going away

The preparations for the London/Japan jaunt have sapped my ability to post anything meaningful on this journal. I hate posting something just for the sake of it, and I’m not a “what I had for breakfast” type of blogger (muesli, strawberries, and yoghurt). Since I’ll be away for just over three weeks there’s a lot to do, including learning a little bit of Japanese. I’m accruing a phrase or two every day, which is pretty good since I find it difficult to master another language.

The Worldcon programme is online now, and I’m scheduled on a few panels. I’m very much looking forward to reuniting with old friends and meeting new people.

Nic Clarke at Strange Horizons reviews the Fantasy anthology in which “Bone Mother” appears. She has no quibbles with my story, which is nice.

The FrightFest schedule is online too. There’s a wide selection of films that I’m looking forward to seeing, but I’m quite keen to view the new Irish horror flick, Shrooms, which was written by Pearse Elliott and directed by Paddy Breathnach. Let’s hope I won’t regret staying up until the very wee hours to watch it.

As usual I will have to rely on regular doses of coffee to sustain me during the horror film marathon.

I haven’t been watching many films lately, due to time constraints, but I did catch Ghost Rider on DVD and it fulfilled my expectations of being a shallow and predictable comic book adaptation. In particular I groaned over the Roxanne (Eva Mendes) character. As soon as she reappeared in the film I realised that she was going to be menaced by the villain in the end, and Johnny Blaze (Nicholas Cage) would have to rescue her.

And that’s what happened. Just like in the Spidey films where Mary Jane only exists as a tool to be used against Spiderman. The other superhero film I saw during the summer, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, was mediocre, lacklustre and featured some awful effects (the Mr. Fantastic scene on the dance floor had me cringing). The story chugged along on very little sense, and the most interesting character in the film, the Silver Surfer, only had about 15 minutes of screen time.

These are strictly conventional stories, which uphold and laud the status quo. Watching these films I cannot hold onto any hope that Watchmen, due out next year, will be anything but a neutered, lobotomised version of the subversive original.