Thursday, October 31

Quick Hits!

Sometimes I read or watch things quicker than I have time – or motivation, or perhaps even focus – to set down in a full blog post. Nothing against whatever those items are. I feel a compulsion to gratuitously share my thoughts on virtually everything, but sometimes get backed up, and I don't want this to turn into a barrage of short posts. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Anyway, hence the periodic “Quick Hits.”

Screen Shot
from iPhone Kindle app
A State of Disobedience (2003) by Tom Kratman

I've been meaning to blog this novel ever since I proceeded to it directly out of his Caliphate last month, but never got around to it. I reserve the right to come back to it with a more thorough review some time in the future, because I'm thinking I'll eventually read it again. Get past the somewhat contrived opening setting up the Texas Rebellion of ca. 2010 (as best I can figure it), as well as the very transparent identity of the utterly wacko and caricaturishly evil US President “Willie Rottemayer,” and it settles into what I think is a fair depiction of how such a valiant but ultimately outnumbered and outgunned attempt at secession from the rapidly socializing, increasingly morally repugnant and anti-Christian United States would likely proceed. Although it was written a decade ago, and in no way foresaw the explosion onto the political landscape of Barack Obama, just how much cultural, political, and social developments in the succeeding decade (really, mostly in the past five years) do seem to be have been foretold sent chills down my spine as I read. As much as Caliphate did [link], this book struck me as a prophetic wake-up call in the guise of a very compelling and exciting story.  As I titled my review, it seems "Frighteningly Plausible."

Monday, October 28

DC Comics – October 2013, New 52 Month 24

Reviews, commentary, general reactions, and random notes on the DC Comics that were released during August that I received near the beginning of September. Caution: Spoilers ahead! [ Link to previous month ]

Here's the link to the October solicitations (for comics to be released mostly in December): (link).

I only made note of a couple of news items. One is that Smallville Season 11 is shifting to a “series of miniseries” format, dropping the “Season 11” branding and sequential numbering, supposedly to remove a perceived bar for new readers picking it up (link). This mainly irks me because it will make the weekly purchase from Comixology quite a bit more cumbersome, especially since they just a short while ago introduced an efficient “subscription” function which automatically purchases each week's installment for me and has it ready for me to download whenever I want, rather than having to manually go in and make the purchase each week. Being title-based, the subscription will no longer work. Also, it will be harder (impossible) to keep reading order straight if you're not purchasing them week-to-week. Yeah, that helps the new reader.

Secondly, and we're far enough along into October as I write this (the 12th) that sales data for September has been released, it seems that the September-released “Villains' Month” stunt paid off big time for DC. More next month, maybe – except that DC's immediate exultation really rubbed at least one retailer the wrong way (link). By all accounts, the retailers were the ones who really got screwed in the resulting debacle.

Whatever, before “Villains' Month,” there is this one more month of story-driven rather than stunt-driven comics to get through....

Saturday, October 12

Gravity (2013)

Directed by Alfonso Cuarón.

This has been a busy semester so far, filled both with professional duties and with personal stuff. I'm quite a ways behind in blogging, but I'm going to try to get caught up. I may end up having to resort to a “Quick Hits” post for some, but I really want to give this movie its own separate consideration, albeit not very long or in depth.

Last weekend, on the second day of its general release, my wife and I went to the matinee showing of Gravity, starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. I'm always up for a realistic near-future space movie, and based on the previews I saw over the past few weeks, I could tell that this one would be about as realistic as they come, right up there with Apollo 13, and that if anything would be worth subjecting myself to 3D (a format I can usually do without) it would be Gravity. And the billed actors were enough to get my wife to go with me.