Friday, May 11, 2018

Mad Norwegian Press

I am still continuing with my interest in Pop Culture and the publishers Mad Norwegian Press have been a great source. Their collections of essays on a variety of geeky topics have been winners thus far, in the month of March the topics were Dr Who and Joss Whedon for my choices. "Whedonistas" and "Chicks Dig Time Lords" provide a look into fans and fandom from a female perspective. I have always been more of a solo fan as meaning I don't go to MeetUps or belong to chat groups. In the last few years since moving to SeattleI have started going to more conventions and my daughter has become a fan, thus the topic of Fandom has been piqued.

One of the main focuses of Mad Norwegian Press is Dr Who and the women who love it. Dr Who was probably the first fandom my daughter and I have totally shared, the Tenth Doctor is our favourite followed by the Eleventh. As we discover more about each others interests we seem to be overlapping and sometimes veering away from each other. This may be largely due to the fact that she is getting older and is developing more of her own opinions. I have always exposed her to my interests but it is only more recently that she puts more of her own spin on them. Graphic novels or comics have long been an interest of mine, she seems to like Manga better which is fine. We are both being exposed to the others reading preferences in this area and we both occasionally will read the others book. Now if we could convince her father that they count as Literature we would both be happy.

"Chicks Dig Time Lords" edited by Lynne M. Thomas and Tara O'Shea was a fun read. It is not something to read for academic purposes it is more of a primer to the reasons why it attracts female fans. It is one of those books that if you like a particular essay perhaps you will be inspired to pursue a topic mentioned or to find out more about the author. I will often research the author to see what else they have written or why they were selected for the compilation. This leads down the rabbit hole and sometimes the result is wonderful, sometimes not so much, but I am good with either tho the wonderful results are preferred. A couple of the essays made me think about how that particular author reacted in that manner to one specific episode or character. One introduced me to Big Finish. Big finish is a British company that produces audio books and plays based primarily on cult science fiction properties. Reading this book introduced me to a wide variety of offshoots to the world of Dr Who.

I also enjoyed "Whedonistas: A Celebration of the Worlds of Joss Whedon by the Women Who Love Them" edited by Lynne M. Thomas and Deborah Stannish. Most of the essays are about Buffy or Angel though Firefly, Dollhouse and Dr. Horrible also make an appearance. They are all written by women who are part of the fandom created by these shows. This book was published in 2011 and presently there are a lot of mixed feelings in relation to Joss Whedon but I still think he created work worth viewing and it was nice to read all the different viewpoints.

Catherynne M Valente contributed to both of the previous books mentioned and so in April her book made it to my reading pile. "Indistinguishable From Magic" is a compilation of essays and blog posts, broken into 5 subgroups. Catherynne is an author who loves fairy tales so her name has come up before in my reading choices. I have a wide selection of fairy tale books both old and new and I enjoy reading authors like Catherynne's revamping of these tales. The topics covered in this collection include publishing, writing, editing. genre, pop culture and the list goes on. Anyone who is interested in writing fantasy or books for young adults would benefit from reading this book.

Mad Norwegian Press books have been a wonderful addition to my always growing collection of books :).

Thursday, May 3, 2018

April's Books

I haven't been in the mood for heavy reading in the last while so this sampling of titles are all lighter reads.

Three of April's selection were read on my kindle unlimited account. Amanda M. Lee is an author who writes a variety of series and I keep an eye out for certain ones - Mystic Caravan, Wicked Witches of the Midwest, Charlie Rhodes, and Avery Shaw. Her characters all have a slight sarcastic nature to them which I find I can relate to. All My Witches and Merry Witchmas are both from the Wicked Witches of the Midwest and the stories revolve around three cousins and their extended family. These are both books later in the series and I would have to say I read them out of familarity,  the plots are predictable but they still make me smile at times. Freaky Place is from the Mystic Caravan series which revolves around a traveling circus which fights supernatural evil. She is an author who I will continue to read and one of the reasons my kindle unlimited account is useful.

DIY Rules for a WTF World is a book written by Krista Suh the creator of the Pussyhat Project. She has broken the book down to a variety of short chapters focusing on what she believes can help women/feminists feel enpowered and achieve greatness through their creativity. It was interesting to discover how quickly she managed to create, promote and execute the Pussyhat Project. A book I plan on passing on to encourage inspiration.

Hold Me Closer Necromancer by Lish McBride a local author was a fun read and I have already bought the second book in the series. I am looking forward to see how Sam(short for Samhain) and his friends will cope with life and his new found skills of being a Necromancer. Another added feature of the book was the local setting and how Lish played with the quirks of Seattle to develop her story.

The Antipope by Robert Rankin first in the Brentford Triology series was actually a reread. This series consists of 9 novels and has characters and setting in common but little continuity. At times I think Robert Rankin plays with the continuity on purpose. They are all set in Brentford and combine, occult, aliens, fantasy and comedy. I decided to reread this one as it has probably been at least 20 years since I read it. Many of his books were difficult to find in North America until he reissued them himself on Kindle in 2012. He is an author who makes my list for favourite books, though I would recommend one of his later titles to most people.

The month of April also involved me reading numerous graphic novels which I am going to do in a separate post. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Voltron = Leif Garrett

Honestly it does Voltron = Leif Garrett. Or at least it did in my mind this morning while walking my daughter to school. She was talking about Voltron, I vaguely remember the original, probably from Saturday morning cartoons and I have watched a couple of new episodes. Apparently there is a very strong fandom and she has been reading some of the fanfic recently where Lance and Keith are often a couple. She stated that she liked "Klance" better then "Kleith" for their Ship Name. This started my brain to whir and start connecting thoughts.

I obviously like the name "Kleith" better :). From here the name "Kleith" made me think "Leif". Leif, Leif that name was jogging some reference, first I though Ericson the Norse explorer, nope that wasn't the right one. Then it hit me Leif Garrett, American singer, actor etc. 

I remember seeing his picture all over the place in the 70's, when you flipped through the posters at KMart there was always a a few of him. When I was at my cousins, who were older, he was on the wall in their bedroom, or when you were looking at magazines like "Tiger Beat" he would be on the cover. He had a long and erratic career and was often mentioned in celebrity news for his drug use and other legal issues. The image above is how I think of him, he was probably about sixteen or seventeen, he has the sulk, the hair and the pose which was iconic for pop idols then. 

This is how Voltron = Leif Garrett. My daughter didn't get the leap of thought but it makes total sense to me. I then preceded to show her the video for "I Was Made For Dancing"

She still didn't get the leap but understands that my pop culture references do connect in some sort of manner, they kinda of work like "Seven Degrees of Bacon". It may take some time to convince another person of the connection but it can normally be done. Oh I almost forgot Hunk's (another character from Voltron) last name is Garrett :).