- Sat, 18:21: Oh, for crying out loud. I could absolutely do without this pre-Correspondents' Dinner show. Bah. #WHCD2016
- Sat, 19:08: "Next year someone else will be standing here in this spot, and it's anyone's guess who she will be." Ha. #WHCD2016
- Sat, 19:20: RT @NerdyWonka: POTUS to Reince: "Congratulations on all your success. The Republican party's nomination process is going great. Keep it up…
- Sat, 19:21: "That's just not something you do to your comrade." OOO. #WHCD2016
- Sat, 19:27: "Trump knows a thing or two about running waterfront properties into the ground." #WHCD2016
- Sat, 19:34: RT @LiberalPhenom: Lord, POTUS and Boehner. Hilarious. #WHCD
- Sat, 19:35: RT @ritaag: 'fuck you Chuck Todd' 😂😂 #WHCD
- Sat, 19:36: RT @s_mas12: Obama slayed it. We will never have a president so cool ever again. #WHCD
- Sat, 19:37: RT @TimFullerton: True Detective Season 3. #WHCD https://t.co/IDBkfF7EeA
- Sat, 19:39: RT @txvoodoo: AHHHH LITERALLY MIC DROPPING #WHCD
- Thu, 13:56: RT @saladinahmed: GUNS ARE SACRED GUNS ARE AMERICA GUNS EVERYWHERE DON'T LET THEM TAKE YOUR GUNS ::cops shoot a child:: WELL HE SHOULDN'T…
- Thu, 17:43: Heh. I bet the House Armed Services Committee endorsed Duncan Hunter's amendment (as would I). #unintendedconsequences #inners #UniteBlue
- Thu, 17:45: Congressman Duncan Hunter: How does logic, and equality, work again? #inners #UniteBlue
- Thu, 18:21: "No wonder people get excited when it seems like one of these guys [Trump/Cruz/Kasich] might quit." Abso-freaking-lutely. #maddow #uniteblue
- Thu, 18:25: RT @AlanKestrel750: If you're for Bernie and disagree with Hillary, okay. Just don't attack a mythical Hillary while trying to sell me a m…
5 of 5 stars
This is the best book I’ve read so far this year, and right up there with the best of 2015. It is so many things–a mystery, a horror story with callbacks to, of course, Lovecraft (although you never actually see Cthulhu or any of the Elder Gods–there’s just a suggestion of a black shadowy something coming through an intradimensional door in the last battle, turning the bad guys to ash and retreating again), and above all an unflinching, brutal examination of racism, both in the time of Jim Crow and echoing down to our day.
You might think this last is presented in a heavy-handed way, but it isn’t. This is because of the author’s prose, which is restrained and straightforward, almost Hemingwayesque. (He’ll never be accused, to use Stephen King’s memorable line, of paving his road to hell with adverbs.) Given the subject matter–both the horror elements and the social–this approach is necessary, I think. There’s also elements of humor; very dark, to be sure, but I was startled into laughing at least once or twice. The characterizations are subtle, and demand a careful reading; and in any case, this is not a book to rush through. It’s structured as a series of interlinked novellas, not chapters as such. You might think one or two of the novellas in the middle section have nothing to do with the overall plot, but keep going. When you get to the scene where all the characters sit down and tell each other their parts of the story (and how often have we read books where we say, “I wish these characters would just talk to each other”? Well, in this book they actually do it!), everything clicks into place, and the author’s meticulous plotting becomes evident.
It occurred to me as I read the final pages that the title is more than just a metaphor for the book’s horror elements. To me, it’s also a metaphor for America as a whole, with its continuing racism and fear/hatred of the Other, both in this book’s setting of 1954, and, to our shame, still today.
- Wed, 19:36: Bah. Just say hello to President Trump already, won't you?? #UniteBlue #UnitedAgainstExtremism https://t.co/lBpkR7CsRv
- Wed, 19:40: RT @LampersMichael: @arthur_affect imagine John Lennon claiming today that The Beatles were more popular than Bernie. The doxxing would be…
- Wed, 20:08: Oh, there's Charlie! #Pierce #inners #UniteBlue
- Tue, 19:38: RT @Africanfighter: I'm crying right now. This @HillaryClinton speech is historic. Love you Madam President! #NewYork #NYPrimary
- Tue, 19:47: Bah. Jeff Weaver is just living in a fantasy world. #maddow #uniteblue #NewYorkPrimary
- Tue, 19:48: RT @shawsaluto: Oh Jeff Weaver spinning his bullshit now. #maddow
4 of 5 stars
This is the sequel, of sorts, to These Broken Stars, to which I gave a five-star review a couple of years ago. I say "of sorts" because while this book continues the overall story, and the protagonists from the first book make cameo appearances, this book introduces two brand-new characters. Jubilee Chase is a bad-ass soldier and Flynn Cormac is an idealistic rebel, and they come together on Avon, a planet in the midst of terraforming (the swamp that covers the inhabited section is almost a third protagonist in its own right) and shrouded in clouds and mystery.
This book is a lot darker and grittier than the first, with the alternating points of view of Jubilee and Flynn exploring the rebellion, the politics behind it, and the attempts to tamp it down. The complication to all this is the so-called Fury, the mental illness that sooner or later infects almost every soldier stationed on Avon, causing them to snap and kill anyone nearby. I say "almost" because it soon becomes clear that Jubilee is immune to the Fury. The reasons why are a major plot point, reaching back ten years to a similar rebellion on her birth planet of Verona, where her parents were killed.
As in the first book, the characterizations are excellent. There is a considerably larger cast in this book as opposed to the first, which focused almost entirely on the starcrossed love story of Lilac and Tarver. This frees the authors to further develop their world, to the book's benefit. The book starts with a bang, with Jubilee's kidnapping by Flynn, and never really lets up. The pacing is masterful, with well-chosen, quieter moments of character development.
Jubilee and Flynn's story is brought to a satisfying conclusion in this book, but the storyline remains up in the air: will Roderick LaRoux, the master manipulator behind the scenes in both the first book and this one, finally get his comeuppance? This, presumably, waits for the third book, which is upcoming on my list. I hope I enjoy it as much as I enjoyed the first two.
View all my reviews
4 of 5 stars
James Tiptree Jr., AKA Raccoona Sheldon AKA Alice Sheldon, died nearly thirty years ago. In an unfortunately brief career, she made an indelible mark; not only for her groundbreaking, feminist stories, but because of the fact that she wrote most of them under the male pseudonym of James Tiptree Jr, before being outed as Alice Sheldon after her mother's death. This book celebrates what would have been her 100th birthday, and is filled with poignant essays of current SFF authors writing about what Tiptree/Sheldon meant to them.
The first section, containing the titular "letters," has thirty-eight authors expressing their feelings about Tiptree. Some write to "Tip," some write to Alice, some write to all three or various combinations thereof; but all of them turn out fascinating, complex thoughts about a complex woman. The second section, my favorite, consists of letters between Sheldon and the writers Ursula K. LeGuin and Joanna Russ in the late seventies, before and after her outing, as she tries to explain why she hid her identity (and wonders out loud if she will have any friends left). LeGuin, in particular, comes off as a warm, loving woman and staunch friend, delighted in the revelation that James Tiptree is Alice Sheldon.
The third section consists of introductions to Tiptree's collections, from books published before and after the revelation of her identity; excerpts from academic analyses of feminist science fiction and Tiptree's role therein; and a final essay from the author herself, shot through with wit and humor.
This is a moving tribute to a remarkable woman, who sadly left us far too soon. Her influence on the SF field is still great today, and I'm glad to see a book like this that will carry forth her banner into the future.
- Fri, 17:45: RT @TeaPainUSA: If God didn't want Ted Cruz to stimulate his own genitals, he would have given him tiny hands like Donald Trump.
- Fri, 18:04: RT @azmoderate: As a private citizen, Clinton was allowed to get as much as they were willing to pay for her speeches.
- Fri, 18:07: "White men signing a law to make sure YOUR pregnancy proceeds according to THEIR preferences." Shame. #maddow #UniteBlue
- Fri, 19:01: Well. I thought @Lawrence never worked on Fridays. #lastword #UniteBlue
- Fri, 20:01: I'm supporting @seananmcguire Seanan McGuire @Patreon https://t.co/mQqiWMOuE2
- Fri, 20:20: This poem sneaks up on you and slays you with the final line. https://t.co/D71uGG9smV
- Sat, 09:53: Very good article from an OB/GYN. https://t.co/bJ9HE6ubEG
- Thu, 17:45: Bah. I wish @chrislhayes was moderating #MSNBCTownHall. @chucktodd lets Ted Cruz's bullshit slide by unchallenged.
- Thu, 17:59: Whoa. That voice could shatter glass. #DemDebate
- Thu, 18:03: RT @howardfineman: audience is going to be annoying.
- Thu, 18:04: RT @EddieCorreia: @chucktodd lame, lightweight, lazy #MSNBCTownHall
- Thu, 18:06: RT @djred678: Bernie ALWAYS talks about the same shit. He's a SINGLE...ISSUE...CANDIDATE #ImWithHer https://t.co/P9AkybQrya
- Thu, 18:07: "I've been called a lot of things in my life. Unqualified is a first." Heh. #DemDebate
- Thu, 18:08: RT @JohnAmato: The #DemDebate audience is driving me crazy already.
- Thu, 18:10: If Bernie keeps yelling, he's going to lose his voice altogether. #DemDebate
- Thu, 18:12: I love when Hillary gets into the weeds. #DemDebate
- Thu, 18:14: Well, talk to the Supreme Court about the Citizens United decision, then. https://t.co/sjWX5FeJEA
- Wed, 17:33: Gee. It's so exciting to see John Kasich 'splaining their religion to Torah/Talmud students. *rolls eyes* #inners #UniteBlue
- Wed, 17:43: About bloody time. https://t.co/tV8ISZ3JMn
- Wed, 17:54: RT @BroadwayBlack: "Who wants to spend $150 on a Broadway show that they don't feel represented in. That's why @HamiltonMusical is successf…
- Sat, 14:12: RT @JeffersonObama: Sanders was expecting a +80% win in Wyoming, an all white state. Instead Clinton will snag a tie with 7 of the 14 deleg…
- Sat, 15:21: States =/= equal delegates. https://t.co/ZVFq0US6in
- Sat, 18:14: This is really cute and absolutely true. https://t.co/iDVyebR3Gz
- Sat, 19:39: Senator Professor Warren is right on the money with this one. "Senate Republicans embraced the idea that... https://t.co/YVJjSVCQBt
- Fri, 17:32: I never thought about that before, but that's absolutely right. https://t.co/WV5peRbZ7i
- Fri, 17:34: "People hold things against @HillaryClinton that they don't hold against any other Democrats of the time." YES. #inners #UniteBlue
- Fri, 17:36: RT @iqbaltheba: “@ABC: NEW: Bruce Springsteen cancels upcoming performance in North Carolina due to new 'anti-LGBT' law. https://t.co/2C2wt…
- Fri, 17:38: This is nonsense. https://t.co/vPpZdawy54
- Fri, 17:42: What does that have to do with his canceling the concert? https://t.co/B0rDYzJywg
- Fri, 17:43:  https://t.co/7qZtG6Y5nH
- Fri, 17:44: They're both women, and they come in the bathroom to pee. No problem. https://t.co/7xOVFyU16W
- Fri, 17:45: You made the accusation. I'm asking you.  https://t.co/cbWyyjhpO4
- Fri, 17:45: You made the accusation. I'm asking you. [citation needed or you're just making shit up] https://t.co/qEGKDwXgUQ
- Fri, 17:46: [citation needed or you're just making shit up] https://t.co/lpEw6S9aMh
- Thu, 17:22: Oh, thank Ghu for @JoyAnnReid. She is an oasis of sanity about these subjects. #iners #UniteBlue
- Thu, 18:30: "I would gladly vote for either of these candidates over Trump/Cruz." ~Martin O Malley Abso-freaking-lutely. #maddow #UniteBlue
- Thu, 18:32: RT @armandodkos: We did. She didn't. https://t.co/sSsKimO9E4
- Thu, 18:36: RT @realDenaldTrump: Let me remind u that I'm the only candidate running who claims to be self-funded! This is evident by the prominent Don…
- Wed, 16:57: Today's poem for National Poetry Month. I'd say "traveling with violin" would get a similar reaction, except for... https://t.co/g6ba2x0pXs
- Wed, 17:08: In the debates, that laugh will drive Donald Trump nuts. https://t.co/bqD1TK6eOb
- Wed, 17:13: RT @TheOpinionista: #FeelTheBern all u want but don't burn Hillary's chances if she's nominee. No one in today's GOP deserves 2 b our next…
- Wed, 17:16: After that Sanders interview, @HillaryClinton is raising legitimate questions. #inners #UniteBlue
- Wed, 17:18: Don't get me wrong, if Bernie's the nominee I'll vote for him. But I accept the reality that he's emitting fairy unicorn farts. #inners
- Wed, 17:25: Well. Jeff Weaver is really dancing around this question. #inners #UniteBlue
- Wed, 17:30: RT @RichNj5: #inners Dumbass Weaver. Every gun owner is a law abiding citizen until they decide to kill kids and adults. #BernieSanders
- Wed, 17:38: YES!!!You complain about @HillaryClinton taking money from 1%, you also need to slam Prez Obama for doing the same thing. #inners #uniteblue
- Wed, 17:40: Heh. Nobody puts Barney Frank in a corner. #inners #UniteBlue
- Wed, 17:43: RT @ahuntre: Geez. Next time, try having them on one at a time. Both worthy. #inners
- Mon, 15:24: Marked as to-read: Clockwork Phoenix 5 by Mike Allen https://t.co/tGjCgQEc6M
- Mon, 17:02: Bah. Chris Matthews is pontificating about all the things Bernie Sanders have promised that WILL NEVER HAPPEN. #hardball #inners #UniteBlue
- Mon, 17:03: He says Wisconsin voters are asking Hillary Clinton, "Show me the money." Yes. All that unicorn fairy fart money. #hardball #inners
- Mon, 17:04: I would much rather have an incrementalist in the mode of President Obama, who most Dems say is a pretty good President. #inners #hardball
- Mon, 17:05: And LEST WE FORGET, the emoprogs ripped Pres. Obama too, when he didn't bring "hope & change" like they demanded. #hardball #inners
- Mon, 17:16: We may flip the Senate, but the House will remain in Repub hands at least till 2020. That's a simple fact. https://t.co/3YQH8bhWy5
- Mon, 17:24: "The last candidate with unfavorables as high was Bill Clinton in '92." Yes, that forgotten Dem candidate...oh wait....#inners #UniteBlue
- Tue, 10:16: Marked as to-read: Beyond the Aquila Rift by Alastair Reynolds https://t.co/mQYF9yy5jl
- Tue, 10:56: YES to all of this. Sometimes I think the "Bernie or Bust" people are worse that the emoprogs who castigated... https://t.co/en0XqbvmOt
(5 of 5 stars)
I'm still on my graphic-novel kick, but this is definitely the best one I've read since Scott McCloud's The Sculptor. In fact, it's damn near perfect.
Now, I must admit that I have not read any of the Sandman series proper, so this was a bit confusing at times. However, the story sucked me right in: the Dream King and his quest to save a mad star he mistakenly let live once upon a time, which will now bring about the end of the universe. This is a story that spans all of space and all of time, from the vastness of the multiverse to the interior of a black hole.
The artwork accompanying this story is absolutely gorgeous. I would not recommend trying to read this on any device. I checked the deluxe edition out from the library, and waiting for the dead tree copy is well worth it. There are two foldout pages (I imagine Vertigo had a fun time with that when it went to press) and on several occasions the art and word bubbles rotate across the entire length and breadth of the page. There are certainly no "panels" as such, not in this comic. The colors are bright and lush, and one could sit and study J.H. Williams' images for hours.
Morpheus is a lonely fellow in this story, and he ends up weakened and alone in the end, a state of affairs which is supposed to lead directly to the first volume of the series. That will be my next project, I think. Still, whether or not you have read the original Sandman, do not miss this.
View all my reviews