Wednesday, January 31, 2007

My Elves Are Different

Steve Wilson, a fellow cohort from FantasyBookSpot, is doing some spec-fic related comic strips lightly titled My Elves Are Different. The artwork is what it is, but the writing is sharp and full of personality, which is what matters most. And they're fun, so check them out!

Looks like Greenhorn has some competition...

Inkheart buzz

I've been quietly watching the theatrical development of Cornelia Funke's Inkheart with sincere interest. Unfortunately, I can't stand it when characters are simply changed so that an audience can grasp who they are quicker. Andy Serkis, who takes the lead villian of Capricorn, the man with a heart so black it might as well be full of ink, chats a bit about how the character has changed. I don't know. Personally, I don't believe Serkis has the stage presence to make a captivating villain (unless, of course, he's gone through seven hours of makeup or is a giant gorilla or whatever else he's been before when he's not himself, you know).

And Brendan Fraser as Mo? Ugh. No, no, no. I don't care that Funke fell in love with his voice, Fraser should not be Mo. No, no, nonononononononoonno. I can totally see Fraser mucking up the role and playing it a bit too campy for me.

The film is slated for a London release in 2008. I wonder if it'll make its way over here to the States...

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Harry Potter and the Nudity that Scared Me

No, that's not the title of the secret eighth book. It pertains to the fact that 17-year-old Daniel Radcliffe has taken his career in a slightly different direction. He plays a demanding role in Peter Shaffer's controversial play Equus, which has something to do with sex and horses, I guess. Or maybe just horses. ::shrugs::

If you thought HP slash fanfic was out of hand before, just wait until the whole cast is dancing nude in stables and casting levitation spells on bails of hay and drinking spiced apple cider and polyjuice potions and turning into horses themselves. Oh, it's going to get sickeningly interesting very soon. Luckily for me, I never really cared for how Radcliffe portrays Harry, thus, his representation of the character is no more ruined than it was prior to the above horse/sex photos.

Un Lun Dun contest

That's right. Jay from FBS is hosting a contest to win an autographed copy of Un Lun Dun by China Mieville. This is China's skip into the world of young adults, but I still foresee the tale being ever as engaging and horrific as Perdido Street Station and The Scar. Plus, I think China did some artwork for the book.

And it's fairly easy to win. Click the link above, sign up for the forums, private message Jay, and're in the drawing. Good luck to everyone, even though now you're mostly my competition.

Oh, and there are two contests being hosted by Brian for The Blonde by Duane Swierczynski and 47 Rules of Highly Effective Bank Robbers by Troy Cook, but those are mystery novels and I care not for them. I think I've read a total of three mystery novels before in my life. And none of them were Sherlock Holmes...

Thursday, January 25, 2007

It's a wikiworld afterall

Paul Di Filippo's "Wikiworld" from Lou Anders' Fast Forward 1 anthology (which I reviewed a few posts down) is now available to read for free online. So check it out; it's a fun one, but also a bit scary seeing how it's a future that might just one day come to be.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Some movies

I've watched some movies lately thanks to some post-holiday gift card usage. One I really liked, one I liked but didn't get, and one was pretty stupid but filled with things I like yet I still didn't really like it at all.

Slither is a light-hearted monster flick, with alien lifeforms dropping onto the planet via a chunk of meotorite. From there they take a semi-bad husband's body hostage, using him to procreate little alien slugs. The film rarely takes itself seriously, but one thing it does take is itself and its gross-out gore to the edge. Which I loved. And though there's some usage of heavy CGI, the filmmakers went the smart route and kept things classic. The Grant monster, by the end of the movie, is such a piece of marvelous work that I found it hard to look away from such an ugly thing. It's very high on the creepy factor, but again, it's not a scary flick. And yes, I'm a Nathan Fillion fanboy, but there's a lot of other great people in Slither. Namely Elizabeth Banks and Tania Saulnier.

I'd been told over and over that I should see Night Watch, that it was a film I'd really enjoy. Guess what? It is. It's that classic tale of light versus dark, literally. There's the Day Watch and the Night Watch, vampires and shape-shifting guardians. Evil voodoo. The gloom. Things of that nature. Plus, a stupid boy who is clearly more than he appears to be. Visually, the movie is gorgeous. I really wished there had been more parts from the past because it looked like such a world of grim epic fantasy that, for a moment, my heart lifted and all was right in the world. Unfortunately, I watched it without the subtitles (I know, Night Watch sin!!!) so I was both confused and a little put off by the dubbing. So I liked it, and will watch it again, hopefully figuring out some of the things I did not get. But come on folks, a guy pulled his spine out to use it as a sword. It doesn't get any better than that.

And lastly, we have Feast, a Project Greenlight product. The premise is quite simple: a miscellaneous scraggle of strangers are trapped in a dive bar as hungry monsters try to eat them all mean like. And that's it. Characters in the film are one-shotted via pause-the-film techniques which lead to bio sheets. Kind of lazy. Also misleading, which I guess was the point. Like Slither, Feast doesn't take itself seriously. But unlike Slither, Feast is a bad movie. There's little room for acting besides screaming and dying. The gore is over-the-top, as is expected, but I just didn't find most of it believable. Or enjoyable. Characters come and go, and it wasn't until 3/4s of the way through that we're shown who exactly we should be voting for. I wanted Jay (snoochie-boochies) to save the day. Alas, he kicked it pretty early. Don't worry, nothing I write here will ruin the movie. And don't get me wrong, I love monster flicks (see Slither; gawd, I really do love that film), but these monsters were pointlessly absurd. No explanation, not even half an attempt to give them some sort of cause for being. Sure, we're told why they're angry, but not why they live. To its credit, Feast does have some good commentary to listen to, which is much better than actually listening to the film's dialogue. In the end, I'm just glad this one came packaged for free with Slither. Ah...Slither...swoons eternally...

Friday, January 19, 2007

A new story in progress

I'm currently reworking a piece of flash fiction that I wrote a few months ago. I wrote it, submitted it once, and quickly forgot about it. Opening the file tonight, I was surprised to find some stuff in it that I really liked. Anyways, it was written in present tense (why, gods, why?), which I'm not happy with. So I'm changing tenses and trying to lengthen it to at least a decent short story.

So here's a current word count for all y'all:

"The Field Once Battled"

( ######======= )
869 / 2,000 : 43.5%

Why won't Blogger let me post a decent-looking Zokutou Word Meter? Snarls.

Hope to finish it up over the next few days. I'd love to finish a new story and start submitting it. It feels like all I've been doing lately is submitting all my old stories, which are beginning to either feel dated or just trunk-able to me. Oh well. Onwards...

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Forwarding review!

Check out my review for Fast Forward 1: Future Fiction from the Cutting Edge edited by Lou Anders here!

Taken from the FBS Quick Take:
Fast Forward I is a great anthology, filled with numerous and diverse stories and is bound to please any fan of science fiction.

And this bit of news has been all over the blogosphere today: HBO has acquired the rights to turn George R.R. Martin's bestselling fantasy series "A Song of Fire & Ice" into a dramatic series to be written and exec produced by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. This is pretty cool and might possibly be the only reason I'd ever order HBO for myself. The show is probably a long ways off (as is the rest of the series, which Martin hopes to finish by 2011) so no need to start planning out casting roles right now...but still...epic fantasy that might be done well. On television! Eee!

Of course, nothing will ever meet my own imagination for how I perceive Arya, Jon Snow, Theon, Davos, The Hound, and so on...

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Love, hate, just talk it out

It seems my latest comic over at Greenhorn has stirred up some heated discussion, most of which can be seen in the accompanying FBS thread here. I probably came across a little too harsh in the comments below the comic, but such is life. I'm just glad to see folks talking, you know.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Here's an update

All right, I've set up a site at Webcomicsnation for my journal comics, magically named MyLifeComics. I'll be reposting the comics on LiveJournal in case anyone wants to comment on them. The username is mylifecomics; feel free to add me and tell your friends. Unless they're old cause I make fun of old people a lot.

Stopped at my favorite bookstore yesterday and picked up a couple books:
  • Jack Vance - Star King
  • Jack Vance - The Killing Machine
  • Jack Vance - The Palace of Love
  • Robert Silverberg, editor - The New Atlantic and Other Novellas of Science Fiction by Gene Wolfe, Ursula K. Le Guin, and James Tiptree, Jr.

I also got The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction in the mail yesterday. Seems pretty good with a strong TOC to it. That'll probably be next on my review list after I finish up Fast Forward I. This should keep me busy for some time, I'd say.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Changes in the air

There are going to be some changes soon with the journal comic. Trust me, they're for the better. Stay tuned for further details...

Also, I just realized I colored the wires for my iPod Shuffle black when everyone and their mother certainly knows that they should be white. I'd like to take a mulligan, please.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Finished Inkspell

Well, I finished reading Inkspell by Cornelia Funke. Overall, it was decent but the whole time I was reading I kept thinking that there was just too many unneeded details and characters. The book was longer than it needed to be, and considering the sudden and incomplete ending, annoying in retrospect. There's some good bits, mainly involving Dustfinger and Farid, and a couple scenes that reminded me why I loved Inkheart so much. Though I liked the juxtaposition of everyone entering the book in Inkspell (instead of those living outside the book in Inkheart), I was just hoping for something more. But who am I kidding, I'll read the third book whenever it comes out.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Nebula thoughts


Seems the 2006 Preliminary Nebula Award Ballot is up and breathing. Scanning through, I see only a few things that I've actually read, which makes choosing my top choices rather forced. From the novels category I've only read Tobias Buckell's Crystal Rain, which I really enjoyed a lot. Haven't read any of the novellas up, but I have enjoyed Paul Melko's work before.'s a tie between "Journey into the Kingdom" by M. Rickert and Peter S. Beagle's "Two Hearts." For short stories, my silent vote has to go to "Pip and the Fairies" by Theodora Goss, a wonderful (and quite sad) fairytale-like adventure set in modern times where the media gets involved. And I personally don't give a hopping hoot about movie scripts, no matter how amazing they can be at times. So there you have it, for now at least.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Twas a lovely day

Though right now it's pretty cold out. I'm really fearing February since that's usually the worst of the cold months. Good thing I got a new pair of gloves for Christmas. Cause otherwise, what's the point?

New layout

Well, it's a new I've decided to try out a new layout for Wistful Writings.

This is a work in progress as I figure out how to use Blogger's customization tools. Stay tuned for changes...

Monday, January 08, 2007

Nice doggie...

Things I need to do (I'm OCDDDDDDD, I make to-do-lists just to stay busyyyyyyy):
  • Finish the other three parts for the upcoming Greenhorn series
  • Review Fast Forward I
  • See Children of Men
  • Beat Suikoden V, even if it means not collecting every single character
  • Laundry
  • Possibly re-organize my bookshelves
Now, isn't all that exciting?

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Comic and some thoughts

I finished several books as of late. In the Eye of Heaven by David Keck is of standard fair for epic fantasy sorts, a young squire named Durand getting involved in a plot of treason and fighting for the Lord Lamoric, a man who is far more interesting than those around them. So there's a lot of knights galloping on horses, several jousting tournaments, and the occasional monster. The magic of the land is kept in the background, which I did not like. The writing was good except I kept stumbling upon several similes that were 100% jarring; hopefully by his next novel Keck will have improved because I did find some aspects of In the Eye of Heaven interesting and I wouldn't mind reading more from him.

Don't Bite the Sun and Drinking Sapphire Wine by Tanith Lee are two books set in the utopian world of Four BEE. Yes, Four Bee. It's a strange world where everything is splendid, the youthful Jang can suicide daily to change bodies and body types, and the idea of God is obsolete. But one person decides she no longer wants to be Jang, seperates herself from her circle, attempts to make a child, and then becomes exiled to the desert. Lee's writing, here at its earliest, is simply compelling. She has such a handle on her characters and the story never strays too far from its absurdity. Characters come and go as different sexes, and through it all everyone remains clear. I definitely recommend the series for those that like their science fiction pulpy, fast-paced, and lush with alien ideas.

The Word for World is Forest by Ursula K. Le Guin is set on the planet Athshe where a once-paradise is being conquered by humans. The forests are being cut down, the land cleared all over, but the Athsheans have had enough. Long thought to be docile, they attack the humans. The book sort of made me think of a deranged version of the Ewoks on Endor, where the little fuzzy creatures went rabid with rage, killing all in their path. I've always been a fan of Le Guin's work, and this is another piece of her genius: a battle between man and nature, where those working for the trees are able to fight through lucid dreaming. If you have the time, it's a short book and well worth the read.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

It seems I forgot to post a link to my review for Eragon, which was an absolutely horrible film on a hundred different levels. Right now though, Children of Men and Pan's Labyrinth are looking amazing. I'm still having trouble finding a theatre that's playing Pan's Labyrinth around here. Ugh. Why is that the artsy films get no love but Night at the Museum is playing everywhere, ten times a day, over and over and over again? Tell me now, brown cow.

Friday, January 05, 2007

I got mad

Don't hate/honk at me just because I don't have EZ Pass/the change for the toll in my hand the instant I come to a stop. Sheesh, peoples.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Buddy the Elf, what's your favorite color?

And yet I never watched a single airing of A Christmas Story over the holidays. I long for the day when Elf becomes the classic Christmas movie. Really, I do.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Tree time

Al doesn't speak too much English.

"The Feet Eaters"

My story "The Feet Eaters" has just gone live over at Aberrant Dreams.

Check it out!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

I guess I was sleepy

Did some sketching over the holiday break. So expect to see some comics over the next few days...