On TV and books and daylight savings time

1912257_10152217545273926_821713658_oBut not in that order.

This has been… kind of a shitty day, though not in any way I can put my finger on.  I normally don’t notice the time change, and don’t remember ever having reason to gripe about it before, but I am messed up today for some reason.  I may just be getting sick, in which case that sickness can go straight to hell because this is ISTEP week and I do not have the goddamn time.

I took a nap this afternoon, for God’s sake, which I don’t do very often, and which just made everything worse– I woke up feeling sicker, tireder, and crabbier than I’d been when I went to sleep.  I’ve spent most of the rest of the day reading.  Ordinarily “read and then took a nap” would be a good Sunday, and it’s not like there’s any work hanging over my head or anything like that; I finished that huge pile of grading yesterday.

Item: I have to go on a complete internet blackout starting around eight or nine, because I’m not going to be able to catch the True Detective finale, to say nothing of Walking Dead, until tomorrow… this has been the case for the last several Sundays, of course, but I figure tonight it several times as important.  True Detective has been the best thing to happen to TV for years, as far as I’m concerned, and I ain’t going anywhere near the Web so y’all can screw it up for me.

Another item: I’m never pre-ordering anything from Amazon again.  Brandon Sanderson’s Words of Radiance will have been out for a solid week before it finally shows up at my house on Tuesday (it might be here tomorrow; I often find that I get things a day earlier than they project.)  Ordinarily this wouldn’t bother me except that I pre-ordered the motherfucker in July.  See, Amazon, I pre-order shit so that I can get it right away when it’s available.  That shit shoulda been shipped to be at my doorstep at the latest the day after release.

I finished a re-read of The Way of Kings– that’s the first book in the series– this afternoon, meaning that my last four or five books have all been fantasy epic doorstops.  It’s stunning to me just how much better the Sanderson book is than The Wheel of Time.  I know I’ve done two posts about that reread already, but… man, while I enjoy Jordan’s writing on a sentence-to-sentence level, going through the series again (I’ve finished the first three books) has convinced me that the books really aren’t any damn good.  They’re engaging, which is a good thing, but nothing fucking happens in the entire second book, which is like eight hundred goddamn pages long.  In the SECOND BOOK.  The characters are all literally in the exact same place at the end of the book as they are in the beginning.  In the third book, the main character barely shows up.

This is bullshit.  And I’m not making it to the end without a massive expenditure of willpower, as there are fourteen books in the series and I haven’t hit the long ones yet.  My wife is trying to finish the final book as we speak; she was about a third of the way through it when I started The Eye of the World and I finished the first three WoT books plus the first Sanderson book and she’s still not done with it, and I’m pretty sure nothing but bullheadedness and spite are keeping her reading at this point.  They’re just not very goddamned good, that’s all.

Re-re-considering Robert Jordan and some other stuff

originalYou may recall me posting about starting a reread of The Wheel of Time and not being as enchanted with it on the second time ’round.  I was a bit less than halfway through the first book when I wrote that post; I proceeded to read the next four hundred pages of the book in something like three hours, so apparently whatever was bothering me wore off abruptly.   Which is good, because otherwise the end of the book, where they search for the Eye of the World in an area called, I am not making this up, the Mountains of Dhuum, because calling it “Mount Doom” would be too obvious, would have made me throw the book across the room.

Another weird detail I didn’t remember: two chapters repeated, in their entirety, toward the end of the paperback.  As a printing error, no big deal– but the page numbers continue in proper order.  Normally when that happens the page numbers get screwed up too.  I’m going to do some research to make sure my copy isn’t missing chapters; I doubt it, as the narrative continues smoothly and the chapters are consecutively numbered, but it’s worth looking into.

You may also recall me recommending that you pick up G. Willow Wilson’s Ms. Marvel #1, which just debuted last Wednesday and is certainly still available at comic shops nationwide.  I am now adding to that recommendation her novel Alif the Unseen, which I read from cover to cover this morning and is marvelous.  It’s also so completely weird and screwed up that I refuse to tell you anything about it other than that you should buy it right now and read it.

Walking Dead starts up again tonight, which keeps intermittently making me very happy, until I remember that I watch it through iTunes and so I won’t be able to actually see it until tomorrow night.  This keeps happening; it’s like an incredibly specialized version of Alzheimer’s.  “WOOHOO!  WALKING DEAD!  Oh, shit, not until tomorrow.”

…I had more, but I can’t remember what it is anymore.  I’m having another sickish day today and it’s apparently messing with my ability to concentrate.  So, yeah.

On epic fantasy

originalGoogle Search Result of the Day:  the phrase “men fucking nen” led someone here. Yes, nen, not “men,” and no, I have no idea.

Also, yes, that’s Maisie Williams.  I don’t actually watch Game of Thrones— no cable, and we haven’t bothered to pay for season passes to download it– but literally every single time she does something as her and not as Arya Stark I find it hilarious.  Sixteen-year-old girls shouldn’t be able to deadpan the way this kid does.

Today’s plan was pretty simple: quick blog post, do no work, sit around read books, maybe give the PS3 a workout for the first time since I finished The Last of Us.  Today’s actual events: quick blog post, do no work, somehow lose three hours, abruptly realize I’m starving and eat lunch, read for an hour, fall asleep, get up just before five.  I was home sick on Monday, remember, and I am officially sick to death of this quasi-ill low-grade recurring semi-mononucleosis bullshit that has plagued me off and on since this school year began.  I don’t normally complain about naps but I did not want to take a nap today and so it was not the pleasurable experience that they normally are.

What I wanted to do: finish The Eye of the World, the first Wheel of Time book, which I’m only about halfway through.  I’ve read the first… six? seven? books in the series, and put them down a long time ago when 1) Robert Jordan wrote an entire book without mentioning my favorite character and 2) I realized just how many books he still had to go before the series was finished– and that was before he died, leaving Brandon Sanderson to take over, and what was supposed to be one final book turned into three final books.

Here’s the thing: other than the omg long nature of the things, I don’t recall having any real complaints about the story or the writing itself– I’ve been looking forward to finally reading the series in full and was excited about picking up the first volume again a few days ago.


Ahem.  I’m okay now.

It was quite a while ago when I read the series, and to be honest I remembered very little of it, but, like, the nouns are getting to me: he doesn’t have trolls or orcs, he has trollocs, and he doesn’t have ogres, but he has ogiers, and there’s a guy named Thorin in there and you can’t do that, and the bad guy actually has “Ba’al” in his name, and then there’s the scary guy in the ruins whose name is actually Mordeth, like, be a little subtler and call him Lord Evilkill or something like that.  The tuatha de danaan are Irish fairies; he has a group of gypsies called tuatha’an.  I know naming things in fantasy stories can be a pain in the ass, and I’m not blind to the fact that my Grond shares a name with a battering ram in The Return of the King, so maybe this is all a trifle hypocritical, but this stuff just keeps happening.  That and the whole thing is very, very Tolkien in a way that didn’t annoy me the first time I read it through but on reread, much like the formerly-one-of-my-favorite-books-and-now-entirely-unreadable Sword of Shannara, it’s really getting on my nerves.

And I have, like, thirteen more of these things to go.

I may be somewhat less excited about this project than I was when I started it, is what I’m trying to say here.