Blurb from Robert McGill

To continue sharing the kind words others have given for What We See in the Smoke, this is from Robert McGill, who ran the undergraduate creative writing workshop at the University of Toronto: You can find out more about Robert McGill and links to his work at his website here: http://www.robert-mcgill.com/books/ If you are swayed, you should … Continue reading Blurb from Robert McGill

Blurb from Sharon English

Very proud to start sharing some of the kind words that several authors have supplied for my new book – starting with Sharon English, author of Zero Gravity and Uncomfortably Numb, who helped supervise this novel. You can find out more about Sharon English and links to her books at her website here: https://www.sharonenglish.net/bio/   … Continue reading Blurb from Sharon English

Vision in Review: I Too Shall Be Saved By Love

(Special note: The Vision, like many characters of Marvel Comics, was created by Stan Lee, alongside ‎Roy Thomas‎, and John Buscema. Stan Lee passed away this afternoon, which I learned literally while typing up this piece, and it is hard to think of a single other creator responsible for a legacy that has inspired and … Continue reading Vision in Review: I Too Shall Be Saved By Love

Do Androids Dream in Review

I find that when most people think of Rick Deckard and the neo-noir world he inhabited, they think first of Ridley Scott’s film Blade Runner (and it’s many different editions). But while the film and it’s very late/very recent sequel are remarkable science fiction films, there are essential disconnects between them and the narrative of … Continue reading Do Androids Dream in Review

Arrival/Story of Your Life: Languages of film and Prose

[This isn't the first time I've written on Arrival, and I doubt it will be the last. you can check out my original view of the film here at The Spectatorial:  Arrival – A Case of Déjà vu] Though Ted Chiang’s novella Story of Your Life was originally published in 1998, I did not discover it until … Continue reading Arrival/Story of Your Life: Languages of film and Prose

The Simplica Girl Diaries in review

“Limitations so frustrating” (Saunders 126) writes the narrator of George Saunders’ The Semplica Girl Diaries. But the self-imposed limitations and restrictions Saunders impose on his writing make for a more interesting story, building its narrative out of disturbing incompleteness. Set in an unspecified but near future, Saunders communicates everything about his narrative through the sparse, … Continue reading The Simplica Girl Diaries in review

Ray Bradbury: There Will Come Soft Rains in Review

Few books have been as formative and influential for me as Ray Bradbury’s 1950 short story fix-up novel The Martian Chronicles. While the book as a whole is far from perfect – there are problematic depictions of gender and race throughout the middle section of the book – There will Come Soft Rains has always … Continue reading Ray Bradbury: There Will Come Soft Rains in Review

Arrival – A Case of Déjà vu

The Spectatorial

arrival-movie-poster

Walking into Arrival, directed by Denis Villeneuve and written by Eric Heisserer, I only knew a little about the movie. I knew that it was based on the short story “Story of Your Life” by author Ted Chiang which I have not read (it’s on the shelf). I knew that it was starring Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner. I was pleasantly surprised to see Forest Whitaker around the ten minute mark. I knew this was going to be a movie about first contact with aliens. And yet as the movie began, I couldn’t help but feel I’d seen this all before. I mean that as the highest of praise, incidentally.

Twelve alien space ships land on Earth. Nobody knows why. Professor of linguistics “Louise Banks” (Amy Adams) is recruited by the US government and sent to the alien arrival sight in Montana, where she is partnered with “Ian…

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The Overture

The Spectatorial

smSpoiler disclaimer: this post discusses certain events in The Sandman (although it doesn’t divulge the ending).

The Sandman, Neil Gaiman’s seminal dark fantasy graphic novel series, which ran 76 issues from January 1989 to March 1996, is finally over.

It might seem strange making that statement now, in 2015, but it isn’t. From 2013 until this past September, The Sandman had returned to us in the glorious form of The Sandman: Overture, a prequel to the original stories.

In the first issue back in 1989, Morpheus, the lord of dreams, was captured by humans. The story alluded to some great cosmic struggle that had weakened his powers and allowed for his capture, but the series never touched on the backstory more than that. This is the story that Overture endeavours to tell, and it does so with majesty.

The problem with prequels is that they usually have nothing…

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