Geek Review of 2015

Geek Review of 2015

2015 doesn’t deserve any redemption from me but, for geekdom, it wasn’t a complete loss.

BOOKS

Superposition david walton book coverMy reading challenge on GoodReads was 30 books. Killed it!

A great sci-fi story gets bonus points from me over other genres. It’s no surprise, then, that Superposition by David Walton is my fiction selection of 2015. The ‘science’ is physics and the ‘fiction’ is parallel dimensions. Throw in a murder mystery and you practically have my perfect story.

Even though I got a D in physics, Walton explains the science so that I not only followed the story, I was intrigued by the fictional concepts.

“Even if they are alive, they’re not my family, are they? They’re hers. My double’s.”1 – Alessandra

The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons has everything – medical history, ground-breaking science, mystery, and horror – what I learned about the brain made me scared of my own head.

Neuroscientists had long neglected the temporal lobes, so when Penfield zapped the temporal lobe of a female patient in 1931… her mind was transported back to… an unusually crisp and specific vision. Penfield, bemused, never followed up on this. (He remembered thinking at the time, “It was never intended that men should undertand [women] completely.”)2

COMICS

Descender comic book coverIt was a great year for comics, as the increase in my subscriptions at Ultimate Comics will evidence. From such a massive, multi-talented market it’s extremely difficult to choose just one star. Forcing my hand, I’d say Descender published by Image, written by Jeff Lemire and drawn by Dustin Nguyen.

Nguyen’s imagery is mesmerizing and emotional. Lemire is a patient story-teller with respect for his reader’s intelligence.

(Other titles include DC’s reboot of Constantine: The Hellblazer, the political and alien sci-fi story, Letter 44, and the juxtaposed retro art work/sci-fi of Bitch Planet.)

Driller: “Never trust a Hrrrman little-bot.”
Tim-21: “… I am meant to trust my human companions.”
Driller: “Well, then, little-bot, I’d say the jokes on you.”3

GAMES

Army of Two The 40th DayEven though I gamed a little more this year, I’m always behind the market. Just call me a retro gamer.

The most fun I had was co-oping through Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel and Army of Two: 40th Day. There’s a variety of missions to keep you interested with enough consistency so you can build your skills. The gameplay has good physics and graphics.

 

 

MOVIES

Mad Max Fury Road movie posterThe hands-down surprise this year was “Mad Max: Fury Road.” Although highly anticipated, a lot of the press led me to worry. But the grueling, hard-work by everyone involved paid off big.

Why not Star Wars: The Force Awakens? It was really close, but I think the best of the “Star Wars” franchise is yet to come.

“I’ve been doing this for 20 years, and I didn’t think it was going to be with an action movie, that I was going to be able to explore something as raw as a character like Furiosa. She really is who she is without ever over-explaining her. She just is.”4 – Charlize Theron

 

 

REALITY TV

This should be a surprise topic to see in one of my articles, but I actually have a love/hate relationship with reality television. The majority of it is dredge, but I think everyone has a reality guilty pleasure.

This year I got the biggest laughs watching celebrities make fools of themselves on Lip Sync Battle (Spike YouTube channel). Thank you, Jimmy Fallon.

(… 3 hours later. I got distracted watching LSB videos on YouTube. <blush>)

 

STREAMING

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt netflix posterCould Netflix become the first original-content streaming channel? Cable customers may finally get what they’ve been wanting for years – the ability to purchase the chnannels you want.

If future streaming channels have the quality Netflix is putting out, a new golden era of TV may be on its way.

Whenever someone says, “There’s nothing to watch on Netflix anymore,” I reply, “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt!” Great cast, great writing, and I can sit and re-watch the episodes over and over and laugh every time.

“I trusted you, TV. You’ve seen me naked.”5 – Titus Andromedon

 

TELEVISION

Entertainment Weekly had a fandom quiz in its first 2016 issue. After going through the double elimination bracket, the head-to-head for me was Star Wars vs. The Walking Dead and the later won.

The Walking Dead has had six years of high quality story telling with characters we cry for and scream at. It’s insane the level of consistency this show has.

For the sake of the art of storytelling, please don’t stop.

NOT BAD

In none of these categories am I skimming the bottom to come up with quality, creative works. This is top notch stuff and it was therapeutic to rethink 2015 from the perspective of the artists who worked hard for geekdom in 2015.


1David Walton, Superposition, Pyr, April 7, 2015.
2Sam Kean, The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons: The History of the Human Brain as Revealed by True Stories of Trauma, Madness, and Recovery, “Part IV: Beliefs and Delusions,” “Chapter 8: The Sacred Disease,” Little, Brown and Company, May 6, 2014.
3Jeff Lemire, Dustin Nguyen, Descender, issue title, Issue 3, Image Comics, July 2015.
4Nicole Sperling, “Charlize Theron on Mad Max: Fury Road, being part of a feminist action movie,” Entertainment Weekly, May 15, 2015.
5The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Season 1, Episode 13, “Kimmy Makes Waffles!”, Netflix, March 6, 2015.

Rhonda has a BS in Mathematics and Computer Science and is a self-taught graphic designer. She considers herself a geek*wildcard because she has a little bit of experience in everything.

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