Tea & Coffee – #25 – Love the Force

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As we met today, I am still a little abuzz. For I saw The Force Awakens on Thursday. And loved it!

Relax, no spoilers. I’m not that big of an arse. Plus Captain Solo himself has spoken against that.

The one thing I will tell you to expect when you see it (you are going to see it, right?) is the giggles are back. Those little moments that were in the first series but seem to be lacking in the second have returned.

Some people have not been as impressed with it, I hear. I can only shake my head at this and feel sorry for them.

I have seen it referred to as a love letter to the original series and I agree. From the opening credits I was that four year old kid again, flying around that galaxy for the first time. There was inner squeeing at the heroics and mouth agape at the dangers.

I might try to squeeze in another viewing of it on Tuesday, or possibly this next weekend, we’ll see. In 3D again of course. I always pick the 3D option at the theatre, since not going to see it that way when buy the DVD.

It was perfect in my eyes and love all the box office records it’s breaking.

It was my present to myself and hard pressed to ask for a better.

Speaking of presents, only one last gift card to buy and done. Got off easy this year, all simple gifts.

And have a book recommendation. Rules for a Knight by Ethan Hawke. Yup, the actor. It’s his third book. A knight writes to his four children and passes on the life lessons taught to him, on the eve of a battle he feels he will not survive. Give it a look.

Well, you’re probably got some last minute things to do, so I’ll let you go. Enjoy the holidays and see you on the other side if you make it. One step closer to the new year.

The Force Beckons

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You must understand, with movies like those of the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) with a large fanbase, I will usually wait til after opening weekend to let the true fan boys and girls go first. I know enough of that ‘verse to follow the story but I couldn’t give chapter and verse to many storylines.

But this, this is different. Yes, there is the whole extended canon from the books that I only have a fleeting knowledge of. Which more than likely will not be referenced and I will be able to discover any such instances afterwards.

I was four and a few months when A New Hope came out. My best memory is thinking how big the Senate ship was as it flew over. Then shrinking down in my seat as the Star Destroyer came into view.

The original trilogy was probably my first fandom, before we truly knew of the concept. I dressed as Leia a couple of Halloweens in a row. I had the novelization of The Empire Strikes Back. When I was older I made a crappy attempt at doing a model of the Millennium Falcon.

I bought the DVDs when they came out and winced at some of the changes. (HAN SHOT FIRST!) 

And now we are returning to that world. To an older, wiser Luke, Leia, and Han. To the Falcon soaring once again. And to the Dark Side showing the war is not over.

I had resigned myself to waiting til next week to seeing the movie, due to work. Then a chance catching of a commercial last night let me know that today, on my day off, was opening day.

I cannot tell you the last time I was at the opening weekend of a movie. But the fact that I am able to be at this one gives me no end of delight.

I will buy the big popcorn tonight. I will visit friends I had not thought to see again.

And I will remember how it was – a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.

Where a review of Zer0es turns into fangirling of Chuck Wendig

zer0esRelease Date: August 18, 2015

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Chance Dalton – Script kiddie who knows just enough to get himself into trouble.

DeAndre Mitchell – Black hat specializing in stolen credit card numbers.

Aleena Kattan – Hacktivist helping the cause back in the Old Country.

Reagan Stolper – Troll ruining people’s lives for the lulz.

Wade Earthman – Old time BBS operator finding the truth the American people need to know.

Hollis Copper – Fed charged with first collecting, then babysitting, the latest ‘chosen’ team.

Typhon – ??

The pitch comes as no real surprise.

Work for the government for one year, or do far more than that in prison.

Guilt, blackmail, fear, and just plain boredom guarantees all five agree to the deal.

Next stop: The Hunting Lodge.

Thrown together for no reason that they can see, the five Zer0es start the testing and assignments they need to complete to keep out of prison.

But the assignments seem to be linked in ways the team can’t see yet. And nonsensical words begin to appear across their computer screens. Speaking of dragons, giants, a ‘she’ who made the gods flee.

And one word in particular, Typhon, is giving them a bad feeling.

*****

Chuck Wendig is the kind of author that can go the back alley way. Where things aren’t pretty, are half hidden in shadows, and more dangerous than you hoped.

His writing straps you in and doesn’t let you go til the end. It’s best if you clear those hours so you can finish the novel in one sitting. You’ll be happier if you do.

I do have to admit, Zer0es is only the second of his novels that I have read (a situation I do tend to amend) but that is enough to testify to realism of his characters and their own self realization. They accept what and who they are and run with it. Much like the man himself.

I learned about Chuck though a quote about writing.

126e3d2d96a28a8021ef8fa407e1e2d2A search found me the blog post it was taken from and I liked the guy even more. I don’t trust people who don’t know their own madness and he certainly knows and revels in his.

Next came being one of his Twitter followers and the like grew.

I managed to read his novel Blackbirds before going to see him at our local Comicon this year. I had been forwarding tweets of his to me best mate for some time, so she was more than agreeable to coming with to his panel (she has a similar appreciation for his ‘unique’ outlook). His was the only panel we even tried to make and he did not disappoint.

I knew I wanted to buy his The Kick ass Writer book at the Con and then see about getting him to sign it. We got there in time where it was just us and him for a couple of minutes. I got my book signed, then both me and her got ARCs (Advanced Reader’s Copy) for Zer0es, autographed as well. He also joined in on our collective crazy, which is not always an immediate thing for other people. And then he favorited my tweet about it.

This was meant to be just a straight up review for Zer0es, I swear. I was going to write up here, then link it to wherever. It was going to be a thank you for the unexpected gift of the book, a good turn.

But like the title says, it turned into an instance of fangirling and I am not ashamed. Chuck ain’t just a good author, he’s a great guy. Some artists you feel a connection with through the glimpses of themselves that they show you, through the effort they put forth toward you. I will forever love John Rhys-Davies for inquiring as to how I made my living as if we were at a cocktail party when I got his autograph. Stephen King and Clive Barker were the two writers I felt like I could manage such small talk with. And now Chuck as well.

So do yourself a favor, pick up Zer0es. Then go to Chuck’s blog and find the rest of his books. But be ready for the real. Cause he can’t do it any other way.