From Modern Mythcraft to Magical Surrealism

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Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan is a thoroughly delightful Young Adult novel, the first in a series based on an alternate history World War I. In this history Charles Darwin discovered the genetic basis for evolution, and how to manipulate it. As a result the United Kingdom and its allies have a society based on biotechnology, an example of which is the airship Leviathan, a huge beast (or colony of organisms) based on whale DNA and much more. By contrast the Germans, Austrians, and their allies, called Clankers, use steampunk-flavored machinery: airplanes and zeppelins, but also great walking land war machines.

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Eureka: “If You Build It…”

It’s just another Friday in Eureka. The mysterious signal mentioned in previous episodes is considered a harbinger of something from space following said signal. Jo Lupo got an awesome new police car – which allows a moment of product placement before we get back to the real issue at hand: General Mansfield (the one that fired Carter a few episodes back) has ordered Allison Blake to prepare a defense strategy for Eureka. Any Eureka defense strategy will be crazily high tech.

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G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra – Ninjas GO AT IT

It’s very, very rare for me to complain that a film did not have enough girl on girl fights.

I’m complaining. Which means, of course, that it’s time for snark:

Hasbro Corporation: Hi! Yes, that’s us in the opening credits. If you are thinking that this does not bode well for the film, we must regretfully inform you that you are right, and it might be easier all around if you just go and buy our toys.

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True Blood Season 2, Episode 4: “Shake and Fingerpop”

This week, in True Blood: lessons in glamor, wooden bullets, and coffins that open from the inside. For my money, “Shake and Fingerpop” is Season 2’s best episode yet: hilarious, well-paced, and beautifully directed, with at least one stand-out moment for every major character. There are a few minor points to snark about, and snark I will, but any and all quibbles are ultimately overshadowed by the fun stuff.

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True Blood Season 2, Episode 3: “Scratches”

This week, in True Blood: backyard bacchanalia, the monster in the woods, and the most half-assed rescue of all time. “Scratches” is fast-paced and efficient, full of fantastic twists and character work, but a couple moments of what-the-huh? detract from an otherwise solid episode.

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Book Review: Blood of Ambrose

Ambrosia is impatient and very sure of the right way to do things. With a temper and tendency to lash out, she is considered to be the most formidable opponent to the Protector and The Protector’s Shadow. To the king, she is “Grandmother,” “Regent,” and precariously close to becoming the “Protector” herself.