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What I’m Reading: The Scar

The Scar, by China Mieville, is a sequel of sorts to the dark steampunk fantasy Perdido Street Station, which I have reviewed previously. It’s set in Bas-Lag, the same world as PSS, and we learn at one point that one of the main characters once had a romantic relationship with one of the characters from…

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Scary Movies: M3GAN

My kids wanted to see this movie this past weekend, so I went into the theater with low expectations. From the previews, I expected M3GAN to be a schlocky B-movie, along the lines of the Chucky franchise. In fact, it turned out to be a clever and even thought-provoking black comedy for the first three-quarters…

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Scary Movies: White Zombie

The movie this time out is White Zombie from 1932. It’s said to be the first zombie movie and stars Bela Lugosi as Murder Legendre, an evil sugar mill owner who uses zombies as slave labor in his mill. The female lead, Madeleine, is played by Madge Bellamy, almost forgotten today but one of the…

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What I’m Reading: Isaiah

Over Christmas of 2022, I decided to read the biblical book of Isaiah. A number of selections form Isaiah occur every year in the lectionary readings at my church during Advent, and I decided to delve further. I’ll be honest, Isaiah has never been my favorite book to hear readings from. It seems so dour,…

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Scary Movies: Pit and the Pendulum

Pit and the Pendulum is the second in director Roger Corman’s cycle of eight Edgar Allan Poe movies, most starring Vincent Price. Others in the cycle I’ve also reviewed include The Raven, Tales of Terror, and The Tomb of Ligeia. Of the eight, this one and Tomb of Ligeia are supposed to be the best,…

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What I’m Reading: The Jalakh Bow

This time around I read the The Jalakh Bow, by Jamie Edmundson. This is the third book in the four-part Weapon Takers saga–I’ve also reviewed the first book in the series, Toric’s Dagger, and the second book, Bolivar’s Sword. I think it’s a good sign for the series that I’ve chosen to come back to…

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Ranking the Twilight Zone

I’m engaged in a project with my twelve-year old daughter to watch every single Twilight Zone episode and rank them. We watch and run them through a rubric to give them a score from 0 to 7. The episodes are graded in three categories: Concept/Plot/Characters (4 points), Tone (1 point), and The Twist (2 points).…

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What I’m Reading: Blood, Iron, and Gold

Blood, Iron, and Gold, by Christian Wolmar, is a straightforward history of the railroad. It’s thorough and clear, with a minimum of editorializing, content to be simply a lucid survey of a somewhat niche subject. I know right now that not a lot of people are going to be interested in the topic, but this…

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Scary Movies: The Bad Seed

Okay, here’s the review of our final film of this year’s horror movie season: The Bad Seed, from 1956. In keeping with this year’s theme, Creepy Kids, this one features the creepiest kid of all. More plausible than Damien, more murderous than Danny, Rhoda truly wins the crown, making her the princess of creepy kids.…

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Scary Movies: Return of the Vampire

As usual, we have a bit of a horror movie overhang now in November, with a couple movie reviews I still need to wrap up. The movie this time is 1943’s Return of the Vampire, starring Bela Lugosi. After an unpromising start, it turned out to be somewhat interesting, though far from a great movie.…

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