Holy Schnikes, kids! Look what’s back up and running? I mean, I guess I think it’s back up and running. Let’s see what things are like next week, before we get all excited and shit.
But for now? It’s Sunday, and with it came another episode of the G and T Show, with hosts Terry Lynn Shull, Nick Minecci, and Mike Medeiros bringing you all the latest happenings in and around the “Star Trek Universe.”
And when they got to a point of the show that otherwise would’ve been filled with dead air? They brought out an old chestnut, blew off the dust, and let it fly. To wit:
It’s been a while. How’s the Witness Protection Program? So much is going on. With Daredevil and Age of Ultron, can Marvel do any wrong on the screen at this point? Also, what have you been reading you can recommend to us?
Witness Protection? I didn’t go anywhere. I’ve been here all along. To borrow and tweak an oft-used phrase that you’ll hear a lot with respect to religion or politics, I didn’t leave my podcast; my podcast left me.
I mean, fuck: How long’s it been since the last time we had an “Ask Dayton?” Three months, by my calculations. That’s almost a football season. That’s one third of a gestating baby. That’s how long Barbra Streisand says goodbye during her latest farewell tour.
(Truth be told, I’ve had this question in my hopper for a couple of weeks, now, but I’d been holding out for more money from the show, and contract negotiations had stalled. My agent was finally able to get me a nice raise and from now, on I’ll be making three times as much per answer as I was making before. Pretty sweet, right?)
What have I been doing since then? I’ve been working my ass off. That’s what. Since the last time we spoke, I’ve written one book, finished co-writing another, banged out a couple of short stories and the odd web-based thing, and plunged ass-deep into writing two different novels at the same time. Why? Because I’m a fucking idiot, that’s why.
Who writes two novels at the same time? :: points thumbs at self :: This moron, right here. Thankfully, neither book is remotely like the other in terms of story, themes, characters, or even genres. That’s the only thing saving me from running out into the street and trying an open-field tackle on a bus, although it does make for some interesting dreams…you know, when I get around to actually sleeping, and shit.
But, you probably don’t give a damn about any of that, do you? No, no. I’m fine. Thanks for asking.
As for what Marvel can and can’t do wrong so far as their much-vaunted “Cinematic Universe” goes, I’m going to have to be that guy who says he didn’t really get all that excited about Age of Ultron. I wasn’t in that much of a hurry to see it, and once I finally made it to a screening, it’s not like I was champing at the bit to see it again. Contrast that with Mad Max: Fury Road, which I wanted to watch again as soon as the credits finished rolling the first time. Hot damn what a fun movie that was.
As for Ultron? No, it certainly wasn’t a bad movie, but it was like Chinese food; a half hour after I was done watching it, I wanted something to fill the void because in the end, the flick just didn’t do that much for me. So far as I’m concerned, the best Marvel movie to date is Captain America: The Winter Soldier. As entertaining as both Avengers movies are, neither one of them comes close to knocking that one off the top of the heap, for me. The only one that might have a chance is Cap’s next outing, Civil War.
Taking a look ahead at what else is coming from Marvel, I have to admit to a healthy skepticism about Ant Man. I mean…really? Then again, I was one of those folks who thought Guardians of the Galaxy was going to be a big misfire, and I was quite happy to be proven wrong about that. I don’t really have feelings one way or another about yet another Spider-Man reboot, and I was never a big Doctor Strange or Thor fan, but Captain Marvel intrigues me. Speaking of characters who need their own movie, we seriously need a Black Widow flick. Natasha Romanoff is arguably the biggest badass of the whole group we’ve seen so far. No super powers, no high-tech toys, just skills and sass. What are we waiting for?
Switching gears to the other part of your question, my leisure reading has taken a hit in recent months, to be honest. Anything I read these days is almost always research or “homework” for whatever writing project is front and center. That doesn’t stop me from buying new books, you understand. The way I see it, I’m lining up my activities calendar for when I finally retire.
That said, I did have recent opportunities to read a couple of books. The first was called Home Before Morning, a memoir written by a former Army nurse that chronicles her experiences at an evac hospital during the Vietnam War. If that premise sounds familiar to you, it’s because this book was the basis for the 1980s television series China Beach. The other book I read was The Martian by Andy Weir, which is one of the more entertaining science fiction novels I’ve read in a long time. I wanted to read it before the movie adaptation hits theaters later this year, and the movie’s going to have a tough act to follow. I used to be able to say, “Hey, it’s Ridley Scott! That’s like money in the bank!” But, I still haven’t completely forgiven him for recent efforts like Prometheus, and the very idea of a sequel to Blade Runner is blasphemous. So, here’s hoping The Martian marks the start of a big-time bounce-back for Sir Ridley.
I think that’s enough babbling for one answer, don’t you? I look forward to addressing the next “Ask Dayton” some time in 2017 or so.
This question and its answer was read during G&T Show Episode #196 on June 14th, 2015. You can hear Nick read the answers each week by listening live, or check out the replay/download options when the episode is loaded to their website: The G and T Show. Listeners are also encouraged to send in their own questions, one of which will be sent to me each week for a future episode.
And as always, many thanks to Nick, Terry and Mike for continuing to make me a part of the show.