Sci Fi Sunday — Girl Power
Frank Beddor’s The Looking Glass Wars, which is a retelling of the Alice in Wonderland story. This is a YA book that I had put on my “To Be Read” list, but it wasn’t a priority until Dana the Biped reviewed the last book in the series, Archenemy. I said, “Oh, I’ve been meaning to read this,” and she was all “DO IT.” So I did. Because I’m suggestible like that.
Basically, if you’ve read Alice in Wonderland, you think you’re familiar with the story. No, no, you’re not. For starters, her name is spelled Alyss (Beddor won me over with that alone — an avowed name nerd, I’ve always preferred the medieval spelling Alys) and she’s a princess. The Mad Hatter is actually Hatter Madigan, a bodyguard, and the Cheshire cat? Is an assassin. Seriously, how awesome is that? Anyhow, the Red Queen takes over the kingdom and Alyss is forced to flee into what turns out to be Victorian London. At first, she sticks out like a sore thumb and has to learn the hard way to conform. I particularly liked that Beddor has her break with Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) be over the fact that he wrote her story down wrong — in real life, Alice Liddell broke ties with Dodgson but nobody ever discussed why. Anyway, she is settling down to a very boring life when the Cheshire cat shows up and well….alarums and excursions ensue!
This is a really good adaptation of the Alice story. I think it’s improved by knowing the original so you can pick out the references, but it can be read on its own. As a YA novel, it seems pretty tame…I haven’t seen anything yet that I would object to any of my kids reading. Basically, if your child is old enough and sophisticated enough to want to read this, you’re probably ok. As far as adult reading, I think being a fantasy nerd or a literary nerd ups the chances that you will enjoy this book. Highly recommend.
If you’ve been watching Eureka lately, or if you’ve enjoyed Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, then you’re familiar with quirky/cute actress Felicia Day. The Guild is Day’s pet project, a short comic show about a group of misfits that bond through playing an online MMORPG. To further their online game and watch each others’ backs, they’ve formed the Guild, led by Day’s character Cyd Sherman who goes by the online name Codex. When Cyd decides that their problems might be better addressed by having a Guild meeting in person, hilarity ensues. I have to say here, I am not a gamer and don’t get all of the geek humor. I still thought this was pretty funny, although a lot of the humor veers into the inappropriate (if neglectful parenting, overbearing mothers and someone trying to hang themselves with a computer cable isn’t funny to you, this will not be your show). The production values are kinda low because this was filmed by Day and a few friends, and I think she actually posted it online to begin with. Fear not! The lighting is excellent and the quality is documentary style, not “I filmed this on my iMac so it’s gonna give you a headache.” I recommend this to anyone who is a gamer or familiar with gamer culture. So far I’ve seen Season 1 and am eager to see the rest!