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Everything posted by dog-days

  1. I read the first one and liked it a lot, though not enough to buy more. My local library does stock Murderbots (go to Tesco for groceries; Starbucks for appalling coffee; the public library service for deadly humanoid security units), but annoyingly doesn't have the second in the series. An omnibus would be great.
  2. Slightly horrified that the fifties adaptation tried to squeeze the whole thing into seven and a half hours. Compare to the famous eighties version, which took thirteen (and still rushed TRotK, imo).
  3. Sounds as if he has the Labrador 'never feel full' gene.
  4. Bret Devereaux is on top form today. Rome: Decline and Fall - Part III. Wish I could print it out and stuff it down the throat of Johnson, Rees Mogg, et al. Though that would be unfair on the paper.
  5. Yes, I think my line of thought was more along the lines of "visit for a day and return with abundant notes" rather than "live and die there". Re: Mary Beard. A few months ago, I caught a free online lecture from her on Elagabalus/Heliogabalus. It went through what we know about him from contemporary sources, and then looked at his later reputation and portrayals in art. That introduced me to the work of Simeon Solomon, a gay Jewish pre-Raphaelite artist that I'd never heard of before.
  6. Back in 2012, I remember having this conversation with my German tutor and another student from the class. I think the student nominated 1920s Shanghai for the fashion. I can't remember what my tutor chose. I said that if it was as a woman, then no time earlier than the present. If as a man, then 1590s London would be good. Didn't explain, but my reasoning was that if you timed it carefully (early 1590s) it would be possible to meet Shakespeare, Marlowe and a young John Donne all on the same day. Plus you could hit the theatres and take note of the techniques - not the Globe which wasn't around then, but the Swan and the Rose. My second choice was early Augustan Rome. Though God(s) preserve me from the fish sauce.
  7. Norma Waterson has died. This isn't the right internet forum for this post really, but she was awesome, so I'm mentioning it here anyway. Her parents died young. She lived with her half-Gypsy grandmother in Hull and helped raise her younger brother and sister. Formed a folk band with them, went to the West Indies, came back, sang much and recorded some of it, and nearly won the Mercury Prize. And she had a voice like smoke and the end of autumn, and I won't hear its like again. The Moving On Song
  8. Not sure even regular manual work at a forge would result in a physique like that. For example, here's a photo of an actual blacksmith, plus one of a miner. TBH, it's not really the likelihood I object to - I don't expect or want my entertainment to present me with things that are probable. It's more of a general sense of misgiving about the way shows/games can warp the perspective of the audience about what the human body should look like. Yes, I agree re Ambassador Medarda. The political manoeuvring could be interesting to watch. I know some people in this thread thought Heimerdinger was out-of-place, but I appreciated him. I enjoyed his long perspective on events - hopefully we'll see a bit more of that in S2.
  9. Just finished watching this show. OTOH, I found it very entertaining, and it certainly became absorbing after the end of the third episode. On the downside, while I enjoyed the city and costume design, I thought the character design was rather irritating. Take Jayce, for example, a researcher-politician whose hobbies apparently include steroid abuse, body building and close combat training. The two overweight characters introduced at the start (one of whom is used for comic relief because fat is funny; we're five hundred years on from Friar Tuck but that stuff is still cutting edge, apparently) were shockingly killed off to provide some more tragic background material to the leads, all of whom are stunningly beautiful. I liked Silco and wonder what S2 will do for a principal antagonist now he's out of the picture. Jinx seems too bananas to present a coherent threat - she's too much a "pretty things go boom" kind of danger. It made for enjoyable binge-watching, though it did feel as if plot, characters, etc. were in service to the video game aesthetic rather than the other way round.
  10. Elder Race (released November 2021) by Adrian Tchaikovsky is currently £2.08 on Kindle. Have just given in and bought it - will report back when read.
  11. Looks good! Feeling excited. Great to see Draper back on the Roci. Sad there's no sign of Jared Harris though. I think S1 of The Expanse got started at around the time his career moved up a level and his schedule filled up.
  12. Agree totally. Jackson's Denethor is particularly awful for wasting the talents of John Noble, who could have been great in another adaptation. Peter Vaughan in the BBC Radio play gave a version much closer to the book, and the narrator is there to conclude the character with the memorable line:
  13. Good luck getting your UF taken on by a publisher. The world needs a Glasgow UF series! Will give your Victorian series a go.
  14. Crazy. I'm still looking for a good UF series set in the UK but outside London, since things seem to work the opposite way round here. (You have to set your fantasy series in London).
  15. That sounds like a truly awful way to decide where to set a UF series.
  16. Just given up on the first Harry Dresden book. I was prepared for it being a bit lame, having been warned that it was written for an assignment as a joke, but I couldn't find anything to like about it, and the way the female characters were described gave me the creeps. Ugh. I'm glad it wasn't my introduction to urban fantasy. (Thank you, Ben Aaronovitch).
  17. The original Greek, according to Wikipedia, is: ὡς κλέπτης ἐν νυκτὶ, hōs kleptēs en nykti Latin Vulgate: "sicut fur in nocte" Wycliffe (late fourteenth century) goes with "as a theef in the niyt". Tyndale (early sixteenth century) translates the Greek to "as a thefe in the nyght". KJB has "as a thief in the night." I don't know Greek, but I think the translation has got to be pretty straightforward - I mean, I'm sure there's a thousand page scholarly dispute about precisely how to translate "kleptes" floating around somewhere because religious scholars have to pass the time somehow, but the early translators all seem to have been happy keeping it simple. Bonus translation from William Morgan's Welsh Bible (published in 1588, twenty-three years before the King James Version): fel lleidr yn y nos. None of the above really answers your question about when the phrase entered vernacular English: when a phrase is first written down is one thing, when it's recognised and used by people from outside monastic/literate circles is another. Monks and priests would have been reading the Bible in Latin for a thousand years prior to the KJV. Presumably some of that found its way into their native language, and possibly out into the broader community, even if there isn't textual proof of it relating to that particular phrase.
  18. Agreed. Zaheer was a great villain - the best in either Korra or Avatar. The third season of Korra was strong across the board.
  19. Don't think so. They had light brown skin and blue eyes. I hope this series turns out to be good - the cast looks promising, especially Aang (Gordon Cormier). But I'm more interested in the new animated project from Bryan Konietzko and Michael DiMartino, though it'll be ages before it arrives, I expect. Fingers crossed that they'll announce the era/central character soon.
  20. Ditto. She had real charisma. Was disappointed that she was removed so finally and quickly from the series. I found a the lead love interest a bit bland, but okay. After reading some reviews of the books online, it turns out that he was bland because in the books he was a jealous, hypocritical arsehole that none of the readers liked, so the show did him the favour of removing his personality.
  21. Yes, I love the final bit of the Bill Door section when, back in the day job, he returns to his house and changes the exterior decor. It's been about twenty years since I read Reaper Man, and I still remember that bit.
  22. Pyramids was the first Pratchett I remember. I think I was about seven or eight, and my dad read aloud the passage where Teppic elaborately preps for his final exams before falling over. Funniest thing I'd heard at that age. I read Hogfather a year or two later, and then started working my way through all the Discworld books.
  23. This looks like it's going to be fun; I'm glad the reviews are promising. Looking forward to it plus Shadow and Bone. There's been a dearth of fairly brainless adventure shows over the last few months.
  24. In tribute to St Andrew's Day, I'm listening to Karine Polwart sing The Freedom Come All Ye - lyrics by Hamish Henderson set to pipe tune The Bloody Fields of Flanders.
  25. So far I haven't been able to finish The Boys. Got to the bit where John Noble turns up as Butcher's dad with the whole family doing improbable cockney accents and just felt that the naff now outweighed the awesome. Whereas S1 felt so new and and extreme that it was just awesome. I will soldier on with it at some point to get to the next big event, but I'm not feeling it at the moment. Think it's partly just me though. I also started watching the original series of Utopia, loved it at first, got a few episodes in and the shine wore off.
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