Atomic Blonde

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Convoluted, paranoia-inspiring, and extremely violent, Atomic Blonde feels like what a Bond film would be if the brutality of 2006’s Casino Royale met the conflicted and complicated world of *actual* spy fiction.

Actually, that’s a better description of the movie than I’d thought it would be. Atomic Blonde is full of gorgeously choreographed and grimly performed fight scenes (as one might expect from David Leitch, director of John Wick), and it is definitely not a film intended for a passive or unthinking audience. The underlying story is twisty, and nearly every person’s loyalty is deeply questionable, enough so that I spent a good portion of the movie not sure who was on which side; perfect, really, for this sort of spy movie. Not so good if you’re watching this thinking that you’ll have a neatly packaged Bond-esque film, but quite possibly more fun because of that.

I kind of wish that there’d been a little more in the way of clues for me to catch throughout the movie, or that I’d put together the ones that were there faster. If I had, I wouldn’t have been quite as confused in the end. But when I reflect on it, everything holds together, and I only have a deeper appreciation for what’s there.

I won’t give you any spoilers (apart from saying that if you can’t handle visceral uncomfortable violence, you probably shouldn’t watch this movie), but I will say that I rather liked Atomic Blonde. It wasn’t exactly what I’d expected, and I’m glad that it wasn’t. While I’d happily watch Charlize Theron play Bond in some sly, neatly packaged, thoroughly sanitized version of what current American moviegoers have come to think of as “a spy-action movie,” the gnawing distrust and complicated loyalties of Atomic Blonde deliver an excellent spy movie experience, and a better one than I’d thought I’d find.

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Flash Fiction: The One You Don’t Hear

Another flash fic piece for you here, using another prompt from Chuck Wendig (“It starts with a bang”). This one goes eight words over the limit, but I think it works this way. It’s in the same flooded future setting as my previous pieces about Pat & Pat, and about Latour (I Bow To None). Enjoy!

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Unfinished Flash Fiction

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Last week I mentioned that I was writing something to submit to a contest.  I didn’t finish it.  Instead, I submitted something else (Cosmo Katie, from earlier this year) to Flash Fury.  Wish me luck.

I’m currently rather busy with schoolwork, so all I have for you today is the unfinished piece which I tried to write last week.  I still haven’t decided what my new schedule should look like, but it will probably end up being a post on Tuesday or Wednesday, and another on Friday.  Read on for violence.

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Mistress of the Catacombs, by David Drake

Mistress of the Catacombs is the fourth book in David Drake‘s Lord of the Isles series.  Published in 2001, it continues to deliver on the promise of the first few books.  I’m not sure I have new words to describe the delightful admixture of classical influences that form this heady concoction of Roman and Greek culture and technology, Sumerian religion, and ancient Mediterranean magic.  Suffice to say that it comes across with an appropriately Atlantean feel, and *itty bitty spoilers* that the various wanderings through other worlds never break the feeling of the world(s) that Drake has created.  Magic is powerful and scary, and this is made clear not just by the ways in which people react to it but also through the consequences of people’s use of magic.  And more than ever before in this series, Drake makes clear his own thoughts about violence as a solution to your problems.

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