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V.23 No.14 | 4/3/2014

Idiot Box

Return of the King

“Game of Thrones” on HBO

Whether you’re a rabid fan of George R.R. Martin’s book series, or you’re saving them to avoid spoilers on the TV series, the Season 4 premiere has got something to get you fired up.
V.22 No.32 | 8/8/2013
Reel World

Reel World

Cocteau returns

After six years of silence, the venerable Jean Cocteau Cinema in Santa Fe is firing up the projectors once again after being purchased earlier this year by famed fantasy author (and longtime Santa Fe resident) George R.R. Martin.
V.22 No.21 | 5/23/2013
jackvance.com

In Memoriam

RIP Jack Vance

The cusp of the demon is the iPad in your lap

If you said “Jack who?” you might want to know George R.R. Martin once called him the greatest living science fiction writer and a master of fantasy “right up there with Tolkien.” That’s right, buddy, Tolkien. Unfortunately, as of Sunday, May 26, 2013, he no longer qualifies as living and will have to settle for merely being the greatest.

Carlo Rotella’s overview of Vance’s significance as a writer in The New York Times Magazine is probably the best thing I’ve ever read about him. I suggest you read it too. “The Eyes of the Overworld” (from the second Dying Earth book) is a prescient and deeply ironic metaphor for this avatar-obsessed virtual non-life we’re cultivating as a race of touchscreen and phone addicts. And this, 40 years before FaceBook. It’s also hilarious. Thank you, Jack Vance, for just being you.

V.20 No.35 |

news

The Daily Word in AK-47s, sex workers and Darth Vader

The Daily Word

Judge stops Gov. Martinez' license verification effort.

MVD didn't issue a driver's license to a teen who had his birth certificate and Social Security card.

Did BernCo put out this recycling plant fire in Southwest Albuquerque fast enough? And why is it always on fire?

Corrections secretary's boyfriend accused of shooting a gun on prison grounds.

PRC tech says he was fired after reporting employees were browsing online porn at work.

Man shot and killed by APD this week held a loaded AK-47, says Chief Schultz.

Those who profited off 9/11.

August was the first month since 2003 without the death of a U.S. solider in Iraq.

Darth Vader: Noooooooooo!

Justice Department sues to stop AT&T from buying T-Mobile.

George R. R. Martin is creepy, rape-y and racist, writes hilarious blogger.

Prosties and strip clubs in Tampa prep for the GOP convention in 2012.

Toddler wears fake T&A for pageant.

Did you hear about the guy with the $16 house?

It's OK if you think parenting is miserably hard work.

V.20 No.17 | 4/28/2011
Strange snow this. I like it not.
Strange snow this. I like it not.

Couch Potato

The dragons they are a-dancing: George R.R. Martin, king of all media

The mainstream finally embraces A Song of Ice and Fire

Well, it’s official: the latest installment of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire is at the publisher and there’s nothing you or I or anyone else can do about it except wait patiently for it to be published. Until then, we’ve got HBO’s TV adaptation of A Game of Thrones to tide us over—which I’d sure have a hell of a lot more to say about if they hadn’t sent me that mean DMCA copyright infringement notice the other day. (It’s really hard to watch stuff that isn’t on your computer’s hard drive and never, ever was in the first place.)

As it is, I have to base my observations on that partially-cheesy, partially-compelling, pre-DMCA-notice first episode that I also did not download from anywhere at any time and which, despite its charms, totally failed the crucial can-I-watch-it-with-my-wife litmus test. Sadness. Some thoughts:

1. The snow is not cold at The Wall. Breath is not visible. Wish I hadn’t noticed that, but I just watched Quintet where everyone is really, truly, convincingly cold (as well as really, truly, convincingly stoned out of their gourds).

2. The show, like Martin’s book, throws a lot of characters and cryptic references at you without explaining them. In a fantasy novel, this works. In a 60-minute TV show, it bugs. E.g., casual viewers might not get that Jaime Lannister and the queen are twins (this is dashed off in a single line of exposition and become very important later in the episode) or who the hell the Targaryens are. On the other hand, the only way to solve this problem is to make the show twice as long and I’m not sure I want that either.

3. The dramatic theme song and SimCity-style title visuals: nice. The canned medieval lute music during the feasting scene: aarrrgh!

4. Every scene not pulled directly from the book: aarrrgh!

5. Casting is largely pretty good. Tyrion Lannister, Jon Snow, Ned Stark, Jorah Mormont: yay; Arya Stark: we’ll see; Jaime Lannister: not crazy enough; Cersei Lannister: not evil enough; Khal Drogo: too much mascara.

6. Pentos = Penthouse. Half-naked women submitting to the lust of barbarians is not necessarily a bad thing, but there is a prurient Heavy Metal-magazine gloss to these scenes that makes them a bit ridiculous and pretty much substantiates critic Ginia Bellfante’s claim that the story is “boy fiction”. Yet if nipples are inherently entertaining (they are), these scenes rock.

7. I guess we’ve decided that every quasi-medieval fantasy world is filled with miscellaneous British accents. OK, I guess I’ll have to accept that.

8. Who the hell keeps all those candles lit in Winterfell? They must have a Captain of the Candles who runs his staff ragged.

“Lord Snow,” Game of Thrones episode 3, airs in New Mexico Sunday, May 1, at 7 p.m. and immediately thereafter throughout the universe on torrent sites that I do not now and will never visit.

V.17 No.5 | 1/31/2008
George R.R. Martin

Author Interview

Inside Straight

Free-form sci-fi

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