Stranger things than patriots and demon princes

What can men do against such reckless entertainment? Like everyone else on the internet, evidently, I have started to watch Stranger Things. This one I’m doing with the girlfriend, though, so we’re generally getting through one or two episodes per weekend. Is there a pace setting lower than “steady?”


Thus far the show has received near-universal acclaim, save from a few philistines in my timeline. Sorry Alex, I’m on the bandwagon!

I believe I’ve read some complaints about the characters or story not being engaging enough from the get-go, but I just didn’t see it. I mean I wasn’t in love with all of the characters by the end of the first episode, but it kept me interested enough to want to watch the next one. I’m a few in now and for me the pros are still out-weighing the cons. Is it the best show I’ve ever seen? Nah. But it’s not bad. The (albeit thin) inclusion of D&D and sweet 80’s-style retro new wave synth tickle my nerdy Millennial pickle. Also I’m normally not a Winona Ryder fan, but I think she’s great in her role here.

Meanwhile I’ve been watching AMC’s Turn, as well.


It’s a neat little historical drama, based on a real spy ring operating during the American Revolution for General Washington. So far I think the acting is pretty solid and the writers do a good job showing the ugliness of war the torn loyalties and factions even within the ranks of the two opposing sides. At first I thought “I do love a good historical account of the British being assholes.” But I was soon shown assholes and good guys on both sides.


This weekend I also had a bit of luck at the thrift stores. My girlfriend and I checked out a few places in Delaware and I came away with 3 Vance books and a Zelazny for 25 cents each, plus a very nice hard-bound copy of King Solomon’s Mines for a dollar. The Zelazny book looks like I may have to wait for a particular mood to strike me before attempting it. Of the three Vance novels, one I already own (but this one was in great condition and has an alternate cover, so for 25 cents why not?). The second is book #3 of the Planet of Adventure series. And third is Star King, the first of the Demon Prince series. So now I have a chief denizen for the bedside table.

Incidentally, King Solomon’s Mines is one of those books that I’d really not have had any interest in until recently. While it’s not mentioned specifically, it is the first of H R Haggard’s Allan Quartermain books, several of which are counted in the Newcastle Forgotten Fantasy Library, and Haggard is listed as a general entry on the Moldvay Basic list. Considering that Haggard makes 3 of the 5 major indices of the Grand List and that it’s supposedly the first story of the Lost World subgenre, it seemed like a no-brainer to pick it up for tuppence.

I’m also continually striving to fit in some Heroes of the Storm and Witcher 3, but sometimes something’s gotta give. Only so much leisure time in a week.

How about you all, dear readers? Getting into anything particularly interesting these days?





4 thoughts on “Stranger things than patriots and demon princes

    1. Interesting; I haven’t read much Chinese fiction. Maybe I’ll check it out. I’ll keep an eye on your blog for a review!

      I could definitely see Turn not being for everyone. It’s got some good drama and a bit of action, but if I weren’t into history it probably couldn’t keep my attention.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I think that you will find King Solomon’s Mines interesting. I find most of his books worth reading, but am a particular fan of this one. Other books by Rider Haggard I’d recommend are She and the sequel to KSM, Allan Quatermain. When you read any of his books, keep in mind that he was the friend and hunting companion of at least one of the Zulu Inkhosi (generals) who commanded at the battle of Isandlwana. In other words, he not only knew warriors who fought with spear and shield, he knew generals who had led armies of such warriors to victory.

    Of how many other fantasy authors can that be said?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a great tidbit! I’ve read that CW Lewis was a fan of his, and She is the other novel of his that I’d for sure like to read someday. Can’t speak to him yet, but I’ve found that reading from around the turn of the century or prior, you have to be “in the mood.” It can take considerable mental energy, for me at least, to absorb the older forms of speech and styles of writing.


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