Check Your Lists Twice

So some journalists are already releasing their Best Books of 2015 lists. This is ridiculous because it’s not even 2016 yet! Making the official deadline New Year’s just makes things less confusing for everyone. Thus far I haven’t seen my novel on any of these lists either, which is even worse.

So I’m unilaterally declaring (I do that a lot here) The Dolorous Adventure of Brother Banenose by Matthew Catania the best book of 2015! I’m proud of the years of hard work that went into making it, so why shouldn’t my biased opinion count?  Maybe it’ll be on your Best of 2015 list too? Let me know if it ranks anywhere. And there’s still time to add it to your [insert preferred holiday] wishlist! Behold another satisfied customer!


After a lousy first season (even after the CA:TWS reveal) & a great second,   Agents of SHIELD’s third season has been bland so far. It’s been fast paced yet somehow manages to not be exciting.

Dr. Andrew Garner as Lash is filling the Jemmacide role I hypothesized way back. The problem is it’s not compelling since the show barely featured him before. If Jemma got powers & went on an Inhuman killing spree there’d be some engaging  pathos to it because she’s a main character with an established motive. Why didn’t you obey the blog I tweeted at you, showrunners? Can you at least quit damseling her?

Fridging Rosalind just to give Coulson manpain was such a hack move. He already had plenty of personal motivation to want Ward dead! Maybe if Coulson had spared more than two agents to kill Ward last time we wouldn’t be in this situation. (Also, why didn’t Coulson tell May about putting a redshirt protective detail on Andrew beforehand so she wouldn’t bork the mission worrying about his safety? There was no reason to keep that a secret other than to make her needlessly mad at Hunter!) At least Coulson finally broke Ward’s heart!

My previous low estimation of the quarry planet hasn’t improved since last time I ranted about it. Jemma’s astronaut was really Phantom Spaceman, but not all along because for some reason it couldn’t kill one human in fourteen years. Its host bodies can be killed with flare guns, so maybe Powers Boothe shouldn’t put too much faith in it.

The climax to the high stakes castle raid happens off-screen, possibly because the effects budget was blown on a CGI plane docking with a bigger CGI plane. Coulson & Fitz make it back, but stare at each other like they suspect the other is Phantom Spaceman. But then Ward’s corpse (WHY CAN’T WE BE RID OF YOU?!) appears in a completely different location apparently as its host. So why didn’t Mack & Quake (Why does he keep calling her Tremors when that’s not her canon codename? She’s got enough names already!) destroy zombie Ward as he came out of the portal? Why didn’t it kill them? If there was only one portal & the castle containing said portal got bombed to smithereens, how did Phantom Spaceman manifest directly in front of Powers Boothe’s car? If my main reaction is how befuddling the logistics are, it was not a well executed cliffhanger.


Contrariwise, the F-Lash ran across moving helicopter blade to chase the flying Weather Wizard! Captain Cold (who still doesn’t know he has an action figure) broke into his house to drink all the hot chocolate. Trickster lived up to his name for being Hanukkah inclusive whilst his hamtastic scenery chewing remained unkosher. My heart grew three sizes (this is a serious medical problem) when Harrison Wells said “Your toys. Give them to me.”

Also, that “death” on (Green) Arrow is a fake-out. Don’t panic.

Last week, Supergirl went full Princess Unikitty. I found it charming that Red Tornado looked like a Super Sentai character. The problem was they rushed through all the Dr. T. O. Morrow development so it felt like a giant “that escalated quickly” meme.

Jemm the Son of Saturn acted much more like Despero sans forehead fin. Totally outrageous! (His organic jewel is literally called the Mark of Jargon in the comics.) Why is his prison jumpsuit bulletproof, & how did Kara’s sling made from Jimmy’s shirt ransform into a regular sling? Much like Vartox, Rampage, Jemm, Hawkgirl, & Hawkman, Martian Manhunter was overdressed.

After picking up The Tea Party by Charles Grant based on its great cover, I found that this may be the only horror novel set in my county. My town is even namedropped twice. The title could even be a double entendre given local politics, had it not been written 30 years ago. Aside from the “antagonist” evoking Peter Cushing, the book isn’t that engaging. It takes too long to get to the tea party & the supernatural logistics are murky. Why would magic stones be vulnerable to fire?

The book’s least pardonable sin is its complete absence of tea. The townspeople are specifically invited to high tea … where they drink punch. The cover’s teacup & haunted tablecloth aren’t present. YOU PROMISED ME A TEA PARTY! Suffice it to say, it will not be on my Best Books of 2015 list.


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