tamaranth: me, in the sun (Default)
[personal profile] tamaranth
2017/58: All Systems Red -- Martha Wells
I could have become a mass murderer after I hacked my governor module, but then I realized I could access the combined feed of entertainment channels carried on the company satellites. [p. 9]


All Systems Red is the first-person narrative of Murderbot, a self-hacked security cyborg -- 'SecBot' -- who, due to having disabled their governor module, is no longer forced to obey the commands of the Company . (Note the pronouns: Murderbot may not have what they primly refers to as 'sex parts' but they are very much a person, possibly more so than some of their human clients.)
not spoilery )
tamaranth: me, in the sun (Default)
[personal profile] tamaranth
2017/57: American Gods -- Neil Gaiman
"Media. I think I have heard of her. Isn't she the one who killed her children?"
"Different woman," said Mr. Nancy. "Same deal." [loc 6102]


Reread sparked by the Amazon TV series -- which is a very different animal,
'based on' rather than a straightforward adaptation of the novel.
non-spoilery )
tamaranth: me, in the sun (Default)
[personal profile] tamaranth
2017/56: Spandex and the City -- Jenny Colgan
He almost certainly had no idea that the fact that he was rich was as strange to me as the fact that he could lift up a truck with one hand. [loc. 1255]

slightly spoilery review )

"Cede No Ground"

Jul. 12th, 2017 08:43 pm
dancefloorlandmine: Me pointing at camera (Kitchener)
[personal profile] dancefloorlandmine
An interesting blog post from a fan of black metal, neofolk, and oi! genres - all genres that seem to have a certain attraction for fascists. The author also doesn't like fascists, and doesn't want to abandon their preferred music genres to fascists. For a number of reasons, although this is one;

"We shouldn’t let nazis have nice things."

'Cede no ground to fascists'
dancefloorlandmine: Me pointing at camera (Kitchener)
[personal profile] dancefloorlandmine
See the brave hero do battle!

On this page, after an initial explanation of the punctuation splurge that accompanies Donald Trump, Jr.,'s name when it appears in the pages of the New Yorker, there is a video in which that publication's copy-editor makes a brave attempt to turn a couple of Trump speeches into something that might resemble language, without changing the notice. He makes, let us say, a few changes.

Brave, brave, soul.

Monthly culture: June 2017

Jul. 8th, 2017 10:26 am
tamaranth: me, in the sun (Default)
[personal profile] tamaranth
02JUN17: Wonder Woman, Odeon IMAX, Greenwich

This is not really a feminist film, despite the female protagonist -- there is not enough interaction between the female characters -- but it might be a 'feminist superhero' film. Diana's blend of naivete and power, and her journey from the idyllic female community of Themyscira to the trenches of WWI, parallels her growth from idealistic warrior to conflicted hero. That arc is familiar (Thor, Captain America, even Iron Man). Is Diana's journey any different from a male hero's?

I didn't engage with Wonder Woman as fully as I'd hoped. I found it a remarkably humourless film -- perhaps I have been spoilt by Marvel's wisecracks and one-liners -- and, though it has parallels with the first Captain America film, it doesn't have that film's knack for characterisation. For instance, Steve Trevor's backup team get more screen time than Steve Rogers' Howling Commandos, but have less personality.

I would have liked more of Lucy Davis' Etta Candy (and Josette Simon's Mnemosyne!) but Gal Gadot rocks: she has presence, grace and timing.

16JUN17: L'elisir d'amore -- Donizetti, Royal Opera House

I adore this opera: the comic, romantic themes suit Donizetti's glorious and ebullient music rather better than the doom and tragedy of Lucia or Anna Bolena. Laurent Pelly's ROH production -- set in 1950s rural Italy -- is cheerful, witty and beautifuly staged. The performance we saw had some changes of personnel. Roberto Alagna was ill, so Nemorino sung in second half by Atalla Ayan from side of stage while Alagna acted (this worked surprisingly well) and understudy Jennifer Davis stood in as Adina for Aleksandra Kurzak. Absolutely no complaints on either count.

I used to avoid the ROH because I perceived it as much more expensive than the ENO. Times have changed. We had reasonably-priced seats -- £35 -- in the Upper Amphitheatre (note to self: get seats on left-hand side next time, to avoid crowds en route to bar) and didn't find the 'restricted view' problematic.

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