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30Jun2017 1545: Cartoonish Villainy

As America prepares to gorge itself in its collective backyard, let's all take a minute to appreciate an all-American supervillain. We have not seen the like for nearly a century. Martin Shkreli -- still sporting that primo supervillain name -- popped up a bunch on my Internet this week. His trial began in New York but almost immediately hit the roadblock of seating a jury that didn't already hate him.

"A trial!" I thought. "Finally, they nailed him for his drug price-gouging!" But no, dear reader. He's on trial for investment fraud because rich people didn't get as richer as he promised them. Drug price-gouging on infants and AIDS patients wasn't as lucrative as indicated? What a disaster! Shkreli is pathologically smirksome because, while he could be considered a social ill for the top half of this list, he's actually a social ill for mundane capitalism excuses.

This is yet another test of what actual America would do with an actual Lex Luthor. We've failed every previous test.

21Jun2017 1945: Satisfaction

My assault on the Hugo list continues apace. This past week bore fruit: two completed novels! Except one of them may not officially be novel-sized. And they're both about fated hetero love overcoming everything, so the novels end when the love is realized and not when the "everything" is fully overcome. But both of them are closer to full books than anything else I've read this year.

Before I found my Hugo target on the library shelves I got distracted by the new book from Peter S Fucking Beagle. Oh it's only titled In Calabria? This is relevant to my interests. I read the slim story in a few hours and I'll save you even that much trouble. It's exactly what you would expect from a Peter Beagle novel set in Calabria. There's a unicorn and then the 'Ndrangheta shows up.

I also located my Hugo nominee, All the Birds in the Sky. It was hidden in the normal Fiction section, segregated from my usual Science Fiction by a wall of Star Trek serials and mysteries. I've been so focussed on hard-ish scifi lately that I wasn't prepared for the whimsical magical realism here. Two fated lovers bounce in and out of each others lives over a period of decades, except also magic is real and time machines are real and AI is accidentally real and the apocalypse is real and a secret society of assassins is real and and and...Until none of it has any weight. Each absurd revelation is followed upon by another so closely that it becomes a pastiche almost, but not quite, entirely unlike Douglas Adams. But where Douglas Adams had a wry eye on his proceedings, All the Birds in the Sky is shackled to its dour focus on two people being In Love But Apart.

But it (mostly) ends! And for that I thank the author. In the Age of Series, it takes great courage to shut the hell up and finish a story.

14Jun2017 2045: Mario Begins Packing

I didn't bring this up before -- I believe I was typing about death -- but a few weeks ago a weird image started going around the Internet:

Which was obviously fake, right? The misspellings were too much, even for a Japanese company's property filtered through a French company. Who would give Mario a gun? Who would think that's a good idea? Who even cares about Rabbids? It was so obviously fake that I spent my night drawing a depressing ghost comic and didn't give it a seco


And folks, it just got weirder from there. Mario. Rabbid. X-COM.

08Jun2017 2045: Wondrous Strange

Wonder Woman is good -- but you already know that. This odd amalgam of Captain America and Crocodile Dundee is winning hearts and minds for DC. They're going to ride this upswell of goodwill right into the oncoming train that is Justice League. Wonder Woman is DC's best movie in...jeezum, nine years? And it proves that a woman can stand equally among all the men in terms of having a great movie that is respectful of the comics and our intelligence until it all dissolves into an incoherent CG mess capped by a big blue beam of light in the sky. We did it, America. Movies starring women are bad in the same way as movies starring men.

After the Reapril showers I had a nice quiet May where I didn't buy any new delicious games. Our group even played some games for a second time! But today I fell off the wagon hard, with Flow of History promising a streamlined Progress and this Kodama-fied version of Avenue. It's so hard to resist every iteration or fresh perspective on the ways humans can interact within frameworks of rules. I did turn down Ursa Miner for only going to four players. But I respect the pun.

LASER UPDATE: my laser could be anywhere! Just a few days ago it was nowhere!