Monday, November 29, 2010


 I've been holding off on announcing this because I wanted to be able to list all of our contributors, for lo, they are mighty.  But this is the project that has been eating my brain, consuming my life and generally filling me with glee:

Whedonistas: A Celebration of the Worlds of Joss Whedon by the Women Who Love Them
Edited by Lynne M. Thomas and Deborah Stanish

 This is an amazing essay collection touching on nearly all of the works of Joss Whedon from an astounding array of female viewpoints.  We've gathered an absolutely brilliant group of professional and amatuer writers as well as industry professionals to examine and celebrate the complex and compelling world that Whedon has created in such shows as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Dollhouse, and Firefly/Serenity.  Whether you are a Whedon fan, a media pop culture fan or simply enjoy reading smart, fun essays, you are going to love this book!

Now, for that awesome contributor list I mentioned - check out this Table of Contents!

IntroductionLynne M. Thomas and Deborah Stanish

The Girls Next Door: Learning to Live with the Living Dead and Never Even Break a Nail:   Seanan McGuire

Ramping Up for a Decade with Joss Whedon:  Nancy Holder

Outlaws & Desperadoes:   Sharon Shinn

An Interview with Jane Espenson

My (Fantasy) Encounter with Joss Whedon (And What I’ve Learned from the Master):
  Jeanne C. Stein  

The Ages of Dollhouse: Autobiography through Whedon: Sigrid Ellis

A Couch Potato’s Guide to Demon Slaying: Turning Strangers into Family, Buffy-Style: 
 Heather Shaw

Smart Is Sexy: An Appreciation of Firefly’s Kaylee:
  Laurel Brown

Teething Troubles and Growing Up:  Caroline Symcox

Transgressing with Spike and Buffy:  NancyKay Shapiro

Brand New Day: The Evolution of the Doctor Horrible FandomPriscilla Spenser

“We’re Here to Save You”:  Elizabeth Bear

Imperfectly Perfect: Why I Really Love Buffy For Being a Pill Sometimes:
  Mariah Huehner

My European VacationKelly Hale

Romancing the Vampire and Other Shiny Bits:
  Lyda Morehouse/Tate Hallaway
An Interview with Juliet Landau

I Am Joss Whedon’s Bitch:  Maria Lima

Going Dark:  Jackie Kessler

Joss Giveth:  Jaala Robinson

The Kindness of Monsters:
  Sarah Monette

Shelve Under Television, Young Adult:  Jody Wurl

The Browncoat Connection:  Dae Low

Late to the Party: What Buffy Never Taught Me about Being a Girl:  Racheline Maltese

How an Atheist and His Demons Created a Shepherd:  Meredith McGrath

Older and Far Away:  Jamie Craig

Why Joss Is More Important Than His ‘VerseTeresa Jusino

Let’s Go to Work:  Catherynne M. Valente

Something to Sing About: 
Jenn Reese

Malcolm Reynolds, the Myth of the West, and Me:
  Emma Bull

This is our crew - the smartest and fiercest professional and amateur writers in the 'verse. Can you blame me for running around in circles with a huge grin on my face?  Not to mention that working with the fabulous Lynne M. Thomas has been an absolute joy and one of my favorite aspects of the project.  Expect more blathering about this - how could I not?  Did you *see* this contributor list?!!

Whedonistas is scheduled for release on March 15, 2011 by Mad Norwegian Press and can be pre-ordered at Barnes & Noble and Amazon.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

We Hardly Knew Ya....

The first casualty of the 2010 television season has been announced.  After two episodes Fox has cancelled the intriguing Lone Star.  I'm saying "intriguing" because that's what I heard from critics who gave it promising marks.  What I do know is that it was a prickly show about a con man playing a long game, living a double life with two families.

I didn't watch it.

In fact, I've only watched two new shows this year:  Detroit 1-8-7  and Hellcats.  (Oh, hush.)

I'm not the kind of person the networks love.  First, I'm a firm believer in the "watch when I want to watch" principle.  Why rush home to catch a show when I can DVR it or catch it later online?  I'm also very protective of my free time and view any new show with suspicion until the network execs deem it worthy of actually keeping on the air.  Why get invested if the show is only going to last two episodes?  If the buzz is there you can always catch-up online, right? 

Like I said, I'm not the kind of person the networks love, but I am the kind of person who represents a vast majority of television viewers.  For years there's been chatter about the "new viewing model" and how television will need to adapt to a new digital, on demand age.  Fledgling steps are being made but until networks manage to figure it out, the road will be littered with the bones of shows like Lone Star.

If you want to read about a show with longevity, check out the latest issue of Enlightenment in which I review "Amy's Choice", perhaps one of the most controversial episodes of the fifth season of Doctor Who.

As for's a guilty pleasure that actually has some meat to its bones.  Comic Book writer Sigrid Ellis has a review that might just convince you.

Next up:  Podcasts - The good, the bad and the ugly.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sherlock, Grease 2 and Birthday Cake - Welcome!

Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, stars of the new BBC Drama Sherlock

 Today is my birthday and the mail carrier just delivered issue #158 of Enlightenment where my column (the title of which I blatantly lifted for this blog) has a hysterical photo manipulation of Matt Smith and a very young Michelle Pfieffer in all her Grease 2 glory.

It seemed like an omen to finally open this blog for business.

The truth is, I love talking about television...and movies and books.  But mostly television.  I'm a firm believer that the stories we are being told are etching themselves into our cultural consciousness and becoming our new mythology.  I could quote media studies, texts and the master acafan himself, Henry Jenkins, but I won't bore you.  Just ask yourself, what was the last thing you discussed around the water cooler?  There's a pretty good chance it was something you watched on television.

What is even more fascinating is how these "new" texts are evolving.  Take Sherlock Holmes.  This past week Steven Moffat (Coupling, Jekyll, Doctor Who)  and Mark Gatiss (League of Gentlemen, Doctor Who) debuted their new series Sherlock in the U.K. to critical and public acclaim. Set in present day, this Sherlock Holmes story is twisted and turned while retaining the critical elements that make is so very Holmesian.  (At least that's what I'm told.  Today's grand plan involves a celebratory dinner, obligatory cake then a cold Honey Moon summer ale and the premiere episode.)

But to get back to Sherlock Holmes, this legend and myth has been told and retold in books and films almost since its very creation.  Robert Downey, Jr. recently took him for a rock star spin in Guy Ritchie's film adaptation; he's been married off in Laurie R. King's Mary Russell series, dallied with time traveler's in Kelly Hale's Erasing Sherlock and battled werewolves, vampires and the Cthulhu Mythos, respectively, in various short story anthologies.  And these are just a few, cherry-picked, examples of where the deerstalker cap has been hung.  

Canon purists (those who will never, ever, even under pain of DEATH, contemplate any narrative other than that of Holmes creator Sir Conan Doyle) have sniffed derisively at the upstarts and yet the stories continue, and will continue to be told.

So who can lay claim to the "real" Sherlock Holmes?

We all can.  Just as it should be.