Jan. 2nd, 2014 12:04 am
kayshapero: (CalicoCat)
Currently reading my way through Sequential Art from the beginning to the current strip. Which may be the only way to truly appreciate this thing and I highly recommend it. Anyway, after a long and very weird sequence involving invading aliens, and even weirder terrestrials, we finally come to this strip, which is a hoot all by itself, and besides - I want one!! And believe it or not, it really makes sense if you've read the previous strips...

In other news, and in case I'm not the slowest one to discover this, there's a new Knights Errant tale, covering the time earlier than the previous one, mostly because the artist realized just how MUCH backstory she was having to tell as flashback... Anyway Knights Errant Pavane (current title) is now under way on Tumblr. And if you haven't read the original, it's another item you'd best start from the beginning, so go here...

Last night I finished updating the Recommended Anthropomorphics List to show the last of each title published in 2013 (the safest way to find the date, given that artists aren't always all that careful about dating their work.) It's already up - go have a look, and remember, you still have until January 15 to make recommendations, and everything MUST have been published/released/escaped in 2013.

And any Glitchen out there who haven't found this yet, take a look at This Quiet Ur. The game may be over... but the story goes on!

The Hobbit

Dec. 21st, 2012 12:59 am
kayshapero: (CalicoCat)
Saw the movie yesterday, in 3D.  Which was pretty well handled for 3D with the occasional "oh, look, there's a  moth flying up my nose" moment, made up for by adding depth to the scenery.  It should be just fine in 2D fwiw.  I went over to the local AMC which just recently finished remodeling into a restaurant/theater with comfy lounge chairs, trays, service at your seat etc. etc.  And $15 for the ticket, though some of that may've been the 3D.  No idea how good the food is - I just ordered popcorn and iced tea, which came to about as much as the ticket when I added in the tip.  Decent popcorn I must admit, and rather more than I could eat.

OK, as to the movie.  The following assumes you've read the book.  If you haven't, it's apt to be confusing or spoilery.  For that matter, even if you have read the book if you're especially anxious not to have advance notice of the stuff not in it, better skip the second paragraph which is mildly spoilery - I've whitened it out.

The Hobbit: The Unexpected Journey takes advantage of being only 1/3 of the story to cover pretty much the same incidents as the book, along with a bit of a framing story at the start of Bilbo writing down his notes for Frodo, just before the celebrated Birthday Party in Lord of the Rings.  We then transition to the Unexpected Party (Though for some reason Bilbo doesn't ask Gandalf to tea, making the invasion of dwarves even less warranted than in the book.  You can't help wondering why he isn't out the door and off to the constable's.)  The plot continues in its familiar way until the movie ends when the Eagles deposit everybody on top of the Carrock.

Some extra stuff happens, of course We meet Radagast, who brings news of the shadow over Mirkwood, which unlike in the book has just recently happened, and also removes a bit of the coincidence involved in things like the Eagles intervention in the forest.  Also the Dol Guldur subplot mentioned but never shown in the book plays a part. There is a meeting at Rivendell involving Gandalf, Elrond, Galadriel and Saruman, who you half expect to hold up a card reading "hiss the villain", even though if we're going by the books at this stage he isn't. Yet. The content of the meeting also reflects some stuff about Gandalf's involvement which you can find in the appendices of Lord of the Rings. Thorin has an old enemy turn up in pursuit with a lot of warg riders who mostly serves to provide a bit of extra action for everybody including Bilbo, who does pretty well, much to his own surprise.  .

The scenery is spectacular, not that this is going to be any surprise, and we get plenty of time to look at it in the various scenes of the party crossing through it.  I particularly liked  the thunder-battle up in the Misty Mountain peaks involving the rock giants.   Watch and you'll see what I mean.

A couple of minor quibbles - nobody bleeds, despite some scenes involving bits being hacked off or into.  One can understand why Jackson doesn't want the rating going through the roof, but it's still a mite weird.  Glamdring and Orcrist don't glow in the presense of goblins, though Sting does - in the book they all 3 did.  But I don't recall what the situation was in the LOTR movies so *shrug*.  If you must split the Hobbit into three(!) parts, it works well thus far.
kayshapero: (Ftagn!)
OK, big gap - I posted this in August of last year.

Ok, first off this is a discussion of book two of a trilogy, Peter Watt's Starfish, Maelstrom, and Behemoth. Now I'm only about a third of the way into the book, so it's questionable how much of this counts as a spoiler, but it's kinda hard NOT to talk about it without providing spoilers for Starfish, especially the ending. So if you've not read it and want to (here's the review I wrote of it when I read it a couple years back), do not click on the lj cut.

Review )
kayshapero: (Default)
Posted in September of 2008, when I got the flu. :(

I guess there is one advantage to getting sick; I do get more time to read. (Go to bed. When eyes open, read. When eyes closed, sleep. Repeat macro.) Read a bit of fanfic before giving up on it (note to writers - I don't care what you're crossing with Narnia, please try to at least keep Aslan in character.) Went on to better things.

Ok, this isn't one of the freebies, this is the sequel to one of the freebies, which I have now read courtesy the LASFS library. Warning - this WILL have spoilers for Through Wolf's Eyes. There is also a reference to Rosemary Edgehill's The Cup of Morning Shadows though not really all that spoilery.

Reviews... )
kayshapero: (Default)
ConChord is over, and though I have to make up another Kazoo award for the category where there were two (and take the opportunity to decoupage the labels onto the bases of the awards whose winners weren't present and thus will have to have them mailed)... I still have time to do some reading.

So I just finished The Outstretched Shadow by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory.

Review... )
Next I'm reading book two of Jane Lindskold's Wolf's Eyes series, courtesy of the LASFS library.
kayshapero: Blergh... (Feh)
I give up - The Yiddish Policemen's Union is going back to the library half read tomorrow.  Interesting, if ose, background, the old "determined detective bulls through to the TRUTH" plot... and I find myself putting the thing down every chapter to find something, anything more cheerful.  Today I hit the last straw, as Our Hero did something so mindblowingly dumb that I found myself considering the Eight Deadly Words*.  Someone with more tolerance for gritty street-level realism in an alternate universe may well enjoy it - in fact a number of someones must've or it'd hardly have won the Hugo... but I think I'm getting on with the rest of the stack.

*"I Don't Care What Happens To These People."
kayshapero: (Default)
OK, I started The Yiddish Policemen's Union and by the time I got halfway through things got so ose (after all, it IS noir) that I needed a break. So I'll review it after I finish it. In the interim I went on a reading jag in the AJ Hall does the Harry Potterverse (occasionally mixing in some other places) series of fanfics, aka the LOPverse which can be found here. There's a link to a recommended reading order; actually I'd recommend starting with the two novels which are, I believe, the first two actually written, and also strike me as the best of the lot. These are well written, well plotted novels, the first (Lust over Pendel) being a comedy of manners crossed with an adventure, the second (Dissipation and Despair) a "cozy" style murder mystery in the tradition of Dorothy Sayers' Lord Peter Wimsey series. The rest are a mixed bag of short stories, and include items historical to the main novels, crossovers with Lois Bujold's Vorkosigan series, and "The Perilous Point" which ties up most of the loose ends in the relationships established in the novels. A brief warning about one of them,"The Kindly Ones" which is one of those annoying short stories that make you feel like you just read the first two or three chapters and lost the book - while it's pretty obvious what happens next, there's really room for development. Still I can understand the author deciding to quit while ahead, and anybody familiar with Greek mythology can probably figure out why from the title.

And speaking of titles, don't let those of the novels throw you off - the author's being playful. Now these ARE technically slash, involving Draco Malfoy and Neville Longbottom of all people... but actually it works, and the author avoids both porn and overwhelming angstfests (I can think of a few well known authors who could learn a lot from her handling of this theme). Go enjoy!
kayshapero: (Default)
Candide (see previous post) finished up in what I can only call an appropriate fashion. If you haven't read it, I recommend looking it up.

Reviews )

Next up, this year's Hugo best novel winner, The Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon. Who, interestingly enough won the Pulitzer literary prize in 2001. Must go look up The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay after I finish this one. Then back to Tor again.
kayshapero: (Caracal2)
Comments on Through Wolf's Eyes, by Jane Lindskold, The Disunited States of America by Harry Turtledove, All Seated On The Ground by Connie Willis, The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate by Ted Chiang, Tideline by Elizabeth Bear and even a few on Candide by Voltaire follow. No spoilers far as I can see, but I'll insert a cut anyway.

Reviews... )
kayshapero: (Galaxy)
posted Aug 2, 2008

I think this is general enough not to need a cut.

Sun of Suns
by Karl Schroeder is one of those annoying books where there are all sorts of things to fascinate - an air balloon the size of the Earth containing breathable atmosphere, an artificial sun in the middle and smaller ones here and there, colonies drifting about with the air circulation currents or tethered to orbital bodies, pirates, empires, a general steampunk feel (and a certain amount of physics blandly ignored to be sure), war, love, revenge, murder, deadly plots and secrets, all that stuff...  but though I cannot point the finger at any one thing, it just never quite gelled for me.   A rather bland interest in seeing how it all came out did allow me to finish the book, and I'm glad that the author had the sense to actually provide a decent ending though with plenty of room for the next book in the pipeline, but while I wish the surviving characters no ill, I don't really care what happens to them next either.  Sigh...

On to Through Wolf's Eyes by Jane Lindskold.
kayshapero: (Caracal2)
And now the first batch of reviews (written July 30, 2008, shortly after Tor inaugurated its website with a flock of ebook giveaways).

Currently paging my way through a batch of ebooks Tor was giving away recently, of which I downloaded the lot. Interspersed with other stuff, to be sure.

The trouble with writing anything resembling a review is telling anything about the book without committing spoilers, so if you're really concerned with knowing anything about Farthing (Jo Walton), Starfish (Peter Watt), and Four and Twenty Blackbirds (Cherie Priest), (and to a lesser degree The Sword of Maiden's Tears by Rosemary Edghill. There are also some other references that don't give anything away requiring a warning) just skip the cut.

Reviews... )

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