Friday, March 18, 2011

'V' has jumped the Shark

Yep. Add another show to the list of 'I no longer care what happens to. . .'

The last few episodes really started to piss me off. But the last one? Ruined everything that came before.

Was this a ratings grab? Because even if it works and they get another season, I know at least one former fan that won't be tuning in any more.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A New Novel, A New Name

There is a new book being released today. It is called Up Against It by M. J. Locke. I don't quite know what to make of it yet, but I have read the five sample chapters offered here.

My interest in this book lies mostly with the name on the cover. You see, it turns out that Morgan J. Locke is a pen name for Laura J.Mixon, an author that I have followed for some time. Apparently she felt the need to publish her first novel in nine years under a made up name. Ever since I found out I have been scratching my head wondering why.

Here are some reasons I came up with as to why an author might possibly choose a pen name:

1. There is an issue with his/her name itself. Perhaps the name is hard to remember, spell, or pronounce. Maybe it sounds silly, stupid, or obscene. Or it could be that it is the same as, or similar to, another author or a well known person.

2. He/She is reclusive, fears fame, or fears retribution for the published work.

3. To disguise his/her gender. Perhaps they feel that their books will sell better with a genderless name or a name of the opposite gender.

4. They are publishing a new book in a genre that is different than those works they are already known for.

5. They are trying to distance themselves from their past works.

The first two reasons don't seem to apply here. She is a published author with at least three and a half novels to her name. While I can not confirm that Laura J Mixon is her legal name (her twiter account is LauraJMG), it does appear to be a name that people who know her recognize her by. I do not find it hard to remember, pronounce, etc.

Morgan is certainly a gender neutral name. M. J. Locke even more so. I don't know that male names sell SF books any better than female names, but it is certainly possible that this is what she is going for. Although I do wonder why she didn't just go with L. J. Mixon then. It worked for J. K. Rowling (and she doesn't actually have a middle name).

Her previous novels have all been SF. This novel is not so different in genre from her last. So I don't think that's it.

So, until I get an answer from her, I'm left to assume that she has abandoned her old fans to start fresh. Tor even proudly announces that this is her first book. . .

Edit: I see she has finally provided an answer to my question and it sounds reasonable, if slightly insulting.

Edit #2: I mean of course that her decision to follow the advice of her publisher was reasonable. That publishers think readers need to be manipulated to buy books is insulting, no matter how true.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Scott Pilgrim Vs. The (Real) World

Warning, Spoilers below!

A short story, if you will:

"I told you already, my name is Scott Pilgrim"

The haggard looking homicide detective glanced back up at the stringy young man with the shaggy hair who smelled vaguely of cheese and dirty socks. Then, shaking his head he looked back down at the file in front of him that clearly listed the perp's name as Scott Peabody.

"Okay Mr. Pilgrim, once again, what were you doing carrying a bag of human body parts down the street."

"Body parts? No, no, no. It was a bag a coins. I got them when I defeated Gideon."

"Got them?"

"Yeah, he turned to coins when I kicked him in the head. They always do that."

"Wait, you're saying that when you kick people in the head they turn into coins?"

"Well, not just their heads. I only had to touch one girl on the back of her knee. That was. . . it was embarrassing actually. I don't want to talk about it."

"Let's just take a step back here. You're saying you kicked a guy in the head until he turned into a bunch of coins?"

"He stole the girl that I met in a dream. Well actually she said it was a hyperspace bypass in my head that cuts a three and a half mile trip down to fifteen seconds."

"Rrrrrright." The detective flipped the folder shut mentally closing the case as well. The kid was obviously going for the insanity defense. He was going to get it.

Seriously though, I love this movie! Or maybe not seriously. I mean one really can not be serious while watching this movie or the above interpretation might cloud the enjoyment factor.