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Monday, December 8, 2014

Some recent movies, including Interstellar

I really liked the robot in the movie Interstellar. Its locomotion was tremendous. The cinematography, the acting, a lot of the plot were tremendous. The science, as in most Hollywood movies, check that, as in All Hollywood movies, was forehead slapping. My husband had to make me stop laughing in the theater when beautiful scientist's daughter gives an impassioned speech about how love is quantifiable (and what quanta does love come in?) and how love transcends space and time. Uh-huh. Then I suppose hate does too. How about indifference? Still, if you like to feel while bypassing thinking, this is one good movie. Oh, and yes, the parent-teacher conference scene alone was worth the price of admission. And that robot!

I was a kid when Robbie the robot would intone, "Danger, Will Robinson, Danger!", wave his arms around, sparkle in his glass dome head, and have various gizmos twirl. And for some reason, every show and movie thereafter had to have vaguely humanoid robots. This robot was a marvelous slab with sections that pivoted in various places. I would have rounded the corners a little bit, to save wear and tear on both corner and environment, but other than that, I thought the machine was marvelous.

As long as they follow their internal logic, I give a pass on science to cartoons and superhero movies. We took some men with us to watch The Penguins of Madagascar. We laughed a lot. Really a lot. We love those guys. Smile and wave, boys.

Big Hero 6. Despite the hollow feeling of missing a great character throughout the entire movie, I loved the show. Great animation and art. Great plot. Fun Characters. I highly recommend the movie.

Mockingjay. Not a feel-good movie. I thought it was powerful and moving. For a movie, it followed the book amazingly well. If I reread The Hunger Games, the actors are who I will see as the characters. If you can handle lots of violence and emotional turmoil, and aren't offended when the character you love suffers from PTSD, this is a movie I can recommend.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Tin Swift by Devon Monk

I found a new favorite author. After hearing Devon Monk speak on a panel at Orycon, I decided to pick up one of her books to see what kind of writer she was. Oooh, my goodness! With her deft descriptions, fascinating characters, and an ear for dialogue that positively sings, I found myself thinking about the book for the rest of the night after I closed the cover, theoretically to go to sleep. What could have been a mess in someone else's hands was here a delightful melding of steam punk, western, alternate history, fantasy, horror, and science-fiction. I cannot figure out other reviewers who found the multiple POVs in the book distasteful. I thought the technique rounded the plot and gave the reader multiple people to root for. I am looking for more of her books. I enjoyed her clear, beautiful writing in this book, and want to experience more.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Another one in the series

I think it took a little more than two months to write the first draft of A Little Magic, book seven in the Tales of Talifar series which is set in Josh Foreman's universe. This is fun.

Let's see, so far this summer I've spent two weeks in Pennsylvania with my brother Bob, a week in Cleveland with my daughter and two granddaughters (bringing along a grandson for the adventure, a week in Florida with a son and two grandchildren. I came back from Florida with bronchitis and sinusitis, and came home to a flooded basement. As I type this, someone is downstairs replacing some of the sheetrock. All you guys who had stuff stored in my basement might no longer have it. We've been tossing out a lot of ruined stuff.

The son in Florida loaned me a book for the night, and here is my quick review:
Level Zero Heroes:

I truly enjoyed reading Level Zero Heroes despite the occasional bouts of rage I felt during some of the episodes. The writing was excellent and vivid. If there were typos, I did not see them. I felt confident in the level of authenticity of what I was reading and rejoiced in the happy ending of the protagonist and dog. I generally like to know what ethical people who aren’t me are experiencing, and I felt submerged in an experience I will never be able to feel directly. I wish all the people who pontificate about matters military would read this. Everybody who enjoys true military stories will like this book.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Finished rough draft of a novel in TWO months



On 6-1-14 I finished the first rough draft of Finding Home. I started on 4-4-14. I finished a novel in two months. Can you believe it? Of course, the novel is short. And finished is a relative term. I’m not altogether satisfied with the escape through the woods part, but I decided to go ahead and stick a fork in it anyway. We can change things in the editing and rewrites.

So

Whooooooooooo!


Now to see if I can come up with anything like a plot for a wizard’s apprentice tale, possibly with Fencock starring as the wizard.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Review of The Sands of Ethryn by C.S. Lakin

I love the poem "The Hound of Heaven" (one reason I so liked Doris Bett's Souls Raised From The Dead) and so I truly enjoyed The Sands of Ethryn. Lakin introduced us to some of the phrases of that poem on the first page, and like a good musician established a rhythm and repetition of those phrases throughout the book. Her use of phrases from the Bible and poetry and the constant circling of the two plot lines, reminded me of a concert.
One thing did bother me: since Lakin is a careful writer, I could not understand her using phrases that make one think she is endorsing the concept of reincarnation alongside all the Scripture she is quoting. Or maybe she was saying reincarnation is as real as this magician and magic. But I did not think she meant that, and indeed, when you reach the end of the book and see what she had to say about the inspiration for this story, she does not. In fact, I was thinking of the same Star Trek episode she was while I read some of the scenes.
I can recommend this book to anybody who enjoys fantasy.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Review of A Shadow on the Land by Krystine Kercher

A Shadow On The Land by Krystine Kercher:   I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book with a plot that strongly reminds you of when David was being chased around the country by King Saul. There is no particular one to one correspondence with the Old Testament story, other than the prophesied king, Bjorn Horsa, refuses to kill the evil king Olaf. Between King Olaf and his friends, the country is being rapidly depopulated by all manner of torture and slaughter. Bjorn and his men try to help the victims as they simultaneously avoid being captured by King Olaf. As I read this, I felt I had a better comprehension of what David and his men had to do to survive. I appreciated that the sorrows of the peasants are not ignored as they are in most medieval setting tales. I also enjoyed the lovely and appropriate use of Scripture throughout the book. Oh, I should mention that one is quickly and skillfully made aware that this takes place on a planet that is not Earth. The scholarly notes at the end of the book give a lot of clues as to how a medieval society came to be on a foreign planet. With elves. If you like high fantasy, or science-fiction that reads like high fantasy, I think you will like this book as much as I did.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Cool story

Found this lovely story today: http://escapepod.org/2014/01/25/ep432-inappropriate-behavior/