Tag Archives: adventure

Stories I have known, ’07

Following on from the overall list of Great Stories We Enjoyed in 2007, here then is my personal list:

Absolute Favourites:
David D Levine, “Titanium Mike Saves the Day,” F and SF April
Martin Livings, “There was Darkness,” Fantastic Wonder Stories
Eric James Stone, “Tabloid Reporter to the Stars,” Intergalactic Medicine Show February

Honorable Mentions:
Manek Mistry, “Stories of the Alien Invasion,” Abyss and Apex 21
Karen Swanberg, “The Memory of Touch,” Abyss and Apex 21
Ben Burgis, “Three Perspectives on the Role of the Anarchists in the Zombie Apocalypse,” Afterburn SF July
Amy Betchel, “A Time for Lawsuits,” Analog July/August
Kevin Veale, “A Day in Her Lives,” ASIM 29
Charles Stross, “Trunk and Disorderly,” Asimovs January
Kristine Kathryn Rusch, “Recovering Apollo 8,” Asimovs February
Karen Joy Fowler, “Always,” Asimovs April/May
Lucius Shephard, “Dead Money,” Asimovs April/May
Allen M Steele, “The River Horses,” Asimovs April/May
Nancy Kress, “Fountain of Age,” Asimovs July
Darja Malcolm-Clarke, “The Beacon,” Clarkesworld 11
Bud Sparhawk, “Frost,” Darker Matter 1
Cherie Priest, “Our Lady of the Wasteland and the Hallelujah Chorus,” Dreadful Skin
M Rickert, “Memoir of a Deer Woman,” F and SF March
Carrie Vaughn, “Swing Time,” Baen’s Universe June
Grace Dugan, “Knowledge,” Interzone 211
Walter Jon Williams, “Send Them Flowers,” The New Space Opera
Nancy Kress, “The Art of War,” The New Space Opera
Joanne Merriam, “The Harvest,” Strange Horizons March
John Rosenmann, “Going Away,” Space and Time 100
Lee Thomas, “Sweet Fields,” Space and Time 100
PD Cacek, “The Way to a Man’s Heart,” Space and Time 100
Stephen Baxter, “Last Contact,” Solaris Book of New Science Fiction
Rachel Swirsky, “Dispersed by the Sun, Melting in the Wind,” Subterranean Online Summer
Ben Payne, “Inside,” Ticonderoga Online 11
Tansy Roberts, “Bluebell Vengeance,” ASIM 28
Kieran Morgan, “Finding Each Other Again,” ASIM 30
Sue Isle, “The Sun People,” Shiny 1

Things I think influence my thoughts on this:
I’m not an author
Until last year, I had read very few short stories
I’m the youngest
I’m a softie, unlike the other three who are hard-asses…  =D

Indiana Jones

Well, to start with I am very excited that the fourth one has actually had a date set for release – mid this year. It’s been a long time coming!! With Cate Blanchett, hopefully it will be good – I really hope it’s realistic about Ford being ancient. One of the things I really enjoyed about Lethal Weapon 4 was Glover and Gibson going on about being too old for this shit. Anyway, I’m excited.

What has sparked this post, though, was a viewing of Last Crusade. Great movie. Great movie. I adore the opening, with young Indy: it is so very nicely set up – I realised that you don’t know whether Indy is a scout or in the cave for quite a long time; the main looter in the cave even looks a bit like Ford, and of course the hat is Indy’s. It made me sad to see River Phoenix – such a pity for him to die so damn young.

And the whole movie is great. Good chases – although the tank/horse scene gets a bit long; good baddies – especially Elsa, of course, and adding in Hitler is brilliant; I love the zeppelin scene; and heck – it’s Connery! “The schlime of humanity” – what a line.

Godzilla

So yesterday was the first real day of my holidays (weekends don’t count). I thought that a perfectly lovely way of starting my hols would be getting up late (check), pulling on the dressing gown (check; because Melbourne has decided to go back to winter for whatever daft reason), and watch Godzilla… hmm. Yes.

I saw the remake when it came out, in 1998 it turns out. I remember thinking it was hilarious. I put it down on my BigPond Movies list, and thought it would be great to share it with my love. Sigh. It was not to be, sadly. Because it really wasn’t as good as I remember. In fact, it was quite average. When I realised it was 130 min worth of average-ness – at the 50 min mark – I made a considered judgment and gave up on it. I could not do it.

And so is one of illusions destroyed. Heartbreaking.

More than meets the eye

We didn’t go to see Transformers at the flicks. I really wanted to, but my love had heard varying reports. Personally, I trusted ‘s assessment, and agitated for going, but we somehow never got around to it. So we got it through BigPondMovies, and every half an hour or so he was then heard to exclaim “This is fantastic! Whoever didn’t like this had no sense of humour!” Duh. Imagine how much more awesome it would have been on the big screen! I’m sure there were aspects that I missed, due to not being an afficiando, but that’s ok – the plot didn’t rely on them, I did get the “more than meets the eye” reference, and I’m happy for uberfans to get some smug enjoyment that I missed – because I like doing it when I can, too.

Things I really liked:
The fight scenes. Woohoo!
The CGI transformations. Very nice.
The dry sense of humour.
Josh Duhamel!   =]
The incongruity of the plot. Yes, there are several bits it’s best not to think about, but when it’s done in such an entertaining way I’m generally disposed to forgiving leaps of logic. After all, we’re talking about giant alien robots…

Things I got annoyed at:
Sam, the main human; especially at the start, very painful.
The Autobots being made to seem a bit lame. Optimus Prime, in particular, sometimes came off as less than heroic.
The bits that were blatantly put in for teenage boys – like Mikaela doing the stretch to look under the hood. Pft.

For those people who thought the movie was crap: we’re talking about aliens, robot aliens, who by all accounts were the indigenous life forms on their planet. So… what is your problem with the rest of the movie?!

Oh, and for a final touch, we two really were destined to be together: turns out we both owned a toy Bumblebee as kids. How sweet!

Playing hookey

Not with work or anything, but with my responsibilities. Instead of reading some of the anthologies waiting for me, I’ve got Ilium, by Dan Simmons, to read. It’s mine, it’s just been with someone else for an awfully long time. Long enough that I’ve bought the sequel, Olympos, and haven’t read it yet – despite the fact that my hands almost literally itch every time I see it lying there on my bookshelf – because I must re-read the first so that it’s clear in my mind.

I love this book. I love it a lot. In fact, I love almost everything by Simmons, but that’s another issue. There aren’t too many books that manage to combine the Trojan stories with lovely, breath-taking scifi (yeh, OK, there’s Simon Brown’s Troy anthology – did I mention and I did a podcast on it?! – but short stories are a different teapot of eels from a full-blown space opera epic novel). It confused me delightfully the first time I read it, and I am loving reading it again – because I already know what various things mean, but there’s a lot of detail that I’ve forgotten and it’s just wonderful.

Pity I didn’t get this at the start of the holidays… as it is, I’m going to have to play a little bit of hookey when I go back to school next week, as I’ve got too much on this weekend to be able to finish it…

The Moneypenny Diaries

I started and finished it this morning. Apparently ‘edited’ by Kate Westbrook, Jane Moneypenny’s niece, it covers 1962: starts with Bond’s wife Tracy dying (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, I think), and ends with Bond in Japan (You Only Live Twice). Lots of stuff in between, of course, some of it about Bond – but mostly about Moneypenny, naturally enough. There’s a romance, intrigue, all the stuff you’d expect. It’s separated into months, with each month starting with a short bit from Westbrook about her search to validate the contents of the diaries.

My mum and sister told me it was great, so they loaned me their copy. I have to admit that I didn’t read it in all that much detail. I’m not really in a Cold War mood, and the writing wasn’t quite good enough to sucker me in completely. Which is why I was able to read it in a couple of hours. It was pretty good, and I would definitely recommend it to fans of Bond and the Cold War. Interestingly, it’s written with lots of footnotes, explaining exactly who various personages are in ‘real’ life. Some of them definitely are/were real, others I’m not sure about – they could be, and Westbrook has woven them into the story, or she’s just made people up conveniently. I’m actually happy with either explanation, personally.

And it’s totally up for a sequel, too, which I think I would probably read.

Movies I am looking forward to

Ocean’s Thirteen. woohoo!! I loved Eleven, thought Twelve was a bit average although it had a brilliant soundtrack – it let itself down – and, from the ad I just saw, it looks like Thirteen is going to go back to being smart-ass, sassy and very clever. I really hope so.

Die Hard 4.0. Oh. My. Goodness. A fourth?! Is Bruce Willis out of money? Hopefully, this will learn the lesson of Lethal Weapon 4, and be aware of the fact that its protagonist is too old for this sort of shit, and make jokes about that. But, seriously – more Die Hard?! It can only be good!!

Transformers. Hurry up already.

Shrek the Third. J hasn’t even seen the first yet. Bad; very bad. I really, really hope it’s as good as the first two… this is the sort of series that could very easily do a belly flop, though.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Looks very dark and very good. And I can’t wait for the last one to get published, so I can hurry up and read them….

Not Bridge to Terebithia. Boo hiss. Travesty of a marvellous book. More boos and hisses.

Not Nancy Drew, either. Gosh they were bad – although I loved them as a teenager (although Trixie Belden was better…). I read one at age 19 or so and just laughed myself silly. And then just recently I found out that they were syndicated – not written by the same person! (And same deal for Babysitters’ Club!). Oh the shock, the horror.

Bond. James Bond

I liked this movie.

I liked that this line only occurs once, and only as the last line of the movie (hmm. Spoiler?)

I really liked that this was designed as the first Bond but was still made as an ultra modern movie – the development of Bond as a man and as a spy is something that fascinates me and has never really been explored in any other movies.

I liked that there were no gadgets, not even any Q (hmm. Another spoiler). And that the only SFX were explosions, which to my mind aren’t real FX.

I liked the chase-scene that was on foot – oh my! – because it was very clever, and it had me cringing a number of times.

I liked Daniel Craig. Heck, he’s played an archaeologist before, so he must be good (Alex West in Tomb Raider).

I liked Vesper. She was the best Bond girl of the recent Bonds – I think she’s better than all of the Pierce Brosnan Bond girls. And her character was actually quite interesting and complex.

I liked this movie.

The Inside Man

This was brilliant. Denzel Washington (magnificent; and not an entirely goody-goody character either), Clive Owen (why did that man not become Bond?), Jodie Foster (a very different role for her – and she was great). Kat saw it at the flicks in Edinburgh and said it was great then; I was sorry to miss it on the big screen. It’s actually something I would consider seeing again, in a while. Very, very clever.

Flight of the Phoenix

J will never let me live this one down. We didn’t see it at the movies because he was still too cut at Dennis Quaid for being a wuss in The Day after Tomorrow. I got it out, though, because I had always thought it looked good from the poster, and because the blurb said it was “action-packed”. Yes; well. It wasn’t toooo bad… Miranda Otto was ok, in her bit-part… ok, it was a really average movie. I would not recommend anyone to see it. However, I found out one reason why it seemed appealing and didn’t deliver; it’s a re-make. The original had Peter Finch, Richard Attenborough, James Stewart and Ernest Borgnine!!! Kat says it is fantastic, so maybe I will watch it tomake it up to mysellf… but I don’t think I will suggest it to J.