Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

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Certain Dark Things takes place in an alternate version of Mexico City in which vampires are known to exist. There are ten different types of vampires listed in the glossary, each with their own strengths and weaknesses (somewhat reminiscent of the role-playing game Vampire: The Masquerade). Only three different types of vampires appear on screen which is for the best as trying to keep track of ten different species would have been confusing. The fact that there’s a wider world of vampires out there does leave plenty of room for a sequel or even a series. Continue reading

Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey

“The poets do not sing of this, either, how death begets the urge toward life. I, who knew how to take pain, took Hyacinthe’s. Pain and delight, I took from him, and gave him back both, until we understood, the both of us, how they are intertwined, how one does not come without the other.”

Phèdre nó Delaunay is a masochist, both by inclination and by training. She has the ability to heal quickly, which comes in handy for a masochist, although she also has bad luck. She begins the book as a courtesan in training at the Night Court which contains different houses, each appealing to a different taste. She eventually becomes a ward to Anafiel Delaunay who trains her in observation, making her a spy as well as a courtesan. “All knowledge is worth having” is his motto and Phèdre concurs. I loved that even after she is warned that there are some things she shouldn’t know, she intends to find out anyway. Continue reading

Some Kids Movies that Stand the Test of Time (Or Don’t)

Not all movies stand the test of time. We’ve probably all experienced shock at rewatching a childhood favorite only to discover it’s not as good as we thought it was. I remembered The Transformers: The Movie (1986) as being sophisticated because Optimus Prime dies in it and tried to get my wife to watch it one time, only to be chagrined to find out it’s basically just one long toy commercial. Continue reading

The Incredibles

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I didn’t like The Incredibles (2004) the first time I saw it. Now that a sequel is coming out, I thought I’d give the original movie another chance. Let’s see how that goes.

The Incredibles seems to be an homage to the Fantastic Four (1961-present), a comic in which someone with super strength, someone who can stretch, someone who can turn invisible and make force fields, and someone who can light themselves on fire and fly form a kind of found family. In The Incredibles, we have someone with super strength, someone who can stretch, someone who can turn invisible and make force fields, and someone who can run fast forming an actual family. Continue reading

Catching up with the Marvel Cinematic Universe

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Since I’ve last posted about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I’ve seen the latest four movies. They just keep pumping them out as fast as they can, don’t they? Spiderman: Homecoming (2017) was an average superhero movie targeted towards teenagers, but I liked several things about it: it gave us a sympathetic villain, they didn’t bother giving us Spiderman’s origin story (we’ve had enough of those), the bully wasn’t stereotypical, and the high school students appeared to be – well – high-school-aged (in so many Hollywood movies, they have adults play fifteen-year-olds and it just doesn’t work). It’s also funny in parts. Continue reading

Women of Futures Past

Women of Futures Past starts with an introduction by Kristine Kathryn Rusch in which she gives us a fascinating behind the scenes look into the science fiction publishing industry. (She also introduces each story.) She tells us that many people assume women writing SciFi is a recent phenomenon even though women have been writing SciFi from the beginning. The reason people think women weren’t part of science fiction in earlier decades is because female writers are often left out of Best Of anthologies which effectively erases them from history. She says this is partly due to literary SciFi being favored over the type of SciFi women often write such as space opera. This anthology was created to shine a light on past and present female science fiction writers who haven’t gotten the attention they deserve. Continue reading

Marvel’s The Infinity Gauntlet

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I read this to prepare for the upcoming movie. I know the movie will end up being completely different, but one thing they absolutely, positively have to keep the same is Dr. Strange’s mustache. If Dr. Strange doesn’t have a mustache in Avengers: Infinity War that automatically makes the movie worse than the book. If they let Thor keep his beard too, that would be icing on the cake. Continue reading