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EIC of FanFare. Writes about pop culture, film, TV, and gaming. Popular Prose column at Writing Cooperative. Top Writer


The modern man is incomplete and poorly dressed

Lords of leisure. Image: Netflix

Bridgerton is a smart, beautifully assembled period drama with a feminist message in pre-suffrage silk. It should be on everyone’s watch list. It’s also absolutely filthy with corsets.

But for all that, it was the men that drew me in.

There is a Chappelle Show skit that came to mind midway through the season, wherein Charlie Murphy (brother of comedian Eddie) recounts the time Rick James slapped him at Studio 54. Charlie’s response:

First of all — you don’t slap a man. Even when slapping was fashionable … a guy would come up — wap-pap — I challenge you to…


Only we can save ourselves and we are therefore doomed

Image by author via Canva

First, a brief story about my grandma’s first encounter with an automated toilet.

I promise this is related.

My aunt married a successful business man about 20 years ago. The reception was at a fancy hotel in a well-to-do suburb of Detroit, all marble and plush carpets and high ceilings. It was the type of place we visited infrequently and only for the briefest of times, more accidental tourist than guest.

Grandma Meno excused herself as the first course was delivered and returned when the soup bowls — emptied or no — were exchanged for plates heaped with foreign greenery…

Despite my enormous to-be-read pile

I only own three of the five in physical form. Photo: author

I love buying books.

Not just buying them — simply shopping for books fills me with joy. Wandering the aisle of Barnes & Noble is a date night staple (well it used to be, thanks COVID). I have an enormous Amazon wish list dedicated to Kindle eBooks I am interested in; my CPU fan accelerates noisily whenever I sort the list by price.

I’m far too neat to be a hoarder but if they find me buried alive by things, you can be assured it was a wobbly stack of books that did me in.

I don’t re-read books lightly…


Fan entitlement is a scourge

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Image: HBO

After years of public petitions, DC fans were vindicated by last month’s release of The Snyder Cut. The victory wasn’t so much in being proven right — the Cut is a much-improved version of Justice League — but that the grassroots initiative was able to effect such a change in the first place. (The director and the cast endorsing the cause certainly didn’t hurt.)

In the wake of such a victory, attention has naturally turned to Game of Thrones, whose final season left such a bad taste that it lingers two years later. Many fans, such as myself, will never…


Burdened with glorious purpose

Loki for President, apparently. Image: Marvel Studios

Marvel’s plan to bury us with new content continues apace, as yesterday they dropped the trailer for the new Disney+ series Loki. The trickster god has once again sidestepped death only to find himself trapped in a sort of bureaucratic limbo.

Here are 5 thoughts I had after watching the trailer.

1. Time Cops

I am only a casual fan of the comics, so the idea of an organization tasked with maintaining the time stream is new to me. But given all the time travel shenanigans we’ve been witness to already, the idea is clearly not unwarranted.

Hell is where a place…


I bet you can’t guess my favorite

Image: Marvel Studios

I love a good tease.

Especially the cinematic variety. So much so that I always feel vaguely disappointed when the movie — the thing I paid to see — actually starts.

A well-crafted trailer is like those little samples that supermarkets handed out pre-Covid (in the before times); the best ones get you to buy. Great trailers are a piece of art unto themselves. Have you ever rewatched a trailer after you’ve seen the film? Or is that just my weird kink?

The thing about trailers is they tend not to age well. Fire up a trailer from the 90's…


You may think you’re cool, but are you Han Solo cool?

Yee-haw Image: Lucasfilm

Try as you might, it is impossible to run from or fight through all of life’s problems. Fortunately for you, Han Solo is here to help. Follow these rules and you’ll be guaranteed to amaze everyone — even yourself!

  1. Assume at all times that your reputation proceeds you and act with mock outrage if someone claims not to know who you are.
  2. Self-doubt is the first enemy. Don’t think about whether or not a thing is possible until after you’ve tried it.
  3. Life ain’t like dusting crops — things will go wrong. You may have to jettison an expensive shipment…

I’m in the mood for some shawarma. Image: Marvel Studios

Last night I submit my story for this quarter’s Writer’s of the Future contest. WotF is only open to new writers of speculative fiction (primarily fantasy and sci-fi); their definition for “new” (I’m certainly not new to this writing stuff) basically means you haven’t sold much professionally. In other words: nobody knows who the hell you are.

There’s no cost to enter, and the prize money is quite nice. Former winners include my fav Patrick Rothfuss and Stephen Baxter and Sean Williams and other recognizable names. …


We will never see another book

If you chase two rabbits, you will not catch either one.

~ Russian proverb

Last week Hollywood Reporter reported that George R.R. Martin, author of the series upon which HBO’s Game of Thrones is based, inked a mid-eight figures deal with the network. The deal lasts five years and will reimburse Martin for working on five projects set in the world of Game of Thrones (yes, five projects… even for a hardcore fan like myself, that’s a lot of fucking projects for one universe).

Martin is also developing two non-Game of Thrones projects for HBO, a television show for Peacock…


At this point it doesn’t really matter when they release the film

That girl is on fire! Image: Marvel Studios

For those of us that begged for a solo Black Widow film, who patiently endured assurances it was going to happen soon, eventually, who then watched Natasha die in Endgame in such a way as to take resurrection completely off the table (a really hard thing to do in the world of comics), this will-they won’t-they footsie Disney has been playing with the release of the finished film for the last year(!) is basically par for the course.

It’s almost like they hate the character or something.

Let’s just get something out of the way right off the top: this…

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