Totally No Homophobe

In which I laugh at a bigot and then get all shirty about the new-new-new left.

Bigots make me laugh sometimes, they really do. I’ve lost count of the amount of conversations I have had over the years that have panned out almost exactly thus:

Bigot: *”Something racist/sexist/homophobic/twatty”*
Me: “Um, dude, that’s a bit kinda, you know, racist/sexist/homophobic/twatty”
Bigot: “How dare you call me racist/sexist/homophobic/twatty! I just believe *something racist/sexist/homophobic/twatty*”
Me: …

So the following quote from author John C Wright -an author who was part of the Sad Puppy slate for this year’s Hugo awards- made me guffaw no end. The Sad Puppy slate was an attempt by a bunch of right wing bigoted fuckboys to game the nominations for the awards. They did this on account of feeling that heterosexual white males are an oppressed group in our society who are under represented in the fields of Fantasy and Science Fiction… seriously. The comment was made by Wright on the discussion thread below the absurd apology to the racist/sexist/homophobic/twatty community for a comment made by one of their employees on her personal Facebook profile. You can read about the whole fracas here. Anyway, the comment.

Dear Peter D, and all of you who claim Irene Gallo’s statement was true–

You are saying things you know or should know to be untrue, and you should be deeply ashamed for letting your emotions out of control, tempt you to dishonesty, and for yielding to that temptation.

I am not unrepentantly homophobic. I am nothing of the kind. It is a lie.

I follow the Catholic teaching on same sex attraction and how one deals with it. In public, I have heaped scorn on those who use a children’s cartoon, one I loved, to insinuate their pro-perversion propaganda in a cowardly and craven way.

I have no hate, no fear, nothing but respect for homosexuals.

You and people like you who use the false cloak of compassion for homosexual to lure them into ruining their lives, you are the ones for whom I have no respect. You are the ones who hate them; you are the one who urge them down ever darker paths.

One of my family members committed suicide because he pursued the homosexual lifestyle you and yours continually urge him and poor souls like him to pursue.

You are the ones who offer a drunk a drink before he gets behind the wheel of a car, and when Christian urge sobriety, you claim our motive is fear and hatred for the drunk, not prudence and compassion.

He abandoned my stepsister when she was six years old, and my step brother when he was four.

Your evil, vile, repulsive philosophy of pure selfishness is what I hate, not the homosexuals you use as a shield for that philosophy.

As for the other lunatic assertions of Irene Gallo that you now leap to claim are true —  misogynist? neo-nazi? I wonder what St Mary and St Maximillian Kolbe would say if either thought me their enemy.

Racist?I wonder what my daughter, who was born in Chinese to parents who abandoned her, would say if I were racist.

Another one of my family members was wounded in World War Two, awarded a Purple Heart for his efforts in liberating a Nazi death camp.

You know nothing of me, nothing of my life, nothing of what I have known or suffered. Irene Gallo make statements beyond false: they were reckless with hatred, whereas I have ever spoken of her with gratitude and respect for the wonderful illustrations and compositions with which her department adorns the books she and I sell.

I am only the writer. The book is a team effort. Irene Gallo is a member of the team. She has apologized for her lies, and I accept her apology.

I would like you, sir, to do the same, and never dare to libel me again. When you do not know whereof you speak, close your mouth.

John C Wright


Now; have you ever seen such a perfect example of the complete lack of self awareness that near defines the racist/sexist/homophobic/twatty individual? Without missing a beat he skips merrily from “I’m not homophobic” to “Homosexuals are all perverts”. It’s a thing of beauty to see something like this and I think that we should all take a moment to appreciate quite how splendid Mr Wright’s comment truly is.

Have you done appreciating? Good. If you want to read a bit more about the most recent hoo-ha stirred up by  the racist/misogynist/homophobe Theodore Beale (the voice of the oppressed straight white male majority) then Jim Hines has a good wee overview here. If you want to read more about the whole Sad Puppy affair then I’m afraid that Google will have to be your friend as I really cba to trawl through the morass that is the SFF scene looking for you. Oh, what the hell, go on then. Click here for more info.


Anyway, I don’t normally pay that much attention to the world of SFF or online fandom or the shit squalls that regularly erupt there as a) It’s bad for my blood pressure and b) I find it incredibly frustrating the amount of effort that people put into online ‘activism’.

The term “social justice warrior” should be a badge of honor, but it’s been defiled by the endless internet war raging between the insufferable fringes of tumblr and reddit. And no, I am NOT saying both sides are the same here; obviously the actual bigots are worse. But let’s not forget that we have to be GOOD, and not just better than them. (Comment by the artist)

The sentiment expressed here by Red’n’Black Salamander on Deviant Art illustrates quite well the frustration felt by many of those on the left who are actually engaged in political activities -or who used to be as is the case with myself. The posturing and showboating that has evolved in the online world, and has in recent years spilled over into the, for the most part, more liberal parts of political activism has had a really deleterious effect on the left. Where people on the left should be focussed on what unites us, us here referring to the working class rather than the left in general (lol, as if that’s going to happen), as workers -the foundations from which we can build the new society- we now see attempts to stratify through definition the working class under the guise of intersectional analysis. An intersectional analysis is a useful tool to have in one’s box if one is studying Sociology or writing academic papers but in the real world it doesn’t translate well, not well at all. In fact one of the reasons that I began my abstention from generalised political activity was the emergence of this approach -along with the increasing popularity of privilege politics- as I saw early on that the praxis that would develop from this approach would inevitably see a return to the embarrassing  ‘hierarchy of oppressions’ which permeated the radical politics of the 1970s/80s (before my time -I’m not that old!).

Now, I’m not saying that straight white dudes don’t have it slightly easier than everyone else -we live in a society where the ruling class have fostered racism, sexism, and homophobia for centuries to suit their own ends- but the portrayal of heterosexuality, whiteness, or maleness as privileges has the effect of turning our focus away from the things we should be fighting -oppression, injustice, capitalism and class society- onto those things that we can not, and should not, fight -ourselves. The privileges identified by those who take an intersectional approach are unlike the privilege that 99% of the population think of when they hear the term: economic privilege. Unlike economic privilege these privileges can be neither given up nor adopted –no matter how hard some may try– and so, in practical terms, all a focus on them can do is turn introspection into a form of faux activism. It also has the effect of making those with the privileges the centre of attention -which is probably why it is so popular with white middle class kids- rather than the people experiencing the various manifestations of oppression.

These privileges, as I said, can not be fought as they are things that are, by their nature, inherent. What can be fought is oppression. It is possible to fight racism, transphobia, sexism, homophobia and so on because they are social, not individual, issues. That fight is hard though (if it was easy they wouldn’t call it struggle would they?) and it involves actively participating in political work through which these oppressions need to be challenged as a matter of course. If you’re fighting lay-offs or attacks on working conditions, for example, then you want all in the workplace to stand together as that is what makes us, the working class, strong. You don’t want to only stand alongside straight white dudes on the picket line -you want everyone regardless of sex, race, gender, or sexuality standing alongside one another. It is actual political activity like this that breaks down the walls of bigotry that the ruling class rely upon to keep us divided. That requires actual real world work though, it’s far easier to call someone a *ist shitlord on the internet though and get your ego stroked by a bunch of Facebook likes and retweets.

This lot knew the score.

Now, to segue wildly back towards the topic of the Puppies and internet shit squalls, people like John C Wright and Theodore Beale serve a social purpose. They are there to be mocked and to have the piss taken out of them. That is their purpose and that is the full extent of that purpose. Engaging with them in any way beyond this is a distraction from engaging in actual political activity -something that suits them and their ilk down to the ground- and creating a society that has solidarity at its heart and which therefore would be a place unwelcoming of those who would seek to undermine that solidarity. If that’s what a person wants rather than merely wanting to have their ego stroked.

When people like the Puppies pipe up, as they inevitably will, just point, laugh, and carry on not buying their books.



Now Available as an ebook

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Click to Buy for £1 (or more if you like)

New Wave of the Weird?

A bit of a stream of consciousness ramble in response to a really interesting piece on Teleread:

Writer Paul StJohn Mackintosh has a fantastic little article on Teleread contrasting the New Weird with the New Wave of Fantasy/Science Fiction that emerged in the 1960/70s. The New Wave of Fantasy/SF was politically aware, experimental, and pushed at the boundaries of genre that were just then beginning to solidify into the forms in which we know them today. A phenomenon that appeared to have had its last gasp in the cyberpunk explosion of the 1980s. He lays some of the blame for this seeming stagnation in the realm of F/SF at the feet of Hollywood and its attendant marketing machine. The explosion that was Star Wars and the ensuing product branding and marketing acted as a barrier in genre, ‘sentries on the walls of the sci-fi ghetto‘ as StJohn Mackintosh puts it, serving to brush aside and exclude those who would seek to push at those genre defining walls.

It is the opinion of StJohn Mackintosh that Dark/Weird Fiction and Cosmic Horror have stepped up to fill in the gap left yawing by Science Fiction. That it is now the Weird that is the playground for imagination that Science Fiction once was. I do believe that he is right in this. As Science Fiction and Fantasy have become ever more mainstream over the last 30+ years they have become more strictly defined. The Weird, on the other hand, defies such strict definition. Stories of the Weird can sit squat on the outskirts of any of the readily existing genres or outside of genre conventions all together.

What does it say about our society and our time that the genre best suited to it, which is producing the most striking and imaginative writers, is rank with despair, nihilism, terror, cosmic doubt and anomie, and pure and simple horror? Well, try putting a Gernsback– or even a Kurzweil-style spin on 9/11, Iraq, the GFC, Wikileaks, ebola, etc. What kind of faith can even the lay public retain in progress, science and technology that not only have failed to stop Al Qaeda and ISIS, but have even produced climate change and global warming? Let alone an America that has ceased to believe that progress is its ally.

Whilst it is undoubtedly true that much of the Weird is shot through with nihilism, terror, and despair I think that there is more to the reason for the Weird’s ascendancy as the playground for the literary imagination. 

I have written before about how the First World War was a point of cultural rupture that inspired the modernists, both high and low, and which ushered in an age of great ideological conflict. An all pervasive dichotomy  defined as capitalism/communism or east/west. We see a similar dichotomy in the work of HP Lovecraft with his horror being about both the rupture as the world changes and the dichotomies of known/unknown, natural/unnatural, civilised/non-civilised, human/non-human, WASP/non-WASP. These early works of the Weird, of Cosmic Horror, are rather illustrative of the emergence of, what would become, the global stalemate of the ‘cold’ conflict between the USSR and the USA. Over the course of the 20th Century the conflict changed from being an ideological one, as the USSR evolved into a state-capitalist mode of production, into being a conflict between two competing forms of the same economic model. It was capitalism fighting with itself about how it worked best. 

It was in this context that the New Wave emerged as artists reacted to the potential ‘hot’ conflict between these two monolithic entities. They had to find new ways to express this cultural paradigm. 

The world has again changed dramatically over the last two and a half decades. The fall of the Eastern Bloc, the events of 9/11 and the various conflicts around the world which have come in its wake -Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria etc- and the increasingly apparent effects of man made climate change(me from the 1990s says “I bloody well told you so”) have reshaped how we perceive our world. No longer is the threat to our civilisation an easily understandable conflict between two powers. Now there are so many factors at play it can be difficult to keep track of them all.

In Syria we have the rise of the, initially US backed, Islamic State who we are told are bad guys, and they most definitely are, yet those who are doing the best job of resisting them are the PKK who are also, we are told, bad guys. (Incidentally there have been some extremely interesting developments with the PKK and their move towards libertarian municipalism and away from left leaning nationalism) We have the increase in natural disasters caused by climate change, the resulting increase in migration. We have the rise of right wing racist organisations capitalising on the increase in migration. We have the economic cluster-fuck that is being exploited by the various ruling classes of the world to tighten their grip on their respective societies through the implementation of austerity measures. We have the increasing frequency of revelations of corruption and outright bastardry in the establishment. Chaos rather than simple conflict is the order of the day. 

It is because of this emergent obviousness of the chaos that is the world that the Weird has become the playground for those wishing to play in the literary laboratory. Science Fiction and Fantasy have become so constrained by their marketing that it becomes near impossible to use these forms to explore the constant flux and rupture of life in late capitalism. The Weird allows for near complete freedom in the artist’s approach to interpreting and presenting the world to itself. A freedom that was once enjoyed by F/SF in the time of the New Wave writers.

It isn’t simply the despair and nihilism that runs through the Weird that allows it to act as such a powerful tool for authors in the present age. It is the wild abandon with which authors can approach a theme that mirrors the chaos and turmoil in which we find ourselves. We no longer see the progress of humanity as being anywhere evidenced; perhaps this is because so much recent technological development of late has been personal -the mobile phone/pc, the internet, medicines. These things are all subtle and hidden from view. They may have changed the world but they haven’t put people on the Moon. Now we see chaos and disorder – The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere | The ceremony of innocence is drowned | The best lack all conviction, while the worst | Are full of passionate intensity – where once we saw ourselves as part of a grand narrative.

This doesn’t, however, necessitate despair or nihilism. It does however necessitate the need for an approach that is free of the constraints of genre which have developed over the last half a century or so. The new paradigm needs a new literary tool kit. The Weird is that tool kit.

Watch This: Rosetta: The Ambition

The European Space Agency have released a wonderful piece of science fiction to promote the upcoming Rosetta mission to land on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. It’s a gorgeous short film and if it fails to excite you about space exploration then you’re probably dead inside. 😉

Post-Apocalypse 90210

Post-Apocalypse 90210 The 100 is a new CW show that has, on the face of it, an interesting post-apocalyptic concept. The premise of the show is thus: three generations ago there was a massive nuclear war rendering the Earth uninhabitable. Luckily a dozen or so nations had orbital platforms, the occupants of whom all survived. Over the years the various platforms were linked together into one huge station , ‘The Ark’, on which all the tiresome class structures of Earth that was are reproduced.

It transpires that the life support on The Ark is failing and the occupants need to find out if the Earth is once more able to support human life. To test this they select the eponymous 100 from the station’s penal facility and bundle them into an escape pod and send them on their merry way.

Sounds tip top to me. Unfortunately this great concept was turned into a trite pseudo-Lord of the Flies populated by people who wouldn’t look out of place on Dawson’s Creek or any other ‘pretty teen drama is dramatic’ type of show.

Which is, to put it mildly, such a let down when the show had such a good concept. Not too dissimilar to Revolution on NBC. Another show with a great post-apocalyptic SF concept let down on execution.

The kids, due to Ark law anyone over 18 committing a crime is put out of an airlock. Which is, as it goes, a reasonably clever way to ensure all the cast are young and pretty. Pretty. That’s the bugbear here. All these criminals are in perfect health despite having spent -who knows how long- in a cell. In space.

I really love my SF and lament that, so far as I’m concerned, it is actually really rare on TV. SF for grown ups that is. Don’t get me wrong, I love silly stuff like Dr Who, Warehouse 13, and all the other SF/F light that’s out there but I really want some SF/F that makes me think, that has interesting and complex plots, and believable characters.

I can only think of a handful of shows that fit this description. Battlestar Galactica, C4’s Utopia,.. and that’s about it. We get shows that have oodles of promise, like the BBC’s ill fated Outcasts, but that are a let down at the end of the day. Outcasts could have been really good too. If only the BBC hadn’t attempted to turn it into Eastenders in space.

Guess I should just wait until HBO do an SF show. Come on HBO, give us an SF Game of Thrones or True Detective!

「Junk Head 1」

This wonderfully weird 30 minute stop motion animation was created over four years by Takahide Hori. It is a fantastic tale of the far future where humanity has achieved extreme long life at the expense of the ability to reproduce and has fought a war with a race of clones it created as a labour force.

In the distant future, humanity is hurtling down a path of ruin. Global environmental destructon caused by chemical contamination, radioactive fallout, and UV rays coming through the patchy ozone layer has lead to deterioration of the human genome.

In an attempt at escape, humans expanded their sphere of daily existence underground, but they were decimated by an ancient virus that had been sealed there.

However, by developing gene recombination technology using the virus’s genes, mankind was able to attain a lifespan that could be called “immortal.” The human body became inorganic at the molecular level. No breathing or blood circulation was necessary; as long as a faint electric stimulation was present, even existence as a disembodied head was possible.

(It was popular to change one’s body as fashion, and bodies that were no longer needed were fitted with AI heads and sold as laborers.)

However, mankind’s new atomic structure was unstable, so once every 10 years it had to be reconstructed. As long as that reset was accomplished, humans could expect “eternal” life, but in exchange, they lost the ability to reproduce.

In order to maintain their dwindling workforce, they started to create new beings patterned after humans using cloning technology, but the clones rebelled. At the end of a long war, a ceasefire was reached that has now lasted 1,200 years, with the two sides living separately: the humans on the surface and the clones below ground.
(However, at the border there are incessent skirmishes, and this story’s protagonist is unable to evade one of these attacks.)

The outbreak of a new virus saw the population reduced even further, and human society reached a critical point in the fight to preserve mankind.

It is during this crisis that a surveillence camera sent underground discovers clones that were unexpectedly able to reproduce, and an investigation is launched. (For population control reasons, clones were not originally built with reproductive functions…)

It is unclear how far the underground extends.

The ecology of the uniquely evolved clones is also unknown.

However, in order to carry on the species, mankind desperately needs that genetic information.

Hori’s website(in English) can be found here.

Weird Horror Fiction

To say that I am a devotee of The Weird would be to understate the facts to a rather large degree. I have, since being a young teenager at least, been a fan of all manner of speculative fiction. Never content to focus on a single genre as some of my school mates seemed to I would, age 11 or 12, skip happily from reading the Hickman/Weiss Dragonlance fantasy novels to Clive Barker’s Books of Blood to William Gibson’s Sprawl novels. I never really discovered weird fiction however until my return to reading voraciously around seven years ago. Of course I read Lovecraft as a teenager, to have a diverse taste in genre fiction as a teenager makes it somewhat unavoidable, but I never came across any other writers of the weird.

Upon my return to reading(I lived out of a rucksack for many years, a state of affairs that makes reading a somewhat difficult task and one that is rather low on the priorities when weighed against finding somewhere dry to stay and food to eat) in around 2006/7 I dove straight back into genre fiction and before long inevitably found myself at Lovecraft’s door once more. After reacquainting myself with the old racist from Providence I immediately set about trying to find work of a similar bent and discovered for the first time the wider world of Lovecraftian mythos writing.

I discovered the works of people like Willum Pugmire, Laird Barron and many, many others. I delved into writers who had influenced HPL such as Robert W Chambers and Arthur Machen. I have yet to read Lord Dunsany but he is most definitely on my ‘to read’ list for the next few years. It was around this time that I first of a literary movement describing itself as the New Weird. A literature that seemed to take elements of all the genre’s I loved growing up and infected them with grotesqueries and body horror. That took genre tropes and turned them on their head whilst dipping them in decay and existential angst. Literature that takes the surreal and the monstrous by the hand and leads it to pastures strange and new. How could I not love this fiction and why was I only discovering it now? Years after it had apparently achieved its peak? Why only now do I find the works of Ligotti(THE modern master of horror and the weird), Kiernan, Mieville, Cisco and co.? It seems that I am, as ever, late to the party.

Faceless woman

woe is me

Regardless of my late arrival to the party of the weird I have wasted little time in exploring this new, to me, territory. This literary landscape of dreamlike confusion, tortured and twisted horror and screaming despair. Being somewhat new to this weird world I have spent nearly as much time reading about the field as I have done reading the actual works and authors discussed. I’ve devoured the writings of ST Joshi, Jeff VanderMeer et. al. as I’ve enjoyed interviews with the likes of Ligotti or talks by Mieville or the essays by publishers, critics, authors, bloggers and anyone with an interest in the fields of weird fiction writing.

What is it about the weird that kindles such a fire within? That makes me feel like the clichéd stranger in a strange land?

For me what makes a story weird is not the inevitability of the horror presented, the vast unknowable of Lovecraft’s mythos, not the centrality of the city, of urbanism, to the story that many new weird writers claim. What truly defines a story as weird for me is that it leaves the reader discombobulated when they are done with the story.There should be no neat explanation of why a horror has occurred. The perceived real world should not remain intact when the story has unfolded. It should be made askew, unhinged. It is a simple enough affair for a human mind to adapt to the existence of creatures of myth and legend. For ghosts, vampires, werewolves, and bogeys to be accepted into our world view. We have, after all, been raised on such creatures. They are as much a part of our psychic world as the myths of nationalism and the stories that we tell ourselves to create the shared world we all inhabit. A weird tales does not necessarily tear down these edifices of society, though some do, it instead ruptures them. It tears at the ragged hem of what our perceived reality exposing something else. Some equally, or even more, real than the supposedly real world around us.

surreal mirror imageThat is of course when the weird fiction tale is set in a world that is either ostensibly our own, as in the works of Lovecraft, Machen and so on, or is so like our own that one need not distinguish it as being secondary world fiction as in the works of Ligotti. What then of the secondary world weird tale? When an author is set upon setting the world askew why only concentrate upon a world like the one in which we live when we have, as a species, created countless worlds in which to set stories. We can take these worlds of fantasy and science fiction and set them spinning to see what happens. What happens is, of course, authors like Jay Lake and China Mieville and Michael Cisco. These authors take the worlds created by speculative fiction authors and do for these fictional worlds what Ligotti et al. do for the one in which we live.

This is why I am a devotee of the weird. Because it is always new(hackeyed pastiches of Lovecraft notwithstanding) and always unexpected. It forces the reader to move beyond the comfort zone of familiar tropes and idioms. Because it uses these tropes and idioms to subvert themselves and the society that created them.

So here’s to discombobulation and the rupturing of the real to expose the real.

Prometheus Bland

I went to see Prometheus

Prometheus shouldn’t have been a good film. It should have been a fucking fantastic film. With Ridley Scott directing and an absolutely cracking cast. However despite this and despite having some mind blowing special effects and an overarching plot that promises epic philosophical and ethical exploration it is let down sorely by one thing. Well, one thing and two people. The script and the people, Damon Lindelof and Jon Sphaits, who wrote it.

Overall the script was clunky and seemed to me to be a rehash of a rejected 1950’s B movie. The actors all deserve credit for managing to work their way through it as well as they did. The script is full of major plot holes, cod philosophy and so many basic scientific(and archaeological) inaccuracies that anyone with a high school education should have been wincing all the way through. Character development is nearly non-existent, aside from the character of David played by Michael Fassbender, so it is difficult to find any sympathy for any of the characters. The characters almost all act in a completely unfathomable way, even David who is the most developed character by far.

But it is the simple scientific, and archaeological, fuck ups that really irritated the fuck out of me. I’m not concerned with ‘realism’ when it comes to things that we don’t have today and so need bullshit explanations but when it is things that are available on wiki-fucking-pedia there is absolutely no excuse. Sorry, no fucking excuse.

For starters we are told that the crew have been asleep for a little over two years yet the nearest star to Earth is something like 4 light years away so they must have broken the speed of light to get there. A pretty remarkable advance for the next 70-80 years. But then we are told that they a visiting a galactic cluster that has a star in it around which orbits a planet with a moon. So the planet, sorry moon, we are visiting is in a different galaxy? And they got there in 2 years? And this galaxy, nay this entire galactic fucking cluster, only has one star with a planet? WTF????

Then there is the archaeological stuff that was just absurd. At the beginning of the film we are told that we are on the Isle of Skye at an archaeological dig. We see Noomi Rapace hard at work making a discovery and sending a fellow archaeologist to call Dr. Holloway, hereafter Annoying American Dude(AAD) ‘quickly’. Said archaeologist rushes out of the cave and shouts down the hill to AAD who is hard at work sieving some soil samples(meinne gotte! Some actual archaeology!). AAD quickly throws his sieve to the floor and dashes up the hillside because you have to be quick off the mark to catch archaeology… Anyway, AAD gets to the cave where Noomi Rapace has found a wall full of cave paintings in the style of Lascaux. “Have you dated it?” AAD asks, and here I am willing to suspend disbelief and accept that there has been some super fast and portable means of radiometric, or other technique, dating developed in the 80 years between now and then. The response though “Yes, 35,000 years”. 35,000 years? W.T.F??? The earliest evidence for human occupation in Scotland goes back maybe 10,500 years. 35,000 years ago Scotland, and therefore Skye, was under a sheet of ice a kilometre thick. It was uninhabitable. Also bear in mind that the paintings at Lascaux date back around 17,500 years.

Seriously. Hollywood. There are plenty of folk out there with archaeology degrees. Just pay one of us to give your script the once over. As it goes the film comes across as something produced by the SyFy channel but with better effects and an expensive cast who are wasted on a clunky script written by morons who deserve to have their livers eaten by birds.

It is a pretty film mind…

Edited to add: Lol, can’t believe I missed this one 😀

Game of Thrones

I’ve always been something of a snob when it comes to the cultural output of the United States; especially so when it comes to television and film. With a few notable exceptions, Seinfeld for example, most of the TV to come out of the US seemed crude at best.

Well, that was good wasn’t it? I’ve not read the books yet, although I get the feeling that by the time season 2 airs I will have done, so I can’t comment on how true the TV show stayed to the text. Given the size of the novel, and that the entire first season was a mere 10 hours, I get the feeling that they streamlined the plot somewhat. Continue reading “Game of Thrones”