SpeculativeFiction


Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

There's not a lot that can be said about this movie. It's probably the best of the prequels, but that's not saying much. In fact, the best thing that can be said about this movie is that it doesn't suck. I enjoyed most of it, although some moments were severely wince-inducing.

The lightsaber battles were a minor disappointment, with camera tricks and plot events being used to "explain" the outcome rather than actual skill, but they weren't awful. The central drama of the story was handled fairly well, albeit the acting could have been better.

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Sat May 28 03:36:23 CDT 2005 by matthew@infodancer.org. Comments

The Book Meme...

Chris Bryne of AnarchAngel is propagating a book meme.  In the interests of peace and harmony within the blogosphere I will resist commenting on the glowing words he has for David Eddings. 
  1. Total number of books owned
  2. Last book bought
  3. Last book read
  4. Five books that mean a lot
  5. Tag five people to continue the meme
Well, my library has probably about a thousand books in it at the moment.  That's after several rounds of culling to stay within the available space.  I hope to expand the space allocated to my books and resume increasing my collection soon.  The last book I acquired for the purposes of reading is the Chronicles of the Lensmen (Volume 1).  The last book I read was The Path of Daggers, by Robert Jordan.  (Yes, I'm behind on posting reviews -- I hope to catch up this weekend). 

And as for five books that mean a lot... well, I'm going to cheat and use series for some answers.  A series can be handled as a sequence of independent works, or as a single story told in multiple volumes; the latter is close enough to a single work to qualify.
  1. The Long Run, by Daniel Keys Moran: Rousing and nearly prescient science-fiction with a distinctively libertarian bent.  Very hard to find.
  2. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress: Ditto, except Heinlein did it first and better in some ways.
  3. Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time: This doesn't really belong here in terms of quality, but in terms of the amount of time invested (wasted?) on analysis, discussion, multiple rereads, and so on.  The series definitely means something to me.  I'm just not sure what.
  4. Tigana, by Guy Gavariel Kay: Pure emotion polished to a shiny gleam, with an edge sharp enough to cut the soul.
  5. A Wizard of Earthsea, by Ursula LeGuin: classic and poetic, a paen to the power of language, the importance of self-knowledge, and the necessity of restraint accompanying strength.
UPDATE: When originally posted, I didn't have time to search out 5 other people who hadn't been tagged and tag them.  Now I do.  So here they are:
  1. Patrick and Teresa, of Making Light [Accepted]
  2. Rachel Mills, of Full Frontal Liberty
  3. Professor Bainbridge
  4. The Angry Economist
  5. Alphecca [Accepted]
UPDATE: My other blog, TriggerFinger, got tagged for this meme from David Codrea at The War On Guns.

Sat May 28 03:10:05 CDT 2005 by matthew@infodancer.org. Comments

The Shadow Rising

The Shadow Rising is the fourth book in Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series.

The Stone of Tear has fallen, and the Sword That Cannot Be Touched has been drawn in accordance with prophecy, confirming Rand as the Dragon Reborn. But there is much yet to do before he must face the Dark One at Tarmon Gai'don. Goaded by Moiraine, who seeks to guide his path towards Sammael in Illian, Rand remains determined to choose his own path, and to move in a direction that no one expects. For the Dragon, to remain in one place is death -- and the Aiel, who took the Stone and allowed Rand to sieze the Sword That Is Not A Sword, have their own prophecies to fulfill.

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Sun May 15 18:28:40 CDT 2005 by matthew@infodancer.org. Comments

Ender's Game: The Movie?

TFS Magnum reports that there's a movie in the works for Ender's Game.  It should be noted that this is an unconfirmed report at this time.
Orson Scott Card's best-seller, Ender's Game, is being made into a movie. Wolfgang Petersen is directing (In the Line of Fire, Airforce One) so there is at least some hope that the action of the book will make it to the screen.

If you are a SciFi geek, you probably already know the whole Ender's Game series, if not all I can say is that it is worth while. (I think there are 5 books in the series, and not all of them are great, but the overall story is good. Check out at least Ender's Game and Ender's Shawdow.)
I tend not to be a strong fan of adaptations.  Sometimes, as with The Lord of the Rings trilogy, you get an amazing piece of work that holds true to the material it was based on while providing some of the concrete visualization that the written word lacks.  Most of the time, however, you end up with a script that follows the vague outlines of the plot, but falls apart on any sort of close examination.  Sometimes, you don't even get that.  Witness, for example, the EarthSea series.

However, if you don't encourage the movie industry's attempts at bringing speculative fiction to the silver screen, you won't even get the chance to try.  For that reason I try to approach things with an open mind.

I am not optimistic about an adaptation of Ender's Game, though, because it's tricky.  You could tell the story as a straight action movie, sort of, with a few of the plot twists from the book thrown in; but you'd miss a lot of the point.  Doing it right requires a subtle touch and truly talented actors.  I'm afraid I don't trust Hollywood to have that kind of vision and insight.  

Most likely, this will be turned into an anti-war movie, and if it is, that will be a grave injustice.  But I will most likely go see it anyway, because I hope it will turn out right.

Thu May 12 21:34:56 CDT 2005 by matthew@infodancer.org. Comments

The Dragon Reborn

The Dragon Reborn picks up several weeks after The Great Hunt left off... although relatively little has happened in that timespan. Rand struggles with the implications of events at Falme, where he raised the banner of the Dragon and battled Ba'alzamon in full view of thousands of soldiers and citizens alike. Rand, Moiraine, Perrin, and their small party of dragonsworn Shienarans are
trapped near Falme, unable to move to rally the other small bands that have declared for the Dragon for fear the established rulers will crush any evident focal point for the chaos. Rand is trapped as well by his own doubts; though the Pattern seems to be forcing him into the role of the Dragon Reborn, he is not yet ready to accept it; incontrovertible proof is required, an undeniable prophecy fulfilled, before he can accept.

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Sun May 08 03:00:12 CDT 2005 by matthew@infodancer.org. Comments

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