Tag Archives: sci-fi

Goodreads Review: Ada Hoffman’s The Outside

The Outside

The Outside by Ada Hoffmann

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I hope that everyone who’s eligible to vote for the Hugos is paying attention because Ada Hoffmann’s queer, neurodiverse, cosmic horror space opera is utterly and completely worthy of some serious recognition.

The back cover of Hoffmann’s 2019 debut novel, The Outside, has some small print at the bottom of the page. “File under: False Gods, Angels Inside, Autistic in Space, Here Be Monsters.” Highly accurate.

Physicist Yasira Shien creates an experimental energy drive which accidentally warps reality and destroys a space station. Instead of killing Yasira for the heresy she created, cybernetically enhanced Angelic beings working for an angry AI God order Yasira to find her missing mentor, uncover her secrets, and save her home world from being consumed by the Eldritch force known as Outside.

(While, to my knowledge, none of my mentors in the Physics department during grad school have turned out to be heretical space fugitives, it would explain some things).

Hoffmann’s worldbuilding is spare yet fully realized. The narrative is never bogged down with the minutia of how specific technologies work nor arcane details of the War which led to the rise of the AI Gods. Yasira’s experience as an Autistic being is multidimensional and nuanced. The artful balance of characterization and propulsive plot developments cost me a little sleep and left me petulant that Hoffmann doesn’t yet have any other novels published.

Fortunately, she’s published over 60 short stories and also posts to her blog. This recent post of her thoughts on Disability in Star Wars is excellent.

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Movie viewing mistakes you don’t make twice

Intending to watch the hilarious Happy, Texas but instead watching the not-hilarious Paris, Texas is a mistake I doubt one makes twice.

I certainly haven’t.

Ditto: thinking you’re in for an evening filled with the adorableness of Sandra Bullock (and adorable alcoholics, judging from the description) in 28 Days and accidentally finding yourself immersed in the horrors of zombies in 28 Days Later.

Haven’t made that mistake again, either.

Mistaking Under Satan’s Sun (aka Under the Sun of Satan) for Under the Tuscan Sun would probably be the most disturbing of all, but I haven’t seen either one so I’m just speculating.

Unless Under the Tuscan Sun also stars Gérard Depardieu as a self-flagellating priest. I hadn’t considered that possibility.

I’m pretty sure that’s not the case but I’m very sure I don’t wish to investigate further. Slate’s David Edelstein concluded his review of Under the Tuscan Sun with this description: “The movie is sweet but deeply suspect: It’s like Lost Horizon re-imagined by a realtor.

What the hell does that even mean?

After about 30 seconds of research I’ve realized it’s a bit less ominous than I thought, in that it turns out Lost Horizon bears no resemblance to the movie that I originally thought he was referring to, Lost Highway.

I am not to be trusted with the Netflix queue when I have a high fever.

Laura Jung on Doctor Who at the Learned Fangirl

Worst. Post title. Ever. Sorry, been sick for the last week and am sorely off my game. While I dust the place off, here’s a link to classmate Laura Jung’s first piece at The Learned Fangirl.

“Trust me, I’m Your Daddy, er….The Doctor: Gender Norms and Patriarchy in Doctor Who: The Aztecs”

I think Laura and Batgrl would be a delightfully deadly combination, and I of course mean that in the best possible way!

Someone took a perfectly good Johnny Depp & put a bird on it

There are many cultural issues regarding the Lone Ranger remake but every time I start to think about them, my brain derails with the thought, “Someone took a perfectly good Johnny Depp & put a fucking bird on it.”

I deeply question Vanity Fair’s assertion that Johnny Depp makes this look cool in any way shape or form.

Note to vanity fair: Bird. On. Head.

[embedded video: Portlandia: Put a bird on it]

This was a draft I found hanging around. It started life on my facebook page on March 8, 2012 so I don’t remember where I planned to go with it. This is what you get.

Doctor Who fans will want to try the Daleks Relaxation program.