This is especially for people coming to Dublin 2019:

If an Irish person (or website, for that matter) tells you something is a 10 minute walk, they are almost certainly lying to you.

It’s a well-intentioned lie. They reckon anybody can walk for ten minutes, I think, so if they say it’s ten minutes, well, that sounds grand and not a bother and you can manage that. But if it is actually a ten minute walk, that is a matter of sheer coincidence and should not be used as a measuring stick for other times you’re told something is a ten minute walk.

Usually a ten minute walk is really about 20 minutes. Sometimes it’s 85.

Everything in Dublin is, according to rental ads, no more than a 15 minute walk from city centre or St Stephen’s Green. Everything in Ireland is no more than a comfortable 10 minute walk from a train station.

Honestly, we’d been here for years, trying to figure this and other similar phenomenon out, when it finally dawned on us that broadly speaking, the Irish people, who love a good story, would rather lie to you than disappoint you. (Of course, you’re definitely disappointed when you discover that the ten minute walk is actually an hour’s slog, but then you’re an hour away from them and they don’t have to face your disappointment…)

Anyway, this is perhaps particularly important for people coming to Worldcon who may have disabilities or difficulties navigating distances. If your hotel website says something’s a 10 minute walk, verify that with Google maps, which is much more accurate.

(All of this brought on by the fact that I was looking at a hotel website for a book today and it said it was a 10 minute walk from a location that it is 100% not a 10 minute walk from unless you are a speed-walker and I thought ‘crap, people are not going to know this…’)

Picoreview: Glass: This is definitely the kind of movie M. Night Shyamalan would make to wrap up his Unbreakable trilogy, and not the kind of movie I would make. :)

I liked it better than I expected to, really. I didn’t see Split, which looked too horror-ish for me, and also because of the political aspect of how badly disassociative identity disorder is portrayed in it. That said, I mean…they’re comic book movies, so if we pretend it’s not intended to be a real-world portrayal of DID and that rather, there’s some kind of comic book thing which causes people to occasionally break out in mulitiple personalities, then we can just accept that James McAvoy is in fact very good at all of his different personalities. It only took me a couple minutes to be able to tell, just from his body language, who he’d switched to, which is pretty great acting.

Samuel L. Jackson was both underutilized and key, which is a somewhat weird combination. There’s a great moment that appears to be full of compassion that I thought was just magnificent, in wonderful manipulative keeping with the character. Meanwhile, Bruce Willis was Bruce Willis. Honestly, the bit I liked most about him was that the same actor as played his son in Unbreakable was his son again in this film, which doesn’t often seem to happen (I’m still angry for you, kid-who-played-Jack-in-Pitch Black-but-didn’t-get-to-reprise-the-role-in-Chronicles of Riddick!). :)

Shyamalan’s gotten into this position where he’s expected to have A Twist at the end of his films. There were a couple of good reveals, one of which met and then exceeded my expectation, and the other of which was possibly twisty enough to be a proper twist, but I considered it more of a reveal than A Twist. I liked it, though, and it fed into the whole story structure very well.

Overall, for me it was a…a not-quite-satisfying conclusion to the trilogy. It was…yeah. I just wouldn’t have done what he did, so it’s artistic differences, but I do think what he *did*, works within his universe. So. There you go. :)

Ten days ago I accidentally deleted my entire newsletter mailing list, backups, old newsletters, and all, and it cannot be retrieved.

For the TL;DR crowd, you can (please please please) sign up (again) at https://tinyletter.com/ce_murphy/

For those who enjoy stories of epic EBCAK, let me share the sad, mortifying tale.

It was so so so so stupid. I was trying to set up a NEW mailing list for blog posts, and tried using the same email address figuring it would say “that email is already in use” if that couldn’t be done, right?

Except it didn’t.

But THEN it wouldn’t let me log in with the new username & I went “oh jeez, did I kill my ability to log in with the old username?” & tried & could. So I thought “well okay I’ll just delete the new one,” & switched to that window.

…only then I was logged in to my original account, and I didn’t think it through, so when it said “do you REALLY want to delete this” I was like “sure brah” and…deleted it. All. Forever and ever, amen. And five seconds later I was like “OH, OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD NO OH GOD NO I DIDN’T I DIDN’T OH GOD I *DID*” and really this was just not my finest moment. I spent half an hour or so trying not to throw up, that’s how sick I felt, and a lot more time in a futile rage.

Obviously I did not confess this error to the world until after I had thoroughly investigated the possibility of retrieval with the provider and verified there’s not a single solitary good god damn thing I can do about it except rebuild. I’ve spent about a week howling about it on other social media and am finally bringing it to the blog page, where the mark of my foolishness will be available for everyone to read forever and ever and ever. :}

So, once more, the sign-up page is at https://tinyletter.com/ce_murphy/ and I am so grateful to anyone who signs up again (or for the first time).

Picoreview: Alita: Battle Angel : This was much better than I expected it to be. OTOH, I expected it to be very, very, very, very bad indeed.

I thought the story might be okayish but that the CGI would be–I was not convinced by it in the trailers. It just looked creepy, the anime face. The proportions looked wrong. I thought they’d landed squarely in the uncanny valley and had been unable to do anything about it. So I was really surprised to find that the CGI is by and large very good. It’s not…*real*. Or realistic. I don’t know how many years out we are from realistic anime CGI like that, but this year wasn’t it, and I’m not sure if they were really trying to achieve it or not. Either way, it’s largely pretty good CGI.

The story, OTOH, is a hot mess.

Now, I don’t know the source material (except for being aware it exists), so I can’t say how well it matches the story presented on the screen. But what I want to talk about is the story structure, because from a writer POV there were things they were obviously *trying* to achieve, and it’s very clear to me what went wrong and caused them to fail.

Spoilers after the cut. If you stop here, you can take away the knowledge that actually I’d go see another one, so despite the hot mess-ness of it, I overall enjoyed it pretty well. :)
(more…)

Last year I tried to make a Thinks To DoDONE post every month to keep myself from feeling like I was drowning under work and not accomplishing anything. I think I managed to post…twice…which wasn’t enough to make me feel very accomplished. :) Trying again!

I finished the second Dublin Driver murder mystery, which was great. I wrote the next section of my REDEEMER/Captain America fan fiction for my Patreon.

(A few days after I posted it, Dad, suddenly, said, “I wish you’d write more of that Captain America story, it’s great.” *laughs* It’s got at least two more sections before I wrap it up, and I’ve set both part one and part two out for public consumption to tantalize you with. :))

I began final edits on STONEMASTER, and got some of the swag (postcards, bookmarks) laid out for it. I got the book jacket cover written and the back cover laid out.

It’s something. It’s not enough, because it never is, but it’s something.

(Oh, I also collected and emailed my comic artist with stuff I was supposed to send him in like November, filled out a long author questionnaire for my new publisher, did a little photography at the zoo, and contracted with a cover artist for new Strongbox Chronicles covers, so that adds up!)