The Toast | Tricks and Stones Reviewed

Ele’s life was anything but ordinary. At a young age, she had suffered more injustices through sexual, mental and physical abuse than a young girl ever should. In the story “Tricks and Stones” by Eat Your Serial’s own Jessi M. Williams, we follow the

life of young Ele, who after taking more than enough abuse from the only father figure she’s ever known, Ray, decides to make an escape.

Ele manages to chance upon an eccentric truck driver, Amelia, as she’s running for life and asks for a ride. On the long journey, she begins to reflect on the past 16 years of her life. She takes it upon herself to tell Amelia she’s 18, saying, “All the abuse had to count for something.” After losing the two people that meant the most to her in life, Ele leaves her hometown and makes her way to Chicago, a place where she used to talk about like it was a wonderland. Ele gets wrapped up in a mysterious, but beautiful woman who is going to take her down a path she is nowhere near prepared for.

Kitty, who is not only pretty but also fascinating, is a prostitute who speaks part in English and part in Spanish, and takes young Ele under her wing after Ele saves her from a severe beating from a pimp, whom Ele refers to as “Cracker.” My favorite quote of the story happens during chapter five. Kitty says “Mi jefe always say he felt sorry for people who ain’t drink, cuz when they wake up in the mornin’, it’s as good as they gonna feel, all day.” Now, I can’t remember if this is a quote from Frank Sinarta or Dean Martin, but it’s definitely memorable and a glimpse of light humor in this dark and haunting story.

Kitty is no Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, but she is still an extremely likable character. She is strong willed, self-assured and motherly in a way, which is probably why Ele finds a strange comfort in her. She also takes an instant liking to Hoss, who takes care of the call girls, including Kitty, Stitch, who Ele gets off on the wrong foot with immediately after she falls asleep drunk in Stitch’s bed, Jade (or Candy) whom she describes as a “gorgeous girl” with “pink lips, chocolaty complexion, and big brown eyes with eye lashes that seem to curl back into her eyelids.” There’s also Bonny, who’s from Quebec and speaks French much like how Kitty speaks Spanish, Tam and Juney.

Sucked into a world of sex, alcohol and drugs, Ele’s life is about to take a drastic turn for the worse. Will she ever find her way back to her hometown or is she forever doomed to live her life in Chicago, under a roof of call girls.

A question I find myself asking, after meeting the character, Rex, is that even though these prostitutes are likable in their own different ways, are they really the good people Rex says they are, or are they using Ele’s vulnerability to their advantage?

While this was a heavy and dark story, it had breaks of lightness. The girls are catty, sarcastic and wild, but sometimes, that’s not always a bad thing. The story got a bit confusing when it flashes back and forth between memories and present time, but this method was essential in order to fully understand the protagonist’s descent to the bottom.

Advertisements

This Means War

It’s pretty rare that I watch a “chick flick,” and it’s even more rare that I admit I actually enjoyed it. This Means War stars Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine, and Tom Hardy. The film also features Chelsea Handler, one of my favorite comedian

s.

The story is begins with two friends Tuck (Hardy) and FDR (Pine), who are CIA agents working undercover to stop an international criminal from obtaining weapons of mass destruction. During a mission, the brother of the criminal, Heinrich, gets killed. Tuck and FDR are immediately put on desk duty since this death has put them in immediate danger. Doesn’t sound like a chick flick yet? It’s about to happen.

Meanwhile, Lauren (Witherspoon), who works in a lab, is trying to get over a failed engagement with the help of her friend, Trish (Handler.) Trish decides to put Lauren on a dating website in an attempt to help her get over her ex. Personally, if this happened to me, Trish would be in hot water. Lauren decides to go along with it and at least give it a try. Little does she know, she’s about to meet two men who will change her life.

FDR and Tuck are polar opposites; FDR is a womanizer while Tuck, a divorcee with a child, is looking for love again. As both men began dating, they both encounter Lauren in different scenarios. She sets up on a date with Tuck through the website and they hit it off from the start. That same day, she meets FDR in a video store after her date and is immediately turned off. It’s only after he turns up at her job that she agrees to go on a date with him, just to get him off her back. They have a horrible date and as Lauren is about to leave, she runs into her ex-fiance and his new lady. Flabbergasted and nervous, she claims FDR is her new boyfriend in order to have some sort of leg up on her ex. After that, Lauren and FDR begin to get along.

A short time after, Tuck and FDR get to talking about the great girls they have each met.The two men decide to show each other a picture of the girls they are respectively seeing; it’s Lauren… for both of them.

They decide to have a competition to see who can “win” Lauren’s heart. From here, it goes downhill a bit. The men essentially have an hour long pissing contest to try to get the girl. The best thing about this part of the movie is Handler making fun of Lauren for how indecisive she is about which man she wants to commit to. It is also entertaining how Handler makes fun of the men as Lauren describes the things she doesn’t like about them. It’s Handler’s sharp, witty sarcasm that keeps the viewer engaged until the climax of the film.

Lauren finds out that the men knew they were both dating her and no, she’s not happy about it. Heinrich comes back into the picture after the big reveal and things begin to pick up again.

This movie was advertised as one that both men and women would enjoy. There is so little action that I can’t see how men would (unless they truly enjoy romantic comedies). However, it was a light, cute and mostly funny movie that, of course, ends happily ever after… but with who? You’ll have to watch to find out.

The Top 5 Worst Cartoon Intros

Please consider this an appendix to July 2012’s Minch’s Pop Tarts. This post came about in reference to a conversation I had with Mike Minch the day that column ran, and as such is related to it in spirit and heritage.

Young’uns, come ‘ro

und, have a seat and I’ll tells ya a tale, a tale of cartoons and how they used to come on Saturday Mornings. It was special, ‘cause that’s when all the good cartoons came on. Then slowly, some cartoons, lesser toons mind you, started to creep into Sundays, and before ya knew it, there were cartoons on in the mornings, seven days a week. Now, this was a little before your fancy Cartoon Network, and even a little after (but not your sham Cartoon Network that now shows the dang people-in-em-shows…GAFFAW!) No, there was a time when cartoons were great. And in that time, well, some cartoons weren’t so great.

How can you tell a great cartoon from a not so great ‘un? Well, that’s easy. Most times, if you couldn’t get through the 60-second song at the start, well golly, puts ya to rights every time that the show was bad moonshine. It was probably ass-shine. So, here we have some examples, some exemplify the rule and some almost prove it by exception (ALMOST!). And all I’ma gonna talk about is that thar theme music, cause it’s what was so awful—and mebbe even if the cartoon wasn’t so awful, you’d never know on-a-count that, well, the music done set the tone for you. Anyway, I’m a-gonna drop this affected writin’ style and get on with the TOP 5 WORST CARTOON INTROS.

 

5- Mega Man

Yeah, Mega Man. This music intro isn’t so bad actually, and the music itself is decent. It has the sythesizer going, the running robots, the wires, the heavy guitar hits, and it’s catchy. For the most part, it had all the makings of a decently epic theme, but the downfall of this theme was the lyrics. “Super Fighting Robot. MEGA MAN! Fighting to save….THE WORLD!” That’s it. On a loop. For an entire minute. It was the most mailed-in attempt at theme music until, well, we’ll get there. I put this one on the list despite the fact that the cartoon was decent–not the direction I would have taken a Mega Man cartoon, but still pretty good. Unfortunately, the music failed on lyrics. Terrible.

 

 

4- Iron Man/Fantastic Four

This was a Sunday Morning cartoon, just like Mega Man, and spanned for an hour. The show had two half-hour segments; with a part hosted by Stan Lee to wrap them all together in something called the “Marvel Superhero Hour,” or some such lackluster thing. The animation wasn’t so great, neither were the stories. There were two seasons of this show and they were markedly different in tone. To be fair, the second season of both shows was incredibly better. Regardless, one Iron Man segment consisted of Tony Stark beating an anvil with the assistance of a robot tether arm of some sort­–the function of which I cannot begin to understand—while the vocals pounded in a blatant rip-off of Black Sabbath “I. I AM. I AM IRON MAN!” As far as the Fantastic Four theme went, one of the lines was literally “They were hit by cosmic raaaaaaaaaaaays!” it then goes on, in full song: “Reed Richards is elastic, Sue can fade from sight, Johnny’s a Human Torch, The Thing just loves to fight, All for four!” So, we’ve got different schools of bad lyrics here. Since this was one show, both themes count for one listing.

 

3- Double Dragon

Ok, so…I don’t even really know where to start with this one. The cartoon had actually nothing to do with the source material. In the cartoon, brothers Billy and Jimmy are honorable fighters with magic swords and oaths to avoid violence, with an evil magic nemesis in male Catwoman costumes. The video game features gang members fighting for a girl, and in the end, the brothers kill each other over her. As for the music, well, it’s just awful—and not awesomely awful. It makes you feel embarrassed to share a planet with it. It panders; it emulates Asian music in the worst way, and literally invokes the word Dragon 68 times. It’s…just don’t watch the video. Please don’t.

 

2- Earthworm Jim

All of these shows on the list have something in common; they are adaptations of other properties. That is a common theme with cartoons really; it’s a key part of valuable kid-friendly marketing. Earthworm Jim was awful. I mean as a cartoon it was the pits, I think it was a KidsWB launch show along with Freakazoid (a great show), Superman (a great show), and Animaniacs (an amazingly great show). So the fact that this show happened was…well…mathematically predictable. They can’t all be winners. As for the music, I have no words. It’s just confusing that it even exists. “COW LAUNCH.”

(embedding disabled, luckily. You’ll just have to follow the link if you really want to hear it)

1- Swamp Thing

So, there was once a cartoon called Swamp Thing, and this list would not exist if not for this cartoon. The entirety of this list is just a build up to showing both versions of the intro to this show. (Mike Minch, this one’s for you.) Well…to start, season one of this show literally has an intro that is a straight parody of “Wild Thing” as in “Swamp Thing! You are amazing! You fight everything…nasty!”. Understand? It’s ridiculous music, and really just not fitting for a show about a character that was written by Alan Moore (even when considering the movies and the toys). But then there was a lawsuit. Apparently, this was not covered under parody laws and according to the courts it was just a straightforward rip-off of “Wild Thing.” So the producers of the show were legally required to change the music, and what they decided to do…amazingly…was keep the vocal track and add some sleepy blues guitar underneath it. Unfortunately, the deaf and dead must have arranged this because the music doesn’t make any sense, rhythmically or otherwise, with the vocal track. It was like two separate songs being played at the same time…BECAUSE IT WAS. As Minch said to me, astonished and 100% correct, “There was someone who was in charge and said that this was OK.” It was, and is, the most hilariously awful thing in existence. So, listen to the first one, then the second, because just one is doesn’t do justice without the other in proper order.

Round 1

Round 2

Batman and Avengers Movie Approaches

WARNING: This review may contain spoilers for both The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises. Read at your own risk.

This past Friday night, or technically Saturday morning, as I walked out of the theater from The Dark Knight Ri

ses I was texting with Eat Your Serial President, Shawn Abraham. I knew full well that he had also been seeing a late opening night showing of the film so I didn’t feel bad about texting him at this hour (actually I don’t feel bad about texting him at any hour because, well, screw that guy). In our snarky 2 AM text session we discussed the pros and cons of Bane’s voice effects, the real deal with John Blake, and our feelings on Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman. Then, I made a statement. And, to be fair the statement was seeded by Editorial Director “Slick” Nick Newert’s spoiler-free endorsement of the film earlier in the day. I stand behind this statement 100%, without qualification.

The Avengers is the best comic book movie I’ve ever seen; The Dark Knight Rises has transcended the genre to become something else.

Both movies are film adaptations of comic books and, certainly, adaptation is the call of the day. Whether one is adapting an older film to our times or creating some kind of crossover property from written or printed word to the silver screen, it’s pretty safe to say that the key to solidifying your franchise in the modern world of merchandising is a good film adaptation. We’ve seen this work quite well in bringing J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series of books to a generation of adults and in bringing J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings to my generation in the past decade. In that same vein, it is now of the utmost importance that the cinematic portion of a franchise be its crown jewel so that the widest possible audience can experience—and spend money—on the property.

These two films, or series of films really, provide two starkly different approaches on crossing over comic books into the mainstream via blockbuster filmmaking. The two franchises are Marvel’s Avengers (or Marvel Movie Universe Phase 1 as it is now called) and DC’s Dark Knight trilogy. Both of these properties were approached from completely different perspectives and can be viewed through different lenses on the degree of their success. While Marvel’s approach was to attempt, in an authentic way, to translate the experience of reading comic books in a shared universe to the big screen, via various directors and culminating wonderfully in Whedon’s spectacular film. DC’s Batman was approached through a metaphorical and allegorical perspective using the property as a platform, and redefining the symbolism surrounding the character in a way that arguably transcends the niche of the “comic book movie” into the realm of straight-up film.

What might these differences in approach amount to? I suppose the aim of either is to entertain, entice, and engage the audience, but the method of doing so is different. While Nolan uses the action and thriller genres to create thought provoking and dynamic movies using comic book characters as symbols, Whedon used the movie to translate the adventure, excitement, and escapism of comic book reading—as well as a create the visual aspect of comics on the big screen.

When I roll my mind over The Avengers, I remember most vividly what is, for me, the defining moment of the film—the splash page. Those of you unfamiliar with the lingo of comics might know “the splash page” as magazines do, the “two-page spread.” In the epic battle scene in New York City, director Joss Whedon was able to create a fully moving dynamic shot following the action of the battle across the city, highlighting each hero and their interactions. Despite everything else in the move that I loved, this was the moment that the full promise of comic books adapted to cinema was realized. In a comic book, a scene like this usually covers a two-page single picture—the type of thing you have to turn the comic book on its side to take in. In translating this essential convention of comic book visual storytelling to the movie screen, Joss Whedon showed his understanding not only of comics, but also of film.

In The Dark Knight Rises the defining moment is, for me, Bruce Wayne stuck in that hellish prison, mending his broken body, and failing as he watches Bane set Gotham ablaze both spiritually and physically. The movie deals with dark themes and the psychological torment of its characters, their moral crises, and their goals. In the prison pit, Batman, in his greatest failure, has no place to go but up—both literally and metaphorically. The city represents the popular uprisings of both the Occupy Movement and the Tea Party in civil unrest, and illustrates the current disapproval with the status quo (though more heavily with the Occupy Movement and the “spread the wealth” spirit they often embody). The Dark Knight Rises is a movie about politics, America, and the human spirit, wrapped in Batman’s cape and cowl—and, as such, it is a wonderful piece of pop-cinema that is certainly worthwhile and fantastic. Nolan understands the heart of the characters he has taken stewardship over in such a way that he is able to use them as a vehicle to express his message while respectfully and deftly maintaining their core and the source material.

The Dark Knight Rises transcends the comic book genre of film while The Avengers sets the bar for it. Both of these movies set out in very different ways to tell stories with very different purposes. The Avengers is an adventure; its pursuit of fantasy, escapism, action, and humor is carried out in a way not only familiar to comic book fans, but also accessible to a general audience. The Dark Knight Rises challenges and provokes thoughts without offering hard answers, while remaining thrilling and engaging; evoking dark imagery, and using familiar characters to voice arguments and counter arguments.

These are the blockbuster event movies for the fanboy set for summer 2012, and it is fair to say they did not disappoint. In fact, they both succeeded in ways so vastly separated that it would be unfair to compare them blow for blow. The only area they can actually be compared in is the box office and at the moment, it’s still too soon to tell.

Review: The Dark Knight Rises

<img class="alignright wp-image-3373" title="the-dark-knight-rises-teaser-poster1" src="http://eatyour

serial.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/the-dark-knight-rises-teaser-poster1-692×1024.jpg” alt=”” width=”291″ height=”430″ />

Editor’s Note: This review may contain possible spoilers for the movie.

One of the things most commonly said about superheroes is that they are the mythological figures of our time. It’s an understandable comparison, but it fails to take into account one key element. While superheroes are designed to keep coming back every month for another adventure, myths have endings. If a superhero is to rightfully take his place among the pantheon of myth, his story needs a conclusion. How does a superhero’s story end? That’s the question Christopher Nolan tries to answer in The Dark Knight Rises, the blood, sweat and tear-soaked conclusion to his successful Batman trilogy. This is a shockingly ambitious picture of nearly operatic proportions; massive in scope, rich in character, relentless in its action and earnest in its emotion. It may be the most remarkable piece of pop cinema to grace multiplexes in years.

The film picks up eight years after the events of the series’ previous installment, The Dark Knight. Gotham City has seemingly become a safer place, a result of the fiction created by Batman and Commissioner Gordon at the end of the last film. Batman has retired and Bruce Wayne, once again played by Christian Bale, has become an enigmatic recluse. But when Tom Hardy’s monstrous Bane, a frightening mercenary with a mysterious link to Batman, begins reigning terror upon the city, Wayne decides that it’s time to once again don the cape and cowl. It’s a classic mythological trope; the legendary hero dusting off his boots for one last hurrah. But is this a return to glory or a suicide run? That’s the question concerning Alfred, Wayne’s ever loyal but long-suffering butler. His pleas for Bruce’s self-preservation stand as some of the film’s most heartbreaking and powerful moments, a testament to the always reliable skill of Michael Caine. We understand his concerns when Batman finally confronts Bane and the two engage in an unforgivingly brutal form of pugilism. This is vicious and visceral stuff, the type of cinematic brawl that rattles your bones and shocks you to the core. (Potential spoilers ahead).

Bane aims to break Batman in every way imaginable; physically, spiritually, financially. Most importantly, he wants him to watch his city burn. He orchestrates a plan that cuts off Gotham City from the outside world, in a literally explosive fashion, transforming it into a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Bane installs himself as the city’s warlord and, like so many despots, drapes his tyranny in proclamations of freedom. In the wake of this, we see the people of Gotham turn to turmoil and civil unrest, teeming with rage over power, privilege, security and truth. In an era of Occupy movements, Tea Party protests, and pervasive disillusionment, we understand what we see. Here is a society at war with itself. It delivers on the threats of The Joker in the previous film, “When the chips are down, these civilized people? They’ll eat each other.” The film’s second act is a masterful exercise in tension building, disturbing and disheartening, as Bane and his soldiers gradually extinguish every possible beacon of light. The series has used the classic adage of “it’s always darkest before the dawn” before and this film pushes it to the breaking point.

But the dawn is coming. Into this Sturm und Drang rides our hero, upon an airborne mechanical steed, aided by allies old and new – Gary Oldman’s resilient and reliable Commissioner Gordon, Anne Hathaway’s ambiguous and alluring Catwoman, and Joseph Gordon Levitt’s pure-hearted rookie cop, John Blake. The film’s final, climatic battle is epic, go-big-or-go-home filmmaking, as heroes, villains, soldiers, police, tanks and jets wage war across the city to determine the fate of Gotham’s soul. This is drama and action on a scale that is breathtaking and dares comparison to the likes of D.W. Griffith and David Lean. Amidst the spectacle and commotion, Nolan never loses sight of his characters and it’s in them that the film finds its powerful conclusion, one of genuine, hard-won emotional payoffs. It’s an ending that plays to all of the series’ recurrent themes and ideas; heroism and sacrifice, symbols and legends, hope and salvation.

At a time when studio heads want audiences to believe that “good enough” is an acceptable goal, here is a film that pulses with so much thought, heart, grandeur and awe that it bleeds out the edges. It’s an inspired, stubborn behemoth that swings for the fences and refuses to compromise; an action film of ideas and ideals; a pulp parable about the lies we tell, the truths we seek, and the faith we require. The Dark Knight Rises is the film that audiences deserve and the one they need right now.

Fanboys Ruin Comment Function—Again.

Almost two months ago, I wrote a blog post about important rules to follow if you’re going to be watching a movie at the theater. It was my hope that that would be all I would ever feel compelled to write about the movie going public; that they would

somehow muster up some small modicum of civility in their behavior, preventing me from once again reaching the cusp of having a rage-induced stroke. Or at least the cusp of having a rage-induced stroke on movie audience matters. I…I tend to get angry pretty quick sometimes.

Sadly, it just wasn’t in the cards, because The Dark Knight Rises comes out this week and some reviewers dared not like it! Now, it’s not the reviewers that have made me angry, as I was not involved in the creation of Dark Knight Rises, and I lose nothing by them not liking it. What makes me angry is the sheer lack of civility with which fanboys are reacting to these negative reviews. It’s not even a lack of civility, but the mob mentality in which a number of these commenters are engaging in. I would suspect that almost none of them have yet to see the movie themselves, since, y’know, it hasn’t actually been released yet, but they feel that the reviewer who actually has seen the movie is not only wrong in their review of DKR, but that they are also probably a horrible human being and how dare they have a different taste in things than mine!?

Basically, fanboys are being assholes. You want proof? Rotten Tomatoes has felt it necessary to lecture the myriad of asshats who feel the need to deride and belittle critics who haven’t ejaculated over the movie on the subject of civility in a post titled “This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things.” Sadly, that wasn’t enough, as Rotten Tomatoes decided shortly thereafter that things had gotten so out of hand, commenting in Dark Knight Rises reviews had to be suspended for a few days.

I direct you to the post, linked here, written by Rotten Tomatoes’ Editor in Chief, Matt Atchity, as it says pretty much everything I want to, but without devolving into the endless screaming and foaming at the mouth that would likely come with whatever I could manage to intelligently piece together on the subject.

And if any of you out there feel that attacking a movie critic over a negative review of a movie you have yet to see yourself is an ok thing to do, just realize that you’re an asshole.

With Great Sci-Fi Comes Great Responsibility

I’ve been thinking an awful lot about Science Fiction and Fantasy for the last twenty-eight years of my life. I’ve started to, in the past few years, come to great realizations about the power of the genres to succeed wh

ere others dare not even tread, and also the great possibility of walking away from that potential to varying degrees of success. Science Fiction and Fantasy that takes the time to make you re-inspect the world we live in while you traverse the escapist world created by the author is the highest form, and truly the ultimate goal of the endeavor. While one could assert that this is the ultimate function of any form of literature, in Science Fiction and Fantasy more so than others, the author has the ability to really craft a world of their own liking—it is the most empowering kind of writing experience.

Of course, with all that power to create, the writer is entrusted with a great deal of responsibility to build a world that is believable, rife with metaphor and parallels, and ultimately a twisted mirror-image of our own. Of course, by twisted I don’t mean sinister per se, or even dystopian, but rather changed in some way; “with a twist”. These twists needn’t be overpowering, but rather a dash of flavor added to a world made mostly with the same ingredients as our own. Others, of course, could be an entirely different arena of literary cuisine altogether. It depends on the scope and ambition of the writers work. Sometimes, the world is so closely related to our own that we might overlook the science fiction elements in it altogether. Other times, the elements may be so minute that people may under estimate their ability to change the genre.

Recently, I spent a great deal of time in a middle school English class. I remember hearing the teacher state clearly and definitively that she would not consider The Hunger Games to be Science Fiction. Needless to say, I was shocked. In a story of a dystopian future, with the technology to create terraformed areas with force fields, hidden cameras, flying ships, and genetically enhanced animals and people there can be no other definition to court. Science Fiction and Fantasy, and most specifically Science Fiction over Fantasy, is the order of the day. It occurred to me that the teacher must have been so caught up in the character developments, the murderous plot, and the love triangle that these important, but casually mentioned elements of the series had not immediately identified themselves as Science Fiction. This means that Suzanne Collins did a great job of building a world that was inhabited by characters that were believable and real.

This got me thinking about other works people may not realize are, in fact, Science Fiction. Fahrenheit 451 and 1984 immediately sprung to mind. In these works, the elements are similarly subtle—certainly more than in The Hunger Games—but essential to the sale of the fascist and cruel worlds they portray. These stories inevitably led me to think of the seemingly utopian world of The Giver. In this world, technology made everything possible but was not essential to the story, just the set up. Again, I started down this vein and found myself considering both Anthem and Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. Anthem is an example of a quick work that is easily likened to any of the stories I put before, and an argument as a Science Fiction work is easily made, but perhaps people don’t as readily consider Atlas Shrugged—the bible of the Tea Party and many conservatives—as a work of Science Fiction.

Atlas Shrugged’s plot requires that Henry Reardon invented a metal lighter than steel and much more durable. It requires that (spoiler alert) there exists a secret civilization of industrialists, scientists and geniuses hidden by holograms in the mountains. It requires that engines running on ambient static electricity have been invented and never released. It requires that there is a way to get natural gas from shale, safely without destroying the drinking water (OK so that last one is real and super political, but also in the book). All the same, this work, which many look to as an example for a way to live our lives philosophically, is science fiction. As much so as Dianetics, the work of L. Ron Hubbard that has inspired the faith of Scientology.

The authors of these books and many, many, many more have taken the time to craft worlds so deftly and meaningful or realistic, that readers become so invested in, they cross genres without even considering it. People who would not consider themselves readers of science fiction, or the kinds of nerds that try to live out science fiction worlds (see cosplayers and convention patrons) are in many cases fooling themselves. So watch our Tea Partiers and Scientologists! We’ll see you all at the next con, because you are invariably fans of incredible, transformative science fiction. So much so that its impact can be felt in your lives and has inspired you to make the world a better place as defined by the standard of your favorite works. Welcome to the world of Trekkers, Trekkies, convention patrons, and cosplayers. We welcome you with open arms!

As I said, science fiction and fantasy authorship is attached to a great deal of responsibility; so is science fiction and fantasy fandom.