Open Thread: Recomendations

(by chris the cynic)

Anything you feel like introducing the rest of us to/reminding us of/otherwise recommending?  Books, movies, blogs, video games, short stories, hikes, music, pets, theme parks, appliances, gods, foods, vacation spots, paintings/painters, other artists, fractals, hangouts, whatever.


[As a reminder, open thread prompts are meant to inspire conversation, not stifle it. Have no fear of going off topic for there is no off topic here.]

11 thoughts on “Open Thread: Recomendations

  1. lonespark42 December 15, 2015 at 8:32 am

    Go see The Martian, it is totally the best!!!

    (*if you can put up with a certain number of Unnecessary White Dudes and no women of color who speak English AFAIK. And I totally understand if you can’t…)

  2. lonespark42 December 15, 2015 at 8:42 am

    Also I enjoyed reading Wolf Star by Tanith Lee and am continuing on with that series.

  3. lonespark42 December 15, 2015 at 8:44 am

    Also too I have watched 3 episodes of Jessica Jones and it is very good an wonderful but also noir and therefore dark AF. I don’t prefer dark stuff, but I can often handle it in text or in speculative stuff that doesn’t seem like it could be taking place where friends of mine live.

  4. lonespark42 December 15, 2015 at 8:45 am

    And I am reading The Book of Three to my kid. Mostly I can pronounce All The Things, but the Ll sound continues to elude me.

  5. christhecynic December 15, 2015 at 8:59 am

    Seconding The Martian, also Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, which I only learned of recently. It was made in 1984 and is considered the founding Studio Ghibli film (as such it actually predates the studio) but it didn’t get a decent English version until 2005. I watched the English dub in said version. (One of the wonders of modern tech: multiple audio and subtitle options.)

  6. Firedrake December 15, 2015 at 10:23 am

    Probably everyone who was going to see The Cabin in the Woods and/or Seeking a Friend for the End of the World has already done so, but if not: do consider it. I think of them together because they both deconstruct the tropes of their genres (respectively, expendable-meat horror and will-they-won’t-they rom-com) so effectively that I found myself thinking at the end of each that making another generic film of either kind is simply pointless now. They have said all the things that needed to be said.

    (And I got on with Cabin even though I normally despise Joss Whedon’s work: he’s picked a scenario where it’s actually appropriate for everyone to be snarky.)

  7. arbitrary_greay December 15, 2015 at 11:02 am

    Person of Interest seasons 1-3 is now on Netflix, with season 4 scheduled for Dec. 4! My favorite show of the moment. It does start a bit white-dude procedurally, so I find that cherry picking the good episodes the first time through works, before going back to rewatch everything. This show is immensely good with hindsight. Deals with themes about the surveillance state, the implications of Artificial Super Intelligence, privacy and technology, urban crime and police corruption, the lives of veterans and spies after we discard them, the atrocities we commit in the name of security, the shifting role of espionage from geopolitical to corporate, along with a heartwarming found-family tale executed by really great acting performances, including the likes of Taraji P. Henson, Amy Acker, Sarah Shahi, Michael Emerson, Kevin Chapman, Jim Caviezel, and that’s just the main cast!

    Obligatory plug for my favorite anime of all time Simoun. Available on Hulu, but the DVDs are dirt cheap, too.
    Simoun takes place on the earth-planet Daikuriku. The people of Daikuriku are all born female. In the theocratic nation of Simulacrum, the girls grow up until age of seventeen, when they make a pilgrimage to a holy place known as “the Spring” to select their permanent sex. Simulacrum has a monopoly on the helical motor technology Simouns, and as a result grew to prosperity. The two nations Argentum and Plumbum wage war against it in an attempt to steal the technology. Themes include gender, religion, adolescence, the various natures of love, classism, war, and geopolitics. One of my favorite anime soundtracks, as well. Unfortunately, it is a 2006 yuri anime so it also includes instances of sexual assault, some male-gazey art, and the first three episodes are just flat out terrible. But believe me, all of those amazing implications of the premise? This show explores them seriously.

  8. Firedrake December 15, 2015 at 11:43 am

    Thanks, arbitrary_greay – I’ll take a look at Simoun.

  9. Brenda A. December 15, 2015 at 6:59 pm

    If you like fairy tale adaptations, check out Carolyn Turgeon’s books. I just read “Mermaid”, which is an absolutely stunning adaptation that hews closely to Anderson’s “The Little Mermaid” but focuses as much on the princess who finds the prince on the beach as it does the mermaid who longs for a soul…
    Also “Fairest of Them All” which starts with Rapunzel, then brings her to the palace where she is the new stepmother to the young Snow White…

  10. Tekore December 17, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    I figured this may be a good place to *ask* for something, apologies if not. …Does anyone know of a deconstruction of “The Dark is Rising”? (or any books in that series)

  11. christhecynic December 17, 2015 at 12:32 pm


    As it so happens, yes. I haven’t had a chance to read it myself, but I know that there is one here:

    It’s up to the tenth chapter of the first book (Over Sea, Under Stone), which was posted on November 30th.

    If you find that you like said decon, I highly recommend posting a comment saying so because positive feedback is, in my experience at least, vital when one is trying to do a long running project.

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