Well, it's called "News and Interviews"…
…and boy, am I doing a lot of interviews.
This is the month I do a virtual blog tour to promote Locksmith’s War. Here are the stops so far. Be sure to give them all a visit:
September 5: Candlelight Reading
September 5: Westveil Publishing
September 6: Literary Gold
September 7: Andi's Young Adult Books
September 7: Lisa Haselton's Reviews and Interviews
September 8: Momma Says: To Read or Not to Read
September 9: B-Gina Review
September 9: Jerry's Circumlocution
I’d like to thank all of these bloggers for hosting my tour, especially those I couldn’t thank personally because Google was being weird about blog comments. More to come.
I learned something mildly depressing recently. I finally got around to seeing Tomorrowland because of that awesome scene in it:
Turns out, Tomorrowland has… one awesome scene. The rest of the movie wants to be inspiring, wants to remind us to choose hope instead of fear and despair, but it's kinda meh.
That’s not the depressing thing. The depressing thing is that Brad Bird passed up the chance to direct the Star Wars sequel trilogy so he could work on Tomorrowland. Imagine a sequel trilogy directed by Brad Bird. It would certainly have had an overall story arc, instead of being “Episode VII: Let’s Just Give the Audience What They Expect,” “Episode VIII: Okay, Let’s Try the Exact Opposite of That,” and “Episode IX: Hell With It, Bring Back Palpatine.” It could still have had a female Jedi protagonist—even one whose powers are mostly innate rather than sharpened through effort, there's story potential in that—but Bird would’ve put more thought into where the various original trilogy characters ended up and why, and he definitely would’ve insisted on more original villains than the Empire-Warmed-Over that is the First Order. As we've seen from The Mandalorian and other shows, the Star Wars universe is some of the most fertile soil for adventure stories in all popular culture. There was no excuse for mediocrity.
“For all sad words of tongue and pen, the saddest are these, “It might have been.” – John Greenleaf Whittier.
I’m also playing Claudio in the Shore Shakespeare production of Measure for Measure, a weird mix of the comic and the not-remotely-funny. (This time, I don’t feel inspired to come up with the character’s whole backstory and emotional journey throughout the play, as I did for Lennox. Claudio’s emotional journey is basically “Woo-hoo!/OHCRAPOHCRAPIMGONNADIE/Whew.”)
The weird thing is how 21st-century the play feels. The duke’s deputy Antonio falls in lust with the not-yet-a-nun, but instead of trying to marry her, he pulls the ever-popular Scarpia Ultimatum, offering to spare her brother from execution if she has sex with him. When she threatens to tell everybody what he just said, he responds, “Who will believe thee, Isabel?”, pointing out that he has an excellent reputation and nobody has a clue who she is. (“Tell the world, Isabel. See how many people believe or side with you.”)
Also I’m watching The Rings of Power. No complaints about the casting, I love the Numenorian sailors’ motto “The sea is always right,” and I don’t think Galadriel was written as a Mary Sue. I think she was written as somebody suffering from PTSD to the point where it badly compromises her judgment:
Biggest complaint: In the first three episodes, there is way too much conflict for conflict’s sake whether it makes any sense or not. Let’s say you’re a sailor who took to sea because his homeland was overrun by Orcs. Then your ship gets wrecked by a sea monster that keeps coming back to eat the survivors. You find a stranded Elf-woman and bring her aboard your chunk of flotsam. Would you not be too preoccupied with survival to get in arguments with her?
Or let’s say you’re a prince of the Dwarves. One of your friends is a high-ranking Elf, but you and he have fallen out of touch and you’re starting to wonder if he’s still a friend. I realize there’s no social media in Middle-Earth, but what’s stopping you from writing him a letter? Just to touch base?
Or let’s say you’re the regent of Númenor, and Elves have long since been forbidden in your kingdom. One day a ship brings in an Elf, and she says she wants to leave your kingdom and get back to the mainland. If you want her gone and she wants to leave, how is this even a problem? You’ve got great big ships going back and forth all the time. Her butt is not going to be a significant burden to any of them.
It’s kind of a relief when the actual bad guys start showing up.