WFTM Podcast Episode 3: Clone Club, Star Wars Rebels & A Lot of Gods!

Three episodes! It’s officially a trend! In this episode we discuss the third season of Orphan Black, the one hour episode of Star Wars: Rebels, some Comic Con news, what Leslie is reading and much more.

Download it from the iTunes store here!

 

So what’s in Episode 3?

News:

If you live in Austin, come to Austin Books & Comics monthly comic book club next Tuesday, June 30th at 6:30PM! We’ll be discussing Batman: The Long Halloween with an awesome group of nice comic book geeks, both experienced and noobs. It’s a great group where everyone is welcome and all opinions are treated with respect. Learn more here.

American Gods might finally make it onto Starz!

That rumor about a Hawkgirl show is really just a rumor, guys. (But we still want it to happen)

Sony & Paramount pull out of Comic Con because they’re lame.

What We’re Watching:

Orphan Black is done for season 3, but was are we still in the Clone Club? (Spoilers end at 26:00)

Star Wars: Rebels returns with some familiar faces

What Leslie’s Reading:

The Wicked + the Divine volume 1 by Jamie McKelvie and Kieron Gillen

City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett (for the Sword & Laser Book Club on Goodreads)

What’s Making Us Happy:

Fernando: The Women’s World Cup – USA USA USA USA!

Leslie: Slate’s Stranger Than Fiction Podcast

 

Follow us on Twitter @WorkforMandroid and @fernborrego

Email your questions, concerns, thoughts and comments to WorkingfortheMandroid@gmail.com

 

Intro & Outro Music is “Robot Army” by Quiet Music for Tiny Robots, provided via freemusicarchive.org through a Creative Commons License

 

Mini Review: The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

The Ocean at the End of the Lane
Neil Gaiman

William Morrow Books
Released June 18, 2013
181 pages
Fantasy / Faerie Tale-esque / Kid Friendly Sort Of

Find it on Goodreads

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indie Bound

Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn't thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she'd claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.

Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper and resonated in unimaginable ways. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie—magical, comforting, wise beyond her years—promised to protect him, no matter what.

A groundbreaking work from a master, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is told with a rare understanding of all that makes us human, and shows the power of stories to reveal and shelter us from the darkness inside and out. It is a stirring, terrifying, and elegiac fable as delicate as a butterfly's wing and as menacing as a knife in the dark.

I am a Neil Gaiman fan girl. I won’t ever try to deny that. Gaiman single-handedly destroyed my preconceived notions of modern fantasy literate as an adolescent. Neverwhere is the first book that comes to mind when asked what my favorite book is. Sandman was my gateway into mature comics. Neil Gaiman may be my hero.

So I’m not entirely sure why it took me so long to read The Ocean at the End of the Lane. Perhaps I knew that, once finished, I might not be getting new Gaiman words in my hands anytime soon. Maybe I was a little scared that the magic might have disappeared. Whatever it was, this book sat on my shelf for a little too long until it became the monthly book for my book club. I eagerly dived in and wasn’t disappointment.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a children’s tale with an adult wrapper. If you removed the first and last chapters, this could easily be a scary tale to read to children, all about witches and mysterious girls and creepy monsters from alternate realms. For most of the book, the narrator is a small boy, looking at a very strange time in his life in retrospect now that he’s a middle aged man. Whatever perspective you’d expect from a story told by a grown man is non-existent. This book is told as though it’s happening out right to the point that I forgot about the framework around the story being from the point of view of an adult.

Our main character is never named. He’s just a regular boy growing up in a house with his parents and his sister when one day, the family wakes up to find their boarder missing. This starts a bizarre adventure into a twilight world that only the boy seems to see. He meets Lettie, her mother and her grandmother, three slightly strange women that live at the end of the lane. Together they help him ward off evil and turn his life back to normal though not without some serious consequences.

This is a modern faerie tale, a quick read with a bit of a moral underneath the surface. It’s imaginative and written in that classic Neil Gaiman way that’s full of metaphors that seem to live off the page. It’s an incredibly quick read at 181 pages and it’s nothing complicated. This was a great palate cleanser after the number of YA books I’ve read that started blurring together without having to dive into an dense or serious literature. While it might not be a book that sticks with me like Neverwhere, Sandman or Stardust, it’s definitely a book I look forward to revisiting once my nephew is a little bit older and not quite so scared of his own shadow.

Random Tuesday: Shawn Yap's Art, Funko Takes My Money, Free Stories Online & More

I had a bad day at work today, so I went on a hunt for awesome art to cheer me up. The images scattered throughout this week's Random Tuesday are by Shawn Yap and you can see even more of his awesomeness at his DeviantArt account.

James Hubb has a great compilation of all the 2014 Hugo, Nebula, Sturgeon, and World Fantasy awards that you can read online for free. There's hours of enjoyment at that link.

The Huffington Post found three faerie tales that Disney would have a very difficult time turning into movies. What other faerie tales would be difficult to spin into a happily-ever-after story?

Make sure you're in a well-lit room before clicking on this next link. These amazing examples of cos-play and special effects makeup are incredible and really creepy.

I've never read any Flash comics, so it's interesting to see this list from io9 of the things from the comics the upcoming Flash television show should avoid.

The Television Critics Association named Gotham the most promising new show of the Fall 2014 season. I'm going to second that and hope Fox doesn't cancel it just because I like it. They seem to do that a lot.

Marvel had some drama over the last couple of weeks due to a really bad variant cover for their up-coming relaunch of Spider-Woman. After the drama that came with that contriversy and considering how visually tone deaf DC can be, I'm glad to see these Darwyn Cooke variants for their female comic lines coming out in December.

Funko really needs to stop announcing new Pops. They already get too much of my money. Here's their new Hobbit line.

There will also be a Lady Sif Pop soon. I needs it.

I need a new bathing suit for a trip. Something tells me these superhero costume bathing suits will be outside my price range, but it's nice dreaming.

We just finished listing to the radio play adaptation of Neverwhere with James McAvoy and Benedict Cumberbatch, among many other awesome British actors. Now I find that Good Omens is getting a radio adaptation and that MERLIN is going to be in it. I'm excited!

And finally - A Harley Queen hoodie that belongs in my closet.

http://www.themarysue.com/funko-smaug/

Random Tuesday: New Lunar Chronicle Book, Strong Female Characters, Wonder Woman & Other Randomosity

First of all, just a reminder, we're giving away a copy of Geek Dad Awesomely Geeky Projects and Activities for Dads and Kids to Share by Ken Denmead. Submissions are being accepted until 12:01AM on Monday, June 23. You should definitely go over there and enter.

With the World Cup keeping my other half distracted for long stretches of time, I've recently rediscovered Twitter and have been spending far too much time over there discussing Game of Thrones, geek things and what television shows Joe Hill should introduce to his kids. I'm always looking for new people to chat about random things (even when it's not Tuesday), so tweet me something silly and random.

Now to random things!

Bookish people and nerdish people are always talking about Strong Female Characters(TM). The Dissolve (a site introduced to me on Twitter) has an article about Strong Female Characters quickly being taken over by Trinity Syndrome. It's an interesting read and another POV in the whole SFC discussion.

Simon & Schuster has announced the first round of releases from SAGA, their new genre imprint. It includes a couple of new books and some re-releases that come out early next year. io9 has all the pretty covers over here.

I hate Mondays, but this news about a secret prequal to Marissa Meyer's Lunar Chronicles series tiding us over until the release of the final book in November 2015 made yesterday a really good day. The cover is a bit more ostentatious than the rest in the series, but considering it's about crazy Queen Lavana, I suppose it makes sense. Can't wait to add it to my collection next January.

Many channels save all their scifi and fantasy programming until the summer. Here are a ton of shows starting or returning over the next few months. (from io9)

HBO lost the rights to adapt Neil Gaiman's American Gods. The president of programming finally came out and said why they never made it into a series. (from The Mary Sue)

I can't fathom that this list of release dates for DC Comics big screen adaptations has much truth to it, but if it does, Shazam is a strange choice to do before Wonder Woman. (from io9)

A mother discusses her young daughter's lack of interest in Wonder Woman and what that says about the state of the currrent state of comicbook media. (from Comic Book Resource)

It makes my heart incredibly happy to see all the success Noelle Stevenson aka Gingerhaze is experiencing lately. I've never met her and yet I'm oddly proud of this stranger whose work I'm very fond of. So have a Gingerhaze She Hulk.

And finally, to be truly random, have some adorable pictures of a stray cat wandering into a lynx enclosure in a Russian zoo.

 

What random things have you come across lately? Any awesome television you're looking forward to watching this summer?

Leslie's 2013 San Diego Comic Con Goals

It’s the night before Comic Con and all through the house… people were going crazy packing electronics, gizmos and geeky t-shirts. In mere hours we will be on our way to the happiest place in geekdom – San Diego Comic Con. This is our fifth year attending and I long ago learned that you need to go in with some very narrow goals to design the rest of your Con experience around. Here are the five top things I’m hoping to achieve this year.

5. Get my nephew a Batman cape and my niece a geeky age-appropriate present.

This year the giant WB bags are coming with capes! While I usually go for the Supernatural bag, there is one bag that comes with a proper Batman cape. I have to obtain that to bring home to my nephew. I think he would be delighted to get a proper cape. Meanwhile I’m also going to be searching for a present for my niece, who recently turned one. It wouldn’t be fair to bring one a present and not the other.

4. See as much Ender’s Game footage and obtain as much swag as possible.

The book adaptation I’m most looking forward to in the near future is Ender’s Game, the book that turned me into a science fiction fan as a young teenage. The studio is bringing an extra exhibit of props and footage that will be outside the convention center while there will be a ton of Ender’s Game swag floating around the convention center floor. I hope to get my hands on as many pins, dog tags and whatnots as possible as well as attend the panel on Thursday.

3. Attend Neil Gaiman’s spotlight panel on Sunday.

I saw a Gaiman reading back in college and met him briefly. I saw him again at a Coraline panel at Comic Con a few years back, but this is a proper all-Gaiman-all-the-time panel with information about Sandman, any upcoming novels and hopefully an update on the American Gods HBO television series that’s been in the works forever.

2. Get a copy of Cress by Marissa Meyer.

Word is that the first 20 people at Marissa’s signing will be lucky enough to walk away with a copy of the third book in the Lunar Chronicles series. I wonder how long they’ll let me loiter at the Macmillan booth before the signing…

1. Request a new commission from Katie Cook.

Last year Katie Cook painted an awesome Batwoman picture. This year I hope to get a Nightwing and Batgirl commission, where they are being seriously awesome together. It’s a matter of getting to her early before many others. Fingers crossed and cash in my pocket…

 

What things are you excited to see come out of Comic Con this year? Any particular panels you’d like us to get into and cover?

Stacking the Shelves (8): The Haven't-Done-This-In-Awhile Edition

This weekly linkup is hosted by Tynga's Reviews. Visit her site to see what everyone else has gotten their hands on recently.

I have absolutely no idea why I am so horrible at doing Stacking the Shelves on a more regular basis. The last time I did one of these? January. Do you know how many books I have gotten since January?

With Comic Con a few weeks away, I thought it might be a good idea to get in the habit of sharing all the incoming books that have found their way onto the piles in my homes. Here are just some of the books I've received in the last month.

First of all my friends at Angry Robot were moving their US offices, so they sent me presents a box of goodies that made it feel like Christmas.

Morlock Night by KW Jeter

Crown of the Blood, Crown of the Conqueror, and Crown of the Usurper by Gav Thorpe

Camera Obscura by Lavie Tidhar

Three by Jay Posey (for review, interview & giveaway)

Seven Wonders by Adam Christopher

vN by Madeline Ashby (for review & interview)

Not pictured: iD by Madeline Ashby (e-ARC for review & interview)

 

Then I made the mistake of going on Amazon and finding that instead of doing 4 for 3 paperback sales now, they just randomly put books up for a steep discount. I may have gone... a bit wild.

Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd edited by Holly Black & Cecil Castellucci

The Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

The Fox Inheritance by Mary E. Pearson

All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin

Black Hole Sun by David Macinnis Gill

Grave Mercy by RL LaFevers

 

Then another book came out that I had to buy on release date and I need to put into something else for free shipping so, these arrived on my doorstep last week:

Die For Me by Amy Plum

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

 

And finally some editors have been absolutely lovely, sending me things for review, and I won a contest or two.

Masque of the Red Death and Dance of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin (Thank you to Jen at YA Romantics)

The Fury by Alexander Gordon Smith (Thank you to Macmillian)

The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau (Thank you Houghton Mifflin)

The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson (Thank you HarperTeen/Greenwillow)

I Never Promoised You a Goodie Bag by Jennifer Gilbert (Thank you to HarperCollins)

The Wife, The Maid and the Mistress by Ariel Lawhon (Thank you to Doubleday)

Parallel by Lauren Miller (Thank you again HarperTeen)

 

And finally the book that, upon arriving at my door on Wednesday night, caused me to squeal like a 14-year-old and seriously consider calling in sick to work the next day. Thank you to HarperTeen and Rockstar Book Tours for having me on the tour for this upcoming release that I am SO. EXCITED. ABOUT!

Now let's see if I can be a little more consistant with this Stacking the Shelves thing because books are quickly stacking up on my shelves. What book are you most excited about receiving recently?

Waiting on Wednesday: The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

Waiting on Wednesday was started by Breaking the Spine and serves to showcase those books we’re not so patiently waiting to arrive!

The Ocean at the End of the Lane
Neil Gaiman

William Morrow Books
Releases June 18, 2013
192 pages

Find it on Goodreads

Preorder it from Amazon

THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE is a fable that reshapes modern fantasy: moving, terrifying and elegiac - as pure as a dream, as delicate as a butterfly's wing, as dangerous as a knife in the dark, from storytelling genius Neil Gaiman.

It began for our narrator forty years ago when the family lodger stole their car and committed suicide in it, stirring up ancient powers best left undisturbed. Dark creatures from beyond the world are on the loose, and it will take everything our narrator has just to stay alive: there is primal horror here, and menace unleashed - within his family and from the forces that have gathered to destroy it.

His only defense is three women, on a farm at the end of the lane. The youngest of them claims that her duckpond is an ocean. The oldest can remember the Big Bang.

Neil Gaiman has never gone wrong in my eyes, and I don't expect him to start now. He is my favorite writer by far and to have some new fantastical adventure to go on invented inside of this man's head makes me excited. Then I look at the number of pages and get a little grumpy. I suppose I'll take what new Gaiman I can get...