Tag Archives: science fiction

Thursday Thirteen

Last night I had to draw giant comic strips for a backdrop in the sanctuary for the upcoming series we’re doing in church labeled “Heroes.” When I heard this, I of course got extremely excited, ideas whizzing through my mind. The rest of the Creative Team just sat there, while I (the only woman) was spewing out ideas and obviously giddy. One of the guys asked me how I knew so much about super heroes. Yeah. It’s kind of sad. And yet, I felt more sorry for him not knowing, since the super hero sub genre of science fiction may be my favorite aspect. And one of the reasons I love the new show Heroes (and The 4400) so much… ordinary people having extraordinary abilities.

Anyway, this got me thinking about…
Thirteen Reasons Why I love Super Heroes:

1. Super Powers and Special Abilities. What’s a super hero without cool powers? (No, Batman doesn’t have super powers, but he does have a powerful mind and cool gadgets.) My favorite powers are usually the most useful ones like flight, telekinesis, or teleportation.
2. Fun Adventures and Fights. What good are heroes without a story?
3. Character and Morals. People joke that Superman is a Boy Scout, but he’s the ultimate role model. Some people may like super heroes that are fallible, but I want my heroes to have a higher moral code.
4. Ordinary People with a Higher Calling. At the heart of each hero, they’re still just people. And each as chosen to help people instead of using their gift in a selfish way. This really hits home with me. I need to be using my gifts for other instead of focusing on myself so much.
5. Costumes. Come on. What’s a super hero without a cheesy costume?
6. Secret Identity. A lot of heroes don’t have one, but I find it gives the hero a more human quality. And it gives them a feeling of safety when enemies are around.
7. Super Villains. The more powerful the bad guy, the more exciting the situations become.
8. Immortality. In the world of super heroes (and most of science fiction), no one stays dead forever.
9. Love Interests. Mary Jane, Lois Lane, Steve Trevor… most great stories have a great romance. And who can’t admit to having a crush on a super hero?
10. Origin Story. Every story has a beginning. And the origin stories are what shape the hero into who they become, and why they do what they do.
11. Theme Song. Spider-Man, Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (heheh)… theme songs always give me a sense of excitement, as well as a feeling of nostalgia.
12. Merchandise. From t-shirts, posters, and novels, I have to admit… I crave it sometimes.
13. Attractive. That’s right. Just about every super hero is attractive and at peak physical condition. I mean, who would want to watch a slovenly, old man running around in tights? Not me. I’ll take Colossus and his bulging biceps any day.

What do you love about super heroes? And which is your favorite?

October Challenge

Sassymonkey issued an October Reading Challenge.
So I figured I’d do this one too, since I just finished the RIP Challenge with the following books:

1. Winter Moon , by Mercedes Lackey, Tanith Lee, and C.E. Murphy
2. The Reluctant Miss Van Helsing , by Minda Webber
3. Death Splits a Hair, by Nancy Bell
4. Magic Street, by Orson Scott Card
5. Everybody Comes to the Nightside (3-in-1), by Simon R. Green

My October reading list will be:
1. The Thirteenth Tale , by Diane Setterfield – Yep, since everyone else is doing it…

2. The Artifact , by Kevin J Anderson – He’s one of my favorite authors, so I’m excited about this one.

3. Nephilim, by L.A. Marzulli – One I’ve started but abandoned.

Bonus Book: I’m also hoping to start Dean and Me: (A Love Story), by Jerry Lewis and James Kaplan.

And I need to get going on some drawings. I’ve slacked off for over a month. Next project is for a friend of mine’s husband (Christmas present), a portrait of Ben Browder from Farscape. And I always get an influx of people asking for portraits and such to give as gifts right before Christmas, so I need to get as many done now as I can. But then, there’s nothing like waiting till the last minute.

Everybody Comes to the Nightside

I just finished my last RIP book. Thanks to Carl for the great idea!

Everybody Comes to the Nightside, by Simon R. Green is actually a Science Fiction Book Club 3-in-1 book including originally published: Something From the Nightside, Agents of Light and Darkness, and Nightingale’s Lament.

The Nightside books center on John Taylor, a private investigator who has special abilities that help him find things in a dark, magical place called the Nightside. My favorite passage that pretty much sums it up is from the forward in Nightingale’s Lament:
“My name is John Taylor. I’ve made that a name to be respected and feared, but it’s also made me a target my whole life.
I operate as a private eye, in a world where gods and monsters are real. The Nightside: the sick, secret magical heart of London. A place where dreams come true, whether you want them to or not. It’s not easy to find a way in, and it can be even harder to find a way out.
I can find anything, solve any mystery. Except the answers to the dark and deadly secrets of my own past.
My name is John Taylor. And if you’ve come looking for me, either you’re in trouble, or you’re bound to be.”

In the first book, Something From the Nightside, a woman comes to John to ask him to find her daughter. They must travel to the dark and magical world of the Nightside, from where John has fled. The story incorporates dark humor, suspense, and horror, all wrapped up in an eerie mystery. This is my favorite in the series so far, simply because the Nightside is such a mystery and the slow reveal is great because it’s such a new and different place.

In the second book, Agents of Light and Darkness, the Nightside is already exposed to us, so Green can concentrate more on the plot, meanwhile still introducing new, creepy places within the city. A mysterious monk comes to John to ask him to find the Unholy Grail. Angels, demons, and everyone else dangerous seems to be searching for it as well. John teams up with Shotgun Suzie, a deadly assassin who once tried to kill him, for this disturbing tale.

In Nightingale’s Lament, the third book, Taylor is hired to find a famous singer in the Nightside whose audience seems to be committing suicide after her shows. Many more creepy (and yet fun) characters are introduced in this story that either aid or try to kill Taylor along the way.

This was a perfect choice as a final RIP Challenge book. I can probably attribute some of my disturbing dreams lately to the stories in this novella. I love how it’s written in a sort of classic pulp fiction detective novel, yet very fresh and fun.

_____
Speaking of creepy, disturbing things, I was on the edge of my seat several times last night watching Heroes! Each episode keeps getting better!

Don’t forget to read the online comic!

Halloween Meme

Taken from Carl’s Halloween meme: 

1. What is your favorite work of horror fiction?
The Historian, by Elizabeth Kostova.  See my review here.

2. What is your favorite work of science fiction/fantasy?
This one is hard as science fiction is my favorite genre. I’ll have to list several:

Area 51 series, Robert Doherty (Bob Mayer)

Rogue Angel: Destiny, by Alex Archer

Noble Dead series, by Barb and J.C. Hendee 

-Most of the Star Trek: TNG books by Michael Jan Friedman, Peter David, etc.

3. Who is your favorite monster?
Dracula. I’ve always loved books and movies about vampires.

4. What horror movie gives you the most chills?
I don’t watch a lot of horror, but The Ring was the scariest movie I’ve seen.

5. Freddy versus Jason?
No thanks.

6. What is your favorite Halloween treat?
Most candy that comes in chocolate form.

7. Ghosts or goblins?
Ghosts. Nothing better than a creepy ghost story, especially this time of year.

8. What is your scariest encounter with the paranormal?
None. Though after watching The Ring with some friends and being left at my house alone, I had to watch Angels in the Outfield to get my mind on something feel-good instead of demonic.

9. Do you believe in ghosts?
Nope. Though I do like watching Ghost Hunters and haunted house shows on the travel channel.

10. Favorite Halloween costume?
That I’ve worn in the past: Rogue and Supergirl.

That would be fun to wear in the future: 

The Best-laid Plans…

Well, so much for the book signing.
I had drug my sister along, even though she doesn’t own any of Janet Evanovich’s books, she still enjoys them. I had assumed Janet would give a little talk. I was wrong. When we got there, I was #535, and told they’d call out numbers to get in line to meet Janet and to get books signed. There didn’t look to be nearly that many people in the store, so I decided to stick it out to see how fast the line went. Well, at first, they were calling out sets of 25 every few minutes. So I was hopeful. My sister and I sat and read for a while. And hour passes quickly, and I offer to buy my sister coffee for the both of us at the Starbucks stand. (It’s the least I can do for dragging her to this, and Janet not even giving a talk. I had talked up my last experience at MJD’s book signing, so she had reluctantly agreed.) Bringing back the coffee, my sister had a strange look on her face. She said that the line of people called was ridiculously long, and that even though they might get to my number in an hour or so, we’d still have to wait another half an hour (at least!) standing in line. Forget that. So I dejectedly left Barnes and Noble with my unsigned books, and walked down to Best Buy so my sister could buy her husband a birthday gift. At least the trip wasn’t a total waste. If Janet had been my favorite author, I might have stayed. But it definitely wasn’t worth over 3 hours of waiting just to get an autograph and a picture. (I did sneak up and take a couple photos from a distance. Whoopee.) I felt bad for my sister that I had drug my sister along to sit for an hour and a half for nothing, and she felt bad that I didn’t get to meet Janet. She consoled me that at least we did have fun reading. We actually go to B&N occasionally just to sit and read (so we don’t have to actually buy the book).

What saved my night from being too much of a bummer was Smallville. This episode was ten times better than last week’s season premier! Justin Hartley, star of the Aquaman series that never made it to the small screen, made his first appearance as Green Arrow on Smallville. I’m such a comic geek that these special appearances by future JLA members make me giddy with delight. Oliver Queen (Green Arrow) is a great character, and I’m excited to see more of him in next week’s episode.

Evanovich Signing


I’m very excited that I get to meet Janet Evanovich tonight. She’s having a book signing at Barnes & Noble in my area, promoting her latest book Motor Mouth was just release on Tuesday. And I’m a big fan of her immensely popular Stephanie Plum series. In fact, I’ve hooked a lot of my friends on the series.

I finished Agents of Light and Darkness, by Simon R. Green. It wasn’t nearly as funny and suspenseful as the first book, but still a fun read. I’m looking forward to starting the 3rd book in the novella later today. They’re such easy reading, that when I actually find time to sit down and read, I feel like I just breeze through. I may post a full review once I’ve finished this first trilogy.


And did everyone catch the season premier of Lost last night?? This is going to be a fun season!

Fans Meme

1. Who or what is on your computer’s wallpaper?    Rotating photos from different movies: X-Men 3, Spider-Man 3, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Superman Returns.

2. Go through your DVD/pre-bought video collection. Which three actors or actresses feature the most in them?  Patrick Stewart, Richard Dean Anderson, and Meg Ryan.

3. Go through your book shelves. Which three authors have written the majority of the books?  Peter David, Max Lucado, and Agatha Christie.

4. And what about CDs?  Michael Buble; Philips, Craig and Dean; Dean Martin; and Frank Sinatra.

5. Open up the picture folder(s) on your hard drive. Of which actor/actress/movie/tv series/musician do you have the most pictures?  Just the ones I’ve met: Dirk Benedict, Richard Hatch, Herb Jefferson Jr, Brent Spiner, Marina Sirtis, Jeffrey Combs, Robert Beltran, Alexis Cruz, Tony Amendola, Michael Shanks, Christopher Judge, Don Davis, Garrett Wang, Connor Trinnear, William Katt, John Wesley Shipp, Karen Allen, etc…