The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi. Another novel in his collection of post climate change science fiction novels. This one is very near future, set in the American West as increasingly hostile states in a disintegrating USA squabble over water rights. This one is definitely adult rather than YA with some intense brutality.
It's well done but I couldn't really get into it. It's realistic enough to be depressing, so the torture scenes seemed a bit unnecessary. If you've read the other books you know how the USA is going to end up anyway.
What I'm Watching
Mad Max: Fury Road Finally got to see this much hyped movie, after abandoning my now useless Amazon/Lovefilm subscription. George Miller, director of the original movies, returns to reimagine the story.
I found it lived up to expectations. A lot of the action and props are practical, not CGI, and that gives the action scenes a refreshing sense of weight and realism. Even the flamethrowing guitar was apparently real.
Had a good storyline with a few reverses of expectation, and a storyline given to characters who would usually be ciphers. Very much recommended, but I think everyone except me who might be interested has already seen it.
What I'm Watching
Avengers: Age of Ultron. Latest Joss Whedon superhero movie. As others have said, feels a bit more like TV than a movie, with lots of scenes of banter and some soapy elements as the Avengers hang out : a bit like Friends with superpowers. I enjoyed it: suits the way I watch movies now in short segments before the wife and kids get up, usually while exercising or ironing ("Me time"). It's also good to have a progressing plot and character development as these movies go along.
Weaknesses: the CGI action looks very weightless and cartoony after Fury Road. The worthy effort to give some interest to the female characters in a setup where the boys have all the cool gadgets and powers suffers from the comparison too. As before the villain seems a bit underpowered compared with all the heroes. And the Angel Summoner and BMX Bandit power mismatch problem isn't entirely solved by providing a load of weak henchmen for them to fight.
Overall though, good entertainment.
Socioeconomics. Productivity and the National Living Wage. MI5 report challenges views on terrorism in Britain.
Articles. Structural engineer criticizes the realism of destruction of suspension bridges in action movies. Spylessness, and Other British Values. Decoding Daesh: Why is the new name for ISIS so hard to understand?
Sci/Tech. Microsoft's experimental Midori OS.
Video. Logging machine.
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