Ashley Poston: Geekerella

Geek girl Elle Wittimer lives and breathes Starfield, the classic sci-fi series she grew up watching with her late father. So when she sees a cosplay contest for a new Starfield movie, she has to enter. The prize? An invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball, and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. With savings from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck (and her dad’s old costume), Elle’s determined to win…unless her stepsisters get there first.

Teen actor Darien Freeman used to live for cons—before he was famous. Now they’re nothing but autographs and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but Starfield fandom has written him off as just another dumb heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, Darien feels more and more like a fake—until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise. But when she disappears at midnight, will he ever be able to find her again?

Part romance, part love letter to nerd culture, and all totally adorbs, Geekerella is a fairy tale for anyone who believes in the magic of fandom.

Who needs fluffy Doctor Who Cinderella fan fiction?

I NEED FLUFFY DOCTOR WHO CINDERELLA FAN FICTION.

YES I DO YES I DO.

This book is GLORIOUS, people. The story follows a fangirl blogger and the incoming lead on a sci-fi serial in a You’ve Got Mail sort of situational romance. It has all of the traditional Cinderella elements we know, but modernized and nerdified.

HOORAY FOR DIVERSE CHARACTERS! One of the leads is POC, and there’s also LGBTQIA+ people. It is a Cinderella story, so there is emotional abuse, but that is to be expected.

I read Geekerella in a matter of hours. Once you start this, you won’t put it down. It’s just the right amount of fluff and substance. And if you’re part of the world of geekdom, you’ll find this instantly relatable. And who can resist the bright purple cover?

NetGalley and Quirk Books provided this ARC for unbiased review. This post contains affiliate links.

BUY HERE:

Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

I might be one of the last people to read this play–at least of those who preordered it. I thought I’d never get my copy! Ya’ll know I’m a mega Harry Potter fan, so of COURSE I had to read it.

There have been a lot of mixed reviews from the fandom. Many think it feels like fanfiction, but the overall consensus was that it was good, even if it wasn’t the story we had hoped for. (HELLO–MAURAUDERS!) Either way, I knew I would have strong feelings.

But…I…um…HUH??

The only real feeling I have is confusion. And disappointment?

I know what this play was trying to do. It tries to bring the wonderful wizarding world to the stage. IT isn’t a novel, and so characterization and staging is limited. It can’t be the same expansive THING that are the first seven books.

However–this almost did too much in the other direction. So much of the magic of this world is Hogwarts itself–the castle, the feasts, the sortings, the Quidditch. The play had almost none of that. In fact, we hardly spend any time at all at the school; Ravenclaw isn’t even mentioned, and Hufflepuff gets one very quiet nod.

Instead, the play focuses on yet another wizarding war, and Albus becomes just one more Potter clone–and he was supposed to be the one set apart. The time turning plot gets confusing, jumping back and back and back. Maybe it comes across better on stage, but I really just miss the rest of Hogwarts.

I can see why people see this as inauthentic. It feels like it’s trying to hard–and maybe it is. I don’t think I’ve talked to a single Harry Potter fan that actually likes the epilogue, and to build a play upon it just makes it that much more uncomfortable.

I had a feeling that this is how I would feel, when I was reading the previews for the show. There was no doubt I would buy it for my collection, and read it right away. I hoped that I would be as in love with it as the rest of the books–but this will probably grow dusty on my shelf, and never get as worn as the other seven.

bookdragonbookdragon

BUY HERE:

This post has affiliate links.

Review: Doctor Who #FCBD2016

Jump on board the TARDIS with FOUR all-new short tales of the Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors! Whether you’re a whizz with a Sonic Screwdriver or completely new to Who, this is the perfect Free Comic Book Day adventure for SF fans of all ages! Written and illustrated by the creative teams of the regular comics, this is the ideal place to start reading!

30130592

I participated in my very first Free Comic Book Day this year, since we did a Paws in the City event at a Dallas Comic Book store. I picked up some great titles, but still haven’t had a chance to read them. I’m going to be parsing them out in the coming weeks. The reviews will be short, but I figured I’d at least do a write up on them in case you want to check out the full versions.

Let me start by saying that I am not a fan of Doctor Who. I’ve only watched a few episodes from #9, and I didn’t really get into it. I like the concept, but I don’t think that was the best Doctor to start with. It was more than a little campy. That episode with Rose’s boyfriend turning to plastic? And the “moisturize me” skin…erm…lady? What even? I know the fandom has taken off since that season, and I really like David Tennant and Peter Capaldi, so I’ve thought about catching up on their versions–just haven’t had time to do so.

Still, I found the FCBD collection to be hysterical, and really exactly what I expected. Each Doctor was precisely how I came to know them through watching the fandom on Tumblr (because it is unavoidable, really). I’m sure there is a solid storyline going through these all, for the diehard fans who read the books and watch the show and know what is actually going on. But for me, it was just fun to catch the references I knew about, and giggle when the Doctor’s butt glowed.

I may have done some screen shots on my Instagram Stories feed, because I was having such a good time with it. (Which, if you’re not following my book commentary on a daily basis, WHY NOT?!) I’m so glad I picked this up when I had a chance for a free copy. If you’re a DW fan, I’d totally recommend the full book.

bookdragonbookdragonbookdragon

BUY HERE:

Doctor Who 2015 Event: The Four Doctors #1 (Doctor Who: 2015 Event: Four Doctors) by [Cornell, Paul]

This post includes affiliate links.

Hamilton: The Revolution

Winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Eleven Tony Awards, including Best Musical

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s groundbreaking musical Hamilton is as revolutionary as its subject, the poor kid from the Caribbean who fought the British, defended the Constitution, and helped to found the United States. Fusing hip-hop, pop, R&B, and the best traditions of theater, this once-in-a-generation show broadens the sound of Broadway, reveals the storytelling power of rap, and claims our country’s origins for a diverse new generation.

HAMILTON: THE REVOLUTION gives readers an unprecedented view of both revolutions, from the only two writers able to provide it. Miranda, along with Jeremy McCarter, a cultural critic and theater artist who was involved in the project from its earliest stages–“since before this was even a show,” according to Miranda–traces its development from an improbable perfor­mance at the White House to its landmark opening night on Broadway six years later. In addition, Miranda has written more than 200 funny, revealing footnotes for his award-winning libretto, the full text of which is published here.

Their account features photos by the renowned Frank Ockenfels and veteran Broadway photographer, Joan Marcus; exclusive looks at notebooks and emails; interviews with Questlove, Stephen Sond­heim, leading political commentators, and more than 50 people involved with the production; and multiple appearances by Presi­dent Obama himself. The book does more than tell the surprising story of how a Broadway musical became a national phenomenon: It demonstrates that America has always been renewed by the brash upstarts and brilliant outsiders, the men and women who don’t throw away their shot.

I just finished reading what is affectionately called The Hamiltome. So don’t worry, I’m not sobbing or anything.

I promise.

I’m perfectly fine.

And if you believe that, then look under your seats because I bought you all front row tickets to tonight’s performance of Hamilton.

I didn’t think it was possible for me to love this musical any more than I already do, at least not until I actually get to see it. Then I read the book. MY HEART IS EXPLODING. With as shitty as the last two years have been, we have been so blessed to have Lin-Manuel Miranda right now. I don’t know where his creative genius comes from, but I am so thankful he is sharing it with us.

The Hamiltome as a book alone is gorgeous–the pictures are stunning, and the text is formatted like an old-school pamphlet. Jeremy McCarter wrote two page chapter introductions to explain the creation process of each section of the show:  set design, LMM’s writing process, casting, workshopping, etc. Then a few songs follow, with LMM’s notes in the margins.

Those notes are definitely the best part. Some are funny, some are sad, some are just interesting. But all give us just a hint of just how fast and deep LMM’s brain works. He is no where close to the rest of us. We are not worthy.

If you are a fan, you need to pick this up. I’m telling you now, put it on your birthday list, Christmas list, Must Buy list. Do it. Click the linky below.

Don’t throw away your shot.

bookdragonbookdragonbookdragonbookdragonbookdragon

BUY HERE:

All links are affiliate links.

Pop Positivity!

Wait…a bonus post on a Tuesday? What is this madness?! Since it’s #readformentalhealthweek I thought I’d share some extra content to help us through the bad days.

iglogo

Friends of mine from baaaack hooooooome in Iiiiiiiiiindiiiiaaaaaaaaaaanaaaaaaaaa (sorry, I always get a bit carried away with that) have been putting on this pretty fantastic geek-themed podcast since February 2015. Tony and Bri never fail to make me laugh–we’re talking LOUD GUFFAWING here guys, it’s a good thing I work at home by myself–so I’ve been meaning to brag on them for awhile.

Their cast this week gives me the perfect opportunity to do just that. The theme is Pop Positivity! OR, essentially, all the things about fandom that makes us feel good–meeting new people, geeking out with said people, ranting and raving about all the things we love about the geeky things we love. And, at the end, Bri talks about something near and dear to my heart–depression and anxiety, and all the wonderful people talking openly about it online.

It’s so important that we continue this discussion. It takes a lot of courage to share our stories, but with that bravery comes the reward of a larger support system. The bigger our circle gets, the more people understand about mental health, the more links we can put into our chain. And every single link is so important when that Monster tries to break in again.

So kudos, and thank you, for bringing this up Bri! Keep doing what you guys are doing, I can’t wait to hear what you and Tony come up with next week!

GUYS! You need to check out Indiana Geeking–even if you don’t live in Indiana. Most of their content is general geek (comics, TV, movie, gaming, and just all around fandom), although they do discuss some con info in the Midwest area, for those that are interested. They post Friday mornings around 9 am EST.

Here’s the link for Pop Positivity!

Dark Corners

So, I have a bit of a treat for you today. It’s like nothing I’ve ever posted on the blog before, and I’ll be honest, I’m a bit nervous about publishing it. I posted a rough draft on my Tumblr this morning, writing as I was inspired, but the tenses were a mess, and it was just what I woke up with out of my dream. I’ve rewritten it, fixed everything, added some. I’ve never written anything like this before, but I quite like it. For those of you unfamiliar with fanfiction, Drarry is a combination of Draco and Harry from Harry Potter. It’s a pretty common mashup, and one I’ve recently begun following.

This isn’t to everyone’s taste, but read on if your interested! Oh, and it’s pretty mellow. No R rated stuff here.

OK. Deep breath. Here goes.


 

“Look, let’s just get this over with, ok? I’m about as thrilled about this study partner thing as you are.”

“Deal. I can’t believe old McGonagall is making us do this.”

Harry and Draco find a quiet spot deep in the library stacks, settle down, and start passing books back and forth. They definitely aren’t happy about it, and fight the whole time at first. Not much gets accomplished besides quarreling, as per the usual.

Then something cruel is said about families, and Harry gets really upset and quiet. Draco, used to him fighting back, is concerned, so he makes some asshole comment about Harry giving up the fight.

Harry looks up with wet cheeks and said, “My parents are dead, Draco. Don’t you ever remember that?”

He gets up to leave, and as he’s gathering his things, Draco takes his hands and pulls him close. “I’m sorry, I’ve been an idiot.”

Harry is stiff at first, but then just sort of sags into Draco with relief and even though there is no music, they sort of sway together in the dark corner of the stacks.

“Draco, what are we doing?” Harry asks after a moment, pulling away slightly. This is nice, but he realizes what he’s doing, and with whom…and suddenly he feels…odd.

“Dancing in the stacks after curfew.” Draco dares, his lip slightly curled.

“No, I mean…we hate each other. We’ve always hated each other…” Harry trails off, feeling slightly silly now, but he doesn’t know what else to say.

“Have we though? Or has it just been easier to keep fighting like we were still kids, pretending we don’t care about every single look?”

Harry looks at Draco, his arch nemesis since they were boys. There’s always been such a strange pull, but yet… “We are on opposite sides of this war, Draco. You’re playing a very dangerous game.”

The smirk disappears from Draco’s face and it turns suddenly serious, a crease forming between his brows. “…dangerous game indeed…”

Draco pulls Harry hard toward him, and covers Harry’s mouth with his.

Harry feels all the breath go out of him at once, the way he did when the dementors attacked, and for a moment he fears he’s about to lose his soul.

But it isn’t a dementor. It is Draco. And it’s not his soul that Harry loses, it’s his heart, all at once, and completely. He grasps the back of Draco’s neck and kisses back hard, until they both need air, and when they stop, it’s Draco who has tears on cheeks.

Harry, short of breath, tries to hang onto him, knowing Draco is going to slip away. “You have to try and get out. He doesn’t need you. I need you. Don’t do whatever He’s asked you to do.”

Draco lays his head, just for a moment, on Harry’s shoulder, and whispers, “It’s too late.”

And then he’s gone. And Harry is alone.

Fandom Crazy

I inadvertently chose a really bad day to do the Fandom Crazy post.

Why?

Because today people are boycotting Tumblr. Oops. Tumblr did an update last week and changed all the formatting. Now, I don’t create gifs, I don’t code, I don’t pretend to understand any of the issues that people are upset about. On one hand, I like the wider pictures–everything seems bigger, bolder, prettier. I don’t so much like the posts where everyone is trying to match the blue Tumblr background and those weeble woble posts that mess with my post of reference.

But, the reason I’m staying off Tumblr today is because I know there are so many talented artists whose work went to absolute shit last week. That website is a spectacular place for geeks, nerds, and really everyone who is passionate about ANYTHING, to come together about that THING, and talk about it, post about it, create art about it. Graphic artists, designers, and just talented kids with a flair for turning TV clips into 5 second gifs have been posting things on this website more and more frequently over the years, all for our amusement (and maybe a little notoriety).

All of the sudden, with this update, Their artwork is glitchy and cut off. Again, I don’t understand the technical details, but something in the formatting has changed. There’s a petition going around, but the main jist–it’s not working. And like the Facebook updates…they probably won’t change it back no matter how much we complain about it. I hate to see all of my favorites leave the site or give up, so I hope things get figured out, but right now it doesn’t seem hopeful. From what I’ve read, there hasn’t been a lot of response from the staff.

So today, as hard as it is to stay off such an addicting site, and I sure do miss my friends…No Tumblr for me today.

 

 

This was supposed to be a completely different post, but about Sherlock and Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings, but this seemed way more important. If you want to support the petition whose work has been affected, click here. There’s been about 48,000 signatures so far.

American Gods

I’ll be honest. After reading The Ocean at the End of the Lane I was not super excited to read another Neil Gaiman novel. That book was just very strange, and not really my cup of tea. So when my book club moderator chose this one, after reading 3 other Sci-Fi books…I was less than enthusiastic.

I was wrong.

American Gods is such a different book from Ocean. Ok, so I can see the author’s influence in both, but the perspectives are just in such a completely opposite spectrum. Ocean is written in a child’s dreamlike wonder, and AG is about a massive ex-con. Kudos to Gaiman to be able to do that.

4407

Speaking of the perspective–the writing here is marvelous. You really get into Shadow’s head. There is a lot of confusion and frustration and pain, and you feel every bit of it. I will say, that unfortunately, for me, the ending was a little bit meh. Gaiman does a really great job of building up to what is going to happen, and then it just kind of drops off into blahness. That said, I was really tired when I finished this last night…so maybe I need to reread it again. I don’t want to believe it was that mundane.

What I liked best about this book were the gods. If you are into mythology at all, you are going to recognize a LOT of characters in this. And they are going to pop-up in random places. Think Men in Black, only with Greek, Roman, Norse mythological characters.

Oh, and because I feel like I should warn my fellow Marvel Fangirls. Beware. Loki looks more like Morgan Freeman than Tom Hiddleston. Just be prepared. I’m sorry. I had to let you know.

This book is going on my To Buy list for sure, even with the so-so ending. I want to reread it, because the rest of it was just that great. The storyline was so intricate, and I know there are details that I missed on the first read-through. Pick this up–you won’t be sorry.

Favorite Character to Actor Depiction

British Television, you are a cruel, cruel master.

I will admit, I am a bit of a anglophile. I think I’ve read more on British history, literature, etc than I have American. I don’t know why. There’s just something romantic about that culture.

And the men. Oh the men. They don’t make men like that here. We have pretty boys, hipsters, country boys.

But we don’t have classic British men. Unconventional, cultured, educated. Yes please.

OK, Haley, back on topic.

I think everyone reads pieces of Sir Arthur Conon Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes at some point, if not the actual books themselves. We grow up hearing about the Sherlockian adventures. They are so archetypal in our culture today. And because Doyle wrote the adventures as short stories, teachers and their textbooks can break them apart individually.

Not only that, but the Sherlockian archetype has been morphed into multiple characters in different shows and movies. Of course you have the actual Sherlock shows through the years, but then you also have characters like House and Gil Grissom (from CSI) that follow his same personality traits.

I’ve always been drawn to that mysterious, introverted character. He’s brilliant in his observations, and so exceedingly aware of it.

I started seeing references to the BBC show Sherlock on Pinterest, and became hooked before I even watched my first episode. When I found out it was on Netflix, well, it was over before it began. And now I am 100% a part of the fandom. And once you’re in….oh man. There’s no turning back is there?

 

Benedict Cumberbatch is just as brilliant as the character he plays. The curly-haired manic genius he becomes takes your breath away as he dashes facts all over your screen. You will have a hard time keeping up as he connects the dots, and makes things make absolute perfect sense.

And I would be remiss if I left out his relationship John Watson. Now, we are in hiatus at the moment, and the fandom has quite lost its mind. While I enjoy the ship…I doubt the show itself will actually go too extreme in that direction. However, I do think Sherlock loves Watson deeply and the little pieces of affection, and watching him barely contain control is so interesting. Cumberbatch is so good at just giving enough there. A little tweak or brush. A crinkle of his eyes when he smiles, and Sherlock almost never really smiles. But just enough. You guys know what I’m talking about, especially the shippers, because oh how you screen shot EVERYTHING. I love it!

Like all of you fans, I cannot wait for Season 4. Hopefully they don’t make us wait too long. His hair sure is getting curly. Think he’s growing it out? One can only hope…