This week I started reading Damnificados, by J.J. Amaworo Wilson, in which terrorists attack a Christmas party in a skyscraper and … No, wait, sorry, wrong story. The actual plot is that a group of “damnificados” — defined by the book blurb as “vagabonds and misfits” — takes over an abandoned building and basically turns it into a vertical city. If this reminds you of the Oakland Bay Bridge from William Gibson’s “Bridge” trilogy, then, uh, you may be me. Or you may be Elizabeth Hand.
So this week we were watching Pacific Rim: Uprising, the sequel to Pacific Rim, Guillermo del Toro‘s film about giant robots (AKA jaegers) battling giant monsters (AKA kaiju) in and around the Pacific Ocean. Guillermo del Toro, sadly, did not return for this film, but the jaegers and kaiju did, oh yeah, you betcha.
It’s been quite a while since I reached into my giant pile of rejection letters, so today I spun up random.org and it told me to pick the third letter from the “L” folder. As it turns out, this is a rejection from the magazine The Leading Edge for my short story “Draw”, a science fiction Western, previously excerpted in a Teaser Tuesday.
So this week I’m reading Mortal Engines, by Philip Reeve.
It’s probably not a surprise to anyone that I watch the Netflix dystopian anthology series Black Mirror regularly, although not frequently, because, seriously, who can stand to binge that much plausible dystopia*? Not me, man. Not me. *shudder*
Anyway, recently I was watching one of the more acclaimed episodes of Black Mirror, “Nosedive”, which is about a woman named Lacie, played by Bryce Dallas Howard (yes, Richie Cunningham’s daughter), who is obsessed with improving her social media ranking. Because, you know, if you don’t have a good enough ranking, you might not be able to get into the apartment complex you want. Or into an exclusive restaurant. Or into the office building where you work. Or … well, you get the idea.
So this week I was reading All the Birds in the Sky, the Nebula and Locus award-winning pre-apocalyptic SF/Fantasy mashup by Charlie Jane Anders, in which a small group of witches goes to war with a small group of techies as each tries to save the world in its own particular idiom, which are, unfortunately, sort of diametrically opposed. Or at least that’s what they think.