theengineer

The Engineer

The Life and Times of Donald F. Simmons


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theengineer

Polaris and other stuff

Attended the SF con Polaris last weekend, and it went all right. I was on three panels, all of which went well, the most fun being the British TV Panel where two of my co-panelists were a women dressed as the Master-as-John-Saxon (as she put it, she was dressed as John Simm really) and a women dressed as David Tennant. Saw the guest of honour talks with Kai Owen (Rhys from Torchwood) and Mark Sheppard (Rollo from Battlestar Galactica, who was a lot of fun). The Constellation Awards were OK, with the highlight being a video presentation from Rick Green honouring those who passed in the past year. That is, all those fictional characters who got killed on their shows in the past year. It was a complete scream and has me thinking we need Commander Rick for Governor General.

Saw a few more panels, the Masquerade, hung out a bit, the usual. Attendance was certainly no more than last year, and may even have been down a bit (Polaris numbers are a state secret). The fact that they were charging $70 for the weekend I honestly think is driving off more people that the media guests they get with the money is bringing in, but that's just MHO. Still, the hotel being connected to a Chinese mall with a food court, so you can get cheap Chinese food within 5 minutes of deciding you're hungry is a big plus.

Wasn't at the con Friday night as I saw Inception with some friends. Vaguely disappointed by it. It's certainly solidly written with good performances (especially by the secondary characters, who were more fun than the main character) but I felt it was oddly bloodless, I couldn't really involve myself too much with it, and I think Nolan really didn't use the whole "dreamscape" setting to anywhere near its potential. As Jason put it, the dreams were just genre movie (with way too many shoot-outs, especially in the final sequence). If you've seen the trailer, you've seen nearly all of the "fantastic" images from the film. I was hoping for something more like the anime filmPaprika, which really knew how to handle dreams.

Also saw Predators which I do recommend as solid turn-off-brain fun. There was only one outright stupidity in the film (a line what just doesn't make any sense), good action sequences, and some fun characters. I could even buy Adrian Brody as a tough guy (the film-makers went for wiry among the cast rather than hulking like in the original).

And I lead a ride for the bike club out on the Toronto islands, which are always a fun place to zoom around on in the evenings. Although for the future I have to remember that it's much better to head back in the evening on either the Ward's Island or Hanlan Point ferries, the Center Island ferry is always late and always crowded.

Monday was the release of the sixth and final Scott Pilgrim graphic novel, Scott Pilgrim's Finest Hour. This is a great series, set in Toronto, about a slacker's quest for true love, involving bad rock bands, video games, and having to defeat the seven evil ex's of his girlfriend. The movie, directed by Edgar Wright, comes out in August, so I am very glad the comic wraps up before then.

The Beguiling had the book for sale starting midnight, and made an big event out of it, with the author, Scott Lee O'Malley, available to sign it. The turned into a street party, with several hundred people coming out. There were costumes, bands in the local eateries, and the 8-Bit game society had computers set-up in Butler's Pantry to show off their latest creations. I've been to conventions this year that were smaller. Anyway, I got the book, but didn't get the autograph, I would have been in that line till 3 AM. Now I need to re-read the first five to fully refresh my memory before diving into book six, working on that now.

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