One of my favorite writers (one of a LOT of favorite people’s writers), Neil Gaiman, has a new book of short stories coming out next month. Gaiman (in case the reader has tragically not encountered him before) is one of the most original writers out there today. My favorite book of his is American Gods, a fantasy-horror adventure saga (and I do not use the word saga lightly here) that traces the adventures of an ex-con across America. There are gods. To say more would ruin the experience. What’s really impressive about this book is how it explores the cultural identity of America, and presents a full, diverse picture of American cultural reality. But if that sounds too high falutin’, then it’s also an amazing, immersive, deeply funny and creepy story. If you haven’t read it, do.
A few weeks ago Agent Carter debuted during the mid-season break of Agents of Shield. I was slow to get on board with Agents of Shield, much to my eventual regret. I made the same mistake with Agent Carter. Now I’m caught up: it’s set in the Marvel Universe but the show reminds me a bit of Mad Men in how it explores how women are sidelined and ignored. Furthermore Carter has some really excellent fight scenes; imagine how much better Mad Men would have been if Peggy had drop-kicked Pete Campbell more often.