Love, Time, Space, Magic: the Reformation of a Romance Snob

By |September 10th, 2015|

Love, Time, Space, Magic: Tales of Love for the Imaginative and Fanciful (PopSeagull Publishing, Edited by Elizabeth Hirst) is a collection of science fiction and fantasy themed stories that explores ideas surrounding relationships, the different forms love can take, and the drive to connect. As an inveterate Romance Snob ™, I would not have read it if I hadn’t been asked to review it for this site. I was secretly prepared to struggle through it and do my best to give it fair shake, but I ended up really enjoying it. No one is more surprised by that than I am. [Editor’s note: I wouldn’t be so sure, Pixel.]

As with any anthology some stories connected with me more than others, but this one has a good mix of character-driven and idea stories–all with a unique flare. It opens with “I sing the Recurring Melody” by Deborah J. Walker. It is the story of Verna, who, after a childhood encounter with the mysterious traveler/ lady /minstrel Dark Hand, follows her love of music down a mystical path, sacrificing much along the way. This one really set the tone for the collection, and is the reader’s first clue that this won’t be a paint-by-numbers romance story collection. Love takes many forms. […]

Sinister 2: Shut Up and Make A Sequel

By |September 5th, 2015|

Some of you may recall the movie Sinister.  For those who don’t, let me remind you.  It’s a delightful little tale about how the boogeyman is real.  Ethan Hawke learns about a series of strange killings that all share one thing in common:  one child went missing and was never found again, and the rest of the family was found dead.

(Also, the Boogeyman is a member of Slipknot.)
Unfortunately, Ethan Hawke doesn’t make it out of that movie alive because Deputy So and So, who puts together the most important part of the pattern of deaths, can’t get in touch with him.

Sinister has some of the usual horror movie stuff, but it also has interesting little touches that you may not initially notice.  It’s put together well, and it has some neat things that make you pay attention to the background, which I always see as a big plus.

The first movie came in at over $18 million with a budget of $3 million, so what does that mean?  Sequel time, you guys!

Where Sinister had those nice touches that I appreciated, Sinister 2 does something that I find very frustrating in any series of films:  it breaks the set of rules in the world it already spent so much time putting together.

Let’s review those rules.

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SyFy’s “Magicians” Series Is Looking Good

By |August 11th, 2015|

If you’re still iffy on whether or not Syfy’s “Magicians” adaptation is worth a look, allow me to present exhibit A:  Penny

 

 

Keep an eye out….you never know when more “Magicians” goodies might pop up here.

 

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    Author Interview: David Bowles on Inclusive Literature, the Hugos, and the Future of Genre Fiction

Author Interview: David Bowles on Inclusive Literature, the Hugos, and the Future of Genre Fiction

By |July 8th, 2015|

 

 

David Bowles is an author, poet, scholar and folklorist who lives in south Texas. His book Flower, Song, Dance: Aztec and Mayan Poetry was awarded the Texas Institute of Letters’ Soeurette Diehl Fraser Award for Best Translation. His short fiction has recently been featured in Apex Magazine and Strange Horizons. 

GeekaChicas: Greetings to author, scholar and folklorist […]

Witness! Mad Max Fury Road

By |May 29th, 2015|

In the interest of complete honesty, the trailer for Mad Max: Fury Road filled me with Meh.  It looked cool and explosion-y, and I have vaguely fond memories of seeing Mad Max movies on VHS, but that wasn’t enough. (Also, I generally have a hard time looking at Tom Hardy’s face and not seeing […]

Age of Ultron and Marvel’s Woman Problem

By |May 17th, 2015|

SPOILERS FOR AGE OF ULTRON FOLLOW

I saw Avengers: Age of Ultron opening night, and overall thought it was a fun movie and above average for the MCU. The action sequences are great. I’ve found myself getting bored in action movies for the last few years, but the one held my attention across a runtime […]

Daredevil: New is Good

By |May 8th, 2015|

Over the past decade or so it seems as if the entire world of pop culture has been taken over by one large, encompassing force known as Marvel. From the first Iron Man movie; from the first sardonic Tony Stark grin and the first taste of that fast paced, witty dialogue, we have never […]

Sex, Drugs, and Democracy

By |May 7th, 2015|

Galileo’s Middle Finger: Heretics, Activists, and the Search for Justice in Science by Alice Dreger isn’t actually about Galileo and his offensive middle digit, but the two make a powerful metaphor for what this book is really about: the power of facts and reason to make a more humane, democratic world and horrifying examples of that failure. Dreger, who holds a Ph.D. in the history of science from Indiana University, is a Professor in Medical Education-Medical Humanities and Bioethics at Northwestern University who has spent much of her academic career studying not sex, per se, but the spectrum of gender. She’s also a committed activist for intersex and transgender people, an area she first stumbled into while casting about for a dissertation topic. She comes by the activism—and the affinity for Galileo—through her Catholic childhood in which she was encouraged by her Polish émigré parents to question everything and embrace science.

 

Like Superman, Alice Dreger believes in truth, justice and the American way, especially in science and medicine. The Tuskegee Experiments, Henrietta Lacks, thalidomide, DES, and the infection of Guatemalans with STDs in the 1940s & 50s under the auspices of Johns Hopkins and the Rockefeller Foundation are part of the tradition of both the accidental and deliberate perversion of medical ethics Dreger explores in her book. Her personal example of that failure involves the treatment of children born what is now called intersex: with deviations from “normal” genitals, and/or genetic and developmental anomalies affecting sex characteristics. One of the mind-blowing stats that Dreger points out right off the bat is that “If you add up the dozens of kinds of sex anomalies—including incredibly subtle things you might never know you had without the benefit of a lot of fancy medical scans your insurance company probably doesn’t want to cover—the frequency of intersex in the human population comes to about one in a hundred.”

 

[…]

VICE – You Had ONE Job

By |February 8th, 2015|

The concept of VICE, an action/scifi flick that, if you believe the movie poster, stars Ambyr Childers, Thomas Jane, and Bruce Willis, is an interesting one.  Bruce Willis owns a resort that bears a striking resemblance to a place I visited in the Dominican Republic, except unlike said real life resort, living patrons can do whatever the hell they want to “artificials,” which are presented at first as some sort of genetically-modified android something that still has human emotions.  It isn’t something that hasn’t been touched on in the past in any number of movies, and it’s a little amusing that Bruce Willis is the brain behind this lecherous land of moral ambiguity considering his part in Surrogates.

 

Still, the film starts to bring up the question of what makes a person human. The film has a lot of potential in this area.  There are conversations between the “doctors” (who are actually engineers) that fix the artificials when they’ve been shot or strangled or stabbed by someone who just felt like going on a killing spree to see what it feels like which bring up questions about the artificials actually being conscious during operations, a phenomenon we sometimes hear about in current medicine.

[…]

Thor 2: The Dream I’m Dreaming

By |April 23rd, 2013|

So, I’ll be honest. When I first read the synopsis for Thor 2: The Dark World, I was kind of disappointed. (Thor going deeper into space?! What about Jane! What about EARTH! He’s barely had time to even form any kind of connection to Earth OR Jane and now he’s going to some OTHER planet?!)But that was before I saw these stills, one of which appears to be Thor and Jane in Asgard. Now, we all know that at the end of the first Thor movie, [SPOILERS for Thor and Avengers AHOY] we saw a tragic, grieving Thor — not just for the loss of Loki, but also for the loss of Jane, with the destruction of Bifrost. It was a bittersweet finish, and we were left with the knowledge that Jane was searching for Thor, determined to reach him. And Thor, in turn, had promised to return to her. And then AVENGERS happened, and suddenly, Thor was magicked to Earth to go after Loki, which made the end of the first Thor movie and all the heartbreak totally just… well. I don’t want to say it was a cheat, but it certainly makes that ending much less powerful to know that Thor had other ways to reach Earth, and Jane just wasn’t important enough to make Thor utilize them. And not only that, but during AVENGERS, Thor snubs her. We get one passing reference to Jane being moved to safety by SHIELD and Thor thanking them, but that’s it. Nothing else. And if I were Jane? Hooooo Boy would Thor be in hot water with me, if after whooping Loki, he didn’t even check in to explain his extended absence. (I can certainly understand that he had his hands full BEFORE whooping Loki and the alien invaders, but you’re telling me he could not give her five minutes before he magicked them both back to Asgard with the cosmic cube?)You can see my dilemma, I’m sure. I want to love Thor, but he is clearly not a reliable love interest for Jane, and “demigod” (seriously Marvel why?!) or not, I really hope she’s more caught up in the science of simply finding Asgard than she is in pining after Thor I-can’t-be-bothered-to-stop-in-and-say-hi Odinson.And all I can think now is “PLEASE let Jane have found her way there on her own through science!” because this is the dream I’m dreaming — […]