Am citit "Neverwhere"

Am găsit cartea la o librărie din București și-am citit-o în drum spre Blaj. Se poate comanda și de la Okian.

Are 370 de pagini. Mi-a atras atenția prin numele autorului -- căruia pînă acum nu-i citisem decît biografia lui Douglas Adams -- așa că am cumpărat-o. A costat vreo 30 de lei cred.

În carte e vorba de o Londră paralelă, denumită London Below.
Și o fată care deschide uși.
Și un marchiz de Carabas.
Și un agent de asigurări, sau investiții sau așa ceva.
Și un înger pe nume Islington.
Și mai ales the Tube, metroul londonez.
Ah, și o piață plutitoare.

Romanul e deosebit de vizual, fiind scris după un serial BBC omonim al aceluiași autor. E captivant, plin de umor în stilul inconfundabil al lui Douglas Adams, deși nu abundă în surprize. De fapt dacă stai să analizezi povestea, după ce-ai terminat cartea, o vei găsi destul de comună și previzibilă.

...she began to cry, in low, raging sobs, that sounded like they were being tugged from inside her.
"There. There," said the marquis de Carabas, awkwardly, patting her shoulder. And he added, for good measure, "There." He did not comfort well.

Limbajul folosit e destul de simplu și accesibil. Gaiman chiar vrea să fie citit (nu, să zicem, ca Frank Herbert). Romanul e o plăcere de lecturat.

Așa că luați-l și citiți-l!

Te pui cu moneda națională?

Parcarea Kaufland, 4 octombrie 2009. No comment.

Stargate Universe premiere - live blogging

I've been waiting for 15 months for this. I have 2 monitors so I'm blogging while I watch, for the first time, the SGU premiere, "Air". It's a 3-part pilot, the first 2 are airing now, the last one will follow next week.

The starting credits - very 2.0, very Battlestar Galactica. Not like any SG credits ever. Very different, but good.

Opening scene, long shot, ends with Stargate dialing up on an incoming traveller.

First actor ever to appear in SGU: Brian J. Smith as Lt. Matthew Scott.

First minute of action -- brilliant, electric, filled with adrenaline and unanswered questions.

First 5 minutes into the show -- one of the main actors dies!

One thing's certain: these are all high-class actors. No more playing "let's go to Canada to shoot a SciFi and have fun". We're talking real talents here. Every last one of them.

RDA appears in minute 8. Boy, he's looking old, but certainly still got it. Robert Carlyle is right up next. Boy, is he a brilliant actor.

RDA does one of his usual excellent O'Neill renditions, but... boy, is he looking old.

"Welcome aboard the Hammond" -- wonderful, wonderful touch. And David Blue grows on you in, like, 10 seconds.

Much classic Binder-esque and Mallozzi-esque humour.

Ah, here's Daniel Jackson giving new Stargate viewers a brief on the past 12 years of the show. Not bad for less than one minute.

People complain about the pace of the show. It remains to be seen, but so far it's not slow at all.

We're beginning the expected introduction of the characters (we've been living in a flashback for the past minutes). Here's Chloe Armstrong, played by Elyse Levesque with just a small touch of Princess Leia.

Flash-forward again, more about Dr. Rush now. Sko'esh accent, but nothing like Trainspotting.

We quickly meet Tamara Johansen (played by beautiful Alaina Huffman) and the title of the pilot is explained: we're running out of air on the Destiny.

Flash-backs and flash-forwards are aplenty. Time for Col. Everett Young, absolutely wonderfully done by Justin Louis. Ok, he didn't quite die just then.

Ah, there's a sex scene. First one in Stargate, ever. Yes, very BSG.

Here comes senator Armstrong, the experienced Christopher McDonald. Plus some more background on the Stargate, for new viewers.

I've really been looking forward to see how Lou Diamond Phillips pictures Col. Telford (he's also a pilot). So far, 10 out of 10.

First outwards dialing in SGU. Looks much like the rest of SG, except now there's a difference between encoding a chevron and locking it (they come in that order).

Camera's of the shaky BSG sort again, which must be annoying to long-time SF fans. But it does work nicely. Steadycam operators with Parkinson's disease must be getting filthy rich these days in Vancouver.

Yes, there's no life support. Ah, and here's Brody (Peter Kelamis).

David Blue and Robert Carlyle really do make a great pair.

5 or 6 different angles for the same take (Dr. Rush at the whiteboard). Yes, that's a lot of work!

And... here comes the scene in Rush's bedroom that's supposed to break our hearts. And... yes, it's good, quite good, it works. But it's short! Still, I don't mind the pace of the show so far.

Speaking about pace, action picks up now. "Base is under attack!"

Pace is picked up in the flash-forward, which is classic Carl Binder.

Greer was locked up, now released to fight the Goa'uld or some such.

Ah, here's Amanda Tapping, so much for the SG1 guest stars.

It's a bit difficult to find your footing amongst the flashes, but that's a bit of what's keeping one tied to the screen.

I really get the feeling Carlyle wouldn't work quite as well without Blue.

Ming Na does a credible Camille Wray, but so far not a very relevant one.

Here's shooting, but it's like watching Firefly. Not as good as SGA battles. (Yes Joe Mallozzi, I love Firefly too.)

Yep. Battle scenes are definitely Firefly only with more light (meaning bigger budget).

Evac scene -- much more credible than the previous SG1 / SGA ones, but shot practically identically to BSG.

TJ, aka Tamara Johansen, tries to establish herself as the next team doctor, in a very different approach from both Frasier and Beckett. We'll see how that works out.

We glimpse the conflict between Rush and Young and it's credible, though predictable.

Holy crap, these are all talented professionals, down to the last one. I can't decide whose acting I enjoy more.

Ok, so now the past and and future are coming together -- it's minute 40.

Camera work and lighting not revolutionary, but do the job nicely and carefully, with no mistakes. VFX looks a bit cheap (sorry but Mark Savela was simply better). Stunt work isn't bad, but I somehow miss Bamford and Shea.

"Hammond, this is Young, come in!" But not that Hammond...

Nice planetary blow-up. Short to keep it cheap, but nice.

Sam Carter talks to Gen. O'Neill :) ah, the good old days! And boy, is RDA looking especially old in frontal shots.

More shakicam.

Scott: "'re James, right?"
James: "Yes, Lt."
Greer: "How... subtle..."
There, so the entire unit know that James and Scott did the first sex scene in the history of Stargate.

Ah, Bill Dow. He got older too. And better.

Dr. Rush introduces us to the communication devices from the last seasons of SG1. He takes charge.

They're arguing. Works about 50% for me.

Lt. Scott establishes himself quite nicely.

Set's not as bad as some people say. I rather like it. It's different from all ship sets in SG so far, yet looks a little familiar to SGA fans.

The bit with the spherical flying cameras -- they really stole that from me!

1 hour into the show. I'm not sleepy, I'm still very interested in it. So far so good!

Chloe Armstrong just switched from Princess Leia into River Tam.

Rush: "What makes you think I won't try?" Well, how about 15 months of SGU propaganda?

Outside Destiny VFX -- cheap. High-school level. Somebody bring Mark Savela back please!

Parallel story-telling again. Smart shooting, again very Carl Binder.

"Someone's gotta go in there, and close this door." Das Boot, anyone?

Moral dillema, but not a particularly interesting one. And of course Young offers to close the door. You could see that in his face in the SGU promo photos last summer.

And of course he doesn't get to do it, because Joe Mallozzi would hang everyone in the writing department if the solution were THAT predictable. It's still somewhat predictable, though :)

River Tam -- I mean Chloe Armstrong -- cries a river, then kicks Rush. Yes, very Firefly, even Carlyle looks a little like Nathan Fillion in this scene, except for the accent.

Joel Goldsmith really did his best to get a new "aural aroma" for this new series. Like he did for SGA. Very good job writing the score!

Rush and Wallace aren't arguing for once. Doesn't look quite right :)

The observation bay is a nice success. Much like the SGA balcony.

And yes, at 1h21m, we get the main plot device: the stargate will connect itself automatically when it detects a nearby counterpart. And again yes, there's a countdown.

Ah, the White Sands desert in New Mexico, and the first away team in SGU.

And the episode ends on a cliffhanger.


I liked it. Not as much as I liked the SGA pilot at the time, but SGU is more intriguing. It's darker, it's different. If they manage to pull it off, it'll be excellent. There are hundreds of premises that could be exploited to the show's advantage. The acting force is absolutely top. They have everything on their side, except maybe for the VFX.

I have faith in Stargate Universe. Can't wait for the next episode!