Feb. 1st, 2009

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Eternals Eternals by Neil Gaiman

My review

rating: 2 of 5 stars

Neil Gaiman takes on one of Jack Kirby's creations for Marvel.

Despite the fact that these are two very big names, the biggest reaction I can muster is "meh". It was okay, but there was nothing that really grabbed me about it. Gaiman and the artist managed to squeeze the Kirbyishness out of it, without imparting anything particularly great or new.

It was okay, but that's about it. Nothing about it was particularly memorable; it didn't stay in my mind. In a fractional system I guess I'd give it a 2.5.

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Origin: The True Story of Wolverine Origin: The True Story of Wolverine by Bill Jemas

My review

rating: 2 of 5 stars


If you're going to try to create an origin for one of your most iconic characters, that origin had better be (*@#ing memorable. Look at Batman, for example. Or look at what Alan Moore did for the Joker in The Killing Joke. The origin should resonate for the reader.

In Origin, the story kind of lands with a dull thump.

Oh, it's not terrible. The authors clearly tried. They just weren't up to the task, that's all. And so they've created an utterly forgettable, inconsequential, run-of-the-mill...

I'm sorry, what were we talking about again?

Oh yeah. Origin. Sorry, I nodded off.

In a fractional system, Origin would get a 1.8 from me. At best, it was kind of cheesy. I mean, when you've got your character running and howling with wolves, it's a pretty good sign that you're in way over your head...unless you're a really, really good writer. Which these guys aren't. And maybe it was a warning sign that there were three writers on this turkey.

Hmm...if they'd had Wolverine running and gobbling with turkeys...now, that would have been memorable! :D

PS - the claws looked stupid to me. Claws should look like claws, not unicorn horns!

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The Automatic Detective The Automatic Detective by A. Lee Martinez

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fredric Brown meets Terry Pratchett.

Or, 1940s detective pulp noir fiction meets a wacky science fiction universe.

Either way, The Automatic Detective is a light, funny, well-written novel. It never goes awry. Considering the sorry state of modern genre publishing, that's an achievement in itself.

The adventures of Mack Megaton, an erstwhile killing machine burdened with free will and a conscience, make for a good read. A. Lee Martinez hits the right notes and nods to the classic elements of the pulp noir detective story. I did note a few passages that seemed oddly repetitious - enough to make me wonder if the book had first been serialized in a magazine, and then imperfectly fixed up - but these are only the mildest of flaws. I hope to see a sequel, or several, and I'll keep an eye out for more by Mr. Martinez.

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Feb. 1st, 2009 10:27 pm
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Saturday morning Sebastian and I joined his Cub Scout troop on a visit to the WPRI, channel 12 FOX Providence. We met Pete Mangione, one of the weatherman there. He gave the kids a talk about being a weatherman, answered a lot of questions (not all of which really made a lot of sense), and let the kids play on the blue screen a bit. I even got on the blue screen myself, since I was wearing a plaid blue shirt that made me look as if I were riddled with holes. The kids loved it.

I took some video and photos before my batteries ran out (damn it, that happens too often). Several of us sent photos to the troop Yahoo group, and the Cubmaster sent one of mine to WPRI. To my amazement and delight, they showed the picture on the broadcast! Pete even circled Sebastian and one of his friends, football-diagram-style, because they were the only two who had actually been looking at my camera instead of the one to my left.

I have the broadcast on tape, and I'll convert it to some computer format soon. I wonder if it's already online somewhere?


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