selenak: (Illyria by Kathyh)
Getting this done before the Munich Film Festival starts tomorrow (guests of honor: Bryan Cranston and Sofia Coppola, who brings her parents along!).

Now that the season is over, I'm still not sure whether Fuller's decision to stretch the main plot out and pace it the way he does is justified. I mean, we STILL haven't reached the House on the Rock yet, and I assumed that would happen in the third episode, as it's this story's Council of Elrond scene, so to speak. Just think of a LotR tv adaption where they've barely made out of the Shire by the time the season finishes. Otoh, all that Fuller & Co. have added does enrich the story and I wouldn't have wanted to miss it, so.

And the moral of the story is... )
selenak: (Illyria by Kathyh)
Which combines in an ingenious way one of the book's "Coming to America" stories with another character's tv tale and a much-later-in-the-book reveal.

Read more... )
selenak: (Illyria by Kathyh)
In which we get a second road trip storyline and some acerbic comments the rl US status quo.

Read more... )
selenak: (Illyria by Kathyh)
In which the show starts to surprise book readers.

Read more... )
selenak: (Illyria by Kathyh)
In which it becomes apparant why Bryan Fuller delayed a certain reveal as much as he did.

Read more... )
selenak: (Illyria by Kathyh)
Aka the one with Salim, the Ifrit, and the subsequently imitated by life bank robbery.

As always, spoilers for the book as well as the episode )
selenak: (Illyria by Kathyh)
Which to this reader was great, but also makes me wonder what on earth show-only people make of it, because a self contained episode, this was not.

Spoilers for episode and book )
selenak: (Illyria by Kathyh)
The long awaited Fuller/Gaiman offspring just debuted, and thanks to Amazon Prime, I can watch it without having to wait.

It's impossible for me to review sans spoilers for the book, though. I just tried, and it's stumping me in every other sentence, so I won't. Show only viewers, beware! There be book spoilers beneath the cut.

Read more... )
selenak: (Missy by Yamiinsane123)
Ian McShane has been cast as Mr. Wednesday in Bryan Fuller's tv version of American Gods. This is a gift from the casting heavens, and I'm now at the "I WANT IT NOW WHY ISN'T IT 2017 ALREADY" stage about this show.

However, it occurs to me that I should employ spoiler cuts when raving about how this is perfect, because not everyone has read Neil Gaiman's novel. Spoilers for American Gods, the book, ensue. )

Something else the casting reminded me off: someone really needs to write that crossover where Jimmy McGill meets Mr. Wednesday, for all the obvious reasons.

And now for a couple of fanfiction recs:

Doctor Who:

once upon a time in nazi-occupied france:

"He's sitting in a cafe in Vichy France (he was aiming for 2042) and waiting for his lunch when Missy plops down in the chair opposite him." This is a conversation they've had before, it's just the first time they've both been able to consider it.


In which the Twelfth Doctor, post Clara, meets Missy again. This is one of those stories which manages to do justice to the long history between the Doctor and the Master, and to write them specifically in these particular regenerations, not interchangable with earlier ones. It's perfect. (BTW, my favourite details is that Twelve got himself the flame throwing guitar from Mad Max, because he so would.)

Black Sails

Both recs are spoilery for 3.06, so with due deference to those friends on my list whom I've managed to convert into watching the show but who haven't arrived there yet, I shall hide them beneath a cut. )
selenak: (John Silver by Violateraindrop)
It's good to know that Bryan Fuller's American Gods adaption is still on, and progressing. (Not just because I'm looking forward to the Fuller-meets-Gaiman result, but because I would like a Fuller series I can watch again. Says she who tried and disliked Hannibal, thus gave it up after eight episodes.) Meanwhile, I've just seen a (German) tweet to the effect that they want to do a remake of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Methinks someone took notice of the fact that Penny Dreadful is drawing an audience and recalled they still have the Alan Moore property. Dear movie makers who own the LoeG rights: I didn't see your first movie because your git of a director and your idiot of a producer gave an interview before it ever came out in which they said they changed the set up from Mina being the leader to Alan Quatermain being the leader because "can you imagine Sean Connery taking orders from a woman?" So if you want me to watch a new film version, pray go back to the Moore, let Mina stay the leader (and don't change her into a vampire, the entirely human sharp tongued take charge woman of the first two LoeG volumes will do nicely), and if you must add non-Moore characters, don't let these be Dorian Gray and Tom Sawyer. Go for Lydia Gwilt from Armadale and Marian Halcombe from The Woman in White instead.

Yesterday I got a mail informing me the BBC will stop its Global iPlayer service, so that was depressing. Whyyyyy, BBC? I loved watching your shows in my trusty iPad! Has the newly confirmed Cameron slashed your budget that much already? On the bright side of BBC news, though, they're planning an adaption of A Place of Greater Safety. Considering this is the Hilary Mantel novel I love, whereas I have mixed "yes, BUT" feelings about the Thomas Cromwell novels, I hope this will indeed come to pass. Not least because: a British production about the French Revolution in which the French revolutionaries are the heroes and there's not a heroic aristocrat, British or otherwise, in sight, that will truly be a first one. (There are some sympathetic aristocrats in Mantel's novel - poor trying-to-do-the-right-thing Lafayette who gets loathed by Marie Antoinette and the Jacobins alike for his trouble, Mirabeau as the gifted and corrupt but not evil type, oh, and Mantel has fun giving a few scenes to the author of Les Liasons Dangereuses since he's Philippe d'Orleans' sidekick for a while - but they're all supporting, not major characters.) I'm also looking forward to bisexual Camille Desmoulins, a tragic instead of evil Robespierre and hope that whoever gets cast as Danton has the necessary charisma (and voice!). Finger crossing for Alex Kingston as Annette Duplessis - for Lucille, I have no opinion yet.


And lastly, because Elementary is so much on my mind these days, a fanfic rec:


When You Know I Can't Love You (3319 words) by AxolotlQueen
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Elementary (TV)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes & Joan Watson, Sherlock Holmes & Kitty Winter
Characters: Sherlock Holmes, Joan Watson, Kitty Winter, Jamie Moriarty | Irene Adler
Additional Tags: Character Study, Platonic Love, Mental Health Issues, Mentions of addiction, Past Sherlock Holmes/Jamie Moriarty | Irene Adler, Gray aromantic Sherlock, Loneliness
Summary:


He had thought himself, for a long time, incapable of love. Some people simply are, after all.


A character study of Sherlock and various kinds of love.

selenak: (Partners in Crime by Monanotlisa)
So, yesterday, because you can't beat real life for coincidence, Germany celebrated the U.S. Day of Independence by arresting an American spy whose day job was being a German spy. That's right, one of our secret service made some extra money by handing over intelligence to the US - on the current NSA investigations (that would be the NSA being investigated rather than the reverse), it appears.

This evokes a couple of reactions.

1.) Given that the BND (= German secret service) is handing over all the intel the Americans want anyway (according to a former NSA employee currently testifying at said investigation), why would the US pay the extra money? I thought finances are tight?

2.) The BND is famously rubbish at spying. Therefore, anyone recruited by it should come with a question mark, not doubly employed. Then again, the US secret services were convinced Chalabi and his tales of Saddam's weapons of mass destructions were pure gold, so...

3.) Seriously, guys: is the masterplan here "how many ways can we find to alienate the Germans?". Yes, nobody believed Obama anyway when he said he'd stop listening in to Merkel's cell phone now (though not on any other German cell phones), but you'd think some tactical restraint would have been ordered, not stepping up the spying. Yes, yes, we know we're vasalls and minions, not partners, you don't have to rub it in at every opportunity, US government.

4.) Also, Errol Morris' documentary about Rumsfeld was released two days ago in Germany. Thereby reminding everyone that the previous US government was worse (which doesn't make the current one look better), and that Rumsfeld and Cheney are still around to pontificate instead of facing justice at a the International Criminal Court, which they never will. And Dubya exhibits paintings.

5.) I've got nothing. At least this has some useful absurd comedy aspects which the latest Supreme Court decision has not.

In more cheerful news, after the HBO tv series based on American Gods didn't work out, Bryan Fuller will do one for Starz. This very likely will give me a Bryan Fuller show I want to watch again (sorry, Hannibal wasn't for me; I marathoned the first eight episodes last year and with every single one realised more I didn't want to watch it, so I stopped), and he strikes me as eminently suited to deal with Neil Gaiman's novel.
selenak: (DuncanAmanda - Kathyh)
...in 2013, 2014 or thereabouts:

1.) Wolf Hall. Why not A Place of Greater Safety, damm it? Riding on the Tudor craze with a much better novel as the basis, but since Cromwell's pov is a great part of what makes the novel, I'm not sure this will work in the medium of a tv show in the same way. And they need to find a very good actor for Cromwell, though the BBC has a good track record there. I also hope for a good Wolsey.

2.) War of the Roses Cousins series, aka the one about the war of the roses from the women's pov. Which would thrill me as a premise, except it's based on Philippa Gregory's novels. I've read them. Um. They're better than her Tudor ones? But still not very good. Her Elizabeth Woodville, who is, I take it, to be the central character of the show, is an example of how love for a character can actually result in making the character less interesting. See also: her Catherine of Aragorn and Mary Boleyn. (By comparison, the Elizabeth Woodville from Sharon Penman's The Sunne in Splendour, who isn't meant to be the heroine of the tale, is a wonderful example of a morally ambiguous, layered character, just as interesting as her also layered husband, Edward IV. Gregory's Elizabeth of Perfect Perfection pales by comparison.) To be fair: ironically enough I thought Philippa Gregory manages a genuinenly interesting Richard III., neither the Evil McEvil of Tudor tradition nor the White Knight of Misunderstoodness. Also, for all that I dislike her making Elizabeth and her mother have actual magical powers, the scene where Elizabeth Woodville and her daughter, Elizabeth of York, put a very specific curse of what's supposed to happen to the one guilty of killing her son(s), and indeed all his descendants, impressed me because as she goes on you realise that the curse comes true.... through the fates of the Tudor dynasty. I.e. young Elizabeth of York has inadvertendly sealed the fate of her own children and their children. Anyway, there are adaptions that transcend their source material (the first season of Dexter was definitely one of those), and maybe this will happen with the War of the Roses series, too. Here's hoping.

3.) A Casual Vacancy, based on J.K. Rowling's novel. This I can see work very well as a miniseries. It's an ensemble story told in multiple povs, which will suit the tv format and offer a lot of good roles. It also offers the kind of terse social commentary that goes with a lot of good British tv. I wonder whether, say, Jimmy McGovern adapting it would be too much of a good thing (i.e. McGovern's anger + Rowling's anger in this particular novel), or whether he'd balance the polemic with the humanity. Or maybe it will be several scriptwriters. I know that RTD isn't doing anything but Wizards & Aliens because of his partner's health situation, but maybe an episode or two?

4.) American Gods. Neil Gaiman mentioned in his blog a month or so ago that preparations are still ongoing. I'm continuing to look forward to the result, whenever it will be broadcast.
selenak: (Default)
Inspired by my recent re-reading of the novel, here are some excellent fanfics set in the book's universe. (Which, btw, due to its very concept is infinitelely cross-overable.) Some I knew of old, and some I found when checking on the AO3 section yesterday.


Confidence Men : Life, liberty, and the art of the two-man con. Mr. Wednesday and Low-Key Lyesmith through the years. Did I mention these two are my favourite incarnations of Odin and Loki?

Every ending is a new beginning: Eighteen ficlets, one for each charm Wednesday knows.

Forever Lovely Now: Laura and Shadow and their post-mortem, issues-and-tenderness ridden marriage.

Two ships passing In which Shadow has a drink with the (former) goddess of the Underworld. I love this version of Persephone.

do zla boga: Czernobog and the Zoryas arrive in the New World. Gods aren't noted for their trustworthiness.
selenak: (Locke by Blimey)
I must admit I'm starting to get quite anticipatory for Prometheus. At first I was spectical, because our man Ridley is a hit and miss kind of director: meaning that for every Blade Runner and Thelma and Louise, there's a G.I. Jane and Kingdom of Heaven. He always delivers on the visuals, and I happen to prefer Alien over James Cameron's Aliens, but as I said: it's a gamble. Though the trailer was admittedly very tasty. Then I read that Damon Lindelof wrote the script, and now I'm really intrigued. Speaking as someone who watched Lost all the way and for all the ups and downs never failed to find it interesting. (Well, except for the episode about the origin of Jack's tattoo in season 3.) (Sidenote: I always find it irritating when Lost is seen as J.J. Abrams' baby, because as far as I can tell, Abrams never had anything to do with it anymore after setting up the pilot and some initial few things, whereas Lindelof was the showrunner through out, so both credit and blame should be laid at his doorstep.) And Lindelof certainly can write mythic, mysterious and deliver interesting ensembles. As long as there's no love triangle involved, and he gets to play to his strengths (especially with ambiguous characters and ones that prove nice and kind by no means equal dull - hello, Hurley!

And speaking of the joys and terrors of anticipation, does anyone know whether there are any news on the proposed American Gods tv series? Because that will be to me what Game of Thrones is to, well, GoT fans. I recently reread the book, and decided that of Gaiman's non-comicbook writings, tv episodes excluded, I still love this novel best. The Graveyard Book immediately after, but American Gods first among the novels. Back in the day I came to it straight from Sandman, and I used to wonder whether that was the reason, because there are obvious world building similarities - the premise that all gods of every religion exist, came into being because of the faith of various people and fade away as the belief in them fades so they have to take up a variety of crumy (or not so crummy) jobs to still access emotions and survive, plus Gaiman's interpretation of various deities in Sandman (primarily Odin and Loki, but also Bastet on the Egyptian side) is very similar-down-to-identical to the one he gives in American Gods. And let me tell you, these are by far my favourite interpretations of said Norse deities, especially of Odin. (Back when I started to read Marvel comics, I felt terribly let down, which was fortunate because by the time Thor the film came along I had learned to completely dissassociate the Marvel characters from the myth characters and for the most part, certain issues aside, could enjoy the Marvel versions on their own merits without expecting them to be like the beings of Norse myths.) Mr. Wednesday is such a marvellous character/interpretation of Odin, manipulative, ambigous-to-downright-villainous and yet incredibly compelling, and when Shadow at the end after having figured out Wednesday's scheme(s) and what Wednesday did still admits he misses him, without the narrative excusing Wednesday, it captures the effect on this particular reader precisely.

But ten years later, and so many other books later, American Gods still hasn't dated for me. Lots of book spoilers follow. )
selenak: (Claudius by Pixelbee)
If you're looking for the archive itself to browse at your own leisure, here it is. This is just a first bunch of recs, more to come!

History:

Still Climbing after Knowledge Infinite

In which young Will from Stratford hangs out with a couple of other Elizabethan playwrights, spars and flirts with Kit Marlowe, and figures out his own writing voice. Just delightful.

Todos Los Bienes Del Mundo (1598)

That Philipp II. during his brief time as Mary's husband in England got at least emotionally involved with his sister in law and future arch nemesis, Elizabeth, is a tantalizing possibility brought up now and then in biographies. (Not least because of the apocryphal story that he confessed as much.) Here is old Philipp reflecting on their youth, talking to his best enemy. Very well done, not least because it's believably from the Spanish pov.

American Gods:

The Man in the Gaberdine Suit

In which Shadow returns to America, meets gods old and new, and has a decision to make. Captures the style of the novel really well, and the (surviving) characters.

Being Human:

Passing Bells

A Nina pov, set after the third season, and a terrific character exploration of her and through her of the other characters and their situation. Bonus point for including Tom.

Deadwood:

The Outward Gift

Lovely exploration of the tender, damaged relationship between Joanie Stubbs and Calamity Jane. Awesome use of Charlie Utter as well.

Some Like It Hot:

Scenes from a floating oasis

In which, after the movie, four people on a yacht try to figure out what comes next. A charming ensemble story that showcases the ambiguities in everyone very well.

The Sarah Jane Adventures:

Queens of the Marsh

In which the inevitable happens and Rani meets the Rani as Our Heroes try to solve the latest weirdness, which involves alien frogs. It's the kind of story you can imagine on the show, and everyone is delightfully in character. Clyde's drawing talent is put to good use and Rani shows off her budding journalist skills which pleases me muchly.

Galaxy Quest

Episode Thirty Three: The Dark Reflection

In which Gwen, back in the day, gets the script for the Galaxy Quest version of the Mirrorverse episode and is awesome. I love this both for the way it is pretty realistic about tv writing (sadly not just in the 70s) and yet allows Gwen to play the game better than the sexist she's dealing with. It's funny, acerbic, and leaves you whistling. My head canon now, definitely.
selenak: (Camelot Factor by Kathyh)
Multifandom: In a new interview, Lesley Sharpe (wonderful character actress; if you're a DW fan, you've last seen her in Midnight as Sky Silvestri in a role RTD wrote for her - like Christopher Ecclestone and David Tennant, she had played in previous works of his) reveals she's in a new BBC drama with Christopher Ecclestone and is a Eleven fan, considering Matt Smith sexy, so there is that.:)

For fellow Neil Gaiman fans: every now and then, that rumour about Kripke (boo, hiss! curse his name!) getting to head a tv version of Sandman pops up again and scares me, and I dearly hope and pray it will not happen, but on the other hand I was delighted to hear that American Gods is developed into a HBO series, with Our Neil supposedly writing the pilot. I can see AG really working with the tv series format, HBO is the right network, and provided they get good actors (and no Eric Kripke anywhere near it), this could be splendid.

In other news, I couldn't resist doing the "my top 10 AO3 stories" meme I've seen pop up on my flist.

And the top ten most read stories written by yours truly are... )
selenak: (Catherine Weaver by Miss Mandy)
More rec posts to come, of course, as I feel I've only just started to scratch the surface of all the fictional goodness.


American Gods

Do zla boga: Czernobog and the Zoryas arrive in America. (Incidentally, the Slavic gods are doing rather well in this year's Yuletide.) Captures both the otherness and the, in lack of a better term, person-hood of the gods and throws a fascinating light on the relationship between the Zoryas and Czernobog.

The Graveyard Book

Over the Stones : which is beautiful and haunting in just the right way.

And they're there for you: this, on the other hand, makes you go "aw" as we get a scene from Bod's childhood with Miss Lupescu and Silas. I was expecting Silas fic to appear in this year's Yuletide, and there is plenty, but what I'm really delighted about is that Miss Lupescu is not forgotten but appears in several stories as well, such as this one. I ♥ her.


Greek and Roman Mythology

Five ways Medea lost herself (to/with Jason): in which the relationship between Medea and Jason runs is course, and Medea becomes.



History

Ne Vile Velis: a look at Warwick the self-styled Kingmaker and his cousin Ned, Edward IV; great both if you're a Yorkist and if you're just generally interested in the history of the era.

The Order

Miracle Worker: absolutely fantastic ensemble fic centered on Kate Kildare. All the characterisations, their interactions are just superb, and in lieu of a cancelled comic, this is the best thing to a sequel I've seen.

The Sandman

Ink Space: Lucien, Dream and the library. Poetic, and one of several stories this year starring Daniel, not Morpheus. Wonderful to read.

A Lesson in Manners: in which Thessaly encounters Dream again post-canon and is her awesome self.


Sarah Connor Chronicles

First and Last Rites: post-s2 finale story centered on Sarah, co-starring Ellison and Savannah. Beautiful.

Eudaimonia: I found the relationship between James Ellison and John Henry fascinating, and this story sort of sums up why, complete with all the issues of the past and future between them.
selenak: (Library - Kathyh)
Like everyone else, I snatched time away from family during these last days to indulge in the fannish goodness that is [livejournal.com profile] yuletide, with its multitude of fanfic in rare fandoms. Here are my favourites so far, with the caveat that I've still a lot to read:


American Gothic:

Visiting Hours. Matt only gets one visitor. Short, and with perfect Dr. Crower and Lucas Buck voices.

Blade Runner:

Pride Goeth Before. Roy Batty, from the moment of his awakening. Blade Runner is probably my favourite Sci Fi movie, and this captures its noir, William Blakeish heart perfectly.

Carnivale:

Of Present Sorrows and Two-Sided Coins. Iris Crowe post season 2. This one is a crossover with Sandman, and the Endless Iris meets are perfectly chosen, but even if you've never read Sandman in your life and don't intend to, you should read this for its superb Iris characterisation and the evocation of Russia.

Dexter:

Use Your Illusion, too. Deb after the season finale, coping, or not. I was pleased as punch there were four Dexter stories at Yuletide, and this one is my favourite.

Brother's Keeper. This one tackles Harry the well-meaning and slightly chilling manipulator, with teenage Deb this time instead of Dexter. As with the Harry flashbacks on the show, you never can decide whether he's a brilliant or a ever so screwed up father, or both.

Indiana Jones:

Indiana Jones and the Chinatown Ghosts. This one does what Wrath of Khan does with Kirk: confront the icon with his aging and mortality and makes the guy emotionally real this way. Indy post -WWII meets up with some old aquaintances. Bonus points for the Young Indiana Jones tie-in (the lost eye which Old!Indy sports in the tv show).

Isaac Asimov

The Conscientious Objectors. Two of the great attractions of Asimov's robot stories, to me: no-nonsense, not-pretty, tough and intelligent robot psychologist Susan Calvin and robots which are never the man-killing clichés which drove Asimov to invent the Three Laws to begin with. (Insert mini rant about dreadful Will Smith movie here.) This story captures both perfectly, and manages to make a pointed comment on our present as well.

Hostage Negotiations. Why Susan Calvin likes robots better than humans. Another great take on Dr. Calvin.


American Gods:

The Goal is the Thing. Loki, before and during the novel. Great use of both mythology and Gaiman's interpretation.

Sandman:

An Awfully Deep Well. Portraits of all seven Endless, poetic and fitting.

Darkness and Beauty of Stars was on my Mouth. The Corinthian, both versions. How long before someone writes a Dexter/Sandman crossover featuring the Corinthian, I wonder? Meanwhile, read this awesome take on him.

Supreme Power

So Truly Parallel. Nighthawk and Hyperion. If you think Batman is fucked up and Superman could/should be, try the Marvelverse versions written by JMS. This story captures both wonderfully well. With a great punchline.

Ring Cycle by Richard Wagner

Wayfarer's Daughter. Brünnhild, specifically Wagner's interpretation of her, with a great and chilling twist on the salvation-through-love idea.

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