greygirlbeast: (Ellen Ripley 1)
[personal profile] greygirlbeast
On this day, sixty-five years ago, the dismembered body of Elizabeth Short was found in Leimert Park, Los Angeles.

Bitterly cold (but no snow) here in Providence. We had single digits last night, and the temperature Outside is currently 15˚F.

Here's a link to the full text of the starred (!) Publishers Weekly review of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. Also, my thanks to Elizabeth Bear ([livejournal.com profile] matociquala) for the very kind things she said about the novel a couple of days ago.

Yesterday, I realized that I'd done a very peculiar thing Friday while working on Albaster #4. I'd written pages five, six, and seven. But...this is going to sound so stupid...with seven I'd jumped ahead to a spot very near to the end of the book, only a few pages from the end. It was strange, yeah. I always write from "beginning" to "end," in a straight line, so it was a very odd thing for me to have done. Anyway, yesterday, I set that seventh page aside (I'll use it at the appropriate time), and wrote a new page seven, along with eight, nine, and ten (manuscript pages 14-19, 1,403 words). I stopped in the year 1864 – November, to be precise. I'll resume there today. Oh, it'll all make sense, trust me.

After the writing, I used the iPad to stream a rather dubious documentary about the Snowball Earth hypothesis. I don't mean to say that the hypothesis itself, though still somewhat controversial, is dubious. It's just that the Discovery Channel (I can't believe they haven't shortened the station's title to Disco) seems incapable of making coherent, accurate documentaries that don't drag everything down to the level of "Bat Boy" and the Weekly World News (By the way, you know you're old when you remember the days when the Weekly World News took itself seriously.). The documentary almost managed to reduce a respectable (and very likely) scientific model to nothing more than the latest Roland Emmerich blockbuster.

Later, we played SW:toR, forgoing RP in favor of leveling. We both reached Level 28. And then we watched Craig Gillespie's remake of Fright Night (2011). Now, given the fact that I'm an admirer of the original (1988) and the fact that I hate 3D, I will admit I had a bit of a chip on my shoulder going in. But I was quickly won over. Yeah, the 3D is gimmicky as fuck, and annoyingly intrusive at times (Oh! Look! Blood spurting at the film! Scream!). But the film is both a lot of fun and filled with genuine menace. Most of the casting is superb – Anton Yelchin, Colin Farrell (I never would have believed it), Christopher Mintz-Plasse, and (drum roll) David Fucking Tennant. The show really belonged to Tenant and Farrell. I do wish a little more care had been taken casting female roles. Imogen Poots? That was supposed to be an in joke, right? And Toni Collette....well, we know she can act, but I guess the fact that she's comatose for the second half of this film meant she didn't have much incentive to try during the first half. I was disappointed that we didn't get some of the wonderful creature effects from the original – the werewolf and the amazingly creepy bat thing – but still, very good and highly recommended. Even with the annoying 3D shots trying to jump out into you lap. Oh, it also scored points for mentioning Farscape.

After the movie, I read Ursula K. Le Guin's "The Silence of the Asonu" (1998), a fine bit of SF anthropology (also collected in Lightspeed: Year One). And then I finally slept.

Date: 2012-01-15 05:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alamodealamort.livejournal.com
I didn't realize today was Betty's anniversary. I suppose I should thank you for the reminder. Also, holy shit why can't it be March right now, I want to read "The Drowning Girl."

Date: 2012-01-15 05:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

Also, holy shit why can't it be March right now, I want to read "The Drowning Girl."

Because first we must endure January and February.

Date: 2012-01-15 05:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] trvolk.livejournal.com
This is what I just posted to my circles on Google Plus:

"Kiernan evokes the gripping and resonant work of Shirley Jackson in a haunting story that’s half a mad artist’s diary and half fairy tale."

I have read a pre-release of the first chapter in which the affair between India and Eva Canning begins. Kiernan has reached a level of writing that balances naturalness with intelligence. Don't be surprised to find yourself reaching for a dictionary once or twice while reading one of her books only to find that her five dollar word really is the most appropriate choice. Her stories will force you to put down the book and ponder your personal reality space.

Coming March 6, 2012

http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-451-46416-3

Date: 2012-01-15 06:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] xarx.livejournal.com
In regards to Fright Night, I assume that even though you enjoyed the remake the original is still the superior product?

I'll have pick it up through Netflix, I just don't trust remakes on principal.

Date: 2012-01-15 06:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

In regards to Fright Night, I assume that even though you enjoyed the remake the original is still the superior product?

Hard to say. They were different. Rather than simply remake the original, bow by blow, the new film does go off in some novel directions. I'd say that the old film and the new film compliment each other. Well, except the old film wasn't hamstrung by silly 3D crap, but the studios are demanding that these days, and we can't blame the filmmakers.

I just don't trust remakes on principal.

Not necessarily a good principle. I can think of numerous examples where a remake is superior to the original film. For example, a very recent one, Fincher's The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, or, for that matter, Jackson's version of The Lord of the Rings, which cleaned up after Ralph Bakshi's atrocious 1978 adaptation. I take these things on a case-by-case basis.

Date: 2012-01-15 08:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] xarx.livejournal.com
I don't think the term remake would really apply between what Jackson and Bakshi did, but I suppose arguments could be made.
While I don't trust remakes, I do still tend to give them a chance and am occasionally pleasantly surprised.

Date: 2012-01-15 09:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

I don't think the term remake would really apply between what Jackson and Bakshi did, but I suppose arguments could be made.

It's a complicated issue, with a lot of twists and turns. Jackson denying he ever saw the 1978 film, Bakshi getting pissed over that, Jackson finally admitting he had and that a couple of shots were even homages. A few bits that clearly came from the Peter S. Beagle screenplay. And so forth.

Date: 2012-01-15 07:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sfmarty.livejournal.com
Have you seen the new BBC America show The Fades? I have been ill and haven't been able to watch much TV.

Date: 2012-01-15 07:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com

Have you seen the new BBC America show The Fades?

I haven't. I'll look it up.
Edited Date: 2012-01-15 07:21 pm (UTC)

Date: 2012-01-16 12:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sfmarty.livejournal.com
Thank you. I have it on Tivo, just in case.

Date: 2012-01-16 03:30 am (UTC)
sovay: (Sovay: David Owen)
From: [personal profile] sovay
Also, my thanks to Elizabeth Bear (matociquala) for the very kind things she said about the novel a couple of days ago.

It deserves all of them.

but still, very good and highly recommended.

I should probably still see the original first, but it's good to know!

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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