tempestsarekind: (wtf?)
I'll tell you one thing I just have absolutely no desire to let into my brain or take up any space in my consciousness: this "sexy Jack the Ripper" nonsense ABC seems to be going with for Time After Time. NO. Even the ads are just disgusting. Jack the Ripper was a serial killer, you losers, not the bleeping Bachelor.

I'd sort of thought about trying out an episode, because I like time travel narratives, and while the actor playing H. G. Wells comes across as fairly sans gorm in the early trailer, maybe there'd be some entertaining man-out-of-time hijinks in the early episodes, which are sadly missing from my life since Sleepy Hollow got canceled.* But now? No way. Not even.


*Shh, I know it - SOMEHOW - didn't actually get canceled, even though they managed to rip the heart out of the entire show. Just leave me my delusions.
tempestsarekind: (rory died and turned into a roman)
So I was gonna try to watch the second ep of that NBC time travel show Timeless (and Paterson Joseph is in it), but in like minute two, the lead character is like, "we accidentally changed something in the past so that now my mom isn't sick anymore and my sister never existed," and the woman who is clearly some sort of higher-up in a time-travel organization goes, "We have your dossier and there's no mention of a sister." !!! Because you changed the bloody timeline, that's your literal JOB, how are you this dumb. I just can't with this.

(Also, why do American shows have such a hard time with not making things set in the past look so cheap and cheesy? Is it because they have to stretch the budget out over more episodes?)

Plus Hayley Atwell is on ABC, on an albeit bland procedural show (Conviction, about investigating criminal convictions), but still, Hayley Atwell.
tempestsarekind: (no party like a tudor party)
Tor.com is hosting a reread of Kage Baker's Company series; they're partway through In the Garden of Iden:

http://www.tor.com/tag/the-company-reread/

I often want to recommend the Company series to people but can't because of the…ah, developments at the end of the series. But In the Garden of Iden manages to do a lot of what I want Tudor-set historical fiction to do, in the way that it sits with the characters for a long time, showing us the squabbles and daily interactions of the people under one roof. I'd want to write historical fiction like that, if I could.

Kage Baker also writes a very nice version of Tudor English. :)

*giggle*

Jun. 22nd, 2015 03:57 pm
tempestsarekind: (eleven is awkward)
How To Behave When You Realize You Have Accidentally Traveled Through Time Or Swapped Bodies With Your Rival At Work Or Created An Alternate Reality Of My Own Life Where I Am Married To The Town Librarian

http://the-toast.net/2015/06/18/how-to-behave-when-you-realize-you-have-accidentally-traveled-through-time-or-swapped-bodies-with-your-rival-at-work-or-created-an-alternate-reality-of-my-own-life-where-i-am-married-to-the-town-libra/

for example:

- Wait for other people to talk to me before I open my mouth and give myself away with my accent/strange vocabulary/inability to remember my new wife’s name

- Say things like “Yes,” and “I agree,” and “I remember that” and “I also venerate our King, as you do” instead of opening conversations with “WHO ARE YOU” and “I DON’T THINK TREASON IS A VERY BIG DEAL”

- Look for context clues in conversation rather than demand everyone who treats me like an old friend identify themselves immediately

so...

Mar. 27th, 2014 08:23 pm
tempestsarekind: (henry tilney would SO write fanfic)
Remember that "Time-Travelling Celebrities" article/meme/hashtag/whatever that was going around a little while ago? I was scrolling down this page:
http://bjws.blogspot.com/2014/03/1500s-european-families.html

and got to this portrait:
Adriaen Thomasz Key, Self-Portrait With Family (1583)


and, well, is anybody else getting a JJ Feild vibe from the face in the upper left corner? Or is it just me?
tempestsarekind: (TARDIS plus angels)
So I guess Richard Curtis' film About Time is due to come out soon (time-travel romcom), so the Guardian put together a list of "top 10 time-travelers" that led to the following YouTube link for an entire series, Goodnight, Sweetheart, about a man who pops back and forth between his present and the WW2 era, to...cheat on his wife in the past, I guess?:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=st72Xd0xRaU&list=PLC512D9B5E2B1E2A2

And a related piece (spoilers for About Time, though mild ones - nothing you wouldn't know if you'd already seen the trailer):
http://www.theguardian.com/film/2013/jul/31/why-cant-women-time-travel

(what's interesting about this is that while it might be largely true of film, it doesn't really hold true for TV, and it's definitely not true for books, especially children's/YA ones.)

The piece briefly mentions an anime film that I really liked and ought to watch again, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time - with, I think, the unfair remark that the heroine "doesn't have a choice" and so it doesn't really count. Lots of time-travelers travel inadvertently, including some of the male travelers she mentions (Henry from The Time Traveler's Wife, for example). I think you can go two ways: determined, purposeful time travel (usually via machine), or scary, inexplicable natural or magical phenomenon (time-slip) - and you're doing different things depending on the method you choose. The first is often about exploration, experimentation, or prevention: what happens to time if you do this? what was history really like? can you kill Hitler, or stop the rise of the robots?

The second is often more philosophical and self-oriented: what is time, exactly? what happens to me if I stay here? what makes me who I am? how can I relate to other people meaningfully if I'm hurtling through time, or if they're dead long before I was ever born? where do I belong? Obviously there's overlap - especially if your time machine breaks down or your ride can't pick you up - but I see at least the beginnings of a dividing line.

Which is - and I was doing surprisingly well at not making this about Doctor Who - one of the things I really like about the Weeping Angels, because in a narrative where time travel is often quite controllable*, the Weeping Angels cause anarchic time travel; they force the victims to deal with that second batch of questions, as they're ripped out of their own lives and deposited into the past. (This is also why I love the two-parter "Human Nature/Family of Blood," especially that scene with Martha outside the pub in 1913, gazing up at the stars and clinging to the hope that she'll be back out among them with everything she's got: what happens to her if she has to stay there? If her self-identity as a doctor gets completely dismissed because she's Black and a woman? The historicals are often my favorites, because of the clash of present and past - "Vincent and the Doctor" for the win, for always - but I love "Human Nature" particularly because it's about staying in the past for a long period of time, not just touching down for an adventure and then hopping away again.)


*Insert joke about the Doctor's terrible driving skills here. Or, if you prefer, the exchange from "The Doctor's Wife": "You didn't always take me where I wanted to go!" "But I always took you where you needed to go." But as long as he has the TARDIS, no matter where the Doctor winds up, he's not really in any danger of not being able to get away and go someplace else.
tempestsarekind: (typewriter)
- I made pasta with broccoli and breadcrumbs yesterday! (I used panko because that is what I had. I keep my bread in the freezer, mostly, so I don't have stale bread around all that much. Also, I am lazy.) I was kind of doubtful about the whole thing; after all, I make a lot of pasta with broccoli, and figured the breadcrumbs wouldn't make much of a difference. But it was rather tasty.

- I saw this "feel better" card in the bookstore:
http://www.uncookedlandthestore.com/card-categories/detail.php?id=216

[text on card: "it's days like these i realize maybe i'm not from the future. if i was, i would have known you were getting sick and i could have done something to save you."]

I would love to read that story, but would have no idea how to write it...

- I also discovered that Adrian Tinniswood has a new book out, which is exciting! I really enjoyed his book The Verneys, and this one, The Rainborowes, likewise charts the history of an early modern family. (I still haven't read his book about the Great Fire of London, because every time I think I might want to read it, I follow that thought with "...but it's probably going to make me sad...")
tempestsarekind: (martha at the globe)
Once again, Linda Holmes writes a paragraph that might as well have been written for me:

"Right now, people seem to be into robots and vampires and time-traveling, but very often, those things cross over with staples of TV: Cops. Government agents. Doctors. Families. Dark conspiracies."

http://www.npr.org/blogs/monkeysee/2013/08/02/208252340/rushing-the-revolution-television-is-disrupted-sort-of

With one caveat: I feel like, actually, families in these sorts of shows are in pretty short supply. But I have been known to rant at my friends (sorry, friends) about the "just add cops" school of speculative/SF television. I want, like, a robot/human version of The Odd Couple, or a time-travel dramedy where the teenage daughter winds up traveling into bits of her family's past when she's under emotional stress. I generally don't care at all about dark conspiracies, and I'm tired of government agents. And I wish we could get some recurring supernatural creatures that aren't vampires or werewolves or zombies...
tempestsarekind: (your strange behavior puzzles martha)
...looking for novels I might want to read, and found this:

When Three British Boys Traveled to Medieval England (Or Did They?)

http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/history/2011/07/when-three-british-boys-traveled-to-medieval-england/

Yeah. Apparently "retrocognition" studies are a thing.

Mostly I'm amused by the fact that as I was reading along, I thought, "yeah, no, there wouldn't have been glass windows to peer through!" and the author says more or less the same thing. (Because, of course, *that's* what proves that this didn't happen.)
tempestsarekind: (come along ponds)
1. I finished watching Orphan Black. So...clones, eh? Tatiana Maslany is just as good as everyone says she is at making you believe she's actually a bunch of different people, Cosima is probably my favorite, and I can't believe the second season doesn't start airing until April.

2. I had a weird dream about a father and son traveling through time. At one point they were on a boat, and the dad discovered the uniform of his favorite soccer player (it was a child's uniform, because the boy who would grow up to be the soccer player was still a child), and he tried to buy the uniform for 100 pounds. But the family wouldn't sell it for less than 200, because they didn't know why this man would want some grubby old boy's uniform, but it was clear that he did. When I woke up, I thought, "It's good that it didn't pan out; the currency would have been wrong, anyway."

3. I did *not* jump in and offer my opinion when a bookseller at the store was trying to convince a customer to read Good Omens. More specifically, I did not blurt out, "I just started rereading that two days ago!" Which was true, but not something that needed to be shared with random strangers. I also did not buy a copy of Amanda Vickery's Behind Closed Doors: At Home at Georgian England, just because it was remaindered and batting its, er, pages at me alluringly, because I have to read some of the history books I already own and stop buying more, and do not have room for the books I have. (I'm much more vulnerable to buying history books, because I know it takes me so long to get through them; I can get fiction from the library and actually finish it before it has to go back, but I often read a few chapters of a history book and then fail to come back to it for a while, when I get sidetracked by a need for narrative that history books don't usually fill.)
tempestsarekind: (martha + ten + TARDIS)
Watching films I've had out from Netflix since May...

Finally got around to watching Looper, which would have easily been ten to fifteen percent better as a film if they hadn't put Joseph Gordon-Leavitt in those awful prosthetics. (Because, yeah, I'm watching a movie about time-travel assassins and random telekinesis, but the thing I'm going to be thrown by is whether JGL looks enough like he could grow up to be Bruce Willis. *That's* what's going to shatter the conceit.) It's not good when looking at the main character is actually unpleasant, and that's not supposed to be the case. Mostly I'm just grumpy about the movie, because it had a lot of the ingredients to make a fun, interesting time-travel story, but decided instead to be about futuristic manpain, only with a character I didn't even care about. Twice.

(Actually, it reminds me a bit of how much I hated Inception - "dream a little bigger, darling" doesn't work when no one making the movie is - and also, that thing where a female character only exists for a boring hero to have wistful flashbacks about, although I guess at least Marion Cotillard's character got a first name and some dialogue, so it can always get worse.) (Since I can't remember a single name from this movie except Ariadne, I'm assuming she had a name, but I could be wrong.)

Just - it's the future, right? Could we maybe have something more interesting than the same old tired gun battles and explosions? And no, putting them at funny angles doesn't count, Inception.

I liked Robot & Frank, though, although it did suffer a bit from that weird delusion people seem to have that libraries are just places with books in them. (One of the side plots is that these future hipsters are closing the library - which has no computers or anything in it, somehow, and of course no one ever goes there except Frank - in order to turn it into a "community space," which in the actual world is redundant, which you would know if you'd been to a library recently.) I mean, I get it, the movie is about memory and obsolescence, so it's ~thematic~, but bleh anyway.

Also, Netflix has decided from these two movies that I am interested in "critically-acclaimed crime dramas," which I find inordinately amusing. Er, no. Way to miss the point there, Netflix.
tempestsarekind: (eleven and amy)
Actually, two thoughts.

spoilers for aired episodes and 'Pond Life,' but no spoilers for 7x05 )

In news that is actually not as related as it looks, I stopped in at the bookstore yesterday on my walk home because...of reasons?, and found a lovely 50th Anniversary edition of A Wrinkle in Time in the children's section. I didn't buy it, but I really, really wanted to have someone to buy it *for*. Anyway, I found myself thinking about how much I loved those books, especially A Swiftly Tilting Planet - and suddenly it was like someone had hit me upside the head with realization, and I had to stop myself from exclaiming "Time can be rewritten!" out loud in the store. Of course I love that storytelling move of Moffat's so much, when I read that book so often and loved it so dearly. It's obvious, when you think about it; it's embedded in my narrative DNA.
tempestsarekind: (eleven and amy)
Can you believe I hadn't read A Tale of Time City by Diana Wynne Jones yet? Me either. I thought the ending was rather sudden (I mean the *very* ending, the "what are we to do with Vivian, then?" bit), but I spent a good deal of the book being overcome by conscientious android feelings and wanting there to be time ghosts in, like, every book ever.

(It is entirely too hot for a proper review, but this will do as a placeholder.)

It's funny, how few DWJ books I've actually read. When I was younger, I was an enthusiastic but not a completist reader, which meant that I'd read the same book over and over again, but not necessarily search out other books by that author unless they came to my attention in some way, like being shelved nearby or being listed in the Troll Book Club flyer. (I didn't know, for example, that Penelope Farmer had written other books about the Makepeace girls besides Charlotte Sometimes until I'd graduated from college, when a friend of mine told me.) (And Madeleine L'Engle is the exception to this rule, I think because our school library had a copy of one of the books with endpapers that listed the characters in "Kairos," or "real time" books (the Murrys), versus those in "watch-time" books, like the Austins, and where they intersected. I remember being fascinated by that chart, and photocopying it so I could keep up with all the books I could get.) And the actual first DWJ book I read was Witch Week, without having read any of the other Chrestomanci books; I loved it but forgot who it was by, or even that I'd read it, until much later, after reading the Dalemark books and thinking I should read something else by her... Anyway, what this means is that every year or so, I find the new DWJ book that looks most likely for my current mood, and read that.

idiot time

Jul. 17th, 2012 01:17 pm
tempestsarekind: (london)
Because avoidance of problems and actual tasks is fun, I accidentally read two of the three books I picked up yesterday afternoon from the library. This has resulted in very little sleep and fragmented dreams about time travel. (The second book I read, or reread, was The Graveyard Game by Kage Baker, because [livejournal.com profile] bookelfe was talking about the Company novels, and also, immortal road trip! If anyone has any suggestions for other road trips featuring immortals, besides my beloved Brief Lives volume of Sandman, I am all ears.)

The first book, though, was new to me: Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovitch, originally published in the UK under the *much* more helpful and appropriate title Rivers of London. Newly minted police officer Peter Grant discovers magic at work in the streets of London, and has his hands full tracking a malevolent spirit turned serial killer, while also trying to resolve a messy dispute between dueling spirits of the Thames. Here's a review:
http://londonist.com/2011/01/book-review-rivers-of-london-by-ben-aaronovitch.php

It's not going to become a favorite of mine, but I enjoyed it (although I had to squint past some of the gory bits - which is when I skim bits of text with my eyes squinted to avoid reading too much at one go). It was a bit like A Madness of Angels, if that book hadn't been desperately boring and if the protagonist had had a sense of humor. One thing that I really appreciated is that Peter is mixed-race, and while that isn't the focus of the book, it still inflects the narrative through Peter's awareness of how other people might see him in certain situations (for example, on the Tube, coming from a magical showdown with a bleeding cut on his forehead). I also appreciated that while Peter is new to magic, he's inquisitive and methodical about trying to figure out how it works. And since I'm me, my favorite thing about the book is the way that London's history and its magic combine.

I don't think the second book has been published in the US yet, but I'll keep an eye out for it. [ETA: whoops, I confused these books with some other books that aren't out here yet. Never mind.]
tempestsarekind: (careful reading saves the day! [martha])
Someone on TV just asked someone else if he could get back in time. I thought, what a weird question, why would you--

Oh. Not go back in time. Never mind.
tempestsarekind: (austen snark is the best snark)
I was thinking this morning about the trend in naming romantic comedies by using commonplace yet totally forgettable phrases, like It's Complicated. The problem was that I couldn't actually *think* of any such titles, because I had forgotten them all. (I just looked It's Complicated up on IMDb, because I remembered from the poster that Meryl Streep was in it.) So instead I started thinking about what kinds of romantic comedies you could make up based on random cliches. You know, like A Bird in the Hand, in which a zookeeper falls in love with a shy ornithologist; or Time Flies, which is obviously a movie in which two people have a wretched time on a week-long time-travel vacation package, but fall in love during the trip.
tempestsarekind: (austen snark is the best snark)
I was thinking this morning about the trend in naming romantic comedies by using commonplace yet totally forgettable phrases, like It's Complicated. The problem was that I couldn't actually *think* of any such titles, because I had forgotten them all. (I just looked It's Complicated up on IMDb, because I remembered from the poster that Meryl Streep was in it.) So instead I started thinking about what kinds of romantic comedies you could make up based on random cliches. You know, like A Bird in the Hand, in which a zookeeper falls in love with a shy ornithologist; or Time Flies, which is obviously a movie in which two people have a wretched time on a week-long time-travel vacation package, but fall in love during the trip.
tempestsarekind: (eleven wears a fez now)
For tedious reasons, I wound up looking back at a bunch of stuff I'd written when I couldn't sleep last night. One of the things I found myself looking at was the post I'd written about RTD-era Doctor Who and its treatment of history: history as theme park.

(Too lazy for proper link: http://tempestsarekind.livejournal.com/123567.html )

And it occurred to me that so far Moffat-era Who has managed to soothe a lot of my frustration on this score without doing the obvious thing that inspired the previous post, the idea of having a companion from the past. A large part of this soothing is due to the forty-five-minute miracle that is "Vincent and the Doctor," which is so lovely and compassionate, never dismissive of its historical figure in the way that some of the other historicals have been. But part of it is to do with the respective stances on history--or stands in history, perhaps--of the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors.

cut for length )
tempestsarekind: (eleven wears a fez now)
For tedious reasons, I wound up looking back at a bunch of stuff I'd written when I couldn't sleep last night. One of the things I found myself looking at was the post I'd written about RTD-era Doctor Who and its treatment of history: history as theme park.

(Too lazy for proper link: http://tempestsarekind.livejournal.com/123567.html )

And it occurred to me that so far Moffat-era Who has managed to soothe a lot of my frustration on this score without doing the obvious thing that inspired the previous post, the idea of having a companion from the past. A large part of this soothing is due to the forty-five-minute miracle that is "Vincent and the Doctor," which is so lovely and compassionate, never dismissive of its historical figure in the way that some of the other historicals have been. But part of it is to do with the respective stances on history--or stands in history, perhaps--of the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors.

cut for length )

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