The Man In The High Castle

I’ve just finished watching the second season of The Man In the High Castle, and WOW! what a fantastic conclusion to the season. I though the first season ended well but this one took it up a couple of notches.

This is a show that I’ve enjoyed a lot but I’ve not been rabid for it like I am with Sense8, Marvel’s Netflix series, and Orange Is The New Black. When I do start watching it through, I have trouble turning it off. It doesn’t seem to be trying to shook, or cause offence, it feels like it’s just trying to tell a story. Some shows I’ve watched leave me feeling like the creative team behind it or the studio or network are just trying to do something that infuriates the fans, and that really isn’t a good way to go in my opinion. The Man In The High Castle feels like it knows what it wants to say and it’s doing it very well.

I like the changes they’ve made from the book, I honestly don’t think a literal adaptation of the book would work in either TV or movie format. I’m not going to go into comparing the two, because they are different entities. I’m not someone that feels that a book or comic adaptation has to replicate everything in the source material, that is seriously not possible. With this adaptation I think they’ve stayed loyal to the heart of the book but opened it up to create a world that they can explore. With the second season they have really opened up what the world might have turned out to be like had Germany and Japan won the Second World War.

This story wouldn’t work without the right actors, and I think they got them. The core cast of Alexa Davalos, Rupert Evans, Luke Kleintank, DJ Qualls, Joel de la Fuente, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Brennan Brown, and Rufus Sewell are all fantastic. Each one plays their role in the show with a lot of depth and it’s hard taking your eyes off of them when they’re on screen. The rest of the cast all hold their own very well as well, which makes it all so much stronger.

I really hope we get a few more seasons of The Man In The High Castle. I haven’t heard much from the producers and so on from the show, so I don’t know if they’ve indicated a timespan they’ve got to get the story to its conclusion, but if they keep up this level of quality then I hope we get more and I’m eager to see where this journey takes us. Bravo Amazon for letting the all the people involved in this show getting it made and out there.

What I’m Reading: 4/3/16

Last night I finished reading The Man In The High Castle by Phillip K. Dick. Overall I liked it a lot; the plot was very subtly woven into the lives of the characters. The universe building was done much the same way; everything that Dick needed to get across to the reader was done through the characters.

There’s obviously a lot more to the story than I’ve written so far, but its a story where I think I’m going to be thinking it over for a while. There’s so much going on in it that I don’t think I’ve quite got a handle on yet. I’m thinking about getting it as an audiobook so I can go through it again.

Speaking of audiobooks I’ve just started listening to The Dark Tower, the final book of The Dark Tower series by Stephen King. I’m really eager to see how King finishes this series. I’ve got a few ideas of how it is going to end; but seeing that it’s a book by Stephen King, and it’s his Dark Tower series then anything is game.

I’ve not got stuck into Deadpool and Cable just yet, but I’m going to try and get into this coming week.

I’ve now got the hard decision of choosing what book to read next. I’m prioritising the books that I got at DemonCon a few weeks ago, but I’m not sure what I’ll go for first. If I’m honest It’ll probably be one of the Dan Abnett ones, but I haven’t decided yet.

 

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Reading Update

Here’s just a little update about how I’m doing with reading.

I’ve finished Predator vs. Judge Dredd vs. Aliens comic. This was actually a lot of fun I thought. I’m just a proper sucker for anything Judge Dredd and am looking forward to exploring the comics a little more.

I’ve now moved onto the Deadpool and Cable Vol. 1.

I’m still about halfway through The Man In The High Castle, and it seems like we’re getting to the plot of the story. So far it feels like we’ve just been teased by a plot line in amongst the smaller storylines of the characters we’ve been following. Now it looks like we’re getting into the guts of the story. I really like how Phillip K. Dick has built up this story so far. I’m looking forward to seeing how it plays out.

Audiobook wise, I’m over halfway through The End Is Nigh, and I’m really enjoying it. Each story is just getting better and better and I really hope the next two collections are as strong.

What I’m Reading

I haven’t spoken much about what I’ve been reading much in the last few months so I thought I’d write a quick post about what I am reading or listening to at the moment.

At any one time I’m reading a novel, a comic book, and listening to an audio book. The novel I’m reading at the moment is The Man In The High Castle by Phillip K. Dick. This book has been on my bookshelf for a couple of years now but I’ve only just now gotten round to reading it. One of those reasons is that It’s been adapted for a TV show that I really want to watch, but in these cases I always try to read the book that’s been adapted first. So far I’m liking what I’m reading. It’s the first Phillip K. Dick book I’ve read and I can see why people like his work so much. His story telling, in this book at least, is really quite discreet and it doesn’t feel like he’s telling a larger story. At the moment it’s more individual storylines but with a bigger storyline being teased in the background.

The comic I’m reading is Bitch Planet: Book One by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro. This is a really interesting comic book. I’m liking how the world is set up and how the story is being built up. The artwork is pretty cool as well. I’m about halfway through this and I’m looking forward to seeing how this first one wraps up.

And finally, the audiobook I’m listening  to is Song Of Susannah: The Dark Tower Book Six by Stephen King and read by George Guidall. This is a series which is taking some fascinating turns and I’m trying to power through quickly so I can get to the end and see how it all wraps up.


  

A Little Target

I’m not going to reveal my writing goals this year like I did last year, because I missed each one of them, but I am going to let you all know that I am aiming to read twelve to fifteen books this year. So that’s about one a month, I’m currently about a hundred pages off finishing The Hunger Games (yes I started reading it last year, but im still counting it 😛 )  I would also like to knock out as many audiobooks as I can too. This is going to be a little more difficult as I do not really have the money to buy the audiobooks at the moment.  Paper books are different because I have about forty on my book shelve waiting to be read.  Audiobooks are great for me because I can listen to them while I’m at work.  So to save myself a little money I’m going to raid the books on Podiobooks.  If you love listening to fiction in audio form then I’d recommend checking their site out http://podiobooks.com/ You can also find them on iTunes.  Podiobooks basically allows writers to release thier stories in podcasts for free.  Personally I’ll only download a completed story as I like to hear it all in one go. It is a great idea and I have listen to many great writers works from there.  Scott Sigler, J.C. Hutchins, Mur Lafferty and a fair few others.  The most recent is Jeff Lane.  I listened to his story, Crush Depth, today and I really enjoyed it.  Here’s the link to his site http://jefflaneaudiobooks.com/

A few of the books I’m aiming to read this year are; The Dark Tower series by Stephen King, Dauntless by Jack Campbell.  That’s part of his The Lost Fleet series. Old Man’s War by John Scalzi.  Haywire by Justin R. Macumber, Dunne by Frank Herbert and The Man In The High Castle and Do Androids Dream Of Electronic Sheep, both by Phillip K.Dick

A Little Update

I’m having a bit of a chill out today as I was at Wireless Festival yesterday and I am more than a little shattered, although it was well worth it 🙂 So I doubt there will be much writing done today but I thought I’d just pop up a little update.

I’ve just started reading Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury which I’m rather looking forward to getting stuck into.  I really need to be getting some of the classic Science Fiction read, although saying that I’m sure the late Mr.Bradbury never considered himself a genre writer, but I do need to start reading more of the classics.  I’ve got a couple of Phillip K. Dick’s novels which I’m looking forward to reading as well as a Arthur C.Clarke novel so plenty to read.

This week I am determined to get cracking with some fiction again.  As I said in a previous post I am in between projects at the moment but I think I may do what I did with NaNoWriMo and just start writing something.  I did a have good idea how to tweak a character which I hope will give him more depth.

Something that I need to do is re-watch theLord Of The Ringsmovies as Owen does reference them a fair bit in what he writes and it’s been a while since I saw those movies.

My ‘To Read’ Pile

I have almost finished reading H.G. Wells novel War Of The Worlds, so I’m half thinking about the next book that I will read.  Now here is where I have hit a little bit of a road block because I have twenty six books waiting to be read! (Must stop buying books) No I dont mean that, I think that I just need to learn how to read quicker.

Although I love Science Fiction I think that I’m going to read something which is not sci-fi.  Of the last six books that I’ve read five of those have been sci-fi and I think I’ve OD’d on Sci-Fi so I’ll probably read one of the Kathy Reichs books that I havent read yet or Dan Browns Lost Symbol.  Although I do have Scott Sigler’s The All-Pro…………but that’s Sci-Fi, And I have Phillip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream Of Electronic Sheep? Again that’s Sci-Fi.  Okay maybe I’m not Over Dossed on Science Fiction but I do think that I’ll read a non sci-fi novel next as it’ll give me a different world to delve into.  I know that sci-fi is probably the genre that has the most possibilities of discovering new worlds but I think that being remineded of how our world is may give birth to some new ideas.  Although I write mainly sci-fi much of what I write is set in todays world so seeing how other people write it opens up my mind a little.

Something I thought that I always needed out of a novel is a good, strong story line.  If its not igniting my imagination then it’ll take me a longer time to read a book, but my short story series that I am putting together is turning out to be much more character driven.  I’ve written seven or so of these stories and they are told from the first person in a sort of monologue.  So maybe not having a strong plot, but strong characters will have the same effect on me and make me want to turn the pages faster.  Which, at the end of the day is something that every writer wants.  Last year I had my fantastic proof reader say that something that I wrote ‘choked her up’ (Brought out emotions), which is also something that every writer wants.

Back to the ‘To Read’ pile.  I am a spontaneous book buyer, there is nothing that I like more then to go into a bookstore, normally Waterstones and browse through the sci-fi section, and when I do this I always buy a book, but also when I go to my local Sainsburys I often buy a book or two there.  This is where I tend to get my Kathy Reichs books from, but because there are often 2 for £10 type deals I’ll often walk off with one by an authour that I wouldnt normally buy but I’ve not had one which I’ve regretted buying.  That is the one thing that cannot be done with online purchasing.  I am a little old fashioned in this sense,  I do like feeling the book in my hands, the weight of it and being able to read not only read the write up or the first few pages but any random little segment of it that I want.

I’ve written this over a few days as I’ve had a few things to sort out but I’m steering towards reading Scott Sigler’s The All-pro, then Dan Brown’s Lost Symbol.