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Showing posts from February, 2020
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Book Review: Short Range - Stephen Leather

I haven't read a novel in quite a while so I was looking forward to Stephen Leather'sShort Range, which is his sixteenth Spider Shepherd thriller.

The book was given to me as a gift, and I can't say I was familiar with Stephen or this book series. Essentially it's my first introduction to the character of British MI5 Agent, Dan 'Spider' Shepherd.

Fortunately I do like a good thriller novel, and Stephen includes enough information about his lead character, as the story unfolds, that I didn't feel like I was missing any crucial information from past adventures.

The basic premise of Short Range is undercover agent Dan Shepherd is assigned to an operation to take down a terrorist group. His assignment crosses paths with another operation using a child informant to help them take down a drug dealer. Meanwhile Dan's personal life is about to be shaken up in a way he never sees coming.

As far as police thrillers go this one hits the ground running, quickly ge…

Automobiles, Planes, Buses, Trams, and Boats. Queen Elizabeth Cruise 2020

Toward the end of January 2020 my partner, Enigma, booked us on an eight day cruise holiday that was a round trip from Melbourne (Australia) to Adelaide, Hobart, Burnie, and then back to Melbourne. 
In the coming weeks I will be writing about that holiday, with this post being the first in the series, until I've covered everything about the trip I think you'll find interesting if you're contemplating such a holiday yourself (or are just interested to read what we got up to).
Ordinarily transportation wouldn't be a highlight of a holiday but, just getting to our cruise ship, the Queen Elizabeth, docked in Melbourne reminded me of the movie Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (1987) staring comedy legends Steve Martin and John Candy.

Not so much the movie, as the movie title anyway. I feel like we should have taken a train home from Adelaide (to Gawler), like we did on one of our trips back from Perth, just so I could list the full set of vehicles we used getting to and from…

Movie Review: Birds of Prey (2020) *Spoiler Section*

One of the better aspects of 2016's Suicide Squad movie was Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn. While the character does have a significant fan base, both Margot's interpretation and the various incarnations depicted in animation and the comics, I don't think mainstream audiences were particularly hungry for a Birds of Prey or Harley Quinn movie.

Despite that, Birds of Prey (2020) was always going to have an audience. Suicide Squad, while not a great critical success still did well enough to be getting a James Gunn directed sequel, and Margot's performance as Harley was widely praised... and then there are plenty of people like me.

I have no real interest in a Birds of Prey film but it features Harley Quinn, and it's a DCEU film so of course I'm going to go see it.

Plus it does play as a kind of sequel to Suicide Squad, that you could maybe interpret as a spin off film, since it directly references events from that movie.

I will say that as the trailers for Bird…

My Submission to The Sketchbook Project Housed by The Brooklyn Art Library

If you're looking for an opportunity to leave some small legacy of your art behind, or just looking for another place to get eyeballs on your work then The Sketchbook Project by The Brooklyn Art Library may be of interest to you.

The Brooklyn Art Library is a crowdfunded library of artist sketchbooks that anyone can join. Their focus is on creating a collection of physical art that viewers can interact with. The collection is made up of literally thousands of sketchbooks submitted by artists of all levels worldwide.

You can physically go to the library in Brooklyn to view the collection. A selection of books are toured around the USA each year, and artists also have the option to digitize their sketchbooks for people to view online.


It is a bit of a vanity project since the artists themselves have to purchase a sketchbook, fill it up, and send it back, with additional cost if you want to digitize your book too. After that it's a life of warm fuzzy feels as the library will se…

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