the morning’s New Sun

The interesting thing about a proper first person narrative is the reading difficulties and plot pleasures it can cause. Most first person narratives act as substitutes for third person narration – as in the protagonist narrating the story acts more like a third-person narrator than someone living through a part of their life that they shouldn’t be able to see the entirety of when retelling it.

Whereas a first person narrative that pivots on the POV of the protagonist, that is unreliable, that jumps from one moment to the next, starting every moment in medias res, leaving it up to the reader to decipher the continuity unfolding, is overall much more enjoyable and rewarding to decipher and remember.

The science fantasy novel The Book of the New Sun by Gene Wolfe has been a revelation in that regard. It’s mature for its genre in the same way Joyce’s Ulysses is a mature read for literature. At its surface level and some twenty fathoms beneath, the story feels clever without any perception of the cogs the author has put in place to keep the story turning. And that’s because of how the first person narration constructs the story.

Whereas for the savvy reader, one can look deep below the surface to where the cogs and levers constructing the story are found and can realise that the organic feeling of the story is carefully constructed, the plot and dialogue skilfully selected, and the clues to the overarching mystery placed with subtlety. It’s quite good and a most enjoyable read. Perhaps even an all-time fav with the promise it’s showing.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep in 2049?

After reading the Blade Runner book and watching the Blade Runner 2049 movie, I realised how much better the movie would have been if they took all the parts that weren’t used in the original movie and used them for the sequel movie. Things like the faux-police headquarters where all the cops are androids who think they’re human. The human blade runner working for the android police who starts to think he’s an android. The meaning of owning a synthetic pet in a dying world. And more, but those three points are a good start to improve the plot of the BR sequel. What may have been.

The Cyberpunk Collection

When you’re locked down, the perfect late night genre to find solace in is Science Fiction’s dazzling young son, Cyberpunk.

In it, you will find dystopic futures where cybernetic, mutagenic, nightmarish low-lifes with high-tech fantasies are enthralled in the oncoming breakdown of a city’s social order.

The heroes are either cops or crims and usually possess or are in search of the key to unknowingly unlocking a more dangerous and promising chapter for the world around them.

Cyberpunk can be Film Noir with technology (Tech Noir), a police procedral with cyberised mecha or a crime drama with pretty much everything sci-fi.

To help you dive into the cyberpunk experience, I present to you this list:

Continue reading “The Cyberpunk Collection”

Wounds

Wounds, a psychological horror film on Netflix, shows promise: it shows competent direction, it shows an interesting character journey, it shows some great moments of weird horror. The actors give solid performances and its cinematography is decent. Where it falls flat is the glue that should hold it all together, the occult backdrop. These supernatural moments and scares seep through incompetently, disjointedly, meaninglessly within the world of the story. They hold your interest but nothing really connects and ultimately fails to land that one-two punch you want with this type of story. The film’s writer or director held too much of the initial story back and I believe anyone wanting more would have to go to the source material, a novella, to find it. That said, while we’re all locked down indoors, self-isolating, it’s worth the stream. 3.5/5 tulpas.

V is for…

The National Security team just barged through the door, looking for a doctor. They in’s the man in a lock room, wearing handcuffs, and they put a black hood over his head. All this doctor can think about is his son, who he saved from his step-mother, a young blonde who was infected with a prehistoric virus that turned her into a vampire.

Arriving at an abandoned warehouse, National Security agents take the hood off of the doctor’s head before escorting him to a dusty locker room. They ask the doctor to help them with what they want. He wants to know where is his son.

For a Netflix show, V Wars is pretty good. The story can be up and down when the plot follows the side characters, but it overall comes together as one of the better sci-fi horror shows. 3/5 vulpas.

No, not you too!

Invisible Man

The Invisible Man is an excellent modern day Universal Monster movie that uses our cinematic conditioning to build tension from start to finish. Quite an impressive feat and one that tells a serious domestic abuse story through the lens and conventions of horror. A top performance from Elizabeth Moss and an insanely cool and scary Invisible Man – especially with how he turns invisible – though he is one proper evil bastard.

Hell buoyed

How is the latest Hellboy movie so badly written and directed in an age where comic book movies are the norm? It’s rife with redundant characters, useless motives, tenuous relationships to the main character that serve no narrative purpose, bad acting, moronic Pixar monsters in a film that’s R-rated and a terrible ending. It’s a shame, the comics are actually well written, like modern day Poe built on a foundation of Lovecraft and American folklore. They’re a celebration of classic horror and weird fiction with a biblical narrative trajectory. And yet none of that comes through in this new movie. None of the beauty, none of the pathos of it’s characters, none of the gothic charm, none of the cool stuff. Del Toro should have returned. To hell with it.