Tempest Challenge #22 – Women are DESTROYING EVERYTHING

The “Women Destroy” issues of Lightspeed, Fantasy, and Nightmare Magazine are master classes in how women have always been important to all of these genres–yes, even science fiction. They’re really anthologies with a mix of original fiction, reprints, flash, essays, and author interviews.

In this video I talk about a few of my favorites and about the importance of these issues to the genre, both present and past. If you have ever wanted to introduce someone to SF, fantasy, or horror and give them a taste of modern as well as classic, this is an excellent place to start.

Would love to hear your thoughts on how women are destroying everything on the #KTBookChallenge tag on Twitter and Tumblr or the comments here or on YouTube. And, as always, you can support me making Tempest Challenge vids by clicking the links below when you…

Buy Women Destroy Science Fiction directly from the publisher, at Powell’s, or at Amazon. Buy Women Destroy Fantasy directly from the publisher, at Powell’s, or at Amazon. Buy Women Destroy Horror directly from the publisher, at Powell’s, or at Amazon.


My (Long Overdue) Thoughts on the Dollhouse Finale

Over at Fantasy Magazine:

Eliza Dushku has had the opportunity to dazzle us with the range of her acting over the course of this season. She did not. In this final episode she had one more chance to shine. She had a great example before her — Alan Tudyk as Alpha struggling with the different brains in his brain, switching smoothly between them without making it look hammy and overdone. Then he puts a ton of personalities into Echo’s head and Eliza gives us… well, the same vague “kick-ass chick” character she’s been playing for eleven previous episodes. It shouldn’t be a surprise that we never saw her switch between them. There was nothing to switch.

There’s… a lot more. It took me a whole week to write because every time I sat and thought about ti some more I was like, “Oh, and ALSO I hated this! And this!” Watch as I also compare the show to Family Guy and Heroes. Clicky for the fun!

Dollhouse: Is It Done Yet?

Dollhouse: Is It Done Yet?

My thoughts on the latest Dollhouse episode are over at Fantasy.  One aspect that bothered me that I didn’t mention was the character of Mellie/November.  Mellie, specifically.

Ever since Mellie first showed up I have been super-annoyed and wary of her character. In the beginning because I am so over the I Am Desperately In Love With Man Who Ignores Me stereotype.  She seemed so pitiful and desperate that I was really rooting for her to be a doll just so it wouldn’t be so horrible for her to exist. It makes sense for the Dollhouse to program her to be desperate for Paul, even if it is still annoying.

So then we discover Mellie is a sleeper doll — fine. But THEN.  Then the annoyances keep coming.  Paul has wet dreams about Caroline even though he is sleeping with a woman who is — pardon me for being so crass — about 20,000 times more attractive than Eliza Dushku. Later Mellie tells Paul right out that she does not care if he doesn’t return her affections in any way, as long as she can keep doting on him. I’m paraphrasing — the actual sentence was so much more sickening than that. Yes, I know Mellie was put there to keep an eye on Paul by being the kind of woman he would want, but what man who is not an asshole would find a woman who would say such a thing desirable? It speaks to Paul’s character, I think, that they programmed her that way. And, of course, his response to this speech was not “Hey now, I return your affections, you do not need to say that or feel that way.” (Yes, I know, this would have been a lie.  Still.)  No, he responds by engaging in an excessively problematic “sex” scene.

Dear Show: WTF.

I have to wonder if there wasn’t some way to achieve the same goals with Mellie/November without making her character so awful. In fact, it would have made me feel so much more sympathy for Paul if the kind of woman he desired was not someone who only had one want or need (him) but was ultra-kick-ass and also thought he was attractive. It would have been so much more interesting if he really did have to struggle between being in the present moment with someone who cared for him and being obsessed with the Dollhouse (and Caroline). Lack of stereotypes is always a big turn-on for me.

Poor Mellie. I mean, I do definitely feel for the girl. Even knowing she’s a doll, I still felt really sad when Paul walked out and cruelly told her to go to hell.  (This is perhaps due to the fact that I think the actress is doing a damn fine job with this inanity she’s been given.) It was clever of him to do so in order to track her back to the Dollhouse, but think about that: he purposefully emotionally abused a woman because he essentially ceased to see her as a real person. He flat-out refused to save her even though she was just as much a “victim” as Caroline because he decided that Caroline was indeed real.

I have a problem with that.

If anyone is supposed to be a hero in this show, it is Paul. He falls very short of that label.

And if anyone can be said to be a victim here, I would definitely nominate Mellie. That she was created in such a way, subjected to such things, and will probably cease to exist from here on out is depressing. But not more depressing than another season of this show.

Show Off Your Steampunk Fashion

Show Off Your Steampunk Fashion

*eyes all the people on her f-list who she knows totally rocks the steampunk clothing and jewelry and whatnot*  All of you click over to Fantasy and show off your fancy, fabulous selves in the stempunk fashion show.  None of you are shy (why else would you be wearing that corset?) and you know you love getting compliments on your clothes. You could be the belle of the virtual ball!

And you folks who don’t have any fashion to show off, go find a friend who does and point them at the site.  I demand a long thread of steampunk finery.  I’m a closet lover of costume porn, what can I say?

Want To Be A Weekly TV Columnist?

Want To Be A Weekly TV Columnist?

We’ve had some success with our TV columns and I would like to do more to cover TV on Fantasy.  However, I do not want to bombard our readers with a bunch of TV coverage all the time.  I think confining it to the end of the week is a good, and maybe not one post for every show.  So I have conceived a plan to have posts on Fridays and Saturdays where columnists discuss the latest episodes of the one or two shows they’re assigned and then open up comments on them.  I know a few of my current columnists will be interested, but in case there are other people dying to write up a short response to an episode of the shows they watch, I’m putting the call out to my readers as well.

As always, the job sadly does not involve pay.  It does involve committing to one season of the show in question.  Columns will be casual, like blog posts, filled with your opinion and a short recap.  You are not required to love a show to do this.  But fi you don’t like it, your dislike must be reasonable and not just “I want to stab Joss Whedon.”  I mean, it’s fine to want to stab him, but at least let’s lay out all the reasons why in a semi-calm way ;)

If you’re interested, send me a note at this gmail address: fantastictempest.  Tell me 1 – 3 shows you’d be interested in doing a column on.  If you have blog posts about TV or related, include a few links.  All SF or Fantasy shows are welcome.

One of these things is not like the other

One of these things is not like the other

At Comicon this weekend there was a special “last minute” appearance by Daniel Dae Kim who plays Jin on Lost.  I am assuming it was kept under wraps to avoid prematurely leaking that Jin was returning to the show even though he got all blowed up.  Before his autograph session the press folks got a chance to ask him some questions.  I was one of those press folk :)

Because some of the press people were going to the Dollhouse panel and others were doing short video interviews, it ended up that my small group didn’t get a chance to talk to him until the last 20 minutes (which was plenty of time).  When he sat down with us he jokingly said, “You must have had all of your questions answered by now!”  Honestly, I was surprised people had any more to ask him about Lost.  They badgered the poor guy for 40 minutes and tried to trick him into revealing something OMG!important or whatever.

I asked a non-Lost question and, when I told him I was doing so, he smiled appreciatively.  I mean, yes, he was there to talk about Lost.  But man, people could NOT let up about the same stuff over and over again.  You get a chance to meet one of these actors and you know they cannot tell you secrets, so why not, instead, try to open it up and talk about wider stuff?

Am I being bitchy?

Anyway, this all resulted in the interview I have up on Fantasy today.  It’s pretty cool, if I say so myself.  And my first foray into creating a narrative out of an interview.  I mainly did this because my questions are rambly and thus not worth preserving in the Q&A format.

Oh, and also: that dude is pretty hot as well as being really intelligent and just all-around impressive.  I’m really glad I got a chance to meet him.

Christmas and Carols

Christmas and Carols

I’m particularly stoked about this week’s content because most of it has been about one of my favorite things — the Christmas Carol TV Trope.  You know how a lot of shows have done episodes that use the plot of A Christmas Carol?  It’s frighteningly common.  And when they don’t get around to that, they use It’s A Wonderful Life.  Paula Stiles wrote a great piece talking about which of these works and which don’t and why, and then I sent my interns off to look for video evidence.  All of this culminates in today’s Blog For A Beer, where we ask what your favorite Christmas trope episodes are.

That Time Of Year Again…

The time of year when a girl’s fancy turns to finding more interns.

This semester I had three awesome interns who are full of interny goodness.  I get to keep two of them, but I’d like a few more, including one who can do marketing stuff.  If you know a college or high school student in search of an internship for next semester that has flexible hours, is all online, and that offers the opportunity to possibly see movies for free, interview famous people, and attend cons as press, send them to this page, where the description and application instructions are.