Comics Creators

What non-comics are you reading these days?


I totally get people not enjoying aspects of the Doc Savage movie - it is very cult. I suspect that, even by the 70s, the pulps read as too ridiculous (with much contradiction and retconning going on also) to film seriously, so playing it 60s Batman style - with Ron Ely chanelling his inner Adam West perfectly - probably seemed like a good idea at the time. With the success of the recent plethora of superhero movies, I’m sure Doc would be made now in a completely different vein.

The only thing I’ve seen since Doc that cheers me up in the same way is Italian Spiderman. This short should have won an Oscar…


I recently read Tales from the Wold Newton and found it to be a bit of a mixed bag, like much of his work I’ve tried to read. I find that he vacillates between high adventure, reasonable parody, action trudgery and unreasonable misogyny. His writing was probably out-of-date even for his era, so while his concepts are brilliant, his content is often hoplessly outmoded. Too much cringe factor for me.


I only really read the Riverworld books by Farmer, which had a brilliant concept. I liked them a lot back then, but I have a feeling that they wouldn’t stand up to closer scrutiny if I ever read them again.

Those novels would make for a great TV show though. It’s basically Lost with every historical figure you want to think of, on an infinite canvas.

Hm… how hard do you think it is to look up JJ Abrams personal e-mail address?


Right now one could walk into the White House, eat Trump’s breakfast, invade Lithuania and take a lunch flight to NYC on Marine One (now a regular flight).

But JJ? That’s hard.



Well, look at that! I hadn’t even heard about that one, which means it must’ve sunk without a trace.

Oh, wow. From the trailer, they’re going through the entire plot in the space of one TV movie. Now that’s not what I meant.


As well it should. Not good.


I’ve been working my way through this, following the death of one of the authors, Anthony King, who was also one of my politics lecturers and certainly among the better speakers too:

It’s had more relevance to my job too, in terms of how people think and operate - our support team comes out pretty good in terms of avoiding the pit-traps the book identifies.

In terms of the blunders it describes, they could not only happen in any government, but any organisation, be it public or private sector.

Have not yet stated the final section on how some of the errors and mistakes might be lessened or avoided, along with a post-2010 postscript chapter…


The North Water: A Novel by Ian McGuire is an amazing book!! I picked it up after it was named by the New York Times as one of the 10 best novels of 2016, and I’m really glad I did. It focuses on a disgraced doctor and a murderer who both sign up for service on a whaling ship during the declining days of that industry. Very realistically written, and starkly brutal like The Revenant. Strongly recommended.


it was a miniseries but it was syfy and the star was the dude from BSG and dollhouse so…


Yeah, Tamoh Penikett. Hated him on Dollhouse!


Just finished Levithan Wakes. What a joy that book was. I am a very slow reader, so I rarely tear through books like I did that one. I especially enjoyed Miller chapters.

I’ve begun diving into the show again, and while things follow an overall similar, yet wildly different path, I am really enjoying experiencing the Expanse universe in a different way. I am 3 episodes from the end of the first season.

The shows version of Miller bothers me a bit though. While I love the actor and his portrayal of Miller, the character’s relationship with Muss (where they clearly have strong feelings for each other still) really doesn’t fit. It really makes his obsession with Julie, to combat his feeling of loneliness and isolation, not make a whole lot of sense.


He was writing in the space between the pulp fantasy style and the modern fiction style of the time. Also, his main innovation was to take the sort of erotic and often outright pornographic themes from people like Henry Miller and add them to the often neutered characters of science fiction and fantasy adventure.

Another really strange book that he wrote that could be the basis of a movie or television series is LORD TYGER. Essentially it’s about what would happen if some billionaire obsessed with Edgar Rice Burroughs actually took a baby and tried to turn him into Tarzan. It’s sort of like The Truman Show set in a jungle.

Currently, I’m reading Time’s Last Gift which has a lot of hints that it could take place in the Wold Newton universe or in the parallel “A Feast Unknown” series.


I think you’re right about that, but in my book “era written” will never be an excuse for scrawlings that resemble the worldview of a spotty-faced bedroom-ridden teenage virgin who has no concept of what women do every day. The reason SF&F is looked down upon as a ‘genre’, despite tons of good stuff, is the plethora of misogynistic ouput still being written. It’s 2017 ffs.


Just finished The Black Cloud by Fred Hoyle - good, if a little dry hard sci-fi. Interestingly, I read this and before it Flowers For Algernon, both sci-fi classics, and neither were quite as enjoyable as Children Of Time … that should be a modern classic.

Started Jerusalem - my eyes hurt and it feels weird only reading 3 or 4 pages of a book before calling it a night (I read in pretty low light in bed and the font is tiny in Jerusalem).


The show really comes into its own in series 2. (Episode 5 concludes the main plotlines from Leviathan Wakes), and in a lot of ways, I think they did the conclusion of Miller’s story better in the show.


It doesn’t help that a bunch of reactionaries have spent years trying to hijack the Hugos (and semi-succeding) in protest against better recognition of the non-misogynistic stuff.


However, Farmer was the writer who brought adult themes to the Pulp adventures. That was my point. He introduced complicated and often disturbing sexual realism to the characters especially in his first two Wold Newton related titles TARZAN ALIVE and DOC SAVAGE: HIS APOCALYPTIC LIFE.

The pulps were very intentionally directed toward the 15-year-old male. Honestly, there would be NO science fiction genre if not for what you would call misogynistic output for the “spotty-faced, bedroom-ridden teenage virgin”. However, really, the pulps appealed to all the teenagers, not just the stereotypical geeks, and these included teenage girls, grown men and women as well. The pulps and their writers - even the best could barely make a living at it - pretty much established the forms for the majority of entertainment we read and watch today.


Some nice bits in The Autobiography of James T. Kirk. Eleven-year-old Jim lands on Tarsus IV:

My first exposure to a Class-M planet; it wasn’t foreign at all. It could easily have been mistaken for Southern California



I have that book on my Kindle…I have been meaning to get to it.

I have been reading a few Star Trek novels recently as well. I read the Star Trek: The Next Generation - The Cold Equations trilogy by David Mack. The first one (The Persistence of Memory) was only okay. It was a bit of fan service. The second one (Silent Weapons) was like the love child of Blade Runner and 24, but done in the Star Trek Universe…It was actually a lot of fun. Lots of political skullduggery, with the Enterprise Crew on the back foot for a lot of it. The last part was The Body Electric. This was a big adventure with everything and the kitchen sink thrown in.

I enjoyed them. The whole trilogy is built around the return of Data, with the returned Data becoming a far more unpredictable and self assured person than the original shiny faced variety..

I broadly enjoyed them.

For a change of pace I moved on to The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway. I knew that opinion on Hemingway can be a bit divided. I loved this. I loved the descriptions. I loved how the character’s growing confusion is shown subtly through the writing as he starts increasingly to talk to himself. For a short book, there is a lot of chew on in there.

Mrs. J bought be a couple of books when she was away recently, and I’m currently reading one of those (Our Game by John LeCarré).