The Colonel July 29, 2014 The Colonel Peter Watts The hives are sleeping giants. <em>To Eternity</em> July 24, 2014 To Eternity Wesley Allsbrook and Barrie Potter If all things were normal, Stuart would be considered quite a catch. Brisk Money July 23, 2014 Brisk Money Adam Christopher It's hard out there for a robotic detective. A Short History of the Twentieth Century, or, When You Wish Upon A Star July 20, 2014 A Short History of the Twentieth Century, or, When You Wish Upon A Star Kathleen Ann Goonan A rocket story.
From The Blog
July 29, 2014
Introduction to the H. P. Lovecraft Reread
Ruthanna Emrys and Anne M. Pillsworth
July 25, 2014
Huge New Cast and Bloopers. Highlights from the San Diego Comic Con Game of Thrones Panel
Chris Lough
July 22, 2014
What Makes Chinese Science Fiction Chinese?
Xia Jia
July 22, 2014
Everything I Learned from the Buffy Rewatch
Alyx Dellamonica
July 21, 2014
If This is the Plot for Star Wars: Episode VII, I Will Be Sad
Emily Asher-Perrin
Showing posts by: alex brown click to see alex brown's profile
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.”]

Fri
Mar 21 2014 12:00pm

The 100 Could Be Worse, But It Could Also Be A Lot Better

97 years ago, humans on Earth decided the Cold War wasn’t enough and nuked the frak out of each other. The planet was rendered uninhabitable, and billions died, save colonies of 400 farmers, scientists, and engineers from 12 nations who made their way to their space stations. Over the decades, the space stations joined up and formed the Ark. But as time went on, the resources dwindled as the population grew to 4,000. To keep a lid on crime and so as to not waste precious oxygen, all misdeeds were punishable by death—getting chucked out the airlock into the cold clutches of space, specifically. Since even in the apocalypse you can’t go about killing kids willy nilly, anyone under 18 was kept in lockdown. The adults in charge make the difficult decision to pack up 100 teenage lawbreakers into a dilapidated shuttle and drop them back on Earth, because science.

[“We’re back, bitches!”]

Mon
Mar 17 2014 1:30pm

A Long Time Ago, We Used To Be Friends: The Veronica Mars Movie

Veronica Mars Movie Kristen Bell

When Veronica Mars was airing on television, I didn’t watch. Hell, I barely even remember it being on. The mid-Aughts were a difficult period in my life for a variety of reasons, and I missed a lot of great shows that had the misfortune to premiere in my televisual deadzone - Deadwood, Supernatural, The Dresden Files, to name a few. Nowadays, things are a lot less complicated, which means I have a lot more time to pillage the back catalogue of Great Television. And during the month of January 2012, I did just that with Veronica Mars. When I say I watched that show, I mean I binge-watched it. Every bit of spare time was spent with Veronica, Keith, Wallace, and Logan. And when the Kickstarter popped up a few months later, I rushed to become one of those 91,585 backers eager to do anything and everything to bring Neptune back.

[“People say I’m a marshmallow.”]

Mon
Mar 17 2014 10:00am

The Walking Dead, S4 E14 “The Grove”

“The Grove” aims to tie up loose ends from the first half of season 4 and flesh out the remaining undeveloped characters. When we last left Tyrese, Mika, Lizzie, Li’l Asskicker, and Carol, they’d joined up and set off in search of Terminus. Upon discovery of an abandoned house in the woods not far from the train tracks, they decide to set a while and rest. There are three graves in the backyard, presumably of the children of the family who once lived there, but the whole world is a grave now, so they aren’t about to let that taint a good thing. The pantry is full, the stove still works, there’s a pecan orchard in the yard and fresh water out back, and the property is surrounded by wildflowers. Everything’s so lovely Tyrese and Carol decide to stick around. Terminus isn’t going anywhere, and they can always leave. But for now the safety and solitude could work. If nothing else, Mika could use some more lessons in toughening up and Lizzie could benefit from some stability and security.

I suspect this is going to be one of those polarizing reviews, so buckle up kiddos, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

[“She can’t be around other people.”]

Thu
Mar 13 2014 2:00pm

Between The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea: The Burning Dark by Adam Christopher

The Burning Dark Adam Christopher reviewAll Captain Abraham Idaho “Ida” Cleveland and his robotic knee want is to retire with honor. The Fleet has other ideas, however, and shunt him off to a space station orbiting a toxic purple star on the outer reaches of charted space to supervise its disassembly.

When he arrives, he’s met with derision and mocking rather than respect and praise. The marines on the U-Star Coast City decide he’s lying about his great victory against the Spiders, a race of planet-destroying sentient machines in arachnoid shape. Ida sulks but doesn’t dwell. Instead he seeks solace in Izanami, a medic left behind to tend to the few and far between crew, and his hobby of building space radios from scratch.

[“In the dark she burned.”]

Mon
Mar 10 2014 10:00am

The Walking Dead, S4 E13 “Alone”

The Walking Dead Alone Beth

Just about every episode of The Walking Dead can be viewed as a study in parallel universes. In “Alone,” Bob, Maggie, and Sasha go on walkabout then split up due to go their own way, while Daryl and Beth decide to set down roots in the funeral home and eat pickled pigs feet together. Bob makes a failed romantic gesture toward Sasha, and who knows what’s going on between Daryl and Beth—Is it a deepening platonic bond? Are they becoming a close-knit family? Or do they just wanna bone?—while Glenn and Maggie are wrapped up in what they believe to be the greatest love story ever told. Daryl teaches Beth how to track walkers and hunt with a crossbow in a way that doesn’t involve drunkenly manhandling her, while Maggie hunts Glenn and Bob and Sasha track Maggie. Maggie, Bob, and Sasha break up and reunite by choice, while Daryl and Beth are forced apart by terrible, mysterious circumstances. The trio reunite with hope overflowing, while Daryl is conscripted into joining up with Jeff Kober and the Creeper Gang, and Beth is presumably being trafficked by an ex-preacher driving a Cadillac.

[“It’s a serious piggyback.”]

Mon
Mar 3 2014 3:20pm

Hannibal the Cannibal Comes Back for Seconds

Hannibal Season 2

Previously on Hannibal: Hannibal kills an IT consultant, an independent medical examiner, and a crap-ton of other people and turns them into delicious noms; Will Graham is a dog hoarder who sleep-eats Abigail Hobbs’ ear; Abigail gets a mild Electra complex for her fake fathers; Bedelia du Maurier can’t decide if Hannibal loves Will or love loves him; Jack Crawford bullies Will, then acts petty when Alana calls him on it; Alana continues to not be Jay Tyler no matter how much I keep hoping she’ll start talking to anthropomorphic inanimate objects; Freddie Lounds remains alternately obnoxious and frustrating.

[“I never feel guilty eating anything.”]

Mon
Mar 3 2014 1:00pm

The Walking Dead, S4 E12 “Still”

My God. All this time Beth and Daryl were the competent ones. They’ve got this survival thing down pat. When the group reunites, I vote for them to be in charge. Also, Daryl eating snake is the best thing to ever happen on this show. While Carl’s spending his afternoons eating pudding and running into doors, Beth takes care of business. She decides she’s sick of camping in the woods with a taciturn, snake-eating jerkwad. But it’s not safety or security she seeks.

No, what Beth really, really wants is a stiff drink. That’s right. This entire episode’s impetus is Beth wanted to get drunk. That’s about all that happens, plot-wise. Beth sets off in search of hooch while Daryl follows. Beth breaks into a golf club house while Daryl follows. Daryl takes her to a moonshine cabin, they get snookered, they scream their feelings at each other, they hug it out, then they burn the cabin down. Roll credits. It’s what happens between the sparse storyline that matters.

[“Home sweet home.”]

Fri
Feb 28 2014 11:00am

The Devil You Know: A Man Came Out of a Door in the Mountain by Adrianne Harun

There is more than one kind of devil in this world. The kind that arrives out of the blue like a summer thunderstorm, severe, inescapable, and over in a flash. The kind that lives on the edge of town, seeping their poisonous hate into the groundwater, gradually destroying everything in their radius. The kind that seems innocent enough until your throat is already slashed, a mouth full of kind words spoken over sharp teeth.

Short story writer Adrianne Harun pulls the devil out of the realm of fantasy and into the real world with her debut novel A Man Came Out of a Door in the Mountain.

[“If they come here, don’t hesitate. They won’t.”]

Mon
Feb 24 2014 11:30am

The Walking Dead, S4 E11 “Claimed”

It’s clear with the back half of season 4 that Scott Gimple is trying to redress the errors caused by previous showrunners. This Michonne is practically an entirely different character than the one who first arrived. Carl isn’t an insipid, frustrating little brat, but an interesting, challenging teenager. Carol is a revelation compared to the cowed, quaking nothing she was in season 1. Daryl, Glenn, and Maggie, are growing and deepening, albeit far slower than I prefer. Characters who used to sit around whining and bickering until Rick gave them something productive to do now make their own decisions and act on them. Granted, those decisions tend to be fairly one-dimensional, but at least there’s some personal motivation beyond “Rick said so.” We’re getting episodes with an actual plot and mostly decent dialogue that build on each other and appear to leading to a cohesive arc. They aren’t stellar episodes, mind. But I’ll gladly take B-level quality with developing characters and solid storytelling over the crap the show usually cranks out.

[“Trust me. I’m smarter than you.”]