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Three Thoughts

Just a grab bag of thoughts and opinions I've been meaning to share...

I never had the honor of meeting John Glenn, but his death saddened me. The last of the Mercury Seven. I am old enough to remember when NASA first introduced them to the world... and incidentally coined the term "astronaut" (before that, we called them "spacemen"). The dawn of the space age! An age, sadly, that now seems to be passing, at least insofar as manned exploration is concerned. If you had asked me in 1961, I would have said by 2017 we would certainly have a base on the moon, and maybe one on Mars. Hard to believe all seven are gone. They were all heroes to me.

Now that WESTWORLD has finished its first season, I see that HBO is going to be rerunning its crime and courtroom drama, THE NIGHT OF. If you missed it last time, don't make that mistake again. Yes, it's very dark, but damn, this is brilliant television, with a bravura performance by John Turturro at its heart that ought to win him a whole shelf full of awards, if there is any justice.

Emily St. John Mandel appeared at the Jean Cocteau Cinema last month (you can find my post about her downstream), and I had the honor of interviewing her. I had long been an admirer of her SF novel, STATION ELEVEN, which I thought deserving of a Hugo nod... but at the time of her appearance, I had not read any of her three earlier novels. She was such a charming and fascinating guest, however, that I made up for that lack afterward, and now I am even more impressed with her talent than I was before. LAST NIGHT IN MONTREAL, THE SINGER'S GUN, and THE LOLA QUARTET are not science fiction or fantasy -- don't know how to characterize them, "literary noir" is about the best I can do -- but damned, they are good. Fascinating characters, original stories, and such gorgeous prose. Rich, evocative, beautiful writing, but never intrusive. She makes her people and her places come alive in a way that draws you in and will not let you go. I can't wait to read what she does next.

Comments

( 36 comments )
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RaUL_AMDERLAINE
Dec. 13th, 2016 12:40 am (UTC)
If you were writing Westworld, what would you make of Season 2, in broad strokes? Is it possible that they keep adding deeper and deeper "layers" to it, like the park being a simulation inside a spaceship where the ETs turn out to be alien robots themselves by the last season?
grrm
Dec. 13th, 2016 12:42 am (UTC)
I am not writing WESTWORLD, so I'll leave these questions to Jonah Nolan and Lisa Joy, and enjoy their answers.
(no subject) - leprechaun - Dec. 13th, 2016 01:41 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - angledge - Dec. 13th, 2016 05:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
missmatchedeyes
Dec. 13th, 2016 12:44 am (UTC)
I loved Station Eleven
She's a very talented writer. I can't wait to read her next book....and yours George.😉
thepanic0ffice
Dec. 13th, 2016 12:47 am (UTC)
Visually stunning.
I could not agree more, regarding The Night Of. It was beautifully well-shot too. Robert Elswit (There Will Be Blood, Good Night and Good Luck, Inherent Vice) was the Director of Photography for the first episode and masterfully set the visual template for the entire run. Such an impressive show, all around.
TheSAPeacock
Dec. 13th, 2016 12:49 am (UTC)
GOT Question
Not sure if this is the time, but what the heck:

How would a fighter like Daario Naharis do against Jaime Lannister (with his hands, of course). Would Daario win due to his multiple fighting style advantage?

I'm terribly curious. Would love to hear a hint from the legend himself.

Thanks my friend!
Kevin
grrm
Dec. 13th, 2016 05:03 am (UTC)
RE: GOT Question
This sort of question is better discussed on a fan site like Westeros or Tower of the Hand.
Re: GOT Question - TheSAPeacock - Dec. 13th, 2016 07:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
angelos_l
Dec. 13th, 2016 12:57 am (UTC)
Space Exploration
Elon Musk made an ambitious presentation regarding Mars manned missions recently. According to him, we are only years away from sending people to Mars, and even though Space X's projects have been known to delay, the company is reliable, and they have proven themselves again and again by being innovative and efficient.

So don't lose hope on space exploration just yet!

Here's the link of the presentation in case you are interested:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7Uyfqi_TE8

grrm
Dec. 13th, 2016 04:13 am (UTC)
RE: Space Exploration
Thanks
Re: Space Exploration - Marie Humbert - Dec. 13th, 2016 11:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
Alex Alexis
Dec. 13th, 2016 01:02 am (UTC)
Moon base in 2022
We may not be too far from having a moon base as NASA plans on spending $10 billion to do so in 6 years. Anyway, thank you for the recommendation, if Emily writes anywhere near as well as you I would like to read her books.
mcsubbaiyen
Dec. 13th, 2016 01:07 am (UTC)
Hello don't screen this. But I want about to write about what is happening in Aleppo it's heartbreaking to see the mainstream media silent about and I would appreciate if you use your platform to spread awareness of the massacre that is happening.
Lincoln Maurice
Dec. 14th, 2016 08:05 am (UTC)
I'm so with you on this. It sends everybody is just throwing their arms up in the air and saying "sure, just give it back to Assad." I'm disgusted, really.
a_steep_hill
Dec. 13th, 2016 01:39 am (UTC)
SpaceX is building a crewed capsule and Musk seems fully intent on his Mars mission.
NASA's manned spaceflight program is probably over, but I think that manned spaceflight might just be getting underway.
Lance Sampson
Dec. 13th, 2016 02:23 am (UTC)
Is Westworld worth watching? I've heard a lot of good things about it but haven't tuned in yet and wasn't sure what to expect.
grrm
Dec. 13th, 2016 05:04 am (UTC)
Westworld was terrific.
Westworld was indeed terrific! - dragonborngurl - Dec. 14th, 2016 08:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - angelos_l - Dec. 13th, 2016 07:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
John Nelson
Dec. 13th, 2016 03:05 am (UTC)
I love how much you're such a supporting fan of other authors and series (if not down right the king of pure spirited fan boys). I sometimes forget that you're this super famous guy, as you talk humbly and enthusiastically about others in the industry. I particularly love your support for women authors. I've learned more about literature and cool stuff in the last year and a half from your blog than I have from talking to gernal fans. Your child like love of it all is contagious.
gaeln
Dec. 13th, 2016 05:01 am (UTC)
I grew up NASA, my father signed on for the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo missions starting when I was ten so, yes, all astronauts, then and now, are heroes for me. And being a very small part of all that probably also explains my life-long love of science fiction/fantasy.
jmd1990
Dec. 13th, 2016 06:17 am (UTC)
Westworld
Having written so much for television, can you still enjoy programmes like Westworld without thinking about them too critically?
grrm
Dec. 13th, 2016 06:56 am (UTC)
RE: Westworld
Yes
striker163
Dec. 13th, 2016 07:28 am (UTC)
Remembering John Green
It makes me very sad to hear about Jon Green's death, but he will always be remembered for the contribution of continueing our space farring development. It takes true bravery to go up there, and I hope his contribution will aspire others to do as he did. In the grand schieme of things, Interplanetary travel is one of the most crucial aspects of our species, and for this, he is one of the most important humans to have lived. May he Rest In Peace.
Lincoln Maurice
Dec. 14th, 2016 08:08 am (UTC)
RE: Remembering John Green
I think you mean John Glenn. John Green, author of The Fault In Our Stars, is very much alive and well, despite his disappointment at missing out on seeing Hamilton recently.
RE: Remembering John Green - striker163 - Dec. 15th, 2016 03:04 am (UTC) - Expand
mikzey
Dec. 13th, 2016 09:56 am (UTC)
Station Elven
I read Station Eleven on your recommendation and absolutely love it, I'm still not sure which genre it fits into. But thank you all the same !
Çağrı Akkuş
Dec. 13th, 2016 10:12 am (UTC)
I finished Westworld last night and it was incredible! I watched two episodes per day and boy it was a ride!


Tiny question about ASOIAF; Will we ever learn what do the Pink, Gold and Purple Graces do? Would you tell me what they do? I was re-reading Dany chapters and I realized I enjoyed the tidbits about the Graces.
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