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TV Review: Constantine

Thir­teen episodes and that is likely all you get for Constan­tine. Offi­cially it hasn't been cancelled yet, but the odds are piled up so high against it, you'd be better to assume it was and avoid disap­point­ment. So what went wrong? John Constan­tine is a DC Comics char­acter perhaps best known for the long running Hell­blazer comic and that's certainly where the tv show took most of it's inputs from. Which is slightly odd since Hell­blazer was actu­ally cancelled two years ago and replaced by a more main­stream version of the title, tied into the DC super­hero universe.

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Greed is Good Part 3: News From The Old World (1st Draft)

I fought the sudden urge to hang up the phone and leave the house before The Cean­nard got on the phone. It's a bit like being summoned before the school Prin­cipal, you know it's not going to be good, you know you can't avoid it, but oh boy do you want to. 'Mr. Brodie." An elderly voice said. Too late! "Cean­nard." I responded, "You're up late.

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Book Review: Kill School by Gregory Lynn

This is the fourth book review in my #GreatIndieRe­view­Pro­ject and once again it's a solid read that would hold up against many tradi­tion­ally published work. Have you ever read a book and thought, "that was good, but it was so close to being very good"? Because that pretty much sums up my reac­tion to Kill School. There's nothing funda­men­tally wrong with the story as it stands but I think it actu­ally has the poten­tial to be much better. One of its strengths is certainly the goblin Hobbes himself who is just inher­ently likable (usually of benefit for a view­point char­acter) but there are a couple of points where the events seemed a bit unclear to me and I also think it misses a trick on emotional devel­op­ment. What's It All About Then? Hobbes is a goblin of unusual size. He's good natured, but not partic­u­larly quick witted and when a fight between him and another rather bullying goblin ends in death, he quickly finds himself manip­u­lated into attending a school for goblin assassins.

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Movie Review: Big Hero 6

Disney does super­heroes, sort of. That's basi­cally what Big Hero 6 is, but it's worth taking a moment to clarify what it isn't. It is not a Marvel animated movie, nor is it a Pixar movie. Approaching it expecting either of those things will likely end in disap­point­ment. Gener­ally Big Hero 6 follows a tradi­tional Disney story arc. It executes it well and uses the trap­pings of super­hero stories effec­tively but you can see its origins in The Lion King and other Disney clas­sics. What's It All About? Hiro Hamada is a super smart kid with a talent for elec­tronics who lacks direction.

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Book Review: Excession by Iain M. Banks

Iain M. Banks highly advanced human (and AI) civi­liza­tion, The Culture is rather unusual amongst modern science fiction in that it is presented as some­thing close to a post scarcity utopia. Exces­sion devi­ates from that presen­ta­tion by showing that maybe the almost godlike (by human stan­dards) Minds aren't quite as morally perfect as they might at first seem. Perhaps they simply haven't been presented with some­thing they wanted badly enough before. Exces­sion is defi­nitely rather different to the previous Culture novels but that change is quite refreshing. An Out of Context Problem [amazon template=image&asin=0553575376]The moti­vating event in this novel is the Exces­sion itself, described as an Out of Context Problem, which is defined as some­thing that is so far outside of a society's norm that it can't be predicted or antic­i­pated. In this case, given the vast tech­no­log­ical sophis­ti­ca­tion of the Culture itself that means the Exces­sion is a completely alien object of unknow­able power levels. Which makes it in a sense a Deus ex Machina only it creates the prob­lems rather than solving them.

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Greed is Good Part 2: Doug the Werewolf (1st Draft)

Doug the were­wolf is a snappy dresser. I mean, he doesn't use being a were­wolf as an excuse to wander round in torn jeans with a beard down to his ankles. No, Doug wears suits and ties, he looks presentable anywhere.

"What do you do anyway?" I asked him by way of greeting. He stared at me. He has an excel­lent range of glowers. I consid­ered shut­ting the door on him, but I remem­bered what had happened to my last door and decided against it.

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Greed is Good Part 1: Mostly Very Dull (1st Draft)

Being a wizard is mostly very dull, at least when I'm not being chased by were­wolves or attacked by zombies, and consists of lots of reading accom­pa­nied by cautious use of magic. Why so cautious? The more you learn about magic, the more you learn what can go wrong which, it turns out, is almost everything.

Look, even casting the simplest of spells you're messing with the bind­ings of the universe, to say it is poten­tially disas­trous would be under­state­ment. Fortu­nately that sort of busi­ness is normally self-limiting because it takes a lot of time to learn how to channel the power to cause real damage. By the time you do you're so terri­fied you don't want to do anything.

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