More than just the monster

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When Shochiku studio released The X From Outer Space in 1967, they likely had high hopes for their own successful kajiu eiga (giant monster movie) series, much like Toho Studios’ famed Godzilla (1954), which by then already had seven profitable features. Unfortunately for Shochiku, their monster Guilala failed to have the even modest success of … Continue reading

The other guy

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About a year ago I read the sci-fi/fantasy/comedy Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. The plot revolves around the search for the Anti-Christ, a young boy living in England. An angel and a demon are determined to work together to prevent the apocalypse because after all of their centuries living in our world … Continue reading

Historical fiction, with cyborgs

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As a historian, I’m a sucker for time travel novels. To go back in time and observe is a historian’s dream. (We’ll never know, though, even if we were there, exactly what people were thinking and feeling at any given time in history. People are unfathomable. Some things will always be guesses.) In some time … Continue reading

Reread quest

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The book you reread is different from the book you read the time before. You change. Your reading strategies change. The book expands to fill more of your life. I’ve been writing about books I love, that I reread because I love both the experience of reading them and the experience of having read them … Continue reading

From BSG to Outcasts: A guide to ripping off your favorite TV show in 5 easy steps

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“If you like Battlestar Galactica then you’ll love Outcasts!” At least that’s what the producers of Outcasts are probably hoping you’ll say. Unfortunately at only 8 episodes long, Outcasts is a mere shadow of the show it aspires to be. Steal The Plot Plots are hard! I know, it’s okay. The home planet of humans … Continue reading

Farscape: Soap in space

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Farscape was why my spouse and I bought a TiVo. It was a show we discovered not long after we got married and that we were soon watching faithfully. But we discovered after our babe was born in 2001 that live television watching wasn’t compatible with baby minding, and we rediscovered the unreliabilty of taping … Continue reading

TECT Knows Best

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Once you’ve failed at everything, what next? **COURANE, Sandor: You are to be sent as a colonist to the agricultural world of Epsilon Eridani, Planet D. You will be part of an integrated farming community. Your future successes and failures will thus be of no consequence to the community at large here on Earth, yet … Continue reading

Walking the bounds

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The internet has recently been celebrating the work of fantasy novelist Diana Wynne Jones, who died last year. I spent my childhood reading and rereading her books, which, as British imports, I could never find for sale. I even retyped a significant portion of one of my favorites, Archer’s Goon, so I could have a … Continue reading

Spoilers, sweetie!

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I’ve always firmly believed that, deep down, people like to be corrected when they are so wrong about something that it borders on embarrassment. Mind you, I say “people,” and not “friends,” for reasons that should be immediately self-evident. However, as one of the newest contributors to The Idler, I feel I have a responsibility … Continue reading

Kindness and fury

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After nearly fifty years and eleven actors, we have some idea of what makes the Doctor: “He’s dangerous, he’s sardonic even when he’s sincere, he’s manic, you don’t quite trust him even when you do, and he needs his companion to keep him from going over to the dark side.” He’s a bit distant, and … Continue reading