Friday, November 17, 2017

A bunch of time travel films

Thirty half-arsed "reviews" of films featuring varying degrees of time travel, salvaged from my old blog since Photobucket's ransom demand made wading through that site even more irritating than it was already. In alphabetical order, not chronological. That would just get confusing.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Ranking Robert Jordan's Conan novels

My Robert E. Howard read-through was hardly comprehensive, only covering the 30-odd Conan stories and fragments he wrote in his short lifetime. So it seemed likely I'd take another swing and hack through more of the bibliography at some point.

I didn't expect it would involve reading another writer's expanded universe fan fiction from 50 years later, but here I am. Clearly couldn't get enough of the rugged brute. I could have read some proper novels in the time this took me. Just as I could have spent my late teen years getting to grips with Bach rather than Manowar, but never mind.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Ranking the Red Dwarf episodes

Red Dwarf just unloaded the last of its time-delayed twelve-episode batch of retro space sitcom adventures, and they were mostly... well, let's be thankful that the quality was mostly above the late-'90s nadir. Except when it noticeably wasn't.

But don't take my word for it – here's me with my hot-off-the-press-meets-fifteen-year-old-received-opinion approximate list of The Top 73 Red Dwarf Episodes (1988-2017). I haven't rewatched most of the classics for years, nor most of the shit ones for even longer, so be prepared for inconsistent and literally rose-tinted opinions about my favourite childhood series.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Oh yeah, privacy

I had a mild wake-up call that just because I'm not posting photos on Bebo or whatever they have nowadays, it's still not a great idea to broadcast images of myself and the real people in my life and information about what I'm doing out into the world to be unprofitably duplicated by disreputable image site bots forever.

So I've reverted-to-draft all posts since early 2013 that might include personal details or pictures of my lady wife and other family members, until I can be bothered to go through deleting the incriminating data one by one. So I get to enjoy the boring admin of a break-up without any of the unpleasantness, win-win. (I'm especially looking forward to spending time manually removing the location field for each blog that I took the time to manually enter every single time, out of some weird sense of obligation that I'm sure Google appreciated at least).

Anything before 2013 doesn't matter, I was just freelancing and flaneuring and killing the lonely evenings in-between. This is my life now. With a wife, a couple of cats, some good books and a lot of work to be getting on with.

Cat pictures are fine though. You'll be delighted to know.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Ranking the Edgar Allen Poe stories

Wooooooooo, it's Halloween (apparently)! What better time to unearth these morbid morsels from the master of the macabre?

Right, like that wouldn't have applied to most of my reading this year. Ranking The Top 69 Edgar Allen Poe Tales only required the minimum of schedule shuffling. And it turns out most of them are lame comedies anyway. No poems, I don't do those.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Ranking the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures comics, even though I'm a grown man

This was the first comic I really got into as a child, during my conventional Turtles phase (c.1990). For a comic based on a cartoon based on a different comic, it was surprisingly good. Mainly for rebelling against its lineage and doing its own, often crazy thing.

Writer Stephen Murphy (a.k.a. Dean Clarrain) seemingly had free reign to take the heroes-in-half-shells out of their cartoon comfort zone and plonk them into stream-of-consciousness sci-fi adventures and heavy-handed environmental sermons. At five years old, I found it all compellingly unsettling.

I only had maybe seven issues in total back then, not counting a few of the inferior British comics they put out to fill time between the American reprints. As a 31-year-old man*, I had little to no interest in reading the vast majority of these that don't have the necessary nostalgia. But what kind of world would this be if we're allowed to pick and choose?

Ignoring the straight adaptations of TV episodes and films and all the spin-offs I can't be bothered to get into, here are The Top 52 Archie TMNT Adventures. When you're reading them inappropriately grown-up, anyway. At least outwardly.

* I read/wrote all of this months ago when I had more time to waste. I was too ashamed to post it, so kept delaying it another month. At least it makes my YouTube persona seem even weirder, so there's that.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Still alive

Still insatiably greedy, still tries to escape the painstakingly cat-proofed garden every day, still wakes me up at 3am without fail.

Should have let nature take its course in the first place. That'd show him.


Saturday, September 30, 2017

Ranking Arthur C. Clarke's short stories

2001 (film version) and Rendezvous with Rama both made big impressions on me as a teenager, so I'm not sure why I've hardly read any more ACC books since then.

Maybe it's those ponderous titles making me worry I'm in for something boring? Maybe it's the whole paedophile thing? Either way, I won't let that spoil The Top 104 Arthur C. Clarke Shorts.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Ranking the Stargate novels

It's odd that there were no cinematic sequels to Stargate. Not that it needed them, or that it likely would have been any good, you'd just think the studio would be keen to milk that successful blend of sci-fi, Egyptology, ancient alien conspiracy, white supremacy and dumb action movie until it was left as barren and arid as an Abydosian plain.

But there were sequels! At least in book form. Bill McCay was contracted to write five further adventures for Jack O'Neil, Daniel Jackson and presumably that old man who eats Daniel's chocolate bar and exclaims "bunny weh!" They may not be any closer to what a real sequel would have been like than Splinter of the Mind's Eye was to The Empire Strikes Back.

Why only five? Either interest dried up or Bill ran out of titles starting with 'Re-' and they ran out of colours to slightly differentiate the boring, identical covers. Join me on the other side as we discover The Top 5 Stargate Novels. I suppose there's a chance they might even be good?

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Ranking the Red Dwarf novels

I was first exposed to Red Dwarf by accident when I was about nine. My grandparents' telly inadvertently caught the end of a repeat broadcast of 'D.N.A.,' where the disgusting curry monster blows up. I probably enjoyed it more than they did. A week later, I caught the beginning of 'Justice,' where Lister's swollen, pus-filled head bursts. Needless to say, I had a new favourite programme.

I still hadn't seen any of the early episodes when I spotted the first sort-of-novelisation at the library a few years later. Not having my mental images diluted by claustrophobic grey sets, I was blown away by Grant Naylor's elaborate descriptions of the city-sized ship as they rewrote future history and indulged their newfound freedom from having to worry about budgets and practicality.

I got the abridged audiobooks of the first two novels a while later, and Chris Barrie read them to me over and over as I refused to drift off to sleep. I read Last Human once or twice as well. Don't know if I ever made it all the way through Backwards.

Returning to these adolescent favourites a lifetime and a literature degree later, will they still hold up as sci-fi comedy classics? Or will they be exposed as a string of reprinted TV scripts with speech marks and "said Rimmer" pasted in, linked by a tenuous narrative? Which of Grant or Naylor's solo efforts is slightly better than the other one? Do I ever find my singing tie-pin?