Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Vampire Diaries, Season 5, Episode 19: Man on Fire

Elena is studying with Stefan. Yes we are actually maintaining the dubious fiction that Elena is involved in education. They also appear to be drinking coffee and not neat bourbon. Who are these people? Bonnie arrives to join the study session – well, actually to exposition. See, with the Other Side falling apart, Bonnie’s existence is also in jeopardy, if the Other Side collapses, the Anchor will also die. Bonnie has apparently accepted death but Elena talks her out of it.

Anyway to the Traveller invasion (we nearly spent 2 seconds on Bonnie’s problem and Matt and Jeremy realise the Traveller Knife is missing and that Liv’s assessment of them and Tyler as the three stooges actually gave them waay to much credit. Damon arrives for the knife and to randomly threaten to kill them with his keys (they won’t invite him in. And I am always amused by Damon’s nicknames for Jeremy). Damon, realising the peril of working with the less-than-brilliant pair, calls Enzo for some competent help against the Travellers, but he has other plans.

Tyler, possessed by Traveller Julian, is chained up with Markos in their new hideout (they keep moving, also, Hybrids are hard to keep possessed). Markos reminds us of the case that keeps his people nomadic and how they intend to break it – first test on doing that is to have Sloane drink Tyler’s blood and then have her throat slit. Their plan is to become vampires/hybrids?

Personally I think the Travellers lost to the witches because all their magic requires something special to bleed or a whole back up group to chant along with you. I also think that cattle are not the first creature that comes to mind when I think “roaming”

Daisy is actually a jetsetting world traveller, thank you very much.

Anyway, Enzo joins Elena and Stefan (for a brief moment we nearly saw Bonnie talk to Liv about saving her life but the camera-man realised Elena wasn’t in shot and quickly jerked back round). Anyway, Enzo wants to talk about Maggie, the woman he developed a Stockholm-Syndrome-like attachment too because, unlike his other captors, she refrained from eye-stabbing. Awwww, how sweet. He hasn’t seen her since 1950 and apparently that’s because someone beheaded her. Enzo isn’t amused that someone killed the object of his creepy domestic fantasies. She died in Mystic Falls in 1960 and Enzo thinks it was Stefan because Stefan killed people as well. Stefan denies it

So Enzo whistles up Liv to use her witchy powers on Elena and Stefan – because Enzo has Luke captured by mind controlled rugby players (wait, wait, Luke is a witch? Ad 2 normal humans can hold him prisoner? We’ve seen witches just look at people and cause brain-haemorrhaging migraines… but Luke can’t?) and threatens to kill him if Liv doesn’t obey.

Stefan and Elena are tied up (Elena showing her scintillating intellect and being duly mocked for it by Enzo) while Enzo reads aloud from his prison guard’s diary. She loved her little imprisoned pet vampire really and it was so sad that she assumed Enzo was a dead lab rat and not her own personal lab rat. Oooh booo hoo sadness. Enzo uses Bonnie’s phone to fill Damon in because, I don’t know, convoluted rescue I guess.

Friday, April 25, 2014

One Death at a Time (Twelve Stakes #1) by Thomas M Hewlett

Jack was a cop in life – a dirty cop up to his eyes in corruption and booze. Until he became a vampire and started to fight a new addiction.

He’s back in LA, his hometown, no working as a detective and a damn good one with his enhanced sense of smell. But even that almost fails him when trying to find the killer of a popular Councilman and a prostitute.

Driven by a promise from the poor girl’s parents, Jack investigates – and uncovers a drug plot full of betrayal, death, fae and werewolves… and an ancient order of vampires who are interested in him

This books is a supernatural detective story set in LA and it’s positively dripping in Film Noir feel. Film Noir – the hard boiled detective, the glorious monologues, the gritty, dark city – is usually something I adore completely or hate beyond reason. It all depends on whether the author can pull it off

And I didn’t hate this one.

It works. It really works. It works even more with the vampire – world weary detective who has seen it all, been there and has very little to hope for while drinking too much and trying to conceal the last shred of hope within his cynical, harsh mask? It’s done perfectly with extra impact of this detective being a vampire who has seen it all for decades – and not always been on the side of right and good. His cynicism is mixed with a lot of guilt and a lot of regret all delivered in those excellent Film Noir monologues which should be long winded but manage not to be.

Or maybe I just have a sneaking love of Film Noir.

The character doesn’t just fit the setting, but Jack is an excellent character all round. He has history, he has depth, he has development, he has weaknesses and problems all of which are written into the story. He has strength but isn’t massively overpowered and plays a difficult game often with forces that are greater than him – but he’s still a vampire and has the power that comes with that.

The book also looks unflinchingly at a lot of things – like police and government corruption – and notes that the victims of that corruption are so often POC; there’s a few references to how racial dynamic shapes the city and interactions. As well as some excellent, sharp, lampooning of faux liberals and gesture politics. We have an entire family of Latino fae (they’re also involved in crime – but so is everyone in this. It’s Film Noir, Gritty with capital GRIT) in high office which is very unusual. The ME who is more than what she seems and definitely smart enough to put together the clues and discover the supernatural bodies on her slab is a Black woman.

Unfortunately, while there are some excellent female characters who are strong, smart, savvy and up to their necks in the action (and just a little corrupt – did I mention Gritty Film Noir?) there’s also that old thread of female victimhood that permeates the book. I don’t think anyone who resembles a major female character has a good ending in this book. There are also no LGBT people, but there are some anti-gay slurs; I’ve said it before – if you’re going to erase GBLT people at least have the decency to remove the homophobia as well.

The 100: Season One, Episode Six: His Sister's Keeper

In a flashback to 17 years ago, a panicked young Bellamy watches his mother in labor.  He is desperate to call a doctor and cannot understand why it's wrong to have more than one baby. His mother makes him promise not to tell because she will get floated and explains that the Arc could not survive if everyone did this.  It is Bellamy who names Octavia.  His mother starts to feel weak and she tells Bellamy that his sister is his responsibility before passing out  Bellamy offers the baby his finger when she starts to cry.

In the present, Bellamy is looking through camp for Octavia. He approaches Clarke, who says that knowing 100's of people could be dying on the Arc, makes it hard to sleep.  Bellamy assures Clarke that Raven's flairs will work. Bellamy asks about Octavia and Clarke dismisses his concern at first saying that Octavia is probably chasing butterflies.  When Bellamy asserts that he has checked the whole camp, they decide to split up and search.

Octavia regains consciousness but when she tries to stand, her leg won't hold her wait.  A Grounder enters, grabs her by the leg and cauterizes the wound, as Octavia begs.

Bellamy begins to round up the castaways to search for Octavia.  Clarke tells Jasper that he doesn't have to do this and points out that Jasper hasn't left camp since they got back.  Jasper asserts that he needs to do this and Bellamy adds that they need all of the people they can get.  Bellamy then calls to Finn, having determined that they need a tracker.  Raven and Finn are in his tent and she is cutting his hair. Finn tells Raven to get some sleep and meets up with Clarke.  Finn suggests that he and Clarke should talk about what happened but Clarke points out that Finn has a girlfriend.  Finn reminds Clarke that they started something but Clarke points out that it's nothing they cannot stop.  Finn however believes it's not something he can stop. I wonder if he realises that consent takes two people?

The crowd pauses and looks up at what appears to be a meteor shower.  Clarke declares that the people on the Arc didn't see the flare.  When Bellamy questions how she could possibly know that, Clarke says that what they are viewing is the funeral - hundreds of bodies returning to the earth and this is what it looks like from earth.  Raven gets angry and tells Bellamy that this is all his fault because he took the radio and trashed it.  Finn is forced to hold Raven back and Clarke says that Bellamy knows all of this and now he has to live with it.  Bellamy redirects the conversation to Octavia and orders everyone to move out.  Clarke says that they have to find a way to communicate because the oxygen level is going to keep dropping, which means more dead people.  Jasper interrupts to say that they should go and Finn tells Raven and Clarke to stay behind and fix the radio.  Raven points out that the radio is smashed and adds that unless there is a part supply store nearby, it cannot be fixed.  Clarke suggests the art supply store and tells Raven she knows a place where they might find a transmitter.  The group goes their separate ways.

Octavia wakes up and and calls out.  She checks her leg to find the wound cauterized.  This time, Octavia is able to make it to her feet and she starts to move around in the cave, brandishing a stick a a weapon. Octavia finds an entrance but it is barred, blocking her escape.

The group is in the jungle and find something belonging to Octavia. Bellamy goes down the same hill that Octavia fell down and the rest of the group follows.  At the bottom, Bellamy finds a rock covered in blood. They find tracks leading away from he site and wonder who is carrying her.  They decide to follow the tracks..

Octavia continues to look for a way out of the cave. She finds loose rocks and tries tunneling her way out.

The group comes to a clearing and find skeletons hanging from spears.  Some of the group start to talk about leaving but Bellamy says that it is his responsibility to find Octavia.

Back on the Arc in another flashback,  Bellamy plays with Octavia. When an alarm goes off, Bellamy opens a hole in the floor for Octavia to hide.  Bellamy reminds Octavia of what will happen if she is found. Octavia says that sometimes she wishes she wasn't born and her mother encourages her to be strong.  Octavia says that she is not afraid and climbs into the hole.  The inspectors enter the pod and Bellamy notices a few threads from one of Octavia's toys sticking out of a crack.  Bellamy quickly puts his foot over it and sits at the table. It seems that Ms. Blake has been trading sexual favors for small privileges. Ms. Blake asks about a letter of recommendation for Bellamy and Bellamy is asked to stand up.  Bellamy says that he is good and does not stand because it would reveal Octavia's location. Finally after being pressured, Bellamy stands, knocking things off the table to hide the string sticking out from the floor.

On earth, Octavia tells herself repeatedly that she is not afraid, as she climbs through the dark cavern.   Octavia makes it outside and starts running.

The Hugo Awards, Vox Day and Apologetics for Bigotry

This year the Hugo nominations had many wonderful and talented authors on the slate, including a few who have included marginalised people in their work or are marginalised themselves.

And it also included a novelette by Vox Day.

For those who don’t know, Vox Day is a bigot. It’s not really worth parsing down what kind of bigot he is, because the answer is “yes”. If someone is not straight, cis, white and male, Vox Day will spew his venom on them. He thinks gay people are a “birth defect.” He thinks Black people are inherently less intelligent (and called N. K. Jemisin not fully civilised for “historical reasons”) and, of course, that he thinks there’s no such thing as marital rape. This isn’t an exhaustive list, not even close, but there’s a limit to how nauseous we’re willing to get to write this post and googling Vox Day is going to give us heartburn. Honestly, there are no words to accurately sum up what a terrible human being this man is.

A lot of people have spoken about this and, to a degree, we felt there was no need to add to the discussion - but then the reaction itself, the commentary we’ve seen, including in several social-justice spaces have added to our already churning stomachs. So let’s tackle this.

First of all, why is Vox Day getting this nomination a problem? Ultimately, not everyone can be nominated for a Hugo. It takes a level of support - I know there have been a lot of allegations of vote rigging, internet campaigns et al on behalf of Vox Day and others - but none of these would have worked if there weren’t a sufficient number of people who decided to champion Vox Day. In fact, gaming the system would require active champions of Vox Day and his hateful campaigns because the merely indifferent would not help him get a nomination.

Him being nominated at all sends the message that there is a not-insignificant number of people in the SFF “community” who support the hatred he espouses - and many more who are indifferent or do not consider it important.

That is a toxic message - and a message we have seen reinforced by some of the commentary - even supposedly supportive commentary - on the issue. The amount of dismissal or insulting priorities we’ve seen really add to the message that there are a whole lot of those indifferent people.

Predictably, as we’ve seen with previous bigots on parade, there has been a vocal demand to focus on the quality of the work an author produces. We’ve heard the same for Orson Scott Card, Frank Herbert - in fact, just about any vile person out there. We’re supposed to ignore the author, consider the author’s actions irrelevant and take their work in a vacuum.

Jim C Hines, who is usually much better on these issues, has written a post on the subject that included a section on “separating the authors from their work” and these lines:

Some authors are assholes. That doesn’t mean they don’t have fans who genuinely like their stuff.”
and he has tweeted:

John Scalzi has also written two blog posts where he, among other things, wants Vox Day’s work to be judged on the writing, not the bigotry of the author.

Instead, take a look at the work, read the work, and if you like the work, place it appropriately on your ballot. Because why shouldn’t you? Regardless of how a work got on the ballot (or more accurately in this case, how you think it got onto the ballot), it’s there now. Read the books and stories. If you like them, great. If you don’t, there’s plenty of other excellent work on the ballot for your consideration.”

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Angel Kin (Angel Assassins #1) by Tricia Skinner

Katie Logan breaks into a home in order to steal enough to pay off the vampires who demand payment for protection.  In the process, she gets more than she bargained for when she witnesses a murder. Katie cannot go to the cops because she has no way to explain how she managed to witness the murder without incriminating herself. For her own protection, Katie's brother sends her to the Bound for protection.  The Bound are a group of assassin nephilim, who work to protect the innocent. Katie quickly finds herself caught in a sibling rivalry between the bound Cain and his vengeful brother Abel of biblical proportions.  In this battle of brothers, Katie has to worry about losing her life and her heart.

There is nothing to distinguish Angel Kin from anything else in the paranormal romance genre.  It's the typical boy and girl meet and don't like each other but are forced together through circumstance and then fall in  insta -love. Angel Kin might as well have been written by the numbers as far as I am concerned.  I will however admit that I do like the idea of assassin nephilim. Cain tells Katie that he is a killer repeatedly and even admits to taking out a vampire mob. He is even physically aggressive with her in parts of the story but Katie is of course is overcome by his attractiveness and suffering.

What would a paranormal romance be without angst?  Every single emotion is absolutely over wrought.  I think coming face to face with a brother one thought was long dead would make anyone upset but no character experiences even a small emotional even keel for the entirety of the book.  Everything is the end of the world but somehow, though  Cain and Katie are the run for their lives against dangerous forces, they have time to have sex. What else would you do when a dangerous assassin is trying to kill you and your family is in danger?  Skinner did have a moment of subversion when she made Cain a virgin.  Normally when we see a gently used protagonist, it's the woman.  This is where the subversion ends because Cain, who has never had sex before, turns out to be a good and attentive lover.  Really?  Does Skinner even remember her first time?  It's awkward and passable at best and no one is an awesome lover their first time, even a nephilim.

The Originals, Season One, Episode 19: An Unblinking Death

Kiernan is leaning at the alter and takes communion.  He sees a vision of a woman who taunts him about his faith still being in existence.  When Kiernan turns, he sees a vision of Sean slitting his throat.  In actuality he is in the attic with Josh and Camille. Camille wonders if Kiernan needs a shock to the system to wipe the slate clean.

At the compound, Klaus is looking for Esther's grimoire and he questions whether Elijah has it in his possession.  Elijah admits that he placed it beyond Klaus's reach because he believes that it has something to do with Klaus's sudden interest in the Crescent Wolves.  Klaus of course claims that he is simply trying to be a good Samaritan.  When that doesn't work, Klaus says  that he is trying to keep Hayley safe but Elijah believes that Klaus is risking turning New Orleans into a war zone.

Marcel calls Camille about helping her with Kiernan but Camille is confidant that she can handle this and hangs up. Dr. Sheski enters the room to check on Kiernan and forced to pull back when Kiernan snarls at him.

Marcel calls Klaus to tell him that Camille needs him and asks him not to allow Camille to suffer.  Dr. Sheski moves to leave the room after seeing Kiernan but Josh compels him to forget what he is seeing.  Camille asks about giving Kiernan shock therapy. Dr Sheski makes it clear how dangerous this is but Camille will not be deterred.

Hayley is practicing Lamaze and questions Eve about an epidural, or going to the hospital but Eve assures Hayley that werewolves have always had their babies this way.  Hayley says that she is sure she will be raising the child alone but Eve questions the veracity of that.  They are interrupted by Elijah, who wants to speak to Oliver and Jackson about the uprising.

Jackson assures Elijah they know all about Klaus's reputation but the chance that the moon rings could help them control the curse, is too much to pass up.  Elijah points out that there are people in the quarter who will see this as a provocation.  When the wolves fail to bend, Elijah reminds them of the pledge they signed.  The conversation is interrupted when they hear a motorcycle.  They head outside and the rider asks who is in charge.  Elijah looks at him for a moment and then pulls him off the bike seconds before it explodes. When they check the injured wolves, they discover that wolfsbane was used.  Hayley order Elijah to take the inured wolf and anyone who cannot walk on their own.  Hayley moves to another wolf and starts administering first aid.  Oliver screams about vampires not having the guts to do their own dirty work and demands that the werewolves attack.  Hayley orders Oliver to stay where he is, adding that if this was vampires, then she can guess who gave the order.  Hayley breaks off a tree limb and says that she is going to find Marcel.

Josh is strapping Kiernan into the chair, when Klaus walks in explaining that he got a call from Marcel.  Dr. Sheski begs Camille not to force him to do this but Camille is determined.  Klaus argues that Kiernan is a good man and therefore shouldn't suffer.  Camille points out that Kiernan has been suffering and dying for weeks and that this treatment might be the only chance he has.

On the road, Hayley calls Elijah to ask him to take care of the pack while she is gone.  Jackson says that it's a good thing that the bomb went off when it did because it could have been a lot worse.  This causes Elijah to pause for a moment before he orders everyone to leave.  Two explosions go off blowing up RV's.

Kiernan has been unhooked from the machine and he recognizes Camille.  Camille demands that they shock him again because it's working but Kiernan's heart is racing.  Dr. Sheski tells Camille that they cannot shock Kiernan again because his heart is racing.  Klaus asks for a moment alone with Camille, so they head for the chapel.  Klaus tells Camille to prepare herself because the treatment will kill Kiernan and that she won't be able to live with this.  Camille replies that this is not Klaus's decision to make.

Oliver cries out for help when he finds Eve injured beneath an RV.  Elijah rushes over and holds the camper up, while Oliver pulls her out.

Hayley barges into the vampire stronghold and is quick to get the upper hand on Diego, putting a steak to his heart.  Hayley asks where Marcel is and when Diego does not answer, Hayley pushes the stake a little further in and points out that there were women and children hurt in the Bayou.  Not wanting to die, Diego gives up Marcel's location.

Dr. Sheski kneels down in front of Kiernan and asks to speak to the witches responsible.  Kiernan leaps out of his chair and attacks the doctor and Josh is barely able to hold him back.  Hayley calls Klaus and informs him about the suicide bomber and adds that she has tracked down Marcel.  Klaus tells Josh to compel the doctor to forget and then to get him out of the room.  Klaus then promises Hayley that when he is done at St.Anne's, that she will have his undivided attention and adds that she should stay out of trouble in the meantime.  Hayley lies and claims that Elijah is with her and hangs up.

In the Bayou, Eve is laid out on a bed and her injury is not healing.  Oliver explains that Eve never activated the werewolf gene and therefore cannot heal. Elijah offers his blood to heal Eve but Jackson says that Eve would rather die.  Oliver and Jackson come nose to nose over who the guilty party is and what the werewolves are supposed to do about it before Oliver storms out.

When Hayley arrives, it's clear that Marcel has been waiting for her.  Marcel says that he has friends who warn him when people are coming for him and points out that she didn't have to work Diego like that because they are over due for a chat. Hayley sits and Marcel tells her that she is a lot like his father and admits that he knew her whole family. Marcel adds that back in the 90's, it was the Crescent wolves who ran the city and that Haley is living proof of his concern for children.

Kiernan heart starts to fail, so Klaus punches through his chest and begins massaging his heart.  A desperate Camille suggests feeding Kiernan Klaus's blood to wake him up.  Klaus replies that due to the hex, Kiernan's death would be a mercy.  Camille begs and this time, Klaus feeds Kiernan his blood and withdraws his hand. The monitor flatlines.

Hayley asks Marcel how long he has known who she is and Marcel admits that he has known since her family reunion at the old plantation house. Hayley then asks Marcel if he killed her parents and he explains that there was infighting among the wolves and that someone turned on her parents.  Marcel admits that he found her in her crib and that instead of using Hayley as leverage, he delivered Hayley to Kiernan.  Marcel puts a bag of money on the table and tells Hayley that there is enough there for her to start over somewhere safe and that he is not her guy in the Bayou but if things continue this way, he might have to be.  Hayley asks if this is Marcel's plan to get Klaus and Elijah out of town.  Marcel admits that it wouldn't be a bad side effect if they followed her, so Hayley questions why Marcel doesn't leave town.  Marcel replies that he was born there and Hayley points out that she was too.  Hayley stands to leave and Marcel calls out that the guy on the bike owed money to the humans who ran the casino.

Supernatural, Season 9, Episode 19: Alex Annie Alexis Ann

Time for the random opening slaughter – a police man drags a woman into a cell then goes out to answer another all. Because there’s no-one else around, he leaves the woman alone. A man, apparently someone she was trying to avoid, arrives to tell her how “we” will always find her (hey, this is a vampire episode? In quite a few modern vampire novels that counts as a declaration of eternal love, not a scary threat). But Sherriff Jody Mills appears – with an axe. One decapitated vampire.

She calls in Sam and Dean who inspect her dead vampire (confirming, yes, it’s a vampire) and joke around at how quickly Jody’s learned to become a hunter. The problem is that the girl Jody saved (who didn’t say thank you; really girl, where were you raised? Shameful these modern monster victims) makes it clear there’s a whole nest of vampires.

Time to question her and beyond recognising them as Hunters she just keeps silent with surly eyes. (They mention the lack of thank you too. Really, if you can’t manage a fruit basket a nice card would suffice, I’m sure Ms. Manners covered being rescued from vampires). Jody gets a DNA check on her – she’s Annie Jones, raised by her now dead granny and missing for 8 years and, judging by her multiple neck scars, it looks like Annie has been with the vampires for some time. They suspect Stockholm Syndrome.

They talk to her and she insists her name is Alex and she considers the vampires to be her family, including the dead vampire, Cody. They try to convince her, drawing on the fact she did try to run – but she’s also scared “Momma” will kill her.

So the plan is for Dean and Sam to go to the small town in Nebraska Annie fled from to check for possible sites for a vampire nest, while Jody heads to her cabin with Annie to hide from any more vampire hunters. Yes, she’s going alone – but bringing in more cops will just make them fodder for the vampires. Annie is a very unfun houseguest and Jody subtly shows us some of the pain she feels over her dead family.

In this little town, a vampire, Connor, and his fellows intimidate a woman who sold Annie the bus ticket. And we see Momma, and presumably the ticket seller’s death.

Sam and Dean seem to find the place some vampires are squatting with black out windows – and a vampire putting a human body in a woodchipper (now who’s going to have to clean that?) Questioning the vampire they learn the whole vampire family was turned by “Momma” except “little sister” Alexis who was just to special to turn, much to the annoyance of captured vampire. And while Annie/Alexis/Alex has been having a teenaged rebellion stage, she’s also been acting as bait to get her family victims. The vampire thinks she’s as dangerous and blood thirsty as any of them

Dean calls Jody who doesn’t answer her phone, but so far Annie’s done nothing more threatening than go to sleep in Jody’s son’s old room and enquire after her dead grandmother.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Revolution Z: GB Banks & Blake Hislop

The Americans are engaged in war against Iraq and with Saddam threatening to invade Saudi Arabia, U.S. soldiers are dying hand over fist.  The military decides that in order to maintain an American presence in the Middle East, as well as maintain American global dominance, they must create the ultimate soldier.  To do this, they turn the soldiers who have died on the battle field into zombies.  A zombie military force also needs an ultimate general and so General Washington (yes, that Washington) and General Patton are brought back to life to lead the force.

Washington and Patton are men who in life not only lead but were independent thinkers.  It's not long before the two Georges decide that they are not being told the whole truth and begin to question if what they are engaged in is really for the benefit of the United States.  Though they try to keep their sentience from their creators, it's not long before the two Georges must decide whether to go along with the nefarious plot, or fight for the America they love.

There are so many problems with this book, I don't really know where to begin.  The premise is ridiculously patriotic and patently unsound.  Why in the world would a modern army think that they would need George Washington and Patton to act as generals?  Washington died in 1799 and that means that he would have no idea about modern warfare, let alone have any concept of how the modern world is run.  All of his tactics would be for a military that didn't even have a repeating rifle, let alone tanks, surface to air missals, radar, sonar etc,.  He wouldn't know what to do with any piece of technology if you placed it right in front of him. Patton, while not as an archaic a figure as Washington, died in 1945.  In the present world, the modern military is very much dependent upon modern technology, something Patton, akin to Washington, could not begin to fathom.  They might as well have resurrected William Wallace, Charlamegne, Hannibil Barca and Alexander the Great, for all the help Washington and Patton would have been able to offer a modern army.

We are never given a reason for why the two Georges are sentient above all other zombies.  We are only left with the understanding that because they were apparently so exceptional in their actual lives that somehow this translate to greater sentience in their undead lives. It's nonsense.

Washington decides to wage war on American soil; another revolution to free the people.  He leads his zombie soldiers to the Capitol.  The American people rise up against it's government and join Washington in his struggle.  We are given no reason why the people aren't running scared from the specter of a zombie military and instead choose to fight.  Beyond the experimentation of the military, there is no discussion about what life is like for the average American, or even how the supposed seeds of discontent were sown.  I have no problem with a people rising up to throw off an oppressive government, but the reader must be given a reason to believe why this is happening. It is further troubling that the conventional military would revolt to the point where the government suddenly lost the ability to launch an aerial assault on the zombie rebels.  Why are the soldiers suddenly discontent?  Oh I know, reasons. Again, no explanation was given.

The Tomorrow People, Season 1, Episode 20: A Sort of Homecoming

Tension, tension, recap, recap while everyone gathers around Roger’s inert form and he finally wakes up just as Stephen and Marla are considering he may not wake up. But not only did he wake up but can pull of all the wires and sit up as well. Marla’s an awesome nurse. There’s a happy reunion followed by John’s “oops sorry I killed you” but that’s totally ok because he and Jedikiah manipulated him into it as part of their master plan. Jed has randomly left as well – for some reason (and some how, does he even know how to get in and out of the base without teleportation).

Roger instantly wants fitting on all of the Founder’s plans when Marla speaks up, reminding him that Luca exists (the show often forgets) and before diving into the mission maybe, just maybe, he could spare a couple of minutes for his family.

And Stephen decides to report all the good news to spy Hillary. The Founder is worried because Roger is so uber powerful and even Stephen (a synergist – someone with two paranormal parents) hasn’t matched him. He orders Hillary to bring him in.

Roger gets dressed and prepares to go home but Cara wants her people’s saviour to stay underground with them. But he refuses to give up his family again nor does he appreciate being lectured by someone young enough to be his daughter. Then she orders him to stay and won’t let him leave unless he fights her… seriously. And John steps up – he will fight Roger to keep him prisoner.

And is there any point? Can’t Roger just stop time and win? Anyway they fight and it’s clear John is carrying a lot of guilt, he’s fighting so Roger can hurt him because of the whole shooting thing (speaking of, this is probably really bad for Roger’s bullet wound). Roger wins the right to actually go see his family rather than be Cara’s prisoner. Which causes John to roar and ask “who are we?” uhhh… not his family? John and Cara complain about being abandoned

Because the man wants to see his family, his son, after years of not seeing them? Damn, that’s some epic neediness there.

Roger goes home and acknowledges to Marla that he can’t just step into the lives they’ve built after so long away. She asks him to just “be here”. And Luca arrives – that’s the Luca who has only just learned that super powers exist, that he may have them and that his mother likes to keep massive secrets for no discernible reason but no-one has a minute to explain all this. Probably understandably he runs upstairs.

Stephen tries to talk to him about everything and not going out that night and avoiding everything. Luca thinks this will be far too awkward (since he’s a near stranger to his dad) and the first night of reunion needs some kind of buffer – Astrid is on call! And then Hillary invites herself because that’s totally not awkward.

Awkward dinner derails when Luca finally cracks and finally wants to talk about everything. Roger responds with a speech about how much he loves his family and proposes a toast, lifting all the glasses with telekinesis – y’know just in case Luca wasn’t freaked out enough about the super power thing.

After some convoluted twists people split off into twosomes. Astrid lays an awesome verbal smack down on Hillary about how she better be on the level and how much Stephen needs to trust people at the moment. Outside with Stephen, Roger confirms he can’t stay with them because the Founder will find him – Hillary watches and so does an “extractor team”. But Hillary tells them to hold off (I’m guessing she’s conflicted).

Rogers tracks down Jedikiah to offer forgiveness while Jed is all guilty for not bringing Roger back sooner, Jed admits that he liked being the powerful brother for once. Roger thanks him for looking after his family (Are. You. Serious?!) and Jed warns Roger about going underground because the Founder has already tapped Stephen for the machine. To check up on that they go to Jed’s flat (Roger taunting him all the time, as brother’s do) and use remote access to Ultra’s supercomputer A.I, A.L.I.C.E (an upgrade over TIM with extra flirting). They transfer the files and get out just before agents arrive.

Warehouse 13, Season 5, Episode 2: Secret Services

We’re following up on Claudia’s issue this week. Claudia’s sister, Claire, was presumed dead in a car crash, but she’s apparently alive and Artie k new about it and has been lying to Claudia. Claudia is not happy. Talking with Jinks and looking at the case it’s further clear that the car accident that was supposed to have killed her sister looks like an Artefact related badness.

She makes a big elaborate plan on how to hack in when Artie announces from the door “or I could show you”. Artie realises there’s absolutely no way he can stop Claudia researching so he’s going to help at least then he can watch her. And he’s not lying (Claudia knows, she checked with Jinks’s lie detector woo-woo).

So, Artie takes Claudia and Jinks to an Artefact they’ve used before that shows memories; not her memories, but Artie’s memories. It was a Warehouse case and, yes, Artie worked on it and she’s going to see what happened through his memories – which Claudia still finds second best to actually seeing her sister.

(Also ulterior motive is that if this is settled Artie gets to not be stared at by Jinks and his lie detector for the rest of his life. Though Jinks may do that for fun).

Back into the memories, into Claire’s school, where Claire is causing chaos by floating in a tornado and throwing dangerous black wind everywhere which she is using to break stuff and terrorise people.

As memory ghosts, they follow Artie around (looking at Claudia’s parents who died when Claire was supposed to have died).

Cut to going to Claudia’s old house and her parents trying to take Claire to see a doctor. Artie tries to take Claudia away so she doesn’t see what happens but Claudia insists – and Claire loses her temper, the black wind appears and she throws her parents’ car against a tree repeatedly. Her parents are inside and die in the crash. Claire faints.

Memory Artie and Mrs. Frederick watch. Memory Artie goes in the house to check on Claudia as a child and young Claudia identifies the music box (Frances Farmer’s Music box) as the cause of the problems which had been thrown in the fire. The fact Claudia recognised it as a child marked her as someone special to watch as Artie tells Mrs. Frederick.

But the music box was destroyed – there was no way to neutralise it so its power remained in Claire, ready to be unleashed whenever she was angry. They tried everything, sedatives, anti-psychotics, but it didn’t work; they ended up putting her in an Artefact induced coma. But Claudia now wants to know if it’s her fault – did she throw the music box into the fire?

They return to the Warehouse and Claudia walks away, unable to talk about what she saw yet. But later she decides she wants to use the Memory-Shoes on Claire’s memories. Artie doesn’t want this to happen because the Memory-Shoes aren’t safe, but Claudia rejects his mission to keep her safe all the time; and Jinks offers to go with Claudia in case Artie’s protective instincts are shutting down the visions.

This Week in Book Covers 14th-19th April

This week we have boobies on parade, tight leather, gaudy bling and some abstract randomness that could be anything. Yes, it’s another week in book covers.

Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs

My gods, she’s (almost) appropriately dressed! I expected so much worse after the Mercy Thompson series. Of course, since she spends the better part of this book tramping around the wilderness I’m not sure what the heaving breasts is about. There’s a chance of pop-out there unless there’s a heavy investment in titty tape and given the lack of bra either that top is titanium reinforced or those are some serious porn boobs. And it all looks like an invitation for frostbite - nor do I get the massive super-ugly necklace (that’s some seriously fugly jewelery right there) but I’m still impressed. The wolves, the facial expression - angry determination and a sense she’s a second away from using those claws - it works.

Who are these blandly pretty children? Isn’t she supposed to be almost 30? Who are these teenagers on the cover? They’re in standard-YA-cover-pose #3 and it looks almost like stock art has been cut and pasted on. Throw on some tacky costume jewelry and a city scape and we have… blaaah. *yawn*. Someone’s mocked this up at home methinks.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Third Daughter (The Dharian Affairs Trilogy #1) by Susan Kaye Quinn

Aniri is the third daughter of the queen and awaiting her eighteenth birthday so that she can marry for love, unlike her to older sisters.  She has a drive to live life and experience the world outside of the confining walls of the palace. Aniri is forced to put her plans on hold when the Queen asks her to consider an arranged political marriage to Prince to a barbarian prince because intelligence has revealed that his realm has developed a new flying ship which would the Jungali a great military advantage.  Aniri is caught can she put the needs of her country over her personal wants and desires?

I have to say that the minute I saw this book, I was absolutely compelled to read it.  A Bollywood style steampunk, how could I resist.  I am happy to say that The Third Daughter most certainly didn't disappoint. While the basis for this story is a romance, there is so much more at play. Quinn includes political intrigue and technological advancement (as all good steampunks should).  I love reading a steampunk that moved away from a Eurocentric setting and featured solely people of colour.

Aniri at times I must admit is irritating.  She is spoiled, reckless and is fairly rippling with spunky agency. I would have found this far more problematic had she been older than 17 when this novel started. For instance, Aniri sees the Jugali as barbarians because they eat with their hands.  Having never traveled outside of a limited circle, her views are informed by others.  It's not until she begins to interact with the people and learn about their culture that she learns that different isn't backward or savage. She doesn't even realise that having the ability to ignore the intrigue at court is a sign of her privilege and youth.   To Quinn's credit, we do see Aniri evolve over the book and it is made clear that as this series evolves, Aniri will continue to mature. This is the necessary path for a YA protagonist.

Salem, Season One, Episode One: The Vow

It's September 21, 1685, Salem Massachusetts and two people are in the stock holds. Issac is being beaten for engaging in sex and masturbating, as the people watch.  The townspeople have difficulty looking as Issac screams in pain.  Sibley makes it clear that God will not be on their side if they tolerate abomination. Issac is told that he will bare the mark of his sin all of his life, as Sibley heats a poker in the fire. Magistrate Hale suggest that Issac has had enough, but Sibley is not to be deterred.  Sidbey brands Issac on the forehead, calling him a fornicator. John Alton comes out of the crowd saying, "judge not lest yet be judged." When Sibley questions who said that, he is told that those are the words of Jesus.  Sibley warns John that his respect for his father's memory will only protect him for so long.

Later that evening, Sibley looks out over the town, as Mary makes her way through the town.  Mary meets up with John who immediately rants about belting George Sibley and Mary warn that talking like that will land him in the stocks.  They talk about John leaving and he promises to return for her.  John gives Mary one half of a silver dollar and swears to return to her.  John is heading off to fight in the war against the Indians.

The next morning, Mary watches as John and the other men march out of town.

After some time has passed Tituba and Mary are walking through the street and are stopped by George Sibley, who says that war gives a certain kind of man someplace to end, up other than a brand or the end of a rope.  George promises Mary that she will thank him one day.

It's night now and Tituba and Mary make their way into the forest. Mary says that she has changed her mind and wants to go back but Tituba makes it clear that there is no place in Salem for the child Mary is carrying. Tituba asks what Mary thinks George will do to her when he finds out that she is pregnant with John's baby. Mary lies on her back as Tituba undresses her..  Tituba begins some sort of magical ceremony and Mary starts to get visions of a demon.  Mary starts to beg Tituba not to do this but Tituba is steadfast and keeps telling Mary that this is what she wants.  Mary get a vision of her and George kissing and being playful in the woods but suddenly it turns to her  being chased by a demon. Insects cover Mary's body and Mary is told to say that this is what she wants.  Tituba removes her hands, and Mary's belly is now flat.  When Mary discovers this, she cries out as Tituba promises that all of the world will be hers in return.

Years later, John has made his way back to Salem and is greeted by three people hung from the trees.  He heads to town and it is bustling and busy.  When John returns home, Corey puts a gun to his head saying that there aren't any Aldon's left.  John announces who he is and learns that Salem is caught up in a witch panic and that Cotton is behind it all.  John learns that Mary is now the richest woman in Salem and is Mary Sibley now.

Mary stands on a widow's peak overlooking the town.  John realises that Mary married George after his wife died a few years ago.  John opens his window and looks at Mary.

Once Upon a Time, Season 3, Episode 18: Bleeding Through

Zelena drops in on dear sister Regina so they can snark at each other. Regina is much better at it. Cora does make points about Regina never appreciating what she has or taking a chance for happiness but Regina dispenses with the verbal fencing and just cuts to the bone. But she’s there to check on Regina because if Regina is there, she isn’t defending her heart from Rumple

And Rumple is facing off against Robin Hood. All the power of the Dark One vs… a crossbow.  Place your bets now! Rumple really doesn’t want to hurt them, but he has little choice. With Robin’s son threatened and Rumple just controlling all the merry men with a gesture, Robin gives up the heart. Regina arrives but doesn’t blame anyone – she’s just happy no-one was hurt, especially the child. But she’s worried too – because Zelena must be planning something with her heart if she isn’t just going to crush it.

She goes to Rumple’s store to try and find something to help (and don’t worry, Zelena can’t control Regina with her heart because she already protected it from that. Obviously – you silly people. Did I mention Regina is awesome?) Belle is not willing to help and gives a laundry list of the many many things Regina did to her (it’s actually an impressive list. Belle has more reasons to hate Regina than just about anyone) but while Regina is truly and genuinely sorry, she has no time for a guilt spiral – she needs to take out Zelena, green witch, controlling Belle’s super-powerful boyfriend, so bury your issues, gets some priorities in order and get on board team Regina.

Because Regina is awesome.

Still the question is what spell does Zelena intend to cast – and what’s so special about Regina’s heart rather than anyone else’s? Answer – use the candle that Mary Margaret used to kill Cora. It’s magic is spent but this is apparently to find out how Cora lived.

Why that sounds like a cue for a flashback!

Cora, working as a barmaid, finishing her shift and being invited to sit down and be flattered by a prince who has been slumming and staring wistfully at her. He’s Prince Jonathon, exposed by his embroidered handkerchief (because being undercover doesn’t mean he wants to be THAT undercover) who wants a woman to love him for who he is (a man with a very upper class accent clueing everyone in that he’s rich and important so don’t get too common. Sorry, I always find these prince and the pauper themes snark worthy, like the peasantry doesn’t notice a noble slumming). He wants to marry her and will totally back with a real ring but until then here’s some straw (guy can carry fancy snot-rags but not jewels? Watch yourself Cora, doesn’t take a genius to stitch a fancy pattern on an M&S hanky). Cora decides to go to his room.

To the present and Emma warning Hook not to eat apples in Regina’s house. While other people may be focused on fighting the wicked witch, David and Mary Margaret are talking baby names. And being soggy. Anyway, Regina arrives with poison tea for summoning the dark forces (what else would you serve?) The plan is to summon Cora to learn more about Zelena’s past. Oh dear you reminded Mary Margaret about killing Cora – someone get her a pillow, she will now Take To Her Bed. Especially since for this spell to even work you need the murder weapon and the murderer (Mary Margaret’s gasp of horror. Oh fetch a futon someone!) Actually I think the real reason why the spell is rarely used is because you have to light the murder weapon at both ends and candle-committed homicides are rare.

Game of Thrones, Season 4, Episode 3: Breaker of Chains

Kings Landing where the king is dead and everyone (except the Lannisters) rejoices.

Cersei is convinced that Tyrion is behind the death of her son (if it were true he would need a medal) and she and Tywin have him arrested and look for Sansa – sealing the capital. Dontos leads Sansa through the back streets of the capital to a row boat – a mist shrouded ship on which is Littlefinger. In payment for bringing him Sansa, Littlefinger has Dontos shot. That’s what comes from trusting Littlefinger. Sansa is, of course horrified, because Dontos was good and loyal to her. Littlefinger exposes Dontos as a paid servant of his and even the touching necklace he gave Sansa is fake. He gives her another oh-so-appropriate reminder that everyone in the capital is a liar (himself included). But she’s totally safe with Littlefinger, honest.

Sansa, stop trusting people. It never ends well.

Margaery and Olenna consult on whether Margaery is actually queen or not – and decide to let the issue lie for a little bit. Olenna reflects on the death of husbands, Margaery thinks she’s cursed because both her husbands were murdered though Olenna thinks she came out of the whole thing rather well and watching Joffrey die was much better than being married to the nasty little boy. And, hey, the Lannisters still need them so it’s not like the marriage isn’t still on.

Cut to Cersei and Tommen looking at the body of Joffrey in state and Tywin arriving to tell Tommen he will be king next. As a bonus, Tommen, lacks his brother’s sadism. Tywin does a quick pop quiz over the body of his grandson over what makes a good king and argues down pious, just and strong and finally settling on wisdom as what makes a good king. Damn, I actually agree with Tywin on something. He follows that up with the fact the wisest thing a young king can do is shut up and do as he’s told (not bad advice – except for the people giving him said advice). Tywin also shows that wise or not, he’s also pretty cruel, talking up Joffrey’s flaws why Cersei holds back tears. Tywin leads Tommen away to explain the birds and the bees (at least having the courtesy not to have that discussion over his brother’s corpse).

Cersei is left alone with Jaime and she repeats why she thinks Tyrion killed her son. She wants Jaime to avenge their son – and yes, “their son” she says it. She doesn’t want a trial, Tyrion’s too clever for them. He hugs her as she holds him for comfort, then they kiss and Cersei pushes away. Because making out over the corpse of your son with his father-uncle is not classy. Jaime loses his temper, grabs Cersei and forces a kiss on her. He rams her against the slab his son is on and rapes her while she tells him to stop it.

Meanwhile, Oberyn and Ellaria are having a bisexual orgy with several prostitutes, though Oberyn makes it clear Ellaria will always be his first choice. And Tywin interrupts. Y’know, killing his sister he may one day forgive, but Lannisters interrupting Oberyn’s orgies all the time may be unforgiveable.

Tywin banters around the theory that maybe Oberyn, a poison expert, conspired with Tyrion to kill Joffrey, this leads into Oberyn accusing Tywin over the death of his sister (Tywin blames the Mountain – Ser Gregor Clegane, the Hound’s brother – and that he didn’t order it) and then we get to what Tywin really wants. He wants Oberyn to be a judge in Tyrion’s trial along with him and Mace Tyrell. Because he wants House Martel to be an ally – mainly because of the Tyrells.

But he lists the other threats - Wildlings in the North, the Iron Islands – and Daenerys and her dragons. Yes he knows about her dragons. Brief history exposition as well – when the first Targaryens conquered the 7 Kingdoms with their dragons the only country they couldn’t take was Dorne (because they saw the dragons, decided open combat was a bad idea and went guerrilla instead. Also why the Dornish leader is a Prince and not a Lord). Tywin needs Dorne – and he pretty much offers to sacrifice Gregor for it.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Fangs for the Fantasy Podcast: 2014, Episode 15

It's Monday! Time for another episode of Fangs for the Fantasy, the podcast where we examine many of the shows we've been following this week, along with our book of the week and dissect them all from a social justice lens (and an eternal quest for terrible fishy stories).

You can join us here and you can listen live on our youtube channel, here, or in our sidebar. All will also carry a recording after the show is finished. As ever all our previous podcasts can be found in the archive

The podcast begins at 7:00pm EST (technology willing)

14th April - 21st April: The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice
21st April - 28th April: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
28th April - 5th May: Night Season by Eileen Wilks
5th May - 12th May: The Queen of the Damned by Anne Rice
12th May - 19th May: Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs
19th May - 26th May: Banishing the Dark by Jenn Bennet
26th May - 2nd June: City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

The Vampire Lestat (Vampire Chronicles #2) by Anne Rice

Lestat awakens after many decades under the earth. He’s greeted with a new world, a world of music and freedom and excitement and infinite possibilities

And a world where Louis has had a book written. One that could use some… corrections. Or elaborations

But far more important than that is to seek the opportunity this new world presents and produce a grand spectacle – one that breaks all the rules and will shake vampire society to its core. The presentation of Lestat’s history. All of it – to a world stage

The Vampire Lestat is definitely an improvement to Interview With a Vampire, bringing far more action, far more exploration of the world and far more revelation of the nature of vampires than ever Louis’ interminable naval gazing and angst ever brought us. This was definitely a step up.

But first let’s hit some problems I had.

Firstly, wordiness. This book was over 500 pages long and could easily be half that. These books are painfully, horrendously over-written, repetitive, prone to long monologues and incapable of leaving anything to inference. No matter what the good points are with this book, I ultimately still struggle because of this morass of excess verbiage I have to struggle through to actually reach the story. Yes, it’s wonderful to be transported to the scene with excellent, evocative language use – but that is done and then some. And then it is repeated. And no-one can feel emotion without it being described in incredible length – nothing is left to inference. There are times when it is clear Lestat is happy or angry or sad and we don’t really need several paragraphs of elaborate text telling us it.

This is especially a problem here because what Louis was to angsty whining, Lestat is to hyperbolic melodrama. Louis is whiney. Lestat is moody. Both of which require pages and pages and pages to describe.

I also didn’t particularly like the endless philosophy leveraged in – not because it couldn’t have been interesting but because, again, it’s long winded and repetitive with the same tired points repeated over and over again without any real depth or development beyond further repetition. This only gets worse if you’ve read Interview with a Vampire because it’s the same points, the same philosophy that was already repeated ad nauseum there.

Now, let’s hit some good. One of the main things I loved was the presentation of Louis as an unreliable narrator. So often books are presented as showing what was in a story, despite the fact they are often narrated from a very skewed point of view. I loved the idea that, for all we’ve read in the first book, there was a decent chance that Louis was lying about some of it. And if not lying, he was clearly misinterpreting or misunderstanding a great deal. And through that lens of misunderstanding we learned far more about Louis than we did from his own words alone.

Reading this, we can see Louis’s arrogance, the snap assumptions he makes. Someone isn’t interested in what he is? They must be ignorant, or uneducated or shallow. Someone isn’t finding rapture in what he is – it’s their limited viewpoint, not because they may have already experienced it. Someone isn’t interested in the questions? Such shallow thinking! It couldn’t be because they already have the answers. Louis, previously the deep and meaningful vampire in a sea of shallow misunderstanding is exposed as being isolated by his own arrogant assumptions and self-centredness – his own ignorance and refusal to consider that he could be ignorant.

Da Vinci's Demons, Season 2, Episode 5: The Sun and the Moon

Leo and co arrive at land – to find that Riario et al have already arrive. Albeit not so safely, their ship is in tatters with wreckage scattered up the beach; the sailors don’t expect survivors. Since we had a prequel of him back in the first episode, I’m pretty sure they’re wrong.

Leo is concerned with the pretty light. Zoroaster wonders about food because he’s the practical one. They leave Amerigo behind with the soldiers, because they can’t have bit parts hogging the glory unless they need some red shirts.

Off they go with some of those red shirts, with Zoroaster pretty miserable with all the wildlife and Leo enthralled by pretty colours. They also find a symbol in pure gold – a symbol that looks just like the one on Leo’s key (which he stole from Riario). Red Shirts want to steal the gold as well since they haven’t been paid beyond promises of loot and this counts as loot. Leo talks them out of it just as an Incan warrior appears. Leo decides to speak slowly to him in English Italian (or possibly Tuscan – Florentino which is very similar to Italian but not the same). His Red Shirts lose their nerve and draw weapons – the Inca runs off. Leo growls an angry lesson about diplomacy to his Red Shirts.

They keep moving, finding a bridge (which excites Leo since it’s civilisation) And they hear a random scream just to be ominous. Start worrying Red Shirts. They are ambushed by several Incas with the mark from Leo’s key on their bodies. One of them knocks Leo unconscious.

As they’re captured and moved, Zoroaster panics while Leonardo recognises the Incans are a civilisation and tries to use Genius Powers to decipher their language

Zoroaster realises he can escape his bonds – Leo tries to stop him, but Zoroaster isn’t a big fan of following Leo’s orders considering that doing that has ended up with them being captured. So he escapes, he attacks – even throws a guard down a cliff. To try and help Zoroaster, Leonardo helps in the escape attempt but they both end up beaten down – and saved from death by the arrival of an Incan woman (wearing a leather and gold bikini). Zoroaster, of course, responds as you’d expect.

They are brought before another woman who recognises Leonardo’s key and takes it off him.

That night they’re brought out before a huge crowd and the directions of a man wearing more gold. The woman who took the key and the key itself are also involved. Watching Leo figures out that she’s not pleased with the party (the guy has totally upstaged her jewellery, it has to be said)

3 objects are placed on an altar – a goblet full of liquid, a bowl of corn and a stick of some kind. Apparently you need to pick one to identify your place/purpose (this is guessed by the other Red Shirt who apparently has an Incan guide book). He chooses the stick, a weapon, assuming it to mean he gets to be a warrior. He’s messily killed

Wrong choice

Hey, there’s 3 options and 4 of them. Once the two Red Shirts are gone won’t that only leave the right choice?