Tangential Links

It’s been a very busy week and I haven’t finished my book yet, so here are some sites you might enjoy.

1—Tea and Jeopardy

A podcast hosted by Emma Newman who, with her politely evil butler Latimer, interviews authors, illustrators, agents, and all kinds of people over tea and cake. After which, the guests find themselves in some form of peril they must creatively escape.

Each week finds Emma and Latimer in a tea lair as well, and since acquiring their time machine, this can be anywhen as well as anywhere.

2—Lit Brick

“Sequential Comedies of Literature” as it says in the subtitle. John S. Troutman reads classics from the Norton Anthology and draws comics about whatever comes into his head. Hilarious, amusing, pick your adjective.

3—Writing Excuses

Another podcast, this one by a set of authors. Brandon Sanderson, Howard Taylor (who writes and illustrates the webcomic Schlock Mercenary), Dan Wells, and Mary Robinette Kowal (who also narrates audiobooks) talk about writing and everything to do with it. A must listen for writers, especially their series of podcasts on elemental genres.

4—XKCD

Stick figures and diagrams have never been so entertaining. Written and drawn by Randall Munroe, who manages to explain complex things with simple words in a way that I actually understand what he’s talking about but don’t feel talked down to. Some comics are just silliness. Either way, read the hover text, it’s always funny.

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir)—Mostly Funny, Sometimes Sad

Let's Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir) by Jenny Lawson the bloggess book cover
Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir) by Jenny Lawson

Let’s Pretend this Never Happened is the memoir of Jenny Lawson, The Bloggess. It’s an irreverent and delightful, at least to me, look into a life even weirder than my own. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened is Jenny’s first book and contains stories of her childhood, youth, and some from adulthood. It is, like her second book, a look at all the fucked up in life and finding the humor in it.

1—Things You Shouldn’t Laugh At But Will Anyway

Things like Stanley, the Magical Talking Squirrel (I won’t spoil the surprise on that story), or getting your arm stuck up a cow’s vagina (it makes sense in context). Let’s Pretend This Never Happened is made of these moments. Moments of extremely awkward conversation at parties, or the results of taking too much laxative. They’re funny because Jenny invites us to laugh with her about them. Continue reading “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir)—Mostly Funny, Sometimes Sad”

Heroine Complex—Learning to Embrace Anger and Power

Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn book cover
Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn

Heroine Complex is a hilarious and touching story by Sarah Kuhn. Told in first-person perspective, it’s the story of Evie Tanaka, personal assistant to San Francisco’s superhero, Aveda Jupiter. When Aveda gets injured, Evie has to pose as her boss/best friend and disasters ensue.

1—Demon Cupcakes

And kittens, and statues, and celebrities. Little is known about the demons that periodically invade San Francisco, and only San Francisco, except that they imprint on the first thing they see and that they love the taste of human blood. The portals appear at random and leave behind stones with strange writing on them. Nate, the demonologist in team Aveda, collects and tries to decipher them. Continue reading “Heroine Complex—Learning to Embrace Anger and Power”

Wonder Woman—Awesome

Wonder Woman movie poster
Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman, directed by Patty Jenkins, is the origin story of the titular figure.

1—Story

The story is self contained so if you don’t know anything about the rest of Marvel’s universe, you’re fine. It follows Diana, princess of Themyscira as she grows up, rescues Steve Rogers, and goes to fight in WWI. It’s serious in tone, but not grimdark. Though like most superhero movies, there’s plenty of use of gory discretion shots and bloodless carnage. Continue reading “Wonder Woman—Awesome”

Crimson Peak—Creepy but Slow

Crimson Peak movie poster
Crimson Peak

Crimson Peak is a gothic romance-horror movie directed by Guillermo del Torro.

1—Ghostly Atmosphere

The ghosts in Crimson Peak were both creepy and gross, being skeletal-muscular and either black or red. The movie builds good atmosphere, especially via the butterflies and conversations. There’s some violence, mostly at the end, and someone gets stabbed in the face. That was sufficiently gross, despite a lack of gore. Most of the gore is in the ghosts themselves. Continue reading “Crimson Peak—Creepy but Slow”

Miss Peregrin’s Home for Peculiar Children—The Movie Doesn’t Live Up to the Book

Miss Peregrin's Home for Peculiar Children film poster
Miss Peregrin’s Home for Peculiar Children

The movie version of Miss Peregrin’s Home for Peculiar Children lacks the charm of the book. It starts off slow, gets really morbid, the ends as a fluffy action movie. It also had some time travel consequences that didn’t make sense to me, namely the grandfather coming back to life—I know I’ve mentioned I hate time travel, something that didn’t even occur to me while reading the book. Also, I didn’t buy the romance between Emma and Jake.

It wasn’t all bad though. The monster designs were cool, and the special effects were great. Worth seeing once for the scenes in the underwater ship. I also liked Eva Green’s performance as Miss Peregrin.

Lucifer Season Two Part Two—Because I Didn’t Realize It Was Only the Half-Season Finale

Lucifer season two
Lucifer Season 2

So yeah, I didn’t realize the show was on hiatus mid-season, not breaking between seasons. In any case, the second half of season two of Lucifer was pretty fun, even if the romance between Lucifer and Chloe gets derailed because status quo is god. Lucifer gets more character growth, Amenadiel has whatever the opposite of a crisis of faith is, we get to meet God Johnson who is just a hoot, and we get an appropriately dramatic season finale, with happy endings of all sorts. And then of course Lucifer gets knocked out and wakes up in a desert with his wings back. Nice hook for season three, which as previously stated, I’ll be watching.

Legend Has It—Reality Ain’t What It Used to Be

Legend Has It by Elliott James book cover
Legend Has It by Elliott James

Legend Has It is the fifth in the Pax Arcana series by Elliott James. This adventure sees John Charming, werewolf and semi-former Knight Templar, chasing after a madman with a reality-warping book.

1—Telling Stories

Despite his use of obfuscating stupidity John doesn’t solve his problems just through brute force. He thinks. And thanks to the use of what is technically one long epistolary to the reader, we get to see his thoughts. John is occasionally an unreliable narrator—true to his smartass nature, he likes to mess with his reader as well as everyone else.  Continue reading “Legend Has It—Reality Ain’t What It Used to Be”

Reading About Other People Reading

My current reading obsessions are several erieses of articles on Tor.com. Here they are.

The Lovecraft Reread

A series of articles wherein “two modern Mythos writers get girl cooties all over old Howard’s original sandbox”. Rithanna Emrys and Anne M. Pillsworth summarize a story and the comment on it. Both ladies have great commentary on the cosmic horror stories. Continue reading “Reading About Other People Reading”

Black City Saint—Saint George Is the Dragon

Black City Saint by Richard A. Knaak book cover
Black City Saint by Richard A. Knaak

I’ve mentioned before that I have thing for Prohibition era supernatural stories. Black City Saint, by Richard A. Knaak, is told from the first person point-of-view of Nick Medea—aka Saint George—as he battles Oberon for the fate of both Feirie and the mortal worlds.

1—Saint George

Or Nick as he prefers to be called, was bound to the dragon he killed. Said dragon, who goes by “Eye”, had been the guardian of the Gate between Feirie and the mortal world. Now Nick is that guardian. He has access, when the dragon allows, to the dragon’s abilities/body parts, such as his eyes which can penetrate magical glamours as well as more mundane darkness. Also claws, and sometimes wings. Though the dragon occasionally snarks at Nick. Continue reading “Black City Saint—Saint George Is the Dragon”