Cold Wind April 16, 2014 Cold Wind Nicola Griffith Old ways can outlast their usefulness. What Mario Scietto Says April 15, 2014 What Mario Scietto Says Emmy Laybourne An original Monument 14 story. Something Going Around April 9, 2014 Something Going Around Harry Turtledove A tale of love and parasites. The Devil in America April 2, 2014 The Devil in America Kai Ashante Wilson The gold in her pockets is burning a hole.
From The Blog
April 13, 2014
Game of Thrones, Season 4, Episode 2: “The Lion and the Rose”
Theresa DeLucci
April 11, 2014
This Week’s Game-Changing Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Was Exactly The Problem With The Show
Thom Dunn
April 8, 2014
Let’s Completely Reimagine Battlestar Galactica! Again. This Time as A Movie!
Emily Asher-Perrin
April 4, 2014
The Age of Heroes is Here. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Chris Lough
April 3, 2014
A Spoonful of Music Makes the Nanny: Disney’s Mary Poppins
Mari Ness
Showing posts by: Robert H. Bedford click to see Robert H. Bedford's profile
Mar 5 2014 5:00pm

Joanne M Harris The Gospel of LokiCertain characters in history and mythology gain a bad reputation over time, fairly or unfairly. Some are cast as meddlers, trouble-makers, and villains. Loki, the Norse trickster god is one such figure. Like many so called “villains,” he is the hero of his own story.

At the very least, he’s the protagonist in Joanne Harris’s enchanting mythpunk novel, The Gospel of Loki. Through a first-person narrative, Loki tries to convince us that, even if he isn’t the hero, he shouldn’t be considered the villain history and mythology have cast him. At best, Loki is a misunderstood being and one who is thrust into a situation that provided little chance for him to be anything other than a heel. At worse, he is the Father of Lies.

[Lend an ear to Your Humble Narrator…]

Feb 28 2014 12:00pm

Locke Key Alpha Omega Joe Hill Gabriel RodriguezWelcome back to the reread of Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez’s dark comic series, Locke & Key! “Alpha & Omega” is the sixth and final volume, where the excrement hits the fan and spreads across the room. It is everything Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodriguez have prepared readers for and more. Dodge enacts his plan of revenge on the Locke family with the goal of opening the Black Door in the Drowning Cave. Now that he has the Omega Key very little stands in his way.

What Happens: Dodge-as-Bode gathers all the keys and his plan to bring the demons into the world is in full swing. Prom night at Lovecraft Academy is looming and Scot Kavanaugh is filming his friends and classmates for a video yearbook...

[The Final Key is Crafted…]

Feb 21 2014 11:00am

Locke & Key ClockworksWelcome back to the reread of Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez’s dark comic series, Locke & Key! The fifth installment, “Clockworks,” joins Kinsey and Tyler on a little (okay, maybe not so little) trip through time as they observe the history of their family and those magical keys which led to the events that have been unfolding in the series. Hill and Rodriguez focus the majority of the story entirely in the past of the Locke family; how the keys came to be created and how Lucas Carvaggio, Rendell Locke’s best friend came to be the antagonist of the series, the creature known as Dodge.

In other words, after learning about the Locke children of the present in the previous four volumes, we get the origin story of why things are going bad for them now. This reread contains spoilers (both for the past and the present) so proceed at your own risk.

[Clocking in with the past…]

Feb 14 2014 12:00pm

Locke & Key Keys to the KingdomWelcome back to the reread of Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez’s dark comic series, Locke & Key! The fourth installment, “Keys to the Kingdom,” picks up very closely on the heels of the third. This reread contains spoilers, so proceed at your own risk. This one’s going to be broken down a bit differently than previous rereads, since this storyline was structured like connected stand-alone episodes.

What Happens: The first episode, “Sparrow,” is a wonderful tribute to Bill Watterson, creator of the great Calvin and Hobbes comic strip. We see the story from two perspectives on a snowy day: one from the young Bode drawn in homage to Watterson’s style with Bode looking very much like Calvin, while the other perspective follows the other Locke children. Bode’s teacher speaks with Nina about Bode’s lack of friends, despite his imagination and intelligence. Kinsey, meanwhile, blurts out her love for Zack Wells and argues with her brother.

[Dodging with many keys…]

Feb 7 2014 11:00am

Locke & Key Crown of ShadowsWelcome back to the reread of Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez’s dark comic series, Locke & Key! The third installment, “Crown of Shadows,” picks up very closely on the heels of the second. This reread contains spoilers, so proceed at your own risk.

What Happens: The Locke family is still a mess. After all, dealing with the murder of your father and also having the murderer follow across country is something that would unsettle the most unshakable of people. Dodge-as-Zack is still trying to get closer to the family through Kinsey, but Kinsey makes some other friends at school in Scot and Jamal. Tyler and Bode do some more snooping around Keyhouse Manor and find what looks like a very large key embedded in the floor. Nina continues to drown herself in alcohol.

[Evil is the Head that Wears the Crown …]

Jan 31 2014 11:45am

CS Friedman DreamwalkerI’ve long been a fan of C.S. Friedman’s writing; regardless of genre flavor (Fantasy in The Coldfire Trilogy and The Magister Trilogy or Space Opera in This Alien Shore, In Conquest Born), her novels have always had a balance of character and plot and worked very well for me. Ms. Friedman steps a bit farther afield than previous jaunts through the genre with Dreamwalker, a first person young adult urban fantasy.

Jessica Drake—Jesse—is a sixteen-year old girl living in a broken home. Her father left years prior to the beginning of the novel, her mother works any and all hours to pay the bills and her younger brother Tommy is always online playing games like World of Warcraft. Fortunately, she has her art to keep her occupied; the images she conjures are inspired by her dreams. A rather suspect woman asks to buy the art, and Jesse feels uncomfortable around her. What she finds even more uncomfortable is that this woman seems to be casing her house, and practically stalking her younger brother.

[Don't close your eyes …]

Jan 31 2014 11:00am

Locke & Key Head Games Joe Hill Gabriel RodriguezWelcome back to the reread of Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez’s dark comic series, Locke & Key! The second installment, “Head Games,” picks up very closely on the heels of the first. This reread contains spoilers, so proceed at your own risk.

What Happens: The Locke family has survived a second attack from Sam Lesser. Kinsey is starting to fit in with her fellow classmates, Bode is still the curious young boy he’s supposed to be, and Tyler has befriended new student Zack Wells. Zack bears a more than striking resemblance to Lucas Carvaggio, former friend of Rendell Locke. That’s because he is Lucas, except that Lucas died under (thus far) unknown circumstances in 1988.

[Unlock your inner thoughts…]

Jan 24 2014 10:00am

By now, most people who follow the Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror genres are aware Joe Hill is the son of Stephen King, so let’s get that out of the way. With his prose fiction and comic book work (most prominently this here series), Joe Hill has carved out his own space in modern dark fiction. When he launched Locke & Key in 2008 with the superb artist Gabriel Rodriguez, Hill’s lineage had just been revealed, but even that couldn’t prepare readers for the dark tale he and his co-creator were unleashing on the world.

[Read More]

Jan 24 2014 10:00am

Locke & Key Welcome to Lovecraft

Welcome to the reread of Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez’s dark comic series, Locke & Key. Today I'm covering the first collected volume, “Welcome to Lovecraft,” which contains the first six issues of the series. You can read the intro to the reread here for more information about the series!

What Happens: The Locke family vacation in California is not going as eldest son Tyler hoped it would. He is bored and is butting heads with his stern father, Rendell, guidance counselor at the school where Ty attends.  Two young men come a knocking, looking for Dad...

[Here are your keys, welcome to Keyhouse…]

Nov 18 2013 11:00am

“Endless Forms Most Beautiful”
Written by Graeme Manson
Directed by John Fawcett
Season 1, Episode 10
Original Airdate June 2, 2013
Re-air date: November 16, 2013

What Happens: Sarah gets up from Kira’s bed to shut off the light. She descends into the living room and speaks with Mrs. S. and Amelia about introducing Helena to Amelia. When they head into the basement (where Helena is tied up), Amelia says she needs to speak with Sarah away from the house; she has something to tell her about the in-vitro treatment. When Sarah introduces Amelia as their mother, Helena laughs. “How can you be my birth mother?” Upstairs, Mrs. S. begins to go through Amelia’s bag and finds a bound pad with a photo in an envelope. Kira comes down the stairs and surprises Mrs. S; “I think something bad is going to happen again.”

[Let’s make a deal with Dr. Leekie…]

Nov 11 2013 11:00am

Orphan Black Unconscious Selection “Unconscious Selection”
Written by Alex Levine
Directed by TJ Scott
Season 1, Episode 9
Original Airdate May 25, 2013
Re-air date: November 9, 2013

What Happens: The ambulance carrying Kira, Sarah and Mrs. S. rushes to the hospital, and blood can be seen trickling down Kira’s head. In the hospital waiting room, Sarah beats herself up, but Mrs. S. tells her she shouldn’t blame herself. Alison appears at the hospital, saying “I can’t help but feel it’s my daughter in there.” Felix offers up his apartment for Alison to use while they wait for news on Kira’s condition.

A nurse tells the doctor he needs to see something with Kira. Seconds later, he walks out and tells Sarah that Kira’s going to be fine and that she’s a very lucky girl. There’s that word again… At home, a chandelier in Kira’s room flickers and she wakes saying, “She looks like you, she looks like mommy.”

[Face the music, eat some humble pie …]

Nov 4 2013 2:00pm

Orphan Black Entangled Bank “Entangled Bank”
Written by Karen Walton
Directed by Ken Girotti
Season 1, Episode 8
Original Airdate May 18, 2013
Re-air date: November 2, 2013

What Happens: Art compares a photo of Sarah Manning on a PC to Beth’s ID—he and Deangelis throw around the term doppelganger and ask about any sisters Beth might have. The two officers leave the station and we cut to Paul and Sarah embracing in Felix’s bed. Clearly these two are getting along very well. Paul says they can’t go back to the townhouse and tells Felix they’ll need to hang out at his place for a while. The clone phone rings—Alison calls to let Sarah know that she and Donnie are getting a divorce. Hanging up the phone, Alison notices Aynsley walking in, claiming she’s just there to pick up the mail. Meanwhile at Mrs. S’s house, Kira is painting when somebody knocks on the door.

[Beware visitors to Mrs. S.’s house]

Oct 28 2013 10:00am

Orphan Black Parts Developed in an Unusual Manner “Parts Developed in an Unusual Manner
Written by Tony Elliott
Directed by Brett Sullivan
Season 1, Episode 7
Original Airdate May 11, 2013
Re-air date: September 28, 2013

What Happens: Sarah and Cosima are skyping once again, and realize that “this is the new normal.” They decide that even though Paul is a monitor, he is likely on their side. Sarah tells Cosima to stay away from Delphine, whom they both suspect is Cosima’s monitor. Sarah warns Cosima about what happened with Alison and Donnie, who are now on a trip “repairing their marriage.”

[Heads or Tails?…]

Oct 23 2013 2:00pm

Dan Simmons The AbominableMount Everest is one of the most imposing things/locales on Planet Earth, it is after all, the largest mountain on the globe. Dan Simmons takes his expert authorial voice to Everest and weaves a death-defying tale about mountain climbers in 1925 on a mission to recover a lost climber at a time when no climber had yet ascended its highest peaks. In The Abominable, Simmons blends history and intrigue into a fictitious telling with hints of folk tales.

Simmons uses a clever framing device in the novel, inserting himself into the narrative. The first chapter, which at first seems like a typical author’s introduction, turns out to be a recounting of a fictitious meeting between Simmons and the protagonist of the main novel, Jacob Perry, a veteran mountain climber who once attempted to climb Mount Everest. The character Dan Simmons secures a meeting with Perry to initially discuss Perry’s experience in an expedition in Antarctica for a novel he plans on writing. In what is just the first of many a misdirection in the novel, Perry’s experience on Mount Everest turns out to be the story Simmons reveals rather than anything involving an Antarctic expedition.

[Let the ascent begin…]

Oct 21 2013 9:00am

Orphan Black Variations Under Nature “Variations Under Domestication”
Written by Will Pascoe
Directed by John Fawcett
Season 1, Episode 6
Original Airdate May 4, 2013
Re-air date: October 19, 2013

What Happens: Donnie and Alison are asleep in bed; Alison wakes first and makes sure the spy cam is still set up properly. The previous night’s video shows Donnie getting up in the middle of the night and walking around the bed and staring at her, all Paranormal Activity style, before exiting the room. Alison is convinced that Donnie is her “monitor” and walks to the kitchen to confront him. He tries to tell her something about getting ready and washing the dishes, but she’s too furious to notice. As he walks towards the door, Alison picks up one of his golf clubs and whacks him in the face.

[Did somebody say Potluck Party?!…]

Oct 14 2013 12:00pm

Orphan Black Conditions of Existence Conditions of Existence
Written by Alex Levine
Directed by TJ Scott
Season 1, Episode 5
Original Airdate April 27, 2013
(Re-air date October 12, 2013)

What Happens: A man in a black suit tends to Helena’s wounds. Meanwhile, Sarah is skyping with Alison, who asks why she quit being a cop. Sarah ignores the question, but thanks Alison for helping with Kira. Alison replies, “She’s a special little girl… you are very lucky.” This is the second time luck has been associated with Kira in the series—Mrs. S previously pointed out that Sarah didn’t realize just how lucky she was to have Kira.

[The “lab rats” are self aware…]

Oct 8 2013 12:30pm

Old Mars George R R Martin Gardner DozoisAn anthology edited and compiled by two friends, both with legendary pedigrees in the genre, with the theme of our closest celestial neighbor as we once imagined it? That’s what we have here in Old Mars edited by George R.R. Martin (who has a great deal of anthology & short fiction editing experience) and Gardner Dozois (the pre-eminent genre anthologist of our time). Mars has captured the imagination of humanity for decades and centuries, as George R.R. Martin recounts in his lengthy introduction.

This anthology revels in the spirit of the golden age of SF when little was known about our neighboring celestial body and life was thought to exist on the red planet. Taking cues from Burroughs, Verne, and Wells, editors Martin and Dozois have assembled 15 tales that conjure up a now (possibly?) invalidated future-of-the-past and look forward, embracing the imagination that Mars has been inspiring in storytellers for countless years.

[Let’s explore a future that could have been...]

Oct 7 2013 9:00am

Orphan Black Effects of External Conditions Effects of External Conditions
Written by Karen Walton
Directed by Grant Harvey
Season 1, Episode 4
Original Airdate April 20, 2013
(Re-air date October 5, 2013)

What Happens: The episode opens on a sink spattered with blood as Helena dresses her stomach wound from the confrontation with Sarah-as-Beth in the previous episode. Screechy music and shaky camera matches the crazed personality of the newest clone on the scene. As the camera pulls back, a young boy walks in on Helena.

[Read More]

Sep 30 2013 10:00am

Orphan Black Variation Under Nature “Variation Under Nature”
Written by Graeme Mason
Directed by David Frazee
Season 1, Episode 3
Original Airdate April 13, 2013

What Happens: Picking up immediately after the second episode, we see Cosima, Alison, and Sarah in Alison’s living room. Some clever camera angles and editing make this scene nearly perfect in how all three versions of Tatiana Maslany are on the screen simultaneously. Cosima learns that Sarah is an orphan who came to Canada when she was 12. Alison is still upset about Beth’s death, but Alison is angry, scared, and resistant to helping Sarah. Cosima indicates Beth was not doing too well mentally and emotionally with the whole clone situation. Alison finally relents and says what we’ve all known since the show started, “We’re clones, and somebody is killing us off.”

[Let’s try to call in that 10:45, shall we?]

Sep 23 2013 10:00am

Orphan Black Rewatch Instinct “Instinct”
Written by Graeme Mason
Directed by John Fawcett
Season 1, Episode 2
Original Airdate April 6, 2013

What Happens: “Instinct” picks up where we last left Sarah—she’s fleeing an unknown shooter, there’s a dead German clone in the back seat of her car, and Beth’s pink phone is ringing. Sarah answers the phone and the person on the other end, a female, thinks Sarah is Beth. “The German’s dead,” Sarah-as-Beth says. The person on the other end of the phone replies, “It’s true, somebody is trying to kill us.” Sarah realizes the body needs to be disposed of, and the woman on the phone tells Sarah she needs to retrieve the German’s briefcase “before they do.” Who are “they”? Sarah continues to play along as Beth, hoping to find answers to all the questions racing through her head—why there are apparently many versions of herself, and why one of them was just shot.

[What’s in the briefcase?]