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Showing posts from June, 2024

ringworld by larry niven

I think in 1970 this kind of hard sci-fi worldbuilding was novel enough, and this kind of heinlein-style reactionary politics was attractive enough, that people happily overlooked the utterly banal characters, ridiculously cluttered plot, nonsensical technical details, and general misogyny. 

Fire on the Prairie by Gary Rivlin

I’ve recently seen this book compared to Robert Caro’s classic The Power Broker which I would say is accurate in terms of subject, caliber of writing, and deeply fascinating political anecdotes, but where Caro goes deep and wide, Rivlin is more focused, and the tighter result is in some ways better: a masterpiece encapsulation of the ugliest and most inspiring aspects of human governance. 

watership down (1978)

There’s just no way to fit even a quarter of the plot of the book into a 90 minute kid’s movie, and unfortunately this 70s edition tries to fit a third, and so altho the animation is gorgeous and the movie does have a certain ineffable greatness, it suffers a bunch from pacing and plot issues. 

watership down by richard adams

Older children’s books like this one ask a lot of the reader, from plot complexity to vocabulary to attention span, and like other enduring classics this one earns it and then some; there are enough deep ideas to can keep any adult entranced, and the dramatic intensity of the characters and setting will reward everyone alike. 

The spectacular failure of the star wars hotel by Jenny Nicholson

In this incredibly detailed, well researched 4+ hour deep dive into a Disney theme experience I’d never heard of before, I discovered once again a funny truth about art, and culture, and entertainment, and fandom, and maybe even the human experience as a whole, which is that the Quality of a thing, the craft, the passion, is 98% of the experience - and what it’s about, or whether you agree or think you ought to care, hardly even registers. 

Richie Rich (1994)

It may be nonsensical, completely obvious, and unoriginal, but the characters are fun and the over the top acting works for the genre, and if you, like me, saw it 100 times between 94 and 97, it gives you a big ole dose of nostalgia.