#GGBC The Call of Lovecraft

This month for Geek Girls Book Club we answered the call of Lovecraft.  HP Lovecraft that is.  If you have not heard of Mr. Lovecraft, please do not continue to read my blog as I must distance myself from you and rock you live under.

For those of you whom did not heed my request and are continuing to read without knowing who HP Lovecraft is here is some brief info.  He is one of the American fathers of what became known as speculative fiction, then later the genres we know and love as Sci-Fi, fantasy, and horror. He was born 8/20/1890 in Rhode Island.  He created Cthulhu and the Necronomicon.  He wrote as a journalist, poetry, general fiction, as well as the horror he is mostly remembered for.  His creations still pop up in modern pop culture including “Army of Darkness” and “The Real Ghost Busters”. He even appeared in one of my favorite TV shows, “Supernatural”.

I had not ready of his massive works prior to this month.  Thanks to Cthulhuchick.com, I was able to download his complete works onto my Nook.  I only read 2 selections, “the Call of Cthulhu” and “the Cats of Ulthar”.

The Call of Cthulhu:  I must admit, I did do a lot of skimming.  Parts of held my interest parts of it did not.  The story had a lot of description of things and not actions and conversations.  Maybe if I had not been reading it during lunches, I might have enjoyed it more.  The scenes where there were interactions between people were great.  But again I am not a reader who needs the whole set painted for me with words.  I would give it 3 of 5 tentacles.  What I enjoyed I really enjoyed.

The Cats if Ulthar:  I absolutely loved this story!!!  I have 4 cats so I really hated the couple who lived in the dark cottage.  I felt so bad for the gypsy boy whose cat was taken and then wanted to cheer when he cursed them.  I especially loved the end. 5 of 5 tentacles!

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Lines, Man-Nipples, and Tails! (Installment 2)

 

Picking up where we left off…

Saturday:  Got there at 9:30, good thing too because they let folks in early.  Finally got Will Wheaton’s autograph…  There was the cutest little baby  Wonder Woman in line ahead of me.  She was about 2 months old and a was a darling. (Sorry Squirel Moment)… What I had for Will to autograph was a photo that I took at his table with him last year.  He was kinda rude about it.  I guess it was just me he was rude to,  as  OW had a good signing experience with him.   I then went to his Awesome Hour 90 minute panel.  He was really funny and I would recomend attending one if you get a chance.  However, he was kind of an ass when some of us left during the Q&A.  He litterally stated that that was the best part for us we should be honored.  He did not leave time for folks to get to other panels. I had places to be.  Thirteen yearold me is happy to have the autographed photo with him.  Adult me probably will not be voting for him with my dollars.

 Went to the Vertigo Panel. Found out I-Zombie was being cancelled at book 28.  They made it sound like that was always the plan.  [Asked Chris Roberson after a different panel, he said nope Vertigo cancelled probably due to sales.  Plus he would have loved to write a short series just on the Dead President’s which was my question in the panel.]  Bill Willingham was a riot as always.  Mike Allred was funny and missed his wife Laura who was maning their booth.  We found out that Dustin Nguyen will be doing the artwork for and American Vampire run.  And yes it is the same guy from 21 Jump Street. It was a good panel except for the I-Zombie news. 😦

It was almost 2:00 by then and I was in cranky diabetic needs food mode.  I was pretty much a witch with a “B”. i humbly apoliize in writing to those I growled at.

Met Eddie McClintock from Warehouse 13.  When I was looking at photo choices for signature (I actually paid for his).  There was a shot from the episode they get sucked in the video game and he is a centurion with no shirt.  He was really sweet to family ahead of me and told the boy that he had a kid the same age.  Ladies he was so sweet and cute.  Then its my turn.  After he shakes my hand, he looks at the photo and states, “You went with the Man-nipples” huh?”  Me:  “Well when looking at the options, I am already spending $60 ($30 autograph and 30 WH13 T-shirt he designed).  So I figured “man-nipples” would irk the husband more.”  The idiotic man-nipples conversation went on a little longer.  Those that know me would not be surprises, nor was DH annoyed with the “man-nipples”.  Before he handed me the photo back, he added something to the side. I was just start struck and wandered off.  When I had gotten down the row and was done drooling, (he’s hot and sweet, just cause I am happily married doesn’t mean I don’t drool) I saw that he had written “man-nipples” along the side.  He now my number 2 celebrity behind David Tennant.

I then stalked Bill Willingham from the Vertigo Table to his Table.  He is great people mover.  He is a sweet guy even if he can be an obnoxious person on twitter and in panels.  DH and I also went to his panel that was just him.  It was his favorite because he didn’t have his editors telling him what to say.  His words, which was what he told his assistant as he was escorting us to his table.

 I also got a print from Dustin Nguyen and his autograph.  He did not believe that he was my favorite in 21 Jump Street.  He was, I don’t always like the ones that everyone else does.  He was really sweet, commented on my sonic screwdriver and remembered me from his panel earlier in the day.  (I had on the wonderful “Be Calm, Don’t Blink” shirt that DH had bought me).

 DH and I met Mike & Laura Allred.  They are the most adorable couple.  They were kinda like me and DH but with talent.  He does the annoying whatever you want dear.  He’s been doing it for over 30 years…I am in trouble.

 OH and OW participated in the Costume Contest.  They unfortunately only made the parade of Stars.  They were characters from Journey Quest which is a web show.  They were media category but not a well know as some of the others.  Most of the costumes were great!  I loved Hawkman’s wings.

 Sunday:   DH and I got up early and went to Trinity Parish Episcopal Church for Palm Sunday.  It was a nice church; the parishioners were very welcoming when we went to the Parish hall for the post service coffee.  I think it’s a requirement that you must have coffee after every Episcopal service.

 This was our easy day at the Con.  We wandered, saw the guys and gal from Corrosive Comics, bought me a fur tail, and caught a panel on the rise of urban fiction comics.  It was fun and nice that we did not have to go back home that day!

Through out the con we saw many great costumes.  However I saw way too many Wonder Women.  Which basically was jsut and excuse to walk around in a bikini and in one woman’s case, show off her blue and red thongs with said bikini.

 Post Con:

Monday, we rode city bus in Seattle.  We found the Iron Pig Bar-B-Que for DH.  He really likes their soda that we get at World Market here in Seattle.  We spent an hour getting to know the bus stop, and then headed to the Underground Tour. 

 The Tour Guide (TG) was distracted by our shirts, I had my Natural 20’s on, OW had on d21 That’s How I Roll, and DH had on his Boobies make me smile.  TG was great and even showed me an old circuit panel to take a photo of.  She told us to take a good look at the photo of the seamstress, to see what was wrong.  I knew the answer from reading the Cherie Priest Clockwork Century novels.  I was waiting to tell TG that when the people in front of us busted up laughing.  She had pointed to a copy of Boneshaker and was telling them that the author apparently goes on the tour a lot and should be a tour guide.  They then told her it was her.  I had a geekgasm and said, “Your Cherie Priest? can I take a picture”?  Took a photo.  Then she and her friends agreed to wait while I purchased Boneshaker for her to sign.  DH could not believe the Con was over and I was still getting signatures.

 We then ended our trip at AFK Tavern in Everett.  It is a nerd bar.  We spent the evening drinking geek themed drinks and playing munchkin.  It was our kind of place.  You must check them out on Facebook!

 Tuesday, DH and I got up walked to Pike Place to buy a Fish.  Had Tea and Crumpets.  Met up with OW and OH, had Fish and Chips then went back to Salem.

PS Due to Techinical Errors…It may be a bit before we have photos. 😦

Lines, Man-Nipples, and Tails! (Installment 1)

My dear Blog readers I have not lost my mind, that is an apt description of the Emerald City Comic Convention.  Some of you have now asked what the heck is a Comic Convention.  We’ll it’s basically a large gathering held for nerds and geeks.  Not just comic book geeks either, there is plenty of stuff for other geeks especially those of the sci-fi genre.  There are panels, authors, artists, media guests, photo-ops, places to get autographs, and vendor booths.  It is a place to spend your hard-earned money on all sorts of geekery.  It is too big to contain in one blog posting, so it will be spread out over two days.  Also, I will link to a public photo album when everyone can see the pics. 

The bigger convention in Seattle is the Emerald City ComicCon. 2012 was its 10th Anniversary.  So they made it ginormous!  ECC donates part of the proceeds to the Seattle Children’s Hospital so you are not just getting your geek on, but you are helping out kids.  Specifically, the sale of the Monsters and Dames art book goes to the cause.  This is my darling husband‘s (DH‘s) goal every year, to get each artist in attendance to sign our book.  The key to getting the signatures is to do Friday and Saturday, as some artist will leave Saturday night.  I wander, collect some signatures, and mostly people watch…the famous and not famous alike.

 This year we attended with another couple from our Salem Tabletop RPG Tribe, hence forth know as OH (other husband) and OW (other wife).  OW’s mother was wonderful enough to let us use some of her credits and stay at the Worldmark Seattle Camlin Hotel.  Located a block from the Washington State Convention Center.  This was a great location, close to the event, small fridge and toaster so we were able to have Eggos and fresh fruit every morning.  The Thursday before the Con, the four us walked around the corner to a Seattle must, the DragonFish Café.  It’s an Asian Fusion restaurant with great food and great drinks.  DH or I always get a Confucius.  It is a drink with a shot of 151 is floated on top and lit.  Please stir your drink before drinking; otherwise it is not so good. 🙂

 To follow is a breakdown of the three days of the Con…

 Thursday, aka the day you get in a line to get in a line to get into more lines 🙂:  The Con did not start until 2:00pm.  Tickets were available for pick up at 12:00pm.  We headed over to the convention center at 7:00 am.  Well DH and OW did…myself and OH went on an adventure to find credit union ATMs.  With cash in hand, OH and I entered the convention center and were greeted with the expected large crowds.  We also found out the there was a pottery convention going on.  We found our spouses, seated on floor next a guy in Flash T-shit to go with DH’s Green Lantern T and JLA sneaks. (I had on a Wonder Woman T and sneaks.)   He became our new con-buddy know as Flash. We soon go shooed back out into the public area.  Only pottery people were allowed beyond the magic doors. The people in green jackets are serious about there jobs.  We hung out in the public are got to know Flash.  I went to get a decaf latte. (There is a law about you must drink coffee when in Seattle).  As I am standing in line, I get a text.  Not one comi-con person guesses the ring tone, but the pottery folks commented on the TARDIS.  I was disappointed.  DH, OW and I entertain a family from Bend with our normal past time of picking on OH.  Finally, its 10:00 am and we can move on to the line to get our tickets.  More picking on OH and a girl who had modified her Batman shirt to show off her cleavage and was embarrassed by it. Then we finally get our tickets and can hover outside the doors to the Con!  Another 2 hours later, we get into the Con floor.  Hubby, Flash, and Boy/Dad from Bend go to get Robert Kirkman Tickets.  (INSERT CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY REFERENCE HERE). Mom from Bend and I get in line to buy Con swag.  We regroup and go our separate ways.

 I make my first attempt to get Will Wheaton’s autograph, however not enough time. Because I love DH, I ditched the line.  Before 4:00 pm I need to be in place to use my Golden Ticket…I mean the ticket to get Robert Kirkman’s Autograph.  (For those of you under rocks, Kirkman and Tony Moore were the original creators of the Walking Dead comic book. Hence the tickets and lines.)  I was around the 10th person in line.  Flash comes walking up to me and starts talking.  So I commented on how wasn’t it cool that I got us such a great spot in line?  That’s how it was the entire Con. Our group and Flash just acted like we were saving each other’s places.  This is why you make friends.  Anyway, DH was on his Monsters and Dames quest, so I was tasked with getting his Image United issue 1 signed.  That was why I was in line hell.  When it was my turn, I asked Kirkman to personalize for DH because it would make his fan boy day.  Kirkman told me to let him know that “they would eventually get it finished” [It’s a six issue run].  So I said, “Just don’t die on him like a lot of author’s do”.  The intake of air from the males in line around me dropped the air pressure. I think my ears popped 😦 Kirkman rolled with and made a comment about how he was losing weight and didn’t skydive.  He even let me take his photo.  I asked him if he felt bad for my husband and he said he did. The next guy hands him something, and he told him not to make jokes about him dying. The guy groveled no sir.  It was hilarious.

 Next task for DH on the same comic book was Mark Silvestre.  There were no tickets on Friday but there was Boobie Girl.  I ended up what seemed like blocks away from the booth, about the time I got close enough to see what the holdup was the Silvestre was supposed to have stopped.  There was chick with her boobs hanging out of her shirt with a stack of cards for him to sign, he sign some things for other folks, go back to her stack, then repeat.  I made so many snarky comments that the guys around me were calling her that.  The handler for him finally heard me chuckled and said something to him.  When I got his table, he signed my Artifacts number 1.  After he signed the Image United 1, he also stated that they would one day finish it.  I said I had already heard that from Krikman.  He asked if Kirkman gave me a date.  I said no, but since I read The Magdalene and it has taken close to 3 years to get to issue 11, I wasn’t surprised.  ( The Magdalene is a Top Cow comic which is under Image) Silvestre in all his Italian glory with a hand flourish, announced that is the Image way.

 I got Brandon Jerwa to sign my Vampirella 14; I only bought it because he and I had a shoving match last year. I felt bad because I had no idea who he was.  I was stalking another writer at the time.  I reminded him who I was and why I bought the book. He signed it “SHOVE”.  Nice guy.

 Don’t think I caught any panels that day. I was too busy standing in line and being my snarky self 🙂

See you in 3 days… 🙂

#GGBC Review of The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie R King

When this book came up for book club I was not sue which way it was going to go.  I not usually a fan of mysteries unless there is an alien or supernatural bent to it.  I like my sci-fi, fantasy, steampunk,and urban fantasy.  But hey, it’s book club, so let’s give it a whirl. I was also not thrilled to be reading yet another book with a 15 year old heroine.  (The book jacket did not mention that it covered a span of a few years. I was glad that she grew up and were not mired with teenaged melodrama.)  I also hated that the first chapter was about the “mysterious box”  being delivered the “editor” of the book, that kind of set up usually annoys me. It is no different than finding the trunk in grandma’s attic.  I was prepared to force myself to read the book.

When Mary first all but mows Sherlock over because she was reading her book and walking it reminded me chuckle. (My husband is pushes the shopping card in the grocery store while reading forums on his phone and doesn’t always see me stop.  Then it is my fault for stopping. :))  From the minute Mary opens her mouth she seems to shock Sherlock with her knowledge and spirit.  He is impressed and is entertained for lack of a better word,

Mrs. Hudson is basically flabbergasted by the changes in her “Mr. Holmes” when he shows up with this young girl. In all of the stories, no matter who writes them, she is seems as much mother as landlady/housekeeper.  Watson is always the friend who tries to save Sherlock from himself.   Mary seems to be the fix; that he has needed for his friend.

I almost wonder if Sherlock sees in Mary a young Irene Adler that he can mold for good and not for a life of crime.  I believe that he will be no more shocked than anyone else when he realizes that he is in love with Mary.  She not just an apprentice but an equal. She is just a clever as he is, but I do not think she will injure him like the rest of the female species.

Mary has striven for Sherlock to respect her from the beginning and to be treated as an equal. She is a strong female lead.  However, her irritation with Watson before meeting, struck me almost as a type of jealousy.  He was hers and Watson did not treat him like she thought he needed to.  I wonder how she is going to react later on if/when Irene Adler enters the story in some way?

I am looking forward to reading “A Monstrous Regiment of Women”, as soon as the Salem Public Library pulls it for me.  There are no dragons, space stations, airships, or mutants but I look forward to advancing in this series none the less.  Good job Ms. King, you brought the reader off her shelf . 🙂

#GGBC Review of Dragonflight by Anne McCafferty

Was this sci-fi or fantasy?  There were dragons and telepathy, but it was descendant of Earth who traveled by spacecraft to the plant and the “dragons” were an indigenous species.  That is a debate for another time.

(DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER UNLESS YOU WANT SPOILERS)


As to the book its self, it was pretty good.  However, my problem with it was the fact the McCafferty doesn’t delve into what makes the interpersonal relationships work. I had no problem with F’lar going from being a major pain in Lyssa’s behind one day and the sprinkles on her sunday the next.  (There are days when sending my husband to the former planet Pluto sounds brilliant.)  But what about him makes her chest go squishy? (My husband learned the difference between the Tardis and a Dalek, and he doesn’t really watch Doctor Who.)

F’lar and F’nor are half-brothers.  Okay, on which side of the branch?  The family tree split somewhere.  Why was F’nor willing to go ten years into the past with Little-Miss-I-Want-To-Snog-Every-Thing-With-Three-Legs Kylara, just cause F’lar asked him too? When he popped back for a bit he wasn’t too happy about it.  There has to be a reason why he jumped when brother says so.

Why did F’lar and R’gul treat each other with an almost hostile indifference?  There had to have been a conflict in the past.

I need these little details about the relationships to be more invested in the characters.  It took away from my enjoyment of the book.  The action, history, scenery, etc was magnificently done.  I just needed the interpersonal details. 😦

Ready Player One Review

Ready Player One By Ernest Cline, my first book review as a member of #GGBC (Geek Girls Book Club).

(Please imagine a photo of the e-book on my Kobo inserted here. I am a dumb blond who forgot her “book” at work. Remind self to hit library later today for actual paper books.)

First of all, I am now glad that I get the joke when I see people who have named their wireless “OASIS”. I have seen that in several neighborhoods that I lived in, and always thought what the heck is up with “OASIS”. I am apparently not the nerd I thought I was. Yay me, I think.

PLEASE NOTE THAT BELOW WILL FOLLOW SOME SPOILERS, SO DO NOT READ FURTHER UNLESS YOU’VE A) READ THE BOOK OR B) HAVE NOT INTENT TO READ IT.

When I started the book, I was not thrilled with it all being online and basically about a global mmo. I am not the world’s biggest fan of PC and home console games. I play the required stuff on Facebook, some Mystery Case File on DS and Wii, and never miss a Professor Layton…Other then that, I feel that video games are a life sucking vampire that must be wiped from the planet. My initial thoughts were “Great, I am reading a book about WoW/FFXI/EVE junkies on a planetary scale. This is gonna suck!” I know all you gamers are booing and hissing at me like a bad vaudeville play. I am glad the Cline proved my initial assumptions on his book wrong.

Born in 1975, the 1980’s were the years that formed who I am today. I miss them. Kids were kids, parents were “parental units” not friends, music videos told stories, movies were about the story and not the best CG, Ferris Bueller was who we wanted to be not a car commercial. Life was simpler. I played more video games (I remember the white cabinet that housed JOUST, I think the local pizza place had one). My dad brought home and Atari 2600 for the kids…it was several hours before we could touch it because he had to make sure it was ok for us to play. We had imaginations and knew how to use them.
Sorry, had a squirrel moment.

There is a social commentary to the book: If we keep doing what we are doing, there is not going to be much of a future. Kids are bullied, so they are wanting to online charter schools instead of public schools. Adults are already living through their computers, they work/play/date there. 2nd life had become 1st life for some people. We pollute, we take away jobs, we all accept a culture of bullying to adults and kids. We are headed to the future that Wade lived in and “opted out of” to become Parzival. Not a pleasant thought. However at the end it seemed that Parzival and Art3mis were looking forward to spending more time as Wade and Samantha.
The concept of the “egg hunt” reminded me of a cross between “Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” and the “Scavenger Hunt” movie from about 1979. Plus the added element of hostile corporate take over, complete with virtual and IRL killers. All in all it was a great book, even if the general concept wasn’t the most original, the references are worth it.