A Couple of Superversive SF Posts

First up is my review of “Merlin”, the second book in Lawhead’s Pendragon series. I didn’t intend to do a review of another book in the series so soon after my first one, but I saw a lot of parallels with T.H. White’s “The Ill-Made Knight” and I wanted to make sure I wrote it all down before I forgot. Don’t worry, I won’t post the next review until I finish all of it. Here’s an excerpt:

Lancelot is such a sympathetic character because he is sadistic and unfaithful. That White uses these qualities as motivation for Lancelot’s greatness is a stroke of genius. It proves to be a driving force not just for Lancelot’s character but for White’s entire cycle: As brilliant as Camelot is, and as great a king as Arthur is, it was ultimately founded by a man who once drowned nineteen infants. Camelot, whatever it seemed, was not pure and unstained goodness personified. It was so good because the people involved in the making of Camelot worked so hard to overcome their faults.

Contrast this to Merlin. Make no mistake, Merlin is given depth, and he is given flaws, his main one being fear – fear of the enormous responsibility laid upon his shoulders, and fear of Morgian, the Queen of Air and Darkness, and the embodiment of evil in Lawhead’s cycle. By the end of the novel Merlin is a different person than the man he was at the beginning or even the midpoint: More sure that he’s not the fabled king of the Kingdom of Summer, and more sure of the path he must choose. This is all well and good.

But unlike Lancelot, Merlin’s motivations are driven by goodness.

Check it out at the link.

Then we have my pitch for “Gravity Falls”, which I’ve talked about before. An excerpt”

“Gravity Falls” is basically a children’s version of a Stephen King novel. For folks who were fans of “Courage the Cowardly Dog” – itself something of a cult classic – “Gravity Falls” shares some of its DNA, though GF is much funnier and has much stronger continuity and a real storyline – and I liked “Courage”.

I’ll just summarize the premise: Twelve year old twin siblings Dipper and Mabel Pines are staying with their Great Uncle (“Grunkle”) Stan for the summer in the small woodland town of Gravity Falls, Oregon. Dipper and Mabel quickly discover that something very strange is going on in Gravity Falls, and this “strangeness” drives the plot of the show, which alternates seamlessly between standalone episodes and episodes that contribute to the overarching story.

For what it’s worth, I managed to convert one of my colleagues, Josh Young, who posted in the comments, and he’s older than I am. Also, apparently one of the writers worked on “Homestar Runner”, which I’ve never seen but is apparently very popular. So really, check out the show.

Anyway, that’s all for now. Comment here, there, or anywhere if you so choose, I’m up for all of it.

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