Ever noticed how you can get in the mood for a particular type of story, and you read a big batch of them at once? That’s been me, lately. I’ve been enjoying the hell out of military sci-fi and military fantasy. And what’s not to love? Space battles? High-stakes adventure? Sword and Sorcery? Fights against evil? These types of stories almost always have a reluctant hero or heroine, fighting for a bigger cause than themselves, striving to do what’s right amidst impossible odds.
Here’s what I’ve been enjoying lately:
Special shout out to The Light Brigade; it blew me away. Kameron Hurley’s new novel is both wonderful and devastating, the kind of book that follows you around and whispers in your ear long after you’ve finished it. I can’t recommend it enough.
PS: If you’d like to support an indie book store, I recommend Powells for physical books and libro.fm for audiobooks. I got my copy of The Light Brigade from libro.fm, and a portion of my purchase went to Elliott Bay Books in Seattle.
Blindspot (Hulu) – This TV show, about an FBI team who discovers an amnesiac woman covered in tattoos in Times Square, is often ridiculous. The plots strain believability, and the characters are over-the-top dramatic in a way that makes me want to smack them. But, dang, this show really grew on me! The cast has excellent chemistry, the intrigue and suspense are excellent, and the emotional narratives build over the long term, making the show something more than the “puzzle of the week” format would indicate. It’s a very fun show if you don’t take it too seriously.
The Passage (Hulu) – Who needs another vampire apocalypse show? Well, I’m tempted to say no one, but I enjoyed the hell out of The Passage. I liked the quick pacing, the scary suspense, and the deep and expertly performed character motivations.
Game of Thrones (HBO) – You hardly need me to tell you the final season of Game of Thrones is out! The third episode of the season filled me with adrenaline, fear, awe, and delight. It’s such a wonder to see years of storytelling come together in a fulfilling climax. Recommended, obviously!
Period. End of Sentence. (Netflix) This 25 minute documentary is about the effort to get feminine hygiene products to women in rural India. Told at close perspective, it’s also an examination of how a small amount of economic development (in this case, a simple machine that makes pads) can benefit a community on multiple levels. Touching and uplifting, it won an Oscar!
Avengers: End Game (In Theaters) What a satisfying conclusion to an enormous multi-year story! I had a few small quibbles with the movie (in particular, there was one “girl power” moment that fell flat for me), but overall it was fun, exciting, emotional, and full of well-earned moments.
BlacKkKlansman (HBO, Streaming) This movie is a work of art. It operates on multiple levels, as both a highly entertaining film and as a reflection of America’s history and present. While the front-story is obviously about racism and the klan, it’s the nuanced performances that carry the bigger story. So, so good!
So that’s what I’ve been enjoying these last couple months. What good stories go on your list?