Update. Next Publication is: Under Strange Suns, available digitally August 2015, print version due December 2015, Twilight Times Books.

Forced Hiatus from Popular Culture

I understand it’s been a good year for movies. I read glowing reviews and happy Facebook chatter about the recent crop of comic book films and the return of everyone’s favorite city-stomping behemoth.

I certainly hope they hold up on the small screen because that’s the only way I’m going to see them – months or perhaps years after their release. And when I say small screen I mean one of two screens: either my big screen television or the much more modest dimensions of my Acer Chromebook.

It isn’t that I do not want to see any of these movies in the theater. But my priority is my 6-month old daughter. Going to the theater is simply not an option. I can wait for the Blu-ray to reach the Red Box and rent the film for the night. That seldom works as well as one might hope. A two hour block of time, uninterrupted by an infant’s needs, is difficult to achieve. And if she is sleeping the volume must, of course, be minimized. The usual result of a rental is that my lovely wife and I watch twenty, perhaps thirty minutes of the movie, then turn it off for the night. We may – or may not – be able to finish it the next day before I need to return it.

So most of last year’s fare that is on my to-see list remains on the list.

My other source for film is Neflix. I am up late every night, writing and attending to Victoria’s last feeding and changing of the day. After getting in my word count I usually have time to watch a third or even half of a movie. Now, Neflix tends to provide streaming movies later than they are available for rental. And the selection is curtailed. But patience eventually brings many films I’ve hoped to watch to the small screen – to the very small screen. Hence my hope that the current crop of effects-driven spectaculars hold up on my – compact – viewing area.

And now Comcast has ceased providing free streaming of HBO shows. So no more “Game of Thrones” until the library gets in this season’s DVD set.

First World problems, right? I’ve plenty of books and a near endless supply of older films or television series at my beck. I’m hardly hurting for entertainment. Just don’t expect me to contribute to any conversations about the latest and greatest. I haven’t seen it.