Notes from the ferment

by Matt Ruff on August 6, 2012

Apologies for the long silence, but I’ve been in my head for the past month, trying to work out what book #6 is going to be. (Still getting there, but the road ahead is clearer now.)

Some random quick notes:

* Lisa and I saw The Dark Knight Rises. I feel like I need to see it again before making up my mind on what I really think about it. My initial impression was that there were some great individual elements, and on a purely emotional level it did work, but there were also some serious thematic and plot incoherencies that I couldn’t quite bring myself to overlook. This Film Critic Hulk essay touches on some of the issues that bothered me, and offers an interesting theory about what might have gone wrong.

* Speaking of Film Critic Hulk, if you aren’t already a fan, you should be. Here’s a nice archive post linking to all his greatest hits. Some good pieces to start out with: Why you should never hate a movie (applies to novels, too); Why the Campbellian “Hero’s Journey” is a lousy template for storytelling; and an amazing explication of What the hell is really going on in Mulholland Drive.

* If you’re looking for something different to rent on Netflix, check out Errol Morris’s documentary Tabloid, a bizarre true-life tale about a Mormon missionary kidnapped by a former beauty queen. If you’re not already familiar with the case, you may want to avoid spoilers—Lisa and I went into it cold, and part of the fun was guessing at what point the story was going to stop getting weirder.

* My pal Neal Stephenson will be appearing in Kane Hall at the University of Washington tomorrow night at 7:30 PM to promote his new book, Some Remarks: Essays and Other Writing. Paul Constant will be interviewing him.

* The Curiosity landed safely on Mars last night. It was fun following the collective nerdgasm on Twitter, but I have to confess, having experienced Viking as a kid, I’m feeling strangely jaded. The space probe I really want to see before I die is an ice-fishing expedition to either Europa or Enceladus. In the meantime, Hollywood, how about a remake of Capricorn One?

* Moose Snow leopard and squirrel. Bonus video: A goat smaller than a house cat. Thanks, evolution!

Nicola Griffith August 6, 2012 at 6:08 pm

Is there an app that will convert shouty caps into lower case? If not, I can’t read Film Critic Hulk stuff…

p.s. *loved* the snow leopard stuff–especially that intense look at the wee child-as-snack…

Matt Ruff August 7, 2012 at 1:45 pm

I had trouble with the all-caps things too, at first, but it grows on you.

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