Ripped from the headlines

  • 1.08.19 Arisia 2019 Schedule


    Come find me at Arisia in Boston from Jan. 18-21! I’ll be paneling, partying, reading and selling.

    Here’s my schedule:

    Saturday, Jan. 19, 8:30pm – 9:45am (St. James)It Was Nineteen-Eighty-Something The twenty-year nostalgia cycle took longer this time, but the Reagan era is back. 2018’s Ready Player One hid its plot in a fire hose of 80s references. Stranger Things views its horror through the lens of an event miniseries of the era. We’ve revisited the golden age of pro wrestling via GLOW, and followed a teen obsessed with ... continue

  • 1.04.19 11 Thoughts, Questions and Concerns I Had While Binging Netflix’s ‘You’


    You and I have a few things to talk about.

    Yes, there will be spoilers.

    1) The angsty villain protagonist stalker creepo is named Joe Goldberg (and played by Penn Badgley, who apparently had something to do with Gossip Girl). Anyway, I’m concerned about him being a Goldberg. I’m all for diversity but this is not going to be good for the Jews.

    2) Not that he appears to adhere to any religion, and is
    actively shown wearing a Santa hat and giving away presents. So maybe a
    non-Jewish Goldberg. ... continue

  • 12.07.18 Glenn Close on being a selfish artist, ‘hideous’ paintings and still missing ‘Damages’ Patty Hewes


    There was never any way I could get all of the greatness of chatting with Glenn Close into a single 800-word article for the LA Times Envelope, though I did my best. For those who liked that chat and were left wanting more, here’s most of the rest of the transcript of our conversation. We spoke in the Library restaurant of The Public Theater in New York City on October 9, 2018. Her new film The Wife was already in theaters, and she was simultaneously performing in the Public’s Mother of the Maid. Both the play of Mother and the ... continue

  • 12.4.18 50 Things I Can’t Stop Thinking of Since I Sent the New Novel to My Beta Reader


    I forgot to do this one thing in Chapter 20.
    The ending could be done in a completely different way.
    It’s too goofy.
    It’s not funny.
    It’s not funny enough.
    The serious parts are seriously inane.
    My main character doesn’t have an arc.
    My beta reader hates it.
    My beta reader is trying to find a kind way to tell me she hates it.
    Every day that passes since my beta reader got it is another day that proves she didn’t stay up all night reading it because she loved it so much.
    I should start something new.
    I ... continue

  • 10.30.18 This is what the alternate timeline looks like


    For centuries, genre writers have tickled their historical funny bones by speculating on what one would do if one could go back in time.
    There’s a lot of discussion about how you’d neutralize a burgeoning menace. You’d go back, figure out a way and change history for the better. Or, as “Doctor Who’ did recently, just try to make sure it stays on course:
    But there’s a seemingly equal amount of discussion about what happens if you do change the past, how it affects the future. And invariably — Back to the Future being the exception — it turns out ... continue

  • 9.06.18 Guest Blog: J.L. Gribble on Steel Time, Siamese cats, and telling us all she knows


    Happy book birthday to J.L. Gribble! This week, the fourth book in her Steel Empires fantasy/alternate history series, Steel Time, is being published by Dog Star Books, the science-fiction/adventure imprint of Raw Dog Screaming Press, and I’ve happily asked her to answer a few questions about herself, and the book, here on my blog.
    As she summarizes the series: “In a world with vampires, warrior-mages, weredragons, and sarcastic violin players, time travel seems like the obvious next step.”
    By day, J. L. Gribble is a professional medical editor. By night, she does freelance fiction editing in all genres, along with reading, ... continue

  • 8.28.2018 How ‘Sharp Objects’ ultimately lost its teeth and cheated viewers in the process


    Warning: Spoilers. Oh, so many spoilers about the full season of Sharp Objects below.
    Sharp Objects, the adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s (Gone Girl) first novel just wrapped up its one and only season on Sunday. Having missed most of its original run, I blazed through it in just a couple of days, and let’s just say that I have issues. Many, many issues.
    Bear in mind I have not read the novel, which came out in 2006. I had read Gone Girl before it hit theaters, and watching that whole thing unspool in front of an audience that probably hadn’t ... continue

  • 8.20.18 ‘Your misfortune is my good fortune’: How Ed Sherin made ‘Law & Order’ TV’s best damn show, for a time


    If you loved Law & Order, you had to love Ed Sherin. Even if you didn’t know what he did on the show (directed dozens of episodes and produced over 160 episodes of both the original and SVU) you certainly saw his name up there in the opening show credits.
    Directors and producers of TV show don’t generally get the glam treatment, but they’re essential to helming the ship (that’s why Variety calls them “helmers”) and sailing it safely into port on time, on budget (ish) and in shipshape fashion. Ed Sherin, who died at 87 on Thursday in Nova ... continue

  • 7.12.18 Why billionaires are not your financial angels, or your moral compass


    Did you hear the news? Flint, Michigan’s water supply is going to be saved.
    Elon Musk said so in a tweet.
    So you know everything’s going to be all right. Cue the Bob Marley music.
    Now, let’s take a breath and understand why – even if Musk does come through on his internet promise, even if he does throw whatever sums of money are needed at this issue and everyone in Flint can finally have a basic human right of drinkable water from its municipal source – this is a not a good idea at all.
    Let’s put aside the ... continue

  • 6.29.18 ‘Westworld,’ ‘Humans’ forget to ask the big question: What does a robot want?


    (Warning: Somewhat spoilery.)
    What does a robot want?
    In this time of real-world troubles among flesh-and-blood humans, I suppose it’s easier to think about robot needs and wishes, of androids dreaming of electric sheep. To consider where Westworld thinks its going, and about the hole Humans appears to have fallen into. And so ….
    As of now, I’ve watched all that Westworld and Humans have to offer, and both are based on similar tropes: robots designed to help and/or provide pleasure for humans become sentient and aware. The robot journey itself is far from new, either – Westworld iwas a 1973 ... continue