Posts Tagged ‘Game of Thrones’

My wife is into a particular series of books that has an active fan group, particularly on line. Lately she has developed a new pet peeve, one with which I whole-heartedly agreed as soon as I heard it. It is as follows:

A great many people seem to want spoilers. They cannot abide not knowing what will happen in the future, even though there may be several more books in the series already published and the answers are there to find. Now, however, she is running into people who want spoilers for events that not only occur in the next book, but the same book, or even in the same chapter.


Are they that lazy? And forget about being lazy, if they hate the writing so much, why are they reading the book?

Notice I didn’t ask if they hate the story. I’m talking about the writing. Writers spend anywhere from a few minutes to a few months (some spend years) picking and choosing exactly the correct turn or phrase for their masterpieces. (I tend toward the “minutes” end of the spectrum, but still, I do try.) And they spend even longer plotting the story, laying out clues and foreshadowing so that they can lead you down a path that ends in a huge surprise. That’s why we do it. If it wasn’t meant to be a surprise, we wouldn’t bother.

Seriously, we spend far more time writing this stuff than anyone ever will reading it. All we ask is that you invest the time to realize the experience as we have laid it out for you. It’s not like you have to do a lot of work. In fact, it’s supposed to be fun.

I’m not trying to be a curmudgeon here (okay, I am), but trust me, it would be much easier and faster simply to publish a synopsis or an outline, if that’s all anyone wants. But we write stories and books because we love them, and we want you to love them, too. We want you to appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into them. Reading until you get to an interesting point and then running to the Internet to get a spoiler is like buying a holiday mocha, sucking off the sprinkles and whipped cream, and throwing the coffee away. I mean, would you watch the first half of Designated Survivor and then call a friend in an earlier time zone to find out what happens after the commercial?

I guess one could wait for the books to be turned into mini-series. But beware, there are no commercials on cable. You’ll just have to enjoy the whole thing the way the author intended.



Read Full Post »

It occurs to me that except for blaming the lost weekend for my lapse in productivity (yeah, like that’s the only reason), I have said very little about Comic-con. This seems odd, since the very scope of Comic-con would presumptively lend itself to having a great deal to say. This is true, and yet not.

Let me emphasize here that I like the idea of Comic-con. I grew up with comics. I own a lot of them (and the ones I’ve lost that would be worth a fortune today?–don’t ask). I love that they’ve finally hit the mainstream.


My personal experience inside Comic-con was largely limited to one room (Hall 20), which in and of itself does speak volumes about the event. We were only there one day, and we were there to see a particular panel (Outlander), which did not premiere until late. Under the rules by which Comic-con operates, however, this meant we had to sit in the room all day. And that is where the concept of blame, of which Comic-con bears much, comes in.

You see, Comic-con’s large halls (H and 20) feature panel discussions all day. Hall H is where the infamous “movie reveal” panels happen, where you can see the entire cast of “The Avengers,” for example, on stage. Hall H holds 6000 people. It caters to movies and some very popular TV shows (like The Big Bang Theory). Hall 20 is the smaller venue for TV shows of somewhat lesser, but still significant, popularity. It holds, if memory serves, 4800 people.

The problem with these rooms (and thereby hangs the blame), is that they are not cleared after each panel. Once you get in, you stay. You can try to maneuver your way to a seat closer to the stage once people vacate on their own after seeing the panel that they came to see, but given the high standard of events in Hall H, I doubt that happens much. (It did in Hall 20.) This is why people camp out all night to get into Hall H. (Kind of a waste of a hotel reservation, wasn’t it?) In our case, it meant sitting through several hour-long panels we cared nothing about.

Now I understand that clearing a 6000-seat (or even 4800-seat) auditorium and re-filling it every hour would be a mammoth task. Notwithstanding, this policy is garbage. If you don’t want to empty the hall six times a day, do it once. People can come in for the morning sessions, or the afternoon sessions. Force them to choose what they want to see, and give twice as many people the chance to see something. At least allow people to pre-register for Hall H the way they pre-register for the convention so that they don’t have to camp out all night.

Comic-con is big. Really big. It shows no signs of slowing (to my knowledge), but a lot of events now happen outside the convention center. I saw Star TrekBladerunner, The Walking Dead, and Game of Thrones events, among others. This trend will grow. Exhibitors are already complaining that the traffic in the dealers’ room is declining. Part of that is the outside events, and part is because anybody who wants to see a panel in the latter part of the day cannot do anything else that day. You want to see a 4:00 panel in H or 20? You’re stuck from 9 to 5. (And for Hall H, that’s 9 PM.)

Like any monster, Comic-con moves slowly. And like the dinosaurs, even if it lasts millions of years, it carries the seeds of its own destruction. “Really big” is only a short step from “too big.”

And who would be to blame for that?


Read Full Post »

With all the storm und drang that has rained down since the Hugos, I could have ranted about the outcome and the various parties reactions for at least 400 words. But I don’t want to. I want to talk about something completely different and totally insignificant. Thus, my humble offerings of things you can say about fans (or anyone else, if you’re talking to fans) who just don’t have enough rocket fuel to quite reach the Moon.

He’s so dumb, he couldn’t find a robot on an episode of Futurama.

He’s so dumb, he likes to go jogging alone on the Nostromo.

He’s so dumb, he keeps volunteering for away missions.

He’s so dumb, he told Cyclops, “Take off those glasses so I can hit you.”

He’s so dumb, he challenged the Flash to a duel.

He’s so dumb, he thinks those really weren’t the droids he was looking for.

He’s so dumb, he bought a house in Haven.

He’s so dumb, he thinks The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is Fifty Shades of Gray with werewolves.

He’s so dumb, he sold a life insurance policy to a Stark.

He’s so dumb, he went to Mount Doom for the skiing.

And (mercifully) last but not least…

He’s so dumb, he went to Doctor Who for a physical and now he doesn’t know when he got it done.

Read Full Post »

With Spring in the air and our favorite shows just returned from their winter hiatus, it’s time to start saying good-bye as they go on their Summer hiatus. But don’t despair, because this Fall promises to bring more than its share of new genre-related shows. We’ve picked some of the most promising to preview.

“Please Don’t Eat the Westeroses,” a family comedy from the people who brought you “Game of Thrones.”

“Franks.” Big monster in the big city, from the people who brought you “Friends.” Featuring the theme song, “You’re Worth an Arm and a Leg to Me.”

“The Bachelor Agent.” Every week Agent Coulson invades a Hydra safe house where sixteen femmes fatales vie for the opportunity to put a rose on his coffin and win the grand prize of $1,000,000. (The prize is forfeited if Coulson rises from the dead. Again.)

“The Great Hugo Race.” In this reality series, two (maybe more) teams compete in a series of demeaning exercises to see who can take home a trophy that none of them “really wants” anyway.

“Breitbart.comedy,” in which a crusty old conservative tries to teach his feisty young niece, a budding nerd, to read the “right” kind of SF. From the Disney Channel.

And of course the big news is the hotly-anticipated “Agents of SHIELD” spin-off, “Hi, Hydra, I’m Home!” Can a Hydra assassin balance mayhem, extortion, and arson with PTA meetings, selling Girl Scout cookies, and backyard barbecues? Hilarity ensues weekly when he pins his mission parameters to the fridge and takes the family schedule to work! Fortunately, he can always count on his neighbors, Vera and “Red” Skull, because after all, it takes a village to rule a planet, let alone raise three teenagers.

So, what will you be watching?

Read Full Post »

Okay, sorry about that. The press of Life has prevented me from fulfilling my promise that I would conclude our London adventures, and I am reminded that my fans might be hanging by their fingertips (metaphorically speaking, I hope). So here I am. Where were we…?

Yes, the last time we saw our intrepid adventurers, they’d finished Loncon (did I mention we met the showrunners from “Game of Thrones”? Did I mention I got to hold their Hugo? Did I mention it was freakin’ heavy?), and were on their way back to central London. Our hotel was across from a tube station, so good on that. Very nice, very comfortable and good service.

We’d been to London before, but we hadn’t seen the city, just the parts we visited, if you know what I mean, so this time we got bus/tube passes so we could travel aboveground and see things. This was great, double-decker buses and all. We did take the tube to our first play, because it was at night, a pleasant ten-minute ride. But we also believe in walking a city, so one day we decided to stroll down the boulevard a bit. And things were so interesting, we kept strolling. We walked from Earl’s Court to the West End theatres–where we had just been the night before. You know, the trip that took ten minutes on the tube. At one point I needed to re-tie my shoe, but something about the building we were passing made me think I shouldn’t stop. Good thing–it was the Libyan embassy.

So yeah, we saw some plays, my wife got to meet Nigel Havers, and that was all fun. One night we were early, and the only obvious places to eat were Five Guys Burgers and Chipotle. We asked the theatre box office man where we could eat food that “wasn’t American!” and he laughed and directed us to a lovely restaurant where they couldn’t take us because we didn’t have reservations. Except that then they did, and it was very good. As was the play. (It was “The Importance of Being Earnest,” by Oscar Wilde, since you ask. You should see it if you haven’t. It’s funny.)

But what about the tube, you ask? Where did the title of your blog come from? Oh, that. Turns out when they say, “The doors are closing,” they really mean it. And there’s a sign language for “Wait here! I’ll come right back!” You laugh, but I’m not the only person I saw employing it while I was there.

So finally we put London in the rear view mirror and returned home. Not much to say, except that the flight was 2 1/2 hours late (balancing out the trip), and we were delayed 45 minutes on the ground at LAX (because the trip hadn’t quite balanced yet) and on the plane we met the wife of the director of Downton Abbey, on her way to attend the Emmys with her husband (who, sadly, did not win). So all in all, pretty dull.

And that was our trip. Except for airport delays, crazy turbulence, making new friends, holding a Hugo, meeting famous people, nearly causing an international incident, and being kidnapped by the London Underground, not much happened. Oh, I almost forgot…but no, you don’t want to hear about that…

Read Full Post »