The problem with Hawkeye

Anyone wishing that Marvel would announce plans for a Hawkeye movie? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Yeah, I didn’t think so. It’s not that people dismiss him as “just a regular guy with a bow”, Black Widow has no super powers, but people like her, and Phil Coulson’s a normal guy who didn’t exist before the movies, but people LOVE him and he got his own TV show.

So, why do people dislike Hawkeye, or at best just don’t care about him? My theory is he’s just not “Hawkeye” enough.

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Good Omens is coming to TV!

“He’d been an angel once. He hadn’t meant to Fall. He’d just hung around with the wrong people.”

Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

Combining Terry Pratchetts dry humour and Neil Gaimans dark, yet welcoming imagery, Good Omens is about an Angel and a Demon who are not keen on the coming Apocalypse.

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How do you define “literature”?

I had a difficult time coming up with a title for this article. “Bill Maher is a Tool” and “Irrelevant TV host Seeks Attention” seemed too aggressive.

Around the time of Stan Lee’s death Bill Maher made some disparaging remarks about the mans contributions to literary entertainment and popular culture. Recently he doubled down and attacked the people who buy and read comic books, and enjoy the movies they are based on. Stating that comic books were not literature and the people who enjoyed them were eternal children who refused to grow up.

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I’d like to see the Time Scout series turned into a TV show

Robert Asprin is one of my favorite authors. I know I say that about a lot of writers but I would easily put him in my top five. Probably best known for his Myth series (books which got my dyslexic son to actually enjoy reading), he also wrote a four volume series with Linda Evans (not that Linda Evans, this Linda Evans).

Time Scout, Wagers of Sin, Ripping Time and The House That Jack Built are the (sadly only) four books that make up the Time Scout series. The premise is this. In the future there is an unnamed catastrophe that fractures time and space sending rips backwards in time that lead to different eras and locations. These portals open and close either randomly, or on predictable schedules. Sometimes clumps of them can be found in one area and stations are built around them called Time Terminals. What do you do with portals in time? Time Tourism!

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Magician: Apprentice, Magician: Master

Like Game of Thrones? Not a fan of the language it uses, but enjoy fantasy tales with magic, politics, bastards and huge armies? Go read one of my favorites.

Originally published in 1982 as a single novel, Raymond E. Feists Magician, was split in half for the North American market and sold as the two volumes I read. Magician: Apprentice and Magician: Master. It is a high fantasy story that is the first in a trilogy called The Riftwar Saga, which then continued to become the thirty volume Riftwar Cycle, and I have read every single one. Oh and it was also a kick ass video game.

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The Magicians. A book trilogy and a series on SyFy

Discussions about Lev Grossmans The Magicians invariably lead to comparisons with the Harry Potter books. Both are urban fantasy series about people who wield awesome magical powers, living in the same world as us and the schools where they were taught to use them. The similarities end there however. Hogwarts is a highschool and Brakebills is a college. While the Potter novels each recount a single year of school, The Magicians covers an entire fours years of college in the first book and the next two are all about growing up and life as an adult. One of the things I enjoyed about J.K. Rowlings books was how the language and themes of the books matured as the readers did. Lev Grossman treats his readers as adults from page one. The themes he explores are deep and complex, mostly about how we view the world and our relationships in it. Where most unpleasant things in the Harry Potter books happen in bloodless, Disney like manners or completely “off camera”, in The Magicians books they are violent, bloody and in your face. So I wouldn’t recommend it to readers still in primary school, but if you’re ready to graduate…

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Free books! Free books!

Okay, so they are e-books, but they are from a real publisher by well established authors and they really are free. A while back(1999) writer Eric Flint and his publisher Jim Bean wanted to see if making books available free of charge would encourage or discourage the sale of physical books and as a result the Baen Free Library was created.  They made a large number of books by their most popular authors freely available for download in DRM free epub and .mobi formats.  Turns out that they accidentally stumbled on the same formula drug pushers have been using forever.  Give someone something they like for free, and they will happily pay for more.  Sure as hell worked with me.  

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