A small Firefly shoutout in an Analog story!

December 6, 2013

Hey! Just a quick post as I bed headwards this evening, because there was something cool I came across as I read on the bus this morning. I was cruising through the second half of a novella by Richard A. Lovett, fourth in a series about an AI implant named Brittney, called “Music to Me.” Brittney is a big fan of human videos and music, and she’s confronting another group of AIs who want her to join them on the web, leaving her new human partner behind. Suddenly, I come across this passage…

Another vid-line popped to mind:

“A man learns the details of a situation like ours, then he has a choice,” one character says–implying the man in question could either help make the situation right, or ignore it.

The response: “I don’t believe he does.”

Damn, I wanted that vid back too. I’d kept key vid-lines in core memory, but when I’d lost the vids, I’d also lost many of the titles. In this case, all I remembered was something about lightning bugs in space, which seemed dubious.

In case you’re not a Browncoat, the lines are classic Joss Whedon dialog from the episode “The Train Job,” with the second one delivered by Nathan Fillion as Malcolm Reynolds. It’s all very casual, not including titles or character names, probably to avoid giving FoxCorp a trademark infringement claim, but I love the bit about dubious lightning bugs in space.

So goodnight, and shiny dreams!

Disappointments versus great memories

August 27, 2013

It’s easy to focus on disappointments versus the good side of our lives. For instance, at Fan Expo this weekend, I had a lot of cool experiences:

  • Took part in the costume masquerade as a contestant, (as Harry Dresden again) and had a blast!
  • Got some cool graphic novels for decent prices.
  • Watched and listened to three great Q&A sessions, with Zachary Quinto, Colin Baker… and Nathan Fillion! (Whoo-hoo!)
  • Got my Serenity blueprints book and ‘Those Left Behind’ graphic novel signed by Gina Torres

However, there were also a few things I was looking forward to that I didn’t have a chance to participate in, mostly because of the insane crowd of other Browncoat fans from hundreds of kilometers in every direction converging on the Metro Toronto Convention Center, and having to make choices and settle on priorities without full information about what all’s going on. Specifically, I didn’t get in to see Gina’s Q&A session, and I wasn’t able to get anything signed by Nathan. Big sigh here.

I also didn’t get much sleep on Saturday night; the costume masquerade ran late, and I had to stand on the GO bus to get back to Hamitlon by midnight. I was on the road again by quarter after seven in the morning Sunday morning, and spent a nervous hour waiting outside Room 105, my gray bag with all my stuff (including cell phones, other electronic gadgets, and the things Gina had signed and Nathan didn’t,) stuck inside, unable to go back in to get them before the Walking Dead panel let out, hoping that I’d be able to reclaim it, and that I’d get a seat for Nathan’s Q&A. Which I did, for both, even if it wasn’t quite as nice a seat as the one I’d had before I left the hall and managed to slip past the security Nazi without somehow figuring out I had to tell him that I was going to the bathroom. *facepalm*

Umm… yeah. Need to remember to look on the bright side. 🙂

Lots to say about ‘Much Ado…’

September 14, 2012

So, I went up to the Toronto International Film Festival today, to see the last screening of Joss Whedon’s “Much Ado About Nothing,” and I loved it. I’d recommend it to anybody, whether they be a fan of Joss Whedon, Shakespeare, both, or neither. But I’m going to direct most of what I have to say in this post to anybody who might be in the same boat as I was coming in:

  • No familiarity with this specific play. I knew that it was Shakespeare, and I’ve read and seen around a dozen Shakespeare plays, but ‘Much Ado’ wasn’t on the list until today.
  • Some familiarity with recent popular television shows and/or blockbuster movies. (I don’t think you’ll have to have seen anything by Joss for this to make sense.)
  • Not much familiarity with typical ‘festival films’, as such.

There are a few things that struck me about the movie that I’ll mention by way of introduction. It’s in black and white, and most of the dialog is in the traditional Shakespearean mode, though I suspect there are very small moments where it was updated for clarity. That was very jarring for me at the start, but I found myself getting used to it very quickly.

There was also a kinduv cool dissonance between the medieval/Renaissance aspects of the script, and the modern setting Joss puts it in. The characters are still Italian lords and ladies who have just returned from a war, but they drive around in cars and play music on ipods. (The ipod got a huge laugh from the audience the first time.) To intimidate someone before challenging a duel, Benedick shows a gun in a shoulder holster instead of gesturing to a sword at his hip.

I found it a little hard to keep track of the cast of characters, so for anybody who’s interested, I’ll share a quick rundown, along with hints about where you might have seen these faces before. More or less in order of appearance:

Benedick is a gentleman, soldier, and confirmed bachelor. The movie opens on a wordless scene of Benedick dressing and leaving Beatrice’s room as she sleeps. He vows to never get married or fall in love, and has nothing but scorn for men who do. He’s very witty and is well regarded for his sense of humor, and trades all kinds of verbal jabs and spars with Beatrice whenever they run into each other. He has recently served in a war on the side of Prince Pedro, who he’s close to. Benedick is played by Alexis Denisof, well-known for playing Wesley on ‘Angel’ and Sandy Rivers on ‘How I met your mother.’

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Dragon*Con 2012: Day 1

September 3, 2012

So, I finished my Friday post having finished Camp Nanowrimo and just about to rush off for my first day of Dragon*Con panels for this year, right? 🙂

First, a little Dragon*Con 101, to help you understand what I’m talking about, and maybe give you a feel for what going is like. Dragon*Con is organized into dozens of fan tracks like WeyrFest, Whedon Universe, BritTrack, and American Sci-Fi Media – those are the ones that I’ve been mostly following. Each track has a ‘home room’ in one of the hotels, where the smaller panels and events will be held, and will reserve a larger ballroom for bigger events, like when they have a celebrity guest Q&A. Often the larger room will be in the same hotel as the home room.

Whedon Universe and BritTrack are very ‘big’ tracks, with a lot of people attending at least a few of their events; bigger rooms, longer lines, and bigger stars, which often does mean bigger fun. Weyrfest is a lot smaller, and doesn’t often leave the Vinings room on the lowest conference level of the Hyatt hotel.

The second thing you need to understand is about the schedule. Each track sets its own schedule, and though there are exceptions, generally the schedules are synchronized on a pattern of one hour for an event, then half an hour for people to get to their next event. So you have panels from 10am to eleven, and then the next panels start at 11:30, and so on through the day until 8:30pm, and then 10pm. Each track generally runs one item in each time slot, though occasionally they’ll have a gap or two choices at the same time, and they each make their own decisions about how early they start or late they go on a particular day. There are often some late parties that run longer than an hour.

Finally, a map! I never found the maps they have in the DragonCon program to be too easy to understand, and sort of learned the layout by trial and error last year. Here’s my own map, not to scale, but it clearly shows everything important, and also gives a few street names:


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