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Showing posts from October, 2019

Late Summer Streaming

Fall has begun, which once upon a time used to mean a flurry of writing as I scrambled to review all of the networks' new shows.  I haven't done that in a while, because few network shows feel worth talking about these days, or, for that matter, sticking with for a second episode (the one exception so far: the Cobie Smulders-starring Stumptown, which is basically the older-and-sadder-Veronica-Mars show I wanted but didn't get from the actual Veronica Mars).  That may yet change, but in the meantime, let's talk about some of the (mostly) streaming shows that premiered towards the end of the summer.  They're a weird, ambitious bunch of series that don't always work, but demonstrate a willingness to experiment, and a sense of style, whose absence is only one of the reasons that network TV leaves me so underwhelmed these days.  (Obviously, Good Omens is not a summer show, but I've had this review of it sitting around for a while, so take it as a bonus.)

Good Ome…

Review: Dark Constellations by Pola Oloixarac at Strange Horizons

My review of Argentinian writer Pola Oloixarac's Dark Constellations (translated by Roy Kesey) appears today at Strange Horizons.  This a strange, challenging novella that pushes the boundaries of what we define as cyberpunk, and I found it difficult to sum up.  Also challenging: figuring out how to cope with the book's extravagantly bad sex scenes.  Most other reviews I've read have either delicately ignored Dark Constellations's descriptions of sex, which are as bizarre as they are unerotic, or treated them as a flaw in an otherwise fascinating work.  As I write in the review, I think Oloixarac is doing something deliberate with these passages, though this doesn't make them any easier to read.
In the world of Dark Constellations, sex has one purpose: the exchange of genetic information. A young Argentinian graduate student on a research trip to Brazil who falls into a passionate affair with a local engineer is described as having "encountered the source of D…