Posted by jukkahoo
Schmucker's Rosé Bock is a strong (8%) beer that warms them cold cuckolds that are well chilled when bracing the harsh Helsinki elements these days. I though the alcohol didn't taste too strongly when I drunk the bock, but it could've been a bit too cold as I did drink it straight from the fridge. There's a nice warm sensation making rounds in your belly after a pint of this and some nice nosh. Definitely something to try again.
Mazarkis Williams is a newcomer in the field of fantastic fiction. His debut novel The Emperor’s Knife starts a series (Tower and Knife Trilogy) of non-western fantasy books. Like Saladin Ahmed's Throne of the Crescent Moon, this book takes its lead from the East, namely steppes and mountains of the central Asia. There's some Mongol influence, some Samarkandish/Silk Road feel to it, some 1000 and one night mysticism and your garden variety mad Ottoman empire stuff. I like the setting and expecially the lone figure of the ruler's brother in his lonely prison cell, very much in the vein of Kefes of the Ottoman habit of confinement of the heirs of the sultan.There are lots of necessary accoutrements like viziers, assassins and Wise Man on the Mountain -type of mystic Pattern Master.
The mysterious sickness called Pattern that threatens the well-being of the Cerani Empire. People are losing their minds and rumour is that the emperor himself is tainted. Hilarity ensues. Or not exactly. The Emperor's Knife is slow-going, interesting, but sligthly over-ambitious attempt to create a spellbinding setting, cool magic system and doom-laden characters. It succeeds in most parts, though this could've benefitted from tighter writing and some finetuning. Its ornateness suits it, yet there is a relatively small cast of characters that populate the story, perhaps even a bit too sparse a number. There is also a smidgen of K. J. Parker -like brooding doom to it all, but I'll guess that the ending of this series is not going to be as gloom as Parker's novels tends to be. I will read more if sequels happen to be cheaply acquired.
Contemporary French action movies are pretty darn great, as are some of the few historical films I've seen (well, good more than great in case of historicals). Contemporary French science fiction movies are pretty great, too. I haven't watched contemporary French horror, but those that have, usually have good things to say about those. When you add these things together, you'll have Stranded (2010).
As a matter of fact, I dodn't know what to expect from this one. I had seen the impressive Algerian war depiction Intimate Enemies quite recently and was looking for something along that vein. Anthony Quinn starring Lost Command (based on the classic war novel The Centurions) was decent, but dearly aged. Stranded was French, set in 1960 and there were people trapped behind enemy lines. Gotta get.
Stranded is well acted, well directed, and well laid out. There is relatively little dialogue, it is moody, atmospheric and surprising. At least I was, when I realized that we're not in Kansas anymore, which was a very pleasant surprise indeed. There is a lot of sand. A LOT of sand. And then some.
Cool Zombie is a new single from my childhood hero Adam Ant. If the Golden Age of Science Fiction is 12, as Peter Graham famously said, the same goes with music. I was twelve when Kings of the Wild Frontier came out. Never recovered from that, thank you very much! Adam Ant Is the Blueblack Hussar in Marrying the Gunner's Daughter is the sixth solo studio album by the Man himself and is out in January. A bit mixed feelings about the single, as it does sound like a twangy bluegrass song sung by Bob Dylan impersonator, which are neither the highest compliment in my book. It has grown on me though. I have fairly high hopes for the album, all the bits and pieces I've heard so far are pure Antmusic! Yay!