Huh. It seems there's going to not only be a Ready Player One movie (which: why? We already have two Charlie and the Chocolate Factory adaptations ....more


According to THR, today is the first day at Hogwarts for Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley's oldest son, James Sirius. J.K. Rowling announced via Twitter that he was sorted in Gryffindor. I'd like to say that I'm touched by this news (another thread in the great tapestry of the Potterverse!), but any reminder of that creepy aging-up scene in the movie adaptation is painful ....more

<i>Reawakened</i>, by Colleen Houck

Several people have compared Colleen Houck's new novel Reawakened to Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson books. Both are aimed at younger teens, feature a mixture of human and demigod characters, and rely on a lot of PG-13 action sequences to push their plots along. Unfortunately, Reawakened doesn't share Riordan's greatest strength: his ability to create relatable characters, no matter how over-the-top their abilities or adventures ....more

Weekly Book Giveaway: <i>Reawakened</i>, by Colleen Houck

This week's Book Giveaway is Colleen Houck's novel Reawakened, the first novel in a "multibook series". (Note: this means I have no idea how long we'll have to wait for actual plot resolution. Sorry!) Reviewers keep favorably comparing Reawakened to Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series, so I'm excited ....more


I was rolling with the assumption that Berkeley Breathed's new Bloom County strips weren't appearing in major newspapers because they were being produced on an intermittent schedule, but now I'm thinking that Breathed might just be enjoying the opportunity to produce racier jokes. His strips are available via his Facebook page, but examples like this, this, and (my favorite) this probably wouldn't fly with most newspapers ....more

Dark Ages soap

Deadline recently posted an update on ITV's upcoming Beowulf miniseries, which they describe as a "Dark Ages Western". My hopes that this adaptation will be a hokey delight are high (the creators also produced Primeval, which pretty much rang the hokey delight bell, IMO), but my favorite part of this story is the expressed hope that this drama will be a natural next step for Downton Abbey fans. I, for one, am hoping for a crossover ....more


According to the Guardian, there will be an exhibition of photographs in honor of the 125th anniversary of Agatha Christie's birth. The previously unseen images are allegedly a "world away from how most people picture [Christie]," and depict the author roller-skating and surfing. I'm fine with checking out personal photographs, but do the English really picture Christie solely as "a friendly older woman at work on a battered Remington typewriter"? ...more

Marvel's sound and fury

Last week, Pajiba posted an article called "The Life of Marvel Marketing and the Death of Marvel Story Telling", which presents the persuasive argument that Marvel is mostly concerned with hyping its larger universe, not the quality of its individual films. Future installments, the author suggests, will just get "soulesser and more voidy". (A beautiful description that gives my spellchecker fits, by the way.) ...more

We'll see...

Since we're a few years past the last one (which was what, Death Comes To Pemberley?), we are clearly past due for another rush of Jane Austen-inspired movies. In addition to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Love and Friendship and yet another Pride and Prejudice adaptation, there's an upcoming movie called Jane By The Sea, a film that promises to "explore the encounters and relationships that inspired characters and scenes from [Austen's] iconic works". The film is based on Carolyn V ....more

<i>The Water Knife</i>, by Paolo Bacigalupi

For a book blessed with interesting characters, a compelling conflict, and an absolutely spectacular hook, Paolo Bacigalupi's The Water Knife isn't actually fun to read. I don't mind violence, but there's a fine line between suffering that serves the plot and straight-up disaster porn, and too much of The Water Knife feels like the latter. Bacigalupi's novel is set in a near-future version of Phoenix, a city in total social collapse ....more