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Top Ten Tuesday: Changes in My Reading Life

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

While I was coming up with this list, I tried to make everything fit the same sentence structure. It bothered me just a little bit that I had to break that pattern for one of my answers.

There are five genres I read less of these days and five I’ve started to spend much more time exploring.

I Read Less Poetry

I Read Less Horror

I Read Less Fantasy

I Read Less Romance

I Read Fewer Series and Long Works

 

I Read More Biographies

I Read More Hard Science Fiction

I Read More History

I Read More Hopeful Fiction, Scifi or Otherwise

I Read More Science

In general, I find that I’m becoming more interested in books that talk about real-life issues (even if the plots themselves are fictional) and have a faster-paced structure than what I read when I was in school. It’s also nice to find authors who take a hopeful but realistic approach to their topic, whatever that topic may be.

This isn’t to say that I dislike poetic passages or metaphors. A few of them sprinkled into a book are nice, but I’m not as thrilled about reading an entire novel’s worth of that sort of thing as I used to be.

My Favourite Scifi Heroines

This month I’m participating in the Scifi Month challenge that was created by the bloggers at One More. Click on the link in that last sentence for more information or to sign up yourself.

There is still time to pick a few of their prompts and join in if you’re interested.

Today’s prompt was pretty self explanatory: kickass heroines. Here are a few of my many favourite heroines from various science fiction universes.  It was tricky to keep this post to a manageable length. I could have easily written a full post about every single character on this list.

Not everything on this list has been turned into a TV show or film yet. (Here’s looking at you, Feed and Wild Seed.) Whenever possible, I provided a photo of the character in question, but there are a few book covers as well.

Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen in the film poster for The Hunger Games. She is shooting an arrow straight ahead of her at whoever is looking at the poster.  

Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. 

Why She’s Admirable: She volunteered to take her sister’s place in The Hunger Games despite knowing that only one of the twenty four contestants will survive each year. There were many other things she did in this series that make me look up to her, but her willingness to die in her sibling’s place in the beginning of book one endeared her to me forever.

Book cover for Feed by Mira Grant. Image on it is of an Internet signal painted in blood (or red paint) on a concrete wall.

Georgia Mason from Feed by Mira Grant 

Why She’s Admirable: Going out to wander around in a world filled with zombies is the last thing I’d do in a zombiepocalypse. The fact that this character did that so regularly impressed me. Her work as a blogger only made me look up to her more.

Zoe Saldana as Nyota Uhugra from Star Trek: Into Darkness

Nyota Uhura from Star Trek and Star Trek: Into Darkness

Why She’s Admirable: While I can find something to like about nearly any character from the rebooted Star Trek universe, Uhura is the cream of the crop. She was a highly intelligent linguist. More importantly, she had common sense. This is something that every spaceship crew member needs a copious amount of in order to have any hope of survival.

Gina Torres as Zoe Washburne from Firefly. She's standing by a chair in this photo.

Zoe Washburne from Firefly 

Why She’s Admirable: Nothing stands between her and her goals in life. From fighting for freedom in a war that couldn’t be won to falling in love to making a new life for herself over and over again, Zoe knows how to get back up and try again.

Dana Scully from The X-Files 

Why She’s Admirable: She never stopped searching for scientific explanations for the bizarre things that she and her partner discovered during their many investigations. There’s something to be said for being that tenacious!

Wild Seed by Octavia E. Butler book cover. Image on cover is of woman holding a glowing root.

Anyanwu from Wild Seed by Octavia E. Butler

Why She’s Admirable: What’s not to admire about a demigod who used her powers to make the lives of ordinary people better? Not only that, but she did so quietly and behind the scenes without expecting any sort of reward for it. This was a very different approach to having powers than certain other characters in this universe had, and it made me appreciate how careful she was about using her abilities.

Plot Twists I Didn’t See Coming

Scifi Month banner. Shows #ScifiMonth hashtag and two planets in background.This month I’m participating in the Scifi Month challenge that was created by the bloggers at One More. Click on the link in that last sentence for more information or to sign up yourself. There is still time to pick a few of their prompts and join in if you’re interested.

Today’s prompt was “What can possibly go wrong.” The notes for it mentioned plot twists, so that’s the approach I’m taking with this post. 

I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I wasn’t very good at predicting how plots would turn out when I was younger. While this is something I’ve gotten better at over time, there were still some notable moments when I didn’t figure what was going to happen ahead of time despite all of the hints the storytellers threw my way.

Let’s see if I can talk about these films without giving away spoilers. I know most of this stuff came out years ago, but I’d rather let other people discover the plot twists for themselves.

The Sixth Sense film poster. It has five numbers on it. Numbers 1 through 5 are illuminnated and named the five sense. Number 6 on the post shows the outline of a child. No sense is named there. The Sixth Sense (1999) 

The protagonist of this film was a child psychologist named Malcolm whose newest client, Haley, was struggling to open up to him.

There was something strange going on in Haley’s life, but all the boy will say about it is that he sees dead people.

It was up to Malcolm to find out what Haley means by that and why he was so reluctant to go into detail about what’s bothering him.

The foreshadowing was incredibly well done, and there were a lot of hints about what was happening with these characters. I have no idea how I missed the twist in this film the first time I watched it!

Film poster for The Others. Image shows Nicole Kidman holding a glass lamp and staring off into the corner with a fearful expression on her face. The Others (2001)

This is one of my all-time favourite ghost movies. It’s set in 1945 and follows a young mother, Grace, who was raising two special needs children on her own in a large, isolated mansion while her husband was off fighting in World War II.

The children’s health problems made it dangerous for them to be exposed to any form of natural light, so Grace had her hands full looking after them and protecting them from harm. Grace hired a few local people to help her keep the house and grounds running smoothly.

The interesting thing about her new hires was that they dressed like they lived in the late 1800s and seemed to know a lot about her home. There were strange things happening in the house that made Grace’s children wonder if it was haunted. She scoffed at that notion, but her employees had other notions about it.

Once again, this film gave plenty of hints about what was really going on in Grace’s life. I loved the ending, but I also should have seen it coming in advance.

Moon (2009)

Moon film poster. Image on it is of an astronaut wearing a spacesuit and holding his helmet. Unlike the other films in this list, this one didn’t have any paranormal themes.

Sam, the protagonist, was an astronaut who had signed up to spend three years alone mining helium-3, a new source of fuel, on the far side of the moon. He chose this isolated job in order to make money to support his pregnant wife.

A couple of weeks before his term ended, there was an accident. When Sam went out to investigate it, he found something that should have never been possible: another living human being.

That plot twist was the least surprising of them all in this film. I only wish I could discuss the rest without giving away spoilers!

While I did figure out one of the plot twists ahead of time, there were so many more that I didn’t see coming. This is the sort of film I recommend to everyone from hardcore science fiction fans to people who brand new to this genre and hesitant to give it a try. It truly had something for everyone.

What plot twists in films, books, or TV shows did you never see coming?

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: A Strange or Useless Talent I Have

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

Two orange cats standing and sitting on pavement surrounded by fallen leavesMy strangest talent by far is how attracted cats are to me.

Why is this strange? Well, I’m horribly allergic to them. Even hugging someone who has cat dander on their clothing will make me start wheezing and coughing. The more time I spend inhaling that dander, the worse my breathing becomes.

Therefore, I do everything I possibly can do to stay away from cats.

Yet I’ve had multiple experiences with cats who avoid the people who actually want to interact with them and move towards the one person who wants to stay as far away from them as possible.

I’ve actually started staring at cats on purpose on the rare occasion I meet them to see if a little eye contact will gently encourage them to pick someone else as their new best friend.

They’re beautiful creatures, and I’d pet them if I could. But being able to breathe is more important to me for reasons I’m sure you all can understand.

If only there were a way to somehow cash in on this strange superpower of mine!

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question. The image below is the list of upcoming prompts for this blog hop.