6 Books to Read While You Wait for Yellowjackets to Return

@2 O.o I should do the audiobook next time I want to re-read. So heartened to see the Liz Hand love here. She's so brilliant!

Luca Should Have Owned Its Accidental Allegory and Become Pixar’s First Queer Film

I was a disappointed with how predictable and dull Luca was. How many freaking fantasy interludes do we need of Luca and Alberto on a Vespa?! It just made the story seem more thin and rote, like Moana on Xanax. I agree with Emmet that there was a really strong coming out allegory here that wasn't leaned into. (See also: the 2 old ladies and their gelato!) Or perhaps there was more to explore with Luca overcoming anxiety (if there's anything an Italian knows, it's anxiety and depression issues.) The movie was beautiful to look at and I liked that it had clever little nods to classic Italian cinema and used the language, but it was just missing that depth of emotion I got from movies like Soul and Up. I

My fave scene was the Mom and Dad terrorizing human kids by throwing water at them. Legit the only belly laugh I had.

5 SFF Books for the Goth in Your Life

@7 Yes! I read Lost Souls when I was a fifteen-year-old gothling like Nothing and it changed the trajectory of my life. It was all Tom Waits, Bauhaus, New Orleans, and black lipstick after that. Loved Silk, too. Caitlin Kiernan's early work still fits the bill. I bought their first chapbook Candles for Elizabeth in a Connecticut Hot Topic. Their early short stories were also in Carpe Noctem magazine. The *best* goth magazine. All the same pretty boys, but none of the troubling fascist imagery of Propaganda

 

8 Sugary Fantasies That Indulge Our Sweet Tooth

"A Delicate Architecture" by Cat Valente. A gorgeous short story and you can find it online if you poke around.

Coronavirus: The Sci-Fi/Fantasy Conventions Canceled So Far

Emerald City ComicCon sent out the new dates today: 8/21-8/23. Looks like you have til 3/27 to transfer your badge.

Sad news: Montclair Book Fest is canceled, but I didn't know it was happening at all, so maybe I can finally see Madeline Miller in September.

Sadder news: I had to cancel my trip to Stokercon UK and I'm bummed. I was really looking forward to it, but everything's so dicey now, who knows where we'll be in a month. I want to *read* horror novels, not live in one.

The Wheel of Time TV Show Cast Revealed: Rand, Mat, Perrin, and More

Madeleine Madden did a great job in Picnic at Hanging Rock. Looking forward to seeing her in this.

Welcome to the Gun Show: The Best Biceps in Fantasy

I love this post.

Do leather pants in science fiction next, please! I'll get you started: John Crichton of Farscape. 

HBO’s Watchmen Just Dropped Another Trailer at Comic-Con 2019

Lindelof redeemed himself for me after The Leftovers. It was seriously so good and I'm definitely curious about Watchmen. 

The Intellectual Horrors of Brian Evenson: Song for the Unraveling of the World

Yessss. Totally agree with you on all of this, especially not wanting to ever be a Brian Evenson character. (Though Michael Cisco comes in a really damn close second.) This collection is my beach reading. Any new collection from Evenson is a joy. 

And Now Her Watch Is Ended: Writing 8 Years of Game of Thrones Reviews

Thanks everyone. I was expecting more of a "no one cares that you care" reaction and I'm glad I was wrong.

@5 That is so damn cool! I've got a few bits of swag over the years, but my favorite is still my Lady Olenna t-shirt.

@6 Wow, that's extra kind of you. Thanks. And hooray for not being alone in my ambivalence for Star Wars. My favorite small fandom remains Red Dead Redemption. I love me some sad and angry cowboys. It's funny to watch as a huge chunk of my feeds turn from Game of Thrones to a LOT of cussing and excitement for impending Deadwood.

It's really fun seeing all the regulars' names pop up. Seriously, you folks are great and so are our tireless (and tired) moderators.

Sarah Connor Did Not Come Here to Play in First Trailer for Terminator: Dark Fate

The summer T2 came out, I wanted to be Linda Hamilton so bad. TAKE ALL MY MONEY.

(But also Lena Headey was a fantastic Sarah Connor, too.)

Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 5 Discussion Thread: “The Bells”

@72 and @73

Well, if the show didn't want me to think Dany was special, they never should have given her the first three dragons born in centuries. That she could bring dragons into the world again does make her special and worthy of the hype. It was literally magic no one else has in the world. Most people would believe in their greater destiny if something so extraordinary happened. And a good tragedy would make it still fall apart at the end, but the show didn't do the work to sell me on such a drastic change in character. "They won't love me, they will fear me." She has never turned it onto innocents like that. They're just making her crazy to hand the throne over to Jon Snow, the most boring main character on the show these last few seasons. (Who was one of my favorite characters in the books.)

If you want to make Dany bad, sell me on Jon Snow being better. Why is he better? Because Varys and Sansa say so? I'm just seeing a pretty but dull guy not listening to anything smarter people tell him, only he gets the benefit of the doubt. Dany suffers major setbacks, alone, and that's enough to push this resilient, empathetic, smart woman over the edge. It's just too much too fast.

And it's impossible to also then divorce the way Dany and Cersei are portrayed from their gender. I'm trying real hard not to harp or project my personal feelings on how the show doesn't do well with women and power because they're not great with men, either. But they really have a special way of patting themselves on the back for Strong Female Characters, then to turn them into little pawns for men's stories. It's not whining. It's frustration. What did Cersei do this year besides stare out a window? Fucked Euron. Executed a prisoner. Walked down some stairs. That should be, like, one day in Cersei's life as she's dealing with this mess.

@71 Exactly. Why did Arya need Sandor to tell her in the middle of a burning Red Keep that revenge was a fool's game when she already turned her back on it before she came to Winterfell? Oh, I guess because they needed her in KL so we felt like an important character was at risk? Dumb. Maybe Brienne should've been there instead. Or Yara. Just someone who didn't have Arya's backstory. I mean, that was the least of my complaints last night. I do love Arya and Sandor road trippin' scenes, but we didn't even really get that, so it wasn't worth it.

Lol - Yara on her Iron Island is all like "Hey, guys? What's going on?" Wonder if we'll see her at Jon's coronation or something.

Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 5 Discussion Thread: “The Bells”

@59 Thanks for your take on Cersei. In a broad stroke, I can see how her death can be viewed poetic - her city falls around her and it cost her her only child and her one love. But all she did this season was stare out a window and shout some words at Dany to get Missandei executed. She just hasn't been given much to do since she blew up the Sept and her death felt more like a little whimper.

I'm still feeling real salty about Dany this morning. There were ways to make her a mad queen, but the two short seasons didn't give enough time for it. It was just a big shortcut to blow up the city and I think if they really wanted to sell us on Dany being mad, we would see her yelling "Dracarys!" at fleeing civilians. Instead, we watch from a distance as she becomes a special effect. It left me really disappointed. Dany murdering civilians in cold blood? That's a huge heel turn and it didn't work for me here. Oh, all Targs are crazy, check. All Starks are noble, check. All Lannisters are.... stupid and loyal only to each other in the end? Eh, so silly.

Next week, I'm drinking all the wine and eating every fucking chicken in this room.

Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 3: “The Long Night” / Battle of Winterfell Discussion Thread

@22. Yes to a lot of this, especially Melisandre. I updated my post, but, yeah, her death was rather abrupt. Like, she was all out of light, so she died? But what does it mean? What is the Lord of Light now? Where was she all season anyway?

I'm disappointed that Bran didn't get to be more of an active agent in bringing down the Night King. I was really expecting something more magical.  

The Dothraki sacrifice really bugs me this morning, still. I'm not a military tactician and even I know that's a dumb way to use them in a battle. 

@35 Hey, hope is welcome here! Even if it's a foolish hope. (That I also share.)

Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 2 Review: “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms”

@72 I like your thinking. I'm firmly in the why not both camp. ;) 

Great conversations going here, people. Today my thoughts make me most worried about Grey Worm and my favorite Debbie Downer, Dolorous Edd. I love Edd and it just seems like the Night's Watch will be much less needed for a time after the White Walkers march south and it'd be a natural conclusion to his story. I loved him, Jon, and Sam mentioning Grenn and other fallen brothers. It was a poignant moment. 

Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 1 Review: “Winterfell”

@79 I had no real idea who Ed Sheeran was until GOT, but I liked him. Still, it's hilarious that they killed him offscreen in such a vicious way. The season of fan service, for sure!

First Impressions from Game of Thrones’ Season 8 Premiere

@5 Lady Stoneheart and Strong Belwas, for sure. And maybe Daario's ridiculous blue beard.

I've been loving the Ommegang beers. Haven't had a bad one yet, really. And got my husband the Night's Watch scotch from Oban. So. Good. Game of Thrones has me drinking like Robert Baratheon!

First Impressions from Game of Thrones’ Season 8 Premiere

@1 That was so cute! I loved the recent Rolling Stone article with her and Sophie Turner, talking about growing up on Game of Thrones, too. Good read.

@2 Very enthusiastic. I can't believe I've only got five episodes left! 

@3 Hard agree. Christie is perfect for the role and I love Brienne deeply. I want her to be happy so bad. 

Check Out All the Awesome Cosplay We Spotted at NYCC!

@4 Yes! Anyone cosplaying Jeff Goldblum gets an A+ in my book. Man, I wish I was good at sewing. These are great. I saw a few really great GLOW cosplays. 

Mandy Is a New Cult Classic for the Ages

@3 Right!? It had to be intentional! (If you haven't read it yet, I highly recommend Grady Hendrix's Paperback from Hell.) 

Middle-earth’s Hottest Hobbits, Ranked

I love everything about this post. 

Rosie Cotton looks like Kylie Minogue with tighter curls. Sam's a lucky hobbit. 

How Does the Remake of Picnic at Hanging Rock Hold Up Against the 1975 Cult Classic?

@1 - Yes, Irma survived in the Weir movie, too, and was confronted by her classmates in much the same way. They kept the larger beats intact, mostly.

Westworld Season 2, Episode 8 “Kiksuya”

@5 - Lol. Oh damn. My friend said Pocahontas and I knew I'd seen her before... but it was in Smoke Signals. Derp. In my defense, she *was* in The New World, too -- as Pocahontas' mother! Thanks for the correction. It was bugging me.  

Westworld Season 2, Episode 7: “Les Écorchés”

Oh, wow, people! Dayjob got busy and I didn't get  to come back and check. Thanks for the nice words, @3, 7, & 13.

 @13, I will say there's no sign of Felix, Hector, Armistice, etc in next week's episode. So far, it looks like only Maeve was scooped up. I hope her crew was able to evade dune buggy capture. That'd be kinda anti-climactic. Those hosts aren't going down without a fight. It'd be bonkers if the MIB was a host; it'd certainly undermine his whole storyline. He's just invulnerable to death at this time because of dumb writing. (However, I wouldn't want to get rid of his character yet, either!)

I had a lot of friends tell me how exciting this episode was, but gun battles alone don't really do it for me. There were some interesting parts, sure, but nothing as good as Shogun World. I imagine people are either gonna love or hate this Sunday's episode. 

Westworld Season 2, Episode 7: “Les Écorchés”

@1 Thanks for clarifying timelines. Makes more sense as you described it. I just struggled with this episode. I'm not into unlocking secrets on shows the same way I was when Lost was on the air, so quite a bit went over my head. Next week's episode is much more my speed.

And thanks for commenting -- been feeling like post-massacre Pariah around here lately. :) I think it's one of those shows best watched on a binge, so people don't have a lot to say week-to-week. 

Gardner Dozois, 1947 – 2018

This is really heartbreaking. He was a regular commenter here, too, for a while. I actually thought a lot about story structure based on what he would say about, of all things, HBO's True Blood! I looked forward to his comments on my reviews every week. He had such a great sense of humor. I only met him in person once. My condolences to his friends and family. He truly was a genre great. 

Westworld Season 2, Episode 1: “Journey into Night”

@6 My vote would be for a Star Wars world. Except, you know, licensing it for Westworld would be impossible. But you can't tell me Delos doesn't believe in the money-making power of a franchise. But something spacey. For the last one... Why not dinosaurs? They can build them like they do all the other animals.

Westworld Season 2, Episode 1: “Journey into Night”

@1 Yup! It is a woman now. Pretty cool. Wonder if the credits will change throughout the season as it's heavily implied in trailers that we will see other parks.

It Came from Within: 5 Great Body Horror Films

@1 That scene where she rips back her cuticle. Gah. I loved that movie.

Game of Thrones Season 7, Episode 7: “The Dragon and the Wolf”

@5 and @9 A childhood face-burning is definitely pretty bad, but they were kids. I just never got the sense that that was really a revenge-worthy thing, in a way, because it happened so far in the past and Sandor had lots of years to do for his brother in turn but didn't. It just seemed like Sandor had a more recent grudge and there was no motive for that level of intense hype.

Hype for the viewers, on the other hand, is very real. And I think that's always D&D's #1 priority on this show, even when it comes at the expense of sense.

I will say I liked this season more than season 5. So there's that.

@9 That butt is Jon's one saving grace. That was just a powerfully unsexy sex scene. So serious. How boring.Somewhere, Daario is laughing. And Jorah is alone in his bunk, weeping some more.

@8 I realize there are lots of generations of Aegons, but I was referring to the "fAegon" heir in the books specifically. Should've clarified further. This is one instance where I wish the book would be more like the show -- we don't need more Aegon-come-lately's in this story. Just one secret Rhaegar living heir is plenty for me.

@7 I hope you're wrong about Tyrion. He doesn't seem like a betrayer-type. But it's true that I can't see him having much purpose going forward. He's basically Varys with more screentime and less connections. He hasn't really had a lot personally at stake, a few empty threats to his life aside.

 

Game of Thrones Season 7, Episode 6: “Beyond the Wall”

As an FYI, the season finale will be called “The Dragon and the Wolf.” And it will run for just over 79 minutes, making it the longest GoT episode ever. 


Game of Thrones Season 7, Episode 6: “Beyond the Wall”

@8 "What was he going to do then? Just stare at the Night King until he falls in love too?" HA. Want a job? ;)

@7 But we already had to suffer through last season in Braavos for Arya to decide to be a damn Stark again, that she was not, in fact, no one and she should go back to her original mission or avenging her family. To show up in Winterfell complaining that Sansa is staying in her dead parents' room (what, she'd like no one to stay there, like a museum, or for someone else on the castle team to be in there?) and wearing pretty dresses to her, you know, diplomatic dealing with other wealthy lords? How dumb and unemphatic is Arya?

 

Game of Thrones Season 7, Episode 5: “Eastwatch”

@5 Yeah, as bad as Randall was, I don't think Dickon was a bad guy and it was sad to see them hold hands. Tyrion seemed so shocked that he would let his line fail. It tells you a bit about how ingrained Westeros is in Tyrion, no matter that he's serving an Essos-raised queen.

@4 Yes! Surely that'll be a DVD deleted scene. I hope! Like I said, lacking in some emotion this week.

 

@7 That wight hand did make it south of the wall to Mormont. It just rotted too much for a trip to King's Landing. I'm assuming a bigger piece of meat and this season's magical travel time will allow almost anything. (O.o Like Euron getting eaten by the captive wight as he's trying to destroy Jon's ship!)

The Dark Tower Misses the Mark for Longtime Fans and Newcomers Alike

@12 Yup. I’d definitely argue for The Dead Zone. One of my favorites, in fact. Pet Semetary isn’t great, but it’s got some great moments. So does Misery. King’s got a zillion book adaptations. Not all of them can be Oscar-caliber. And I wouldn’t say he’s on the wane, either; he’s still hitting the bestseller lists and his Twitter account makes national news frequently. I think IT is going to do much, much better than The Dark Tower.  

Game of Thrones Season 7, Episode 4: “The Spoils of War”

@38 Agreed. Dickon will always be Billy Bones and always have comically large arms. The armor only makes them bigger!

Game of Thrones Season 7, Episode 4: “The Spoils of War”

@14 Yeah, yeah. Stannis is rolling in his grave.

Cut some slack for reviewers without the luxury of press screeners and extra time for the most carefully crafted sentences. There are a lot of other sentences. Thanks.

@10 Dickon’s dad definitely said the gold was safely in King’s Landing. Don’t know if that meant all of the gold, as it was mentioned that Bronn did get his, so we’ll see the final tally next week, I assume.   

@7 Agreed on season rankings. I didn’t mind the close battle scenes. I appreciated the wider focus on dragonfire versus the more traditional maneuvers we just recently saw in “Battle of the Bastards.” 

@6 &@5 Yes, Needle is regular steel, not Valyrian. 

@2 That certainly would be interesting! If Jaime wouldn’t kill her for blowing up the Sept, maybe meeting Dany will be how he sees there are other, better Queens out there who’d be a lot less insane than Cersei.

@16  I know it was Joff in the books, but was this confirmed on the show? Either way, I love Bran seeing so much more than Littlefinger. But will he be human enough to direct some vengeance on Petyr for his sneaky role in so many terrible events?

The Creeping Resurgence of Literary Horror: Six Places to Start

Excellent list. Couldn't agree more about Brian Evenson. I reviewed A Collapse of Horses here and his short fiction gets under my skin in the best worst way. (The other titles on the list definitely fall into the literary horror genre, too.)

Wyldling Hall has been on my TBR pile for ages. Ages. Sigh.

Alien 3: A Haunting Failure

@6 I think you're confusing this with the alleged existence of a movie called "The Godfather part 3." ;) If ever there was a movie I pretend doesn't exist, it's that one. But I'm Italian.

@9 Maybe goggles were a regional Northeast thing? I'd post photographic evidence from back in the day, but I'm too embarrassed. Silly goggles were definitely A Thing in the shows/clubs I went to. Maybe more for cybergoths vs. classic, more austere rivetheads?

 

Strange Days: A Flawed but Fascinating Look at Racism, Voyeurism, and the Future

You had me until "Juliette Lewis trying to play Courtney Love." It's a much cooler PJ Harvey. And I thought her covers were actually great, in one section even better than the original's demo. Just so. Lewis is a better musician than a lot of wannabe actors' bands -- hi, Jared Leto! -- so I give her some credit. Her dialogue in this movie was not doing her any favors, but she was sexy and powerful.

I love Strange Days, especially for introducing me to Angela Bassett. It's a better adaptation and amalgamation of William Gibson than actual William Gibson adaptations Johnny Mnemonic and New Rose Hotel. It shows the change technology brings to humanity, while never placing focus on flashy VFX over the human conflict.

You can bet every cyberpunk in the late 90s had to have a Sony MiniDisc player after this movie.  

Darkly Dreaming: 5 Essential Reads from Caitlín R. Kiernan

@3 Thanks for the correction. I updated the list. Not sure where I got that idea from! (Wishful thinking?)

Darkly Dreaming: 5 Essential Reads from Caitlín R. Kiernan

Yeah, her publisher repackaged it to try a new market since I bought it. The cover posted here is the original cover and if it didn't have me at "Caitlin R. Kiernan" it definitely had me at "trilobite-front-and-center."

Tor.com Reviewers’ Choice: The Best Books of 2016

@2 Not at all a requirement. We all just have different taste! (Also: I forgot I never submitted a new, actual photo of myself this year. I can only wish I looked as good as Special Agent Denise Bryson.)

Westworld Season 1, Episode 9: “The Well-Tempered Clavier”

@2 Thanks for the really helpful info on the Bach piece. That seems a much better fit.

@3 I forgot to talk about the picture! Yeah, I'm wondering if William will bury it outside the Abernathy ranch, planting some evidence as a reminder or something. Dolores didn't look directly at the picture, only William did, so maybe that kept her from glitching? I really wonder how much of this timeline stuff will be settled by finale's end. Good call about Dolores' dad, too -- I wonder if Maeve won't release alllll the hosts in storage next week and have them go on a rampage. I hope Dolores' dad returns -- he was a good actor!

@4 Yeah, someone very high up tinkered with Maeve, so my bet is also on Ford. I also wouldn't be surprised if Theresa comes back as a host and I think maybe Elsie isn't really dead. We saw Theresa's body, but never Elsie's. I think the Theresa freezing moment was just a stylistic thing from Bernard's POV as his memories shift. I wouldn't read into that further, personally.

Westworld Season 1, Episode 8 “Trace Decay”

@6 I did mention that in the third paragraph from the bottom in the main portion of the post. She's a very old host indeed. Didn't catch her name though.

@3 Whoops. Felix is the good one. If they just let ginger tech use his real name, Ptolemy, I'd never get them confused.

@5 Hmm, I like that because it would explain why William's wife is distraught if she suspected something (though to be that way for 30 years?! Can you not divorce in the future?) I also like this idea because then Logan is dead. Haha. Okay, I don't hate Logan that much. Repeated face-punchings would suit me just fine. 

Westworld Season 1, Episode 8 “Trace Decay”

@2 That's what I'm wondering, too. Is Maeve part of Ford's narrative design? It's very suspect that no one is noticing all of her aberrant behavior. I still really like her story the best though. Thandie Newton's great. 

Westworld Season 1, Episode 6 “The Adversary”

@1 I watched two episodes in a row and forgot which hour had it! Blink and you miss it, but yeah! I saw him

 

Westworld Season 1, Episode 5: “Contrapasso”

Glad to see some comments picking up. So much to talk about here! In the meantime, how cool is it that you can listen to Westworld's music covers?

We Tried The New Tim Burton-Themed Bar in NYC

@1 Maybe? "Mad" makes me think of "Mad Hatter." But in Beetlejuice, it was a kitschy shrimp cocktail and no flames were involved. Meh. 

Oh Come On, the Fright Night Remake Isn’t That Bad…

@3 Everything @3 said. I wasn't expecting to like this movie, but I did.

Other horror remake I liked? The Last House on the Left with Garret Dillahunt. I just love him so,so much since Deadwood and Sarah Connor Chronicles. He was a great Krug!

Where to Start with Joe Hill

I loved "Pop Art," too. I wasn't in love with Heart-Shaped Box but maybe I'll try Horns. I've only seen the movie and wasn't very impressed with Merrin as a character. maybe she comes across better in the novel.

Rocky Horror Picture Show Remake is Far Too Sanitized to Make For Fun Viewing

I knew this would be bad from the announcement. I watched the terrible, sanitized Glee RHPS and was so offended by how many of the lyrics were toned down. They couldn't even say "Transsexual!" I didn't expect much difference a few years later. Not from Fox. I lasted all of five minutes. It was just, as Emily said, too slick and showy. 

RHPS is a sacred Halloween tradition in my family. I wrote my senior thesis in high school on it and glam rock. The original is so close to my heart, I know this production wasn't for me. If it gets some younger kids to watch the original, that's great. I think Tim Curry (and his arched eyebrow) are just classic. 

And I agree with @5: I did not find anything about this review trans-antagonistic. It's the production as a whole that's less scary and outrageous. That has nothing to do with Laverne Cox. It's about the overall utter blandness of this endeavor.

Westworld Season 1, Episode 3 “The Stray”

In the first episode, we did see a man saying he took his family to Westworld and took them fly-fishing and gold prospecting, so you can do some "good guy" stuff. But it'd be less fun to watch. I thought about that, too, though. Westworld needs more RDR rules -- if a guest shoots up a saloon like we've seen, then all those hosts are out of commission for a time and all of their storylines are unavailable to other guests. Shouldn't there be a "Wanted" system that would discourage this massive destruction because it'll impede other guests' $40K a day right to the full park experience?

What's stopping guests from punching out or raping other guests? How can the guests know if they're with a human or a hosts for real?

Re: female guests: I just read Lonesome Dove for the first time and yeah, the West was a really bad place for women. You'd think Westworld would open it up a bit. We just don't see much from the female guests' perspective. Kinda hate how Marti (female bounty hunter) took Clementine up on her offer. Is she literally the only whore in town? Come on, now. I can't see much reason for a cis woman to go to Westworld. Or a family. Why would you bring children to such a potentially dangerous, debauched place? That said, I love Red Dead Redemption -- a sequel might be announced as soon as this week! -- so I'd love to go full-on bounty hunter. Maybe less flower picking.

Westworld Season 1, Episode 2 “Chestnut”

@2 Yeah, but was it meant for "These violent delights, etc." or some other old idea? It just didn't jump at me as readily as the other titles did. 

@1 I like your theory. That could explain some of the imagery. I listened to a podcast with Nolan and Joy and they talked about gamers and the type who live to find Easter Eggs and break the rules of the game when they thought of the MIB. You definitely get that sense. 

Westworld Season 1, Episode 1: “The Original”

@11 To your first point, I also think they're in a constructed world. Maybe off Earth, but too early to tell. I've seen the first 4 episodes and by episode 4, you can tell something is definitely odd. I love Doloros' serial killer dad. His interrogation was probably my favorite part of the first hour. I hope they bust all those stored robots out! As for why some are naked and some are not, and zip themselves up in a morgue... that is really weird. Was that robot Wild Bill? Maybe that's where they put celebrity robots?

I don't get the Lindelhof hate. Or maybe I forgot how much I hated him after Lost? All I know is I really enjoy The Leftovers now, so... not so mad about him anymore. I compare it to Lost because of the deepening mystery. I don't know that Westworld is quite watercooler talk just yet, but I think it soon will be. Right now it's building a strong foundation.

 

@9 I don't want to say too much about the Man in Black. I love how my expectations were flipped with him and Teddy! The "park rules" could be more clear. If this was truly like a Grand Theft Auto/Red Dead game, you'd have a "wanted" system that would let you kill a LOT of robots, but not orchestrate a massacre that would shut down large parts of the park and require tons of robot repair. It's kinda weird that people can do literally anything that could cause huge problems for the park runners. They need a Seneca Crane!

 

Five Anthologies Worth Setting Aside a Novel For

@4 Yes, definitely The Weird edited by the VanderMeers. I also really loved the recent (like, yesterday) winner of the Shirly Jackson Award Aickman's Heirs edited by Simon Stranzas. Simon also edits Shadows & Tall Trees - perfect for lovers of sharp dark fiction. Any anthology from Ellen Datlow is reliably wonderful. I enjoyed The Doll Collection.

Game of Thrones Season 6, Episode 10 “The Winds of Winter”

@74 and @75. Yes. Especially regarding Arya. And I still hate the way Ramsay was killed by his dogs, by Sansa, in a private cell with no witnesses. It's just... Damn, Starks, *that* how you announce your victory over a usurper?! Firstly, I think the houses that followed Ramsay deserved to see his fate as a message that the revolt was over. They can either ask for mercy or follow Bolton to the afterlife. Just as a practical matter of *proof* that Ramsay's unmistakeable, identifiable corpse would provide would seem smart, politically. Also, if you're trying to run some public relations, saying House Stark is back to the world, it didn't make sense to get a private revenge. Which I guess some people like more than others?

So many people loved that Oh! The Irony! He was eaten by his dogs he used to torture people with! See? SEE?! Karma! It just seemed like something to reward viewers who... actually think about the established rules of succession this show keeps reminding us is so important? It just seemed lowbrow and gratuitous, i.e. not like Sansa at all. 

These are the same people who love Arya's Frey Pie, but it doesn't even get what made the pie (or Scott Tenorman's chili on South Park!) so horrific. I wasn't just the concept of feeding a parent a child (or vice versa!) it was also the terrifying amount of grizzly effort they put into organizing such a twisted revenge. GoT didn't want us to think about that, they just wanted us to go "Ew! Ha, you sick bastard, you ate your kids. That's for the Red Wedding!" (Just don't think about how much Walder Frey didn't care about his kids and seemed to have a million anyway.) It was just a bit lame and raised all kinds of logic questions.

I think my opinion on the show lines up closely to yours @75. I'm hoping the eventual books are better. I'll enjoy them both as separate entities; the books aren't perfect, either.  

Game of Thrones Season 6, Episode 10 “The Winds of Winter”

My favorite GoT joke on Twitter last night:

Q: Why do they call it King's Landing?

A: Ask Tommen. HA!

Six-Guns and Strange Shooters: A Weird West Primer

@28 If only this was July 25th! Then I'd at least be in your state. Looks super fun.

Game of Thrones Season 6, Episode 8 “No One”

@4 Please don't misconstrue my hate of Tobias Menzies' face for actual hatred. Ha! He's a wonderful actor and I especially loved him on Rome. He *is* great in everything. It's just he's soooooo evil as Black Jack on Outlander, I want to punch him.

@7 Is Russell playing Jamie's grandsire? I just got caught up on Outlander this weekend and thought he looked familiar!

 

@6 and @9 Totally agreed re: Jaime. I admit I didn't remember Jaime's speech in AFFC or how the Edmure thing played out. I was distracted by pirates. That really does change the tone so much. Yeah, I'm ready for those books whenever GRRM writes them. The show can't replicate his nuance. 

Game of Thrones Season 6, Episode 8 “No One”

I love that Stranger image. What's the Westerosi version of Sioux City Sasparilla?

5 Essential William Gibson Reads

@1 Yeah, I think Neuromancer still holds up, absolutely. It is, as @2 said, a lot of theme, style, and atmosphere that keeps it timeless, too, over the tech. I do think the Bridge Trilogy is better though. But I might be in the minority. I know a lot of people who HATED Virtual Light and I've read it and Idoru multiple times. 

Game of Thrones Season 6, Episode 7: “The Broken Man”

@6 Good call on Yara in the brothel. It bugged me, too.

The more I think about Arya, the more I feel something was a little off in that scene. Arya wouldn't be so stupid and public, would she? It just seemed so out of character, like she was making herself bait. She did look pretty stabbed, for sure, but I could've sworn I saw some of the faces repeating in her bloody march to find a place to hide. It just seemed odd. Surely she has some trick up her sleeve?

Game of Thrones Season 6, Episode 7: “The Broken Man”

@1 She’s a force to be reckoned with now! Seriously, Dany needs this Mormont instead. 100x less petulant and she’s only ten.

@2 Ah, Volantis. I was wondering. How did they get there so fast? I can't really parse some of these travel times. It's just a bit irritating when they speed up/slow people down for the story. Just seems really forced to obey a show's timetable.

And, yes, stop teasing Manderlys. If GoT is all about fan service now, give us our pie. 

@3 Yes, i think the broken man was supposed to be Sandor, but I did like it more in the books. He didn't seem quite broken to me, more like... taking a little holiday to recover. Hilarious about Theon and I agree. He betrayed Robb Stark and killed two innocent kids and beheaded a good man and caused a world of shit. I really don't want the old Theon back. Yara didn't know the old Theon, really, or she'd be worrying he would betray her one day, too. 

Game of Thrones Season 6, Episode 6: “Blood of My Blood”

@3 You're not mis-remembering. One of the Children said that Coldhands died long, long ago and Benjen was only missing for two years. There was speculation that he was that he *was* formerly a brother of the Night's Watch.

Game of Thrones Season 6, Episode 6: “Blood of My Blood”

@1 Well, Arya didn't actually join the troupe. Yet. I suspect she might though. Who else would take her in? (Also maybe I'm just guessing this because Richard Grant is a popular character actor and I wouldn't be surprised if his role stuck around for a bit longer.)

She could, of course, go back to being on her own, but a girl needs to eat and have some shelter. i don't think she has money for any passage back to Westeros.

Dany's cognitive dissonance is so interesting, you're right. What if she is the bad guy? I don't believe it, but she's totally going to be the villain for a lot of people. Like Alexander the Great. You can be a visionary, a martial leader, a wise ruler and also a conqueror, an imperialist, a warmonger.

I kinda root for the Sparrow a bit, too, because I love that this simple poor man can cause so much trouble for the Lannisters by using Cersei's stupidity and hubris against her.

Game of Thrones Season 6, Episode 5: “The Door”

@15 Did I miss something special about Lady Crane? Or do you think Cersei is trying to bump off anyone who portrays her? I'm gonna guess Lady Crane is marked for the gift by the younger actress based on the observations of Arya, with her super special ninja training intuition. Younger actress was pretty bad. I do wonder how she got money, but, then again, she's a poor beautiful woman in Westeros, maybe she has, er, "patrons of the arts." 

Game of Thrones Season 6, Episode 5: “The Door”

@8 Totally agree with you. I always feel like Jon is always about the others and uniting the North seems like a logical step towards shoring up defenses. Ned Stark used to say it too, right? The North and its support of the Night's Watch is always protecting the realm from Beyond-The-Wall threats. But it would be nice to drive the point home a bit more and remind people that there is a bigass army of ice zombies coming. Let Sansa rally banners.

Game of Thrones Season 6, Episode 5: “The Door”

@1 There are other ways people gain inner strength, confidence, and political savvy that don't require regular humiliation, beatings, and rape, so I maintain my position on last season's writing choices.

@2 I know! Stay lost, Nymeria. Trust us. I'd certainly hope Ghost has some plot-armour. They need at least one big intimidating wolf to get Jon out of bad spots at just the right time.

@3 But why would we think that Sansa would move against Jon? I didn't see anything obvious.  I can see her holding some intel back as a measure of caution. Maybe she doesn't want to tell him about Littlefinger because she can guess how he feels and would be dismissive out of hand? Maybe Jon *is* too new to her.  Sansa, I think, maybe wants to keep her Littlefinger gambit in her pocket and bring down Baelish at a later time. Since she didn't say why specifically she held back that info about Moat Caitlin, I can only speculate. It was an odd choice certainly. Too early to tell if it was boneheaded.

She stated her reasons for sending Brienne off. She trusts for her safety with Jon. Would she send Brienne away if she didn't trust Jon?

I don't see Sansa being disloyal to Jon because she's jealous of his respect or armies or whatever. He is one of the few surviving family members she has left and Jon's been off the board for the game for so long. Sansa doesn't strike me as someone looking for power for its own sake, or glory. She wants security and she wants her home back. Yeah, she wants her good name restored, but I don't think she's the kind of person who'd get backstabby on Jon. Her affection for him, her forgiveness-seeking,  seemed genuine, so I'd be really, really  shocked if she was a secret enemy.

Game of Thrones Season 6, Episode 3 “Oathbreaker”

First, yeah, i agree, that Shaggydog head looked super fake and kinda small. But Lady was killed in season 1, episode 2 or so, and Sansa's still going strong. Sure, a victim of circumstance, but she's grown to have a real fighting chance.

 

Still wouldn't put it past Ramsay to mess up having another Stark hostage though. I do wish the Umbers are playing at something (maybe with the Manderlys!) but, again, it's Game of Thrones, so it could just be that bad, traitorous stuff is going on. Could you really blame the Stark bannermen for turning though? The Starks have been out of power for quite a long time. The smaller houses need to be propped up by the larger ones or else they'll fail, too. 

Game of Thrones Season 6, Episode 2 “Home”

@44 I agree, combining Euron and Victarion would likely simplify things a bit. I'm not opposed to the idea, but really just hated Euron's introduction. I don't follow casting news much (except for Ian McShane!) but not knowing that we're getting a hybrid Greyjoy meant Euron seemed off. 

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