Monthly Archives: March 2010

Sekrit Rools: Barbara Hambly

The following is a parody for humor purposes only: it is not an in-depth analysis. For a definition of “Sekrit Rool” go here

Hambly is a writer whose tropes tend to be nearly universal across her fantasy works, from Dragonsbane to the Darwath Trilogy. (I haven’t checked to see if the same is true of her mysteries.) She’s a favorite writer of mine, though there are a couple books I just can’t read because they’re just a little too grim and dark for me to read. She’s good at conveying strong emotions, and deathless loves and on a few memorable occasions, certain scenes have reduced me to tears or made me laugh hysterically. At the same time, certain characters of hers have made me twitch Continue reading


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Filed under Meta, Sekrit Rools

Alice in Wonderland (2010, Tim Burton, Disney)

I recently saw the new Alice in Wonderland. I enjoyed it, but found myself comparing it to various manga and anime that uses (or reinterprets) imagery from the book. Which is probably a somewhat odd way of looking at it, since this version of Alice in Wonderland is live action with CGI, not anime. Continue reading

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Filed under Review: Movie

Book Review: Crucible of Empire, by Eric Flint and K.D. Wentworth

428 pp.

The Crucible Of EmpireI was extremely excited when I discovered that Flint and Wentworth were going to be working on a sequel to Course of Empire, a book I absolutely adored. This book takes place not too long after the resolution of CoE, and the joint human and Jao taif (a “taif” is something like a kochan–clan–with training wheels on) has come together in many ways, though there are still very understandable tensions between humans and their former conquerors. The sequel opens with Gabe Tully, who is called away from negotiations with a human resistance group for a mission. Continue reading


Filed under book, Eric Flint, K.D. Wentworth, Review: Book, science fiction, space exploration, space invaders=positive, xenocidal aliens

Book Review: Iorich, by Steven Brust

Tor Books,
314 pgs

Iorich (Vlad)I am a major fan of the Vlad Taltos series by Steven Brust, and have been since I first read Taltos in the eighties. The storyline of assassin and crime boss turned fugitive and occasional private eye is interesting and entertaining, and I enjoy the humor and banter between the characters. The stories generally take very interesting turns, and I like the mystery and political thriller aspects of the plot as well. Continue reading

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Filed under fantasy, mystery, non-earth, Review: Book, Steven Brust, urban

Book Review: On the Edge by Ilona Andrews

Ace, 309 pgs.

On the Edge (The Edge, Book 1)On the Edge is Another “Bad Ass Babe Fantasy Romance. (I may have to change the name of the blog to Rena’s House of Ass-Kicking or something if the trend continues–and given a glance at my reading list, it probably will.) This one uses what at first looks like a white trash/hill billy version of the (eternal and immortal) romance trope where the Hero Must Tame/Woo the Tempestuous Wildcat Heroine. Only that’s not what it is at all.  It’s something much different; it’s Lawman Uses Wildcat As Bait to Catch the Bad Guy and then Kind of Falls for Her, which makes it more interesting. Continue reading

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Filed under anomaly/nexus, book, fantasy, Ilona Andrews, Review: Book, romance, urban

Life is Not a Book (More’s the Pity)

There is something that happens in books and movies that generally does not happen in real life. (You know, aside from all the other things that happen in books that people generally believe can’t happen in real life.) At least, it is not something that has ever happened to me.

What I’m talking about is “the speaking look.” Most people do not know what a “warning look,” actually looks like. Most people will not be cowed into silence by a single threatening glance or a few words of warning. Most people are not actually all that attuned to other people’s body language or speech patterns, even if supposedly, most people have what’s called “the theory of mind,” which is the ability to guess/understand what someone else is thinking or feeling. (Which I’m not sure I can believe in, but then, I don’t tend to do that very well to begin with.) Continue reading

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Filed under not spalding gray, Ramble

People Say the Darndest Things

…I’m possibly missing something here, which isn’t too unusual. Someday someone will have to sit me down and explain why exactly people occasionally say the weirdest possible things to me. I have had people tell me that rats are apparently a larval stage of the bat. (Okay, actually they said that old rats turn into bats, but still.) I have had people claim vast psychic powers (who then failed to be able to read my mind, which is no surprise.) On occasion, I’ve suspected I give out a weird possibly supernatural vibe that inspires people to disturb me with things that make my head hurt. Continue reading


Filed under not spalding gray, Ramble