Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Indexing by Seanan McGuire, plus a bonus!

I love the episodic format of television shows. I love how each episode is a full story arc, but the characters have larger arcs that cross the whole season (or the whole show) and keep you watching. Good for a quick story or for a full day of marathoning. TV can also have some epic, badass, mindblowing arcs. How much more information can you pack into a 13 or 24 episode season, as opposed to a two or three hour movie? Well, a lot. This is the reason I fall harder for the characters in TV shows than movies (assuming there was no book for me to fall in love with first).

This is the basis for the Kindle Serials program. Ten episode "seasons," each a short story-like chapter, delivered every two weeks to your device. For just a few dollars. The one downside to this is that I don't own a Kindle, and read this on my phone. Convenient, but a bit annoying. Indexing is only available through Amazon, because it's part of this program. But don't fret if you missed out on the serial part of it! Now that it's finished, you can buy the whole thing. (And it looks like they've put it out in a paperback edition, too! That's great!)

“Never underestimate the power of a good story.”
Good advice…especially when a story can kill you.
     For most people, the story of their lives is just that: the accumulation of time, encounters, and actions into a cohesive whole. But for an unfortunate few, that day-to-day existence is affected—perhaps infected is a better word—by memetic incursion: where fairy tale narratives become reality, often with disastrous results.
     That's where the ATI Management Bureau steps in, an organization tasked with protecting the world from fairy tales, even while most of their agents are struggling to keep their own fantastic archetypes from taking over their lives. When you're dealing with storybook narratives in the real world, it doesn't matter if you're Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, or the Wicked Queen: no one gets a happily ever after.

Normally, I don't think this would be my thing. I'm not much a fan of short stories. At all. I kind of hate them, actually. But Seanan McGuire makes me re-evaluate my priorities, because she is awesome. In Indexing, fairy tales and princesses meets CSI, with a little bit of The Office thrown in, and it is all awesome. It is awesome the way Kingdom Hearts was awesome, when it mixed Disney and Final Fantasy characters. You have your classic gang of people, all with different personalities and backstories, all trying to be a productive team without killing each other.

Henry and Sloane are badass. The men, while great, are not as badass as the women (they are also not front and center), and that was also awesome. Each chapter had it's own story, and as you progressed through the episodes and got to know the players better, they became more and more character-centric, until the season-long arc concluded at the end (with a bang!). Like every good TV show should. This is really a great format, and I would love for it to become more widespread and to get more attention and more big-name authors.

I really want season two. Pleeeeease write a season two. But so far, nothing has been announced. Sad Gina. Read it! It's only two dollars!

Since I haven't been the most timely blogger lately, have some riddles! I love riddles. The first one is a traditional riddle, and one of my favorites. If anyone knows of a great source for more of those, I'd love to hear about it. For the strings of letters following the riddle, the challenge is to figure out the next letter in the sequence. The first is pretty easy, but not all the strings follow the same pattern! You need to think differently. (The fourth is a tricky one... we found two answers!) Thanks go to whatever Stanford professor gave the riddle to P's cousin, and to Reese for the letter strings. AND NO GOOGLE. SERIOUSLY. ELF ON THE SHELF IS WATCHING YOU.

A scream in a storm, 
weightless yet anchored, 
a habitat for the living, 
a coffin for the dead, 
and perfection of the land and sea, 
a ruin for evolution.

S  M  T  W  T  F  _____
D  D  P  V C  C  D  _____
O  T  T  F  _____
A  D  G  J  _____
Z  X  C  V  _____

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