Archive for the ‘Review’ Category

10
Mar

Dr. Who

   Posted by: Garrett

I got my wife addicted to Dr. Who over the Christmas break. We’ve recently been watching the fifth series (that’s season for us Yanks across the pond) – the one with Matt Smith as the Doctor and Karen Gillan as Amy Pond.

I have already seen all of the episodes, but it has been fun watching them again (thank you magic of DVR!).

Tonight we watched the episode about Vincent van Gogh. It still brought tears to my eyes at the end.

23
Nov

Review: Harry Potter 7.1

   Posted by: Garrett

Last Friday, I got to see the new movie twice!

Once for work and once with the family.

I thought the script was handled quite well. The story was told well and condensed enough to keep the action moving (as opposed to the interminable amount of camping time done in the book). The acting was great. These 3 kids have really grown up and become fine actors. I could have done without the “Harry and Hermione kiss” – the same effect could have been created with more of an eye toward younger audiences, and just plain old propriety. The dancing scene was fun, but kind of silly. It felt thrown into the movie. Finally, I felt like the entire setup for all the deaths didn’t work well. Dobby’s death should have had me bawling (like in the book). Instead, the deaths didn’t build on each other. The danger level didn’t feel like it increased as we went along. In general, though, I thought the film stood on its own and was enjoyable in its own right.

17
Nov

Chuck!

   Posted by: Garrett

Heidi and I have loved the TV series, Chuck, ever since it aired 4 years ago. Part of the charm is the character named John Casey, played by Adam Baldwin. The character is similar in some respects to the part Baldwin played on another of my favorite shows: Firefly (and subsequently on the movie version, Serenity).

This 4th season, they been bringing in some big names for cameos and small parts. From Brandon Routh last season to Timothy Dalton and Linda Hamilton this season, it has been lots of fun.

Well, yesterday’s episode had an appearance by Summer Glau (who also had a part in Firefly). And seeing her and Adam together again was totally awesome! They really feed off each other in a great way.

John Brown – the author’s official site » Blog Archive » Writing update: Curse Draft 3 FINISHED, The Book Academy.

I am mentioned as a reader! John asked me to read it because I had not yet read the first book in the series and he wanted to make sure things still made sense to me. I made it through a couple chapters (if I recall correctly) before things got a bit confusing, but I applaud John’s idea to make each book stand a bit on its own.

I hope he gets done with it soon because I am really looking forward to reading the first book (I’ve had it in my To Read pile for almost a year, I believe).

John Brown – the author’s official site » Blog Archive » Writing update: Curse Draft 3 FINISHED, The Book Academy' data-link='http://garrettwinn.com/2010/08/24/john-brown-%e2%80%93-the-author%e2%80%99s-official-site-%c2%bb-blog-archive-%c2%bb-writing-update-curse-draft-3-finished-the-book-academy/' data-summary=''>
16
May

Book Reviews

   Posted by: Garrett Tags: , ,

I have been doing better at keeping up with doing book reviews than I have with doing any actual posting here, but I am trying to change that a bit, especially now that I am done teaching at UVSC.

I have decided that I am going to change around how I do the book reviews, as well. On Goodreads I’ll continue to give my general thoughts and opinions, but here I am going to start analyzing the stories for how well they make use of Setting, Plot, Character, Conflict, and Text (style and word choice). After all, these are the things that John Brown taught me about for creating Zing, so I should be paying closer attention to them.

Of course, this won’t work perfectly for every book I read. I read lots of non-fiction as well, so that should be analyzed differently. From the non-fiction, I hope to get most of the same kinds of Zing, but only indirectly as they give me ideas or research notes.

So, be on the lookout for these new reviews within the next week of any book I finish (after all, I’m in the middle of 10 books right now).

2
Feb

IGMS

   Posted by: Garrett Tags: , , , ,

I got this email from Edmund, and wanted to share. IGMS is a great online magazine with incredible stories (one of my favorites so far is Tabloid Reporter to the Stars):

To Readers of Science Fiction and Fantasy everywhere,

When you have something great, you want everyone to know. So you tell people about it. You share it. You pass it along to friends everywhere. Well, that’s what we’re doing with InterGalactic Medicine Show. We want to make sure everyone has had a chance to check out what we’re doing, so we’re offering up a sampling of our stories – for free.

During the month of February we are going to make one story from each of our first four issues available at no charge. Two stories will be set free on February 1st, and two more on February 15th. Just visit www.intergalacticmedicineshow.com and explore the table of contents; the free stories will be clearly marked.

Issue one’s free story will be “Trill and The Beanstalk” by Edmund R. Schubert, issue two’s will be “Yazoo Queen” by Orson Scott Card (from his Alvin Maker series), issue three’s “Xoco’s Fire” by Oliver Dale, and issue four’s “Tabloid Reporter To The Stars” by Eric James Stone. Each story is fully illustrated by artists who were commissioned to create artwork to accompany that tale — as is every story published in IGMS.

“Tabloid Reporter To The Stars” will also be featured in the upcoming InterGalactic Medicine Show anthology from Tor, which will be out this August (we wanted you to get a sneak peek of the anthology, too). However, the other three stories aren’t available anywhere except the online version of IGMS.

It?s really quite simple. Great stories. Custom illustrations. Free. We’re pleased with and proud of the magazine we’re publishing; now we’re passing it along to our friends and telling them about it. We hope you’ll enjoy it and do the same.

Edmund R. Schubert
Editor, Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show
www.intergalacticmedicineshow.com

27
Jan

Misc

   Posted by: Garrett Tags: , , ,

I’ve just finished Well of Ascension, and it was awesome – so much so that I’ve been thinking about it a lot over the past week (which is why I haven’t posted as much here as I normally will). I wrote a little review in my reviews area.

I’ve been enjoying the story itself, but I was also looking at how well Brandon Sanderson choose plot twists and ideas. He definitely did not seem to be pulling from the cliche shelf (of course, I’m not thoroughly versed in Fantasy any more, but I was kept guessing all the time).

I’ve lately been trying to get the Transfer Loss novel going. I did finish NaNoWriMo, but that ended up being mostly just lots of short stories stuck together in one long document. So, I have been trying to plan it out and think it through a little more. But things just weren’t flowing well. I have lots of cool ideas, but I’m just going to put it aside for awhile and focus on something else.

In fact, I have started thinking again about Moon Shadow more seriously. That is the story I wrote as a flash fiction piece and then submitted for Boot Camp. I am working on the beginning. Orson Scott Card was right about it starting in the wrong place. I started a 1000 ideas in an hour session for it, and came up with some really interesting ideas. It was a one idea story at first, so a couple of these things should really make it deeper and more interesting.