the falling sky cover

Fiction Meets Science — Pippa Goldschmidt, “The Falling Sky”

(A German translation of this review is available on the Bremer Literaturkontor website.)

No spoilers were harmed in the making of this review.

On June 18, 2015, astronomer-turned-novelist Pippa Goldschmidt visited the House of Science in Bremen, together with her translator Zoë Beck, to read excerpts from her novel “The Falling Sky.” As part of the series ‘Fiction meets Science,’ novelists, literary scholars, sociologists, and STEM scientists observe the relationship between literature and science. This examination takes place on two levels: literature becomes the object of sociological study within the context of public discourse on science and scientific progress, for one. On another level, there is a field of tension between science and its representation in art.Read More »

Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road

Mad Max: Fury Road

If you haven’t seen Mad Max: Fury Road yet, I strongly urge you to.

Not only does it tell us, in the wake of summer action blockbusters like Age of Ultron and Fast and Furious 7, that this genre is neither dead nor dying — it tells us that it works across gender boundaries.

Tom Hardy’s Mad Max introduces us to a not forgotten hero, but one left in the dust of time, at least when it comes to the silver screen. It introduces us to the hero of a franchise, the male hero — and we get to know him through the role he plays not in his own story, not in some heroic journey that he’s mapped out for himself. We get to know him through the action he takes not for himself, but for others, through his role in someone else’s story.Read More »

Minority Report first look

FOX 2015/16 line-up — trailer reviews

Out of the FOX line-up for this fall’s TV season, these two shows caught my eye — Minority Report and Lucifer. After NBC has done away with its really, really bad Constantine idea, FOX has picked up the Downstairs end of the story based on DC’s Vertigo Lucifer comics. Minority Report, of course, is the sort of origin story/precursor/continuation of the Tom Cruise movie based on Philip K. Dick’s novel, from the perspective of the three Precogs featured in the movie.Read More »

Melissa Benoist as Supergirl/Kara Zor-El

First Look 2015/16 — the first pilot season trailers are up on the air

Hey folks — it’s barely summer, and it’s time to get a good look at what US television is offering us this fall.

Here’s a selection of trailers that a) grabbed my attention and b) made me want to see more, and soon, or c) made me go, oh no, not this again.

Supergirl (CBS)

Stars Melissa Benoist as Kara Zor-El/Kara Danvers/Supergirl, Calista Flockhart as Cat Grant, Mehcad Brooks as James Olsen, Chyler Leigh as Alex Danvers, and David Harewood as Hank Henshaw

Supergirl has me the most excited by far because, dude, it’s not a plane, it’s not a bird, it’s definitely not a man. It’s a girl.Read More »

Legend — official trailer

Aside from the fact that I’d watch Tom Hardy fry an egg and I’m really excited to see him in not just one but two leading roles, this movie will be of special interest to us as Whitechapel fans. In Legend, Tom will play both of the infamous Kray twins, whose modern sort-of reincarnations (and fictional […]

Penny Dreadful returns May 3, on Showtime.

Here’s another look at the full trailer: Just as Season 1, the show’s second outing teases a vast carousel of delicious references to our favourite Horror stories, as well as some more obscure material, such as the English folk song, “The Unquiet Grave,” a ballad here sung by Helen McCrory’s Madame Kali as she bathes […]

Ian McKellen’s ‘Mr Holmes’ — Official UK trailer

Watson wrote the story — but he changed the ending.

I’ve read very little about the new Mr Holmes, starring Ian McKellen up to this point, simply because I wanted the first images I saw of it to be those in the trailer, not those of my overactive imagination.  I’ve seen and read so much of him that I wanted this Holmes to present himself on his own terms — and I’m glad I held back.

This Sherlock Holmes is years past his prime, decades even. Watson has since passed away, and Sherlock has squirrelled himself away in the country in Sussex, keeping bees and keeping a lot less busy than in his Baker Street days. The universe he lives in is one in which he is both real and much more of a fictional character than perhaps in some of the other adaptations that don’t go meta quite so much as to have people cry out his name in the streets or on the Internet — or to have Sherlock go and watch a movie made of his exploits at the cinema.

He chose exile, he tells us, following a grave mistake that he made — Holmes is rewriting one of his cases, the case of a young woman who needed his help… and whom he failed. Struggling with his memories changing and facing his own mortality, Holmes picks up his pen to give his last case its proper ending; and his waning life a sense of completion.

Focusing entirely on Ian McKellen’s Holmes, this trailer promises a moving tale — and, even in his last days, a fresh look at everyone’s favourite consulting detective.

The script isn’t based on any of Conan Doyle’s stories, but instead adapted from Mitch Cullin’s novel A Slight Trick of the Mind (published in 2005). Directed by Bill Condon, it also stars Laura Linney, Frances de la Tour, and Milo Parker.

Fan Fiction Writers Are Not Here For Your Titillation.

Dear Media,

Fan fiction writers are not here for your titillation. Fan fiction writers are not here to make other fans of fiction feel safe and cozy in the knowledge that they’re wasting their lives watching telly more sanely than some others. Fan fiction writers are not here to provide cheap thrills for your audience.

We are not here — there, everywhere, in the public domain — to be made fun of; to be used as that old photograph on everyone’s high-and-mighty dartboard for all of those who… well, all of those who need to feel better about themselves and their own ways of consuming media. (Be that consuming loads of it, occasional viewers, or those consuming none at all.)

Apparently, you can only ever feel better about yourself by absolutely pissing on someone else’s fun parade.Read More »