williamjm

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  1. I think it got off to a bit of a rough start where Banks seems to introduce an excessive number of characters who we don't really care about and the initial plot wasn't all that interesting, but it starts to improve once they get to the Orbital and the story gets more focused. By the end of the book it did become quite compelling. I wouldn't rank it as bad, but it's got more flaws than most of the later Culture books.
  2. I just saw the final episode. Like the season overall I enjoyed it and there were bits I really liked but also some significant flaws. I agree with some of the comments above that it felt a bit rushed, and giving the detonator to L'Rell seems a bit of a bizarre plan - the council scene was also a bit odd where she threatens them with the detonator without explaining why it is such a threat. It does seem to risk L'Rell uniting the Klingons and then deciding to resume the war again more effectively than before. I'll definitely watch the second season, hopefully they'll come up with a good idea for what to do with it. I find The Orville to be watchable but a bit confused about what show it wants to be. For the most part it's trying to be a fairly straight TNG-style show but there's always some comedy injected into it, which wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing but the comedy generally isn't funny (with occasional exceptions like the episode where they try to explain practical jokes to Isaac) and the silliness tends to undermine the more serious bits of the episode. The main cast are fine (and it's done a better job of introducing the entire bridge crew than Discovery) and I quite like the idea of a more traditional Trek-style show, so hopefully the show can improve, I think the problems are potentially fixable.
  3. I saw The Shape of Water, which I thought was very good. Out of Gullermo Del Toro's films that I've seen I'd say it was closest to Pan's Labyrinth, although that has more comedy in it, it does have a few very funny moments in it. Sally Hawkins is great in the lead role, she does a great job of building a character without speaking. I think Michael Shannon may be getting a bit typecast, but he does make a perfect villain.
  4. I don't think I've ever seen anyone so surprised to win a medal (aside from maybe the Australian speed skater a few years ago who won after the rest of the field fell over), apparently her previous best skiing World Cup result was 19th. If she wins the snowboarding as well (where she's apparently the favourite) I wonder if that would make her the first person to win Gold at two different sports at the same Olympics - all the multiple medallists I can think of did if in variations of the same sport, or occasionally in different sports at different games?
  5. I agree Christie didn't look like challenging for gold, although if she hadn't crashed she might have got the bronze. I agree I don't understand why the South Korean was disqualified, it looked more like the other skater who was at fault.
  6. I'm not going to claim to have any understanding of the sport, but the wind did seem to make it a complete lottery. The BBC commentators were getting increasingly irate at it, one of them complained that he was basically commentating on the timing wind gusts rather than the competitors.
  7. There was enough ambiguity that I can see why someone could come to a different decision, but it did look like a try to me.
  8. It is fun to watch, although the wait after every race to see who is going to get penalised can be a bit tedious and sometimes the penalties seem a bit random - I remember Elise Christie being disqualified from all three events in Sochi and not really being able to tell why the disqualifications happened. She seems to be taking the safer approach this time and try to spend the entire race ahead of her competitors. I also saw a bit of the snowboard slopestyle event where the commentators may as well be speaking a different language - at one point they had this conversation: "Was that a bloody Dracula just there?" "I think it was, not something we see very often." ETA - also is anyone else already sick of the phrase 'Olympic Athlete From Russia'?
  9. It seems somewhat appropriate that Louis Leterrier is right at the far end, given that I think The Incredible Hulk is probably the Marvel Studios film people are most likely to forget is part of the Universe.
  10. I read Lisa Tuttle's The Curious Affair of the Somnambulist and the Psychic Thief. I liked the short story featuring Jespersen and Lane in GRRM's Rogues anthology so I thought the first novel featuring the characters might be entertaining as well. I thought it was good fun and a nice contrast in tone to the apocalyptic gloom of the Broken Earth trilogy, I liked the characters and the Victorian setting although the plot felt a little bit too contrived at times and it felt like the villain should have been caught some time before the climax of the story. It's not hard to work out what Tuttle's literary inspiration for this is, even if a story featuring two Victorian detectives wasn't enough a clue, their first meeting has Jespersen doing the classic Homes-meets-Watson deductions by observing Miss Lane although it had a nice twist that Lane immediately dismisses his deductions as being things anyone with half a brain could have deduced and pointing out what he got wrong. Next up I'll continue with N.K. Jemisin's The Obelisk Gate, I'm interested to see where the story goes in the second book.
  11. I've no idea what to expect from Legion season 2, but I'm definitely looking forward to seeing what happens.
  12. It could be that's the intention, I haven't really read anything about what the writers of the show have said. There are some book references occasionally, Dirk a couple of times refers to meeting Thor. While Dirk does share some character traits with the book Dirk I don't know whether the backstory really fits with it being a sequel, maybe if the entire Blackwing project took place after the books but I'm not sure if he's old enough for that to make sense.
  13. Three members of the British curling teams went to my high school so I feel I should watch that to support them. The craziness of the snowboard cross or ski cross events is always fun to watch.
  14. I've just remembered that there is a spaceship in the first book, although we only see it briefly near the end. I think the TV show does a good job of capturing Adams' anarchic sense of humour and the surrealism of his plotting, I think he might well have approved of it even if it changes so much from the books. I think it's best not to think too much about the book when watching the show, while it does bring some new things that are a lot of fun, it is missing most of my favourite parts of the books like the Electric Monk, Dirk's pocket I-Ching calculator or Thor counting all the stones in Wales.
  15. The books and TV series are very different in terms of plot, but they are both great.