Guilty (dis)Pleasures Exposed

A few years ago it seemed that I had reached a milestone of sorts. I had pretty much stopped being embarrassed about anything. Such liberation! I had finally reached so complete a state of inner satisfaction that I cared neither jot nor tittle about what other people thought about me. Unless they knew what jot and tittle really meant, in which case I’d go hide in a hole.

Then Kelly Johnson — fellow writer whom I met at the 2012Backspace Conference — challenged her fellow SF-Fantasy writers with a piece about Not-So-Guilty Pleasures (read how it started up at Kelly’s site here) …and Zap! The spell was broken.

Here’s the whole sordid confession.
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Prometheus: Brain not required

[I’m leaving this posted as a reminder to myself and any self-respecting SF (or any) writer that simply having a bunch of “cool” and “awesome” scenes does not make a worth-while STORY, just a spectacle (and a bunch of ruptured synapses in your head). Ouch.]

No use here for me to restate what many others have said about this magnificently insulting movie. (Magnificent as spectacle. Insulting to storytellers and story-listeners everywhere.)

For two spot-on analyses, I point with a finger on each hand to the following:

Chuck Wendig’s blog, Terrible Minds

…in which he illustrates how Prometheus‘ script is a classic lesson in why a Plot without Character is like a balloon without air, let alone helium.

Also, there’s a huge and entertaining discussion about the film’s lack of logic, scientific and otherwise, at:

Enchanted Mitten (by md’a)

All I can add is, if you see Damon Lindelof’s name in the credits anywhere, and if you also enjoy seeing a story’s heroes and villains make unbelievably illogical and brainless choices every seven minutes, by all means, go see it immediately.

Scalzi Rocks

Last night [June 15, 2012 or so], John Scalzi rocked Brooklyn (Greenpoint, to be specific) with a batch of readings, Q&A, and a hilarious performance based on his new novel, Redshirts. It all went down at Word, a wonderfully charming little book store (packed to the ceiling with actual books, yay!). Bottom line: Humor and sci-fi can indeed have a self-sustaining symbiotic synergy (surprising skeptical sages).

Redshirts is loosely derived from references in a certain classic TV series to those NPC-esque crewmembers who inevitably take the first hit and instantly die on every away team mission. I was sort-of expecting that fans showing up for Scalzi’s talk would be wearing some sort of regalia. All I had was a red T-shirt and a big Federation pin I’d gotten while working on the set at Paramount during our photography for the Star Trek Interactive Technical Manual (CD-ROM, remember them?). Turns out, I won the prize for the best ‘outfit.’ More like… the ‘only outfit.’