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About lupinejohn

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  1. lupinejohn added a post in a topic Cliffhangers   

    Oof. That's a loaded question.
    Chuck ended up getting 5 seasons, but from season 2 on it was constantly on the cancellation bubble and it got many last minute reprieves. There were several episodes that the producers thought MIGHT have been the series finale when they made them - the Season 2 finale, the S3 mid-season and season finale, and the S4 mid-season and season finales. By my count, that's five times they had to craft an ending that might not end up being (and in each case wasn't) the real ending, and every time they did at least a very good job. A couple of those were exceptional (if anyone wants to think of the show ending in a hospital hallway at the end of season 4 episode 13, I will not quibble). The actual ending to the series is a bit more controversial within the fandom, and if you do decide to check out the show I might suggest skipping the final season. YMMV.
  2. lupinejohn added a post in a topic Cliffhangers   

    Five words... "Guys, I know kung fu."
    That's the end to the season 2 finale of Chuck, and that episode is maybe the most enjoyable hour of television I've ever watched in my life. It's a good example of a cliffhanger that works because it is consistent with the universe of the show - the new powers it suggests for our hero and how he gets them all make sense within the narrative - but it's also a massive shock when it happens, is only just barely teased at the end of the episode, and gives us just the smallest hint of how the show will change in the next season. If you spoiled someone during the first few episodes that this was coming a year and a half down the pike, they'd believe it and understand it, but they'd also be surprised. That's the logical space you need a cliffhanger to be in - makes sense after you see it, isn't obvious until you do, promises a heightening of the premise and a fundamental change in the central relationships.
  3. lupinejohn added a post in a topic Outlander in the News   

    I hijacked this thread back in July and I'll do it again... Claire is here! She showed up last Wednesday, quite a bit early (the due date was in mid December) but very healthy and at a good weight - to quote her mom, "Claire is a champ, you'd never know she was so early." So apparently she is both a fighter and someone who refuses to conform to expectations, which seems to fit to character. And now I have to figure out how to be twice as avuncular as I was before...
  4. lupinejohn added a topic in General Wonkery   

    Black Mirror
    Just finished watching the first episode of the newest batch - the one with Bryce Dallas Howard - and oh boy was it unsettling. I actually had to stop in the middle and come back to it later, because that particular social media dystopia was just such effective nightmare fuel for me. Has anyone else gotten into the third season, and if so, what do you think? I will watch the other episodes soon to be sure, but if "Nosedive" is any indicator the series is still as on point as ever.
    • 2 replies
  5. lupinejohn added a post in a topic Spoilers from history   

    I don't know... I don't think I have the work ethic to read Weber.
  6. lupinejohn added a post in a topic Let's wonk about Doctor Who!   

    Okay, so this is perhaps not the most commonly held opinion, but... the best companion is clearly Ace. Ace made her own explosives! Ace held off three Cybermen at a standstill armed only with a slingshot! Ace took out a Dalek with a baseball bat, firing off an angry one-liner as she did! No one beats Ace!
    Favourite Doctor is Davison in the classic series and... probably Capaldi in the new, although I'm also a big Tennant fan.
  7. lupinejohn added a post in a topic Recommendations for things to read/watch during Droughtander?   

    Turn is a great series, although in my opinion it suffers from having the lead be significantly less interesting than a lot of the secondary characters. I am fascinated by the John Andre/Peggy Shippen/Benedict Arnold treasonous love triangle plot and wish it was the center of the show instead. And as for Simcoe, who indeed would give BJR a run for his money, I find his characterization really interesting, given the very significant role he plays later in his life in Canadian history and how positively he is viewed here. John Graves Simcoe is a real historical figure and the broad details of the story do fit from what I understand - he definitely served in the Revolutionary War and commanded a provincial force of light infantry, but I have no idea if his sadism in the show has any basis in fact. Later in his career he became the first Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada (which was eventually renamed Ontario) and, among other things, founded Toronto and became a prominent Canadian abolitionist, pushing an anti-slavery law through a not entirely supportive assembly in the 1790s. He has a number of things named for him in Ontario, including a lake, a county, at least a few schools, and in Toronto both a civic holiday and a street downtown. (Interestingly enough, given his role on Turn, the US Consulate in Toronto is actually on Simcoe Street.) There's also a prominent statue of him in Queen's Park, the main urban park in downtown Toronto and the home of the Ontario legislative building.
  8. lupinejohn added a post in a topic Outlander in the News   

    Claire has an older brother - he is the spitting image of all the pictures we have of my father at that age - but yes, this is my first niece.
    I spent a few minutes tracking down the company website for those bears, and oh my goodness are they ever adorable!
  9. lupinejohn added a post in a topic Outlander in the News   

    Sorry to hijack this thread for a moment with something that is not technically news (except to me and my family) and not really Outlander related except coincidentally, as I don't think my brother and sister-in-law watch the show or have read the books to the best of my knowledge... but I just found out last night that in a few months my new niece Claire is scheduled to arrive in the world. Not sure yet if I should suggest a trip to Scotland to her when she hits her twenties or not, but I suppose I have lots of time to decide.
  10. lupinejohn added a post in a topic BoJack Horseman   

    Season 3 is now out, and if anything I'm even more enthusiastic about evangelizing for this show. I've already made it to episode 4 and... god damn, episode 4. I think I might just tell people to watch season 3 episode 4 as an introduction, rather than started with the good but flawed first few episodes of season 1. I have just finished watching it, and my immediate reaction is that it's probably the best TV episode of 2016, of any show in any genre. It is definitely the most daring. It'll bear several re-watches before I fully decide, but it is like almost nothing I've ever seen before.
    I feel like my words aren't up to conveying how seriously good this show is, so I'll just post some links.
    "Why You Should be Watching the Great BoJack Horseman", by Alan Sepinwall
    "BoJack Horseman Season 3 is Fantastic" - by Caroline Framke
    "This BoJack Horseman Episode is a Must-Watch, Even If You've Never Seen the Show" - by Jesse David Fox
  11. lupinejohn added a post in a topic Fear of turning hobby into career?   

    I think I understand some of where you're coming from - I also write as a hobby, particularly to de-stress after work, though I've never produced anything I seriously thought about trying to sell. I also have a tendency to overthink opportunities from time to time. With that in mind, here's the advice I would offer.
    Obviously, you have an instinct that there is something special about this novel, that there is at least a chance a publisher will want it and that many people will want to read it. No one is ever going to be a bigger advocate for your own work than yourself, so above all else trust that instinct. It's impossible to know right now how your life would change, if it all, so the only thing you can really focus on is getting your manuscript as polished as it can be and in front of the right eyes. Have you talked to any agents about it? That would be a good step - find someone who really knows the market you're writing for and can answer the nagging questions you have with professional detachment.
    You may or may not be subconsciously nervous about rejection, and that may be why your mind is coming up with all these potential future problems. I don't know for sure, having never met you and not being even an amateur psychologist. All I can say on that topic is, if you are afraid of rejection - well, so are we all! It's nothing to be ashamed of, hearing no always sucks. But it's important to note that no doesn't mean that you are a bad writer or that your work isn't as good as you think it is. No just means that your book isn't right for that person at this exact moment. Trust your instinct that this is a great story that will change the world. Get it in front of as many sets of eyes as you can, so the right set can see it. Worry about second books and trilogies later - a novel is not a promise for anything in the future, it is a complete story that you are selling in the here and now, and you don't need to worry about what comes next. Worry about being the champion of your story and giving it the chance to succeed that it deserves.
    Good luck!
  12. lupinejohn added a post in a topic Spoilers from history   

    It also depends on what you mean by an independent Scotland. Under the Stuarts, England and Scotland had been united in one sense - the Union of the Crowns, where both countries had the same king - but they remained separate countries with a distinct border. This system is called a personal union, and it has happened a lot in history, where two (or more) countries have the same ruler but do not share a central government. It's still happening today, for example, where I live - Canada is one of 16 independent countries among the Commonwealth realms that shares the same Queen and follows the same line of succession.
    In practice, Scotland and England had a single foreign policy during this time from 1603, when the Union of Crowns happened, to 1707 and the Acts of Union (let's ignore the civil wars and the interregnum of the 1640s and 50s, they just add complications), but different laws, separate Parliaments, and no free trade between the two. Any of the Stuart kings were kings of Scotland and of England (and also Ireland, but let's also ignore that because, well, more complications), but it was two different jobs that happened to be held by the same person. In fact, the Stuart kings had to have two different numbers to keep the lines straight - James VII and II, for example, was the seventh King of Scotland to be named James but only the second in England.
    The Acts of Union created a very different system - an act had to be passed by both parliaments, in England and in Scotland (hence the plural in Acts of Union), and once this had happened thee two countries agreed to merge into a single one - Great Britain. (Ireland remained separate until 1800 - more complications to skip past.) The two parliaments also merged, creating the system that existed until the late 1990s where Scotland did not have its own assembly and instead sent members to a joint British parliament at Westminster. So now, unlike under the Union of the Crowns, any laws passed under this new Parliament would apply with equal force everywhere from Caithness to Cornwall. Since English MPs vastly outnumbered Scottish ones (and still do, by about 10 to 1), this also meant Scotland could now be subject to laws that were not particularly popular there. Obviously under this type of union, Scotland ceased to be independent in any sense, although they did negotiate a few small concessions here and there (a continuation of the traditional system of Scots law, for example).
    It's true that the Jacobite cause was about putting a Stuart back on the throne of England and Ireland as well as Scotland, but what is less clear is whether this meant preserving the union of Great Britain or returning to the older model of a personal union over separate kingdoms. BPC's army was primarily, but not entirely made up of Scots and he was desperately concerned with creating a rising of English Jacobites to further increase his numbers, so that makes the politics moving forward complicated if you assume a Jacobite success in England. Charles was making noises while he held court in Edinburgh about reversing the Union, and that would have gained him a lot of political support amongst Highlanders in particular, but in an alternate universe where his army had continued on to London and taken the city, it's not at all clear that he would have kept this promise when balanced against the need to consolidate his position in England against a mostly hostile population. Also, he would not have been the King, and assuming he could have stabilized the military situation enough to allow his father to return and take the throne, he may well have overruled any specific policies that Charles had set out. There is another political problem too - had the Jacobite army actually taken and held London for any length of time, the French may well have landed troops to support him. The presence of a foreign army backing the Stuarts would have complicated politics in England even further and would have unknown consequences on what form a future political settlement for a Stuart restoration would take.
    So to answer your question, did the Rising have anything to do with an independent Scotland? Well, sort of, maybe. It depends. History has a tendency to provide us with uncertain answers.
  13. lupinejohn added a post in a topic The Scot And The Sassenach 68: A Little More Time   

    Where is the information that Doctor Who was not on television in Scotland in 1968 coming from? I'm somewhat confused about it, because the current actor who plays the Doctor is Scottish (from Glasgow). He was born in 1958 according to Wikipedia, and when he took the role it was widely reported that he was a lifelong fan of the show, so that doesn't really square with the idea that he couldn't have even watched it when he was ten.
    As for some quick thoughts on the episode now that I've actually been able to listen to the podcast - I'm a bit surprised at how hard people are coming down on Brianna - yes, she is awful to Claire and deliberately hurtful, but I cut her a lot of slack given that she doesn't have the information or the perspective that we have, and that she is probably still grieving for Frank (the only father she knows to this point). Also she is 20, and we all had a tendency to put blinkers on and get selfish at that age. I wouldn't say I'm a huge fan, but I certainly didn't hate the character either. I also don't know that I like Roger as much as most of you seem too - he's certainly pleasant and both easy to look at and listen to, but I didn't get a great sense of his actual character so far. Half the time he seemed more like a genial robot powered by plotonium than a real person, just sort of doing whatever needed doing to drive the 1968 plot forward regardless of how consistent it would be for him to do it.
    I love the scene in front of the Clan Fraser memorial - there is something so powerful in Claire using another type of stone to symbolically communicate with Jamie across the centuries... and in her getting to affirm out loud, for likely the first time in 20 years, that she is a Fraser herself.
    Okay, so here's an issue I have where I think I am disadvantaged by being a rare for this forum non-book reader. (And I don't know if I like that term - it makes it sound like I'm illiterate! I read books, honest! Lots of 'em!) It is not clear to me whether Craigh na Dun is the only place in the world where time travel is possible or not. I probably shouldn't ask, as that information may well be spoiling for future seasons/books not yet adapted, but here's why I'm thinking about it. If Geillis' main goal is to ensure Scottish independence into the present and future, and she believes (either correctly or incorrectly) that this is the only place from which she can travel, choosing to try and influence the outcome of the '45 makes sense - it's something she can achieve from the area around Inverness. But if there are other places you can travel from, then a whole bunch of better options pop up earlier on the time line - all you need to do is prevent the Stuarts from being deposed in the first place. Or, for that matter, you could go even earlier and prevent the Stuarts from ever taking the English throne, which you could do either by ensuring Elizabeth I has children, that she never becomes queen, or that the Tudors themselves never take the throne. So, if you can travel in England, you've got options! Pull a Cyrano for one of Elizabeth's suitors and try to get her married off! Bring modern medicine to the sickly Edward VI, so that he lives to a ripe old age, has children, and his two sisters (Mary and Elizabeth) never take the throne! Slip contraceptives into Anne Boleyn's wine for a couple of years as you wait for her to lose her head! Heck, you could even bring Richard III a horse when he needs it and that whole Tudor family never comes into play! Basically, my thinking is this - Geillis' plan is kind of insane and needlessly complicated, isn't it?
  14. lupinejohn added a post in a topic The Scot And The Sassenach 68: A Little More Time   

    Even when that Boston accent is legitimate, it sounds sort of half put on, and I think it would have been distracting. Personally I do something similar but more muted with my "ar" sounds - lots of Maritimers end up sounding sort of like New Englanders, and sometimes when I travel people guess I am from Maine or somewhere thereabouts. When I used to live in Ontario I was often asked in a teasing way by friends to say things that would bring out this sound, so I went to "I parked my car at the bar under the stars." as a standby answer, and it seemed to amuse them.
    It's also worth pointing out that the stereotypical Boston accent codes very much as white working class and has a heavy Irish influence - I'm not surprised a well educated and well off young woman with English parents would not pick it up. There's a certain amount of code switching that can happen when your regional accent has a lot of stereotypes attached to it.
  15. lupinejohn added a post in a topic The Scot And The Sassenach 68: A Little More Time   

    Have now seen the episode, won't have time to listen to the podcast until late tonight, but I did have an immediate thought I haven't seen anyone else bring up.
    If you need a clip from a television show to immediately center us in 1968 and in Scotland, why not use Doctor Who? It's definitely something children would have wanted to watch, and more to the point the late 60's is the era when Frazer Hines was on the show as Jamie McCrimmon. That would have been one heck of a thematic tie-in to our Jamie. I know a lot of the tapes from that run are incomplete, but I would have at least tried for it.