The Writer Dojo Podcast Review
Larry Correia and Steve Diamond team up in a writing podcast that cuts through all the bad advice
Altered Carbon Review (Season 1)
After 250 years on ice, a prisoner returns to life in a new body with one chance to win his freedom: by solving a mind-bending murder.
Altered Carbon is an American cyberpunk television series created by Laeta Kalogridis and based on the 2002 novel of the same title by English author Richard K. Morgan.
In a world where consciousness can be transferred to different bodies, Takeshi Kovacs, a former soldier turned investigator, must solve a murder.
The first season consists of ten episodes and premiered on Netflix on February 2, 2018. On July 27, 2018, the series was renewed for a second season of eight episodes, which was released on February 27, 2020, with an anime film set before the first season released on March 19, 2020. Though the series received generally positive reviews, it was canceled after two seasons.
So... a book, a series and then an animated series? I "get" a book, a movie and a series, but an animated series that goes over the first live action series makes me think money grab.
But maybe not.
I'm all in for:
But this just seems like they are trying to bank on everything and everything they can.
Reaching all different types of formats is okay... if the previous versions were successful. Why not spread it to as many versions as people want. It just seems that hashing the same thing over and over is exhausting.
Then again, tv series get canceled for no apparent reason to mass viewers.
Maybe, if the animated series was announced after the first season of the live action and before the cancelation after the second season, I'd think, okay, they are just going for a different medium so they can finish the story.
But that's not the case, and I'm *squirrel*─ing again and this has nothing to do with the story.
There is some grumblings about season 2 not being up to snuff from season 1 and I get what they are saying, but I have my own thoughts on that too.
Cast of Characters
Normally, I have the names and explanations of each character, but I found these and they explain the characters perfectly... I'm just giving you the short version of their role in the story.
The entire cast and crew can be found here:
Quellcrist Falconer - Inspirational Leader (that started it all)
Takeshi Kovacs - Main Character/Investigator
Kristin Ortega - Investigator/Fake Antagonist
Laurens Bancroft - Client
Miriam Bancroft - Supporting Character
Poe - Ally
Reileen Kawahara - Antagonist
Vernon Elliot - Ally
Lizzie Elliot - Ally
This unique blend of cyber punk dystopia thriller has a classic and unique take on the future.
I've been introduced to a new genre called Transhumanism. Transhumanism is based on the premise that the human species in its current form is not the end of our development but rather a comparatively early phase.
Plainly said, humans will advance technology to the point that we will learn how to live forever.
Altered Carbon addresses the conflicts, ideas, and benefits of Transhumanism. It touches on points of Space Colonization, Artificial Intelligence, and the potential of living forever expressed with the technological optimism of an entitled teenager.
It's has me thinking and researching more about transhumanism and where not just the genre could go, but how feasible it is to take the next evolutionary step in our lifetime.
There are some things I find unrelatable or down right implausible with Altered Carbon's themes.
Such as wide access.
It's easy to think that only the super rich has access to things, but the super rich is only 1% of the entire population. There is more money within the middle class because of numbers. According to Investopedia, 52% of the population is middle class.
Now, you can certainly make a living off of selling to the 1%. But ask yourself, how did the 1% get there?
Think about this... 52% is higher than 1%, right?
Technology has always been available to the masses because its more profitable.
Only the super Elite in Altered Carbon are able to be post-human because of the currency value of a body. Which, in RL is about $160 (according to CounterPulse.)
What the fuck happened to the economy and inflation that $160 is too expensive for all the material of a body? Seriously, I would expect bodies available for "sleeving" to be like a smart phone. Even the ultra poor in third world countries have fucking smartphones.
I mean, fuck, we can duplicate dogs for $50K. I can't even get a house for that but I can have fluffy live forever for that much. If Amazon can store meat in stadium sized freeze lockers, we can store human bodies.
While in Altered Carbon you can get a "sleeve", it makes no sense that the posthuman realm can only be explored by a few elite (or that's what is implied).
The full realization of the core transhumanist value requires everyone should have the opportunity to become posthuman. It would be sub-optimal if the opportunity to become posthuman were restricted to a tiny 1%.
And while ya'll think that everyone out there is a bad person and looking out only for themselves, I see a fuck-ton of star-gazers that want to heal the world. When they get out there and realize it's not the planet, but humans that need saving, they will work on the transhuman issue.
This Nick Bostrom dude that has a PhD says it way better than me and you can find his words here: https://www.nickbostrom.com/ethics/values.html
No only is wide access the ethical, humane, and economically viable solution, there are other reasons supporting everyone being able to live forever:
The wide access requirement underlies the moral urgency of the transhumanist vision. Wide access does not argue for holding back. On the contrary, other things being equal, it is an argument for moving forward as quickly as possible. 150,000 human beings on our planet die every day, without having had any access to the anticipated enhancement technologies that will make it possible to become posthuman. The sooner this technology develops, the fewer people will have died without access.
Consider a hypothetical case in which there is a choice between allowing the current human population to continue to exist, and having it instantaneously and painlessly killed and replaced by six billion new human beings who are very similar but non-identical to the people that exist today.
All that experience, all that knowledge, all that these people have to contribute─gone.
Such a replacement ought to be strongly resisted on moral grounds, for it would entail the involuntary death of six billion people. The fact that they would be replaced by six billion newly created similar people does not make the substitution acceptable.
Human beings are not disposable.
For analogous reasons, it is important that the opportunity to become posthuman is made available to as many humans as possible, rather than having the existing population merely supplemented (or worse, replaced) by a new set of posthuman people.
The transhumanist ideal will be maximally realized only if the benefits of technologies are widely shared and if they are made available as soon as possible, preferably within our lifetime.
Does that sound like a dude that just wants money or the uber elite to have access to foreverness? Go ahead, I dare you to say "yes". Just look at this:
TABLE OF TRANSHMANIST VALUES
Smart people are already working on you and I living for a long damn time. They aren't going to restrict access. In fact, it wouldn't help anyone to restrict access or have too much of a financial barrier because (case in point) if technology was too expensive for most people then nobody would have an iphone. Besides, Elon Musk only being able to talk on his smart phone to Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet might get boring.
But for why am I harping on this?
Because I am tired of people bitching about their slow internet (myself included) and pissing all over technology. We wouldn't be able to say screw you Covid if it weren't for guys trying to improve technology.
Enough about that though, I have a question.
If we are just animals to begin with, and our needs and wants are still basically food, water and shelter, then how will society and human enlightenment benefit from living forever?
Or will we become deranged and perverted like how the meth's are in Altered Carbon?
Some believe our involvement in society will change, morph and become MORE involved with each other. Maybe not in like my neighbor knows what time I get up in the morning but supportive on a global scale. Check out this article.
As if we will become one with what I call THE ALL. THE ALL is what I believe is where thought is collected.
I'm gonna get deep here but I need to if I'm going to explain this right.
THE ALL is where everyone's thought is collected. If you need to think of it as a cloud of thought─then there's your visualization.
THE ALL is how we are connected. It goes into the 100 Monkeys phenomenon. Where 100 Monkeys learn to wash their hands and then monkeys across the world, with no contact with each other, start washing their hands. That thought had to come from somewhere. The somewhere is the unconscious consciousness of THE ALL.
So now that I've gone off on a tangent (...squirel) it makes sense (or maybe I've just confused you) that we would experience empathy on a global scale. We would experience others adventures, horrors, sadness, hope and life through VR, computers and technology.
But can we evolve with our needs still as what they are?
We've become domesticated animals with our homes, medicine, abundance─even our worries are not where our next meal will come from (for most of us) and more about what next to watch, what to write about, what next to ponder upon. We might become even more fluffy bunny (more domesticated? How does that happen?) if death is no longer on the line as a consequence.
I Would Recommend Altered Carbon to Fans of:
Galley of Favorite MEME's, GIF's and Images
To see more reviews on shows I'd recommend, click on "WHAT I'M WATCHING" under Categories in the side bar.
Moon Blood 5 Review - Game Over
They were unique among their kind.
Ancients were the first-born of the originals. They didn’t seek out destruction or evil. It sought them, challenged them, and tried to possess them.
Kane de Medici is the powerful first blood son of Brogio, the original vampire. Devoted to learning, he has chosen a life of knowledge and experimentation. After centuries of war and battle, he longs for peace and fulfillment with those he loves.
Moon, Kane’s hybrid wolf progeny, is loyal to him above all, while Enzo, her magical spirt wolf, is devoted to her protection.
Zandra Moretti is the first born of King Lycan, the original werewolf. She and her ten brothers are hybrid vampire Lycans committed to not harming innocents and to fighting for what is right. Kane is the love of Zandra’s existence, and with him, she and her brothers will give their lives to fight against the evil that endlessly seeks to capture or destroy him.
Anointed as God’s chosen warriors, they are pitted against Satan and all manner of evil from their past. Giving their all to protect each other and humanity, the de Medici vampires must face the ultimate test of their strength, skills, and intelligence. Underneath it all, love and loyalty are the keys to victory with Moon and Enzo showing them the way.
The ultimate clash of Good against Evil plays out in Moon Blood Book 5, the culmination of the First Blood Son Series.
This is the last of the Moon Blood series, but another shall arise.
Brogio has Snow Blood.
Kane has Moon Blood.
Who is next?
The "Z" brothers?
One of the coven leaders?
We have to wait and find out which lucky vampire or hybrid gets their own wolf!
This is sadly the last of The First Blood Son series.
It's also the one with the most monsters, the highest stakes and yields the greatest reward.
After centuries of war and battle, Kane longs for peace and fulfillment with those he loves.
I never really saw Kane as a fighter, though he holds his own. He was always the mastermind, the dandy─the free spirit. But being the head of the coven has changed him. He's more like Brogio, and Brogio while still controlling, is calmer and seems happy.
This was a roller coaster that went so far up the downhill never stopped until the very end. When you get on this ride, be prepared not to stop until it's done.
I Would Recommend this to Fans of:
Greek Mythology Fiction
sample from Moon Blood 5
© 2019 Carol McKibben
Enzo’s shaggy black fur shimmered in the Tuscany moonlight. His golden eyes transfixed on nothing. His body stood frozen in place. I knew the signs. My spirit-turned-corporeal wolf was experiencing another vision.
The forest around us just outside my master Kane’s Italian wine estate was silent save the laughing voices of Zandra, her brothers, and James, her newly turned hybrid vampire Lycan, as they hunted for prey in the far distance. They had no need to be quiet as their vampire speed allowed them to take down the fastest prey. Through my preternatural connection to Kane, I alerted to my sire taking down a large bull moose and sating his thirst at the beast’s jugular. I longed to have a taste.
Instead, I padded to Enzo and pressed against him until his eyes focused and he shook his head. I sat back on my haunches as he gazed into my eyes.
We will have little rest. The worst approaches.
His warning shook me to the core. I twisted my head at the one I loved only second to Kane and wondered, What could be worse than what we have experienced? Enemy werewolves, flesh eaters, shifters, and zombies have attacked us repeatedly. Lilith, the original succubus, has tried to control us. Satan has tried to destroy us. Prior to ever meeting you, human greed captured and tried to use us.
Before he could telepathically respond, we both lifted our noses to the air and took in the stench of danger lurking around us.
An arrow whizzed past my right ear. A sharp sting and the whiff of deadly silver alerted me as a chunk of my furry white ear sailed through the air.
Enzo whirled and placed his backside to mine. We circled as some twenty men dressed in brown leather pants and boots surrounded us. They carried axes, crossbows, and swords. Their faces and bodies reeked of hate.
My injured ear stung. The insidious burn of it seeped inward from the minor cut. Liquid fire ran down the rest of my injured appendage numbing everything it touched. I feared silver poison but ignored it and sprang just missing the sharp side of an axe intended for me. I went for the hunter’s weapon-wielding arm and bit down.
The man screamed, convulsed, and foamed at the mouth. He died before he hit the ground.
Behind me, I heard Enzo tear into several others. Skin and cloth ripped. Screams of humans being devoured rang through the air. The spirit wolf’s throaty growls and gnashing teeth mingled with their cries.
A few of the enemy backed off momentarily in surprise at Enzo’s ferocity and their comrade’s death from my one bite. They must not have known that I had inherited my biological father Snow Blood’s deadly bite. I took off to my right, grabbed the extended arm of one man, and ripped it from his shoulder. He shuddered and fell face first into the budding spring ground cover. I whirled and this time bit into the leg nearest me. Knowing I had killed again, I moved on and sprang, tearing out the throat of a third victim.
The screams of those Enzo attacked were short-lived. His powerful jaws ripped throat after throat. Dead bodies littered the forest ground. The smell of their blood incited me. The bloodlust within me overpowered my senses.
I leapt for another would-be victim but was taken down by a silver arrow to my spine. The pain shot through every nerve ending, and the deadly metal surged through my core paralyzing me. Four more attackers surrounded me and began to slash and hack at me with both swords and axes. A blade bit deeply into my shoulder. I yelped in agony. The pain became intolerable.
Enzo instantly jumped them and became a killing machine. Body parts flew in the air. A head rolled next to me. The man’s blank, dead eyes stared at me. An arm plopped down just next to the head. A headless torso took flight and smashed against an oak tree.
I struggled to stand as another blow landed on me from behind, taking my hind legs out from under me. I whirled and took off the offending hand with one bite. The soft appendage still wiggled. My body began to morph into my inner demon, but blood poured from me. I fought to keep my eyes open and was sinking fast. I felt my life slipping away.
As another attacker bent to slice my throat, I sprang with all my remaining strength and tore out his. With nothing left, I slid toward the earth. As the world went dark, I heard Kane’s voice. Hold on, girl. We’re here.
About the Author - Carol McKibben
Carol's love of animals, especially dogs and horses, is obvious in everything she writes. When Carol isn’t feeding her horde of canine rescues, she’s out riding her beloved Friesian on the plains of Texas. Her love of animals leads her to write through a dog's eyes. Carol’s message is clear. "If a dog can love us unconditionally, why can't we do the same with each other?" And, her paranormal stories are often filled with characters that might be the most difficult to love.
Carol's writing career began at 14 years of age when she started telling her stories to Labrador Retrievers, Basset Hounds, and any stray that happened by. It wasn't long before people stopped to have a listen as well. Now, Carol writes for people and speaks to large audiences, dogs included.
Contact Carol at http://www.carolmckibben.com or join her on Facebook:
Where to find Carol McKibben
The Rook Review
When a woman wakes up surrounded by dead bodies with her memory erased, she must uncover her mysterious past to learn the truth.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how a premise should be. Short, intriguing and just enough information to pique your interest.
Now, here's the blurb from the book:
Myfanwy Thomas awakens in a London park surrounded by dead bodies. With her memory gone, she must trust the instructions left by her former in order to survive. She quickly learns that she is a Rook, a high-level operative in a secret agency that protects the world from supernatural threats. But there is a mole inside the organization, and this person wants her dead.
Battling to save herself, Myfanwy will encounter a person with four bodies, a woman who can enter her dreams, children transformed into deadly fighters, and terrifyingly vast conspiracy.
Suspenseful and hilarious, THE ROOK is an outrageously imaginative thriller for readers who like their espionage with a dollop of purple slime.
Here's my low-down:
Myfanwy (as in Mif-anny, rhymes with Tiffany) wakes up with amnesia in the middle of the Millennium Bridge in London during a rainstorm with 6 dead bodies surrounding her. What's the first thing you would do in this situation?
Myfanwy finds a note to herself and does what her previous self says to do─run.
The STARZ original follows the book by Daniel O'Malley but the TV show has gone a tad more serious route than the books. Daniel O'Malley's cheekyness is a little lost in translation.
I know a lot of big wigs have poo-poo'd this series (like Rotten Tomatoes) saying the dour tone and convoluted machinations overshadow its intriguing premise. But I do wonder if Stephanie Meyers (yeah, that Stephanie Meyers of Twilight) directing (or apparently being involved and then tapping out as the filming began) has anything to do with it.
Maybe they just have it in their heads that it's going to be bad. Maybe they were expecting it to be just like the Daniel O'Malley's book. Maybe they wanted purple slime. Whose to say.
What I do know is that when you go in with expectations it has a larger than a mountain potential to ruin the experience.
Awaken the Power Within
Suspects and Allies
Alex, Teddy, Eliza, and Robert Gestalt
Gestalt is the "hive mind"─four siblings sharing one consciousness. Thus why I've grouped them as one below.
Alex and Teddy (identical twins), Eliza and Robert appear to be individuals, each with distinctive manners and tastes in dress but this distinction is a facade to enhance their value as agents. They are, in fact, one person, silently sharing every thought.
Their oneness is fascinating and creepy and the actors play it so well! I look forward to their interactions especially with Myfanwy. *SPOILER ALERT* Talk about a moresome!
The premise is intriquing and the mystery is there to be unfolded TO you. I realize it's hard to put the inner editor away, but if you can, you will have an enjoyable time.
While I can't help but try to figure out what's going on, the events of Myfawny's "past life" comes creeping back while she tries to put things in place and find simple questions like─who's trying to kill her, much less, why?
This is the type of story I love to noodle on. Unraveling the mystery is fun from the couch.
I found the show keeping my interest to where I'll follow this season till it's end because STARZ has "promised" we get to find out.
From here I go into spoilers.
I spoke about Conrad and his protection of Myfawny. His actions seem more protective while Farrier seems like she's an ally, she may have ulterior motives for her Rook. Conrad doesn't tell Farrier about a certain encounter which makes me wonder if he's going to make a power play for the King seat. Monica seems very invested in the death of her former lover and seems to be sticking around for revenge. But everyone keeps a cool head.
Except for Teddy Gestalt. Teddy is getting angry over the fact that Myfawny is not broken hearted and fighting for him─them─to further their relationship. Plus Myfawny is acting weird. Of course she is─she's no longer who she used to be. She's forgotten all the experiences that made her. In my mind the Gestalt's appear to be different emotions of the same person.
Season 1 has concluded and the very last episode wraps everything up and comes full circle to the Millenium Bridge. However, the pace that was set during the rest of the season makes the ending feel a little abrupt.
We're left with more questions for Season 2─which is great! I want another season─but the "finality" of the season's end felt rushed. It makes sense and yet I have a niggling of dissatisfaction.
I'll ponder and think upon what it is about the ending that has me feeling this way, and if I reach a conclusion, I'll post an update! Or if you agree and have "put your finger on it", tell me in the comments! I'd appreciate someone to noodle about it.
I Would Recommend This to Fans of:
Science Experiment Gone Wrong
To see more reviews on shows I'd recommend, click on "WHAT I'M WATCHING" under Categories in the side bar.
I got this off the Amazon website for the book. I'm not sure if AMC is going to follow the book precisely. But this blurb does tell you what the story is about. The third paragraph seems like it would be the second book of the series since the AMC series is about Manx hunting Vic.
Victoria McQueen has a secret gift for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. On her Raleigh Tuff Burner bike, she makes her way to a rickety covered bridge that, within moments, takes her wherever she needs to go, whether it’s across Massachusetts or across the country.
Charles Talent Manx has a way with children. He likes to take them for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the NOS4A2 vanity plate. With his old car, he can slip right out of the everyday world, and onto the hidden roads that transport them to an astonishing – and terrifying – playground of amusements he calls “Christmasland.”
Then, one day, Vic goes looking for trouble—and finds Manx. That was a lifetime ago. Now Vic, the only kid to ever escape Manx’s unmitigated evil, is all grown up and desperate to forget. But Charlie Manx never stopped thinking about Victoria McQueen. He’s on the road again and he’s picked up a new passenger: Vic’s own son.
I found this blurb for the television show:
Based on Joe Hill's New York Times best-selling novel of the same name, "NOS4A2" is a different kind of vampire story. It follows Vic McQueen, a gifted young woman who discovers she has a supernatural ability to find lost things. This ability puts her on a collision course with the evil and immortal Charlie Manx. Manx is a supernatural villain who feeds off the souls of children and then deposits what remains of them into Christmasland -- a twisted place of Manx's imagination where every day is Christmas Day and unhappiness is against the law. Vic strives to defeat Manx and rescue his victims -- without losing her mind or falling victim to him.
We follow three main characters in the AMC television series.
Charlie Manx (left), Maggie Leigh (center), Vic "The Brat" McQueen (right)
After some research, I’ve come to the conclusion that the origin of Nosferatu was a word inspired by a talented writer who founded the word anew. This writer found the word cool and put it in with their scary story. Mr. Talented Writer named their type of vampire a Nosferatu and thus it became synonymous with vampire.
I’m not talking about the 1922 film that added “A symphony of horror” to the definition of Nosferatu either. This was way before that. So long in fact, the origin of the word can’t be found and is so different from “vampire” which makes me come to this conclusion.
Forward to 2019 and we have NOS4A2—a clever license plate and a very fitting one for a 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith. It’s also fitting that the driver sucks the life out of children.
The stories mystery and fresh twist on “abilities” is spellbinding. Answers do not abound in the episodes but enough information is given to figure out the details. Do not haphazardly watch this show or suffer confusion. Only those sharp and vigilant catch the subtle clues left behind. Horror, children in peril, a reluctant hero, a determined medium and a villain that twists the circumstances to justify his actions, makes for a sophisticated story that will stand-up to an age.
Season End Update
This show ended way too soon, I wanted more! And, with an "ending" like NOS4A2 it looks like we will get more!
As the season progressed, we got to see more of Charlie Manx's world. It was interesting and pulled some pieces together. It also brought a family issue to a head that also tore them apart. I had a few issues with a few things that happened in which I argue with myself, justifying the choices the writer's made. But I'm not giving spoilers so that's all I'm going to say.
All-in-all, I would watch Season 2 and anticipate the shows return. *cross your fingers*
I WOULD RECOMMEND THIS TO FANS OF:
CHILDREN IN PERIL
COMING INTO SUPER POWERS
SUPERHERO ORIGIN STORIES
To see more reviews on shows I'd recommend, click on "WHAT I'M WATCHING" under Categories in the side bar.