Thursday, May 21, 2009
I went to see the new Star Trek movie and really enjoyed it, for precisely the reasons that more hardcore Star Trek fans seem to have problems with it. And, in the highest praise that I can think of, its inspired interest in seeing more of the original series. I grew up with Next Generation and have enjoyed the other series in bits and pieces along the years, but hadn't seen much of the original crew beyond the Star Trek movies, so it was very exciting to get the chance to see so many of my favorite characters meeting for the first time. And in watching some of the original series, I realized how much the characters had the same personalities and relationships, in spite of all of the differences that the time line shift had caused. And that might have been why I didn't mind the changes, because at the heart it was what had always been great about Star Trek. And it didn't hurt that Captian Pike is played by one of my favorite actors.
Friday, May 15, 2009
This wasn't the first book in the series that I read, but since this is the only book whose place in the series I have any idea about, I thought I'd start with it, just as the series does. Full Dark House starts the Peculiar Crimes Unit series, and introduces you to Bryant and May, the lead detectives of the unusual unit, which gets the cases that no one else in London has any idea of what to do with. They can't properly be called Police Procedurals, because Bryant and May don't follow many of the standard procedures. But no matter how fantastic the crimes seem, and how impossible it looks that it wouldn't verge into science fiction when in order to explain it all, it always makes sense in the end, which is part of what I enjoy about the series. As outlandish as it looks, it always comes together in the end, thanks to Bryant's non-linear associatons and mystical ideas, and May's logic and investigative skill. And they are so much fun to watch together, which may be why out of the three in the series that I've read so far, Full Dark House is my favorite. As part of the story, we are able to see the first case Bryant and May ever work together on. And this allows the reader to understand just why they work so well together.
I read this book far after I should have. I'm not sure why it took so long, since I stumbled on the author, Connie Willis, in high school. And I loved that book, The Doomsday Book, but for once I didn't rush right out and buy everything else by the author. When I did get to reading To Say Nothing of the Dog and Passage. I'll get to Passage some other time. Because, as much as I enjoyed Passage, To Say Nothing of the Dog is the one I constantly go back to and read again. It's fun in a way that the others aren't, for all that they are wonderful books. And any book that manages to have a well thought out time travel scheme matched with a quest for the Bishop's Birdstump (it took me forever to realize just what this was, and if you want to know, you'll have to read the book, I'd hate to ruin the surprise), spanning from the Stone Age to 2054 in the quest to get to a certain moment in WWII Coventry, and the attempt to return a cat to it's own time after it defied all known rules of time travel, and you have a winner.