Watched and Read, March to June.

The watching and reading has been reduced a bit due to other activities, so here are 3 months worth:

Finished:

Supergirl, season 4, 8/10

Berlin Station (spy thriller), season 1, 5/10 with a friend

Black Lightning, season 2, 8/10

Star Trek Discovery, season 2, 8/10

Shadow Hunters, season 4 (aka. 3a), 7/10

Magicians, season 4, 8/10

Highlander, season 2, 7/10

Sense8 re-watch, except final episode, 10/10

Game of Thrones, season 8, 8/10

The Scorpion, season 1, 7/10

The OA, part 2 8/10

Films:

The Matrix (re-watch), 8/10

Matrix Reloaded, 7/10

Matrix Revolutions, 7/10,

as part of me watching more by the Wachowskis

Partly watched:

Jeremiah, season 1, with a friend (the show disappeared from HBO Nordic, but I managed to find both seasons on a DVD set (Rather expensive, but I wanted it anyway))

The Americans, season 6, with a friend

Legends of Tomorrow (not yet finished)

Started Cloak & Dagger, season 2

Started Roswell, New Mexico (2019 version), but did not get very far. It did not catch on too well in the first few episodes

 

Read: Finished “The Broken Earth” trilogy by N.K. Jemisin I like that very much, 9/10

 

The Iron Throne: Game of Thrones Is Finished. No Spoilers.

I watched the final episode of the whole Game of Thrones series.

I like it quite a bit, though the two final (short) seasons 7 and 8 felt rushed. I am aware that this is not necessarily the fault of the show runners. While they had got an outline of the books not (yet) written they did not have as much material to work with, and they probably miss several things that have been in George R.R. Matin’s head.

The missing part may also be due to the compression of the seasons made necessary by the decision makers at HBO.

Seasons 7 and 8 felt uneven from episode to episode, although the finale did tie up a lot of story lines, and was satisfactory to me. It even tied up something that several people were complaining about in the penultimate episode.

I like who ended up sitting on the throne (no spoilers). I did not quite see this coming, but it made sense to me. To me it was a bitter-sweet ending for most characters, which is much like real life can be.

I rate the final episode 9/10.

I may be back with more later, but that will be spoiler filled.

New : Watched and Read, January 2019

I am going to try something new on the blog :

Making a few notes on what I have watched, read and/or listened to, month by month, mostly with personal ratings.

There is the possibility of making separate posts about particular seasons or books.

Here is my list of genre related activities for January, 2019 :

Finished seasons :
Chronicles of Shannara Seasons 1 and 2 (7/10)
Into The BadlandsTV (seasons 1-3) (7/10)
Riverdale S1 (7/10)
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina S1 (including xmas special) (8/10)
Titans S1 (7/10)
The Flash S4 (8/10)
Arrow S3 (re-watch) (7/10)
MarvelRunaways S1 (7/10)
ThePunisher Season 2 (7/10)
Black Lightning Season 2. I realized it continued in February, so deduct it here and I will add it to Watching in Progress

Watching in progress :
StarTrek Discovery S2 1 ep per week
Roswell New Mexico in progress one ep per week

Magicians S4 – weekly episodes

Black Lightning Season 2

Watched with friends :
Highlander S2 in progress (re-watch for me)
Jeremiah S1 in progress (re-watch for me)
Pine Gap S1 (8/10)
Berlin Station (in progress)

 

Reading :
Book 1 of the Broken Earth trilogy by N.K.Jemesin
“The Fifth Season”

 

13 seasons of TV finished, some long, some intermediate, and several short ones in one month, as well as a novel. Quite a bit, but I expect February to have a little less genre activity, due to other activities taking over.

 

Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files

Before I did my removal I had started reading the Dresden Files books.

I like the writing, the books are page turners, but with an escalating story. I have finished book 9 “White Knight”, and I will continue, slowly over the months/years. I may, at some point, be in the same position as others who had read all the books out, waiting for more.
At least, Jim Butcher writes faster than some authors, so the waiting is not that long 😉

It has been good to see the growth of Harry Dresden’s character, from a “simple” detective wizard to a rather powerful one.

In the mean time I will read some other stuff, my list is quite long.

Dresden Files – Books and TV series.

A while ago I started to read the Dresden Files series of books by Jim Butcher.

At present I have read the first 3 books of the series, and enjoyed them thoroughly. I surely intend to read further in the series, and there is no lack of material. The series has, at present 16 books out, and the total series is expected to be around 25 books. Nor these books are not the massive tomes, such as the “Song of Ice and Fire” books, so reading a book at a time, mixed with other books, will be manageable. I have the first 12 books on the Kindle, so I don’t even need to buy them before I can read them 😉

Jim Butcher is the Guest of Honour at the Eastercon in Heathrow next year, and I am considering going there if time allows.

There is a TV series that ran for a single season, 12 episodes a few years ago. I found the DVD set and watched it the past week end.
Paul Blackthorne, also known from “Arrow” plays Harry Dresden, and I like his acting in this one, but I think he is better in “Arrow”.

I found the TV series quite entertaining, after a few episodes it started to find its feet. Harry Dresden is the only person in Chicago having his occupation in the phonebook stated as “Wizard”. He helps the local police out in the strangest cases that would normally have gone unsolved.
He is a rather powerful wizard, but has dabbled in black magic which was not too popular with “The Council”. He is under essentially constant surveillance and invariably accused of the worst of intentions.

The series follows him in a series of cases, the pilot episode “Storm Front” is relatively true to the first book in the series with the same title.

The TV series is “based on” the books, but after the pilot it deviates considerably from the books, so I should be relatively spoiler safe when I resume reading the book series.

I would rate the series at an enjoyable, slightly above average 7.5/10.

I rate the first 3 books a bit higher, at a solid above average 8/10

More Audio Books : Tolkien

During some more long rides to Denmark I started listening to “The Hobbit” and got through the first volume of The Lord of the Rings trilogy “The Fellowship of the Ring”.

All read by Rob Ingliss, I find him an excellent reader who renders voices and accents for the characters very nicely. I find his reading gives me the feeling of an epic story – well, I already know the epic scope of the story having read it several times. Very enjoyable, rendering the poetic parts as well as the terror parts of the story very well. Powerful reading.

Tolkiens reinvention of the mythical story is, of course, another part of the attraction for me. In my view he is one of the great story tellers of the 20th century.

On later travels, I look forward to listening to the two final volumes – again. Oh, the joys of having an MP3 player in the car, since I find the radio channels on the way either boring or unnerving.

Hugo 2010 Novelette : “One of our Bastards is Missing” by Paul Cornell

I have mainly known Paul Cornell from his stories in the Doctor Who universe (“Father’s Day” and “Human Nature/Family of Blood”). his is my first Cornell story outside that.

Nice to see that he is nominated in two categories this story is best Novelette and also in the graphic story category – mor about the graphic story later.

This one starts nicely out, the protagonist, a security officer is confronted with a mystery at the wedding of the princess.

The story has a slight surreal feel, but at the end it is quite consistent. So we have got mystery, betrayal and a good wrap-up.

Two more novelettes to go, and for now my choice is between this one and the Eugie Foster one

8/10

Hugo Awards 2010 Fan Art

Finally I decided to become a “supporting member” of Worldcon2010 (Aussiecon).

This means that I have been downloading the “Hugo Voter Package” with the majority of the material nominated for the Hugo Awards. When unpacked this amounts to a whopping 700MB, including 5-6 each of Novels, Novellettes, Novellas and Short Stories, as well as a fair bit of Fan and pro magazines, fan and pro artworks.

Last year I started out with reading the novels ( the short stories had already been listened to as podcasts ) and I think that was somewhat of a mistake, since I never got to anything shorter than the novels (apart from the short stories) before the time to vote had come.

This year the plan is to go the opposite way, so I started looking at the:

Fan Artist category in the package :

Brad W. Foster,
David Howell,
Steve Stiles and
Taral Wayne

All were nominated for graphics art in different styles, except David Howell who designed the base for the 2009 Hugo award.

David Howell will be my choice of Fan Artist for the Hugo Awards 2010. I like the design a lot and I think he deserves to be recognized for the work he did.

Will I be disappointed if someone else wins ? Not at all, this just reflects my preference.

Hugo award voting and material, an overview

As a preparation for the voting for the Hugo Awards 2009 I downloaded the package of material from their website, and listened to some the short stories on a variety of podcasts, and watched what I could easily get hold of.

There was not enough time to read the rest of the material.

This is what I got to see or read before voting :

Dramatic presentations, short form :

Doctor Who : ‘Turn Left’
Doctor Who : ‘Silence in the Library’/’Forest of the Dead’
Battlestar Galactica : ‘Revelations’
I would have liked to see more, especially ‘Doctor Horrible’s Sing Along Blog’ . I was not aware that the DVD version from the US was Region Free, so missed out on that one. I will have to get it some time

Dramatic presentations, long form :

‘The Dark Knight’
‘Iron Man’

Novels :

Charles Stross : Saturns Children
Neil Gaiman : Graveyard Book
Cory Doctorow : Little Brother
John Scalzi : Zoe’s Tale

Short stories (audio podcast format) :

Ted Chiang : ‘Exhalation’
Michael Swanwick : ‘From Babel’s Fall’n Glory We Fled’
Mike Resnick : ‘Article of Faith’
Kij Johnson : ’26 Monkeys, Also the Abyss’

A bit of info on my preferences will follow when I get to the different categories.

I still have some novellettes and novellas on my reader that I will want to read, but at the moment I am busy reading a much older Science Fiction story, EE ‘Doc’ Smith’s ‘Lensman’ Series

More details when I get to watch/read more of the stuff, and a few more thoughts on the stuff I am reading/watching