Monthly Archives: February 2009

When Everyone’s Super…No One Will Be.

Apparently, Ashley is some kind of superhero.  And, since I’m too lazy to come up with my own idea for a post, I decided to just steal hers.  Besides, who doesn’t want to be a superhero?

So, without further adieu, here ya go:

myhero

I’ll be honest: the title is pretty damned lame.  I mean, what’s up with that random rank and uber-obvious name?  Guess it’s better than “Gunnery Sergeant Guy-In-A-Cape”.

Anyways…you can make your own here.

I Think Girls With Pointy Ears And Swords Are Hot…So Shoot Me.

I think a lot of people are surprised when I tell them that I’m not a big fan of fantasy*.  The truth is, a lot of the fantasy that I’ve read in the past has been either an obvious rip-off of Lord of the Rings, or else it’s trying so hard to be “different” that I feel like it’s a jumbled mess.  However, I’m starting to explore the world of Urban Fantasy, and I’m enjoying it so far, partly because its use of a “real world” setting keeps the epic Tolkienocity (TM) to a minimum.  I also like stories where ordinary people come face to face with supernatural (or otherwise otherworldly) shit and just have to deal with it in whatever ways they can.

I think that’s why I liked Lisa Shearin’s Magic Lost, Trouble Found so much.

magiclost

Sure, it takes place in a fantasy world with elves, goblins, dwarfs, faeries, and dragons, but it’s a lot closer to a standard Urban Fantasy novel, many of which draw on the tropes of hardboiled and noir detective stories.  It came as no surprise that Shearin is a fan of Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files, since Raine Benares–like Harry Dresden–is both detective (called a “seeker” in this world) and mage.  Raine is also sarcastic, smart, spunky, and pretty good with swords.  She also happens to be an elf (y’know, if you care about that kind of stuff).  Like every good private detective, Raine walks a delicate line between law and order, having friends and associates on both sides–just like Dresden, Spenser, Fritz Malone and Philip Marlowe.

I’ll definitely pick up the second book.

*: The exception, of course, being Robert E. Howard’s Conan stories…those kick serious ass.

This Post Has Been Brought To You By The Letter “S”

So, Erin did a post where she listed ten things she likes that started with the letter “M”.  Not to be outdone, I asked her to assign me a letter so I could do a post of my own.  She gave me “S”…so, without further adieu, here are ten things I like starting with the letter “S”:

10. Science: It might not have been my best subject in school–I was more of an English and History kid–but I love science with a passion.  I really enjoy theoretical physics, paleontology, forensics, and evolutionary biology.

9. Sneakers: I like sneakers.  They’re comfortable.  I walk a lot and I think I might have some odd foot-related issues, so a comfy sneaker is the way to go.  I like nice, simple sneakers like Chucks, Vans or Airwalks, as opposed to the bulkier “space boot” sneakers.  I also like the Robert Redford/Ben Kingsley film Sneakers.

8. Superheroes: I like comic books, but that term gets wider and wider every year.  If I’m going to read a comic book, it better have superheroes.  There’s nothing I like more than reading (or watching or writing) stories about people who have extraordinary skills that they use to help people and/or fight evil.  Call me a sap, but I’m a sucker for that kind of concrete, black-and-white morality.

7. Stephen King: There are a bunch of reasons why I like Uncle Stevie.  First, he’s damned prolific.  Any writer would consider themselves lucky to publish a small fraction of the number of books and short stories that King has published.  Second, he loves his job.  The man writes because he likes it (when he “retired”, King said he’d still write every day, even if he didn’t publish any of it).  But, most of all, I like Stephen King because he proves that you can enjoy “highbrow” culture and “popular” culture equally.

6. Supernatural: As much as I like science, I think I like the other side of the coin a great deal more.  I love stories about ghosts, demons, witches, vampires, werewolves, and zombies–whether they’re straight fiction or historical documentaries about supernatural beliefs across different time periods and cultures (this is why I love Halloween so much, an endless supply of these shows on The History Channel).

5. Speculative Fiction: I almost never use this term myself, but it is a pretty good blanket term for the kinds of books, TV shows, and movies I like.  Plus, I don’t think it has the snobby, pretentious, douche-baggy tone that the phrase “genre fiction” has.

4. Star Wars: Given when I was born, I have a very strong childhood connection to Star Wars.  It was the first movie I remember seeing (I was actually allowed to stay up late and watch it on WHT…remember WHT?).  My earliest memory of Christmas involves Star Wars toys.  It was also my first exposure to world building.  And, even though I didn’t much care for the second trilogy, I’m still the first one to run out and buy the newest post-Jedi novel.

3. Spider-Man: There are two comic book characters I can recall liking since I was a wee little nipper.  One was Batman, the other was Spider-Man.  Somewhere, my mother has pictures of a 6-year-old me dressed as both (umm, separate pictures, not one picture where I’m dressed as Bat-Spider-Man…that would be weird).  Anyway, other than the fact that “Spider-Man” starts with an “S” and “Batman” doesn’t, the reason Spidey makes this list is because he is a geeky little kid who used his powers to fight evil (see #8 ) and Batman is a suave billionaire playboy…and, last time I checked, I was neither suave nor a billionaire.

2. Soup: I love soup.  There really isn’t a lot more I can add to that statement.  Doesn’t matter where it comes from: fancy restaurants, cheap delis, cans, pouches…I love soup, plain and simple.

1. Sherlock Holmes: I really wasn’t a big reader as a kid.  But, the first “adult” novel I ever read was The Hound of the Baskervilles.  It wasn’t long before I was reading every novel and story that Doyle wrote about “the world’s greatest consulting detective.”  I think I’ve read and re-read the Holmes stories more than anything else.  I also point to ol’ Sherlock as the genesis of my love (obsession?) with highly rational, yet socially retarded characters.

There you have it.  Want your own letter?  Just ask.

Wait…Do I Know You?

This 25 Things meme is all over Facebook.  I was hit with it a few times, but being the rebel that I am, I decided to post it here instead.  The “rules” state that I have to tag 25 people when I’m done, but I’m not going to.  If you want to post your own, go for it.  Hey, it’s all part of the whole rebel extravaganza.

1. I don’t always make the best first impression.  I’m shy and quiet and awkward when I first meet most people.

2. Sometimes I make references to test the intelligence of those around me (this probably has something to do with #1).

3. I have never stopped watching cartoons.

4. I love spicy food.  Like really spicy.  I like when I bite into something and it makes my eyes tear, my nose burn, and my teeth hurt.

5. I drink the equivalent of two full pots of coffee every day.

6. I’ve loved history since the 10th grade, when I took AP European History and an elective on WWII and the Holocaust.

7. I cook…not just for sustenance, but because I actually enjoy the process, but I also love crappy fast/instant food.

8. I’m confident in my abilities, but frequently think I’m not good enough.

9. I am afraid of heights and small boats.

10. If I collect a series of books, they must all have the same binding.  This means I’m usually at least a year behind on series.  So far, the only exception has been the Star Wars novels and Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files.

11. I don’t believe in guilty pleasures.  If I like a book, movie, song, or TV show, I see no reason to feel ashamed about it.

12. I’ve recently developed an affinity for sweater vests.

13. I really hate talking about myself (which is making this list a living nightmare).

14. I’ve been to London, but haven’t been to Canada or Mexico.

15. I’ve seen the original Star Wars trilogy so many times that I can listen to the soundtrack and name the movie, the scene, and recite the dialogue about 9 times out of 10.

16. I’m not sure if there’s a God, but I believe, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that there are ghosts, aliens, Bigfoot, and the Loch Ness Monster.

17. In 12th grade, I took AP English because a girl I had a crush on took it, too.

18. I’ve never lived any place other than New York City.  Furthermore, I’ve never lived in any borough except Brooklyn.

19. When I’m annoyed, I’m more likely to say “bugger” or “bollocks” than an American alternative.  The exception being “aw crap.”

20. I’ve liked writing and drawing for as long as I can remember.  When I was younger I wrote and illustrated a book about Ewoks.  About a year later, I wrote and illustrated the sequel.  I’m pretty sure my mom still has them somewhere.

21. I hate books, movies, and TV shows about effeminate, foppish, emo vampires.  Vampires are feral, parasitic corpses and should be treated as such.

22. I’ve always wanted to be a voice actor–like Mel Blanc, Daws Butler, or Rob Paulsen.

23. On more than one occasion, I’ve thought about what I’d have to do if I were forced to live on the run, Fugitive-style.

24. I’m not very good at traditional sports like baseball, basketball, or soccer, but I’m surprisingly good at pool and bowling.  (“Surprisingly good” is a relative term based solely on my aforementioned lack of standard athletic ability.)

25. Even though I’m a born and bred city kid, I’d love to be able to move to a secluded cabin in the wilds of Maine.