But I am just so sick of stories in which the world or country descends into chaos and barbarism. Oh look, the bad people in charge are misusing their power, and the few good people in charge are too ineffectual/burned-out/disinterested to stop them. Oh look, ladies, the poor, and those who don't fit the ideal are constantly ignored and mistreated. Oh look, the poor are completely powerless.
Wow, that's something I haven't seen before. So glad this show is getting a full two seasons (at least) to really roll around in the miserable muck!
I'd feel better about the show if I didn't know we've got at least another few seasons of this suffering to slog through. I mean, the four books out now are basically one long "and then terrible things happen to everyone" ramble. I am not looking forward to watching what's coming go down. At least while reading the books, I can still hope. But watching the series, I already know. I have no reason to hope. And I just want it to be *over*.
I've been postponing watching the new season of Merlin. I've been afraid. There are universes that I love so much that I can hardly bear to watch or read other people mess with them. The chance that they'll fuck it up terrifies me. (This is true even of the original creators of universes--I loved The Demon's Lexicon so much I put off reading the sequel for months, just in case it didn't live up to my dreams. (It did. Read Brennan's books, for they are excellent!) The invective my friends and I have thrown at Chris Carter, Joss Whedon, and Kripke would stun a sailor.) I love Arthurian myth so, so much, and the writers of Merlin can be ham-handed and thoughtless as often as not. So it took me a while to steel myself.
( Spoilers for the Tears of Uther Pendragon )
The latest issue of Apex went online yesterday! This is the Arab & Muslim-centric issue that Cat Valente edited, prompted by the Elizabeth Moon debacle and her own desire to "show how Islam is as much a part of the human experience as any other faith or story system that writers of the fantastic draw from." There's an Elder Gods-esque story, a take on Muslim vampires, complete with etiquette guides, and my favorite, Saladin Ahmed's "The Faithful Soldier, Prompted," sure to thrill those that loved Paolo Bacigalupi's futuristic wold-building style but wanted more characters worth rooting for. Plus poetry and an old Turkish fairy tale.
Take a look!
Yuletide noms are starting! You can nominate fandoms here if you're thinking of participating. I'm excited about fic for:
The 13th Warrior--I studied Old English back in the day (hence the username), and I love exploring that old Germanic thang, when the world was mysterious and horrible, and only by holding steadily to tradition and fealty could you survive. There's this epic weight to everything, but simultaneously, a lot of humor and wordplay. Plus, the actors in the movie are so, so pretty.
Marge Piercy - Woman on the Edge of Time--this is one of my very favorite books, and it contains one of my very favorite utopias
Scott Lynch - The Gentleman Bastard Sequence--I want more of this series, and I would drown a kitten in a barrel of horse piss to get it. Locke and his fellows are fascinating, but the world itself is incredible. Plus, the female characters keep dying, so I'd love to explore a woman's perspective on it all.
Sherwood Smith - Inda series -- Queer poly relationships are totally normal, nobody poops (they just magic the waste right out of themselves!), and anyone can have a baby with anyone else. The king is desperately in love with his straight war-chief. Women know a secret fighting style and language they use to protect the castles from invaders. Plus, vikings!
Touching Evil US -- angst+snark+procedural show+pretty main character=lots of fun
Ysabeau S Wilce - Flora Segunda series --I cannot describe how much I love this series; it is the bestest thing in the world and I want to tattoo every word onto my skin. Read the books! Then write some fic!
How awesome could this be? So very, very awesome.
So two new spy shows premiered recently, both treading fairly well-worn ground. Undercovers is about a married couple who are pulled away from their catering business and back into being CIA spies.( Spoilers for pilot of Undercovers )
Nikita is a remake of La Femme Nikita (which was both a French film and a 90s TV show). All three have badass heroines who take a lot of damage and dish it right back out (which is pretty much a bullet-proof love of mine). ( Talkin' 'bout the 1997 and 2010 La Femme Nikitas )
( Spoilers for whatever Sherlock Holmes show that was. )
A while back I saw people start posting about a new Sherlock Holmes show, so I immediately downloaded the latest thing I could find. I've loved Sherlock Holmes since I was a kid--I used to watch the old Rathbone episodes with my parents, and I reread the collected mysteries pretty much every year when I was younger. Of course I wanted more Holmes! This one was set in Victorian London, Watson was played by Ianto from Torchwood, and all the characters were astonishingly boring.
I was horrified to see that it seemed to be acquiring a fandom, because the show itself was so mediocre that I just couldn't bring myself to watch it.
But mercy was at hand! Turns out fandom was talking about another Sherlock Holmes tv series that just came out, this one set in modern London. And lo! It was freaking awesome! The first episode absolutely blew me away.( Spoilers for A Study in Pink )
The second episode, not so much.( Spoilers for The Blind Banker )
Hopefully the third episode will be as good as the first, and I can repress knowledge of the second.
One series I really hope dies out in popularity is Narnia. I just plain don't think there's enough there to warrant exposing kids to such sexist, racist, Islamophobic, Christian propaganda. They're fun enough books, but other authors have since created more interesting and novel fantasy worlds, with better characterization and less preaching. Give young readers books like Dealing with Dragons, Wise Child, Harry Potter, Chrestomanci, Sabriel, Sword and Sorceress collections, So You Want To Be a Wizard, Alanna, Tiffany Aching...
And please, please, give young readers A Wrinkle in Time. There is possibly no other novel that has meant so much to me, or had such a positive impact on me. Meg Murray backed me up when I needed to be plain and contrary and stubborn and smart. Mrs. Murray showed me that a woman could be beautiful and have children and a garden and two PhDs and do research in her lab while cooking stew on a bunsen burner. And the witches! Mrs. Who, Mrs. Which, and the incomparable Mrs. Whatsit--they are exactly the kind of mentors we need more of. I'm sick to death of wise old white dudes with long white beards who die just when you need them most--let's have some variety!
What else would you categorically recommend to young readers?
Deb Mensinger is the wife of one of my favorite authors (Laurie J Marks--if you haven't read her Elemental Logic series yet, get to it!). She's suffered from porphyria for many years, and now her liver is so damaged that it requires a transplant. A grass-roots auction to raise money for the liver transplant has started at Deb's Liver Lovers. There are some fantastic offers already (books! jewelry! singing lessons! writing critiques!) from all sorts of people, including Delia Sherman, Terri Windling, Naomi Kritzer, Ellen Kushner, Martha Wells...
I'm hoping to get some arcane sounding plants from loligo's garden. But feel free to try to outbid me!