(no subject)

Jun. 27th, 2017 03:03 pm
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We ended up at Palm Palace for dinner last night. The food and service were good, but even though I was conservative about what I ate, I ended up not feeling well due to a combination of gas and reflux. I think that the reflux was partly due to the gas and such, possibly even mainly due to it.

I slept badly last night. I never used the c-PAP at all because it seemed unwise with reflux and with me getting up repeatedly during the first couple of hours. I woke up with the sneezing and runny nose again, so apparently the c-PAP doesn't relate to that. Damned if I have any clue what's going on.

I guess I'll keep the extra appointment I have with my doctor next month (I was supposed to cancel it in favor of the scheduled follow up in August, but I held onto it in case something came up). My chances of getting in to see her any earlier are almost zero. I didn't want to keep that appointment because it Thursday during Art Fair. That week is pretty much the worst time to go to UHS all year long as all the buses will be both detoured and packed. My dentist appointment, in the same general area, is the Monday of that week, but that should be before the detours start. Official Art Fair is usually Thursday, Friday, and Saturday with set up on Wednesday.

The technician came today to do the tune up on the air conditioner. He says it all looks good (which isn't surprising given that the unit is only two or three years old). The woman from their office who called to let me know that he was on his way kind of freaked me out because she insisted that all of our windows had to be closed in order for him to work. Scott declined to shut the windows last night because the predicted high for today was 73F, and I can't shut most of the dratted things on my own (and Cordelia was still asleep). She assured me that the technician could close them for me. He was puzzled as to why she'd think it would be necessary. He said that that requirement is for when it's actually cold outside. That is, if the windows are open and it's 50F outside, it's kind of hard to get the AC to do anything so that he can see how it's working.

Anyway, that's done until the furnace tune up in the fall. We get the same guy each time, and I like him.

I've gotten the trash out. I'm holding out on the recycling in hopes that I can break down some of the boxes in the basement and get rid of them. I like keeping a few boxes in case of wanting to send a package, but we've probably got thirty Amazon boxes down there. We don't need that many, and I know there's room in the bin for at least some of them to go.

Saiyuki RELOAD BLAST on Crunchyroll

Jun. 27th, 2017 08:46 pm
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[personal profile] veronicacode
 Crunchyroll will stream Saiyuki RELOAD BLAST anime.
http://www.crunchyroll.com/anime-news/2017/06/27/crunchyroll-to-stream-restaurant-to-another-world-saiyuki-reload-blast-a-centaurs-life-and-classroom-of-the-elite
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Posted by Rich Johnston

At San Diego Comic-Con, get ready for a new Iron Maiden comic book. No, not a new name for Riri Williams, but new actual Iron Maiden comics, yes as in the heavy metal band, appearing appropriately enough in July’s Heavy Metal Magazine. 

Based on the mobile game Iron Maiden: Legacy of the Beast, the Iron Maiden comics will feature Eddie battling through the worlds of their albums. Remarkably, this is the first time Eddie has officially appeared in a comic book, though there have been plenty of knock-offs over the decades. Courtesy of Nerdist we get the info.

Eddie’s immortal soul is shattered and strewn across the cosmos. Now, Eddie must journey across space and time to battle the twisted legions of The Beast, seek out the lost shards of his soul, and bring order to the realms.

Written by Llexi Leon and Ian Edginton with art from Kevin J. West, in July’s Heavy Metal #287. Check out the intentional nineties-style colouring…

iron maiden comicsiron maiden comicsiron maiden comics

Iron Maiden Comics By Llexi Leon, Ian Edginton And Kevin J. West In Heavy Metal Magazine, Starring Eddie For The First Time

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Posted by Dan Wickline

It’s amazing just how much thought goes into the musical score for a television series like Game of Thrones. The fact the show has so many characters and houses, each deserving of it’s own theme but figuring out how and when to introduce them so it isn’t a jumbled mess. And keeping all of those themes unique without making them seem out of place. That’s a hell of a job and it falls to Ramin Djawadi, a German-Iranian composer who has worked on Iron Man, Warcraft, Pacific Rim, Westworld, Prison Break and Person of Interest.

Game of Thrones

In the video below, Djawadi goes through his process of scoring a scene. Talks about the various themes and how they planned their introductions and using as man different instruments as possible.

Game of Thrones Season 7 premieres July 16th on HBO

Game Of Thrones Composer Ramin Djawadi Talks About Character Themes And Scoring Scenes

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Posted by Ben Pearson

Superman Red Son movie

Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts made the jump from indie films to blockbusters with this year’s Kong: Skull Island, but if the filmmaker had his way, he’d soon be at the helm of a movie adaptation of Mark Millar’s Superman: Red Son comic. Vogt-Roberts revealed on Twitter that he pitched Warner Bros. his take on the Elseworlds (read: alternate reality) story, but the studio turned it down. Read more about the would-be Superman Red Son movie and the director’s thoughts on superhero cinema below.

Millar’s three-issue 2003 comic mini-series Superman: Red Son imagines an alternate reality in which a young Superman didn’t crash land in Smallville, Kansas, but instead landed in the Soviet Union. It’s a fascinating exploration of the character through an entirely different lens than the one we’re used to viewing him, and an inquisitive look at the huge changes that would have happened had Kal-El’s ship arrived on Earth during a different moment of the planetary rotation.

There are a couple of fascinating points worth mentioning here. First, Millar responded by saying that Warner Bros. is actually pitching directors now for a Superman: Red Son movie, though Vogt-Roberts clarifies that he went to the studio about it first. Maybe they were inspired by his idea, but weren’t thrilled with his specific take on the property?

Second, in that conversation with Millar on Twitter, the filmmaker also offered some thoughts about the state of contemporary superhero cinema that I agree with, and I’m sure many of you do, too. Instead of embedding a bunch of tweets, I’ll just transcribe the text of the conversation, which also included Doctor Strange co-writer C. Robert Cargill:

Millar: Did you hear WB pitching directors Red Son? Two diff pals in last 2 months. This truly is Putin’s America.

JVR: Wait, really? Because I pitched it to them months ago and was told no. It’s the most punk rock thing the DCEU could do in my mind.

Cargill: A Red Son movie would blow minds.

JVR: I think it’s necessary for the comic book movie as a whole to take a step beyond the shared universe by introducing one-off movies.

Cargill: That’s pretty much what they just did with LOGAN.

JVR: Closest thing yeah. But they were able to do it as it marked the end of Jackman’s run. I think a “main timeline” can exist with alt-stories. When I was pitching Red Son I wasn’t even convinced you needed [Batman actor Ben] Affleck & [Superman actor Henry] Cavill. Public understanding of the medium has evolved…I think we can sustain a “main shared universe” AND offshoots with alternate takes on characters & different actors existing simultaneously.

What Vogt-Roberts is describing is essentially a comics model being ported over into the film medium: a main, ongoing story with wildly different side stories alternately slotted into the yearly release schedule. It’s Lucasfilm’s promise at its fullest potential: instead of only releasing Star Wars prequels bogged down with fitting in with the larger narrative, open up the universe to include all sorts of offshoots in addition to a singular, ongoing story.

But while it sounds like Vogt-Roberts gave audiences the benefit of the doubt that they’d be able to handle that kind of model, it seems the WB execs who rejected his pitch don’t have the same faith that people would be able to figure out what they’re watching…at least, not yet. What do you think? Would introducing truly standalone stories within the DCEU be a decision you’d support with your dollars? Or should they continue to lay the groundwork to establish their own main narrative before getting more ambitious with their storytelling?

The post WB Turned Down a ‘Superman: Red Son’ Movie Pitch From ‘Kong: Skull Island’ Director appeared first on /Film.

I can’t believe it’s not Proper

Jun. 27th, 2017 06:40 pm
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via http://ift.tt/2tkjc2N:
caffeinewitchcraft:

She makes the poppet on the anniversary of her brother’s death. She’s not much for sewing so she makes it out of paper, two gingerbread men cut out and their edges harshly, cruelty stapled together. She writes the murderer’s vices on its arms, his name on the head, and her hatred like arrows over the heart. She gives it googly eyes so he can see inside what’s happening even if he doesn’t know it for true. 

 She stuffs her creation with yarrow and rue, red pepper and rusted metal, dragon’s blood and small chips of garnet so filled with her hatred that they feel even colder to the touch. Then she seals it with another snap of the stapler. 

Thinks for a moment and drags a needle through witch’s salt and crushed red pepper and drives it straight through the poppet’s stomach. 

 Think of me, she curses, twisting the needle. Think of me and be afraid.

 ————————————————————

Mistrial. That’s what happens when a case is too clear cut. The good people who want to help move too quickly and forget the little things. Warrants. Miranda Rights. A licensed attorney.

Little things.

She wasn’t willing to wait another year for justice. Each day of this one has inflamed her roots, brought magic flaming to her fingertips, has put death in her eyes.

She won’t live until the next jury is selected if she doesn’t get this out of her and into him.

——————————————————————-

There are potions of invisibility, creams that encourage eyes to slide from physical form, chants that, when hissed, make the chanter seem like air.

Jails are a magicless place for witches like her. Too much stagnation, pain and fear. She’s not built for it so she buttons her aura down, locks her senses to her bones, and asks to visit Henry Stevens. 

“Alright,” the guard says, eyeing her bloodless face and the small package in her hands. “But he may not agree to see you. That been through security?” He nods to her paper parcel.

“Yes,” she says. There’s a secrecy rune on the inside of the wrapping paper, encouraging sensors to overlook the metal. “But it’s not staying.”

The guard nods and disappears, speaking softly into the phone. She doesn’t try to catch the words, just lets her eyes skip from ghost to ghost that litter this place.

Keep reading

(no subject)

Jun. 27th, 2017 11:26 am
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One of my dreams last night involved me talking about how some German communities -- particularly the were-shifters -- came over to America to escape persecution, and brought their traditions with them.

Traditions like Thanksgiving meal (turkey and potatoes in particular).

And all this was happening around 1066.

::eyes brain in amusement::

Poetry Fishbowl on Tuesday, July 4

Jun. 27th, 2017 01:29 pm
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[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This is an advance announcement for the Tuesday, July 4, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. This time the theme will be "gender, orientation, and identity." I'll be soliciting ideas for QUILTBAG folks, queer allies, homophobes and other identity bigots, boomerang bigots, gender scholars, the oppressed, the misunderstood, ordinary people, outcasts, abuse survivors, the women that men don't see, questioning, debating labels, losing everything, looking in the window, taking people for granted, surviving oppression, hiding in the closet, coming out, upstanding, speaking truth to power, punching up, protesting, telling your own story, bedrooms, classrooms, counseling offices, churches, government buildings, libraries, cities, alleys, bars, parades, liminal zones, self-discovery, self-awareness, QUILTBAG pride, pride flags, other symbols of identity, birth control, reproductive freedom, sex toys, assumed male gaze, same-sex marriage, alien sex/gender dynamics, unpaid labor, self-sacrifice, emotional labor, disruptions, subversive education, humility, humiliation, social evolution, appreciation, identity literature, and poetic forms in particular.

I have a linkback poem, "The Emulsification of Humankind" (14 verses, Torn World). 

If you're interested, mark the date on your calendar, and please hold actual prompts until the "Poetry Fishbowl Open" post next week.  (If you're not available that day, or you live in a time zone that makes it hard to reach me, you can leave advance prompts.  I am now.)  Meanwhile, if you want to help with promotion, please feel free to link back here or repost this on your blog. 

New to the fishbowl? Read all about it! )

Alterations by Stephanie Scott

Jun. 27th, 2017 06:00 pm
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Posted by Guest Reviewer

C+

Alterations

by Stephanie Scott
December 6, 2016 · Bloomsbury Spark
RomanceYoung AdultTeen Fiction

This RITA® Reader Challenge 2017 review was written by LibrarianJessi. This story was nominated for the RITA® in the Best First Book category.

The summary:

If anyone saw the prom boards Amelia Blanco makes on her favorite fashion app, they’d think Ethan Laurenti was her boyfriend. They wouldn’t know that all the plans she’s made for them are just dreams, and that she’s the girl who watches him from the kitchen while her parents cook for his famous family.

When Amelia’s abuelita enrolls her in a month-long fashion internship in NYC, Amelia can’t imagine leaving Miami–and Ethan–for that long. As soon as she gets to New York, however, she finds a bigger world and new possibilities. She meets people her own age who can actually carry on a conversation about stitching and design. Her pin boards become less about prom with Ethan and more about creating her own style. By the time she returns to Miami, Amelia feels like she can accomplish anything, and surprises herself by agreeing to help Ethan’s awkward, Steve-Jobs-wannabe brother, Liam, create his own fashion app.

As Liam and Amelia get closer, Ethan realizes that this newly confident, stylish girl may be the one for him after all . . . even though he has a reality TV star girlfriend he conveniently keeps forgetting about. The “new and improved” Amelia soon finds herself in between two brothers, a whole lot of drama, and choice she never dreamed she’d have to make.

Here is LibrarianJessi's review:

Although I used to mainline teen fiction like there was no tomorrow, I’ve largely taken a break for the last couple of years. This is partly because I spent the last two years reading 300+ adult fiction books while I served on a committee which I lovingly referred to as “My Crazy Ass Reading Committee” but which is properly known as The Reading List Committee. Reading Alterations, I was reminded of the other reason teen fic and I took a break: especially in contemporary teen fiction, I suddenly found myself empathizing with the parents more than the teens, which was shocking and made me feel ancient. I have to admit I suffered from this in Alterations too. I often found myself wanting to smack Amelia upside the head or sit her down for a long talk. Because of this odd tug-of-war between wanting to sink fully into the drama llama-ness of the story and my rational (apparently) adult brain offering distracting advice, my thoughts about the book are fairly split too. So, I’ve decided to resort to every Type A, detail-obsessed librarian’s favorite tool: The Pro/Con List.

Behold:

Things that really worked for me in Alterations:

  • My number one favorite thing about this story was the grandmother/mother/daughter dynamic. Amelia lives with both her abuelita and her mother. Their relationship rings very true with lots of love, expectations, bickering, etc. It’s a complete miracle to have functional, living parents in teen fic, and I really appreciate authors that take the time to create them. Amelia’s relationship with the matriarchs in her life reminded me of Jane the Virgin, the best show on TV right now and the perfect show for every romance reader.
  • Amelia’s passion for fashion (yeah I know, I couldn’t resist) is infectious. All the people in her life who love her support her and help her find the confidence to pursue her dreams. Her coming-of-age journey is quite excellent. And for days after finishing the book, I was plagued by the need to hang with Tim Gunn in Project Runway reruns.
  • The story created a very positive message about finding your people. Amelia, like many of us, feels like a bit of a weirdo. But suddenly, she finds her fellow fashion people – “Isn’t it amazing how we’re all sort of loners in our regular worlds, but we come here and we all seem to fit”. The experience was not unlike what many of us experience here with the SBTB community. It’s magical and one of the most fundamental parts of growing up and learning to love the person you are.
  • As a complete Broadway nerd, I have a slight (read: major) obsession with NYC. Amelia’s trip was an absolute armchair travel delight for me. The city comes alive through her eyes and I was all but drooling to visit again.
  • Liam, Amelia’s very obvious OTP (one true pairing), is exactly my kind of hero. He’s nerdy and adorkable and even though it’s not his thing, he totally gets Amelia’s love of fashion and works really hard to help her find her full potential.

Things that really didn’t work for me in Alterations:

  • While I appreciated the excellent job Scott did creating Amelia’s parentals, the story was lacking in the female friendship department. She did have girlfriends – both old and new – but often developing those relationships was sacrificed for other story elements. Often, the relationships or the friend characters fell a bit flat for me.
  • It took Amelia too damn long to get over Ethan. Every time she went all googly eyed over him, I wanted to smack her. He was obviously a complete asshat and I had absolutely no patience for her obsession with him. Every time I thought she was making some headway getting over him (and noticing the adorableness that is Liam) she would backslide. There were many times I wanted to chunk the book across the room, but I was reading digital and didn’t want to harm my darling Kindle.
  • Because it took her sooooooo long to see past Ethan, we didn’t get nearly enough of the puppy dog eyes and wooing with Liam. My heart hurt for him every time he was on page. He had it so bad and Amelia was just so oblivious. When they finally get to the HEA, I didn’t feel like the romantic groundwork was laid for the two of them and I also felt like Amelia owed him a bit more groveling.

In the end, my struggles with the romantic subplot outweighed my enjoyment of other parts of the story. I would have enjoyed it quite a bit more if the romance wasn’t there at all.

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Posted by Janel Spiegel

Hello Amber, Thank you so much for taking the time to answer questions. Please tell us how you got involved with the film, “The Nightmare Gallery?” They reached out to me and I read the script. I thought ‘this character is smart and she doesn’t make ‘dumb’ choices in order to further the plot’ – …

The post Interview: Amber Benson (The Nightmare Gallery) first appeared on HNN | Horrornews.net 2017 - Official Horror News Site

Trailer: Landing Lake (2017)

Jun. 27th, 2017 05:00 pm
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Posted by Horrornews.net

A team of satellite technicians enter the woods to repair a communication station but they are forced to rescue the crew of an airplane that crashed near a lake. They quickly realise that something may be coming from the lake that is affecting their minds and the passing of time. As they lose their inhibitions …

The post Trailer: Landing Lake (2017) first appeared on HNN | Horrornews.net 2017 - Official Horror News Site

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Those special snowflakes in the so-called "men's rights movement" have targeted Australian bookstore Avid Reader Bookshop for sharing a post by feminist writer Clementine Ford. In response, Avid Reader's social media manager has been working overtime revealing the MRAs for the ridiculous babies they are:

A customer delivered an "anti-troll" sour cream and walnut cake to Avid Reader's booksellers, which certainly seems like it should become a tradition when the Nattering Nabobs of Nincompoopery target an innocent bookstore for basically no reason. Unfortunately, this seems like it might become a semi-regular occurence.

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Posted by Jude Terror

Renowned movie pitchman, comic book creator, and pride of Scotland Mark Millar dropped some big news on the Twittersphere this morning. Speaking to director Jordan Vogt-Roberts about beard fashions, the subject of the comic in which baby Superman’s spaceship lands in Russia instead of the United States came up:

The tweets sparked clickbait articles all over the internet, prompting Millar to elaborate to website Den of Geek on the seriousness of these discussions and whether the film is something Warner Bros is actively developing:

Ah hae na idea. A’ve git mates at Warner Bros bit ne’er discussed it wi’ thaim. Ah think they’re juist gaun thro’ thair back catalogue o’ muckle books ‘n’ hoping tae lure in guid directors as opposed tae ony particular interest in developing Rid Son. There’s aye 50 conversations fur ilka comic book movie that gets made ‘n’ the lenth o’ ah ken this is something that is gey muckle juist at chat stage.

So as you can see, Warner Bros may simply be exploring the idea of developing films for lots of stories they own the rights to, of which Red Son is simply one. However, Den of Geek does claim that “very, very reliable” sources told them the movie would be considered for live action, not animated, so they may have at least thought through that far.

Introducing Elseworlds movies into the DCEU is an interesting prospect, but making a movie in which Superman is Russian, written during a time when we thought the Cold War was over, in the current political climate, might also be too controversial for Warner Bros to want to deal with.

Mark Millar: Warner Bros Is Talking To Directors About A Superman: Red Son Movie

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Posted by Rich Johnston

The response to last week’s Marvel Legacy announcements has not been an overly positive one. Bleeding Cool has argued that much of this was down to the marketing of the announcements, the idea of showing all the monthly October titles, including a few new titles, as reflecting comic books of the past was a good one. But marketing it as changing the entire comics industry felt like a wrong step. The only named creator on the books is Greg Pak on Weapon X and it is likely that creator names will have more of an impact. As will story content, the mini-series, that will run around the books and the renumbering of the line to reflect all the series that have come before. The covers are fun, and some of the new titles like Spirits Of Vengeance and Marvel Two-In-One intrigue. Maybe it would have been better to have led with them? And if indeed Ta-Nehisi Coates is writing Captain America, that would have been a pretty good thing to say as well. As it stands, I think Marvel’s greatest sin is around presentation.

 

Well, they get another chance on Thursday. I understand that members of the ComicsPro comic book retailer advocacy group have a group call scheduled with Marvel head honchos this Friday, partially in response to what has clearly been a tepid response to last Friday’s announcements.

marvel legacy

Will some of these voices be represented?

 

Marvel Schedules Conference Call With ComicsPRO Comic Stores Over Marvel Legacy Concern

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Posted by Gavin Sheehan

So here’s the brief history of Star Fox 2: The concept behind the game was that the first big baddie Andross returns to launch a full-scale attack on everything in sight. Fox and his team get called in again, along with two new recruits and better ships, to fight him off. The game was set to be released for the Super Famicom and SNES during the summer of 1995 with quite a bit of work going into the production (and promotion in Nintendo Power), only to see it halted and eventually canceled.

There’s no one explanation as to why it happened, the most logical is that Nintendo was looking at the N64 and wanted a new Star Fox on a different system. For years the alpha and beta versions of the game have been leaked with translations for fans who need to know what’s going on. It came to light in 2015 that there was a fully mastered version of the ROM locked away in a vault never to be seen until the game made a surprising return on the Super NES Classic Edition that was announced yesterday.

If seeing Star Fox 2 on that list was a shock to you, imagine how it was for one of the primary programmers.  IGN has an interview with Dylan Cuthbert, current head of Q-Games and former developer on Star Fox 2, to get his take on the game making a formal return. Here’s a brief snippet of the interview, which you can read here.

IGN: What were some of the challenges of making Star Fox 2 and programming for the Super FX 2 chip back in the day? Do you remember how you overcame them? Was there anything in particular that would be difficult to do even today?

Cuthbert: Compared to Star Fox 1, I rewrote massive parts of the engine to run in parallel in RAM to get more non-contended Super FX chip time for more advanced features such as planar clipping and decent collision detection.

Alpha and beta builds of the game have been leaked over the years. How does the final version differ from the apparently pre-release beta version that some fans have been able to play?

All those ROMs lacked the final magic – i.e. the Mario Club QA and tuning process that makes Nintendo games so good. The final few months of iteration are so important for a game. Also they were set up in debug modes, so the encounter systems didn’t seem to work very well.

Surprised To See ‘Star Fox 2’ On The Super NES Classic Edition? So Was The Programmer

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Posted by Rob Hunter

The 13-ish Best Edgar Wright Characters

Edgar Wright‘s latest feature film hits theaters this week, and by all accounts Baby Driver is another winner blending action, laughs, and Wright’s own unique sensibilities. (Don’t take my assumption for it though, check out Jacob Hall’s review out of SXSW.) Wright has yet to deliver anything less than a very good time at the movies, and while a lot of factors go into an acclaimed film, one of his many strengths as a filmmaker is in the variety of fun and fun-loving characters he packs into his work.

The scripts are obviously key to the films’ highly quotable nature, but pairing the words on the page with particular performers is what ultimately results in such memorable characters. That combination has resulted in a bounty of fun, funny, and fascinating characters in Wright’s films, and while some are leads, others only manage a few minutes of screen time. It’s an issue of quality trumping quantity, and it’s why someone with two scenes in a movie can be far more memorable than someone who’s in nearly the entire thing. What I’m saying is Shaun of the Dead‘s Ed is an obnoxious twat whose “funny” behavior upsets the film’s delicate tonal balance and ultimately keeps it removed from absolute greatness. Look, I don’t like saying it anymore than you like hearing it, but there it is.

It’s also why the list below is heavy on the male members and light on the ladies. Wright’s films feature plenty of women, but you have to look all the way back to his UK television series, Spaced, to find an example of one with meat on her character’s bones. But that’s a think-piece for a different time. For now let’s keep things moving with a look at the best characters in Edgar Wright’s feature films.

sod jessica hynes

13. Yvonne (Shaun of the Dead)

“Glad to see someone survived.”

Yvonne (Jessica Hynes) pops up briefly three times in the film, but she makes the cut here despite her brief screen time and her lack of humorous dialogue. She’s an old friend of Shaun’s and his doppelganger in many ways outside of one – she’s a responsible adult. There’s a reason she literally scares Shaun in two out of her three appearances, as she represents the concept of “growing up,” which frightens him far more than a zombie horde ever could. Her comedic payoff comes in their second meeting, when we see her posse is a near identical pairing to his own, but it’s her final appearance that cements her value. She arrives, along with the troops, to find Shaun and Liz in the pub’s basement, and it’s that arrival of maturity and responsibility that saves the couple’s lives and love.

hf bill bailey

12. Sergeant Turner (Hot Fuzz)

“Nobody tells me nothin’.”

Turner (Bill Bailey) doesn’t get much to do here, but he still delivers some laughs with the line above. Similarly, the “revelation” that he’s actually twins has no bearing on the story, but still fits in nicely with Wright’s ongoing attraction to the concept of doubles and copies that includes Shaun and Yvonne’s mirrored survivor groups in Shaun of the Dead, Nega Scott in Scott Pilgrim, and the replacement androids in The World’s End. Finally, and this is more of a personal reason for his appeal, he’s almost always seen reading a different Iain Banks novel. No one’s probably told him so, but he has great taste in writers.

sod bill nighy

11. Philip (Shaun of the Dead)

“You’ve got red on you.”

Shaun’s dad died when he was just a kid and he’s hated his stepfather Philip (Bill Nighy) in the decade-plus since. The man is a bastion of serenity in the light of that dismissal, and his calm demeanor even carries over into the zombie apocalypse as evident in his response to being bitten – “I’m perfectly alright. I ran it under a cold tap.” It’s a small role, but Nighy’s performance fills it with such regret and warmth making the the pair’s reconciliation scene towards the end all the more affecting.

sp vegan police

10. Vegan Police (Scott Pilgrim vs the World)

“It’s milk and eggs, bitch.”

Ribbing vegans is low-hanging fruit, and while Wright succumbs to the typical (and never all that funny) bit about a vegan secretly eating meat (Ha!) he redeems himself a hundred-fold by moving it all well beyond the usual one-joke premise. The vegan superpower gag is already fantastic, but the Vegan Police? Well they’re just genius. Thomas Jane and Clifton Collins Jr. absolutely kill it with what amounts to a minute of aggressively sincere screen time, and their high five on the way out seals the deal.

Continue Reading The 13-ish Best Edgar Wright Characters >>

The post The 13-ish Best Edgar Wright Movie Characters appeared first on /Film.

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[personal profile] copperbadge
A few days ago, Mum found out that she may have a close blood relative she didn’t know about, who was the product of an affair and put up for adoption after he was born. Details are sketchy but we worked out from his birth year that it’s possible his birth parents met at a party my mother’s parents threw. 

I only know all this because she asked me to look into him and make sure it wasn’t a scam, and while it’s not a scam it’s also fucking uncanny how similar he and I are – not just physical appearance but hobbies and personality (as much as you can get personality from a facebook and a blog). He’s ten years older than me, but otherwise we’re pretty similar. 

I emailed her like “I think this guy’s on the level, he’s just looking for a missing piece of his family” and had to stifle a strong urge to be like “Also I want to hang out with him, so be nice.” 

I hope Mum likes him, I want to be his Facebook Friend. 

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How often is the thing that brings a story to life a question of grammar? And yet, I know exactly what Linda Nagata means. Here she is, explaining how verb tenses turned out to be the key:

***

cover for THE LAST GOOD MAN by Linda NagataIf there ever was one bright spark, one bit of insight, one unexpected plot twist that brought The Last Good Man to life, I don’t remember it. What I do remember was how flat and uninteresting the manuscript felt to me in the earliest days.

This wasn’t an unusual situation for me. Beginnings are hard and it can take time to work out a tone and style that feels right. So I kept pushing forward, telling myself that if I kept going, the essential spark that every novel needs would eventually ignite.

It didn’t happen. Not for over 30,000 hard-fought words. Sure, the story was advancing but I wasn’t happy with the tone or with the way it was being told—and I didn’t know why.

I’d done my preliminary work—a lot of preliminary work. I’d been tossing ideas into the literary stew pot for months, revising my synopsis again and again. This was a very near-future story centered on a small private military company—contract soldiers of the sort hired by corporations, NGOs, and the US government. These were “white hat” mercenaries, choosy about their clients, working only for the good guys, and though they were a small force, that force was amplified by the autonomous robotic weaponry they could deploy. And I had an unusual protagonist in True Brighton.

Middle-aged women are not generally considered cool enough to serve as the lead in a techno-thriller, but I wanted to give it a shot—I wanted the challenge—so I made True forty-nine years old, a retired US Army veteran and mother of three who is still fit, strong, and agile enough to qualify for field missions.

All the pieces seemed right. For months I’d sensed the potential in this story, but still somehow the spark was missing.

Up to this point I’d been writing in third person, past tense. Then—30,000 words in and on the verge of despair—I chanced to read a novel written in third person, present tense and I was intrigued. Could I write The Last Good Man in third person present?

Present tense is commonly used with first person, where the narrator relates the story using “I” or “we.” I’d done a whole trilogy in first-person present. But I’d never written in third-person present. Inspired by the novel I was reading, I decided to try it.

And I liked the energy of it! It was just a technical change, but at last the tone of the story felt right. I continued to move ahead, writing additional pages every day in present tense, and at the end of the day I would revise my past work, gradually shifting it from past tense to present, adding detail as I did.

I was far, far happier with the feel of the story. The change in tense had given it the spark it needed—or maybe it had given me the spark I needed. Whichever it was, I never considered shifting back.

***

From the cover copy:

Scarred by war. In pursuit of truth.

Army veteran True Brighton left the service when the development of robotic helicopters made her training as a pilot obsolete. Now she works at Requisite Operations, a private military company established by friend and former Special Ops soldier Lincoln Han. ReqOp has embraced the new technologies. Robotics, big data, and artificial intelligence are all tools used to augment the skills of veteran warfighters-for-hire. But the tragedy of war is still measured in human casualties, and when True makes a chance discovery during a rescue mission, old wounds are ripped open. She’s left questioning what she knows of the past, and resolves to pursue the truth, whatever the cost.

“…a thrilling novel that lays bare the imminent future of warfare.” —Publishers Weekly starred review

Linda is a Nebula and Locus-award-winning writer, best known for her high-tech science fiction, including the Red trilogy, a series of near-future military thrillers. The first book in the trilogy, The Red: First Light, was a Nebula and John W. Campbell Memorial-award finalist, and named as a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2015. Her short fiction has appeared in Analog, Asimov’s, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Lightspeed, Nightmare, and several anthologies.

Linda has lived most of her life in Hawaii, where she’s been a writer, a mom, a programmer of database-driven websites, and an independent publisher. She lives with her husband in their long-time home on the island of Maui.

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Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.

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