Reflecting on April (2017)… Resizing the past and formatting for the future…

BEHIND THE WRITING DESK_optIt’s been a couple of years since I have done any serious writing. That disappoints me so much. However, studies are over with and I have my life back. That study and work period reinforced that time is precious, and so I headed back into writing wanting to streamline what writing involves for me. That is cutting down the amount of writing related work that isn’t actually writing. April saw the website get a little spruce up, courtesy of my other half. ‘The Darkwood Mysteries’ is no longer a separate website, but a page on my author site, and soon I will stop using the social media accounts for this series and my self-help title ‘Get Over It’. That way I can just focus on one social media account as me, sharing whatever I find interesting, from writing, weirdness through to geek, to Victorian history and to self-help. Eclectic as I am. One of the last tasks before I get back down to writing was to reformat ‘Get Over It’… Formatting. What fun. I have learnt that images can be resized in a few ways, which, if you’re a novice self-publisher like me, you might find useful to know.

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War of the Worlds: Aftermath…

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‘War of the Worlds: Aftermath’ is Tony Wright’s direct sequel to H.G. Wells’ alien invasion novel. I love ‘War of the Worlds’ and I’m still waiting for a faithful movie adaptation set in the Victorian period–so a direct sequel?! I downloaded it on my Kindle as soon as I spotted it.

In ‘War of the Worlds: Aftermath’, Wright returns us to the narrator from the original novel, in a world rebuilding itself after the war. The narrator, John Smith, due to his public viewpoint of the war, is called upon by the government to bear witness and document the progress in Britain’s work with the Martian’s abandoned technology–in what is a race to be ready for another invasion attempt. But while our eyes are on Mars, a threat is building on Earth…

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Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam (1985)…

This follow-up to ‘Mobile Suit Gundam’ is set 8 years after the events of that series, which saw the fall of Earth’s enemy, the Zeon empire. The Earth Federation has created a specialist force, the Titans, set on hunting down the last of the Zeon forces. While the Titans are widely considered the hero protectors of the Earth Federation they are establishing themselves as a totalitarian military dictatorship over the colonies.

Elements within the Earth Federation forces recognise what is essentially a coup and defect, creating the Anti-Earth Union Group (AEUG) and soon the members of what was once one military force have to choose sides in a civil war.

Kamille Bidan, a colonial teenager, feels the brutality of the Titans himself and gets caught up in the struggle and into a Gundam when the AEUG and Titans fight in his colony. In the chaos Bidan secures a Gundam for the AEUG, and after the Titans use Bidan’s parents as leverage against him, he commits himself to fighting the Titans with the AEUG.

While the animation and characterisation of ‘Mobile Suit Gundam’ may not have been as sophisticated as the modern anime I’ve seen, I made allowances for its age and the complex and pretty mature stories which had made that first series an enjoyable watch. I was interested in seeing where this 50 episode run would take the characters we’d followed from the first series. There was a little thrill at seeing the original crew of the Whitebase in the opening sequence all grown-up, and I realised how fond I’d become of them. The opening music for the dubbed version is great by the way–would love to hear that played live. Would ‘Mobile Suit Gundam Zeta’ match or better ‘Mobile Suit Gundam’?

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Humans (2015) & Do Real Humans Dream Of Electric Sexbots?

Humans_Series_IntertitleHumans was a Channel 4 drama set in a world of the near future where synthetic human androids are widely available for menial and domestic work. These aren’t skeletal plastic and metal robots, no shining silver or gold–they look like us, but with that Apple perfection going on. Yet, they don’t act like us, they bridge the uncanny valley in looking like us, but have a British politeness over a Vulcan logic and coldness.

Humans follows one suburban family as the father, Joe, brings a synth into their home for the first time to ease the domestic burden that comes from his overworked and often absent wife, Laura. Laura initially resents their synth, Mia, when it replaces and surpasses her in the home, and then paranoia sets in as Mia comes between her and her children. Laura begins to suspect Mia isn’t all that she seems to be, but Mia isn’t the only synth with a secret–one that could risk civilization as we know it…

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Sense8 Season 1 (2015)…

I recently watched the Netflix sci-fi drama ‘Sense8’. It didn’t strike me as being my cup of tea, but I’ve had it proven to me enough times now that I’m not as narrow minded in my genres of taste as I think I am (‘The West Wing’ and er… ‘Downton Abbey’—yeah still not sure what happened to me there…) I thought I’d give it a go.

Sense8 has an original plot revolving around 8 individuals all over the world, living their lives completely separately, until they are suddenly awakened to one another emotionally and physically. They can appear to each other, invisible and intangible to everyone else around them, and they can merge or switch consciousness’; inhabiting one another’s bodies. The series starts with their awakening and throws us into each character’s lives, but they are also working together to understand what they are going through—and the threat they are in from an organisation that is trying to track them down.

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Doctor Who ‘Last Christmas’ Christmas Special 2014

Doctor Who 8OK, I haven’t been a fan of the Doctor Who Christmas special malarkey. For much of its 51 years, Doctor Who has managed to get by without experiencing or referencing Christmas. Pretty much like kissing and crying. And I’ve been OK with that, after all, Doctor Who has always been a fantasy escape route from the norm for me. Yet my tastes for what I want the Doctor to be doing story and character wise aside, with the exception of ‘The Christmas Invasion’ and ‘The Runaway Bride’ I’ve found the Christmas specials to be a bit naff. Yet I fully accept that if I were an actual kid and not a man child, then I might have enjoyed more of them. It is, after all, a kids show.

Spoilers ahead…
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