[personal profile] jtniehof
Witch World, Web of the Witch World, Version Control With Git, Lost Lands of Witch World, The Tempest, Ranma 1/2 movies 1 and 2.

Witch World (Andre Norton) (reread): I enjoyed this more the second time around, since I knew it was more sci-fi leaning fantasy and wasn't caught flat-footed. Parts read much like a Barsoom novel (there are obvious parallels), with a steady flow of action. The background world-building is subtly done, woven in much more like Lord of the Rings (although without the reams of actual planning!) Swashbuckling with substance, for a brief recommendation.

Web of the Witch World (Andre Norton) (reread): Fine follow-on, and in particular did a great job of giving a previously minor character a stronger part. The main internal conflict between Simon and Jaelithe is a mixed bag: it's human, simple, and credible; but on the other hand I reacted a bit with "oh, just grow up".

Version Control With Git (Loeliger and McCullough): A very good guide for someone who's been using git and wants a deep understanding of the architecture and range of features, which matches me well! It's organized logically from a conceptual standpoint, which makes it lousy if one wants to minimize the pages read before being able to do something useful. With a little git experience, though, this becomes an excellent read-once-and-refer.

Lost Lands of Witch World (Andre Norton): Definitely holds together better as a single volume; Three Against and Warlock end rather than conclude. All three mature solidly over the earlier Witch World volumes, with real peril in the world and consequence-filled decisions (both in practice and in morals). The POV-handoff works deliciously well. Sadly Sorceress was the weakest, flying off into a very different direction before rushing the ending, introducing loose ends only to tie them up within a matter of pages. I was hoping, particularly from Sorceress, for more about the nature of the Power and the Tregarths' odd relationship with it.

The Tempest (Theatre Unmasked presentation): Leaving at intermission sort of sums it up, although that was partly a function of time. I know Tempest has a reputation for being long, but doing the math from 90 minutes down at the start of intermission it became apparent that the choices were finish or dinner. It started out rather poorly, too; the players weren't miked, so they were clearly working on VOLUME, which is great until the foleys made them inaudible. No mixing board plus nobody on a monitor means balance is basically a crapshoot. There also wasn't enough attention paid to which direction they were facing: facing away from the audience, no amount of shouting will do the job. And rushingthelines. When they're not being forgotten. So we start by missing basically every word of the first fifteen minutes. Prospera (for there was some worked-just-fine regendering) was a bit more audible, because she was delivering every line directly to the audience. Once Antonio and company showed up, delivery improved, but not line recall. To say nice things, everybody was pretty good about keeping the show going while trying to remember lines (no standing agog). Since there was no stage and limited set, players entered and exited (and delivered some lines) through the audience, which worked really well.

Ranma 1/2 movies 1 and 2: Might as well lump them together. I liked 1 a little more than I remembered and 2 a little less, still giving the edge to 2 as a better movie for incorporating more Ranma-style over-the-top. Movie 1, despite having more of a plot, was a pretty straightforward bash-your-way-through story. I had forgotten just how dramatic the character redesigns were for movie 2...it's a bit much. The movies are definitely better than the later TV, not as good as early Ranma TV, and sadly since a bunch of late-TV characters do show up, you do miss a little if you haven't slogged all the way through. Not enough to make seasons 4 and 5 worthwhlie, though.
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March 2017


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