Review: I Am Providence by Nick Mamatas

I Am ProvidenceI Am Providence by Nick Mamatas

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I went into this book pretty excited. The premise sounded like a lot of fun, and I liked Mamatas’ The Damned Highway. Unfortunately, this was a 3 star book for various reasons that only managed to get its fourth star from me because I did find myself regularly compelled to continue turning the page just for the murder mystery plot.
Unlike other reviewers, I mostly enjoyed the protagonist, Colleen Danzig. The parts that bothered me revolved around the victim’s point of view. Originally, those chapters were very entertaining and promised a very Lovecraftian answers. I felt that the story never delivered on those answers.
Once again, the murder mystery plot was very good, and felt like an homage to Poirot or Sherlock.
What Mamatas did, and what I think makes me uncomfortable enough to lose enjoyment during this novel, was write a novel aimed at the very specific audience of the Lovecraft crowd, and then use that sniper focus to shine a jaded mirror on that very same crowd, all while stating very plainly in that reflection that they are all whiney and opinionated enough that if they complained there would be no validity to their man-baby cries. My question is why someone would pick a target audience to write to and then insult it.
The answer, that I suspect, was that Mamatas was going for realism, but from the point of view of a fan who was tired of his fandom’s more negative people. If you’re a fan of Ghostbusters, Star Wars, or just about any series that’s been rebooted or sequeled in the last few years, than you’ve probably experienced similar feelings. You want to enjoy the medium, but when you go online, have a conversation with someone, go onto a Facebook group, or actually go to a CON than you’ll run into so many people that are adamantly argumentative about things you thought were just fun.
You can see this also in Mamatas’ mention of the Indie Author crowd. He brings up how getting found doesn’t mean anything other than a few more bucks and maybe a movie deal that won’t ever happen. How everyone with a pen makes an anthology or a publishing house. He complains from the perspective of someone who’s tired of hearing everyone else complain.
And he gets kind of mean about it.
I get it, there are a ton of stereotypes regarding the fans of Lovecraft, and honestly, I’ve never attended more than one convention-styled event, in a guy’s basement, filled with some of the stereotypes described in his book. The problem was that this book comes across as an angry “letter to the editor” about the fandom, his dislike of the conventions, and the people that he’s been stuck at his author booths talking to. As if he wrote this on a grumpier day in his career.
The last page of the book, the Acknowledgements, even states “First I must thank Jeremy Lassen, whose desire for one more Mythos novel from me inspired this book. He will never ask again, clearly.” And then he ends it with “As it turns out, writing a novel is a lonely business.”
Wow, that’s just bleak as Hell.
But the plot for the murder mystery was great. There’s a great story in this book and for that alone I think this novel deserved praise. Mamatas obviously wanted to put forth a good story.
It’s just unfortunate that his good story got mired in his hate letter to his fans.

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Review: Agent G-Saboteur by C.T. Phipps

Agent G, as described in the first book in C.T. Phipps’ cyberpunk novels, is an international assassin. Much like Liam Nissan, he has a very specific set of skills.
But that’s a very two-dimensional look at a very three-dimensional character. These novels, though fun, gritty, cyberpunk looks at spy adventure, and sold as cyberpunk, are actually the definitive example of perfect Science Fiction.
What do I mean by that? Science Fiction is meant to be a mirror that reflects back a very human idea but framed in an analogy that makes it clearer to understand. Historically, the best Science Fiction asks us to examine what it means to be alive, or the roles of gender, or in the case of the Agent G series, what it means to be human.
As an author, Phipps uses plot to flesh out and develop his characters. They are always relatable to the reader, but fundamentally broken, and Phipps uses his unique skill to take them on a journey that mends them through development and plot. Agent G, does this in a manner that is both the same, yet uniquely different. Through the quips and puns that are Phipps way, we meet G as a character that is entertaining to read along with, but is by definition “Perfect” and “Not Human.” G is a cyborg, a clone, a computer program, and an assassin. In the words of Tony Stark, everything that makes G special came out of a bottle.
What we get in Agent G: Saboteur is a desire by G to be less than he is. He doesn’t want to be the perfect killing machine that’s a copy of something or someone else. He doesn’t want to be owned or beholden to anyone. And he’d like to actually understand the pop cultural references that he makes because he partakes in pop culture, not because it was programmed into him. He doesn’t want to live longer, so much as have a life that’s entirely his own (and live longer, too, but that’s secondary). The journey of Agent G isn’t the mending of a broken man, it’s the humanizing of the perfect killing machine.
That brings me back to my calling this Cyberpunk Spy novel, Science Fiction. The mirror this story and character hold up to us is the question of humanity and what it means to be human. In this entire book there are very few people that fall under the definition of human, and those that do (James, Marissa, Douglas, and Daniel) are incredibly flawed to the point of being gross examples of the human race. G has no one to emulate, but a lot of artificial intelligence acquaintances who, without ever saying it, want the same thing. The Science Fiction question in all of this is “How human is human?” and “Is humanity the meat or the mind?” Those are just a few of the questions in this book that G demands get answered without ever verbalizing his need.
Another poignant question from this book: Have Humans lost their Humanity? This gets examined in the human characters of this series. Can humanity survive a surge in technology? Will the Singularity destroy them or will they adapt?
So many great questions come out of this series and specifically this book, and on top of that it’s a cyberpunk spy novel!
Simply put, Phipps wrote a fun spy novel that turned out to be a very deep Science Fiction piece of art.
Well done. 5 Stars.

Review: FNAF-The Silver Eyes by Scott Cawthon and Kira Breed-Wrisley

The Silver Eyes (Five Nights At Freddy's #1) by [Breed-Wrisley, Kira, Scott Cawthon]A few years ago, I realized that while I might not want to play certain video games, I still wanted to know the story that was written in those games. This, combined with my general love of all things horror, led me to start watching Markiplier’s Let’s Play videos that cover the Five Nights at Freddy’s series. The aforementioned “King of Five Nights at Freddy’s” was both entertaining and caused me to jump with every jump scare that he subjected himself to. That being said, the most intriguing thing about those games was the hidden story elements that Markiplier would discover as he played through each terror-filled evening.
Needless to say, I quickly became hooked. The story elements were sparse and spread out over each of the games (now up to 6 and kind of a 7th) and implied a tale of murder turned supernatural possession. If you search the internet for the entire timeline or story, you won’t find any two answers the same. We’re given just enough information to make us crave more, and it makes these stories very addicting.
I’ve even taken the time, while rewatching each secret from Markiplier’s episodes, to try and sketch out my own timeline for what happens and I soon become so mired in facts and theories that the whole thing collapses. Simply put, the games are scary and the plot is a literal mystery.
I’m explaining my rather addicted history with FNaF to explain what urged me to pick up and listen to the audio book FNaF: The Silver Eyes, by Scott Cawthon and Kira Breed-Wrisley. While the book (and the entire franchise, for some reason) seem to be aimed at the Young Adult market, I wanted both a good horror story and to finally figure out what the story for this franchise actually is.
The first thing that I should mention is that this book is not, in anyway, an explanation of the story presented (in parts) during the video game. From what I’ve found online, Scott Cawthon thinks of it as more of an alternate telling to FNAF 1.
The book follows Charlie and her friends as they get together at the 10 year reunion of the death of their friend, Michael, who disappeared at the original Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzaria. It happened when they were little, and while memories might not be trustworthy after a decade, a horrifying experience can usually cement them into place. Together, the teenagers put together the clues that help them discover the original Freddy Fazbear’s and the mysteries it holds within.
In it’s own way, (parallel universe, remember) it answers the questions of who Purple Guy is, who made the suits/animatronics, who Springtrap is, and the natural progression of the murders/disappearances through the different franchises. As a matter of fact, a lot of what we learn during the book fits well with my own theories on the timeline in FNAF with the only major differences being how they handled Henry’s life (Henry being the man who invented the original animatronics). Also, I don’t think, or at least have any evidence toward, the existence of Charlie in the game world. She mourns her twin brother who died at the original Fazbear diner, but in the game, she’s not mentioned. Plus, in Pizzaria Simulator, Henry mentions that his daughter’s name is Elizabeth. To be fair, it gets really confusing once you start diving into the mythos of this stuff, and it’s best if we just stick to them being separate worlds, for sanity’s sake.
That being said, this entire book read less like a story from a video game world for young adults, and more like a horror movie that would be better than a lot of what’s to offer from Netflix’s horror selection (I’ve watched a lot of Netflix horror…just sayin’). The writers manage to bring to life the feeling of dread that the game does through the waiting for jump scares. That’s something that’s not easy to do in a book. That being said, I was left wanting in regards to more detail regarding Henry’s life and I have a huge (I mean HUGE) question regarding William Afton’s…condition. There is a second book, and I will be getting that soon as well, so maybe those answers will be found between those pages.
4 out of 5 Stars.

Arrow 6×07 “Thanksgiving” Review

Per the usual disclaimer: This is recaps and highlights of my favorite superhero shows from the CW. There will be spoilers. If you are not caught up on ARROW this week you will not want to read beyond this point.
I’m also going to try doing it in a simpler format. I’ve gotten rid of my play by play reactions and am opting to write a single shorter review post for each show instead of the super long reviews I have been doing. Let me know what you think.
Oliver gets arrested and Cayden James has a huge secret vendetta against the Green Arrow.
Oliver was finally arrested by the Feds, and after a huge episode about the importance of promises kept to children, Oliver is pissed because the Feds are making it look like he broke his promise to his kid. Cayden James and his evil team are making it look like they are going to build a nano-thermite bomb and blow up a stadium at a Billy Joel concert. All of this happens while Diggle tries Curtis’s prototype nerve-damage repair tech, and goes into major steroid withdrawals over it. If he continues to be the Arrow, he’ll become completely paralyzed.
Nice going, Curtis.
Oliver decides that how he’s treated John during the whole “nerve-damage” scandal isn’t fair, so until Diggle can put the hood back on, Oliver is going to do it again. He confronts Cayden James at the concert while Team Arrow takes out a bunch of fake cops, and Cayden explains that there is no bomb, not yet anyway, he just wanted a moment alone to tell the Green Arrow that for some secret reason that has to do with Cayden’s kid, he’s got a big and bad vendetta against him.
We are left to speculate what that Vendetta could be.
In the meantime, somebody video taped Team Arrow fighting the fake cops and released it right before the Vigilante vote, causing vigilantism to become illegal in Starling City again.
The other two big things that happened are Oliver lied to William about putting on the Hood and Thea Woke UP! The lie is going to bite Oliver in the ASS very hard, but it’s ok to ignore that because THEA WOKE UP.
After Wally’s return in The Flash and now Thea in Arrow, I’m wondering what kind of antics we can expect to see in the big Crossover event from those two.
As for my thoughts on this episode, we got to see the return of Oliver as the Arrow, which I liked, and we saw more of Captain Lance which is never a bad thing. We also have the motivations of the bad guy set up, nowhere near as solid as in The Flash, but its there.
The big fail, is this stuff with the Feds. I feel like Lyla would have got them off Oliver’s back by now, and whereas she also wasn’t anywhere around when Diggle was in the hospital. That’s kinda weird.
Can we get to the Crossover now?

Legends of Tomorrow 3×07 “Welcome to the Jungle”

Per the usual disclaimer: This is recaps and highlights of my favorite superhero shows from the CW. There will be spoilers. If you are not caught up on LEGENDS OF TOMORROW this week you will not want to read beyond this point.
I’m also going to try doing it in a simpler format. I’ve gotten rid of my play by play reactions and am opting to write a single shorter review post for each show instead of the super long reviews I have been doing. Let me know what you think.
The team ends up in Vietnam during the height of the conflict and it looks like Grodd has been kidnapping and brainwashing people from both sides of the conflict. The other big plot is Mick (our favorite) meeting his father before he can come home to raise, abuse, and die at Mick’s hands. Mick is weird about it, he doesn’t want to meet the man he burned to death, it kind of defeats the point of the murder.
This episode was great in that it brought back Grodd, and I love Grodd, but it also gives us some great backstory on Mick. The other big thing it does is ask a question that has been on everyone’s mind since Stein’s relative showed up in Victorian England: Why are this anachronisms occurring around the relatives of the Legends? First Stein’s ancestor, then Ray as a kid, and now Mick’s dad. Is someone trying to take out the Legends, or maybe change who they are?
We also get a Jax in this episode who wants to see if he can survive on the team as a hero without the use of Firestorm (if Stein leaves). Jax manages to save the President of the United States without lighting up.
It was a great episode and makes me excited to watch what happens at the Crossover next week.
Love the Ghostbusters reference, by the way. “There is no Sara, only Grodd.”

The Flash 4×07 “Therefore I Am” Review

Per the usual disclaimer: This is recaps and highlights of my favorite superhero shows from the CW. There will be spoilers. If you are not caught up on THE FLASH this week you will not want to read beyond this point.
I’m also going to try doing it in a simpler format. I’ve gotten rid of my play by play reactions and am opting to write a single shorter review post for each show instead of the super long reviews I have been doing. Let me know what you think.
The Flash opened up this episode exactly where the last episode took off.  Clifford DeVoe is a guy in a wheelchair who couldn’t possibly be The Thinker… Except that he is, and Barry knows it, but there’s no way to prove it and all of Team Flash thinks he’s being Barry from last season. If you recall, that Barry was paranoid and angry. He’s seeming super paranoid this time around, but it’s well founded. I mean, DeVoe is in a wheelchair…Flash learned a long time ago that he shouldn’t trust a guy in a wheelchair.
That being said, there are two big contradictions in this episode. The first being that Barry is off the wall paranoid. To the point that he is sloppy.  The second contradiction is that Team Flash doesn’t believe Barry. At this point, it’s completely out of character for any of them not to believe  Barry. They trust Caitlyn to not be Frost, but that can’t trust the Forensic Specialist/Superhero.
The best part of this episode was all of the flashbacks. We got some great shots of Wellsobard (Eobard Thawne as Harrison Wells) from season 1 as well as a great backstory for the villain. The backstory, this early in the season, gave us more flavor for the villain, and humanized him, than if we did it later, like with Savitar. Instead of making the big suspense about who he is, which is a cheaper suspense, they make the big bad scary by giving him a backstory and showing that he’ll go to any length for what he wants. Now we have to worry about how smart he is and what he’s capable of.
Either way, this episode rounded up with everyone believing Barry after Clifford confesses to him.
This was a good episode, but as far as feel, it felt like a mix of Barry from season 3 and villain from season 1.
The most important part of this episode is that Wally is back, and he fought Starro! Starro is Earth-1 canon now. Woot!

Review: History is Wrong by Von Daniken


This book was a doozy. Seriously, I had to finish a liter of vodka just to choke this stuff down. Heck, that was after taking the pound and a half of cocaine.

Erich von Daniken started his research asking a couple of cousins and waiters if they knew what the Voynich Manuscript was. As expected, their answers were all in the negative.

Heck, I’m a professional archaeologist and I don’t even know what it is!

But I digress…

After Erich von Daniken asks about a 100 of these goobers he explains that everyone’s lack of knowledge on the subject is indicative of the lack of knowledge of the subject in academic circles. This, and only this, is the only point in this entire book in which I will agree with Erich von Daniken.

The purpose of archaeological studies (as I’ve stated repeatedly) is to enlighten and educate. The Voynich Manuscript is a 15th or 16th century, currently untranslated, document. Shy of a press release dating and marking its provenience, the public wouldn’t have heard anything about the manuscript until it has been interpreted. Instead of jumping on the sane train and saying what I just said, Erich von Daniken instead decides to state that the lack of public knowledge on the subject is instead part of some plot to hide what most academics are too close minded to admit: we can’t decipher it because it was written by aliens.


Yes. Aliens.

Fact: the Voynich manuscript is written in an, as of yet, undeciphered script.

Fact: the Voynich manuscript has detailed star/sun charts.

Scientific conclusion? An as of yet undetermined culture had the mathematical and observational skills to plot star/sun charts.

The Erich Von Daniken conclusion? Our inability to interpret the foreign language implies no failing on our part but instead implies that beings much smarter than us wrote it. Also, the detailed star charts are obviously contrived from mathematics too complex for early man to decipher and are indicative of beings who have grander perspectives than early man.

The Erich Von Daniken conclusion that I just gave you is basically all of “History is Wrong” pertaining to the Voynich manuscript. You’ll also find that when reading this book you come across, repeatedly, two signature pseudoscience tools:

The first of these tools is the “piece it together yourself” questioning. Pseudoscience is opinion based over factual. For this reason, after a pseudoscientist makes a claim he/she will usually follow it up with a question instead of a factual explanation. This is a con man slide. It chooses to engage you in hopes that while contemplating related conclusions you’ll not question the lack of cited evidence. When asked to answer a question, you’re usually too busy answering to take the time to say “Woah…wait a second…that doesn’t make sense.”

Politicians use it too…a lot.

The second, and probably slightly more annoying, tool in the pseudoscientist toolbox is one I like to call “Look at my big friend…” This method is the presentation of proof that you know someone famous instead of proof to your claims. Its a means of von Daniken to say “I must be right because this famous person wrote me a letter.” The major example in this book is the letter from Neil Armstrong, also known as the first man to step on the moon.

In short, von Daniken claims to have been part of an excavation that discovered a metal library within a cave system in Los Tayos, in South America. After the supposed discovery, he claims that the press had covered it up and wouldn’t believe him, he also takes this moment to point out that documentation that would prove his point (photographs, journal entries) are simply missing (at one point, even saying “(my archive is missing)”[page 130 opposite the letter from Armstrong]). He then claims to have just surrendered until he heard that another crew had visited the excavation and brought along Armstrong.

Von Daniken mails Armstrong a letter asking for his take on the alien library in the caves and Armstrong states: “I understand that there have been magazine articles in Germany and Argentina which reported on the excavation and related it to your theories…I was asked in Ecuador whether I had observed any evidence of highly developed societies having been in the area, and I answered that I had not.” He continued the letter stating that he appreciated the offer to accompany von Daniken on an excavation but would have to refuse.

So…Armstrong said no aliens. Pretty clear cut, right?

Erich Von Daniken instead states that the letter is proof that he has been victimized by the media and that Armstrong had given him his full support. Very simply, a celebrity contacted von Daniken in response, and von Daniken is using it to drum up popularity.

This of course follows Erich Von Daniken’s refuting of the comments in the media that he admitted to never actually being in the caves in Ecuador.

I shall answer this one from personal experience.

I, Matt the Spaz, have actually watched the interview in which Erich Von Daniken states that he had never been to the caves. Back in college, in Riddles of the Past 101 with Dr. Marqusee, we watched the whole video and not only does he say that he’s never been to the caves, but also that half of the Nazca lines that he claimed were landing pads for alien beings he had never actually visited. He ended the interview saying that, when he writes his books, he knows he’s writing for an audience and that he brings a large portion of poetic license into each book he writes.

For those of you new to literary parlance, poetic license is “make-believe.”

Finally, the book ends weak. Erich Von Daniken falls into a lull and must have noticed, because he quickly starts just repeating stuff from his other books, all of it can be found in his original, “Chariots of the Gods?“

His book ends on a quote, pleading with the audience one last time to view him as the victim.

“Those who cannot attack the thought, instead attack the thinker.” (Paul Valery 1871-1945)

In response: Erich Von Daniken I don’t see you as a victim of the media or of “mainstream archaeology.” I see you as a person who completely ignores the Scientific Method. I love your “thought.” I think its awesome. Aliens rock. The purposeful bending of scientific evidence to your theories is what I attack. Read the evidence as it is, don’t make it fit your beliefs.

Pseudoscientists are either people who failed to correctly learn the scientific method, or snake-oil salesmen.

I encourage everyone to ignore this book, go out and buy Chariots of the Gods? and laugh your butt off reading that one. In forty years, he has come up with nothing new to write.

1 star out of 5.

This post was originally written back in 2009.

Supergirl 3×07 “Wake Up” Review

Per the usual disclaimer: This is recaps and highlights of my favorite superhero shows from the CW. There will be spoilers. If you are not caught up on SUPERGIRL this week you will not want to read beyond this point.
I’m also going to try doing it in a simpler format. I’ve gotten rid of my play by play reactions and am opting to write a single shorter review post for each show instead of the super long reviews I have been doing. Let me know what you think.
Supergirl 3×07- “Wake Up”
-This week broke from what I think was a pretty solid pattern for this season and didn’t have a simple theme. This episode dealt with Kara finally getting her wish, in the return of Mon-El, but also getting a heavy dose of “Be careful what you wish for.”
As everyone kind of guessed when Mon-El disappeared into a wormhole in space last season, he went to the future and joined the Legion of Superheroes in the 31st century (Not confirmed in this episode, but yeah, that’s what happened). When a submarine gets attacked by his dormant ship buried under National City (that was very lucky) almost 12,000 years ago, Mon-El is reunited with Kara, but he’s being super shifty. I feel like everyone could figure out the big twist here as soon as Kara said, “It’s been such a long and hard 7 months.” The big twist, for those who couldn’t figure out the foreshadowing in that sentence, is that it hasn’t been 7 months for Mon-El, but has actually been 7 years (12,007 more like, but he was unconscious during that time). He moved on and married a gal from Titan, Imra Ardeen. It’s sad, but only because it’s been a much shorter time for Kara. Mon-El was infuriating in this episode. I feel like he should have just been straight forward about his situation from the moment he saw Kara. “Kara, I know this sucks, but I got sucked into the future, where they cured me of lead and I was living for seven years. Before you go getting your hopes up, you should know that, while it was incredibly difficult and heart-breaking, I did end up getting over you and falling in love with Titan lady. Sorry, can we still be besties?” The other time that he frustrated me (read that as “really pissed me off”) was when he kissed his wife right when he was about to tell Kara everything, but without actually telling her. He just runs over, kisses her and is all “Oh, right, earthlings care about tact, my bad.” Not cool dude. Obviously Kara needs a trip to a different Earth for a little while (see next week’s episode).
The other major plot of this episode was Samantha finding her own Fortress of Sanctuary (really original…seriously, what other ideas did you steal from Jor-el? Dude, that Lady Jor-el knock off was super creepy) and awakening her power that is Reign. Turns out that she’s a brainwashed world destroyer, and when Creepy Hologram lady says the magic words, Reign wakes up and pushes Samantha deep down. I’m getting a really big vibe that they are stealing from the Smallville Doomsday plot with Davis Bloome. She’s going to go all evil, then her daughter will be the only one to bring her back. It was even foreshadowed fairly heavily with the “Hear that? You’re my heart” scene.
Finally, there was a subplot of J’onn and his awesome father, Myr’nn getting an apartment to start becoming more a part of the world and rediscovering their “humanity” (martianity? I don’t know, let’s just go with “personable skills.”
All in all, it was a great episode that reminded me Jimmy existed by giving him about 30 seconds of screen time, brought back Mon-El, and finally gave Martian Manhunter some more backstory. Unfortunately, I feel as though it suffered from the same thing that I think has been plaguing this entire season: Emo-Kara. She spends every episode getting cured. Then she falls back into the pouty “I’m just gonna be an alien, because being a human hurts too much.” Which, by the way, is so damned racist. Aliens have feelings too. Ask literally anyone in that damned bard you hang out in.

CW Shows Week 6 (Fall 2017)

Per the usual disclaimer: This is recaps and highlights of my favorite superhero shows from the CW. There will be spoilers. If you are not caught up on SUPERGIRL, THE FLASH, LEGENDS OF TOMORROW, or ARROW this week you will not want to read beyond this point.
Supergirl 3×06 “Midvale”
-Theme this week is “Sisters.”
In an episode that can only be properly be described as Smallville 2.0, we got a great reminder of what makes Supergirl one of the best CW Shows: Alex and Kara’s relationship. The episode has a short intro with Kara and Alex going back to Midvale to spend a weekend trying to get over being bitchy. During that time, we get an episode worth of flashback where Kara learns what it’s like to be a human as well as a hero and Alex learns to accept freakin’ weirdos and aliens. It was a great episode who’s only flaw was making me wish for a series called “Midvale.”
Thoughts as I watch: (These are written down live as I watch the show)
  • Hey, they borrowed J’onn’s car! Love that car.
  • DEO death package pays really well. That is a nice house.
  • Alex is vulnerable. We know this because they take a moment to examine her after the shower. Showering people are vulnerable people.
  • Eliza should worry more about Kara than Alex. Kara is an emotional wreck.
  • Kara, you totally hashed this out in the first and then the second episode. Get over it. That being said, props to Eliza for rocking the the mom powers.
  • “You can make it Irish.” Kara’s the sister I never had.
  • Damn straight Alex! Tell her off! Kara’s being stupid!
  • Most sisterly fight they’ve ever had.
  • Little Alex and Kara are perfectly cast.
  • Really makes you think the Kents had it easy with having no other children and with Kal-el being a baby.
  • Really, I just feel bad for Eliza.
  • Haha, Kara is a Superman fangirl.
  • Oh hey, it’s the Midvale chapter of the Mean Girls.
  • Same school colors as Smallville.
  • Astronomy Fun! She’s going to cry over Krypton. I’m calling it.
  • Nope, no tears. She almost kissed a human, though. Seems dangerous. Passing alien plagues and such.
  • Shit! When he said “You’d be surprised what it sees,” I suddenly remembered the Tom Welling from Smallville using his telescope like a peeping tom.
  • Alex is not cool.
  • Oh No! They Killed Kenny!
  • Tough girl Kara, getting up in the jock’s face.
  • I like this cop. Must be the badguy.
  • Heat-visioning Alex might not make her like you more.
  • Clark has a friend named Chloe!!! WITH A WALL OF WEIRD! There’s a Chloe on Earth 38! I’m so happy! So Happy!
  • Shit! The Teacher is a pedophile…
  • I’d watch a Midvale series. Seriously.
  • “Crikey, watch as the sisterly bond develops between the adolescent human and her adopted alien sister. This is where it could all go wrong, or all go right! Keep back now, we don’t want to anger the females.”
  • Erica Durance is really J’onn. No one could look like her mother to that degree. J’onn’s an ass.
  • Kara needs family. Why hasn’t she called Clark.
  • Way to reverse psycho out your sister, Alex.
  • Sheriff is the Killer. That sucks. I liked him.
  • Email from CHLOE!!!!!
  • I’ll bet Alex lives…
  • Wait, random thought. If Chloe is here, does this mean that there is also a version of Oliver on this Earth that likes near-neon colors of green?
  • “Screw it,” Good call, Kara!
  • Badass Alex is always badass. It’s somehow genetic. Btw, Badass entrance for Kara.
  • Kenny Lee was cool with Secrets. He could have been Kara’s Chloe.
  • Lesson for the adults: “I’d rather be human than risk losing you.”
  • Now Kara can be a peeping tom just like her cousin.
  • Took her 10 years to set up that telescope. That’s what happens when you give a telescope to someone with telescopic vision.
  • Awwww, “I feel at home with you.”
  • “That possum came from nowhere.” – Kara, showing that she cares more for possums than white martian lives.
The Flash 4×06 “When Harry Met Harry”
-When I heard that this episode was going to happen, it became the episode that I was dying to see almost as much as the big crossover event.
The Flash plot for this story is around training Ralph to be a superhero instead of a cop. About how it’s not always about catching the bad guy so much as protecting people. Ralph learns it the hard way when he does catch the bad guy, but a little girl got hurt. Ralph learns his lesson (while making a great point that The Flash should be fast enough to catch the bad guy and protect the civilians, but plot) and ends up befriending a little girl.
The other plot in this episode revolves around Harry putting together a think tank to locate the Thinker. This is a thinly veiled reason to examine the fact that Harry doesn’t know how to make friends. He tried making friends, and the Council of Wells was made. Using Multiverse Holographic Telephones, he gathered the council and they fight too much, so Cisco has to step up and teach Harry to not look for the annoying things but to look for the things that make them the same. That’s how friendship works, by recognizing similarities to bond over.
I’m pretty sure that’s what the second plot was about. I was too busy enjoying the Council of Wells. They were hilarious.
Thoughts as I watch:
  • Same crook tries to rob Barry that did in Season 1.
  • “Stop shooting him!” -Barry, I’m kind of on Ralph’s side on this. That dumb crook sees that when he shoots Ralph he gets shot instead and then proceeds to shoot him again. Idiot.
  • “What’s the second job? Long-winded lectures before noon?” – Ralph
  • “One day, I’m going to throw a lightning bolt so far up – I’m taking him to the hospital.” Frustrated Barry is hilarious.
  • Damn, the Thinker is good. That was cool.
  • Cisco has ran out of damn’s to give.
  • Harry has friends? Haha.
  • “Pretty sure I relived my own birth.” – Cisco
  • The Therapist comes back!
  • Woah! Meta moves statues! Night at the Museum, anyone?
  • “Remember the days when we wouldn’t calmly consider a stone statue a prime suspect?” – Barry
  • Council of Wells!!!! Harrison Wolfgang Wells, H. Lathario Wells, Wells 2.0, and Wells the Gray!
  • Of course Cisco names them…
  • Wells 2.0 ate his Cisco… That’s pretty fucked up.
  • Dark Matter is the new meteor freak from Smallville. Not complaining, just noticing.
  • Puppy’s raincoat!
  • I kind of agree with Black Bison. Choke the asshole!
  • Barry Savatar’d the suit of armor.
  • “I can see your frank and beans.” – followed by – “Baby violence solves nothing.” – Council of Wells
  • “It’s like your junk has been burned into my brain.” – “You’re welcome.”
  • Ralph dropped the ball.
  • No HIPPA Laws on Earth 1. Barry and Ralph can hear a full medical diagnosis for a kid they have no reason to know anything about.
  • “I hate them, I hate them all.” – “I’d like to gouge out the other eye.” – Harry on the Council of Wells.
  • “Sometimes, you’re a Wizard, Harry.” – Cisco with the Harry Potter reference.
  • Seriously, I love the Council of Wells.
  • Touching Ralph and Barry moment.
  • Black Bison is quick with her hands.
  • Onions Everywhere! (I don’t remember why I wrote this note, so if anyone doesn’t mind reminding me. I’d appreciate it. Maybe I’ll rewatch the episode this afternoon.)
  • Dinosaur time! Getting Harry Dresden vibes…
  • Good Job Barry!
  • Good guy Ralph mailed the necklace back to the Sioux Reservation.
  • Hospitals let stretchy pervs into people’s rooms. Seriously, why would they let him in there?
  • Council of Wells succeeded!
  • Woah! The Thinker changed his outfit pretty quickly.
Legends of Tomorrow 3×06 “Helen Hunt”
-Helen of Troy is an anachronism. She ends up in 1937 at the WB and starts a corporate war over her beauty. While the Legends try to fix that issue, they also have the issue of Stein and Jax switching minds and Damien Darhk trying to use Helen to destroy time.
Thoughts as I watch:
  • 1937 at the WB, great start CW…owned by WB…
  • Holy Canoli!
  • Love the old timey Legends Logo!
  • Nanites courtesy of Ray Palmer!
  • Ha! They’ve been freaky Friday’d.
  • Great actors. Well done on the switch.
  • Hollywood Trojan War
  • “Don’t knock the Academy, Gray.”
  • Helen’s a perfect victim. Like of all time. And why do WB Execs carry guns?
  • Gray has it bad for Hedy Lamar. Of course he does.
  • I like Nate’s hat. Of course I do.
  • Mick doesn’t even try to dress up. Love it.
  • “I’d do her.” – Mick.
  • Why doesn’t Helen ask why nothing makes sense or why she’s even there?
  • Oh, they answered that.
  • Darhk is her agent and now a series regular? Love him as a villain, so I like this decision.
  • By the way, when the Crossover happens are they going to address the whole Oliver not knowing that Darhk is alive? I feel like he wouldn’t be too happy about this.
  • I’m liking the advance of the Totem plot.
  • She’s totally Amaya’s descendant.
  • Mick is crazy smart.
  • Ooooh! Ray knows her! She has to be Amaya’s descendant. He knew the water totem lady from the cartoon. They are bringing more cartoon info into it. Love it.
  • Nasty in the pasty. haha.
  • Is Helen blind? They ARE killing each other in your name.
  • I hope Helen falls for Sara. That’d solve everything.
  • Why can’t they take the mini-time-ship thing?
  • “Better not be calling in your hall pass, Gray!”
  • Sometimes, you have to be crazy if you want to burn bright. – That’s a good quote.
  • How does Darhk use magic now? In Arrow, he had that head thing that provided magic based on how many people you killed. He doesn’t have that now.
  • Pee Break!
  • Fight Time!
  • Hedy believed the nuclear man thing very easily.
  • Sara is so kickass. Seriously. Great fighting.
  • Oh right. Hedy is smart.
  • Eleanore is Darhk’s daughter!!
  • Kickass Gray!
  • “Please tell me Firestein’s a thing!” – Nate
  • Gray gets hit on by Hedy. That’s fun.
  • Thymescara is part of the Arrowverse! That also means that Zari knows about it from 2042. So, Wonder Woman must come about before then.
Arrow 6×06 “Promises Kept”
-This continues last week’s episode with Slade joining his son in the Jackals. Slade is torn between helping his son and being the better person and stopping his son’s terrorist actions. Oliver helps him figure it out.
Team Diggle, I mean, Team Arrow meets the Dragon who also happens to be Diggle’s dealer. So he has to struggle with taking out the drug dealer and not getting any more drugs, or coming clean literally and figuratively with the team. He makes the right choice and we see Lyla and Connor for the first time in a while.
Thoughts as I watch:
  • Deathstroke with nothing left to lose. Yikes.
  • Flashbacks! Touching flashback with flashbacks in it. Meta flashbacks!
  • Diggle’s drugs are wearing off.
  • Enter the Dragon!
  • Lyla! Haven’t seen her in a while. Maybe now would be a good time to ask her about getting the FBI off of your … oh, nevermind. You’re just gonna bang her.
  • Shit! No more drugs.
  • Reassignment of Resources? Vaguebook much?
  • I don’t like this Nylander guy who keeps teasing Deathstroke.
  • One Year Back From The Dead is totally a thing in the Arrowverse. Sara Lance celebrates Deathaversaries. So does Thea.
  • Somebody wishes Oliver was really his kid…
  • Mirakuru flashbacks?
  • Dragon supplies Arrow with Drugs. Introducing Ricardo Diaz.
  • Deathstroke doesn’t want to kill anyone.
  • Stress-eating time! Wild Dog is my kinda teammate.
  • Diggle knows Ricardo!
  • Honest up, Diggle, please.
  • Oliver got caught by Nylander? Right. I’ll believe that the same day I believe that Mick isn’t the best thing about Legends of Tomorrow.
  • Ghost Shadow is a bitch. Anybody weirding out seeing Slade makeout with the air? I guess they wouldn’t say anything. He might get stabby.
  • Diggle is telling Lyla! First right thing he’s done all season.
  • Blade by the eye. Not cool.
  • Oh, Joe. Don’t threaten Oliver’s son. That’s the dumbest thing you could do.
  • Yes. That was a “little too convincing.”
  • Poor Slade. Gonna have to kill his son.
  • Oliver is great this season. He’s turned into a legit good person.
  • Ricardo Diaz doesn’t show up on traffic cams, but they have surveillance of him so he’s not that good.
  • Ricardo fights with his men. That’s a good bad guy boss to work for.
  • Your days as the Arrow are done now, Diggle.
  • Nylander is totally the fall guy. Cane/Joe knows that the guy who pulls the trigger is going to die.
  • Oliver is killing again. If you recall, he kills because he “likes it.”
  • I said last week that Joe totally saw Slade kill the spy on the camping trip.
  • Brother Drop! Grant? Is the Flash his brother? Oh, no, he killed him.
  • Both of them? How is Slade going to find both of them. Grant’s dead.
  • Neat mist vanish scene.
  • Aww, Diggle’s doing the right thing!
  • Ice cream for dinner. Felicity gained cool points.
  • Damn straight you’d better apologize to Wild Dog!
  • Curtis is so right! Literally used science to make a woman walk again, he can fix your nerve damage. Seriously.
  • Haha, “Kiss ass.”
  • Of course Dinah is keeping the secrets now.

Review: Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

To be completely fair, I haven’t read the entire series of currently available titles in the Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. I’m read three of them, and I’ll try to limit my remarks to only those three titles.

First of all, I’d like to mention that the best thing about these books is the narrative. As a proper fan for the original works by the master, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, I find the voice of Dr. Watson in each of these stories to match perfectly with the vocabulary and use, as well as the mind set, of the originals.

The first I read, right at the beginning of the New Year, was The Ectoplasmic Man. The story focuses on how Harry Houdini, recently on tour in London, made the mistake of demonstrating his act in front of several police from Scotland Yard. Then the very next day a crime takes place that only an escape artist could have achieved. Naturally, the recently impressed police arrest Houdini and Holmes is fast on the case to prove the frame up. This story was awesome and silly. On the one hand it reminded me, in concept only, of Scooby Doo when he met the Globetrotters and Batman. On the other hand, it was very specifically a classic Holmes tale that availed itself towards being a Houdini biography. Even better though, was that it wasn’t written like a biography, and instead kept my rather easily bored attention span. You get to see the trials and problems that Houdini had to go through as a Jew in a still predominantly Anti-Semitic culture. And of course, I enjoy any scenes in which Mycroft Holmes gets to partake. Not because I greatly like his character or feel he was never fully fleshed out, so much as I love the interaction between the brothers. This book was great and managed to entertain me thoroughly.

On a slightly more fantasy scale of things, we have the Seance for a Vampire. Only partially narrated by Watson, as parts of his manuscript were lost or not up to the par of the more recent narrator’s opinion. The rest of it though was narrated by Dracula, the Prince of all that is unholy as well as the distant cousin to Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes.  This story involves Holmes being asked to prove foul play in the death of a young woman who is of the lineage of a thief who wronged another thief, turned vampire, 200 years previously. Long story short, she’s a vampire now, and never wanted to be. Her entire turning is treated like a rape, an interesting way to put it, as it was sexual for the evil vampire (evil because he’s not Dracula), and because she really didn’t want to be turned, and now that she has been, she hates it. And while fantastic in that it includes vampires, one thing the author does is include historical notes about the rise of Stalin and the entire Russian aristocracy, including an introduction to Rasputin. It was both a great branch off into science fiction and a great telling of another Holmes tale.

The final of the three that I’ve read is The Man From Hell. This tale was more classic Holmes than the rest I think. No guest stars and no vampires. It even had a note at the beginning from Watson about how the characters are still alive and well and how the names must be changed in the retelling, which I thought was the most classic element of all three. Holmes is called to do his own investigation into the death of Lord Blackwater, who happens to have died, as the police put it, by poachers. Holmes immediately deducts that it’s not poachers, but a flat out murder. We learn about the mid-19th century penal system known as “the System” and how it effected children and men, and we learn of a mysterious group known as the Ring. The previous two kept my attention because of their guest stars. This one kept my attention because it was just a great mystery. I couldn’t put it down when Holmes was doing his thing. This one also had some very nice notes in the back for historical context, which I think only proper since anyone writing in the early 20th century would be referencing events I would know nothing about.

Long story short, all of the Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes are more than worth your time and I encourage you to run or type your way to the mystery section of your bookstore or ereader and purchase a copy immediately.

Now I’m going to eat dinner and watch a cartoon.

So there.


This review was originally posted to an old blog of mine back on 1/27/2011.