C. G. McGinn

Writer

Ramblings about Books and Writing

Filtering by Category: Movies

Sea of Rust by Robert Cargill

The premise for Sea of Rust is the backstory/explanation that Morpheus gives Neo when he first asks about the Matrix. The long and short being: We went to war with AI of our own creation, they were faster, better, smarter than us, and royally kicks our sorry fleshy asses into near-extinction. Where Sea of Rust differs from The Matrix is that Sea of Rust goes all the way--the machines not only win the war, but they literally kill every single man, woman and child on the earth, leaving robot-kind in charge of the planet.

Let that sink in for a minute. Only we arrogant humans would assume that we'd be needed to power the machines--living a simulated life in a virtual world, hooked up as a giant battery. 

Sea of Rust is probably a great deal closer to a real life AI vs Humans scenario then anything currently out there in both books and movies.

And there are no punches being pulled here. There are moments in this book that were very hard to take. Movies will show scenes of able-bodied men being killed by antagonist or protagonist, and the audience will watch and accept this without disgust or resentment. We've grown so used to the James Bond henchman, that these faceless masses might as well be machines.

But have a robot kill a child, or a baby?

Sea of Rust pulls no punches.

In the midst of these rather squeamish scenes--necessary scenes in order to tell an effective story--I greatly enjoyed this book. The main character was truly a product created by man. Her calculating and cold outlook on life was the soul of a machine, and yet she experienced something of a moral conflict within herself as humans often do.

This is a story about AI where the robots do not feel boxy and soulless. This is AI with heart.

 

 

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

A Man Called Ove is not a book I'd normally be drawn to read. But I have two jobs in two different-enough geographical location--and when co-workers from both jobs start telling me that I have to read this book, then I listen. I shrug out of my set-in-stone ways, and I read the book.

A Man Called Ove is about a man set in his ways. He's pushing 60, he lives alone, and he's had just about enough of this crazy world and all it's do-nothing millennials, new-fangled technology and a disposable society that's forgotten how to fix something as simple as a bike. He's a man from a simpler time trying to find  his place in this strange new world.

I enjoyed the book. I enjoyed the reader. It reminded me of the movie, Up, only much more adult, and real--and lacking a talking dog and chubby Asian kid.

Resident Evil bundle on Steam.

Yes, it's happening.

Wait a minute. Hold on.

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It's actually the Capcom Publisher weekend on Steam. So there's more than just Resident Evil games. However, Resident Evil is the reason to play Capcom games. Everything else is just sorta, meh...Except for Bionic Commando.

I've been playing Resident Evil games off and on since 1998 when the first iteration of the game came out. Throughout high school and college I religiously followed the series--playing the hell out of RE1 and RE2. I played RE3 maybe once, along with Code Veronica.

Resident Evil 4 revitalized the series for me. It was funny, creepy and had somewhat of an open-world feel for a game that really wasn't open-world at all. I played through most or Resident Evil 5, but never finished it and I don't even know what happens in Resident Evil 6. RE 7 looks awful. I hear it's very scary. It probably is. But it doesn't look like a Resident Evil game to me. I guess like Ove, I'm a man set in my way. I like my Resident Evil games a certain way. Once you go changing it on me, I think it's strange and weird, and should get the hell off my lawn.

The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell

The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell is part of an ongoing mega novel by the author that was first brought to my attention with Cloud Atlas.

You may have seen or heard about Cloud Atlas from the movie version staring Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, and Agent Smith, and directed by the Wachowski's. I've not seen the movie yet--though I plan to soon. I have read the book and it was not an easy read. I might have to read it again. It was very hard to follow.

Cloud Atlas deals with reincarnation and the traveling of a soul through time and people. The concept is easy enough to understand though I had a hard time seeing this in practice. Maybe after I watch the film and scour Wikipedia I'll be ready to take on the book again.

But this is about the Bone Clocks, which is a much easier read. The story is broken into six parts. Part One introduces us to the story's protagonist, Holly Sykes. The story advances from Sykes to different character perspectives who are loosely connected to her, each jumping forward in time, beginning in 1984 with Sykes, then to 1991, 2004, 2015, 2025, and finally ending in 2043 with a now 70 year old Holly Sykes.

The number of years covered in the the overall story is impressive and with each jump the reader is met with an entirely different set of rules as the culture and society has changed so dramatically. The POV characters are also vastly different from one another, making each new section a true story in and of itself.

The Bone Clocks is not part of a series, however, many, if not all of Mitchell's works are interconnected. I found the Bone Clocks the most accessible, so it may be a good starting point.

How about I give you the finger...

...and you give me my phone call.

Apple released new emoji's today. Now you can give your friends the finger. Ladies, that jerk from college who to this day manages to drunk-dial you, can now be met with a close-to-real-life retort.

I watched that fanedit of the 2nd and 3rd Matrix movies mentioned in my last post. I liked it. I feel it addressed some of the main complaints Samson and I had about those films. It certainly isn't perfect, but it may be my go-to when the Marathon Matrix bug hits me. For me the only way to watch The Matrix series (not the movie but the entire franchise as a whole) is to watch in this order:

1. The Second Renaissance

2. A Detective Story

3. The Matrix

4. Kid's Story (Optional)

5. Final Flight of the Osiris

6. The Matrix Revolutions: The Epic Edition by GeminiGod

Note: I have another fanedit that incorporates the the live action scenes from the Enter the Matrix video game into the 2nd and 3rd movies. I haven't watched it yet, though the gist of it is similar to the above fanedit. It's possible this version may be better and take the Number 6 spot. Only time will tell, though you should expect a rebuttal to this post either way.

The Editor will have my manuscript for Hidden Mountain by this time tomorrow. It goes without saying that I hope she likes it. But moreover, I hope she beats the hell out of it. I know it needs work. I've done all I can for it. It needs a fresh set of eyes and a head full of ideas.

I started reading, Gail Simone's Batgirl. It's dark and fits in well with Scott Snyder's Batman. Yeah, I know I'm a little late to the party. Sue me.

I'm not proud to admit this, but I never read V for Vendetta. This also goes without saying but it's so much better than the movie.