Friday, January 22, 2010

Weekend Science Fiction

Still not high on coherence, for any meaning of the word. Mountain cedar is killing me. It's supposed to rain tonight, which should help, but in the meantime, I'm making great use of my brother's Christmas present -- a selection of interesting teas. There's Moroccan Mist, which is a green tea with mint, and it's lovely for opening the sinuses, and I'm really loving the hibiscus tea. They suggest serving it iced, but it has almost a hot toddy quality when served hot. Lots of hot liquids seem to be the key to keeping the sinuses open. Unfortunately, they don't help with the grogginess and fatigue that mountain cedar seems to cause for me. Writing may be a lost cause, but I've made some interesting progress in brainstorming.

For instance, it occurred to me that the problem with the scene I was working on wasn't just with the logistics I'd researched. It involved the characters doing things that I don't think these people would really do, and it happened in a way that lacked emotional impact. I dreamed the way it should really go last night, and it even still makes sense in the light of day, so that's good. Then the next scene will need work because it lacks the sense of urgency that both characters in the scene should have. Yes, they've just met and are sizing each other up to decide whether or not they should trust each other, so they would ask some questions and share information, but the way I've written it, it sounds more like a "meet over coffee" blind date. I love a lot of the dialogue in the scene, and I do want to convey most of that information, but I think it will have to be moved to a later point in the book.

I think the moral of this story is that putting something aside for a while is a good idea. What seems brilliant when you've just written it will stand out as silly or illogical later when you can look at it more objectively.

In other news, I occasionally snark about the Sci Fi Channel's Saturday night movies (I refuse to acknowledge the name change). This was the venue that gave us the brilliant Mansquito (which was actually a lot of fun, in a campy, not-to-be-taken-seriously way). If you're in the right mood, their cheesy fantasy movies can be fairly entertaining. My favorite so far was Dragonsword (the DVD title is George and the Dragon), which didn't have nearly as many bad fake English accents done by third-rate American actors as a lot of these movies have -- probably because Patrick Swayze didn't even bother trying and his medieval English lord character sounded like he was from Houston, but at least the lead actor really was British. Their recent fantasy version of Robin Hood, in which Robin Hood took on a monster from another dimension, was only slightly less realistic than the recent BBC Robin Hood series.

And now, you can try coming up with a title for an upcoming cheesy fantasy movie, since they're having a contest to name a film (I haven't read the legal fine print, but I would suspect I'm not eligible since I have a business relationship with Universal). Go here to play, and feel free to share any fun titles you come up. Good luck!

And I'm still waiting for the Mansquito sequel, Mansquito vs. Wasp Man.

Speaking of Sci Fi, Caprica, the Battlestar Galactica prequel series, starts tonight. I tried watching the pilot OnDemand and only got through the first part before I was consumed by a vast wave of Not Caring, verging on Outright Annoyance. It seems to be fairly well done, so it doesn't have the entertaining snark potential of As the Stargate Turns (aka Stargate Universe). I mostly found it to be utterly boring, and by the end of the first hour, I was just keeping it on because the music is good (same composer who did BSG) and I was using the show to provide background noise. If the series is anything like the pilot, I'd say it's the parts of BSG that annoyed or bored me, but with added pretentious teenagers. It's essentially a family saga set in a quasi-futuristic science fiction setting. Wake me when the killer robots show up and start killing. So far, the only robot was a glorified Roomba that also answered the door.

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