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January 2016

Alan Rickman, you magnificent bastard. You left us too soon!

I’m going to be real with you all, when I heard that Alan Rickman had died, I was mad. I skipped right over sadness and landed squarely in anger. This was absolutely UNACCEPTABLE.

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Why?

Because I’m not ready to live in a world without Alan Rickman. I’m mad because, despite fame and fortune, cancer still managed to steal yet another person from this planet. I’m furious that we spend our time and resources on so many things that don’t matter when we could be trying to find a way to preserve life – especially a life that has brought so much greatness to the world.

People may feel I’m overstating that. I mean, he was just an actor, right?

First of all, let me say it’s sad when anyone dies of cancer. I lost one of my most impactful mentors to cancer. I am good friends with cancer survivors who are constantly looking over their shoulders, forced to worry about having to do battle once again with the despicable affliction.

But make no mistake, Alan Rickman was a genuine treasure and he will always be a treasure to me.

Happy_Alan

 

In honor of Rickman, I wanted to take some time to write about the roles I enjoyed the most, and what they meant to me.

Dogma as THE METATRON

Kevin Smith’s Dogma came out in 1999. I was thirteen years old, and it was one of the first movies that made me question… so many things. Alan Rickman as the Metatron was a huge contributing factor to my inevitable understanding that the world operates in a gray area. As the Metatron, Rickman plays a discontented angel who wants nothing more than to get drunk and forget his worries. Because as an angel in a world where God’s gone MIA, things are stressful and there are plenty of worries to forget about.

Metatron_Finger

I was instantly taken by his straight-faced humor and absolutely in love with his otherworldly, yet still somehow down-to-earth perspective on the shenanigans that unfold. I may have seen Rickman in other movies (Sense and Sensibility), but this was the movie that made me fall in FOREVER LOVE with Rickman. His point of view made me question MY point of view. And what if things COULD be different than how we’ve always been told they are?

What if, what if, what if…

Galaxy Quest as Alexander Dane aka “Dr. Lazarus”

Just when you thought Rickman couldn’t nail a more perfect comedy role than THE METATRON, along comes Galaxy Quest, released the same year as Dogma. 1999 was a damn good year. Rickman’s role in Galaxy Quest makes me wonder if, one day, someone walked up to him and asked, “Would you like to play yourself in a sci-fi movie?”

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In GQ, Rickman plays a classical actor who took one role in a science fiction show in the 80s and got pigeon holed into that role for, seemingly, forever. At first glance, it would appear that he resents this kind of notoriety, but it quickly becomes apparent how jealous he is of his co-star, Jason Nesmith, played by Tim Allen.

Eventually Rickman’s character embraces his pseudo personality and, as a result, finds belonging, purpose and passion. On the surface, it seems pretty simple – and it is. The message is… embrace who you are!

GQ_Alan_Acceptance

This was HUGE for me. I waivered in my early adulthood sometime later where I felt like I shouldn’t be as nerdy as I wanted to be. That is made me undesirable and unmarketable to things like relationships or a career.

You might have noticed that I have, as of late, re-embraced by nerdy tendencies. And it feels great. Just like Alexander Dane recognizing how much of a part Dr. Lazarus was of him. I have all the things he did at the end of that movie – belonging, purpose, and passion!

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy as Marvin the paranoid robot

We didn’t get to see you at all in this movie, Alan, but you were there in spirit in the form of Marvin. All we needed was your voice to know it was you – and more than that, to feel that Marvin was a person, with feelings and fears and a creeping, almost undetectable sense of humor. Marvin represented the voice in all of our heads saying we can’t do things, and the universe is a big, bad place that no sane person should want to live in.

Marvin

But Marvin marches forward. He doesn’t stop. In stark contrast to his depressive mood, he is a reminder of what we’re all capable of – we all have the capacity for greatness, and for perseverance. It’s a dichotomy that Rickman pulls off perfectly, and Adam Douglas, I’m sure, would have been proud.

Harry Potter as Severus Snape

Oh, Severus. Of course, we cannot overlook the contributions of J. K. Rowling in the creation of Severus Snape, but we have to give full marks to Alan Rickman for making the character come to life in the most glorious, ominous and heartbreaking way. I had seen the first three Harry Potter movies before I started reading the books (I know, it was wrong and I take full blame for slacking on getting into this series) – so when I started reading, the image of Snape was one and the same with a black-haired Alan Rickman.

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I hated Snape, I despised him, I wondered about him, I started to feel bad for him… and then I mourned for him. It was an elegant and emotional journey that both Rowling and Rickman took me on.

I will share this one, painful regret – that Snape did not get enough character exposition and progression in The Halfblood Prince and Deathly Hallows movies. We know from the books how Harry sees firsthand how difficult Severus’ childhood was, and how deeply he felt for Lilly, and the anguish in his decision to join Voldemort. Given half a chance, Rickman would have tore our hearts out countless times over if more screen time had been dedicated to his journey.

She

Is

everything

to me

For me, Dogma and Harry Potter are bookends in my love for Alan Rickman’s work – and in both, he portrayed the perfect mixture of what it means to be human and fallible – though in both he plays larger-than-life roles. Angel and Wizzard. Still human. Still one of us. Still showing us what it means to walk this earth and navigate the trenches.

You were taken from us too soon, Mr. Rickman. You will be missed. You will be mourned. But more than anything, you will be remembered.

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Always
Alan Rickman, 1946 – 2016

 

Eve2Eve is the founder of Some Nerd Girl and the author of urban fantasy novel Children of the Fallen and science fiction novel Colony One. She has been writing since the age of 13 and has been flying her nerd flag for the past 16 years. Fandoms include Star Wars, Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica. Basically if it has ‘star’ in it, she’ll give it a shot.

 

22 Con Stories – Some Nerd Girl Original Webcomic

That time you were too drunk to fight back when your friends insist you take a cab instead of walk. Also proof drinking does make you dumber. 🙂

Check out all the SNGCs here and join us every Monday for a new original SNG Webcomic!


AlexAlex is our resident Webcomic creator. He grew up in Puerto Rico, but didn’t reach true Nerdom until he came state side when he was in middle school. He’s been drawing since he was five, but has only started posting Webcomics in the past year. You can check out his amazing and original work at tapastic.com/gomezalexj.

 

Book Reiew: I Kill Monsters by Dennis Liggio

As an avid reader of Kelley Armstrong, Seanan McGuire, and Charlie Huston, I like to consider myself to be very familiar with the urban monster landscape. I Kill Monsters is the first book I’ve read by this author, and I would label his work as having solid potential. I Kill Monsters isn’t the first of its kind, nor the most original, but it does have its charm.

The book features two brothers Szandor and Mikhail, living on a rougher side of town, who take down the creepy crawlies hiding in the city. They take money as best as they can, but work the daily grind to keep the bills paid (mostly).  When a well-to-do client comes along, they jump at the opportunity to play bodyguard for a few days. Unfortunately for them, something much more nefarious than the boogeyman is afoot, and the boys are launched into a part of the monster industry they didn’t even know existed.

Overall, the writing flows well and it is a good, albeit shallow, read. There are times I found myself genuinely laughing, but also times I found myself cringing at some of the bland writing. The main character describes himself to have a “punk” haircut, which I cannot fathom precisely what that may mean. The main character describes at least two women to be “hot”, with little description as to why. There is a fade-to-black sex scene, with little post-coitus followup. I may be spoiled by the many female writers that I read, but if you’re going to include a sex scene, use it.  An author friend of mine tells me it’s important to “show, not tell”, and I find this book doing a lot of telling. To give away a mild spoiler, Szandor’s brother uses a nickname that he hates, and that’s how he describes it- as a nickname he hates; with no explanation. Why does he hate that nickname? Was there an embarrassing story involved? An awkward teen obsession? What a wasted opportunity to deepen the character.

One of the things I do enjoy is that neither Szandor nor his brother seem to be the Dark Brooding Type. Not every character in monster-themed books need to carry their burdens in every sentence, and it’s refreshing seeing these guys just going about their lives, having the typical brotherly love that also involves wanting to throttle each other at times.

Despite a few missteps in the writing, I Kill Monsters is a light and easy read, great for anyone on their lunch break or riding on the train. I’ll look forward to reading more of Dennis Liggio’s work.

Overall, I give this read a 4/5 star rating.

4outof5


Barb2

Barbie O’Havoc has been considered a nerd since the first time she pissed someone off for having a weird opinion. Since then, she’s been spending her time indulging in the surprisingly expensive habits of reading trashy vampire novels and hitting people while playing roller derby. Both of her main hobbies have led to a love of terrible puns, much to everyone’s dismay.

Barbie O’ also loves coffee and local restaurants, and occasionally rambles about both on the Johnstown Food Blog.

You, Me, and the Best End-of-the-World Show Ever!

It’s very rare that I become so enthralled with a TV show that it becomes compulsory weekly viewing, well, aside from Gogglebox and Game of Thrones. It took me until this year to finally catch up with Breaking Bad, I lost interest in Orange is The New Black after the latest season, and American Horror Story lost its shine after Asylum – although, Wes Bentley’s perfect arse is doing alright in Hotel I must admit. I digress.

I recall seeing the trailers for You, Me and the Apocalypse while dogsitting for a friend of a few months ago. I’m a big fan of most apocalyptic media, British comedy is always a huge hit and Mat Baynton (who plays protagonist Jamie) is a cutie patootie previously seen in the wonderfully funny show Horrible Histories. So, with these three factors in mind, I settled down to watch the first episode when it started here in the UK on September 30th.

The show starts with the credits – a very dishevelled looking Jamie is sitting in an underground bunker, watching on TV as a meteor begins to crash down on Earth. Each week, we see more familiar faces in the bunker there with him, a seemingly random bunch of people thrown together at the end of days.

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In the first episode, we’re introduced to bank manager Jamie, who lives a very mundane life in Slough living with his best friend Dave (Joel Fry, who some of you may recognise as Hizdahr zo Loraq from Game of Thrones) and his mum Paula (Pauline Quirke). We learn that his wife Layla went missing while they were on honeymoon seven years earlier, and he has never given up hope that she might return – despite his mum’s resignations.

We’re then taken over to America, where we meet Rhonda (Jenna Fischer from the US Office) who is in prison for a crime she didn’t commit but is willing to take the wrap for. It’s clear that she’s not exactly prison material, but she soon finds herself a friend in Leanne, a seemingly sweet Southern lady who just happens to have a Swastika tattooed on her forehead… (Megan Mullally, on fire as usual in this role)

Leanne

Suddenly, the worst news imaginable is reported after Jamie is arrested for a bizarre crime he swears he didn’t commit – an eight mile wide comet is on a collision course with the planet and it doesn’t look good for mankind. But Jamie has more important things on his mind – like, why his wife is alive and well in Russia? And why was she spotted with a man that looks strikingly similar to him?

Back in America, it might not be all doom and gloom, as Scotty McNeil (Kyle Soller) and the US General Arnold Gaines (British stalwart Paterson Joseph) are in charge of the plan that will save the world. Hopefully. Maybe. While all that’s going on, we go over to The Vatican, where Sister Celine (Gaia Scodellaro) is a nun with the sunniest disposition in the whole convent – she’s sent to work in the recently reopened office of Devil’s Advocate along with foul-mouthed, chain-smoking Father Jude Sutton (Rob Lowe is brilliant, alright?) where their job is to find the potential saviour for mankind.

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Somehow, this group of people comes together for the end of the world. Over the ten episodes, we find out the answers to questions we didn’t even know we’d have, about people we didn’t know we’d come to care about so much – Scotty is a precious being who needs to be protected at all costs, and I will fight anyone who wants to hurt him – and you’ll be fooled into thinking you’re watching a comedy when there will be times when you feel like your heart has broken in two. I loved every moment of this series and I can’t recommend it enough. If you’re a fan of Shaun of The Dead, Hot Fuzz, Monty Python and anything inbetween, then You, Me and The Apocalypse will be right up your street.

The cast is perfect, the story is extraordinary and brilliantly written, the mix of comedy and drama is just right (“You do not put people’s feet in food processors – there’s a line even in these kind of situations!”) and then there’s the fact that this series has somehow got me researching religion and theology for fun. There’s also a very satisfying amount of twists and turns that will keep you coming back for more – and trust me on one thing, just because you know the series ends when the world does, it doesn’t mean you know what’s coming…

You, Me and the Apocalypse is available in the UK on demand via Sky 1, and will soon be showing in the US on January 28th on NBC.


ClaireClaire is a foul-mouthed British twenty-something who spends most of her time pretending to be an adult. Her nerd status started from an early age with her dad’s love of sci-fi and developed through a love of gaming, reading and horror. As well as volunteering for a charity, Claire writes about her life with borderline personality disorder (BPD) and mental health over at her blog, as well as tweeting nonsense over as @MouthAndSpoons. The dream is to either make it as a successful writer, or go into mental health research. She lives at home with her equally nerdy husband, their dog Lady, cat Pip and a lot of fish.

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