26 November 2012

Deck the halls already: A rant

Never in the history of me being me have I ever consider decorating for the holidays until about 2 weeks before the blessed event.  Never. Ever. Until today....

Not sure why, well who is kidding who, thanks to the overwhelming pressure by stores to make this holiday a year to remember (dollar wise) we, the general public have been sucking on the candy stick of Christmas consumerism since November 1st.  Yes, that is right, November 1st, the day after Halloween.  I kid you not, stores in the city were pumping carols the same day they were trying to unload 55 million bags of Halloween treats.  For once I would like November to be November.  You know the month that Dune Girl was born. (obviously)  Yes, I turn older Tuesday.  It is pretty sweet.  To make it sweeter,  the hubby  turns 5 years younger than I but one year older for him one week later.  With two birthdays to bathe in booze, Christmas has always been on the back burner for us.

This year though we are ready to break the unwritten family rule and deck the house out like a hussy Santa.  Things are getting nuts.  
I never did finish it

You might be wondering if this internal struggle has gotten in my way of reading books and then oh, I don't know blogging about them on this blog for books.  Not really, I am actually reading something right now, it is just taking me forever.  After the third serious attempt to read Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell (I KNOW) I am finally into it. Finally...To be frank this book bugs me.  I don't know how many years I have been hearing the merits of this thing.  Every time I have heard an incredible review I am running up to my bookcase and pulling the dam thing out to then very quickly  shove it  back on the shelf.  This may officially showcase my level of average intelligence but the first 60 pages of this book MAKES NO SENSE.  Someone seriously needs to sit down with me and talk me through it.  I am not joking. The only way that I have managed to get anywhere in it is because I skipped the first part.  You read that right, I skipped something and am proud of it.

Anyway I am not far enough in to review the book. My hope is that once finished I can return to the first part and suddenly all will be revealed to me.  This is my hope...I am not holding my breath.  And no, I haven't watched the movie. GAWD, give me a little credit.

Beside this epic struggle of Santa or not to Santa  I was handed the new book by Lois McMaster Bujold:  Captain Vorpatril's Alliance yesterday  and subsequently have stopped all communications with my family.  For those of you in the know this is a book from the Vorkosigan Series which just happens to be one of my fave's.    It's like the world knows it's my birthday!

12 November 2012

Kitchen Sink: A Review of the The Unincorporated Woman

I read by default. Whatever is around I read. As a kid I used to pour over the milk carton during breakfast desperate to read something, anything. To avoid reading milk (not a page turner at all, do not recommend) I got into the habit of stockpiling books like Skyscrapers on my bedside table.  As I finish something all I have to do is lean over and grab something new. I really don't read up on what's coming or who is about to release the next big sensation either.   So it was a pleasant surprise to discover that the third in the Unincorporated series, The Unincorporated Woman by Dani Kollin and  Eytan Kollin was out and sitting on my kitchen table. (kudos to my father-in-law, my very own book fairy)  Is it odd to review book three in a series having not spent much time raving about the previous two? More still is it odder that my recommendation to read the entire series is based on the merits of the third book? 

Don't mistake me, all three books are stellar. In fact the first, The Unincorporated Man won the Prometheus Award (according to their bio) and more importantly this girl's heart. I don't want to ruin the books for you as there are a lot of " what the hell is going to happen" next moments. Simply put the human race has incorporated itself.   Upon birth you  own a small  percentage of shares in yourself. Life is spent raising your self interest so others will buy into you so you can raise money to gradually buy more shares of yourself in the hopes of attaining majority. Holding majority allows for freedom to do what you like and it is this rainbow of hope that people strive for but also keeps them bound to corporations. Fascinating universe, now take this perfect world, plop the only unincorporated man into it by way of cryogenics and voilĂ  you have on your hands a story, no wait, A Revolution, no wait, a war.   

Of all the books I've read this year, these win the Dune Girl's award for guts. I swear the Kollin brothers before they sat down to pen these stories must have made a pact. If we are going to write SF then WE ARE GOING TO WRITE SF. There is every possible form of sub-genre found in these books including the proverbial kitchen sink. That, in my books takes guts especially since the books are not muddled.

Let's review shall we. First off, there are asteroids. Billions of people call asteroids home in this universe. In fact, most have never been planet side, and do not find it odd that their horizons bend upwards.  (Living in huge rocks, curved...look it up). Then there is AI.    What was once the world wide web has evolved into something so all encompassing that avatars have become sentient unbeknownst  to the human race. Looking for some romance. Check. Love stories a-plenty. Too sappy for you, do not worry, the Kollin brothers make sure the realities of war effect all in a most tragic way. Like a good War with guns and shit.  Covered. Most  surprising to me  is how much I am enjoying reading about battles. SF is not my favourite genre so The Unincorporated Woman is expanding my reading world and may result in me trying out some other military inspired stories. Into space opera?, well congratulations you are about to read a roller-coaster of emotions as dramatic as anything that Lois McMaster Bujold has weaved.

To be brief, The Unincorporated Woman does wane a bit. The WAR is long and does take up the majority of the drama. But the characters new and old are so addicting that it is one of those series that you hope for more to come.    

4 November 2012

Darth Mouse

I received a call from my husband a couple days ago informing me of some big news. Big in our life can range from I want pizza for dinner to I won 50 grand in Vegas so I was completely open to anything that might be revealed to me.  To my absolute gob-smacking shock it was the news of Lucasflims being sold to Disney for 4 billion gazillion galactic credits.

With the Internet having  exploded in upon itself with this news, at least the part of the interweb that I cruise around in (apparently there was a some type of large rainstorm that hit parts of the north east coast).I debated whether to ignore the large Darth Mouse in the room or jump gleefully into his arms. Wheeeeeeeeeeee!

How do I feel about all this hullabaloo?  Frankly, I don't care (Okay, okay, I do care just not CARE care).   I think I have read more articles than there should be speculating on what the new films will be about.  Are they going to follow The Thrawn Trilogy ?  Interesting concept but I can't see Lucas agreeing to follow Zahn's vision.  And yes I do believe Lucas will have a deciding voice in the creation of the next 3 installations,  4 billion dollars or not the guy is Star Wars.  While I am a fan of Grand Admiral Thrawn and would love to see the Noghi come to life, I have issues with Luke's future wife Mara Jade.  Having to sit through three films watching Mara Jade wrestle over her inner struggles to kill Skywalker ranks as cringe level high as having to sit through the Aniken/Padme Amidala love story.  Probably the most far fetched script is the Boba Fett spin-off.   There is no debate that the Bounty Hunter is kick-ass but the allure to his character is the not knowing.  Like Snake Eyes from G.I. Joe these characters are bad ass because they  exist only in the present.  

Personally, I would love to see a revamp of the franchise.  Take Star Wars to the new generation of fans as the release of J.J. Abrams's Star Trek The Movie so successfully did.  Before this film  no one contemplated recasting the iconic roles of Spock, Kirk, McCoy, Uhura, Scotty, Sulu and Chekov.  Who could possible play Spock or that matter dare to walk in the shadow of Shatner?  It's Shatner for heaven's sakes, who would have the guts to do that?   Just imagine recasting for Star Wars. To be truthful the idea of messing with the original IV, V, VI makes me queasy but if done properly what a glorious thing it would be.  

All in all, the point is this.  Who cares!  There is going to be three more films and whatever your level of hatred for I, II, III is, with Lucas out of the director's chair we are bound to have some straight up wicked shit to watch.  MAYBE and I say maybe on this one, whomever successfully produces the new films will decide that  Frank Herbert's vision of Dune should be properly conveyed...if only.  Does anyone have Peter Jackson's direct line?   I have a proposition for him.