« August 2008 | Main | October 2008 »

September 25, 2008

Fringe = X-Files


Watched the first episode of "Fringe", the new SF series from the US. It was just like an episode of "X-files".

No Mulder or Scully, but a pair of not dissimilar stars - nerdy genius male, emotional but resourceful female. Obviously some kind of relationship will build between this couple.

Mysterious happenings that seem to be outside normal science. Very familiar look and feel - did they use similar locations?

I'm not saying it's a bad thing to be like another successful series, but somehow this first episode, even though it reportedly cost $10M to make, didn't really grab me that much. Where did they spend that money?

Hopefully it will get better as we get used to the characters.

In 5 episodes, it probably got worse. Each episode has so much kooky 'science' it makes me want to throw stuff at the TV. I think there is an underlying story arc that has a lot of promise, to do with some bald dude observing everything, but I'm not sure I have the patience to go on.

Update 2:
Reluctantly I continued and finished the whole first series. I actually got used to seven impossible things happening before breakfast every day, and got quite interested in the story arc instead. Quite looking forward to series two.

Posted by se71 at 11:29 AM | Comments (0)

September 14, 2008

A long awaited journey

I've been putting it off, savouring the anticipation. Of course I've seen the novels on the bookshelves, over the last 10 years or so gradually building up into a formidable series. At first, I didn't really know anything about them - George R.R. Martin wasn't that well known to me (I read a science fiction anthology in about 1988 called "Wild Cards" that he edited and provided a couple of the stories for). But the mythos has grown, and everyone who knows anything about fantasy tells me these are the BEST books ever written. So far four are published, and the fans are impatient for the rest. Looking at the author's website it seems I may indeed have a chance of catching up with him before he finishes writing.

So this weekend I gave in to temptation and started "A Game of Thrones", the first part of what may well be seven novels in the Song of Ice and Fire series. At about 1000 pages each, that's a lot of reading.

I'm only about two chapters in, and already I'm enjoying it immensely.

Posted by se71 at 08:23 PM | Comments (0)

September 01, 2008

52 Books in 52 Weeks - August 2008

This was my last good chance for a while to get some reading done. I'm now commuting to work by bike, and have lost up to 10 hours forced reading time a week. I will have to try and read more in the evenings and weekends to try and make amends for that.

Quake was as depraved a read as I can remember, sort of fun like a slasher movie, but disappointing in it's lack of plot, and I think I won't read any more of Laymon's books now.

Ravenheart was marvellous, part three of the Rigante series which I started only a few months ago. Stormrider, the fourth and final part of this series was really good, but got bogged down near the end with too much military detail. I also feel that it was a set-up for another part, which sadly we'll never now see.

Mystic River is a standard thriller, which tries to be something more, and doesn't quite make it.

Finally for August, a nice short read in the Booker Prize winner Disgrace. Set in turn of the century South Africa, it's a story of one man's fall from grace, and an allegory for the state of the whole country; I didn't like it that much, mostly because I couldn't understand anyone's motives, but also because of the way it just stopped when there was much to resolve.

31 Quake by Richard Laymon
32 Ravenheart by David Gemmell
33 Mystic River by Dennis Lehane
34 Stormrider by David Gemmell
35 Disgrace by J.M. Coetze

Posted by se71 at 03:16 PM | Comments (0)