Yet another rather pedestrian, paint-by-numbers episode of Smallville last night. Well, except for Lois in gothish-witchy-slutty-lingerie garb, a pedestrian episode. Odd that Lois would conveniently return to Smallville in KANSAS for an interview with college recruiter from Princeton, NEW JERSEY (mapquest tells us there are about 1100 miles between Princeton, NJ and Kansas City, KS) Lazy convenient writing this week, typical Clark’s friends-get-powers-discover-his-powers-and-conveniently-forget-at-about-Clark’s-powers-at-the-8:45- mark, paint-by-numbers stuff that doesn’t have much dramatic tension, and the basic plot structure for far too many episodes. I guess that is my major gripe this season, aside from Chloe not staying “dead,” is that many plot elements are conveniently contrived. There were good episodes this season, particularly the one with The Flash, but this was an episode that revealed very little except to further illustrate Clark’s weakness to magic, that Jor-El/Krypton may be responsible for many of the witches in the past (Damn pretty soon, he’s going to be responsible for humans on earth), and of course showing Lois/Erica Durance in ahem, magical outfits.
Clicked over to amazon.com yesterday and saw the announcement for their Best of 2004 lists. In Fantasy and Science Fiction it should come as little surprise Stephen King’s final Dark Tower volume got the top nod from their editors, and for the most, part it is a tough one to argue, since I’m one of his many “constant readers.” A bit wordy, but the ending was perfect.
However, I was pleasantly surprised to see Greg Keyes The Charnel Prince, a book I reviewed earlier this year for SFFWorld.com get the #2 nod from their editors. It is the second book in The Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone Saga, and for my money, one of the top 2 or 3 multivolume fantasy sagas currently publishing. It’s been compared to George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire as well as Tad Williams’ Memory, Sorrow and Thorn. Impressive comparisons by any stretch of the imagination and the books, so far really do live up to the comparisons. The Briar King came out last year and is now available in paperback if you want to catch up. Best of all, Greg really does have a pretty strict plan for the series, with the third book, The Blood Knight, hopefully publishing next year and the fourth and final probably a year after that. I interviewed Greg at the time The Briar King published, he came across as a very good guy and a thorough and extremely cognizant writer, in terms of the traditions of the Fantasy genre, a good idea of what readers want to see, and perhaps most importantly, how to tell a great story that both utilizes the genre constraints/clichés and is fresh and new.
Yesterday I mentioned Ex Machina, the great comic published by DC’s Wildstorm imprint. Just discovered today they are publishing a Trade of the first five issues in January for $9.95.
Tonight’s bowling night, hopefully we can move up in the money rankings and bring our averages up a bit, it hasn’t been the best season so far, but we still have fun and throw back a couple of cold ones. Or may the reverse – have a couple of cold ones and have some fun.
I suppose this enough geekery for one day.