Guardians of the Galaxy, go and see it!

hr_Guardians_of_the_Galaxy_film posterSo Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is a fun movie.  If you want a fun afternoon or night out, go a see it, you’ll laugh and be amazed.  I love Groot and Rocket Raccoon the two CGI characters shown  in their own movie poster below.

There are many who are over the top about this movie, I think because it could have been awful and isn’t.  There is something about the movie that makes me hold back from saying Fantastic, but it is very, very good. There may be other things playing in, but  the pace was too frenetic the cutting too staccato for me to fully enjoy.   Also a lot of characters seemed to intimate some link to a deeper story that we didn’t get to see. An introductory movie set in a deep universe like Marvel’s may be prone to this and my ‘author’s bump’ maybe too sensitive to these things but these ‘issues’ kept me from getting as deeply engrossed as I did in Edge of Tomorrow and some of the other Marvel films.

But its a fun movie, go and root for Groot, Rocket and their pets.

 

grootrocketraccoon1

 

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Lucy the Movie

Lucy_(2014_film)_posterLucy is a disappointing movie. That is not to say it is awful, but I could not argue with someone who said that it was awful.  For me the movie started out very well and was watchable throughout but it left me feeling like I had seen a Hollywood Horror, not the child of the Luc Besson, director of the movie The Fifth Element.   The movie feels like it was cut short.  Started out on a path like, if a bit less out there than, TFE but then got chopped short.  It as if the script was written around a very tight plot but instead of spending time fleshing out the story and the characters it was decided to just get something out the door as cheaply and quickly as possible.  I suppose that Johansson or others were not available for the time Besson needed to do a TFE like work.   Whatever it was this is a very disappointing movie, mainly because it had great potential.

The details:  the violence is what some called ‘over the top’ but unfortunately it’s what I call pseudo realistic; Lucy starts out as a believable type…and ends equally believable but without an audience leading transition ; while the Lucy UberHuman [LUH]is believable I think a more relate-able version was possible ; the LUH’s abilities are fantastical, over the top, a creepier, more understated version was  possible ; the plot is ultra simple and while the plot holes are there they don’t derail the movie ; [SPOILER ALERT] the bad guys are workmanlike if a bit too Bond-Goon-Squadish, but I really really wanted to evil surgeon from the early scenes to get terminated with prejudice ; the end is utterly anticlimactic the ‘happy’ ending wasn’t cheery and had no punch, the LUH metastasizes to another plane leaving behind the USB key fob to the universe, the confused boy toy police guy gets a text message from the beyond and the world goes on…meh.

Details of the details:

LUH’s creation: The crap about the utilization of the human brain was good as a way of thinking about human capacity but its scientific bunk, which spoiled the movie a bit for me.  The drug was TFE Beeson over the top (as was its introduction) but its derivation and supposed affect were not very convincing.  I’d have bought a material that increases intelligence by accelerating and reorganizing the brain, but requires constant new fill-ups or the user becomes a vegetable, it’s the first of a new family of bio-nanotech human enhancement drugs the Chinese mob has stolen, one vial of the stuff could infect hundreds or thousands, who would all become vegetables if they cannot get the fix… a trope matrix that could have been much more scary.

Violence:  I think that LUH had to use violence she had no time to explain.  The emotionless LUH had no compunction about using it which was funny the first time but troubling with no context.  Also the violence was too risk free, humans react to violence, modern training makes us hesitate but there are many among us who would react almost instinctively.  LUH did to some extent explain herself to the surgeon but the hole here was their reaction to her and the lack of a police response in the time it took to take out the bag etc…A couple of soliloquies or appologetic explanations to victims (even dead ones) would have helped and could even have been funny….

Emotionless: Emotions are chemical and triggered by autonomous systems, LUH could suppress them…believable.  But I lost any real human interest in the whole story when I knew she was essentially a machine with a hard stop use by date.  The appearance of the hurting, frightened, grieving old Lucy would not have been hard or out of place, her goodbye to her mother was only part of what should have been a thread through to the end.

LUH powers: Telekinesis, really? Mental control of electronics plays into my idea for LUH abilities but its just magical crap with the trope used.  With ability to control her physiology, and ultra fast processing she could have senses and reactions and strength way beyond the norm, and would have needed to eat like a horse (that was consistent in a way) she might be able to exude skin oils or pheromones with powerful effects, could heal herself fast, maybe even read minds if in contact with the target, etc, etc.  These effects and her having to think her way out of dead ends would have supported the simple story line.  The magical powers she exhibited should have been part of a movie with more complexity / depth in other areas, where those powers play are a way to keep the story moving fast….here they just truncated this already too simple movie.

Bad Guys: OK pretty good in a Bond Villain Goon Squad sort of way but still.  And what about the evil surgeon? he really needed his own poetic if gory end.

The ending:  A more effective ending would have been failure…the bad guys kill her, the bad guy’s die, maybe science guy and boy toy survive to grieve Lucy’s death.  Then maybe a hint that she did not fail but that she had made sure that the bad guys got sucked in and destroyed while the drug or whatever that created LUH will be treated like a mixture of nuclear weapon and Ebola.

 

Catching the Watcher | NaNoWriMo 12 | Update day 6

Cover art Draft:

  • Target Word Count 50,000
  • Target Average Words Per Day 1,667
  • Words Written Today 2,181
  • Total Words Written 12,284
  • Current Day 6
  • Your Average Per Day 2,047
  • Words Remaining 37,716
  • Days Remaining 25
  • At This Rate You Will Finish On November 24, 2012
  • Words Per Day To Finish On Time 1,509

National Novel Writing Month…its here…first update

Catching the Watcher…I’ll post the in process cover art later.

Probably not Young Adult though the story is largely told from the perspective of a young woman, who starts out the story a few days shy of 18, but the majority of the story takes place some years later.

All space, all the time, no fantasy (except the fiction part of the science of course.) Hopefully semi hard, adventure fiction with some interesting characters, situations and background.

Started on the first, did post progress yesterday, and did a lot more today.  But its going to slow down again as the initial rush of ideas fueled by all my prep thinking and doodling founders in the reality of actually having to write all those fun ideas down.   (and for there is an ‘event’ coming that may cause me to crash out…but who knows what the future holds.)

  • Current Day 3
  • Days Remaining 28
  • <Words Written Today 5,351
  • Total Words Written 7,822
  • Average Per Day 2,607
  • Target Word Count 50,000 Target Average Words Per Day 1,667
  • <Words Remaining 42,178
  • At This Rate You Will Finish On November 19, 2012
  • Words Per Day To Finish On Time 1,507

Elgin : what the heck is QuantPunk?

I have always loved Science Fiction, especially the ‘Hard’ sub genre (think Arthur C. Clark, Larry Niven, etc), as well as military and some adventure.  I’ve also liked ‘Hard’ Fantasy and books that in some senses combine SciFi & Fantasy. I started out writing SciFi, relatively old-fashioned Hard SciFi (which I really think should be more common than it is) and semi military SciFi, but I’ve always played a bit with Fantasy.

And to be honest I find it impossible to write good Fantasy even though some of my favorite authors have easily spanned the gap.  What I ended up writing every time was really SciFi in an Urban Fantasy or Steam Punk setting…and I kind of like the results though Elgin is the first that’s been completed.  But this isn’t SciFi in the ‘Hard’ sense, nor is it SteamPunk, RetroPunk, Urban pr Contemporary Fantasy.  It’s at an angle to all of those, I like to think of it as a type of SciFi, what I call Quantum Punk or QuantPunk based on the mind (and imagination) bending possibilities our quantum universe opens as a basis for something that is at once Science Fiction and Urban/Contemporary Fantasy.

Let me know what you think….its free try it.

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Elgin’s new life is….complicated.

Elgin’s old life was nothing much, Beauty Wyoming was as beautiful and remote as one could get, a town of cowboys and Indians, in a setting of rangeland, mountains and lakes. Elgin Chalmer’s was a cowboy and a part breed black-sheep slacker living with his huge Siamese cat Humph in a forty-year old trailer. Life was OK for Elgin, he didn’t want much and didn’t get any more. Then one raw snowy day he made the mistake of heading into the mountains with a gut full of whiskey and a head muddled by rotten drugs…death came easily considering.

And that was when things started to get really messy. A world of alien dangers and powers were waking up after two thousand years in hibernation and humanity’s protector needed a new helper. Now Elgin found himself dealing with flesh-eating lizard girls, ancient spider monsters, along with werewolves and vampires who didn’t always play by the rules. And on top of it all he had to get used to eating sharks, raw and still fighting.

But now of course he had a chance to meet up with the cool girls; The Wiccan proprietor of the local New-Age gift shop, with an ancient Indian totem in her basement, the pistol packing deputy with a secret, and the beautiful Russian spy with a heart of gold and the killer instincts of a she wolf.

This book was started as a submission for the National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo, (www.nanowrimo.org) is run by a tiny nonprofit called he Office of Letters and Light, an organization that promotes writing in all its glorious permutations among the young, young at heart, and not so young (among whom I fall in the right hand distribution tail these days.) I wrote the first 60,000 words or so of Elgin in November 2011 and finished the remaining half by February 2012, since then, among many other things, my father and I have been editing so I can submit it for publication at Smashwords, iBooks, B&N, etc.

New Book Published at Smashwords | Exotic Contraband: The Road Past Home

The universe is infinite in extent and the Compact large beyond simple measurement. But the Starship Bostonian has found a road home for the few humans stolen from their home world. But the Compact has strict non interference rules and while returning the humans is allowed, contact beyond that is forbidden. The crew of an Air Force recon jet, kidnapped and sold as creature show exhibits want to go home though their commander, Major Sandra Sebastianii, might have made another decision if she had been alone.

The ancient human commander of the Compact Cartographic Cruiser Bostonian is less sure of his road home, because his birth world is an utterly unrecognizable and all he had once known is dust. Now his place and his friends all reside in the vastness of the Compact, all except for the one person he can’t live without.

Everyone starts out following the rules. But rules are meant to be bent especially when a civilization is on the edge of a war it does not understand the reason for. And while the Qang Smugglers might look cute and cuddly their ruthless arrogance is about to get them into deadly danger, and their stupidity may be the trigger needed to start an interstellar war of unthinkable destructiveness.

  • Science Fiction
  • Adventure
  • Hard Science Fiction
  • Romance