Having raced to the dramatic if baffling conclusion of [http://www.kilbeysalmon.com/ How to Disappear Completely], which I wholeheartedly recommend, I have been trying to catch up on [http://escapepod.org Escape Pod] since getting behind. So, now a jog through EP 2008 so far (for me):
* EP139: Acephalous Dreams : Quite dark and twisted from beginning and at the end. I enjoyed it and it might have provoked a thought or two.
* EP140: Astromonkeys! : Silly, funny and heartwarming, even. And there were monkeys. What more could you want?
* EP141: The Color of a Brontosaurus : An interesting portrayal of scientists and dogma, not to mention various time-travel scenarios. A strong story with some emotionally provoking character interaction.
* EP142: Artifice and Intelligence : Mmmmm tasty. A team of individuals are recruited to band together to save the peoples of Earth from their own creations. And the protagonist AI just sounds deeply sexy.
Many forum posters apparently thought the only thing wrong with this story was that it ended just when things were revving up. I hesitantly agree and I'd certainly like to hear more from the auther, evn if not in that exact setting
* EP143: Flaming Marshmallow and Other Deaths : Cute and actually a little interesting although perhaps less surprising than intended for anyone who has been or knows any teenaged girls.
* EP144: Friction : Bloody brilliant. Full of heart-wrenching character interaction, deep wisdom and sand.
* EP145: Instead of a Loving Heart : Although I had some trouble meshing with the tone of this story it is really quite good. Bonus points for letting the narrator's identity and condition be revealed in dribbles as plot dictates.
* EP146: Edward Bear and the Very Long Walk : Owwwie. A fantastic tale that uses the mythos of a very well known English bear to execute a wonderful little Hero's Journey expodition. Mind the disclaimer and listen through it first before you play it for the very young.
* Gankutsuou Vol 4 : This Monte Cristo based anime series continues to impress and entertain. Despite the scifi resetting, they seem to be keeping tightly to the original narrative, with some interesting twists.
* Thank You for Smoking : This is a wonderfully entertaining and educational movie that is much less cynical than you might have thought. I absolutely cannot see Ms Holmes as an adult, but this provided little difficulty with my enjoyment as the balance of the cast was fantastic.
* Casino Royale (2007) : Mr Flemming can perhaps now rest in peace. They have made a good Bond film again. The new chap is great and the execution and story are quite quite good. Worth seeing.
* The Simpsons Movie : Really quite well done. Very entertaining and remarkably well produced. The commentary tracks are quite entertaining and enlightening in their own right, as many many jokes were never animated and thus did not make a 'Deleted Scene' reel.
While riding the train to work the last few weeks (first out of necessity after the tornado closed roads and then as a continuing experiment) I have been working my way slowly through an Economist (last weeks perhaps, has a special report on China). No room here to extoll the many virtues of this excellent if expensive publication, so I will simply note that in my sleepier moments if I don't concentrate I start to read aloud to myself and I hear it in the voice of the host of NPR's Marketplace, Mr Rizdol (?). Very strange.
I'm watching Lost and Torchwood and quite enjoying them both, but I can't say a thing about them for those of you who are a bit behind, heh. Good stuff. I've watched a couple episodes of a new video podcast, PopSiren, that I find fascinating .. although not perhaps in a friendly and positive way. It comes off very fake and contrived, or perhaps merely the hosts do. It's one thing to try really hard to hit a market niche, but perhaps you shouldn't announce it and heavily weight your scripts with the buzzwords?
As suggested in previous posts, I have done a silly thing which solves any temporary Microsoft licensing issues I may have had. The entire purpose (primary) of that was to get my Windows machine to play Portal and I have succeeded. Portal is indeed as marvelous as everyone had suggested and gets devilishly tough after the middle bit. I think I'm on 15 or so (of 20?)... HL2 : Ep One was .. pretty decent but quite annoying in places. I do not feel that it lives up to even Valve's standards for map design and after playing Portal and Minerva it's just weak. I'll be spinning up Ep Two of HL2 in a bit here, but my expectations are low, as many reviewers found it weak.
I've barely read any fiction outside of webcomics and [http://www.talesofmu.com/story/ Tale of MU]. Oh, an update! *poof*