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[personal profile] cjwatson
[livejournal.com profile] sphyg asked me to write about good films/books.

Films

We haven't had as much time to watch films since we had J and A; most of our DVD-watching time ends up in various TV series, since those tend to be in more conveniently-sized chunks. (À propos of which, we've been greatly enjoying Once Upon A Time recently: the premise is that the Evil Queen from the Snow White story acts in cahoots with Rumpelstiltskin to transport a whole cast of characters from various fairy tales into an isolated town in Maine without magic; we gradually learn about them through a clever mix of current and flashback sequences.) On an Advent theme, Love Actually is a perennial favourite, and we discovered the Die Hard series a couple of decades after everyone else recently and love it. I've long had a soft spot for Fight Club, though it's very hard to describe properly without spoilers (relevant since I've yet to get round to introducing [livejournal.com profile] ghoti to it), the Pierce Brosnan remake of The Thomas Crown Affair is my standard example of a remake that turned out to be much better than the original, and the Shaun of the Dead / Hot Fuzz / The World's End trilogy is excellent fun. I'm firmly convinced that The Blues Brothers has the best car chase in cinema history and I must watch it again.

(I suspect none of these will be at all new to [livejournal.com profile] sphyg; my taste in films probably needs a refresher course.)

Books

These days I read a mix of SF and urban fantasy.

If Charlie Stross wrote an adaptation of the telephone directory I'd probably at least give it a try; Accelerando was superb and I continue to love the ongoing Laundry Files series. (Saturn's Children and Neptune's Brood did a bit less for me but were OK and definitely interesting; and it's a great shame that Charlie decided that he'd accidentally broken the universe of Singularity Sky and Iron Sunrise such that he can't write any more in that series.)

I think I've managed to catch up such that I've read more or less everything that Seanan McGuire (a.k.a. Mira Grant) has published, which is quite challenging since she has a positively Pratchettian rate of output. My sister-in-law sent me Rosemary and Rue and its first three successors as a birthday present a year or two ago and succeeded in getting me hooked, and the Newsflesh series is marvellously chilling.

Hard SF in the Greg Egan / Vernor Vinge mould really works for me. Recommendations here would have to include Diaspora (Egan) and the magnificent A Fire Upon The Deep (Vinge).

Guy Gavriel Kay's Tigana is one of the finest and most poetically wistful pieces of high fantasy I've ever read. I'm a ridiculous Kay fanboy in general.

I could probably raid my bookshelves all day for more recommendations, but I'll confine myself to one more, a wonderfully creative SF retelling of the Trojan War blended with Shakespeare's The Tempest: Ilium and Olympos by Dan Simmons.

This post is part of my December days series. Please prompt me!
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