Monday, May 27, 2013

Reggie's Round Up: In Which I Review Top Of The Lake

Jane Campion's Top of the Lake

What It Is: A mini-series out of New Zealand which ran on the Sundance Channel and is, as of this writing, streaming on Netflix. A pregnant twelve year old girl is found in a local lake with deadly waters which results in a police investigation lead by Detective Robin Griffin, played by Mad Men's Elisabeth Moss. Detective Griffin has her own sorrowful history in the town and as she investigates young Tui Mitcham's situation, she is also confronted with her own story.

Why It Is Awesome:  Two words. Jane. Campion.

Not enough? Okay, I'll give you some more. I struggle with this because I don't want to go all spoilery on you. Let's start with the genius of how this very difficult story is handled. Obviously, a pregnant twelve year old girl at the center of the narrative makes it upsetting before you even begin watching. You know from the outset that this is work dealing with serious and important topics. Anyone familiar with Campion's films knows that she is extraordinarily good at this. What makes her particularly good at handling the difficult and sensitive is that she does not pull punches. Events are shot or told in a matter-of-fact way, with a particular visual style that is hard to describe. (For some reason the phrase Monet in motion pops into my head, but that can't be accurate. So I'll just leave that weird little piece of my id here for someone else to parse.)

Here's the thing, often an audience is drawn to focus on the events, or "who has done what to whom" and it becomes easy to lose sight of the characters beyond their role in the events/plot. Jane Campion's direction refuses to allow her audiences to lose sight of the characters' humanity. I think what I mean to say here is that while terrible things happen, those terrible things do not necessarily define who the characters are. Those things are perhaps integral to who characters are, but we the audience do not get to look away from other things about the central characters. Yes, there are victims here, but the thing is that they do not stay in that role. What defines them is what comes after, and this, I think is what the story shows us. Life goes on. There are unexpected consequences, there is hope, redemption, joy.

The cast is crazy impressive. The actors and actresses that I did not recognize from other work were all memorable in this piece. There is not a single throw-away performance, not a single wasted piece of dialogue.

Elisabeth Moss is a name/face you might recognize from AMC's Mad Men as the character Peggy Olson. Peggy is one of my favorite female characters in television, and after seeing Elisabeth Moss's performance in Top of the Lake as Detective Griffin, she is quickly becoming one of my favorite actresses.

Holly Hunter does not disappoint as the iconoclastic leader, GJ, of a women's camp that has just set up in Paradise. The character is surprising in her harshness, but what she hands out is truth, which is kind even as it stings.

Another performance that bears mentioning is that of Peter Mullan as Matt Mitcham, Tui Mitcham's father. The character is complex and layered, terrifying one minute and a teddy-bear the next. There is so much more to say about the character, but I'm starting to venture into spoiler territory here... just, pay attention to this dude. The actor has got some serious chops and the character he plays is intriguing.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Psychic Powers Flash Fiction Challenge: Montague's Folly Continued..

Right, so Chuck Wendig did his challenge thingy again here:

It's good timing for me because I need to get in fiction-head and these are a really good way to get there.

The Psychic Power I picked was Cryomancy and my offering is below, but here's the thing - it's a continuation of last week's flash fiction challenge. Does it still count?

809 words, baby. Read it and weep for poor, foolish Monty.

Montague's Folly Continued

“What do you mean, not again? I have never gotten romantically involved with a demon queen before this,” Monty said.

The barista rolled his eyes and backed away from the counter, muttering under his breath.

Monty settled into one of the booths for a little rest and relaxation. He’d just gotten comfortable enough to drowse when he felt an uncomfortable chill wake him.

He sat up and looked toward the front door. It was still closed, but was covered in ice crystals that stretched across the glass like a latticework of shattered bones. He looked toward the counter. The barista stood there in a bulky fur lined coat, mittens and a winter hat with the ear flaps deployed.

Monty felt his lips turning blue and lethargically tapped his foot against a table leg. The barista bustled over with a wool blanket.

“I guess Princess is here?” Monty asked.

The barista nodded. “Time to make the iced coffee. Nothing does a better job than cryomantic hands at work, you know.”

“I know,” Monty said. He’d heard the line before.

“That’s right. You were here the last time.”

Monty remembered it all too well. There had been a pyromancer at Café Mud. Apparently, Firenze was Princess’ cousin and felt cheated out of the café. He thought he was going to inherit the business from Uncle Dirt, but it had gone to Princess instead.

Princess was a large burly man, not someone Monty would ever want to upset under any circumstances. The ability to send any living creature the way of the mammoth was just the cherry on top of the intimidation sundae.

Monty had been stalking the much smaller Firenze with the intent of stealing his fire. An angry fairy had hired him to do this, equipping Monty with a clamshell made of rubies and petrified wood. All Monty had to do was slip the thing into Firenze’s left side pocket. The second Firenze touched it, the object was supposed to capture the fire. Basically, all Monty had to do was a little reverse pick-pocketing.

He’d followed his mark to Café Mud and “bumped” into Firenze just before he tried to burn all the cash in the register. While Monty still had to pay for services rendered, Princess was more indulgent with Monty than he might be otherwise.

Princess did not take his eyes off of his batch of iced coffee as he cleared his throat.

“Monty. What is this I hear about you and a date with the Demon Queen?”

“I felt like we really connected,” Monty said. “I could be wrong, but hell, I gotta follow the road where it goes, right? I mean, you can’t deny Belinda is beautiful.”

“That face worn by those caterwauling demons outside my window? Didn’t look so good to me,” Princess said. “It looked borrowed. Maybe it’s the face the queen wears, but I’m pretty sure that it, and the name, both belonged to a pheremonally enhanced secret agent who disappeared some years back.”

“Really?” Monty was surprised. “Huh. Maybe that’s the woman I’m supposed to find.”

“Even if that were true, which it isn’t, it’s too late. You made a date with a demon queen. You can’t back out now.”

Monty rubbed his forehead. Crystals of ice poked at his hands, protruding from his prodigious eyebrows. “I’m confused. I thought you were trying to talk me out of this?”

Princess turned around and stared at Monty with his unnaturally light blue eyes. “I’m not letting you go without protection. Barista! Hand me my hula hoop!”

The barista, surprisingly agile for someone swaddled as he was with winter-wear, reached behind the counter and threw a purple and glittery hula hoop toward Princess. He caught it with his left hand, pulled it over his head and began to hula.

Monty’s mouth fell open.

Princess arched an eyebrow. “You better mind your face, Monty. In my presence, it could very well freeze that way.”


As Princess continued to hula, Monty noticed ice forming on the hoop, which radiated outward in a thick layer which tapered off to thin points at varying intervals.

It dawned on Monty that Princess was going to make him wear that thing on his date with the demon queen.

Princess stopped his dance and very carefully lifted the hoop above his head.

“Oh, hell no,” Monty said, and tried to lift a foot, but his boot were frozen to the floor.

And the hoop was on him. It was surprisingly warm inside the circle.

“Now, you can go see your demon queen. I doubt she’ll be able to penetrate that.”

“But what does it do, exactly?” Monty asked.

Princess graced him with a smug grin. “Don’t you worry about that.”

Monty wondered if he’d been set up to carry out some onerous task for Princess that he didn’t know about.

Random Thoughts: Revisiting Radio and other General Shenanigans

When I was six years old, I said I wanted to be a radio disc jockey, and I did that. A lot of you reading this are probably aware of my time as a radio diva (or divan, it gets a little blurry sometimes.) When I was twelve I said I wanted to be a writer, and yep, I am still doing that. The road to both of these things was circuitous and strange. I have a resume with a lot of odd jobs to prove it.

No, you can't see ye olde resume. It might tell you what mumblesomething means and we can't have that, now, can we?

It's been mumblesomething years since I've been on the air. People who have been in radio or are in radio often describe what they do as having been bitten by the radio bug. It's almost like once you choose it, it chooses you back. We always go back for more. I didn't quite believe this until the past few months.

Some things sort of accreted, nostalgia for crazy fun stuff the Revolution 101.1 team did at its zenith and discussions with friends who are still in the industry. David Miller of has such enthusiasm for what he's doing with internet radio that it's contagious. And of course, there's my friend Dr. Ham who has continued volunteering at college radio since his college days mumblesomething years ago. He does a show Friday nights that is off the wall, especially when he breaks out the Punishment Songs or his friend Criswell stops by to do voice impersonations.

Music is sort of a big deal for me as a writer. It might not appear in the work, but sometimes a character will have a theme song or a favorite band, or a certain sound evokes the mood of a scene or story. Music can help anchor me in the world that I'm trying to write when I need a little extra help getting into the head space. Other times, music is totally distracting. It depends on the writing day. But, it's, you know, a thing. Lately, I've been more into it for some reason.

So, all of these factors combined lead to one thing, my return to the airwaves! (Can I get a triumphant spin of the radio dial? Maybe a little kazoo?)

I'm volunteering for the summer of 2013 once a week at WRKC, which broadcasts out of downtown Wilkes-Barre, PA. It's Kings College. Sue Henry runs it if any of you NEPA folks are about to go to college and wondering about broadcast careers.

The coolest part?

WRKC was my very first radio experience. When I was in high school, Bob and I had a morning show there over the summer once a week. Talk about coming full circle. Wow.

Wednesdays from 1p-3p if you're interested and it is streaming online.

In other news... still writing the dragon novel, waiting for news on the play and publication date of the short story Aliens In The Soda Machine.

I would be remiss if I failed to mention that today's under-caffeinated rage was alleviated by this blog post by Rune Skelley. (While you're there, if you are a writer type, check out their random prompt generator. It is awesome. Actually, if you get nothing else out of this whole blog post, check out their prompt generator. Just do it. Good times.)

Monday, May 20, 2013

Reggie's Round Up: In Which I Read Some Books and there is a MUSICAL!

Panverse Two

What It Is: A collection of novellas across speculative genres, published by Panverse Publishing and edited by Dario Ciriello. (Who included my novella Fork You in Panverse One.)

Why It Is Awesome: Well, for one thing, it has a killer editor at the helm. But aside from that, Panverse collections offer such a wide range of storytelling that really set them apart from other collections I've read. Each author has a distinct voice, each story is unique providing a reader with so many avenues to dream in it is hard to come back to the World As It Is.

Alan Smale offers a vision of what might have happened had the Roman Empire discovered the Americas before Columbus in A Clash of Eagles. This piece won the 2010 Sidewise Award for Alternate History and he recently signed a deal for the novel based in this world.

Amy Sterling Casil gives us an apocalyptic story from the point of view of an ego driven character who defines himself by his internet fan base and has to relearn how to live when that is gone in To Love the Difficult.

Snow Comes to Hawk's Folly by J. Kathleen Cheney spins a tale of fae, family, adventure and redemption wherein a child is lost and then recovered by an unlikely hero.

Michael D. Winkle accomplished amazing things with The Curious Adventure of the Jersey Devil. There's the adventure of the chase, to be certain, a touch of horror, a touch of fantasy, and some revised history here as well, regarding the newspaper business. It doesn't sound like it should work, but it does.

J. Michael Shell entertains with tales of glamorous fairies and blood driven monsters in dangerous creatures that provides an interesting take on the problems of love among immortals.

David Farland's Nightingale

What It Is: Contemporary Young Adult fantasy featuring the teenaged Bron James, a boy abandoned in childhood and who has been punted from one bad foster home to another until a wise teacher named Olivia takes him on. She recognizes him as one of her own kind, a masaak. He has no idea what he is until he connects with Olivia.

Just as things like home and school seem to go better for Bron, the discovery of his true nature and his dark gifts as a masaak emerge to complicate things.

Why It Is Awesome: So, this story pretty much hooked me from the first page and did not let up. I think I read for every free moment for two days, which left me cranky and tired, except, of course when I was reading. After I finished the book the very first thing I thought of was something Kelly Link said on a panel that I watched on youtube at some point. The gist of it was that you can do anything you want in YA, you just can't be boring.

I think this is why so many adults read YA (or New Adult? *sidenote anyone superfamiliar with the new genre new adult who can point out an important work in that new genre, please do. This girl would like to educate herself.) Farland's Nightingale is anything but boring. To sum it up; pacey, adventurous, scary and fun. Plus new-to-me monsters are always awesome.

 Paul Shapera's Dieselpunk Opera

What It Is: The second in a trilogy of rock operas set in the fictional world of New Albion. We've talked about this before on the Spotty Blog. In fact, you can check out an interview with Paul several posts back. I kind of think he's best at explaining his vision over at his blog.

Why It Is Awesome: Okay, so there are so many reasons this is awesome. I kinda know Paul, and a little bit about his journey through musical transitions. (Just a little.) In the Dieselpunk Opera, I can HEAR all of that coming together, so that makes it kind of killer for me personally. You can hear him blend his prog-rock influences with the technical knowledge and aesthetics of his ambient work and the phrasing of Sondheim for the lyrical melodies. The professional music appreciater of my beforetimes self completely thrills at this. Hence all the squeepants wearing about it all over other social media platforms...

But I digress. Just listen to it. And for the love of squeepants somebody make a full production of this and the Steampunk Opera happen. Preferably somewhere in the Northeastern US so that I can actually go see it.

Seriously. Listen to it, here.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Fantasy Flash Fiction Challenge : Montague's Folly

So Chuck Wendig is at it again with his flash fiction challenge, which you can find here...

And I finished mine, which can be found below.

The Random Fantasy Character Generator gave me this:

A lovesick thief is being assaulted and pursued by mysterious, demonic spirits.

...and the piece come to 884 words.

For lack of a better idea, let's call it

Montague's Folly

Monty’s carefully extracted velvet sack of gems rattled in the pocket of his black leather jacket as he ran away from the sound of alarms and police sirens toward his favorite coffee shop. It was located on that street named for a recently scandalized politician, which made him appreciate the place a little more. As a thief, he felt a certain affinity for such creatures.

The affinity was not as strong as his love for Belinda. She of the dangerous curves and foul mouth, the competent use of deadly weapons and questionable fashion sense, of luminous black eyes and raven hair, although now that he thought of it the hair was likely a wig. They had done one job together and he had not been able to get her out of his mind. For the first time in his life, Monty had done the gentlemanly thing and sent flowers.

And heard nothing.

Of course, the fact that the demons that chased him until he reached the door of Café Mud did not help him to forget her. All three of them bore her face.

Safely ensconced behind the bullet and demon proofed glass doors of the café, Monty went up to the counter and ordered his usual while the red-eyed demons stared, seething through the window.

The barista shook his head. “Man, I don’t know what you did but those things aren’t going away. You planning to live here?”

Monty shrugged. “I’ll figure it out. I always do.”

The barista shook his head again. “Not this time, dude. Princess isn’t around to magic you out. He’s at home with his terrier, who is sick.”

Monty swore under his breath. “Well, guess I’m staying here the night then.”

The barista sighed. “Well, you know the price.”

Monty rolled up his sleeve and extended his arm over the counter. A mortar and pestle appeared. He closed his eyes while the barista lanced his arm, blood trickling into the well of the mortar.

“What’s a little blood among friends?” Monty joked.

“You keep giving it away at this rate there won’t be anything left in your veins but cappuccino.”

Monty stared at the demons outside. The screamed and whirled and stuck their tongues out at him. If only one of those tongues was actually Belinda’s.

He blinked with the realization that one of them could be. The likeness of the demons to his beloved made it quite possible that they had her, somewhere. They needed a person’s physical essence to take on their shape. He wondered why he hadn’t seen it sooner.

“Hey bartender,” Monty said. “You any good at scrying yet? I know Princess is teaching you the craft.”

“Is it anything to do with those things?”

“Could be. I think they have one of my friends.”

“I don’t know, man. It’s dangerous. If we can find them, they can find us.”

Monty gestured out the window, where the demons were now flipping him the bird and humping the air. “They are already here.”

“Alright, just give me a minute. And don’t tell Princess I did this for you. He could kick me out, or worse, throw me in that mad dungeon and forget that I’m there.”

“Your secret is safe with me.”

Monty sipped his coffee and waited, playing with the gems in his pocket. Strange the things humans would pay for. The magical world made more sense to him. Blood was the thing there, the stuff of life or death.

The mortar and pestle were replaced with a handheld mirror.

The barista used an eyedropper to cover it with water. He spoke the incantation and Monty tried not to roll his eyes. He didn’t have patience for this kind of thing, but he sure respected the results.

Suddenly, a large hand made of light burst out of the mirror’s frame and grabbed the barista’s face, pulling him forward so that it looked like his head was half-submerged in the mirror.

“Now, we’re getting somewhere,” Monty said, rubbing his hands together. He felt so good about it that he took a moment to return the bird to the demons outside.

The barista was let go and stumbled back against a rack of flavored syrups, his face was drenched. He wiped himself off with a towel.

“Monty, can I ask you a question?”

“Sure. But what did you see?”

“Does this friend look like those demons?”

“Of course, you know how their magic works.”

“Well, I can tell you this much. She isn’t captured by them, Monty. She’s their queen.”

“Oh crap. My heart is broken all over again. Things NEVER work out between demon queens and humans. DAMN IT!”

“You want another cappuccino? Free this time,” the barista said.

Monty looked at the demons outside again. Maybe they weren’t hunting him for his life force. Maybe, just maybe Belinda, demon queen, had gotten his flowers and this was a sort of invitation.

Monty grabbed a napkin and a black marker, wrote the word “Tomorrow” on it and held it up to the glass. The demons licked their lips and screeched, but nodded and then went away.

“Good news. I have a date!” Monty said.

“Not again, Monty,” the barista groaned.




Thursday, May 16, 2013

Random Thoughts: Hey blogosphere, it's been a while...

Hey there, internet. How've you been?

I've been a bit remiss in my blogging duties, so this is just a minor update on the goings on of Reggie-land.

Right now I am deep in novel writing territory. Yes, I'm still working on the dragon novel. In fact, I am often distracted by the storyline, which I think is a good sign. This thing has momentum and it is such a joy when I am not struggling to "apply the ass to the seat," as Dorothy Parker once said.

 So, yay!

Of course, that isn't the only thing happening. It's spring which means new birds in the backyard, which means that when text starts to get blurry, I break out ye olde digital camera and take a bunch of pictures. I'm not necessarily a great photographer, but I get really excited when I can get clear photos of birds. They tend to move out of frame as I'm shooting, or they move while in frame and become a fuzzy blur. The big achievement this year (so far) was to get a still shot of the raven that lives in our neighborhood. I've been trying (and failing) to get a decent photo of her for a long time.

Here's one.

In other news, I have a short story slated for publication some time this year. The title is Aliens in the Soda Machine, but until I have more concrete info about when it will be released I can't really say more than that.

A few months ago I was talking a lot about the Paper Rats and their video series on youtube called Inside the Writer's Studio. I've been invited to be a part of one of the next videos and I'm crazy excited about that. Again, no date on that yet.

(FYI Paper Rats and Inside the Writer's Studio are the brain-children of authors RJ Keller and Kristen Tsetsi)

My play Road to Nowhere is going to be work-shopped sometime in August and the workshop will be open to the public, again details, forthcoming.

On deck for reading right now I have Panverse Two, a collection of novellas from Dario Ciriello's Panverse publishing. My list of To-Read, To-Watch, and To-Listen to is getting bigger every day. I can't be sure when the Round Up will return, but then again, that's why it's the Spotty Blog...

Friday, May 10, 2013

Just Call Me Links McLinkface

So, in news outside of Reggie-land, I have a few friends involved with projects getting kick started.

We all know how badly Sandy hurt Coney Island and now the Mermaid Parade is endangered!

Here's a kickstarter for that...

...And Erin Condo has a new album she'd like to get made. It's been ten years since Leaving Songs was released. I have known/worked with some of the people involved in this singer/songwriter's project and I can tell you that what they do, imho, is attention worthy.

Here's a kickstarter for that...

So, if any of you blog-readers out there have a crowd funded project on the way, post something below. Tell us about it. You know, if you feel like it.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Reggie's Round Up: Death and the Jetsons

Nnedi Okorafor's Who Fears Death

What It Is: Who Fears Death is the story of Onyesonwu, a girl whose birth is the result of a rape that constitutes a weapon in war among tribes. Onyesonwu's mother retreats to the desert where she gives birth to Onyesonwu, who is an Ewu. Ewus are children born of two races who carry stigma due to their mixed race and violent conception. Onye's mother survives and manages to find healing, and even love when she settles into a village and marries. As Onye grows up it is discovered that she has amazing magical abilities and the potential to become a powerful sorceress. Onye must fight to find teachers who will prepare her for the day that she must leave home on a quest to fulfill her destiny and change the future of her people.

Why It Is Awesome: Okay, so first of all, my summary does this book no justice. Okorafor's magical dystopia in a post-apocalyptic Africa is beautiful, heart-breaking, complex, thoughtful, brave, exciting and absolutely absorbing. This is one of those rare books that manages to be about large, real-world issues while being an engaging story and a quick read. She takes on race and gender-related violence without side-stepping the horror of it and without glossing over the emotional pain and life-consequences these things lead to. Through Onyesonwu's perspective, we go through anger, rebellion, despair, and find our way to hope and healing. The ultimate goal of the character is a world that is changed for the better.

Genre work is often a great way to talk about things that we face in the real world at a slight remove. Who Fears Death offers the very best of that and tackles huge subjects without preaching. The reader experiences the world through Onye's eyes, widening our capacity for empathy as it entertains. It's a book that will make you want to cry, sing and believe in magic.

This book is so good that I'm intimidated writing my little squeepants review of it because I'm afraid that my words will fall short in describing my own experiences reading it.

Check out Nnedi Okorafor's blog here.

Warren Lapine's Just Like The Jetsons

What It Is: A collection of short stories by Warren Lapine, an author whose award nominations and credits as a published writer as well as a publisher himself would take all day to recount. Cyborgs and lost love and everything between is contained herein.

Why It Is Awesome:  Holy artistic range, Batman! Okay, genre fiction, much like music, has about a billion sub-categories. Warren Lapine expresses more of them in this collection that I can even begin to name.

One of my favorite stories in the collection is called "Can Spring Be Far Behind." Rooted in the technical idea of an implant that provides perfect recollection, it swerves into the emotional territory of romance, or rather, a romance that has ended. There is explores the psychological benefits of memories that fade. If we cannot replay perfect memories of that which we have loved and lost, left to our own consciousness those memories fade and we can heal. In the story, the main character keeps replaying the memories searching for what went wrong, trying over and over again to find an answer and coming up short until, one day he accidentally triggers a different memory, about another passion and it is perhaps, through this that the character finds a way to heal from loss. Into this brief narrative is woven pieces of classical poetry, which adds a level of appreciation for literary gems of yore and builds something new around them. The technical mcguffin of the memory implant combined with discussion about poets like Tennyson, Keats, and Shelley is brilliant and seamless. Such elements in the hands of a lesser writer could clash or seem disparate, but not here.

There is a generosity in this collection that I absolutely adore. At the end of each short story, Warren Lapine offers brief commentary explaining a bit about what led to each story, what he was thinking about, his creative objectives, etc... These segments are like gold for developing writers or science fiction fans. We get to see a little bit of what happens "behind the curtain."

To find out more about what is going on with Warren Lapine these days, follow him on Twitter @WarrenLapine

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Random Thoughts: On Genre: High Fantasy and Urban Fantasy

So, this blog post may be a bit scattered, but for some reason today I am thinking about different genres and what is appealing about them. It started off with me thinking about what the appeal of high fantasy is verses urban/contemporary fantasy. (My preference as a reader between those two is urban fantasy, but that's just a personal thing. I have been known to enjoy the odd high fantasy novel once in a while.)

High fantasy is the stuff of wizards, princesses, wenches, kings and princes and serfs. There are all kinds of cool things within, magical objects, swords and corsets, etc... At the beginning of any high fantasy novel the rules and roles of the kingdom are clear, characters tend to fall into prescribed roles and their fates are married to social systems. There is a sort of weird comfort in that. Most of us have choices to make about what we want to do with our lives and when we arrive in the land of grownups sometimes choices can be intimidating, even scary. (For writers, choices we make for our characters on the page make a story what it becomes, we choose one door and other possibilities close unless we gut our fiction-babies during rewrites and change the whole thing.) In high fantasy, the story, the conflict, the forward motion comes when individuals are prompted by fate, events or internal struggle to step out of the roles the world imposes on them. Whether or not the story involves rebellion, this step is a rebellion and what follows is liberation. So it provides both comfort and liberation for the reader. A heady brew, methinks, that can yield worthy and fascinating narratives.

Urban fantasy usually begins in consensus reality, or something that we would recognize as the world that we, the readers, know to be real. Our world grows increasingly technical. (I'm not placing a value judjment there, that would be an entirely different post.) What urban fantasy brings to the reader is the possibility of magic. It applies myth to the modern world and in so doing helps us to make sense of things. I am not super tech literate. Orcs and Goblins and the Fae make more sense to me sometimes than cell phones and computers and their attendant viruses. So it represents this interesting marriage between ideas about magic from olden-times and the modern landscape we have to navigate. The way I think of it, it is a way of exploring how our human selves co-exist with a world that is increasingly device-driven. This is not the point, necessarily, of these stories, but its one of those themes that, at least for me, always floats around the edges of works of urban fantasy.

At least, this expresses a little bit about what I've observed.