Science fiction and fantasy                                            







   

Musings and rants

Pandemic Reading
As the Covid pandemic rages, it has affected the way we read in a number of ways.

Reading Resolutions For The New Decade
Here are seven reading resolutions suitable for the 2020s.

Mastodon For SFF Fans
Where to go in the Fediverse to find the best speculative fiction and literary discussions.

Nine Political Books That Change The Conversation
Following news that Simon and Schuster plan to publish an inflammatory commentator, here are nine political books that deserve more attention.

Penguin Random House Withdraws Union Recognition
Penguin Random House have decided not to recognise Unite and the NUJ as a result of staff negotiations, leaving the publisher with a stain on its reputation as an employer.

Authors Support Stop Funding Hate
Some authors have had enough of divisive and xenophobic elements in the British press, and are willing to make an ethical stand.

Women In SFF: Indie Edition
A list of indie and self-published women writing in science fiction, fantasy, horror, and other speculative fiction genres.

Amazon Finally Makes KU Appealing For Novelists
The new per-page payout for the Kindle Unlimited subscription service makes it a much better deal for authors of longer novels.

Thoughts On The Sieghart Report On Libraries
The Sieghart report on libraries missed its mark by miles. Yet the real cause of the decline of the UK library network is depressingly obvious.

A Shout-Out For The Good Guys
When nastiness dominates online conversations about books it is time to appreciate the well-behaved authors.

Critique Circle: Shaping Fabulous Stories
The appeal of a certain writing critique website. Or, why I have neglected this blog.

Where Shall I Point This Pitchfork?
Some thoughts on Jonathan Ross, Loncon, and the twitchfork mob.

Reading Is Not A Race
Why I will be abandoning annual reading challenges in 2014.

What Book Discovery Is Missing
The current state of book discovery is narrowing our reading choices and squeezing out midlist writers. How can it be fixed?

An Explosion Of Discovery Tools
New book discovery engines are popping up all over the web. But which ones will come out on top?

Blog Tours From Both Sides
Blog tours are the lastest marketing fad. But what are the pros and cons of this kind of publicity?

It's Not Your Story Any More
When a book is published, authors lose control over how the story should be read. They should let go the reins and enjoy the ride.

Same Old, Same Old
Are current methods of book discovery pushing us further away from original literature?

Female Protagonists In Genre Fiction
A list of recommended SFF books for adults which feature a female as the main character.

Is This The End Of Sweeping Vistas?
Do recent trends in fantasy art styles and the constraints of online book discovery mark the decline of landscape cover art?


Spanish Language Shows On Netflix To Look Out For

7th March 2020

   Always a Witch    

   Nobodys Looking    

   The Neighbour    

   Omniscient    

The green owl has its talons in me, and I have been picking up some Spanish that I haven't used since I was last at school, some time in the 17th century. One of the benefits of Netflix's international library of shows is that it makes foreign-language series and movies much more accessible. These are a few of the Spanish-language shows available in the fantasy or science fiction genre, so whether you're trying to refresh your Spanish skills or learning it for the first time, these are some recommendations for shows you can use to brush up your language whilst getting immersed in the stories.

Always A Witch

Carmen is a witch from the 17th century, who time travels to the present to save herself, and starts living as a student. But she desperately wants to be reunited with her lost love, Cristobal. However, someone is out to get her and all witches are in danger. So she must work out who she can really trust and get to the bottom of who wants to harm her, and why.

This is on its second season. It's an involving story with an engaging cast, that draws a fine line between humour and the drama of dangerous situations.

Nobody's Looking

An angel is born, the first in 300 years. He is supposed to be a guardian angel, in a rule-bound office. But Uli isn't the kind of angel who cares much for the rules, and he's insatiably curious. This is a light comedy with likeable characters. I found it pretty cute and funny.

This isn't originally in Spanish, but Brazilian Portuguese, but it does have an option to listen to it in Spanish.

The Neighbour

This corny comedy is reminiscent of My Hero. During an evening away, a superhero falls to Earth and passes on his powers to a most unsuitable host. Javi is trying to make sense of his life and reconcile with his girlfriend, whilst hiding his new-found powers which he must try to use for good. But he's not very good at either ordinary life or heroics, and being a hero is a complication he's not ready to deal with.

This is available with both Spanish audio and captions.

Omniscient

Again, this isn't originally in Spanish, it's in Brazilian Portuguese. But it does have a good Spanish dubbing option.

Omniscient is the story of a murder committed in a world where everyone is followed by tiny drones that watch them constantly. Nina, a young trainee and computer genius, works for the company that makes the drones. The big selling point of them is that they do their work without human interference or oversight, so they don't impinge on people's privacy. But that means that when the drones make an error nobody can look at what has gone wrong. Nina suspects a cover-up, and is determined to find out what really happened to her father, no matter the cost. This is a tense story with a range of interesting characters, although it's not without its lighthearted moments.