My first encounter with Gordon Lightfoot’s classic song “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” was actually reading the lyrics published as a poem in a high-school English reader. (I had a similar experience with Simon and Garfunkel’s “The Sound of Silence”, though I think I’d probably heard that one on the radio, my dad being an aficionado of the ’60s station KY58.)
So for Throwback Thursday, please, enjoy this tale of human woe and the sinking of a massive freighter in a storm on (spoiler alert!) Lake Superior.
Of course, because this is The Good Place, I can’t honestly tell if this is just some placeholder text that slipped through, or if this is legitimately the intended description for tonight’s episode.
Finally, last night, I watched Bad Times at the El Royale. Back when I first saw the trailer, I thought it was an Evans movie for sure, but it ended up playing at the multiplex down the street instead, for all of two weeks. I managed to miss it. Now I regret not seeing it on the big screen.
El Royale takes place at a hotel in Lake Tahoe, on the border between Nevada and California. The border literally bisects the hotel. Rooms on the California side are $1 more per night.
The movie opens with a priest, a singer, and a vacuum-cleaner salesman trying to check in, one lovely afternoon in 1969, but the clerk is nowhere to be found. Once they do track him down, a fourth guest appears, and she’s got some baggage. Well, they all have baggage, but the fourth woman appears to have kidnapped someone.
Of course, this is a noir-ish thriller, and no one—not even the venue—is who they seem to be.
I quite enjoyed El Royale. It felt a lot like a Quentin Tarantino movie, but it was written and directed by Drew Goddard. Goddard managed to take all the good things about a QT movie—colours, music, sudden violent twists—and discard the endless soliloquies. It really makes for a tight, nasty thriller, and it’s just the thing I was looking for.
If you like violence, secrets, thunderstorms, ’60s music, and violence, it might be just what you’re looking for too.
God does not play dice with the universe; He plays an ineffable game of His own devising, which might be compared, from the perspective of any of the other players, to being involved in an obscure and complex version of poker in a pitch-dark room, with blank cards, for infinite stakes, with a Dealer who won’t tell you the rules, and who smiles all the time.
From Good Omens, by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
Congratulations to William Gibson, one of my favourite authors, on the announcement that he has been named the latest Damon Knight Grand Master by the Science Fiction Writers of America.
The Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award recognizes “lifetime achievement in science fiction and/or fantasy.” Gibson joins the Grand Master ranks alongside such legends as C. J. Cherryh, Peter S. Beagle, Ursula K. Le Guin, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, and Joe Haldeman. The award will be presented at the 54th Annual Nebula Conference and Awards Ceremony in Woodland Hills, CA, May 16th-19th, 2019.
(Aside to Mr. Pensato: I’ve been doing a bit more work on Blinky.)
PS: I’m in the process of moving my photos off Flickr and onto my own personal site (ie, this one). So I’m not going to lose sleep over the whole “your photos are getting deleted” thing. Let me know if you’re interested in the simple WordPress plugin I’ve built in order to pull my photos.