The Martian gets halfway there

It’s taken forever, but I finally got around to reading The Martian, the first book from my “Your Next Great Read” list put together by an actual person from my local library. At first blush, I really liked it, but the more I thought about it, the more I started to see cracks that make it something I definitely enjoyed but not something I’ll buy or read again.


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10 movies I’m glad I watched in 2013

I’ve been looking over my list of movies on DVD/Streaming from 2013, and have weeded 43 down to a quick top 10 in no particular order, based solely on gut-reaction. I see a definite theme:

Doctor Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog: A 45-minute science-fictiony comedy musical thing starring Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Fillion and Felicia Day. The cast and creator Joss Whedon drew me to this, but it’s awesomeness keeps me coming back. A neat story, great characters and catchy songs.

The A-Team: I was five when the series ended in 1987, and it was never one of the things I watched in re-runs, but I adore this 2010 movie. There’s adventure, good plans (that come together), and just a teeny, tiny touch of love story, and is just overall a ton of fun.

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I’ll go a few rounds with NBC’s ‘Revolution’…

NBC’s “Revolution” has its official premiere this coming Monday (9 p.m. – central time), but I watched a sneak peek of the pilot today on Hulu. It’s going to be worth giving a shot, I think.

This is the series where all the world’s electricity just up and stops working one day and now it’s 15 years later and very Wild West-like. The biggest sticking sticking point I — and most people I’ve heard talk about it — have is the science of it all. What made all the electricity stop working? Why don’t batteries work? What about wind power? How did planes go from flying around in the sky to immediately spiraling downward?

Those questions are answered five minutes in with the line “Physics went insane! The world went insane, overnight,  and nobody knows why!” and for now, that’s enough for me. Because it’s clear by the handful of people possessing tiny USB drives disguised as pendants that turn the power back on so broken down computers can use dial-up to secretly talk to people all DOS-like, that somebody knows why. Granted, the reason will still probably be loads of what I like to call “Not Science,” but if the story and the characters are compelling enough, I can overlook a degree of Not Science.

And so far, the people and the story are reasonably compelling. And what they lack is made up for with some pretty fun swordplay, bows and arrows and network TV violence. And, speaking as a fan of “Star Wars,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Angel” — I’m down for a decent spot of good swordplay and network TV-level violence. Continue reading