether. Not a bad performance and well deserved. Oh, I'm sure there will be grumblings and teeth gnashing from a certain segment of the fandom over this, but I'll say here what I said on my Tumblr:
Write better. The success of women and writers of color at the Hugos and other SFF lit awards has nothing to do with their ethnicity or identity and everything to do with them just being better writers, editors, etc.
Being white, straight, and/or identifying with your assigned gender (because let's not overlook the fact that these groups include women) does not automatically mean you win awards.

Unless you create your own or manipulate a poorly planned one. *coughcoughDragonAwardscoughcough*

In any case, congrats to all of the winners and nominees.

Finished: The Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope

Image: Magnum Easy Eyes Books blog.
Title: The Prisoner of Zenda
Series: None
Author: Anthony Hope
Genre: Adventure
Pages: 223
Publisher: J. W. Arrowsmith (orig.), Lancer Books (reissue)
Year pub: 1894
Rating: ★★ - 2 1/2 stars.

This is going to be a short post because there's not much to talk about this book. It was a pretty straight forward affair, with the protagonist, Rudolf Rassendyll traveling to the fictional kingdom of Ruritania and having to pose as the king, who is his double and has been captured by the Black Michael, the king's half-brother who covets the throne for himself.

While it was a straight forward adventure and a fun one at that, it had it's problems. My chief complaint was the lack of details. At 223 pages, you don't get even a bare sketch of Ruritania and its people, other than some of the population being for the king and some supporting Duke Michael. Hell, you barely even see him, with the role of antagonist being taken chiefly by Rupert of Hentzau, a rakish rogue who honestly comes off as the more interesting than the rest of the cast. Really, you don't even get a clear indication on whether or not Michael would be a better or worse king than his half-brother, who seems more interested in getting drunk than being king.

The romance between Rassendyll and the king's cousin, Princess Flavia is bland and boring. He visits her a couple of times in the course of the book and bam! they're suddenly head over heels for each other.

So just to sum it up, The Prisoner of Zenda was a good book that could have been even better had Anthony Hope added more details about Ruritania, and more depth to the principle characters and the romance between Rudolf Rassendyll and Princess Flavia.

Watch Jeff Goldblum talk about the importance of e-mail in this Apple iMac commercial

Well, I mean, e-mail was a lot more important back then than it probably is now. You had instant messaging like AIM, ICQ, and MSN Messenger, but those were all short-form messaging, like texting is today. E-mail was more long form, not unlike how Blogger and WordPress are to Twitter.

Then there's that Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan flick, You've Got Mail.

If this movie had been made today, Hanks and Ryan's characters would be texting instead of e-mailing each other and Ryan's character would probably be overusing the poop emoji. 💩

I honestly hate myself for using that emoji. I'm sorry.