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December days: Good films/books 
2014-12-14 (Sun) 20:20
shamrock
sphyg asked me to write about good films/books.

Films

We haven't had as much time to watch films since we had J and A; most of our DVD-watching time ends up in various TV series, since those tend to be in more conveniently-sized chunks. (À propos of which, we've been greatly enjoying Once Upon A Time recently: the premise is that the Evil Queen from the Snow White story acts in cahoots with Rumpelstiltskin to transport a whole cast of characters from various fairy tales into an isolated town in Maine without magic; we gradually learn about them through a clever mix of current and flashback sequences.) On an Advent theme, Love Actually is a perennial favourite, and we discovered the Die Hard series a couple of decades after everyone else recently and love it. I've long had a soft spot for Fight Club, though it's very hard to describe properly without spoilers (relevant since I've yet to get round to introducing ghoti to it), the Pierce Brosnan remake of The Thomas Crown Affair is my standard example of a remake that turned out to be much better than the original, and the Shaun of the Dead / Hot Fuzz / The World's End trilogy is excellent fun. I'm firmly convinced that The Blues Brothers has the best car chase in cinema history and I must watch it again.

(I suspect none of these will be at all new to sphyg; my taste in films probably needs a refresher course.)

Books

These days I read a mix of SF and urban fantasy.

If Charlie Stross wrote an adaptation of the telephone directory I'd probably at least give it a try; Accelerando was superb and I continue to love the ongoing Laundry Files series. (Saturn's Children and Neptune's Brood did a bit less for me but were OK and definitely interesting; and it's a great shame that Charlie decided that he'd accidentally broken the universe of Singularity Sky and Iron Sunrise such that he can't write any more in that series.)

I think I've managed to catch up such that I've read more or less everything that Seanan McGuire (a.k.a. Mira Grant) has published, which is quite challenging since she has a positively Pratchettian rate of output. My sister-in-law sent me Rosemary and Rue and its first three successors as a birthday present a year or two ago and succeeded in getting me hooked, and the Newsflesh series is marvellously chilling.

Hard SF in the Greg Egan / Vernor Vinge mould really works for me. Recommendations here would have to include Diaspora (Egan) and the magnificent A Fire Upon The Deep (Vinge).

Guy Gavriel Kay's Tigana is one of the finest and most poetically wistful pieces of high fantasy I've ever read. I'm a ridiculous Kay fanboy in general.

I could probably raid my bookshelves all day for more recommendations, but I'll confine myself to one more, a wonderfully creative SF retelling of the Trojan War blended with Shakespeare's The Tempest: Ilium and Olympos by Dan Simmons.

This post is part of my December days series. Please prompt me!
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Comments 
2014-12-16 (Tue) 11:15 (UTC)
I'll note your book recs and keep my eyes open in the library. I've not seen many films this year but really liked All Is Lost and Interstellar.
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