Monthly roundup culture consumed – March 2016

So, what did March have in store for me?


I finished off The House of Shattered Wings by Alienate de Bodard, based in an alternate Earth in a Paris shattered by magical war. I don’t always love angel/demon stories, but this was a very engaging read, with compelling characters and an absolutely mesmerising setting. de Bodard’s writing is just exquisite, and if there are more in this series I’ll be reading them.

I also got through Charlie Jane Anders All the Birds in the Sky, which is a kind of a mashup of science fiction and fantasy set in an alternate Earth that has both science and magic, and is also on the edge of environmental collapse. I first heard about the book on a recent episode of the Coode St Podcast, and if you do read the book the podcast is very worth listening to.

That was about if for fiction last month. I’m in the process of changing jobs, and I did a lot of work-related reading at home (as well as some non-fiction like The First 90 Days).


Not much new TV this month, although I did crash my way through the second series of Daredevil (the Netflix original series). Like the first season, the second season is very, very violent but I quite liked the character progression, even if the main character (Matt Murdock) was a bit of a dick. Excellent fight scenes and great acting. If you like superheroes, you’ll probably already be watching.

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow is starting to grow on me a bit, it is a bit grittier than some of the other shoes with characters having to make more interesting moral choices. I’m still not sure how you make the underlying conceit of the show last more than 1 season, but I’m sure they’ll find a way.

I gave up on the new series of Heroes. If it even comes on Foxtel/Netflix I might go back and watch the end of the season, but I’m not in any hurry.


Batman vs Superman was OK. Not great, but not completely terrible. Of course, my expectations had been set absurdly low from what little critical attention I hadn’t been able to avoid, but overall I didn’t mind it. Maybe 6.5 out of 10?

Of course, I can’t really get behind this representation of Clark Kent. Christopher Reeves did the whole bumbling reporter schtick, and was so good at playing hapless that you could kind of believe that no one guessed he was Superman. This Clark Kent is just as square jawed and heroic as Superman, so it beggars belief that no one sees through his disguise immediately. I would imagine that the conversation amongst the executive team at the Daily Planet would go something like this:

“Hey Mary, who’s the new guy?”

“Why Jane, that’s Superman with a pair of glasses on. And not even very convincing glasses at that. Sort of hipster glasses without the accompanying beard. I wonder why he is bothering? And why does everyone keep calling him Clark?”

Wonder Woman, especially as Diana Prince, was cool though, so that made up for my Clark Kent disappointment.

Coming Up

Captain America will be towards the end of April, which should be fun. Looking forward to a bit of Cap vs Tony Stark shenanigans. Not sure what novel to read next, will give some careful thought.

So, what do you all have on the go at the moment? Anything I should be reading/watching?


Editors note 12/4/2016: due to further failed experiments with auto-publish, this post is late. Apologies!

Author: mark

A writer of speculative fiction and all round good egg. Well, mostly good. OK, sometimes good.

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