Read & Watched in March

This March:

– I watched one and a half seasons of The Tudors for the first time, and am enjoying its lush and lavish scenery.  The frequent nudity is amusing –  I’m sure Cardinal Woolsey often enjoyed nude massages by his mistress.  Henry is now getting a wee bit tired of Anne, and Jane Seymour has just hove to on the horizon.  I expect a tragic beheading by the end of Season 2.

– Connie Willis’ Blackout, which I was awaiting with much anticipation, was rather disappointing simply because it is one book that appears to have been just chopped in half by the publishers.  The last page helpfully tells me to keep an eye out for All Clear which will be published later this year.  Yes, thanks ever so much for that – it would have been nice to know prior to plunging my way through Blackout and being brought up short at the ending.  I will read All Clear, of course, because I think Connie Willis is marvellous, but Blackout is not really a book in itself, nor is it part of a series – it’s a poor half-book, stuck in a pair of covers all by itself.

– I have discovered, rather belatedly, the world of podcasts, specifically those to do with sci-fi and fantasy.  Galactic Suburbia, which I am impatiently waiting for a fourth episode of, is an Australian podcast by three women discussing all aspects of sci-fi and fantasy (or speculative fiction, which is a nice categorisation for all sorts of things that I love), and particularly feminist aspects of speculative fiction.  Great stuff.  And their most recent episode, with a couple of snippets about SwanCon, has made me wonder about the attraction of conventions, which I’ve always figured are more for the… I don’t know, costume-wearing fans, rather than myself.  But perhaps this deserves re-thinking, particularly with AussieCon4 in Melbourne this year.

Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy is another cool podcast, featuring interviews each week with a bunch of different authors.  I like the wide variety of its topics, from Tolkien to robots used by the military.

– I also watched the fourth season of Weeds, which was an interesting transition from a show in which Nancy is a sympathetic character, dealing weed to keep in her kids in the lifestyle to which they have become accustomed (and somewhat clumsily navigating the various drug cartels along the way) to the Nancy of the fourth season, who is employed by drug traffickers, and whose children are involved (however peripherally) in the drug trade.  With her determined blindness to certain aspects of the organisation she’s involved with, she is a much less sympathetic character, and the whole show spirals into a darker place, in which the humour that fitted so well in the earlier seasons seem a little misplaced.

In April, I’m looking forward to some more Tudors, a new Robin Hobb book, and a couple of novellas by Australian authors about outer space and unicorns.

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