I’ll do these posts occasionally, because I for one am always running out of things to watch and read, and if I can find somebody whose tastes match up with mine, it’s a gold mine of good recommendations. Oh, you like Rothfuss and BSG? Tell me everything you’ve ever loved and let me take notes. If you love The Bachelor and raw herring, I may pass on further recs from you.
- Planetfall, Emma Newman. This book has that lovely sense of melancholy that so much of the best sci-fi evokes. It reminds me a tad of Dan Simmon’s Hyperion, which is a very good thing. I liked Planetfall enough that I immediately went and read After Atlas, another of Newman’s books set in the same world.
- The Shining, Stephen King. Not that this one needs any introduction. This one actually took me two tries to finish — the first time I got seriously creeped out halfway through and had to put it aside. There’s something about King, man. If you told me he’d sold his soul to the devil for his talent, I’d believe you. The way he gets into the dirty little cracks of human thought… *shudder.* Anyway, I finally picked it back up and finished it. It was much less creepy the second time around, for some reason. I kept waiting for the Indian burial ground thing to come up — it was in the Treehouse of Horror episode, it must be in there! — only to discover that was purely out of Kubrick’s version. Anyway, I don’t know if I liked the book, exactly, but it’s very good.
- The Crimson Campaign, Brian McClellan. Second book in his Powder Mage trilogy. This one’s right up my alley; fantasy is where I live 90% of the time. The setting and world building on this series is quite well-developed, and it’s got a nice sense of grit and griminess to it. The characters are well-fleshed enough to care about, and the strongly-written action keeps things moving. I wouldn’t exactly call these books knockouts, but they’re good. They remind me of early Sanderson novels.
The Fifth Season, N.K. Jemison. I’m only a fraction of the way through, but I’m intrigued. Jemison switches from second to third person depending on the viewpoint character, and I’m still trying to figure out how the three storylines tie together. The writing is strong. I’m looking forward to finishing it.
Movies & TV
I’m on a years-long rewatch of all the existing Star Trek shows. I’ve made it all the way through TOS (first time! Surprised by how much I loved it!), TNG (OK, I may have skipped a few on this one…), and am on the seventh season of DS9. It may very well be my favorite of the bunch. We’ll see if I can power my way through Voyager and Enterprise (woof) after this. I expect this to take me several more years.
The Expanse, SyFy. Just finished the 2nd and most recent season. This show is downright excellent. Well-written, well-acted, and absolutely beautiful. I wish all TV sci-fi-fi was this good.
Game of Thrones, HBO. Sumptuous, ridiculous, tawdry, and thrilling. Half the time it’s bad TV dressed up to the nines, and the other half it’s amazing — usually depending on how heavily they’re leaning on GRRM’s original dialogue. (That’s the good half, in my estimation.) Every time I start to lose interest, a dragon shows up and lays waste to an army of Lannisters. How could I possibly stop watching that?
Ehhhh. I was going to talk about video games and podcasts, but I think I’ll save that for another day. If you’ve got any good recommendations for any of the above, leave me a comment!