The value of rage: RIP Sir Terry Pratchett.

pratchett_rats

Publicity shot from ‘The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents”.

Morbid? Yes, it is. Bandwagon-jumping? Absolutely. The sort of thing PTerry himself would probably despise? I doubt it not. However there are people looking at this blog apparently in the expectation that I’ll have said something about such a momentous event in fantasy as the passing of Sir Terry Pratchett, and far be it from me to disappoint my future readers.

I’ve got a when-I-met-Pterry anecdote I’ll come to later, but the best article I’ve ever read about the man is this one, written by Neil Gaiman: “Do not underestimate this anger. This anger was the engine that powered Good Omens.”  It talks about Terry having a deep sense of justice, and anyone who’s read Pratchett can appreciate the near-perfect balance he struck between acute social awareness, blackest irony, and an infallible sense of petty, stupid humanity and all its attendant farce. Continue reading

Skyfall: some thoughts

Promotional poster for Skyfall

Not really a review post, this, since my main response to Skyfall has been to find I’m oddly sobered and mentally absorbed by it.

I remember a summer somewhere in my late childhood when we lived without carpets downstairs for several months; the house had flooded in the spring sometime, and thanks to a protracted wrangle with the insurance company we spent July and August with bare concrete floors. I spent much of this summer holed up in the living room, heavy velour curtains drawn (and not yet shredded by the cats we would later rescue from a life spent in a shed in Somerset), watching old Bond films. I remember the concrete floor because of the way the dust would rise from it when I drummed my feet at the excitement of the car chases, settling in a thin film over everything.

The Bond of old: not a subtle fantasy.I remember watching Timothy Dalton wield a cello on a sled in The Living Daylights, Roger Moore (Roger Mortis) romancing his conquest in a space capsule in Moonraker, the blow-dried archetype of a 1980s body-fascist murdering a man with his Walkman cable in View to a Kill. I remember cheap jokes, frothy sexism, and the gentle sadness of the theme songs; they seemed to express a femininity that reached out for what Bond symbolised, but could never quite touch.

Continue reading