Feature and Follow Friday

(yes, I know it’s Saturday. Day late and a a buck short is my MO)

Details are beautifully explained here: http://www.alisoncanread.com/ and here: http://parajunkee.com/

(Eight Bit’s quick version, Follow them twos, follow the featured blogger, link your blog, poke around at some of the other blogs on the list. Say “hey”, make friends. Follow anyone who follows you)

And this week’s FF Question is:

Q: What is your preferred reading format? Hardcover, eBooks, paperback etc?

Paperback. Easier to carry around than a hardcover. I don’t have an eBook device, I just use my computer, which I’m fine with and it really cuts down on time if you can just click on something and then be reading it or be reading a few pages here and there between putzing on the internet… but it’s not my favorite. I like the aesthetic of hardcovers but …yeah, too heavy and they usually cost way more. I don’t even have room in my apartment for all the shelves required for all the books I read. Hardcovers are not sustainable.

On that note: Browse around, if you like what you see: hit follow or follow me on Twitter. Hooray! Then I follow you back, say Hi, show some love!

Marvel Now! X-MEN #1 & #2

 

 

So I just picked these up today, #1 is about a month old, and #2 just came out today.

The covers!

Look at these lovely ladies. Image

 

And everyone’s looking all bad ass. Storm’s looking FIERCE with her mohawk and cleavage and impeccable posture. Psylocke is looking deadly serious. Kitty looks ready to play or pounce. & Rogue and Rachel are calm, composed and ready for anything. Which is good, because Jubilee up there is about to make some questionable decisions.

And then I saw Issue #2 and said…

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Freaking Seriously? There’s a baby?! 

Because even though I know that babies are the superheros of tomorrow, they don’t exactly scream “Hey! Mainstream Readership!” 

And the rest of the team is in the background at war with some machines. Which is a very accurate depiction of what is really going on here.

See, I’m not even mad about the baby. Jubilee adopted/stole him. She carries him in a backpack. He’s carrying an alien bacteria that can possess machines and is out for revenge/hellbent on taking over the Earth. 

Maternal instincts turn troublesome when Jubilee tries to bring baby Viggo to The Jean Grey School for Higher Learning. Along the way she is followed by X-foe John Sublime, and his sibling is inhabiting this baby. 

Jubilee calls her girls, and they come to her:

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awww look a baby! (Storm is not as enthused) 

Rogue averts a train crash, Psylocke works some fabulous telekinetic awesomeness on John Sublime. However, Arkea (the sister/alien bacteria) gets loose and inhabits a comatose Karima, sending the whole school into lockdown! Which is where issue #2 picks up. 

The first X-Man Arkea fights is Beast. The second is Rogue, there’s this one point where Arkea says ” You are stronger than the blue one yet your outward physiology presents as inferior.” And then Rogue punches her through the floor. Hooray!

Arkea/Karima gets away, Jubilee, (a now bacteria free) Viggo, Storm, Rachel and Psylocke fly out after her! Kitty Pryde and the X-Kids are left behind to clean up the destruction… however, one of them digs up a cliffhanger!

So pumped on this. Great story so far, action galore, distinct personalities that translate really well. The art is beautiful and intense. Everyone kicks ass in their own unique way. It’s the X-Men you already love just with less hairy chests. Only 2 issues out so far, so there’s still time to get in on the ground floor… I recommend you do!

“SECURE THE INFANT IT’LL KILL US ALL” 

Legit.

5 Mohawks!

Under The Dome: Episode One

The only English speaking channel that I have at my residence gets a speculative fiction show!

Hooray!

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Hi, new TV friend! His name is Barbie, btw.

The show starts off with him burying a dead body and trying to high tail it out of town.

I don’t know what to make of him. I mean, he killed someone. Obviously. Classic “bad guy” move. But then he’s saving little farm boys and driving people to the hospital. He used to be in the army. He’s paranoid. (me too).

And I fully expect that he will kick Junior’s ass.

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Crazy. The answer to that question is: Crazy.

Possessive asshole. Total creep.

His first scene is with his girlfriend, Angie.

Junior: “I love you, Angie”

Angie: “Yeah, it’s been a great summer”

And then he tries to grab her and she smacks his face. Junior’s a sick asshole and this meme makes me want to punch CBS. You don’t take people you love hostage, get this man a psychotherapist!

Random things I liked: The interracial lesbian couple and their punkass daughter.

The radio station staff. “Our ratings are going to be awesome.”

How hot Barbie is.

The tension of who’s stuck inside/outside. Kids with no parents. Cops at a parade, Firemen that went out on a call.

Stephen King got executive producer. Hopes are high.

I love conspiracies. Who’s in on it? Who benefits? AHHH

Random things I didn’t like: DIG A HOLE.

YOU DIDN’T EVEN TRY GOING UNDERNEATH IT.

 

also;

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No. He almost let a plane crash fall on his head. He’s doomed.

Colin Ford (the actor who plays Joe) has also played a young Sam Winchester. awwww ❤

In my quest to find the girl power:

 

 

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LOOKIT!!! There are no men on this X-Men team!

The sheer fact that I have neglected this for almost a full month gives me great embarrassment and disappointment. I will rectifying this by the weekend and report back.

Additionally, the person who reintroduced this to my attention is someone I frequently have interesting sci-fi related conversations with at a pub we frequent

Aaron: If you could have any superpower what would it be?

Me: super strength

Aaron: What? That’s stupid you’re going to be moving furniture, everyone’s going to want you to help the move.

Me: Well, what would you pick?

Aaron: Telekinesis

Me: Telekinesis. Bah, telekinetics are always resetting the universe.

And then last week he tried to tell me the zombie apocalypse wasn’t a real thing that can happen (but how vampires and werewolves have documented cases). And I was all “Who are you and how could you say that to me?” 

But seriously. Storm’s mohawk. I’m in love.

Patricia Briggs! Mercy Thompson! Tattoos!

I’m judging a book by it’s cover over here.

Ch-Ch-Checkout this bad-ass.

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How smoking hot is this?

She actually looks like she could kick someone’s ass! Sometimes on these covers, there are pictures, drawings, mixed media of women who I look at and think, “You! Where do your internal organs live!?”

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This is the one I’m reading now. I do recognize that she’s a mechanic and no person anywhere would tie up their work shirt to be a magic push-up bra, and I admit, it’s silly.

Her tattoos also change on nearly every cover

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See? But in that last one she has wolves and roses tattooed on her arm.

That is of significance to me because

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That’s me! And my arm! with a wolf coming out of a rose tattooed on it!

OMG twinsies! So what we have here is a thicker waisted shapeshifter who wears mens clothes and has badass tattoos. We’d hang out.

Also; on that note, Fangs for the Fantasy evaluated a couple of the covers for this series

http://www.fangsforthefantasy.com/2011/11/cover-snark-who-needs-clothes-to-be.html

http://www.fangsforthefantasy.com/2012/01/cover-snark-more-tattoos-less-clothes.html

And there are some interesting thoughts on how the “more tattoos” sells the “tough chick” thing. And also how the “outfits” pander to the male fantasy. Which is crazy because I bet the male readership is 10% or less regardless. Maybe I’m wrong. I don’t know. I think the covers are pandering to my fantasy. If she lived in the desert I would say that maybe that’s how she does dress, because I’ve been to the Mojave and wearing eyeliner there is too much clothing. Honestly. But she’s from Washington State and, yeah, no one would wear that to work.

Until next time! Ohhhh and pretty pretty please scroll down and leave me a suggestion about a book/TV series/movie that has “OMG so much girl power” K? Thanks!

Hello Lovely People!

So; I have been working on a new post evaluating the “girl power” of things said to have Oh Wow, So Much Girl Power. Included in this will be the Hunger Games, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. 

I *need* some more suggestions. I’m looking for things that are stupid popular, Urban Fantasy and preferably geared toward the 14-18, 18-25 age brackets. Maybe, I don’t know. Hook me up with some suggestions! Leave a comment!

I haven’t had a new post in a couple days, so here’s some things about werewolves: 

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http://www.squishable.com/pc/opensquish_werewolf_10469/Big_Animals/Squishable+Werewolf

I want it I want it! Are there any rabid TimeWantsASkeleton fans who would purchase and send this to me? No? I only have 12 followers, so it is unlikely. But I want to squish his wittle werewolf face! AHHHH

I love Shakira! ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

Okay, bye bye, don’t forget to tell me where I can find some girl power!

Book Review #12- Down These Strange Streets edited by George R.R. Martin & Gardner Dozois

I enjoy these types of collections for the variety, for leading me towards interesting authors that I might not commit to a whole book by without getting a taste first. And, in this compilation, I re-discovered an author that I enjoy tons, and should have been reading more of his works.

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I didn’t finish all the stories, but the book went back to the library. Some of them didn’t catch my attention. It happens.

“Death by Dahlia” by Charlaine Harris Dahlia, who is a vampire and her friends (mostly vampires) live in a mansion. They are getting a new leader and there’s a party/.ceremony and werewolves, human blood donors and demons are invited. Then there is a murder! And Dahlia is somewhat of an amateur detective and is selected by the new leader to investigate! Honestly, I’m under the impression this fits in somewhere with some other Dahlia lore that I haven’t read. As a stand alone story, it’s useless. Why do I care about all these werewolves? Why do I need to know about a half-demon Dahlia used to date? I don’t! It should have been a regular murder mystery without all these weird side characters.

“The Bleeding Shadow” by Joe R Lansdale Even more unfortunate for Charlaine… She was followed up by this tale. A coworker/horror enthusiaist gave me a copy of The Bottoms by Joe R Lansdale 7ish years ago and I frigging loved it, then I bought myself Mad Dog Summer (a collection of his short stories) and I loved that too.

From the first paragraph of “The Bleeding Shadow”, I knew I was going to like it: “I was down at the Blue Light Joint that night, finishing off some ribs and listening to the blues, when in walked Alma May. She was looking good too. Had a dress on that fit her the way a dress ought to fit every woman in the world.” Alma May, makes her living as a prostitute, Richard (main protagonist and narrator) is sweet on her and wishes she had a wealthy man to take care of her. He’s not that man. But he does some detective work, some private eye type stuff on the side, and Alma May asks for his help. It seems her brother, a blues musician, has sent her this record, starts out; it’s the best music she’d ever heard him play… and it makes the shadows come creep out of walls, the hair on your neck stand up and the air getting inside your chest feel like mice wearing barbed wire coats.

Now the alarms in my head from the moment Alma May said “blues musician” I was already screaming, “Robert Johnson! Deal with the devil! Cross roads!” And I wasn’t wrong. Lansdale’s gritty writing style, like Dashiell Hammet telling you a campfire story, makes it gross and wonderful. Got my attention and kept it right away.

“Hungry Heart” by Simon R Green This was a good story, another Private I., hired by a witch to find her heart and the man who stole it, literally. Takes place in a bright colorful world where even side characters have rad powers, ie; Gunboy who can shoot with a conceptual gun (his fingers), awesome.

“Styx and Stones” by Steven Saylor

“Pain and Suffering” by SM Sterling

“It’s Still the Same Old Story” by Carrie Vaughn Carrie Vaughn’s most popular works are the Kitty Norville series (she’s a werewolf) I’ve only read the first in that series, on a 3 day long stint on a greyhound bus bound for SoCal. I also read a couple Harlequin romance novels, really silly shit with farm hands and billionaires.

This story is nothing like that. It’s about a vampire named Rick (and/or Ricardo) who made a friend named Helen in 1947. Helen made deliveries for the Mafia and ended up witnessing something she shouldn’t have. When Helen turns up dead suddenly, shot at over 90 years old, Rick looks into it ahead of a detective who knows good and well what he is. It’s told through flashbacks to the 1940s and present day. Good read.

“The Lady is a Screamer” by Conn Iggulden A story about a conman who was never going to be a good man but didn’t want to be a complete fake. He made money hustling widows out of money with phony psychic readings. It sounds worse than it is, he always left them with a smile on their face, gave them some piece of mind about their dead lovers. One day he gets a call, someone wants him to remove a spirit from her house. He charges her an outrageous fee, makes his plan to burn some feathers and chant some Mickey Mouse. But the he gets there and meets the Lady, a spirit who won’t stop blowing in his ear, and sets out to be a ghostbuster. Very funny, a little sad, a clever tale.

“Hellbender” by Laurie R King Excellent story. A Grad student whips up some modified embryos containing a mixture of human and salamander DNA. A right wing Christian group declares that these are “people” “babies” “God’s creations” and enlist female church members to carry the embryos to term. The resulting children are SalaMen. Some of them look more like salamanders than others, some regenerate better than others, most undergo a surgery to make them look human. One of these creatures uncovers a plot by rogue geneticists to capture and run tests on the SalaMen to benefit humans at large. This one was well told, another private eye story, not as much swagger as Lansdale, but all in all; a really well told Sci-Fi story that combines elements of both religious fanaticism and bioethics gone awry.

“Shadow Thieves” by Glen Cook

“No Mystery, No Miracle” by Melinda M Snodgrass

“The Difference Between a Puzzle and A Mystery” by MLN Hanover

“The Curious Affair of the Deodand” by Lisa Tuttle

“Lord John and the Plague of Zombies” by Diana Gabaldon This is the first story a turned to, It was one of the stories advertised on the back cover. It’s 3x longer than most of the other stories. Set in Jamaica in olden times when people came over on ships with sails. It doesn’t fit my definition of Urban Fiction, and it moved very slowly.

“Beware the Snake” by John Maddox Roberts

“In Red, With Pearls” by Patricia Briggs A werewolf Private Investigator! A zombie assassin! These are all my favorite things! The werewolf PI teams up with an interesting couple of witches to find out who is trying to assassinate his lawyer boyfriend (that’s right. They are in a healthy same-sex relationship. They face discrimination. Because the real world has fucked up shit, not any of this, ‘they discriminate against me because I’m a werewolf’ hoo-ha). This one was fun, some other stories had a more serious tone, this one was funny, but very smart and interesting. Definitely one of my favorites in the collection. In fact, *ding ding ding* Patricia Briggs wins! What does she win? Me, starting the Mercy Thompson series.

“The Adakian Eagle” by Bradley Denton

Stuff I Like #3- My Boyfriend & Brooklyn, NY

I was out and about with my man and the band, Cast Iron Hike over the weekend. 

This is them: 

My man is the bass player. 

This was insane amounts of fun. Frigging best weekend. Great music, cool ass people, drinks. All the most important things.

The bar they played at in Brooklyn, http://www.saintvitusbar.com/ looks like vampires live there. It’s totally frigging rad.

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And also one of their specials is called the Pope, and it’s a PBR tall boy, a shot of Irish whiskey and a shot of pickle juice. Amazing. 

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And while I was wandering around Greenpoint, I came upon a bunch of statues that I mistook for zombies.

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Because my brain doesn’t go, “person!” or “statue!” or “mugger!” it goes “ACK A ZOMBIE!!”

Book Review #11- Kiss the Dead by Laurell K Hamilton

Book freaking 21 of the Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series.

I’ve read all of this series. Some of them were good (including Skin Trade, which is book 17)

Some of them are (OMG) terrible. Just awful. (I’m looking at you, Micah: book 13!)

 

When a fifteen-year-old girl is abducted by vampires, it’s up to U.S. Marshal Anita Blake to find her. And when she does, she’s faced with something she’s never seen before: a terrifyingly ordinary group of people—kids, grandparents, soccer moms—all recently turned and willing to die to avoid serving a master. And where there’s one martyr, there will be more…

But even vampires have monsters that they’re afraid of. And Anita is one of them…

Anita Blake bugs me. But I’ve read all 21 of the series (and will read the new one out next month), so I guess… whatever. seriously. I can’t even justify my behavior. 

LKH writes good characters, but then there’s nothing for them to do but act like crybabies, almost die, or have sex. Lots of sex. Most of these books have no plot. It didn’t start out that way. The earlier ones had plot, usually Anita chasing a murderer or having  to raise the dead for some deceptive character, and not just a bunch of sex and action scenes stuck together and then somehow the plot gets wrapped up in broad strokes in the last chapter. The worst. This one was slightly better at not doing that.

With the Mother of All Darkness and the Harlequin handled Anita gets down on some good old fashioned police work. Which is a much better use of everyone’s time. 

But of course, the book begins with an interrogation of a vampire that’s been arrested. He breaks out of his chains (why would they not have vampire proof handcuffs?) and attacks Anita OMG, and Anita has to fight him and during the fight everyone sees her thong and garter belt. Honestly, what the shit are you doing wearing that to police work?

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What didn’t I like: 

LKH obviously discovered the word “heteroflexible” recently. And thusly, she overuses the shit out of it. 

Anita has a crybaby whinefest about how everyone thinks she’s a monster. She starts a fight with Larry about it, vampires call her the boogeyman. blah blah, this happens in every book. Simultaneously, she’s being accused of going soft on the monsters and not being able to do her job. You can’t have it both ways.

Anita Blake is constantly talking about what a “guy she is” how she “understands guy code” yada yada, LKH, on her blog, also says these things about herself. STOP THAT. Girls aren’t all frigging blabber mouths bent on having constant heart to hearts. Meanwhile, there are so many fucking whiny crybaby men in all these books… In this one; Asher, Cynric, Dev, Nicky all stop and have random ass heart to hearts, so does a brand new officer, Brice, who comes out to Anita immediately, even though he’s hiding that he is gay from everyone else. One of these long talks was in the middle of shower sex, why the fuck are you talking so much? And there is less of this in this book than in previous novels, but someone always cries. 

And Anita almost kills someone who is having sex with her (which is pretty typical for this series). And then she walks down the hall and bangs someone else. Really? Someone just had to get his heart jump started, you don’t just want to… like, watch TV or something? Don’t worry, he was fine. He was even at the strip club later. LKH hates killing people off.

Anita always has to stop and have an inner monologue about her boobs. I don’t get it.

And then there was this: 

Jean-Claude: “America would be in its expansive, empire building stage, but you came of age too late. The world leaders, and military would never allow such conquest now.”

Anita: “It would be nice to start keeping some of the land and resources that our soldiers are dying for.”

what the fuck. Don’t use your vampire smut to spout your fucked up political views. 

reality check, LKH: American territories; Guam, the US Virgin Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa and Puerto Rico. That shit is fucked up.

The conversation was supposed to be about vampires not blood-oathing to Jean-Claude, instead there was a small minded exchange about Iraq and imperialism. POR QUE??

Things I did like:

There was lots of Nicky. He’s a one-eyed werelion. My personal favorite of Anita’s 16 boyfriends. 

The Mother of All Darkness, dead and gone, not effing up Anita’s shit and random metaphysical ways. I’m glad that story arc has ended. It wasn’t always bad. But I’m glad it’s not being dragged out anymore.

More Zerbrowski! More Claudia! Plot had a conclusion! I like Anita doing Marshal stuff. 

Bottom line:

Chances are, you’re already sucked into this madness, or you probably wouldn’t start reading at book 21. It’s not the best one (for smut or plot) but it’s not bad after the whole exchange with Larry and everybody “Woe is me, am I a monster?” It was a fun read. Seriously, though, kill some people off.  2.5 Silver Bullets.

Stuff I like #2- Action/Horror Tunes

I’m reading “Kiss the Dead” and “Down These Strange Streets” but a busy weekend is ahead. I don’t want to leave you waiting. So, here’s 5 songs to shake to/prepare for combat to:

#5: Tarantino has a superior soundtrack. Always. One of my favorite movies, I’ll do a full review soon, you can air your grievances.. But I loved Death Proof:

#4-  Hi, are you Dexter Morgan?

#3- No, then; let’s kick it old school with the Stephen King themed:

#2- KoRn.. because Akasha/Aaliyah says so.

#1- You should have seen this coming: