TV Pilot: The Last Ship

The Last Ship

Did anyone watch The Last Ship [ IMDB | Wikipedia ]? I’ve heard nothing about it, yet it aired in June in the States. It’s based on the book of the same name.

Plot summary: A US naval warship is secretly being tested for deployment which is actually a ruse to prevent the crew from finding out about the true nature of their mission. They’re carrying two secretive Centers for Disease Control and Prevention scientists who are working on a cure for an airborne virus that had only affected a handful of African villages, but after four months at sea it’s wiped out 80% of the world’s population including the United States government. It has a 0% survival rate and is highly contagious. All governments have ceased to be and the crew of the warship are on their own.

Kinda makes you think of the Ebola crisis, doesn’t it?

And World War Z.

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And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson & Peter Parnell

And Tango Makes Three

My rating:

I chose this for Banned Books Week but I couldn’t wait any longer to read it.

Disappointingly my library copy came with a warning slapped on the cover. What’s to be frightened about with ‘same sex families’?

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LonCon3 #22: Saving the World. All of it.

Panellists: Victor Fernando R. Ocampo (Phillipino living in Singapore), Yasser Bahjatt (Saudi Arabian), Irena Raseta (Croatian), Aishwarya Subramanian (Indian), Naomi Karmi (Israeli)

When aliens invade, why do they almost always hit New York? With a few partially-honourable exceptions, such as Pacific Rim and District 9, the American-led alliances of Independence Day and its ilk are still the norm for SF cinema’s supposedly global catastrophes. What is it like to watch these films outside the Anglophone world? Do attempts to move away from American exceptionalism feel real, or are they just window-dressing? And how do different countries deal with apocalypse in their own cinematic traditions?

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LonCon3 #21: Gender and Genre

Panellists: Francis Knight, Jenni Hill, Melanie Fletcher, Justin Landon

Are genres gendered? Truisms like “women don’t read science fiction” or “men hate romance” abound, but to what extent do these sorts of assumptions determine what we see on the shelves? How have certain sub-genres become strongly associated with writers (and readers) of a single gender? What are the difficulties faced by a writer trying to work in a (sub)genre traditionally associated with a gender other than their own? What role(s) can publishers and booksellers play in creating, reinforcing, or challenging such bias?

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LonCon3 #20: YA on the Big Screen

Panellists: Carrie Vaughn, Amy H. Sturgis, Martin Lewis, Thea James (The Book Smugglers), Erin M. Underwood

The YA publishing boom has been accompanied by a boom in film adaptations, but while some have seen commercial success others have stalled. What does it take to transition from book to film? Are there any special considerations when working with a young adult story? Modern YA is a genre with distinctive tropes — how are these being transferred to the screen? How is “classic” YA adapted in that context? Is this to the original story’s benefit or detriment? Which YA books have successfully made the transition–for good or ill? What stories would make great films, but haven’t yet been done?

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Chrome updated and now Goodreads font looks weird?

LEFT: What Chrome looked like pre-update, RIGHT: What Chrome looked like post-update.

With one unauthorized update Google made Chrome unusable with the new hideous rendering of fonts, especially in Outlook and Goodreads – the sites I use the most. Firefox and IE both look weird as well so switching to the competition wasn’t an option.

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LonCon3 #19: Where is the YA (and adult) humour?

Panellists: Gail Carriger, Suzanne McLeod, Frances Hardinge, Jack Campbell, Jody Lynn Nye

Much of what we see in the YA shelves is dour, grimy and deadly. Why is that? Where can we find the lighter side of young adult fiction? Which authors should we look to for a satisfying happy ending or a good belly laugh?

Amalgamating with:
So grim. Much serious. Wow. {adult humour}
Panellists: Ellen Klages, Tanya Huff, Mur Lafferty, Darren Nash, Connie Willis, Simon R Green

Science fiction and fantasy have a long history of both comic writing and essentially light-hearted adventures. However, more and more it seems authors want to take themselves seriously, focusing more on the darker elements of story telling. Is genre too po-faced outside the work of certain specifically ‘comedy’ writers? Why do so many writers steer clear of trying to be funny?

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A Letter to my Inconsiderate, Pot-Smoking Neighbours

smoking

Dear Downstairs Neighbours,

First of all, I’m very grateful that you’ve finally learned that none of your neighbours enjoyed your marathon-length parties with music pounding from 10pm until 4am on weeknights, especially since none of us were invited. I’m even impressed that you now give us notice that you’re having them, and at weekends, too. How thoughtful.

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