Movies: Braveheart and Outlaw King

Braveheart and Outlaw/King aren’t fantasies, you say? Any movie featuring woad AND kilts together, and any movie featuring exclusively fire arrows at night, is a work of fantasy as far as I am concerned. Also there are lots of stabbings.

Hillbilly Highways

I should really cover more history here.  The history of the Scots-English border region is the history of hillbillies.

Netflix’s recently released Outlaw/King starring Chris Pine spurred me to finally pick up my old review copy of Michael Penman’s Robert the Bruce: King of the Scots.  I haven’t gotten very far, but Penman’s book is focused on the Bruce’s reign after Bannockburn, so William Wallace appears relatively early.  And I can’t read about William Wallace without pulling out Braveheart.  I took advantage of needing to grade a giant stack of essays to watch Outlaw/King and rewatch Braveheart.

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A Place For War Completes My All-Time Favorite Zombie Series

Daniel Humphrey’s Z-Day now-complete trilogy is awesome.  I would say it is my favorite all-time zombie series, but I haven’t read all that many zombie series.  Buy, yes, it is my favorite all-time zombie series.  And I don’t have to tell you it’s awesome if you’ve read the first two books.  If you haven’t, start with my review of book one.

Like book 2, book 3 is as much military SF as it is a post-apocalyptic book.  Miles returns after being largely absent from book 2, but the action remains far away from the rechristened Hope.

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Review of Cold Iron by Miles Cameron

I was a huge fan of Miles Cameron’s Traitor Son Cycle, the first fantasy by an experienced historical fiction writer.  Which reminds me that I really need to pick up some of Cameron’s historical fiction (written as Christian Cameron).  I loved that series, but Cold Iron, book one in Cameron’s new fantasy series, may very well exceed it.

It is also a very different book, though, so read on for my thoughts on Cold Iron.  And this is a book that left with as many thoughts and feels as it did entertained.

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October 2018 Month-in-Review

October was the fifth full month since I started Hillbilly Highways.  To my considerable chagrin, it was also Hillbilly Highways’ worst month for views.  It isn’t awful.  I went back and checked, and my monthly average for my first five months at Hillbilly Highways is still well above where Every Day Should Be Tuesday was for its first five months.  But I am finding just how hard it is to jumpstart viewership for a new blog.  October was a very busy month, and while I kept up a regular posting schedule at Hillbilly Highways, I didn’t do as much promotion.  There is nothing for it to except keep plugging away.

I didn’t set a record for views here at Every Day Should Be Tuesday, but October beat out September, I didn’t have the weird October swoon I had last year (where I saw a 40% drop between September and October), and I would have set a record but for the four months of Tolkien 101—my best four blog months ever.  So I can hardly complain, especially with how much time Hillbilly Highways takes.

Keeping a regular blog schedule across both blogs—often five posts per week—is starting to wear me down.  I will need to reconsider what is manageable.  But, as always, I have far more ideas for posts than I have time to actually write them.

If I’ve seemed absent from your blog this past month, well, yeah.  Between being mashed by real life and a couple work trips (and a work trip for my wife that left me single parenting), my blog reading was way down for October.

I also continued to do poorly at whittling down my TBR.  With a giant stack of unread books, and a pretty big stack of current reads, I acquired eight books and only finished five—the same number that I started.  And I am starting to build up a big backlog of reviews to write (mostly for Hillbilly Highways).

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SF: Some Dark Holler by Luke Bauserman

I have a Halloween post up over at Hillbilly Highways, a rerun of my original post on Luke Bauserman’s spooky soul selling story Some Dark Holler. Very Manly Wade Wellman. Very good.

Hillbilly Highways

For Halloween I’m returning to the motif of selling your soul.

Bauserman pitched an advanced copy of Some Dark Holler to me because I reviewed a collection of Manly Wade Wellman’s Silver John stories.  I get a lot of these, usually with the author comparing their work to some colossus in the field.  But I couldn’t resist, being a huge fan of both country noir and speculative fiction.  I didn’t remotely expect Bauserman’s work to live up to that of Wellman, a master unequaled today in my eyes.  Does Bauserman’s work live up to Wellman’s?  I can hardly believe I’m writing this, but it very well may exceed it.

Some Dark Holler opens at the close of the Civil War.  Death arrives at a meeting with Scratch (the Devil) and two of Scratch’s lackeys.  A deal with the Devil will protect you from death for seven years.  In return…

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Throwback SF Thursday (early): Dracula (1931 Movie Version)

I didn’t like the 1931 movie version of Dracula nearly as much as I did the 1931 movie version of Frankenstein.  Perhaps it is because, while I do have distinct memory of watching the 1931 Frankenstein as a kid (long before I read the book), it may be that I had never actually seen the 1931 Dracula before last night (only after having read the book twice).  Or maybe I just don’t remember it because it isn’t that good.  Onto the movie, which takes significant liberties with the story.

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Throwback SF Thursday: Dracula by Bram Stoker

This was my second time reading Dracula.  The book benefits from the reread: I threw out my original review and started from scratch.  A few points still niggle at me, but the structure benefits from hindsight.  Stoker isn’t good at everything, but what he is good at he does as well as anybody.

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