Alvaro Zinos-Amaro has been doing a reread of the post-finale Deep Space Nine fiction, and he just got to my first contributions, the novel Demons of Air and Darkness (which was part of the “Gateways” multibook crossover) and the followup novella “Horn and Ivory” (which appeared in the final “Gateways” volume What Lay Beyond).
Check it out!
There’s a lot to like about Demons of Air and Darkness, and a lot to admire from a purely logistical perspective. The novel somehow accomplishes the seemingly impossible task of simultaneously A) being enjoyable as a standalone introduction to the DS9 relaunch series, with DeCandido furnishing short summaries of everything one needs to know at the relevant moments; B) pushing that narrative forward and therefore bridging the preceding Section 31: Abyss with what follows; C) fitting neatly into its own seven-volume Gateways series; and D) ending on a cliffhanger whose resolution in “Horn and Ivory” provides emotional closure while setting the stage for future adventures in Mission Gamma, Book One: Twilight. And it does all of this with fun and pizzazz!
The fine folks at Authors in Chains interviewed me yesterday, and it’s already online! Episode 24 of the podcast features hosts Ray Bayly, Glacia Cronk, and Rob Davies talking to me about my various and sundry bits of fiction and stuff. Check it out!
It’s not entirely surprising to see which movies in “4-Color to 35-Millimeter: The Great Superhero Movie Rewatch” get lots of comments and which ones don’t. If the movie has Superman or Batman or the X-Men in it, or if it’s part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, then it’s likely to get tons more comment than if any of those things aren’t true.
But today Captain Marvel finally unseated Avengers: Age of Ultron for the top spot in most comments. Can’t say I’m surprised, given how much this movie meant to a lot of people and, conversely, how many people are really invested in trashing this movie about a powerful woman, gee gosh golly whillikers. Plus there’s the people in the middle who are neither enthusiastic about it nor revolted by it, who have made their voices heard as well.
Here’s the current leaderboard (all those with 75 comments or more):
- 180: Captain Marvel
- 173: Avengers: Age of Ultron
- 168: Man of Steel
- 167: The Dark Knight Rises
- 133: Captain America: The First Avenger
- 121: Iron Man 3
- 121: Captain America: The Winter Soldier
- 118: X-Men
- 113: Ant-Man
- 108: Superman, Superman II, Superman III, and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace
- 107: The Dark Knight
- 106: Watchmen
- 104: Iron Man
- 102: Deadpool 2
- 96: The Amazing Spider-Man
- 96: Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice
- 93: Thor: The Dark World
- 92: X-Men: The Last Stand
- 90: Justice League
- 89: Wonder Woman (2017)
- 88: Avengers
- 83: Suicide Squad
- 82: Spider-Man (2002)
- 82: Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman
- 80: Flash Gordon (1980) and Flash Gordon (2007)
- 80: Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
- 79: Thor
- 79: X-Men: Days of Future Past
- 76: Spider-Man 2
- 76: Guardians of the Galaxy
- 76: Fantastic Four (2015)
“He said, ‘Welcome to the frickin’ Guardians of the Galaxy.’ Only he didn’t say ‘frickin’.’”
”I’m Mary Poppins, y’all!”
”I am Groot.”
The great superhero movie rewatch does Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
But as with the first film, the real stars are Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, and especially Karen Gillan. Nebula’s anguish and pain is etched on every blue pore of Gillan’s face, as she perfectly embodies the victim of abuse that she and Gamora both are after being raised by the mad Titan. And Cooper and Diesel continue to be a delight, with Diesel making every (now high-pitched) “I am Groot” meaningful, while Cooper makes Rocket the most complex character—and, yet, still the funniest. He gets all the best lines—in a movie full of great ones—and also has the most pathos and one of the strongest emotional journeys.
Heather Grove on her Errant Dreams blog has reviewed my 2011 novel The Case of the Claw, the first story featuring the Super City Police Department. It’s a very favorable review, too!
The pacing is excellent, with the police commissioner and mayor raining crap down on Garcia’s head with every day that goes by without the Claw having been apprehended. People continue to die, and various calamities pull the police in all different directions. There’s a hostage situation, a Pulitzer-winning gruff journalist, heroes with names like “Spectacular Man” and “The Bruiser,” and nifty pieces of technology passed along by Ms. Terrific. It’s satisfying as both a mystery and a super hero story!
On 20 September 2019, I spent four hours at the dojo. I taught a private lesson, I did two separate hours working with black-belt promotion candidates on various things they need to know, and I had my usual Friday night fighting class.
This was appropriate behavior for that day, as it was also the fifteenth anniversary of the day I stepped into the dojo for the first time.
On 20 September 2004, at the age of 35 and facing myriad physical infirmities, and having spent my entire adult life not exercising anything but my futility, I decided to take up martial arts.
Fifteen years later, I’m a third-degree black belt, one of the senior members of the dojo, one of the regular teachers at the dojo, and if you’d told me sixteen years ago that that would be the case, I’d have thought you were talking to the wrong person. But becoming a karateka has been one of the best things I’ve done with my life. Besides the physical and mental benefits, it’s also turned me into a teacher, which I absolutely love doing.
So happy anniversary to my karate career. Here’s to the next fifteen years…..
(The picture is the oldest one I could find of me doing karate, from my promotion to advanced green belt in 2007. I couldn’t find any pics of me from any earlier, sadly.)
We kick off Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with the chronologically earliest one of the bunch, Captain Marvel, which mostly takes place in 1995 (with bits in 1989 and 2019). The great superhero movie rewatch looks at the MCU’s long overdue first solo female-led film.
This is a truly magnificent movie, an absolute delight from beginning to end. Great performances, great writing, great directing, plus a nice inversion of the origin formula that Marvel has used a bit too often. It took fourteen years for there to be a Marvel movie that starred a woman by herself as the solo lead, and indeed it was the failure of Elektra (a bad spinoff of a bad movie) and Catwoman the same year that was often cited as “proof” that women can’t lead superhero films. Strangely, the failures of Hulk and Daredevil two years earlier didn’t lead to similar complaints about men leading superhero films. Wonder why…
Many of the dopey complaints that have been made about this movie (I hasten to add, not all the complaints—there are legitimate criticisms to be made of the film) are pretty much just code for “I don’t wanna watch a movie with a girl.”