Eureka!

No, I haven’t discovered something, sadly.

No, it’s the new season of Eureka. The last season of Eureka, sadly.

And then I watched the first episode. I was shocked. I was appalled; I was dismayed. Sadly.

What had happened to the writers of my beloved show? Had they all started huffing Liquid Paper? Had they been replaced with the writers of the former soap All My Children? Had they forgotten their characters’ personalities? Had they decided to protest the cancellation of the show by writing a full season of crap? I was mad. I was hopping mad and I am not a woman you want to see hop, sadly.

Then the last two minutes of the show saved everything. Better than saved everything. Made everything that had come before just right, happily.

I’ll miss Eureka, but after 4 seasons, I am so happy that they were still able to surprise me. If you’re a fan like me, I’d say it looks promising. If you’ve never seen the show, this season may not be for you. It’s already calling back to so much previous knowledge of character and situation. Nonetheless, Eureka is such a delight that you may want to catch up with the past four seasons and ride it out in its last wave of glory.

Do tell me in the comments what you thought of the first episode!

Hugo Nominees

2011′s Hugo nominees are official. See them here.

I must admit to not being familiar enough with all the material to have the right to opinions. Of course, I have opinions anyway, and—of course—I’m going to share them here.

I’ve read only one of the novels on the best novel list, and every novel nominated must be better than A Dance with Dragons, and I speak as a fan of  The Song of Ice and Fire.

I do know a few of the graphic stories, the “Fables” series (I’ve read the one nominated) and the Lock & Key series (I have not yet read the one nominated). I like both series and can recommend them, but can’t say much about who I think should win.

Long form dramatic presentations are mostly things I have seen. I expect “Game of Thrones” is a shoo-in, but you just never know with something as mass-appeal as “Hugo.”

I’m a little surprised that three out of the five short dramatic presentations are “Doctor Who” episodes. I don’t know if it says something about the Hugo nominators or something about what’s out there. Still, if Gaiman doesn’t win, I’ll be surprised. “The Doctor’s Wife” was a great episode… and he’s Neil Gaiman.

Book Review: Darkness Calls: Volume One

Darkness Calls by Andy Hill is an interesting and macabre little jewel box of stories. The small volume contains six horror stories, widely varied in theme and tone. These tales do not contain the creepies and crawlies typical of horror, except perhaps for the fourth story “Face Value,” but they are all well-written and delightfully atmospheric.

The first story is “Dark Rain,” and this story was the best in the book, in my opinion. Divided into sections that feel satisfyingly like chapters despite its short length, “Dark Rain” describes the terrifying effect of a mysterious rain on a country village.

“The Patio” follows “Dark Rain.” Surreal and dream-like, this very short story is light on plot but heavy in mood and mystery, making it nicely eerie.

Next is “An Open Letter…” This is a lovely piece of prose, less a story than what Oscar Wilde liked to call ‘a prose poem.’ It’s evocative: both beautiful and sad.

“Face Value” feels as though it was intended to be the powerhouse of the collection, a story of death, revenge and the unnatural. Here again is the episodic style that worked so well in “Dark Rain.” I think, however, it did not work as well in “Face Value.” Rather than giving the story a sense of progressive chapters, I found “Face Value” a bit confusing at first. The story would have been served by clearer transitions made between sections. Hill writes that this is the oldest story in the book, and it feels that way, as if it is so familiar that the progression between sections seem obvious to him. Still the tale is gruesome and gory and fulfills its horror promises.

The fifth story is “Fallen Angel,” the only story in the book that did not work at all for me. It is an allegory so big, so broad, I had nowhere to hold on, no place to hang my hat and become involved. While I believe I saw where it was going, and felt I could support its social commentary, I was never engaged in any way beyond the intellectual. I did not care. Still in “Fallen Angel,” as is true in every story in this volume, Hill’s prose is admirable.

Finally is “Trapped,” a gem of a story, both claustrophobic and sinister. My favorite second to “Dark Rain,” this story recounts the horrible time between accident and rescue of a mother and daughter imprisoned in an overturned car.

In sum, then, I would recommend this book without hesitation. The stories are elegantly written and suitably creepy. And—hey—only 99 cents from Amazon.com right here.

Geek Squee!

Okay, you may well have heard already, but Felicia Day (and others no doubt) has founded a new YouTube channel: Geek & Sundry.

OMG, you guys!! (insert high-pitched squeal of delight and inappropriately girlish bouncing here).

Ahem.

The channel will include:
*The Flog, Felicia Day’s weekly vlog about geeky things she loves
*Sword and Laser, reviews of fantasy and sci fi books by the guy and gal of the podcast of the same name, Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt
*Table Top, reviews/gameplay with Wil Wheaton (Wil Wheaton, people!) and others (I think the other players will change, but I’m not sure–the first episode included Jenna Busch, Grant Imahara and Sean Plott!) playing table top games.
*Dark Horse, motion comics
*The Guild (of course), the marvelous web series send up of MMORPGs and the people who love them, starring Vincent Caso, Felicia Day, Jeff Lewis, Amy Okuda, Sandeep Parikh and Robin Thorsen. Season 5 is coming up.

Right, so it’s a YouTube channel full of everything I love. I can’t really review it, for fear of dissolving into drooling adoration (again). If any of these things things are your thing, Geek & Sundry is your thing too.

Go.

Enjoy!

The Geek & Sundry YouTube Channel
Felicia Day’s website
The Guild on Wikipedia
Wil Wheaton’s blog

An Admission…

I have an admission to make. I have not seen Hunger Games. Honestly. I haven’t. It’s been out more than a week. A very good friend of mine has seen it already. Twice. And is thinking of going again. I haven’t seen it. I haven’t seen it and… I don’t particularly want to.

Have I lost my geek cred?

I read the book, the whole trilogy in fact, though it was sort of touch and go here and there. I don’t usually put down books I’ve started unless I really, really hate them. I even read all of Wise Man’s Fear and, I have to say, that was an accomplishment for me. So I did read Hunger Games and its sister books. They were okay. A little slick. A little shallow. A little Mary Sue. But okay.

I thought as I read the first one “Well, this would make a better movie than it does a book.” And yet I still haven’t gone to see it. I can’t work up the interest. Even though it’s proof that America will go see an action movie with a female lead.

I’m going to be drummed out of the nerd girl club.

I’m so ashamed.

wikipedia entry for the movie
wikipedia entry for the book
Author Suzanne Collins’ website