Archive for November, 2009

Hmmm.

Posted: November 30, 2009 in Braak
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What’s up with Chris Braak, who keeps getting involved in industries that are dying?  No one can make their living as a novelist, anymore, so I can’t make a living doing that.  Academia is starting to unravel, since no one cares about knowing things these days.  The theater is on a steep decline (though, in fairness, has been on its way out since well before I got involved, so I should have known better).

Though, in point of fact, I guess most industries aren’t doing well these days.

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As you read this, I am (not literally) wrestling with a great big turkey, a barrel of brine, and my first attempt ever to make mashed potatoes after recently discovering that not only are they NOT, as I have previously suggested, “The Devil,” but are in fact pretty damn tasty if they aren’t made from a box freeze-dried flakes.

Or, I am asleep, if you are reading this before noon.

Yes, it is the great holiday known as Let’s Eat Starches and Pass Out After a Heroic Intake of Shiraz Thanksgiving, the time of year when you say things you’re thankful for. Only YOU lie at the dinner table and say stuff like “family” and “health” when the TRUTH is, you’re thankful for stuff like the latest “Doctor Who” special. But somehow your family wouldn’t really appreciate that admission.

Well, you’re here with us at Threat Quality Press, where you can say what you’re really thankful for. Here, I’ll get the ball rolling:

Comics!
Strange #1:
I’ve long been a proponent of making Dr. Strange closer to Dr. Who, and now one of my favorite comics scribes, Mark Waid, has made my dreams come true, with “Strange,” the first mini-series depicting the hero after he’s lost the title of Sorcerer Supreme: as a Guy Who Knows Things and investigates, with the help of useful people he meets.

While I generally prefer buying comics when published in collected format, I still wanted to buy the first issue, precisely for this moment:

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King of Shadows is a play by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, who is also a writer for the television show Big Love, and for the Marvel Comics series Marvel DivasHe went to the Yale School of Drama.  Unlike me.

So, probably Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa should be explaining to me how things work, and not the other way around.  Who am I?  I’m nobody, I don’t know anything.  Except, bullshit.  Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, here is the deal:

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I tried, with AMC’s “The Prisoner.” I really, really tried.

But if, after two hours of viewing, the only rational response to the material is, “My god, there’s four MORE hours of this?!” then, well…don’t be a hero, right?

I may have been more determined to like it, or at least appreciate it on some level, because to be perfectly honest, the entire internet ganging up on a six-episode miniseries actually evoked sympathy from me, in the same way as an abused puppy or a socially-awkward teenager might. I wanted to show “The Prisoner” that not everyone is Like That.

But no. No, it’s nearly impossible to struggle through. It is, as Matt Fraction put it, “Like watching paint dry, without the satisfaction of having painted anything.”

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Warren Ellis, as you may know, recently released a book of his essays (I guess?) on Lulu.  He and a friend of his knocked the thing together basically for no money, and now it’s for sale and people buy it.  I haven’t bought it, because I’m not really that excited by Ellis’ criticism, but that’s neither here nor there.

What’s here is this:  to any sensible person, this is a plan that obviously has no direct benefit to a person unless they are Warren Ellis.  And, for some reason, any time anyone mentions that, Warren et al talk to us like we’re a bunch of lazy crybabies.

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Notes from the Convention: To Cory Doctorow

Posted: November 23, 2009 in Braak
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Mr. Doctorow:

I am very, very sorry that I got loaded on Cruzan rum and then insisted I could headbutt your glasses off without touching your nose.  You were right about that.  Sorry.

–braak

Hello, Philcon Attendee!

Posted: November 21, 2009 in Threat Quality
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If you are reading this, you have bought a copy of The Translated Man/Picked up a copy of our Broadsheet, and/or put up with our awkward attempts at conversation and salesmanship.

Thank you!

Please come back throughout the week for more dynamic essays, fiction, and sundry various bits of things.

(And if you were only thinking about buying The Translated Man, peer your peepers over to the right-hand side of the window – that’s where you can order a copy to call your own!)

Holy Cow!

Posted: November 20, 2009 in Braak
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There is a guy here at Philcon that is selling Utilikilts!

Holland!  You need to get down here and purchase one.

UPDATE:  Bolo ties, everywhere!

In order to keep the blazing infernos of our respective creativities stoked, Holland and I periodically engage in exercises in fiction.  Usually, this consists of me (because I spend most of my time bored and without human contact) e-mailing him and saying, “Hey, why don’t we do THIS crazy idea!,” and Holland responding with, “Okay, but let’s actually do it this way!”  And so forth.

As you know, a while ago we finished up Hand of Danger (a project which began in much the same way), and so I threw out a new idea for the two of us to chew on, which we’ll be relaying in pieces for the next couple Fridays:

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For all the complaining about how sci-fi doesn’t get a chance on TV – spurred by regular announcements of favorite shows getting cancelled (often in their second seasons, which I will soon develop a theory about) – fans seem to ignore just how much genre TV there actually is these days.

From the last year alone, both on network and cable: Lost, Supernatural, Fringe, Pushing Daisies, Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles, Eureka, Dollhouse, Reaper, Battlestar Galactica, Stargate Universe, Warehouse 13, Flashforward, The Prisoner, V, Torchwood, Dr. Who…and while the failure rate is far higher than the successes, let’s point out that Lost, Supernatural, the Stargate franchise and Smallville are (in some cases bafflingly – okay, just Smallville) pretty long-lived for TV series.

Now, argue left and right about the relative quality and/or unfair-cancellation of any of these shows, but there sure are a lot of them, considering every year I seem to come across a panicky “Is sci-fi on TV dead?” article or 10.

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