I’ve been busier creating more than consuming of late, and I’ve also taken some tedious life detours, but here’s the latest “what I’ve been enjoying” scoop.
1636 Chronicles of Dr. Gribbleflotz: Kerryn Offord & Rick Boatright. Fun, lighthearted alternate history sf/fantasy. It’s an installment in the Ring of Fire bookset. (21 novels, 7 anthologies and going strong.) That is both an asset and a drawback. Good: It’s a familiar world, yet it is so thoroughly filled with unique characters that nothing ever feels like a retread. Bad: There are so many intersecting plots that it’s easy to lose track of all the tangential characters who get mentioned. And it’s just…there.
Wild Harmonic: Beth Patterson. Great setting, clever concept, urban fantasy that feels urban AND fantastic. Good, solid fun read. Reminded me a little of War for the Oaks in that it’s all about musicians and hidden worlds, but it’s also nothing like WFtO, and I was immensely pleased that it captured the feel of New Orleans as I’ve experienced it instead of going all cliche smoky-sugary-angsty vampire-packed like certain other NOLA-based series do. I liked it so much that I barely minded it using present tense. And I do not get along with present tense at all. Nope.
I’m including a purchase link with because it’s also a brand new book by an author I know, that isn’t available in most bookstores (REMEMBER TO ASK YOUR LIBRARY TO BUY IT) and well, you know how I am about pushing things I like. Here you go: BUY LINK.
Once Broken Faith (and more) Seanan McGuire. More urban fantasy. All fae, all the time. I started this series with book 1 and I love the way it’s developed. This is the the latest, and I embarked upon a re-read. I think the plot doesn’t hit its stride until book 3 or 4, much like the Dresden novels, and like those, I enjoy a periodic visit down memory lane. I’m into the third book again.
Viewings both TV and Movies
Supergirl continues. Season 2 moved to the CW, and I still like it.
Frequency. New series based on the same concept as the movie from 2000. (Cross-time ham radio communication between parent & child.) Was recommended to me by someone who knows my dislike for time travel, so I risked the pilot. Glad I did. Four episodes in, it’s atmospheric, dramatic, polished and well-acted.
Designated Survivor got booted off the viewing list. They put in five good episodes before pulling out the flags, regressive ideas and dog whistles, but they did, and now I’m out.
Veronica Mars. The Movie. It did a good job of capturing the feel of the television series, the story was engaging, and I enjoyd it. There is something to be said for fan service, and this movie did it well.
Locke. I don’t remember why I ordered this movie from Netflix even after viewing it. Tom Hardy may have entered into the decision process. It was an interesting exercise in storytelling through conversation, it was a phenomenal character piece…and it all takes place in a car, driving at night. Hrrrrrrm.
Silver Chalice. Paul Newman. This oldie was showing late-night on a commercial free channel. I hadn’t seen it in 40 years and decided what the hell. Good choice? I dunno. Perfect for the time, but I in pain on pain meds. It was as awful, stilted, and trippy this time around as when I was young and didn’t know how bad bad could get. It’s like a sword & sandals New Testament epic interpreted by someone taking LSD. So weird. SO BAD.
Dr Strange. Cumberbatch + cape + special effects+ fabulous cast = excellence. Wong the librarian is glorious, and Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One…well. I can’t think of a movie she’s in where I haven’t adored her. (Yes, even the awful Constantine movie. She was phenomenal in that, and she’s delightful in Dr. Strange.) ANYway. It was good. I’ll see it again. I’ll own it. And when Thor 3 comes out, I might have slightly higher than bargain basement hopes for it, since it appears it will star, Thor, Loki AND Dr. Strange. (swoon)
That’s all in the “taking things in” category.
Kitchen magic: Made apple crisp and applesauce and only burned some of it. Used up old frozen bananas and stale beer to make delicious banana beer bread, proving bad ingredients can make tasty results. Laid in the first of the frozen winter cookie doughs. PErfected my salsa/rice/chicken lazy bake. And last week all my food energies went into making puddings, jelloes and experimental mashed potato varieties, courtesy of oral surgery recovery.
For those keeping score, I like strawberry jello and red raspberry but not black raspberry–and never lime or orange–and the pudding has to be the kind that gets cooked in pot and chilled. Vanilla is best. Seriously. Baked sweet potatoes mash super well in a bowl with butter, salt and onion powder, but mashed white potatoes are better if they’re boiled, drained and whipped together with cheddar cheeses, milk (and butter. Because butter is the secret of life.)
Dirt therapy: SPOUSEMAN AND I GOT OUR FALL BULBS PLANTED RIGHT! I wouldn’t be all shouty-caps excited except that last year I…didn’t. Spouseman buys some every year as a little treat to our spring selves, and we plant them together. Last autumn nothing was fun and life fell on our heads and I ended up shoving bulbs into the ground like a manic squirrel around Thanksgiving so I could stop feeling guilty about spending the money. It worked out, the bulbs all came up, but the experience was neither relaxing nor healthy. This year, there was a day of sunshine and digging and much satisfied soreness the next day. Huzzah.
And that’s all the all there is right now.
Obligatory regular reminder: I write books that can be bought with money all over the interwebs. NOT ONLY ON AMAZON! Here are some handy links.
Weaving in the Ends books2read.com/u/47kr0j
And I shouldn’t leave out Amazon because 3 books are exclusively available there: author.to/kmherkes
Audible.com even has audio editions of some books. You can buy them direct on Amazon or iBooks too.