Hersey of the Week – Aragorn has more character in film than book


aragorn shards of narsil

Heresy of the Week is a (mostly) weekly spot in which I entertain some of the unthinkable notions of geek-culture. The arguments I put forward are not always things I personally agree with, but often rhetorical devices designed to force myself (and maybe readers) out of the boxes which fan discussions can get caught in. But that aside, feel free to get yourselves worked up and your knickers in a twist if you really want to.

This week’s heresy:

For all the shouting that books are better than their film adaptations (and it usually is true) it is not universal. Sometimes films, or even parts, are better than the books they draw on — in particular, the character of Aragorn in the Lord of the Rings films.

Read on…

05 “Put the Damage On” (Defiance season 2)[SPOILERS]


defiance

After a somewhat wooden opening episode, I have to say that the second season of Defiance has been pretty strong. A format has emerged whereby a central “investigation” forms the vessel for explorations of the social issues in the occupied town. It’s pretty effective general method.

But what is making this shine really comes down to the writing. There are so many easy traps into which it could have fallen, the most notable to me being launching immediately into a resistance story. That hasn’t happened, instead we’ve seen a subtle raising of tensions, played out by strong cast of characters.

And, of course, the odd dollop of what the hell.

Read on…

Kipperwatch: UKIP cllr plans board game in Southend council meeting


kipperwatch

Reaching a point, you have to wonder what certain people are thinking, exactly.

Of the new crop of UKIP councillors gifted upon Southend by a poor turnout in May, three of them are still pretty much complete unknowns to me. Though second-hand reports of Cllr Waterworth’s antagonistic conduct has reached my ears, Cllrs Callaghan and Burling are still inflatable question marks in my mind’s eye.

Cllr Moyies, my esteemed and victorious opponent in West Shoebury in May, is the UKIP councillor I have heard the most of. He chairs the People Scrutiny Committee, and has spoken the most out of the five in any public forum. I’m sure I will have plenty more to say about Cllr Moyies as his term continues, but so far he has not be the ‘KIPper about whom I have blogged most.

No, that honour belongs to Cllr Lawrence Davies, who only last week was the subject of a blog on his apparent lack of judgement. This time, though, the poor judgement is rather more than “apparent”.

Read on…

Southend Tories: Saving care homes will emotionally harm residents


delaware house

There have been a glut of important meetings at Southend Council this week, with the three scrutiny committees preceding last night’s full council. It provides plenty of material for a local politics blogger to pick over, but sadly it does leave me on the back foot a little, juggling it with a full-time job and something approximating a life.

So with that in mind, come back in time with me to the People Scrutiny Committee meeting from Tuesday 15th June, to witness some bizarre statements from Tory members of the council.

Read on…

Did Southend UKIPer misuse council property to promote his business?


lawrence davies ukip

Kursaal ward’s new UKIP representative is staying put, he says. Despite previous claims, he isn’t going to be moving to Cambridge next month. Cllr Lawrence Davies told me himself, via the pages of the local paper and indeed in response on this humble blog.

And, having decided to stay, he seems to be looking at how being a councillor can work for him.

Read on…

Heresy of the Week – The mainstream media still don’t get comics


female thor

Heresy of the Week is a (mostly) weekly spot in which I entertain some of the unthinkable notions of geek-culture. The arguments I put forward are not always things I personally agree with, but often rhetorical devices designed to force myself (and maybe readers) out of the boxes which fan discussions can get caught in. But that aside, feel free to get yourselves worked up and your knickers in a twist if you really want to.

This week’s heresy:

The almost-hysteria which has greeted the latest incarnation of Marvel superhero Thor — as a woman — shows only the ignorance of the mainstream media who have leapt upon it as some kind of oddity

Read on…

Table of Contents for Infinite Science Fiction One


infinite acacia

Unforgivably, I seem to have missed the announcement by publisher Infinite Acacia of the table of contents for their upcoming anthology Infinite Science Fiction One the other week. Why is it unforgivable? Because my story “Nothing Beside Remains” is one of those which will be gracing its pages!

I’ve had the pleasure of working with a fantastically enthusiastic and attentive editor getting this story ready for publication, and I couldn’t be more excited. I’m not sure of a release date yet, but I’ll post it as soon as I hear. In the meantime, here are the awesome writers I will be sharing pages with:

  1. “Real” by Janka Hobbs
  2. “By the Numbers” by Tim Major
  3. “Tin Soul” by Elisabeth Bannon
  4. “Six Minutes” by P. Anthony Ramanauskas
  5. “Matchmaker” by John Walters
  6. “The Wedding” by Nick Hilbourn
  7. “Slow”by Jay Wilburn
  8. “Gospel Of” by Rebecca Ann Jordan
  9. “The Silent Dead” by Dan Devine
  10. “Nothing Beside Remains” by Matthew S. Dent
  11. “The Night with Stars” by William Ledbetter
  12. “Butterflies” by Doug Tidwell
  13. “Rolling by in the Moonlight” by Liam Nicholas Pezzano
  14. “Infinity” by J.B. Rockwell

04 “Beasts of Burden” (Defiance season 2) [SPOILERS]


defiance

All science-fiction is analogy. This is why, for starters, there are so many stories based on aspects of the second world war. We interpret our history — and our present — through the mirror of fiction, of stories.

Defiance, like many other SF properties before it, has headed down the Nazi occupation of France plot line. It’s a risky move, Battlestar Galactica did this and the moral grey areas it entails excellently. To its credit, Defiance has a great set-up for the idea, and has already demonstrated the flexible morality inherent in the situation.

Read on…

“No go areas” and holding power to account


nick alston

It is, I suspect, a mark of how far into the realms of political geekery I have slipped, that fair game as Friday evening entertainment is watching recordings of public meetings on YouTube. For those worrying for my sanity, I should point out that my evening has also included a trip to the library, and may yet feature a film or two.

The meeting, though, in question was a public meeting from last week with the Chief Constable of Essex Police Stephen Kavanagh, alongside the Police & Crime Commissioner for Essex Nick Alston, and his deputy Lindsay Whitehouse. Thrilling, eh?

I didn’t attend the meeting, but given that a crime and policing is – in my opinion — shaping up to be a big issue in Southend as budgets are cut away to nothing (a subject I mean to return to in future blogs) it is something I am happy to make time for.

Read on…