Marco Polo: a [mildly] spoilerific review (#SFWAPro)

During my annual post-holiday crash and burn, I plugged into Netflix's new series Marco Polo. I know the series has received some criticism for stereotypical Asian characters (Lenika Cruz gives a balanced review on this subject at The Atlantic). However, overlooking the usual credibility issues in these kinds of "historical" dramas, Marco Polo fares well in terms of story and characterization, which is what draws me to a series more than anything else.

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Shadow of the Vampire--another spoilerific movie review (#SFWApro)

When I wrote my review of Snowpiecer, Kate Elliott made an interesting comment. She said, "Most of my trouble with this film as I watched it came about because I went in with expectations that it was going to be a science fiction film about what it would be like to live on Earth after the world froze, and it is actually (as you so carefully discuss here) an entirely different film."

I experienced the same feeling with Shadow of the Vampire. I initially went into the film with the mindset that the movie was horror (thank you, Netflix, for that erroneous marketing) ...

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Snowpiercer ... here there be spoilers (#SFWApro)

SPOILERS, WARNING, SPOILERS

HERE THERE BE SPOILERS FOR SNOWPIERCER.

Oh hell, who am I kidding? Everyone has already seen this movie. As usual, I'm the last one to the party, because NO CAPTIONS AVAILABLE at the theater, and haven't we all heard THAT song enough times, so I won't sing it again here.

If you haven't seen Snowpiercer, turn back now. Go watch the movie, then return to discuss it, or not, whatever pleases you. This is your last chance ... okay, you were warned.

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Short stories, linkage, and the movie Blancanieves (#SFWApro)

My progress on Cygnet Moon has been periodically interrupted by short stories all year so I'll be taking a brief hiatus on the short story front in order to finish the novel. I will be around, because I've promised folks some interviews and blog posts, and I will be cross-posting those events here. Otherwise, things are going to be kind of quiet here at the old blog.

The last couple of weeks have just blown me away by the number of people who have said such nice things about Miserere and Manifesto: UF

Just a few links:

Justin Landon gave a super shout-out to Miserere over at Tor.com in Under the Radar and calls Miserere "... one of the most grossly under-read novels of the last few years."

Mihir Wanchoo reviewed Manifesto: UF at Fantasy Book Critic. He gave a brief synopsis and his thoughts on each and every story, including "Naked the Night Sings":

This was another story, whose title was attention-grabbing, plus it was written by Teresa Frohock and so I was assured of two things; elegant prose and dark settings. Not only does the author do her best in creating a rich, dark atmosphere but she also goes about creating admirable characters who leave you hooked onto the story. Another fine dark gem from an author who is fast becoming a solid favorite of mine.

"Another fine dark gem ..." will be going on my novel web page soon. Meanwhile, go read Mihir's review and see what he has to say about all the other great stories in Manifesto.

I got a Friday night suprise from Matt Gilliard when he reviewed Miserere at his blog, 52 Book Reviews. What was so interesting about this review was the Gender Bias in SF/F Roundtable discussion that led up to Matt's decision to read more novels written by women. Authors Stina Leicht, Zachary Jernigan, and Mazarkis Williams joined Matt for a discussion of women in SF/F, and they provided some interesting thoughts on the subject.

It was a big project, but Matt handled it very, very well. Whatever you do, read these links:

Gender Bias in SF/F Roundtable Part 1

Gender Bias in SF/F Roundtable Part 2

Gender Bias in SF/F Roundtable Part 3

And finally, I watched a movie recently that I would really like to share with you. Later on, when I've got more time, I'll write a full review, but for now, if you are looking for a dark and delicious fairy tale, watch the movie Blancanieves.

The entire film is a tribute to silent movies and Pablo Berger treats his subject with great love. The idea of Snow White as a bullfighter made me laugh until I saw the performances in this film. The acting is subtle and glorious. Maribel Verdú, who is fast becoming one of my favorite actresses, plays the wicked stepmother to evil perfection. The coolest twist comes in Carmen/Blancanieve's desire, which is not to become a dancer like her mother, but to become a renowned bullfighter like her father. Set in Andalusia in the 1920s, the movie captures the romance of the period and brings it to life in black and white.

Blancanieves is dark and luscious and made with love so go on and take a bite of that apple. You won't regret it. Not at all.

I'll be around.

Watch for me.