Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sunday update

So I saw Ender’s Game today. Spent the weekend waffling back and forth: Friday I definitely wanted to see it, Saturday I decided no, then today I woke up and wanted to go.

Indecision? Well, part of it was based on the fact that Orson Scott Card (who wrote the novel that the film is based on) is a homophobic twit. But mostly I worried that this would be another example of Hollywood’s idea of what a science fiction movie should be: A vague dystopian future, a few spaceships, a completely simplistic conflict between the haves and the have-nots, and a bunch of explosions in space. Put them all the elements together, bring Matt Damon or Tom Cruise or Will Smith into the mix, and release the film in time for summer. Or just call it Star Trek and hope nobody will notice that it’s nothing more than special effects, a plot twist, and someone yelling “KHAAAAN!”

But I finally decided I wanted to see the film, and I’m glad I did. I read the book many years ago, and the movie followed it pretty well. The performances are generally excellent. Asa Butterfield, playing Ender, was great, portraying a range of emotions from confusion, anger, determination, humor, and especially betrayal. Hailee Steinfield and Abigail Breslin were pretty wonderful. Harrison Ford was raspy, maybe a little too simplistic, but nicely balanced by Viola Davis, questioning the morality of everything Ford’s character is doing, even though he’s firmly (and in some ways legitimately) convinced that his actions are necessary in order to save the human race. But I’ve got to say I really liked Nonso Anozie, who played Ender’s sergeant throughout the film. You would definitely drop and give him 20 pushups, or 40, if he demanded it.

It’s a morally problematic story, but that’s the point. What’s justified when you feel everything you believe in is threatened with total destruction? What would you do? What should you never do? I’m sure not trying to make this into a 9/11 allegory—the book was written in the 1980s—but it does sort of open the door to thinking about how far we should be willing to go to ensure our safety.

Okay, that was little longer than I intended.

Other things:

The movie I most want to see from the previews is Mr. Peabody & Sherman:

The other one is I, Frankenstein—I gather it’s about some monster. And it’s got Yvonne Strahovsky!

(That's her on the right.)

I sent my novel A Bar Called Revelations to Ace in June. This is around the time they suggest I might have gotten a response from them, but so far I haven’t heard anything. Which is fine—obviously these things take time. I did send an email asking about the status a few days ago, but they haven’t responded yet. I may send it to Baen Books next—they publish a lot of urban fantasy, and Revelations may fit with their list, but the last time I sent them a submission to them I waited for over a year for a response. Which is also fine, but I’ve realized lately that I may have misunderstood the term “simultaneous submissions”—that may apply to sending a bunch of manuscripts at once to the same publisher, not sending them out to other publishers. So I may look at sending Revelations out to more than one publisher at a time after this.

And I’ve just recently started work on a new and different (sort of) urban fantasy-type novel. So far I only have about three or four chapters plotted out and I’ve learned from experience that without a clear path to an ending I need more than a good opening to make a book work. Still, I like this latest idea, and I’m happiest when I’m actually writing something.

My Internet connection? I don’t want to jinx anything by talking about it.

And finally, will my blog traffic rise because I talked about Ender’s Game, the way it did when I posted my thoughts on Gravity a few weeks ago? We’ll see.

PS: But what about Foxe, you wonder? The suspense mounts in the new chapter I’ve posted.


  1. There's a Mr. Peabody and Sherman flick coming? Must see. Now really must see Ender's Game. Keeping my fingers crossed that Baen Books will love Revelations.

    1. Yeah, it's the first I'd heard about the Mr. Peabody movie, but it looks cute.