I actually caught Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children a little while ago when Clau and I got the library movie dongle a few weeks back, but seeing as how the Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children was sitting in my TBR pile just waiting to be read, I thought I would save it for when I finished the book. It’s almost as if my past self and my now self were collaborating to truly mindfucl my was-then-but-not-quite now self who was reading the damn thing. Wait, what?
Continuing with our library hauls, I’m reviewing Six Gun Tarot this week, our first introduction to R.S. Belcher’s fusion of steampunk, weird western, and Lovecraftian horror. This novel follows the denizens of a town on the edge of the 40-mile desert where the promise of a new life sits shoulder to shoulder with the risk of a cruel and unnatural death. Golgotha is filled with Mormons, Chinese, outlaws, ninja women, and creeping terrors at every turn. It’s fun, that’s for sure, and well written, but despite glowing admiration by the likes of geek royalty Felicia Day, I have a few problems with it I need to unearth. It’s dangerous to go alone, so here’s a revolver filled with silver bullets. Let’s take a long ride into the abyss, partner. Continue reading “Six Gun Tarot: A Review”
Last Sunday Clau and I went to the library and discovered Roku, which is a loaner dongle that plugs into your HDMI port and lets you access the streaming movies that the library has signed up to lease for that month. I talk a big game about how infrastructure and public projects have lasting social benefits, so its nice to see this working for my own pocketbook so directly, if only as an example I can show people who don’t understand socialized government (I hate this term. It’s redundant, but will be relevant later in the post.)
The upshot of this is I get to review a whole bunch of movies for you guys! The downside though, is the relative ease of punching in a dud. So let’s get one of the duds out of the way first with Independence Day Resurgence, in case you were looking to Amazon Prime it or something.
The endless city extends above and below, the ceiling invisible, the canyons stretching into the abyss. I wake, with no memory of where I had come from. The shadows around me are crammed with omnipotent forces, desperate survivors, and wretched abominations. My only defense, an archaic weapon of great power and greater cost to use. All I know is I have to keep climbing, and climbing, searching for the humans who might have the rare ability to keep this constantly growing city from consuming everything and becoming truly infinite.
Wait, that’s not a hangover, that’s Blame!
I woke up this Saturday and Netflix had just released their anime adaptation of Tsutomu Nihei’s celebrated cyberpunk manga. Finally! There are few enough great pieces of art in a niche genre like cyberpunk, and Blame! is deserving of the lavish cel-shaded and hand painted treatment Netflix has given it. Click through to read my mostly glowing review. Continue reading “BLAME! A Review”
So last night I ran across the news that Iron Blooded Orphans finally reached its finale sometime last month (#slowpoke). For me, that’s the cue to go find a stream and binge the bejeezus out of one of my favorite things in the entire world: gigantic animated robots beating the shit out of each other. It’s Anime Night, people. This is going to get a bit ranty.
For those of you who don’t know, Iron Blooded Orphans is the latest in the Gundam series of animated shows that have been declared one of Japan’s cultural treasures. The staying power of Gundam is partially its ability to move a whole lot of plastic on modelling sprues, a hobby that seems to connect nerds of every generation and serves as a benchmark for whatever is in vogue for anime through the years. Gundam is also a series with some great traditions that may seem confusing or pointless to a casual anime fan, of which I’ve compiled a bit of a list:
- Politics. A shitload of politics.
- Belongs to the “real” school of robot anime as opposed to the “super” version. That means robots are subject to limitations like fuel, or the tendency to burn up in the atmosphere, or pilots being crushed to death instead of fading into a shower of fairy dust.
- Bland, often repetitive visuals that more or less serve as backdrops to some amazing voice acting. This is almost always completely lost in a translation to English, even when you have spectacular actors. In latter series, this tendency is exacerbated by CG and the abuse of slightly modified stock footage.
- Different parallel universes that each encompass several series of Gundam, often with no obvious way of telling them apart from each other.
- most of all a tendency to jump from plot point to plot point with scene breaks that often ignore whole days between meaningful events. This is to speed things along and jump from the aforementioned political points to some mech on mech action. See: Reconguista in G, Z Gundam, and the original Mobile Suit Gundam, sometimes known as Gundam 0079.
In hindsight I probably should have grabbed a selfie. Stupid lack of planning…
So last Saturday was free comic book day and the wife and I decided to go check out what our local shops have to offer. Turns out we live in the nexus of four or five excellent comic book shops, with a thriving, friendly community that is encouraged to visit many of them and follow artists as they drop in to sign material. It turns out a lot of comic book artists and writers live near enough to drop by, which is excellent.
Around 1PM, we happened to walk into Grasshopper Comics in Wiliston Park. Let me just say, with a little work, that shop would look exactly like Planet Krypton from Kingdom Come. The staff are knowledgeable and friendly, and they wear uniforms that say “Team Hopper” on them. Squee! Continue reading “I met Joe Kelly. Here’s What Happened”
Okay, I’ll be honest, I picked up this book and thought, SCOTTISH FECKIN ZOMBIES.
It’s not, okay? All right, all right, get your kilts proper straight now. Brian Ruckley’s The Edinburgh Dead is too well structured and artistically crafted for that sort of fun. Just look at that cover.
What Brian Ruckley has done is give me a great crib sheet for my raygun gothic novel. The gothic bit, anyway. I’ve been wanting my book to sound like Joy Division meets early Daft Punk, but the daft part has just been wallowing in a bit of leftover Raymond Chandler. There was a darkness that was missing from my work, that same spirit that animated Shelley, Wilde, and Stevenson. Brian Ruckley has this in spades, and the book is properly period, with none of the modern allowances you expect from a book this recent. So thank you, Mr. Ruckley, for producing this wonderful onyx gem. Just look at the one-liners:
“The regret in [spoiler]’s voice was all but palpable, and Quire could hear in it a vast acreage of mourning. Mourning, perhaps, for a life gone wrong.”
OOooooo, sweet, sweet candy. Continue reading “The Edinburgh Dead: A Review”