readerjane: Book Cat (Default)
This is a remake of Star Wars: A New Hope, made by many fans in fifteen-second slices. It must have taken a mountain of coordination. The video is full-length; over 2 hours long. Some fans filmed their segments with low-res animation. Some dressed up in costume. Some used action figures or Lego characters. Some dubbed in the original voices; some used their own. Production values shift every few moments. And it's brilliant.

I love what this says about fandom. That we're passionate, creative, goofy, a little obsessive. We're those nerds who say, "This is cool! Isn't this cool? Let's make our own!" We share. We cooperate. And even though we squabble, sometimes we band together and achieve marvels.

readerjane: Book Cat (Default)
I'm making chili for supper tonight, and it struck me that this is one of the most processed meals we eat. I mean, I love our traditional comfort food, but it's two cans of kidney beans, one can of diced tomatoes, half a jar of store-bought salsa, an envelope of chili seasoning... not exactly low-sodium, y'know?

It'd be fun to make chili from dried beans that you soak, and fresh tomatoes, and honest-to-goodness chili peppers. Anybody got a recipe they can rec? I'd appreciate both meatful and veggie varieties. Anybody? Bueller?
readerjane: Book Cat (Default)
I came across a link to this on Whedonesque and was absolutely charmed.



I've seen many other versions of this bumper sticker, usually based on religious symbols.

In this case, the C is formed by the Death Star, eclipsed to make it look like a crescent. The Enterprise, seen from above, forms the O and the E. X is an X-wing fighter, again from Star Wars.

The Doctor's sonic screwdriver is the letter I, and then we have the swooshy S from Farscape credits and Serenity, my favorite space ship, as the T.

What I love about this version (besides the fact that the artwork itself is beautiful) is how much it says about fandom, and SF fandom in particular.

Because fandom is so very much like religion. All our squabbling sects, large and small. We get passionate about them. We evangelize. We hurl anathemas at one other. But we can get along, if we want to badly enough.

And look how well this image reflects SF fandom itself. The first four letters in COEXIST are drawn from two of the oldest and largest camps: Star Wars and Star Trek. Then there is the smaller, but still well-recognized Doctor Who. And off to the side, the fringe cults of Farscape and Firefly, whose adherents' fervor is fed by the martyrdom of cancellations. Hee!

I'd love to see this done with a greater variety of sources for the letters. What a beautiful picture of our multiverse.

ETA: Son says that the dot above the I is a Stargate. I had seen it as the glow from the Doctor's sonic screwdriver, but now that he has pointed it out I see he's right. Also, Son says that is not an X-wing from Star Wars. He doesn't know exactly which show the x-shaped ship is from, but Son knows his theology canon, so I'll take his word for it.

Fic Rec!

Feb. 8th, 2012 09:29 pm
readerjane: Book Cat (Default)
The Case of the Dead Doctor
by Nostalgia

I've been following Nostalgia's Who stories for quite some time, and I think this is my favorite so far. Crossover -- you'll know which fandom in the first sentence. One-shot, um... I was going to say no AO3 warnings, but it does involve major character death. Major character death that we're all accustomed to?

Just go. Read. Shoo! Clickety!
readerjane: Book Cat (Default)
No spoilers here. Have seen all of S2. Like it very much: not perfect but certainly moving, challenging, often hilarious, sometimes devastating.

But apparently there's some brou-ha going on between BBC and CBS. According to this story, CBS approached the BBC about doing an American re-make of Steven Moffat's Sherlock and was turned down. Soon after that, CBS announced their intention of doing their own modernized Sherlock Holmes. Whereon Sue Vertue exec producer, implied the BBC might take legal action if CBS infringes upon the BBC's program.

Whew.

I love the current BBC show. I liked the Conan Doyle canon: wasn't passionate about it, but I enjoyed it. I love Laurie King's Holmes/Russell novel series. Haven't read much in the way of Holmes fanfic, but I'll be there's some amazing stuff out there (along with Sturgeon's requisite 90% crap).

The thing is -- Holmes is in the public domain. Anyone can write, film, televise Sherlock Holmes stores and a good many someones have. Some of them are marvelous. Some of them stink. Some of them are ridiculous. Some are professionally produced. Many are amateur transformative works, done for nothing but love and hijinks.

Could CBS rip off the current Moffat program? Certainly. Could they do it successfully -- in other words, steal viewers (and thereby advertising dollars) from the BBC program? I have a hard time believing they could. I can't think of a single filmed or televised story adapted by an American company from a British original which I've liked better than the original. When I encounter the American version first, it usually leads me to seek out the British version. Doesn't mean American filmmakers aren't very good at telling some stories. But I've never found them better at telling stories which I particularly like, in part, for their Britishness. (The Dark is Rising? Run away!!)

And the Holmes story is probably one of the oldest examples, bar Shakespeare, of massively adapted English-language works. It's been around over a hundred years. People were writing "pastiches" about Holmes and his adventures before most of the world had heard of fanfiction.

I think it's good for there to be many versions. Victorian versions, contemporary versions, heck, let's have Holmes in Space.

In my opinion, the best thing the BBC could do would be to tell CBS, "have at it!" I can't imagine the comparison could ever hurt the gem which is the Moffat-Vertue-Cumberbatch-Freeman story. If the CBS show was imaginative, clever, heroic and heartwarming we'd all cheer. And if it was a cheap ripoff, we'd all point and laugh.

No storyteller should ever shy from comparison when his effort is already the standard by which all similar efforts will be judged.
readerjane: Book Cat (Default)
Amazing music, voice, and a dozen ways to make music with a guitar.

readerjane: Book Cat (Default)
On Sunday, Hart Hanson tweeted a link to an article by Mary McNamara called Critics Notebook: The side effects of binge television.

What a fascinating essay. McNamara talks about our growing tendency to treat television, a storytelling mode originally designed to be consumed serially, more like a novel format. She goes into the different aims of serial storytelling vs contained stories like a standalone novel, and how, when we take a television show that aired over several years and watch it in a much shorter span, it highlights certain weaknesses. "Binge watching can reveal the unnecessary holes that serialization masks: repetition of plot, inconsistency of character, the absurdity of an overworked conceit."

I agreed with a lot of the things McNamara said, but not this one: "As more people turn to Netflix and other delivery services to "catch up" on series they've missed, the social element of television, that famous water-cooler factor, is the first casualty." Certainly it's fun to experience the way a story unfolds side-by-side with friends, but glugging down our favorite shows in the solitary splendor of our living rooms doesn't preclude sharing.

I recently discovered two bloggers who are both watching through one of my favorite shows, Buffy, for the first time. As far as I can tell it's coincidence that they're nearly in synch. Neither mentions the other in his episode reviews. Both take different approaches: Mark Oshiro has a very informal style. He lets us see his reactions as he feels them, close but not quite as immediate as liveblogging. We hear a lot about Mark O's life as he compares the characters' situations to his own experiences. Mark Field, on the other hand, has closer to a scholarly style. He brings in more historical and psychological references. You can tell Mark F is older. *g*

Both are experiencing an episodic story in a much more compressed format than the viewers who watched the show while it first aired. Both are sharing their experience with a wide fellow-audience. I enjoy both of them immensely.

I find that there are a lot of different ways to experience storytelling. With my very favorite stories, I want multiple modes. I want to watch or read them by myself so I can focus. I want to write about them and read others' reactions. I want to share them with friends and family and enjoy seeing them discover the stories for the first time. I want to create my own transformative works based on the originals. And if the story is currently ongoing, I'll catch up and then I'll be with the rest of the current crowd, waiting impatiently for the next installment in a mode much more similar to the television I grew up with.

It's all good. We experience stories by ourselves, together.
readerjane: Book Cat (Default)
My review of the pilot episode of Three Inches (Watch the whole thing here! Unless it has been TOS'd.) which was shown on SyFy as a TV movie but was not picked up for a series.

Remember the late nineties, when movies came in twos? spoilers )
readerjane: Book Cat (Default)
Damn, it was cold. Her ears already ached and it was another mile at least to [...] where her car was parked. Why hadn't she worn a hat? A stitch in time saves nine, her grandmother said. Proper prior planning prevents piss-poor performance. That voice belonged to the warrant officer who had taught her survival course. They were evidently in agreement.


from In the Bleak Midwinter

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