Tag Archives: reviewing

Retro Review: Shattered, Broken Fairy Tales (2012)

Rabia Gale

Amazon Digital Services (2012)

ASIN: B007WY7O60

What an astonishing collection. If you have ever read Robin McKinley’s fairy tale retellings, or any of the Terri Windling and Ellen Datlow anthologies which reboot traditional stories, you might have some idea of what Shattered does to tales you think you know. In three short pieces, Gale truly breaks the established conventions of well-known stories and turns you upside down in your understanding of how these should work, with excellent results. Continue reading

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New Review: To Shape the Dark (2016)

Athena Andreadis (ed.)

Candlemark & Gleam (May, 2016)

ISBN: 9781936460670

I’m not really a science person. I love science fiction and fantasy, but I know that that science stuff is mostly trappings as far as I’m concerned (because I often don’t understand it – and generally don’t care…) and as long as it’s plausible and doesn’t interfere with my enjoyment of a great story with characters I love (and hate), then I’m good with it. Which is why an anthology all about female scientists is a little intimidating. Not because of the women (duh) but because they all have to be scientists! What if I didn’t “get” it? What if the science is complicated and hard and makes me feel stupid? I was a little nervous going in, but the editor was very sneaky and started the book with stories that were so powerful and so well written that I quickly became immersed and forgot that lady scientists were the purpose because the stories were all that mattered. Which is exactly how it should be. Because even though being a scientist is both integral to the protagonists in each of the stories in the book, and these stories revolved around the protagonist’s profession, it’s not the science that matters – as with any good story, it’s the characters and their journeys that do the heavy lifting. Continue reading

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Second Chance – will it get one?

second-chance-posterSecond Chance may be one of the most interesting shows nobody watched in the past six months. There’s very little likelihood it’s going to get any more than the (shortened) 11 episodes that have just finished airing, because no one is talking about it. The Wikipedia episode entries stopped being updated at episode five. That’s a pretty damning indictment. And yet, despite a few reservations (and let’s face it, we have those even about the very best, most popular shows), I’ve looked forward to watching it every week. It’s been engaging and action-packed and character-driven and fascinating. And it’s based on the story of Frankenstein. What’s not to like?

Warning, there will be general spoilers for some aspects of the show contained below!

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Squeeing over Supergirl: Human for a Day, S01E07

David McDonald and Tehani Wessely have been squeeing about the new Supergirl television show for months, so they decided to take time each week to discuss the new episodes as they air. They may occasionally rope in their friends to get excited too.

Supergirl_1920x1080_586896_640x360Supergirl – Episode 7, “Human for a Day”

TEHANI: I have watched this episode three times and I’m still struggling to come up with anything terribly *interesting* to say about it! I mean, it wasn’t awful. The dialogue didn’t suck horribly. The effects weren’t eye-rollingly bad. The characterisation stayed true to the established story so far. So why do I feel so “meh” about it?

DAVID: I don’t know! There was actually a lot happening in this episode, and some really good moments.

127966TEHANI: There were some very cool bits. I LOVED the reveal at the end that Hank is J’onn J’onzz – I got goosebumps! Although tell my why Alex has to keep it secret from Kara? And I teared up when Supergirl talked down the thugs in the store, and James’s face when he took those photos was great.

DAVID: Well, I am big enough to admit when I am wrong! I didn’t see that coming at all, so it was a great reveal to me. Now that it doesn’t matter, a bit of background. Hank Henshaw is a scientist/astronaut who is rescued by Superman when a space mission goes wrong, but his wife dies and he goes insane and blamed Superman—it’s a bit like the story they gave for Reactron. He comes back as cyborg, and is one of the Superman impersonators in the Death of Superman story arc. So, when I heard the name and saw the red glowing eyes, you can imagine what I assumed.

J’onn is a great character, so I am excited to see what they do with him. But, I am a little worried that it will suffer in comparison to Smallville where he plays a similar sort of protector/guide role. I am going to suspend judgement though.   Continue reading

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Squeeing over Supergirl: Red Faced, S01E06

David McDonald and Tehani Wessely have been squeeing about the new Supergirl television show for months, so they decided to take time each week to discuss the new episodes as they air. They may occasionally rope in their friends to get excited too.

Supergirl_1920x1080_586896_640x360

Supergirl – Episode 6, “Red Faced”

DAVID: Well, we are now at Episode 6, and in some ways the show is starting to hit its stride—but in some ways not so much. I feel like the show is trying to say some really important things about sexism and equality, but I’m afraid that sometimes the execution doesn’t measure up. I know the feeling, sometimes when I am writing I feel like I can’t do certain subjects justice, that I don’t have the the necessary tools or ability, and it can be incredibly frustrating. But, I am not a professional screenwriter, either!

Supergirl S01E06 Army Lucy
TEHANI
: Did you catch the line about the President being a woman? It was blink and miss, but cute. I agree though, the spirit is definitely willing in what they are trying to do but the flesh is sometimes weak. Having said that, I think it’s great that the attempt is being made, particularly considering the audience the show is aimed at.

Supergirl S01E06 WinnDAVID: I liked the exploration of acceptability of being angry, and I think Cat nails it when she says women can’t be angry in the business world. You only have to look at the difference in terminology that people use to describe the same mood depending on gender, or even the jokes about hormones etc that men never get, to know how true this is. James makes a good point though, about black men not being encouraged to show anger either, and I think that is probably one of the best lines of the episode—subtly inserted in to point out an inequality, lacking some of the clumsiness of other equally valuable societal observations.

Supergirl S01E06 JamesTEHANI: Agreed! This stuff was handled well, I thought. Cat Grant is totally my favourite thing ever – they are using her as a mouthpiece and doing it quite successfully. And isn’t it just so fantastic that we HAVE James to be able to say these sort of things? Red-headed, white Jimmy Olsen wouldn’t quite get away with it. Oh look, diversity, see what can be done?! Continue reading

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