Saturday, January 26, 2013



This 2008 Chilean film release -- back home they call it Solos, which I think translates as something like "onlies" -- is about the finest statement of piscatorial love you could hope to find on a budget like this.  It couldn't have cost more than a buck ninety-eight American to film this one.  It's a very simple story of a grubby, starving, lonely child fleeing some sort of rundown military/medical facility where her mother was KILLED, and EATEN.  She wanders through these bleak, chilly-looking landscapes with the sky a funny shade of orange and almost everyone dead.  The few people still walking around are either wearing gas masks and camouflage or, well, they're FLESH-EATING ZOMBIES. 

What does this have to do with piscatorial love?  YOU MAY WELL ASK.

Well, this little girl -- Camille, as in "Courage, Camille!" -- is immune to whatever makes people into the WALKING DEAD.  And somehow, the zombies know she is not only immune, but as a group they refuse to KILL and EAT her.  Why?  She has special marks on her neck.  Three on each side.  Long, gory-looking slits that make her look as if she tangled with Freddy Krueger. 

There are other children like her.  They are all safe from the zoms, although for reasons NEVER MADE CLEAR they are not safe from the military. 

Another thing nobody makes clear is how Camille's mom, born without the slits in her own throat, can know all this.  BUT YOU AND I KNOW, DON'T WE?

Throughout the story, Camille keeps having flashbacks to the instructions her mom gave her.  Go to the sea, she tells her daughter.  There is a giant Octopus there and he will protect you.  It's all framed in fairytale terms, and illustrated with children's crayon drawings that tell Camille what to look for.  

And Camille finds these other kids, and they all head for the sea.  (That couldn't be a hard job in Chile.  Unless they really screw up and head East by mistake.  Even that wouldn't matter if they're far enough South.  But I like to think a KID BORN WITH GILL SLITS can smell the saltwater a long way off...

I won't ruin the ending for you.  JUST WATCH IT.  THAT'S AN ORDER.

Bring a whole box of hankies.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Remember This Smirking Face...

THIS is the Shaved Monkey who saw fit to abduct one of our recruiting operatives from her checkpoint at a local aquarium so he could enter her in a fishing contest.  He won $1,300 for his "catch."

THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN FINE if he had followed through on his original plan to return her alive to the tank.  He now says he PANICKED and sold her to a fishmonger, after other contestants recognized the operative's distinctive markings.  Now, TELL THE TRUTH -- is heading to a fishmonger's and negotiating a price your idea of an act of PANIC?

The aquarium staff complained to the papers that "all we got back was the head and the tail."

This guy's family will be lucky if they get even THAT much back after our OTHER operatives are through with him.  I would normally order immediately that he be KILLED, and EATEN.  But this sort of thing should NOT be rewarded with a free trip to the Roiling Intestine of Dagon.  WE have something MUCH, MUCH WORSE in mind.  To teach the others a lesson.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013



This remarkable novel, penned by China Mieville and published by Del Rey in 2011, ISBN 978-0345497505, is probably one of a kind in the vast and spreading genre called Urban Fantasy.  Why?  It concerns itself with Squid worship, that's why.   For that reason alone, ladies, you need to read this.


>> From start to finish, nobody in this story shows ANYTHING BUT RESPECT for Architeuthis dux  -- as the Naked Apes call them.  There is a whole religion in here, called the Church of God Kraken, that treats our ammoniac sisters as the central deity in a pantheon of TENTACLED SAINTS.  I think that is a pretty reasonable way of seeing what the Shaved Monkeys have been making that species put up with lately.

>> The world described in this story is populated with every kind of magician, paranormal entity, and uncanny practice.  The author leaves you with the distinct sense that the story in here BARELY SCRATCHES THE SURFACE of the weirdness going on in London.  It takes you back to the GOOD OLD DAYS when everyone in human "civilization" had their little local array of deities, and everyone pretty much respected everyone else's.

>> London is indeed the setting.  This is one of the drawbacks; from first page to last, the language is incredibly dense with every kind of East End wisecrack, not excluding Cockney rhyming slang ("Can you Adam and Eve it?").  This makes it pretty difficult to follow -- as a native speaker of Midwestern English I had to pull on my hip-waders to get through some of this, and it meant going back to re-read again and again,  BUT IT ALL FINALLY MAKES SENSE.  Americans and Brits are truly two peoples separated by a common language.

>> The climax and denouement are disappointingly MONKEYCENTRIC.  But what did you really expect from a human author?

Honestly, ladies, you'll LOVE this one; I wore out several personal assistants turning the pages for me as I writhed, enthralled, behind the glass wall of my tank.