Archive | March, 2019

Dear Future Self; A Song of Ice and Fire

30 Mar

I know my publication record’s not been great – I’ve talked before about self publishing and while I have had two books under contract for the past two years, I haven’t been able to formalize any release dates. I get a bit of flack from other writers I see at shows, asking why it’s been at least five years since ToO’s release, why I haven’t really gotten anything else out.

The short answer is that I have been writing, but I’ve been a bit anal about the editing process. Not counting the two projects currently under contract with Burst Books that are with an editor (ball’s been in her court for a while) and I told myself I wasn’t going to bug them until I finished editing the sequel to Witchslayer’s Scion.

I’m still kind of working on it. I’m getting real close, and I’m off for a few days to a chalet where I’m going to have hours to work on it. I’ve been working on it and the current WIP (Science Fiction NaNoWriMo). The main problem is that I gave myself ample time between working on it and attending to other projects. I need to leave my future self better notes moving forward, to say the least.

If you follow me on Goodreads you’ll note that I’ve recently read both A Dance with Dragons and Fire and Blood. This isn’t for hype of the show (which I’ve now seen the first four episodes. I was waiting for Martin to finish the books first. I have the next six episodes I’ll watch at the chalet in between exercising and having my little artist retreat) so much as I wanted something long to read for my long flight to Hawaii. Of course, I couldn’t figure out how to upload books from the library in the eleventh hour, but I still read them while I was on vacation once I got back and played around with the tablet.  Yes, I’ve had an Ereader before, I ran into some technical difficulties more than a year ago and . If you’re curious why I didn’t just buy it, let’s just say the new style of covers doesn’t match my old style of covers. Yes, I’m someone who cares about that sort of thing for my library. I’ll probably do my best just to ensure they all match if and when the series concludes in book format.

Why I finally caved on the tv series: well, I’ll be honest and although I had no objections to the casting I wanted the book characters to stay the book characters in my head. I’m honestly feeling a bit of a creative dry spell in terms of drawing as well as working in detail for my novels. What I need to do is watch more science fiction and read more in that vein for Chimera (the WIP) but I am honestly kind of amazed at the massive scope of undertaking some of these movie and tv series take. I’m not just talking the writing (which is obviously super important) but back in my day we were (un)lucky to get a sequel, because they usually happened well after the movie (Star Wars, Indiana Jones were exceptions. Okay, now my brain is rattling off more but I can name more bad sequels than good sequels. Things like 8 Harry Potter movies would have been unheard of) and they were usually pretty terrible.

Of course, now I care more about the technical side of things. I pay attention to lighting and camera work, set design, costume, music. And of course, the writing. There’s a lot to unpack with Game of Thrones, my best guess is that Tyrion ends up ruling Westeros at series finale. I’m also guessing GRRM will veer away from the show: for all we know he’ll put Stannis on the Iron Throne. Guess we’ll have to wait and see.


Review of Alita: Battle Angel

12 Mar

I got interested when I watched this.


That girl reminded me of my niece. So I took my niece to go see the film. Nervous as heck that it was going to be too gross for her. She really enjoyed it.

I also know nothing about the source material. I saw a 90 second clip from youtube from the anime after I got home from the film because you show a few people the trailer, Youtube reads you or something. So don’t ask me how it fairs compared to the source material.

Overall, think of it like high-end graphics Pinocchio, if Pinocchio had a past he couldn’t shake or remember and his duty was to fight injustice.

A doctor who repairs cyborgs finds a core with a still-living brain in the trash heap beneath the last floating city. The cyborg is just the face and chest with the heart, when he gives her a body she wakes, unable to remember who she is.  She discovers the world around her, and learns that there’s more to her new father than meets the eye: He is a Hunter Warrior, a bounty hunter that gets rid of villainous cyborgs who haunt the regular folk, and he knows more about her past than she’s letting on. This leads to her befriending and falling in love with a boy named Hugo.

The first third of the film is us watching her be very human, even though she’s synthetic and the oversized eyes are a constant reminder that with the exception of her brain, Alita is mostly a machine. We learn more about her father Ido and his ex-wife Chireen, why they do what they do, as well as the world around them. I really enjoyed parts, but I felt like the world was kind of empty – Iron City seems kind of cheerful at least during the day, although you learn the truth about people in what I thought were good twists. Learning more about the past feels organic, as Alita is at least 300 years old, and the technology that she came from has been lost.

Most of my nitpicks were more from my writer’s brain then someone who was just enjoying the film. If Iron City is so bad, why more people aren’t living outside of it, and why an old Martian Battle Cruiser (300 years!) has been abandoned for so long, how are these very dangerous fighting cyborgs taken out by paralysis and stripped of their parts, etc. If you really think about it, these cyborgs should be trying to disable each other as opposed to fighting, but I’ll shut up because the fight sequences are fantastic.

One thing I didn’t think about until later is that it does play into a favourite trope of mine: Bloodless carnage. Basically, if you’re human, there’s going to be some blood but it’s not graphic. People and animals are implied to be killed offscreen. Cyborgs we see the full meal deal. This trope I recognized when I was a kid – basically it doesn’t count because they’re robots. Turn to black stuff red and suddenly you can’t sell Mattell products during commercials.

(Okay fine: Jack’s scratched up. You see my point. Spoiler Alert: Hugo and the dog are the only two characters we get to see bleed red).

Anyway – really enjoyed it, good flick overall. I’d be nervous to take anyone younger than 11 to the movie, but it depends on the kid. My niece liked it, but I’d probably say more kids closer to 13 than 11. Go see it for the graphics alone, the creativity in the cyborgs and seeing how they move is worth the price of admission.