Serenity Now!

I finally went to see Serenity. Being a not-very-rabid-yet-somewhat-enthusiastic fan of Firefly, I had pretty good expectations of this movie. I was not disappointed – the movie indeed was pretty good. My gripes can be best presented in the following bullet points (if I had the time, I would have created a powerpoint deck for you):

  • No blue-handed men (“Two By Two, Hands of Blue”) or any explanation as to why their hands were blue. And mighty Google brings back hilarious, but most unsatisfying results
  • “The operative” is not bounty hunter Jubal Early, but instead what seems like a one-dimensional character based on the early notes for Jubal Early.
  • I don’t like the explanation of the nature of Reavers.
  • The soundtrack was worse than in the TV Series

Meanwhile, it seemed to me that I’ve seen Morena Baccarin, the actress who plays Inara, somewhere else. I was not mistaken – she had a bit role in a movie that I like very much, Roger Dodger. There she is, Cosmo in hand, next to the boss she has a crush on, right after talking to Roger:

I got to give her credit – so 2 out of 4 movies Morena took a part in are really good. I have half the mind to pick up the other two, to see maybe if they are good too.

By the way, I never really understood what’s so great about Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It always seemed like a cheesy show with wooden acting, but then again, I never watched an entire episode or learned the backstory. I guess I’ll have to rent the first season DVDs and see if it’s any good.

Shiny stuff:

Serenity comic book prequel – a bit of filler between the TV series and the movie:

Original TV series soundtrack. It’s on pre-order still, but at least it’s happening.

“Finding Serenity : Anti-Heroes, Lost Shepherds and Space Hookers in Joss Whedon’s Firefly” contains rants about “Firefly” from various pundits, including an inflammatory (and labeled by some as “male-chauvinistic”) article about the role of women in sci-fi by John C. Wright (as much as I like his science fiction and hate his fantasy, I have to say that he’s full of it).

Wright Is Wrong

I started reading John C. Wright’s “Last Guardian of Everness” but got stuck in the middle because of the cursed conventions of the degenerate genre that Wright chose to try his hand out in, and “MTV style” narration that jumps from a character to character (there must be an official name for that, but I don’t know it). 

The degenerate genre is Fantasy, of course, and the conventions are:  magic, characters that are “chosen” (and “last guardians” in general), unicorns and other mythological critters, cities with names that sound like allergy medicine names (Celebradon? give me a break).  Passing by much abused elves and gnomes in favor of lesser know dudes like selkie and Koschey The Deathless is ok, but still short of coming up with original types. 

Wright is much better than an average Fantasy writer, but his storytelling is somewhat sloppier than necessary for me to swallow Fantasy.  Unfortunately, it looks like he is becoming much more boring, sloppy and he is yet to produce something better than “Guest Law” and other of his short stories.  The Phoenix Trilogy was good (even if too long and not polished enough to be a true masterpiece).  He has a beautiful world created in “Guest Law”, and the best part of  the Phoenix Trilogy for me was that it was kind of related to that world. But he squanders all of that to write slightly above mediocre Fantasy.

Dream A Little Dream Of S-40

If you’ve been readin my journal for a while, you might know how important dreams are to me.

There are a lot of important and famous dreams recorded in history – Mendeleev seeing the periodic table; Kekule seeing the worm Oroborous and understanding the benzine ring; Chief Sitting Bull seeing soldiers falling upside down and predicting victory of the Little Big Horn, Hitler seeing the trench engulfed in molten lava in his dream and leaving it thus saving himself, Julius Caesar having a dream in which one website that will be left unnamed says “his mother appeared” and then “taking” Rome, etc.

Over the weekend I was reading Igor Sikorsky, His Three Careers in Aviation by Frank DeLear, and in it was an example of a forshadowing dream that I haven’t encountered before.

The book says that when he was 11 years old, Sikorsky had a dream in which he was standing in a narrow passageway. There was a bluish light overhead and the floor with a fine carpet under his feet. The floor was vibrating, but for some reason he immediately realized that it wasn’t a train or a boat, but a flying machine. He walked through to a door that led to a richly decorated lounge and then woke up. Since he was born in 1889, this would make it the year of 1900 when he had the dream. The Wright Brothers flight was three years away.

Years later, in America Sikorsky was walking through his latest design, the S-40 plane and was struck by a sense of deja vu. There it was, bluish light of fluorescent lamps overhead, the vibration and the fine carpet and even the smoking lounge at the end.

(the photo is from Igor Sikorsky, His Three Careers in Aviation) by Frank DeLear

Next in my reading queue: John C. Wright’s The Last Guardian of Everness – a fantasy that deals with dream worlds and such. Figures.