[personal profile] jtniehof
Still doing these things, although guessing nobody reads them now.

The Mallet of Loving Correction, Redshirts, Lifeboats, Orange, Arpeggio of Blue Steel, Ani-magic Academy, Everything Becomes F: The Perfect Insider, Quantico.

The Mallet of Loving Correction (John Scalzi): Another collection of Whatever posts, oddly enough alphabetical by title rather than organized by subject or chronology. Given that a lot of the political posts got selected, this gets a touch confusing. This "Greatest Hits" format is a fun way to revisit the blog, and it's almost better without the temptation to page through the comments, but there's little new material or commentary. I don't actually chase these books down; they come along in bundles with other things. I think I now own this twice and You're Not Fooling Anybody about three times, but haven't fallen into a copy of Hate Mail.

Redshirts (John Scalzi): The characters start tapping on the fourth wall pretty early, then banging on it, then the sledgehammers come out, and it ends by grinding the shattered pieces to dust. There's a point early on where the lampshades start to grow lampshades--it's an awkward transition, but does start to make sense fairly quickly. It's a touch experimental, or perhaps a "concept novel": the billing as a Trek parody is oversimplified, as really there's one key concept that gets examined, flogged, and meta-d. This all sounds negative but I really did enjoy the trip, including the codas (with some effective heartstring-pulling), it's just something where you have to trust the author or it doesn't work.

Lifeboats (Diane Duane): The one part of Interim Errantry that I haven't already read (it's a rebundling, along with Not on My Patch and How Lovely Are Thy Branches). It's a good bite of Wizardry, lot of fun, continuing to play with the usual themes without getting stale. Only downside is a litle bit too much time spent on the state of Kit's pants.

Orange: Interesting short manga. Did a good job of resolving the central conflict without repeating too much on the theme, or making things too pat and easy. One of the better "if you could go back and fix things, what would happen?" stories.

Arpeggio of Blue Steel (1-67): I finally gave up on the manga, even though I wanted to follow the plot beyond the anime. I found the political angle the most interesting, but almost all the page space was devoted to excruciating battle detail, that I found both tough to follow and not very exciting.

Ani-magic academy: First two were interesting, next two were dull. Not necessarily derivative but very obvious and seems like plot imposed on the characters rather than the other way around. "Oh, all the orphans are dead!"

Everything Becomes F: The Perfect Insider: Finally dropped at episode 6, wanting to read the book instead. There's definitely an interesting story in there, but the transition to screen failed miserably, very awkward pacing. The plot doesn't really progress and I found the PoV characters insufficiently interesting to sustain the show. Conway Life all over the ending is pretty cool, though.

Quantico: Got through episode 5 before deciding I'd had enough. They were trying to do too much: the basic premise was interesting enough without every single person at the academy having some sort of deep secret. The soap-opera antics in the flashbacks had us calling the show 22135 (by analogy with 90210). I'll normally enjoy over-the-top ridiculousness for the entertainment (see: Last Resort), but this was just beyond laughable.
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jnik

March 2017

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