Selfies September 17, 2014 Selfies Lavie Tidhar Smile for the camera. When Gods and Vampires Roamed Miami September 16, 2014 When Gods and Vampires Roamed Miami Kendare Blake A Goddess Wars story As Good As New September 10, 2014 As Good As New Charlie Jane Anders She has three chances to save the world. Tuckitor’s Last Swim September 9, 2014 Tuckitor’s Last Swim Edith Cohn A hurricane is coming.
From The Blog
September 11, 2014
The Ghostbusters are an Antidote to Lovecraft’s Dismal Worldview
Max Gladstone
September 11, 2014
Five Underrated Doctor Who Companions (And One Scoundrel)
David Cranmer
September 9, 2014
My Favourite Apocalypses, or, How to End the World for Fun and Profit
Gary Gibson
September 9, 2014
Sleeps With Monsters: Another Post About Some Books
Liz Bourke
September 8, 2014
Come With Us to All the Magical Londons!
Leah Schnelbach
Showing posts by: alex brown click to see alex brown's profile
Wed
Sep 17 2014 2:00pm

Aloha HawaiiCon!

HawaiiCon

This past weekend was the first ever HawaiiCon. I was one of the 199 Kickstarter backers last year, and was excited for the chance to attend. In all, the new con had about 700 attendees (including guests and comps), with the split between Hawaiians and mainlanders about 50/50. Although the Kickstarter hailed it as a science and SFF con with a Hawaiian twist, and touted its authors, celebrities, and comic book artists, the con really ended up being roughly 60% hard science, 30% SF, and the rest a sundry mix.

[“The Science, Sci-Fi and Fantasy Convention with Aloha!”]

Wed
Sep 10 2014 5:00pm

Teen Wolf: Evolution

Teen Wolf

Previously on Teen Wolf: Everything happens all at once, nothing is satisfactorily explained, and all hell breaks loose.

[“What the hell is so special about Scott McCall?”]

Wed
Sep 3 2014 2:00pm

Pull List: Legendary Star-Lord and Rocket Raccoon

Rocket Racoon

In case you’ve been under a rock the last month, the Guardians of the Galaxy went from relatively obscure comic book heroes to global superstars. As of August 25, the film has raked in over $500 million worldwide, with more than $94 million of that coming in opening weekend in just North America. 44% of its opening weekend audience was female, beating the last record holder of 40% female audience for The Avengers. It’s by no means perfect, but it’s entertaining as all get out.

Tying in to the film’s release, Marvel released several comics to sate fans looking for more Groot-y goodness. To that end, let’s dive into Legendary Star-Lord and Rocket Raccoon.

[“No one calls the Guardians of the Galaxy krutackers!”]

Wed
Aug 20 2014 3:00pm

Second Sight: Visions by Kelley Armstrong

Kelley Armstrong Visions reviewOlivia Taylor-Jones is back and just as kick-ass as ever in Visions, Kelley Armstrong’s bewitching second entry in her Cainsville series. When we first met Liv, her whole life was shattered with the revelation that her wealthy parents had adopted her after her bio parents were sent to jail as notorious serial killers. Her mundane world got a helluva lot more magical once she realized her weird little superstitions were really omens and portents of death and despair. Suddenly, the former socialite found herself at the center of an epic, timeless battle between Team Fate and Team Free Will.

After the deadly events of Omens, Liv, formerly Eden Larsen, takes a part time gig as an investigator with Gabriel Walsh, her hulking defense attorney. Ostensibly they’re looking into her parents’ convictions - the Larsens maintain their innocence, the courts say otherwise, and the evidence is circumstantial and ambiguous - but it wouldn’t be Cainsville if there weren’t a million plays and counter plays roiling around under the surface.

[“There’s a dead woman in my car.”]

Wed
Aug 13 2014 10:30am

Guardians of the Galaxy, We Need to Talk

Let me make a few things clear before we get into the grumpy bits. I enjoyed the hell out of the Guardians of the Galaxy movie. Not only I was part of that 44% female audience for opening weekend, but I also plan to see it again. It was the first MCU movie I’ve seen opening day or weekend, and only the second one I’ve seen in a theater (the first was Captain America: The Winter Soldier). The soundtrack has been on repeat on my iPod for nearly two weeks, and half my Tumblr is dedicated to Rocket and Groot being adorbs and Sister Assassins being awesome. I’d pay cold, hard cash for a dancing baby Groot toy, and Groot fanart is my desktop wallpaper. I would give just about anything to have a TV prequel of teenage Gamora and Nebula kicking ass. I will even cover the “Rocket Raccoon,” “Legendary Star-Lord,” and “Guardians of the Galaxy” comics in an upcoming Pull List. TL;DR: I love the Guardians of the Galaxy movie. Well, I love about 85% of it, and have serious reservations about a few key issues.

Spoilers abound...

[“I am going to die surrounded by the biggest idiots in the galaxy.”]

Tue
Aug 12 2014 1:30pm

Teen Wolf: Dead Pool

Teen Wolf

Previously on Teen Wolf: Malia gets the best lines; Lydia unofficially moves into the lakehouse; Peter takes the crown for smarm; Argent apparently has nothing better to do than hang out with a bunch of high schoolers; Derek and Braeden mix business with pleasure; Kira reminds us all she’ll never be more than a second-tier Allison; Liam growls a lot; Scott and Stiles come up with increasingly awful plans; and Kate continues to be the worst.

[“No one else dies...I’m gonna save everyone.”]

Mon
Aug 11 2014 10:00am

Outlander: “Sassenach”

Outlander Diana Gabaldon episode review Starz

When Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and her husband Frank Randall (Tobias Menzies) head to the Scottish Highlands in 1945, the plan is to kickstart their stalled marriage. World War II split the newlyweds apart for nearly 6 years, and the Inverness getaway is supposed to bring them closer together. Instead, Claire stumbles upon a magic-infused stone circle and suddenly finds herself 200 years in the past being shot at by Redcoats, held captive by Scottish clansmen, and nearly raped by her husband’s scoundrel of an ancestor who also happens to look almost identical to Frank. Her captors are nice enough, especially the dashing Jamie (Sam Heughan), but she’s still a prisoner, in more ways than one.

[“People disappear all the time.”]

Fri
Aug 8 2014 10:00am

Invented Truth: Your Face in Mine by Jess Row

Your Face in Mine Jess Row reviewJess Row’s debut novel, Your Face in Mine, stars Kelly Thorndike, a thirtysomething white Baltimorean. Not long ago he lost his Chinese wife and their young biracial daughter in a tragic car accident. Now he works in a thoughtless radio job and wanders through life in a depression-tinted haze. Until he runs into his high school best friend, Martin.

Martin used to be a scraggly Ashkenazi Jewish kid but is now somehow a business-minded Black man, all thanks to racial reassignment surgery. He hires Kelly to help write his biography and introduce the radical medical technique to the world. Martin’s version of truth and reality are as flexible as his definition of race. Both he and Kelly long to be part of something they aren’t, and as Kelly descends into the rabbit hole of twisty logic and misunderstood cause and effect, his role as biographer begins to take on the traits of a new recruit.

[“I belong there! you insist. But you don’t.”]

Wed
Jul 30 2014 2:00pm

Pull List: Kelly Sue DeConnick’s Captain Marvel

Captin Marvel Carol Danvers Kelly Sue DeConnick

Welcome to Pull List, a new monthly comics column. We’ll look at everything from decades-spanning titles to oneshots and miniseries, from graphic novels to caped crusaders to webcomics. There’ll be a strong focus on works with high marks in diversity and feminism, out-of-the-box artistic creativity, and envelope-pushing, as well as some old school silliness every now and again.

Being a comics fan ain’t easy, especially if you don’t fit the outmoded paradigm of straight white male. As someone who doesn’t meet two thirds of that criteria, I avoided the whole comics thing for ages. I had the joy of growing up with the X-Men, Justice League, Superman, and Batman cartoons, and the supreme displeasure of discovering that comics-on-tv was pretty much the only space in which I was allowed. For years, whenever people asked me my favorite comics characters, my go-to were Lois Lane, Wonder Woman, Jubilee, Storm, and Oracle, but my knowledge of them was strictly television-based.

[The first thing I bought? Kelly Sue DeConnick’s Captain Marvel]

Thu
Jul 17 2014 10:30am

Teen Wolf: Reboot

Teen Wolf season 4 episodes 2 3 4

Previously on Teen Wolf: Scott makes a series of stupid decisions that turn out in his favor only out of sheer dumb luck; Stiles makes a series of stupid decisions that turn out in his favor only out of sheer dumb luck; Kira grows more comfortable with being both a BAMF and total rom-com ditz; Lydia continues to be awesome and woefully underutilized; Derek and Sheriff Stilinski play Batman and Commissioner Gordon; Peter loses the bank and gets his v-neck bloody; Kate is the worst; Argent needs a shave; the parental McCalls are now living together or something; and WHERE THE HELL IS DANNY?

[“Can someone in this town stay dead?!”]

Tue
Jun 24 2014 10:25am

Teen Wolf: Lobito

Previously on Teen Wolf: The Scott pack—now with more magical shapeshifting Japanese foxes!—battle Nogitsune!Stiles; Allison learns to be the hunter she was always meant to be; Derek continues to have terrible taste in women; Lydia never stops screaming; a coyote shifter stirs up trouble and hormones; Jackson leaves town to be Red Hood on Arrow; and nobody hugs Isaac enough. Basically, everyone is dead or gone and everything hurts.

This review is operating under the assumption you’re up-to-date. Proceed with caution. Thar be spoilers...

[“This plan is stupid, and we’re going to die.”]

Wed
Jun 18 2014 10:00am

Don’t Touch That Dial: Summer Reruns—British Edition

Welcome back to “Don’t Touch That Dial,” a seasonal series in which I, your friendly neighborhood television addict, break down some of the shows screaming for your attention. I already told you what’s new this summer and what television I’m pulling out of my back catalogue to fill in the long days and warm nights. Now we’re diving a little deeper. In this very special episode we’re covering summer reruns: shows that have ended but deserve to be seen.

[“Oh my God...I’ve got some f**king Jaffa Cakes in my coat pocket!”]

Wed
Jun 11 2014 1:00pm

The Warm Glowing Warming Glow: Summer 2014 TV

Summer 2014 television previewBack when I was young and free, unencumbered by a “job” and “higher education” and “rent” and “buying groceries,” I could easily channel surf the entire summer away looking for something, anything to watch that wasn’t daytime talk shows or some mind-bogglingly terrible 80s movie. In this wonderful modern age, however, the push for off-season viewing is growing stronger. That being said, quantity does not equal quality.

The summer schedule may be more crowded than normal with shows just gearing up rather than repeats or burn-offs, much of what we’re left with is either asinine (Under the Dome, Crossbones) or choking on failed potential (Halt and Catch Fire). There’s also a ton of pulp, some entertaining in its brazen audacity (Penny Dreadful, Teen Wolf), most just 42 minutes of audience eye rolling (True Blood, Witches of East End). So, out of all that, what’s worth watching live, what’s worth saving up for a late summer binge, and what’s worth forgetting it ever existed?

[“Stupid TV! Be more funny!”]

Tue
May 27 2014 11:00am

Hannibal: Hunted Hunters

Hannibal Season 2

Previously on Hannibal: *ugly crying*

[“They know.”]

Wed
May 21 2014 5:00pm

Which Way to Murder Town? Midnight Crossroad by Charlaine Harris

Charlaine Harris Midnight CrossroadWhen 22-year-old phone psychic Manfred Bernardo moved to Midnight, Texas, he was looking for a quiet place to go unnoticed. Turns out, that’s what everyone else in the dusty little crossroads town wants, too. The denizens are friendly and welcoming, but frighteningly protective of their myriad and sundry secrets. Manfred’s landlord, Bobo Winthrop, runs a pawn shop with a very pale night owl named Lemuel and Olivia, a woman as deadly as she is beautiful. Across the way is a nail salon run by a gay couple (whose secret could very easily force the sequel to jump the shark), a diner owned by apparently the town’s only married couple, the Gas N Go staffed by an overprotective father and his two bored kids, a rundown church and pet cemetery overseen by a decidedly creepy reverend, and a magic shop presided over by a witch named Fiji and her observant cat.

Quirky doesn’t even come close to describing this town, and Manfred hasn’t felt this at home since his psychic grandmother was still alive. Everything threatens to come crashing down when one of the townsfolk turns up murdered by the river. Suddenly there are cops and pissed off bikers and white supremacists crawling all over Witch Light Road, and the list of possible killers grows longer and longer. Violence outbursts from racist outsiders push the Midnighters closer together, and the hunt for the killer heats up.

[“You might pass through the town of Midnight without noticing it...”]

Mon
May 12 2014 12:00pm

Hannibal: Murder Husbands

Hannibal

Previously on Hannibal: Will goes fishing for the most dangerous game of all; Hannibal goes Shiva for the hell of it; Alana FINALLY gets suspicious of the murder husbands; Jack gets better at being sneaky; Margot gets temporarily preggers; Mason drinks the tears of children; and Freddie plays the phoenix.

[“This is my design.”]

Mon
Apr 14 2014 2:00pm

Hannibal: Puppies, Plate Glass, and Plot Twists

Hannibal

Previously on Hannibal: Will aims at Hannibal and misses; Hannibal and Alana knock boots; Gideon disappears; Miriam reappears; Beverly is torn asunder; Jack misses the forest for the corpse-y trees; and everyone says fare thee well to Chilton. And puppies! So many puppies!

[“I want you to kill Hannibal Lecter.”]

Mon
Mar 31 2014 12:00pm

The Walking Dead, S4 E16 “A”

The Walking Dead

Well, weary travelers, this is the end of the line. Half of me is relieved to reach the season finale, and the other half is sorry to see it all end. But that mentality accurately sums up my whole attitude toward the show as a whole. It’s satisfying and disappointing, entertaining and insipid, provocative and asinine. I’m flummoxed to think of another show this chaotic and uneven that somehow manages to add viewers in such unprecedented quantities. I’m curious to know how much of the audience is made up of viewers like me with a staunchly ambivalent opinion who keep watching anyway and those who love it without abatement. I suspect the former to be the larger group, but clearly there are enough of the latter to keep this train moving. And I think that’s a good thing. Mostly.

[“What the hell are you gonna do now, sport?”]

Mon
Mar 24 2014 2:00pm

Hannibal: Macabre Murals, Creepy Courtrooms, and BEES!

Previously on Hannibal: Hannibal looks dapper in his plastic murder suit; Will does not look dapper in his prison jumpsuit; Beverly discovers something she shouldn’t; Bedelia realizes something she shouldn’t; Jack and Chilton get played by everyone; and Bella lives, dies, and lives again. Also, BEES!

[“Look what the Katz dragged in!”]

Mon
Mar 24 2014 10:30am

The Walking Dead, S4 E15 “Us”

Most of the back half of season 4 has been given over to character development. It’s a much needed conceit, although not everyone the writers are workshopping is worth the time or energy. “Us” is yet another foray down this path, and once again I find myself ambivalent about whether or not it succeeded in its mission. Part of that comes from the necessary yet uninspired place setting and piece moving. The entire episode was centered around moving the disparate groups (save Tyrese, Carol, Judith, and Beth) closer to Terminus. The episode was functional and only mildly infuriating. In other words, it was on par with the average episode. At least they’re consistent.

[“You told the truth. He lied. You understand the rules. He doesn’t.”]