I am quite happy to have looked up the length of this film prior to scheduling a trip to the cinema. Per Twitter:

This one didn't clear the Threshold of Awesome, but it worked well in spite of the way it shamelessly luxuriated in those 169 minutes. Unlike a lot of genre films, Interstellar gives the viewer time to process what's going on, and to feel what the characters are feeling. It's good art.

Still long, though.

I have two major quibbles with the film: it is deeply pessimistic (or at least it strikes that tone in order to present a cautionary tale) and it deploys the dreaded deus ex machina. Sure, it's a great story, and there is plenty of human heroism in it, but those two elements dampen my excitement about science, and I'm pretty sure that's almost exactly the opposite of the reaction the film makers had in mind for me.

In context of those two issues the bad astronomy and crazy astrogeography were only mildly annoying. I know why the film makers did what they did, and those decisions made for a much more powerful human story, but now I want a space travel hard SF movie that doesn't invoke magic. But if you're going to invoke magic, you can't do it much more beautifully than Interstellar did.  

(cross-posted from

World Fantasy 2014 this weekend

I'm at the World Fantasy Convention in D.C. this weekend. I'm not exhibiting, and I'm only on one panel. It's kind of relaxing. I have a badge, and I can wander around aimlessly without getting in trouble. It's a little bit like a vacation.

There are a few panels and readings that I've penciled into my schedule to prevent complete aimlessness, and my social calendar has the right amount of delightful company and delicious calories, so I'm certainly not going to be bored. That said, VACATION. A little bit of bored is okay.

And yes, I have some writing to do. That's what vacations are for, right?

2015 Calendar Wallpapers

The 2015 Schlock Mercenary Monthly Calendar is just about ready to go to the printer. One of the things that is included with it is a digital version with desktop wallpapers. Here are a couple of samples:

These are designed to work really well in a desktop slide-show. The background texture remains static, but the colors shift with each Maxim. I've been using them this way for a couple of days now, and they're nice. 

You can still pre-order the calendar, and sketched editions are still available, too.

The 2015 Calendar Has A Cover!

The  2015 Schlock Mercenary Monthly Calendar finally has a cover!

We'll be sending this off to print in a couple of weeks, but pre-orders are still open

Happy Halloween!

Schlock Goes Trick-or-Treating

My friend David Reddick, in a move that may have catastrophic consequences for the neighborhood in question, has sent Sergeant Schlock trick-or-treating.


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