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Media diet for June 2019

Books

The Fated Sky — Mary Robinette Kowal

More cool space stuff! I enjoyed the pacing more in this book, and despite the frustration with very 50s attitudes that still pervade the modern world, I enjoyed journeying with these two books to mars.

The Bone Clocks — David Mitchell

A delightful collision of strange characters across time. This book is just fantastical enough to scratch my sci-fi itch, and literary enough to keep me satisfied. I hadn’t read Michell in a while, but diving back in was like slipping on a well-fitting shoe. My only complaint is that I got a bit sick of “psycho-“ being applied to every magic thing, as it felt a bit too much like RPG spell naming, lol.

An Elderly Lady Is Up to No Good — Helene Tursten

Delightfully wicked tales of a murderous octogenarian. I laughed, and cringed in turn. A short, strange read.

The Calculating Stars — Mary Robinette Kowal

This is an interesting alternate history where a disaster changes the fate of the planet, and accelerates the space race. Unfortunately, no disaster can change the rampant misogyny and racism of the men in power in this world. The protagonist, Dr. York, is a calculator, and dreams of being an astronaut, after years of flying planes as a WASP. I’m excited to read the sequel, but so many of the scenes of men being jerks to everyone else were pretty frustrating.

Exhalation: Stories — Ted Chiang

Chiang is one of the only authors I’ve read that truly puts the “speculative” into speculative fiction. Combining a curiosity about math, physics, and philosophy, Exhalation’s stories show a very adept storyteller playing with quite a few ideas. Each story is so different, and yet similarly great. I really hope Chiang writes a novel at some point, because I want to roam around his world’s for much longer.

Sourdough — Robin Sloan

A fun book on getting into a new hobby, and getting out of tech. I’m not a baker, but I really liked how Robin described the baking process. There weren’t many characters with real depth, but our protagonist was fun.

The Book of M — Peng Shepherd

An interesting take on a plague/zombie-style post-apocalypse. I had trouble putting this book down, and the story kept me reading most of the day. I got to hear Shepherd read from her book at a literary event in the bay, and I’m very glad I did—this book ruled.

Noumenon: Infinity — Marina J. Lostetter

This series ruled. There were pretty significant characters who were trans, or differently abled, and I feel like they were written pretty dang well. The space exploration and discovery plotlines split and re-intertwined many times, and always kept me fascinated. Definitely one of the most interesting sci-fi series I’ve read in years.

Movies

Force Majeure

A slow burn of a movie. Largely, this is about a family, and a father who is kind of a shit. Tormund from GoT shows up. Lots of skiing. Grey fog. Fin.

Ralph Breaks the Internet

This was super cute, with a nice mix of weird jokes and internet references. It’s wild how many amazing actors they got to join in the strange fun. If you liked the first film, you’ll enjoy the new one.

X-Men: Dark Phoenix

This movie wasn’t as bad as critics have said, which isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement. Out of the two treatments of the Dark Phoenix, I think this one was better. The story was a bit odd, but overall, it was fun and a lot of shit blew up. B- summer pap.

Starfish

A largely solo trek through grief, loneliness, and the end of the world. The soundtrack to Starfish was excellent, as was the performance of Ginny Gardner. Without spoiling anything, it’s best to say this movie goes in interesting directions and is shot beautifully.

TV

Good Omens

The best parts of this show were the weirdly delightful friendship scenes between Sheen and Tennant. I hadn’t read this book, but the story moved along at a good clip, and remained strange and funny enough to delight me.

Bake-Off: Professionals

I watched two seasons of this show this month—the second season is currently airing. It’s got the drama and silliness of GBBO, but with teams of two, and A & B groups that whittle down for a final set of showdowns. Liam does a great job hosting, and just like GBBO this show is a warm and fun thing to watch while unwinding.

brook is a noted sapphist who lives in a forest with her cat snorri. she loves travel, food, and satan.