Tag Archives: The Martian

Researching hate

1 Nov

For just the tiniest smidgen of my novel, I needed an idea of how racist rallies work. I’ve never been to a protest of any kind (although I walked near one once; there were about five people waving placards in Southampton city centre – I think they were protesting the Iraq war) so I didn’t/don’t know how they really work. My character is hearing the protests from a distance, so that didn’t matter too much.

What I did need to know was what sort of slogan would be chanted at a protest with a racist objective. So I delved into the dark places of the internet. I didn’t find what I was looking for, but I did find a strong urge to vomit. I found a blog with horrible jokes about Muslim people, dehumanising and disgusting, and further posts from the same blog explaining why Muslims weren’t as good as other people and violence against them was totally justified.

Then I stopped researching for the day and went to take a shower.

It absolutely horrified me that in 2014 there are people who think some people are better than other people just because of the colour of their skin or the god(s) they worship or don’t worship. For a milder example, I would probably not get to be president of the United States because I am an atheist.

Also because I am English (and female, but I think we’re getting there on that one. Slowly).

Eventually I gave up, and it’s not something I want to research again. Sometimes it would be easier to bury my head in the sand completely.

It's a threeway! ...tie for gaming victory

Kjarl and I are quite the detectives

 

Currently reading:

Harry Potter y la Cámara Secreta by J K Rowling

Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett

The Magic in the Weaving by Tamora Pierce

The Story of the Jews  by Simon Schama*

Mansfield Park by Jane Austen*

Sagittarius Whorl by Julian May

A Touch of Dead by Charlaine Harris

Completed since 12/3/2014 (62)

Snuff by Terry Pratchett*
Persuasion by Jane Austen*
The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett*
By the Pricking of My Thumbs by Agatha Christie*
Terrier by Tamora Pierce
Animorphs: The Invasion by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Visitor by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Encounter by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Message by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Predator by K A Applegate
For the Win by Cory Doctorow*
The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett*
Animorphs: The Capture by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Stranger by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Alien by K A Applegate
Harry Potter y la Piedra Filosofal by J K Rowling
Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
Avengers Prime: Volume One by Brian Michael Bendis and Alan Davis*
I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter
A Dance with Dragons I: Dreams and Dust by George R R Martin*
Catacombs by Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough*
Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett
Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan*
Justice League of America: The Lightning Saga by Brad Meltzer and Geoff Johns*
Pawn by Aimée Carter*
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen*
Bloodhound by Tamora Pierce
Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter
Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan*
A Dance With Dragons Part 2: After the Feast by George R R Martin*
Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover by Ally Carter
Percy Jackson and the Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan*
Percy Jackson and the Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan*
Mort by Terry Pratchett
Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian by Rick Riordan*
Only the Good Spy Young by Ally Carter
Hounded by Kevin Hearne*
The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
Shirley by Charlotte Brontë*
Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter
Hexed by Kevin Hearne*
Hammered by Kevin Hearne*
Tricked by Kevin Hearne*
The Great Cat Massacre: A History of Britain in 100 Mistakes by Gareth Rubin*
Bridget Jones’s Diary: Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding*
United We Spy by Ally Carter
The Vanishing Point by Val McDermid*
Trapped by Kevin Hearne*
Agnes Grey by Anne Brontë*
Mastiff by Tamora Pierce
Sourcery by Terry Pratchett
Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch
Perseus Spur by Julian May
Hunted by Kevin Hearne*
Sisters by Barbara Mortimer*
The Martian by Andy Weir*
“I tested the brackets by hitting them with rocks. This kind of sophistication is what we interplanetary scientists are known for.”

Orion Arm by Julian May
The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch*
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë*

*First read

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Books vs Movies

7 Oct

A lot of people get really fixated on how much better books are than the movie adaptations of said books. I’m not really one of them – I tend to try and find things to enjoy in both.

When I was just barely 16, The Fellowship of the Ring came out in cinemas. Whilst I’d read LotR (That’s Lord of the Rings to the less geeky amongst you…I’m not sure you exist, but I’ll explain things anyway) a couple of times by that point, I wasn’t hugely into it – Tolkien’s writing can be pretty difficult work if you’re a kid. I did quickly reread FotR (this one you can probably work out) before going to see it in the cinema, and enjoyed it more that time, but it was seeing the movie that really kindled my love of Tolkien’s works.

I joined the Lord of the Rings Fanatics Plaza in January 2002 as a direct result of the movie, and the people around me quickly inspired me to read and read again, discovering the lore and poetry of Middle-earth.

So movie adaptations do have their place. The thing is, it’s very hard to make a book into a film. There are lots of elements that work on the page that don’t work on the screen. So I don’t mind that directors cut things out – Tom Bombadil for example *ducks flying rocks from diehard Bombadil fans).

Adding things in…I’m less okay with.

Arwen rescuing Frodo at the ford? Really, Peter Jackson?

But I get why he did a fair bit of it.

Some film adaptations are just wrong. For example, I will never watch The Dark is Rising. It’s such a British book, a very British series, but for some reason they felt the need to have the main character in the movie be an American tourist, not the Anglican choir boy he should be? Weird.

Usually I can find something to enjoy in everything I watch, if I can change the way I watch it. Nobody will ever make an exact adaptation from book to film.

Currently reading:

Sisters by Barbara Mortimer*

Harry Potter y la Cámara Secreta by J K Rowling

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë*

The Martian by Andy Weir*
‘”He’s stuck out there. He thinks he’s totally alone and that we all gave up on him. What kind of effect does that have on a man’s psychology?” 
   He turned back to Venkat. “I wonder what he’s thinking right now.”

LOG ENTRY: SOL 61

How come Aquaman can control whales? They’re mammals! Makes no sense.’

Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett

The Magic in the Weaving by Tamora Pierce

Orion Arm by Julian May

The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch*

Completed since 12/3/2014 (54)

Snuff by Terry Pratchett*
Persuasion by Jane Austen*
The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett*
By the Pricking of My Thumbs by Agatha Christie*
Terrier by Tamora Pierce
Animorphs: The Invasion by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Visitor by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Encounter by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Message by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Predator by K A Applegate
For the Win by Cory Doctorow*
The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett*
Animorphs: The Capture by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Stranger by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Alien by K A Applegate
Harry Potter y la Piedra Filosofal by J K Rowling
Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
Avengers Prime: Volume One by Brian Michael Bendis and Alan Davis*
I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter
A Dance with Dragons I: Dreams and Dust by George R R Martin*
Catacombs by Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough*
Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett
Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan*
Justice League of America: The Lightning Saga by Brad Meltzer and Geoff Johns*
Pawn by Aimée Carter*
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen*
Bloodhound by Tamora Pierce
Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter
Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan*
A Dance With Dragons Part 2: After the Feast by George R R Martin*
Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover by Ally Carter
Percy Jackson and the Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan*
Percy Jackson and the Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan*
Mort by Terry Pratchett
Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian by Rick Riordan*
Only the Good Spy Young by Ally Carter
Hounded by Kevin Hearne*
The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
Shirley by Charlotte Brontë*
Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter
Hexed by Kevin Hearne*
Hammered by Kevin Hearne*
Tricked by Kevin Hearne*
The Great Cat Massacre: A History of Britain in 100 Mistakes by Gareth Rubin*
Bridget Jones’s Diary: Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding*
United We Spy by Ally Carter
The Vanishing Point by Val McDermid*
Trapped by Kevin Hearne*
Agnes Grey by Anne Brontë*
Mastiff by Tamora Pierce
Sourcery by Terry Pratchett
Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch
“‘You self-righteous cock, I’ll -‘
‘What?’ shouted Jean.
‘- I’ll throw myself at you, and you’ll beat the shit out of me,’ said Locke. ‘And then you’ll feel awful!'”

Perseus Spur by Julian May
Hunted by Kevin Hearne*

*First read

 

Hoping and choosing hope

25 Sep

I had an interview yesterday. I’ve lost count of how many I’ve had since I lost my job 10 months ago, but I think it’s in the 30s now. Still, I choose to believe that I will get called back for a second interview for this one. I was totally in the zone yesterday – I didn’t even stutter and have to go ‘Bleurgh – Oops, I seem to have forgotten how to talk’, which is quite common for me! It gives me an opportunity to reset my words. If you’ve ever watched Ally Macbeal, one of the characters had a stutter and he would reset himself by saying ‘Poughkepsie’, which is a city in New York state.

Anyway, in the interview I didn’t go into any roundabout speeches like that one up there.

I’ve also just started my marketing course – I’ll be stopping writing in a moment to go to the second webinar. I’m really excited – I will learn things that I can actually use for my chosen vocation! I feel all fancy.

On the subject of choosing hope, and totally separate to everything I do on this blog usually, I’d like to draw attention to the fact that it is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Mary Tyler Mom, who lost her four year old daughter to a brain tumour a few years ago, is curating a series where every day in September, somebody tells their story of childhood cancer. I really recommend giving it a read.

(This post began being written on Tuesday and finished up on Thursday. Not my speediest!)

Currently reading:

Mastiff by Tamora Pierce

Sourcery by Terry Pratchett

Sisters by Barbara Mortimer*

Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch
“‘Now, if you find yourself in trouble wherever you go, you can say, “You have no idea who you’re fucking with. I’m under the protection of the lady who gave me this object of her favour.”‘
‘And that’s supposed to make them stop?’
‘Shit no, that’s just to confuse them. Then you can kill them while they’re standing there looking at you funny.'”

Harry Potter y la Cámara Secreta by J K Rowling

Perseus Spur by Julian May

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

Hunted by Kevin Hearne

The Martian by Andy Weir

Completed since 12/3/2014 (50)

Snuff by Terry Pratchett*
Persuasion by Jane Austen*
The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett*
By the Pricking of My Thumbs by Agatha Christie*
Terrier by Tamora Pierce
Animorphs: The Invasion by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Visitor by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Encounter by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Message by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Predator by K A Applegate
For the Win by Cory Doctorow*
The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett*
Animorphs: The Capture by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Stranger by K A Applegate
Animorphs: The Alien by K A Applegate
Harry Potter y la Piedra Filosofal by J K Rowling
Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
Avengers Prime: Volume One by Brian Michael Bendis and Alan Davis*
I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter
A Dance with Dragons I: Dreams and Dust by George R R Martin*
Catacombs by Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough*
Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett
Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan*
Justice League of America: The Lightning Saga by Brad Meltzer and Geoff Johns*
Pawn by Aimée Carter*
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen*
Bloodhound by Tamora Pierce
Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter
Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan*
A Dance With Dragons Part 2: After the Feast by George R R Martin*
Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover by Ally Carter
Percy Jackson and the Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan*
Percy Jackson and the Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan*
Mort by Terry Pratchett
Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian by Rick Riordan*
Only the Good Spy Young by Ally Carter
Hounded by Kevin Hearne*
The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
Shirley by Charlotte Brontë*
Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter
Hexed by Kevin Hearne*
Hammered by Kevin Hearne*
Tricked by Kevin Hearne*
The Great Cat Massacre: A History of Britain in 100 Mistakes by Gareth Rubin*
Bridget Jones’s Diary: Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding*
United We Spy by Ally Carter
“Our dads are politicians, Preston. Of course we grew up thinking they might be evil.”

The Vanishing Point by Val McDermid*
Trapped by Kevin Hearne*
Agnes Grey by Anne Brontë*

*First read