Author Archive

Binary System Podcast #72 – Oscar Reactions

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Binary System Podcast #72 – Oscar Reactions

This week the twins discuss the Oscars, and by “discuss” we mean “do a full body cringe at the awkwardness of watching them give Best Picture to the wrong movie.

But we get around to mentioning which movies won what and which ones we wished won (say THAT five times fast.) And later Kathryn explains why the show Lucifer is pretty ridiculous and why she’s completely unable to stop watching it.

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Review: Alien Stars

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Review: Alien Stars

Former boxer and aspiring investigator Harry Stubbs is back in a new adventure, this time in his own novel!

David Hambling’s latest book features a hunt for a mysterious artifact, one that seems to be leaving a trail of bodies in its wake. The artifact is sought after by people from both the lowest and highest rungs of society, involving wealthy cult members chasing after its supernatural power, and thugs hoping to sell it to the highest bidder. Harry will have to figure out who his friends are in a hurry, because there’s someone else involved in the search, someone who’ll happily kill to protect their secrets.

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Binary System Podcast #71 – WTNV #102 “Love is a Shambling Thing”

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Binary System Podcast #71 – WTNV #102 “Love is a Shambling Thing”

Pretty appropriate Welcome To Night Vale title for a Valentine’s Day-themed recap, don’t you think? It’s actually the new Valentine’s Day slogan that the Night Vale City Council came up with and…what? Hang on…okay, that’s apparently not the correct slogan. The real one’s longer. Much, much longer. This may take a while.

Join the twins as they recap a WTNV episode with classic themes like romantic dinners at the exclusive Tourniquet restaurant, Classified ads (Lost: Moths. All of them.), and heartfelt demands for justice made by a five-headed dragon who’s still mourning the loss of 1/5th of her brother.  And if that’s not enough, there are also two references to punching Nazis. Because when isn’t it a good time to punch Nazis?

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Review: Norse Mythology – by Neil Gaiman

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Review: Norse Mythology – by Neil Gaiman

Elizabeth and I are going to try something different with this review. Obviously the two of us are huge Neil Gaiman fans, and we both read his Norse Mythology pretty much on the same day that it came out. (It’s a very fast read.) Since we couldn’t decide who should write up a review, we decided to have a discussion about the book (and the myths, and various things that the book reminded us of) via instant messenger, and then post highlights of the conversation here. Click the jump for the full transcript.
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Review: The Etched City

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Review: The Etched City

My random pick for a book review this week is the lovely Steampunk story from 2004. And by lovely, I mean strange. Really strange. And by story, I mean a collection of things that happen in a roughly linear timeframe to characters who don’t really have a concrete motivation and you’re not entirely sure what happens to them by the end.

Come to think of it, this isn’t really a Steampunk book either. Gaslamp fantasy, maybe, but set on a different world where all the plants and animals are the same, so you don’t have to worry about whether or not this really meshes with history and the author didn’t have to make up any new life forms.

The Etched City is K.J. Bishop’s first (and so far only) novel. The press release compared it to the works of China Mieville; I can’t really say I agree, but it certainly is the kind of fascinating writing that I can just fall into for days at a time, even if I’m not always one hundred percent sure I know what’s going on.

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Binary System Podcast #69 – WTNV #101 “Guidelines For Disposal”

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Binary System Podcast #69 – WTNV #101 “Guidelines For Disposal”

On the most recent Welcome to Night Vale episode we were told exactly what you can and cannot bring to the new Night Vale landfill. You cannot bring: physical objects. You can bring: anything else. And we do mean anything.

After that we talk about Saga since Kathryn’s finally caught up, and our techniques for remembering names that don’t really work, and finish up with the movie High Rise and how you really ought to have a drink while watching it. Maybe three.

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Review: There’s a Mystery There – The Primal Vision of Maurice Sendak

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Review: There’s a Mystery There – The Primal Vision of Maurice Sendak

“Fantasy,” Maurice often declared, “is the best means children have for taming wild things.”

Where the Wild Things Are is the first exposure many people have to fantasy. The author and artist Maurice Sendak created this beloved children’s book, along with writing and illustrating twenty-one other works, creating the illustrations for almost a hundred more, and even providing the set design for several ballets and operas. Sendak is universally regarded as a genius…and yet his work can be so strange that it’s hard to describe exactly why people love it as much as they do.

Rolling Stone editor Jonathan Cott has compiled several years of his interviews with Sendak into the upcoming book, There’s a Mystery There – The Primal Vision of Maurice Sendak, going into loving detail about Sendak’s childhood, his passions, and his influences. Cott also spends several chapters of interviewing prominent fans and friends of Sendak to take a deeper look into what the artist was trying to say, and what might have shaped a child of a Polish immigrant into one of the most famous artists of the century.

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Binary System Podcast #68 – Arrival

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Binary System Podcast #68 – Arrival

As part of our continuing coverage of the 2017 Academy Awards, the twins had a thoughtful discussion about the nuances involved in the judges’ choices for Best Picture, including the overlooked importance of the Production Design Award in tandem with the Sound Mixing and Film Editing Awards.

And by all of that I mean we recited the entire plot of Arrival with lots of “EEEEEE!” noises.

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Review: Dear Sweet Filthy World

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Review: Dear Sweet Filthy World

“Be careful,” she says and smiles again. “You’re starting to taste like regret.”

“And how does regret taste? I imagine it’s bitter.”

She shakes her head. “Then you’re mistaken. It’s not bitter. Regret tastes like dead roses and stale bread. Regret tastes like dust.”

I’ll admit it; I’ve been in kind of a rotten mood lately, what with the gloomy weather, multiple unfinished projects, and the daily train wreck that constitutes the national news. Last week I decided hell with it, I’m just going to grab a review copy of another collection of short stories, one with the darkest, most depressing title I could find, so there.

Dear Sweet Filthy World is the latest collection by Caitlín R. Kiernan. The twenty-nine stories (horror, fantasy, a little bit of sci-fi and a lot of erotica) were first published in Kiernan’s online ‘zine “Sirenia Digest”, so this is the first time they’ve been made available to anyone other than subscribers.

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Binary System Podcast #67 – Sherlock

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Binary System Podcast #67 – Sherlock

Spoiler warnings ahoy! This week the twins finally discuss the final episode of Sherlock Season 4 (maybe the final episode of Sherlock ever?) Also, this is one of the few times when the twins have completely opposite opinions about something. (Weird trivia fact: one of them also doesn’t like bananas.) (Kathryn – Ew. Bananas.) (Elizabeth – Hey! Good source of potassium!)

After breaking down the episode into little bitty pieces, they also compare notes on Whisky Tango Foxtrot (ah, that accent…) more Oscars coverage, and Harry Potter fan art.

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