Saturday, April 29, 2017

A Little Nervous From the Fall

Ruthanna Emrys “Winter Tide” (, 2017)

There’s a saying among gardeners that the difference between a weed and a vegetable is mainly one of perspective. 

Ruthanna Emrys takes some of the Lovecraftian mythos as both fact and a starting point for her stories. (You may remember The Litany of Earth, an earlier novella in this world). But the perspective shifts.

Now we are hearing the story from the side of a victim of a government massacre. She’s a woman who has lost everything, her religion and her culture suppressed.

It turns out that the perspective shift is really all it takes to discover a world that is bigger than we imagine. The sense is that Lovecraft’s fear and hatred distorted everything. The various races we encounter are primarily just interested in living their own lives. There’s an element of absurdity that goes along with living in an uncaring universe, but haven’t we been there since the Holocaust?

This is a remarkably poignant and tender story about a young woman attempting to rebuild her life in spite of how the dominant culture has done its best to suppress and destroy that culture. It’s about hope in the face of such setbacks as most of us can’t imagine.

Burritos or Burgers?

John Semper Jr & Paul Pelletier “Cyborg, Volume 1: The Imitation of Life” (DC Comics, 2017)

I’m going to date myself right now.  My formative years of reading DC comics were before Cyborg. I’ve never read a Cyborg solo story, he’s always been a minor character in a Justice League story. So my knowledge of the character comes from DC animation.

I really prefer the Teen Titans Go! version of the character.  

So much angst. Is he losing is humanity? Who cares! I read this book and I don’t.

Look, this just felt like a drab, ugly book that wanted to play with science fictional concepts without much skill or nuance. The dialogue consistently felt like it was written by a middle aged man, not like it was anything a young man would say. And the art? Well, it was just generally a mess.

Perhaps a reviewer who is more connected to the character may have a more positive spin on this title. For me, it’s got to be the worst Rebirth title I’ve read.