Random Friday

Okay, I had time to watch a movie during the weekend, so I finally finished the box set my sister lent me in December. The last to watch was Elysium, which wasn’t bad, but again it sees a future with no middle class, while I still think we might be headed to a middle-class-only society. I know it doesn’t look like that but if you check that Quantum Run page, there is hope in the future! 😉

I’m going to quote a sci-fi author (from the Finnish Worldcon progress report):

I’m also confused by the fact that such a large part of recently written science fiction is very pessimistic. It worries me particularly that in SF aimed at children and young adults, dystopias have become the popular and most frequently published subgenre. I myself am naive enough to believe that we would feel better if we could read about a future that is worth living in. I’m also naive enough to believe that we currently have all the information we need to create such a future. Why, then, do so few science fiction writers nowadays describe this kind of alternative? This remains a mystery to me but it would be nice if more writers were to even give it a try.

– John-Henri Holmberg

I agree with him. Time to write more optimistic futures! Even if the present is so bleak. Last week I was asked which sci-fi worlds I like to escape to, and since I’m old, I gave original Star Wars trilogy, original Star Trek and original Battlestar Galactica… and then this week I learned that Richard Hatch is gone too.

So I’m posting his autographed photo from Torino Comics 2012 when I was very busy being Happy Fangirl Barb with Terry Moore, but also got to meet him.  In case you’re a newcomer, you can read all about that here. I hadn’t posted the photo back then, so here it is now.

tocomics2012Anyway, it is well-known that I don’t watch TV anymore. Apparently da Muse went to the Italian TV for his next movie (coming out today in the US, next week in the UK) but I didn’t see him either (but then, I didn’t even see him when he came to Rome to shoot some scenes last year, LOL!).

Hope this weekend to watch another movie, if not, well… March! 🙂 Have a great weekend!


Random Friday

Todya we’re more into the reading randomness. As I mentioned, I want to write out of my comfort zone, so when I found this contest (and since the deadline is so close but it’s a yearly feature I have added it to the bookmarks for future submissions) I tried reading some real SF. Before I start one of those bundles I got last year, I re-read Expedition to Earth, since the dead trees version was already on my shelves and I haven’t re-read it since I bought it approximately 20 years ago.

Now I won’t rate it or anything, I just wanted to comment on the last story, The Sentinel (base for Kubrick’s 2001 Space Odissey that I watched once, hated and swore never to watch again, but that’s just me! 😉 I don’t get Kubrick, that’s all). In there Mr.Clarke postulates that we’d have a base of some sort on the moon by 1996. I daresay this belief stuck up to the early 1970s (anyone remembers Space 1999? I saw it both in Italian and French, LOL) but now? It’s still in the realm of science fiction. Sigh. So many high hopes in the first half of last century and then what happened? Man walked on the moon and then we were too busy with our petty squabbles to try again?

And then I went on Amazon to order my DVDs for the year (although one is still in pre-order, but since John Wick did come out but it’s just the dubbed version, I’ll just wait for the DVD – action movies in theaters are too loud for my tastes anyway) and in the search page (I needed to re-buy a DVD that doesn’t work so well anymore – maybe I watched it too much? 😉 Might be…) I found this comic… I’d have preferred the paper version (especially since I have an old Kindle Keyboard with B&W screen), but then, that’s what Calibre is for! 😉

The story is set between the movies, and the art… meh. Which didn’t stop me from getting both this one and the Constantine (the movie) one, even if I knew I prefer when I draw them, LOL! So now I have two official comics with Da Muses… I better draw one myself, although I’ll probably stick to silly vignettes, throw them all in the Kindle Comic Creator and publish them when I have enough for a decent-sized ebook! 😀

If anyone would like to be interviewed on this blog, or any character would like to be interviewed, contact me ASAP! Have a great weekend!

Random Friday

Last few days to vote on the poll, although a patten is already there. I’ll keep results and final decisions for next Wednesday, though.

Anyhow, this week I answered my first READER interview! There’s this guy, Brett, at Creative Reviews (did I mention it’s the best Goodreads group evah – for both readers AND writers? ;)) who decided to discover what readers think. Boy, I might steal that idea (with his permission, of course)! So, here’s a writer who decided to find out what readers want – I might never read his book because I don’t like horror, but maybe eventually I’ll get curious enough about HIM to give it a try. Like I said in the interview, there’s no genre I’d never ever read. And I’ve explored many already – enough to know what I don’t like and don’t want more of, but you never know.

Another question that made me think (dangerous thing, I know, I just can’t stop doing it. Maybe I should get smacked in the face whenever I mention an idea like in the Hitchhiker’s Guide movie version. Which reminds me I should reread the books. But I’m digressing now.) was the one on identification. That’s something I’ve heard a lot in writing circles, on how you should involve your reader so s/he can identify with at least one character – so I wonder if this is actually a writer’s question. Do readers really identify with some character or other? But then, like I said in my answer, I never identified with anyone. I’m more driven to TV or movie or comic book characters, because it’s easier for me to imagine myself interacting with them, but I don’t really want to be any of them. Can’t you see me standing on the Millennium Falcon, bickering with Han Solo? No, I’m not trying to be Princess Leia, I’m being me. Charlie’s Angel that never showed on in the TV show. Arthur of the Britons‘ secret wife. You can’t see me? You have no imagination, pal! 😀

Well, I hope I made my point (and I’d love to hear other readers’ answers to this question). It’s the same with books, I don’t identify with characters, but I can feel sympathy with some of them. Like Isobel of Away with the fairies – we’re very different, but I’d love to meet her and be her friend. Which leads me to my latest reading. It’s a page-turner, I couldn’t figure out where this was going until the end. It’s touching, funny and inspirational. The characters all have depth and humanity, and I really enjoyed my second ride with Viv. My reading was even smoother than what happened with Strangers&Pilgrims (thanks to Kindle and adjusting size fonts! ;-)) and I smiled at the thought of my town fairies every time Isabel had to deal with them. I think this second book is even better than the first one and look forward to more novels – precisely because it’s not the stories I would write, but I’m enjoying them.

I love Viv’s British humor and how she handles her outsider characters and their interaction with the “normal” world. Because like Eva Robin’s says in Belle al Bar “You know you can heal from normality, it’s not a deadly sickness!”. So, there you have it, Italian humor from an Italian movie I still have on VHS, so I don’t know if it’s available on DVD and if it has subtitles on the DVD version (if it exists). I do love some Italian movies (mostly from the 1990s), but they seem impossible to be found on DVD. Sometimes I wonder what Italian production companies think – but then, considering the main distributor belongs to, you guessed it, Mr B, I often wonder at the whole industry behavior. And buy my DVDs abroad. Except you don’t find Italian titles abroad, unless they’re classics or European co-productions. Sigh.

Anyhoo, enough rambling for today. Next post, a six sentence scene from my WiP I thought would perfectly fit Six Sentence Sunday – if it’s the last one or not, we’ll see next week. Have a great weekend!

Love-story with… TV

Because I’ve seen in the weekly digest of the Daily Post guys the suggested topic of reality shows, I thought I’d dedicate today’s love-story to TV. That’s another finished love-story, actually. It had become an addiction, so I got rid of it! 😀 Anyway, here’s how it went.

It started in black and white, of course, but was like this for way longer that it could have. My parents were (and still are) sort of technophobes: our first VCR arrived in 1987 as a gift (because they’d never buy it), the first color TV only when we moved back to Italy in 1978. Then I discovered that all those great TV series I had been following (Space 1999, Charlie’s Angels, Little House in the Prairie, Maya…) were actually in color! Wow! Until then, if I wanted to see something in color I had to go to a movie theater! Wonders never cease…

First there was the invasion of Japanese anime such as Grendizer (my first love!), then all those Brit and US TV series – mostly of the 1970s, but we were way behind back then – and I got hooked! CHiPs, Starsky&Hutch, Arthur of the Britons, Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek original series and so on. I remember even a season of Dr Who with Tom Backer and his rainbow scarf! All the 80s were filled with TV series (21 Jump Street, anyone? ;-)), then I probably overdosed. By the early 90s (second season of Beverly Hills) I had enough and cut TV. I kept watching music channels (we had Videomusic from 1984 to the early 90s, then MTV Europe) for another ten years, then quit altogether.

who needs to watch TV when one has so many DVDs?

Since then, 2-part TV movies and max. 6-parts mini-series were all I could watch on the small screen (which got bigger, BTW. Now I have a 32″ flat screen and I started with a 14″…). So imagine my dismay when an Italian publisher in its rejection letter (my one and only, as the others didn’t bother to reply…) suggested I write for TV! Hence the screenwriting venture, in feature movies: I had no idea of what was broadcast at the time on any TV. At one Screenwriting Expo I was shown a bit of Dexter‘s season 1 finale and was intrigued enough to check the whole season. And there I stopped, even if I enjoyed it.

So, here I am in the 21st century, switching on my TV set only to watch DVDs of movies. I’ve never watched a reality show (BTW, did you know they sprang up from the big 1986 screenwriters’ strike?), I’ve never seen Lost nor any other TV series (although I know what they’re about because I’ve read enough Creative Screenwriting and Script Magazine issues to know what’s out there), I’m fine with the original Battlestar Galactica (you don’t need to tell me how good the remake is, I don’t have time to watch it, sorry) and happy to remember Sarah Jessica Parker for her Footloose performance and Kim Catrall in Big trouble in Little China instead of Sex and the City! 😀

Sometimes those old TV series feel still fresh (hence all the movies and remakes…), sometimes, seen 20 or more years later, they look weird, like Uchu Kara No Message – Ginga Taisen (a Japanese spoof of Star Wars from 1978), but I guess they’re still in my heart, like past lovers.

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