Watching the Dragon: Part 3 of the Dragon Awards

dragoncon_logo_2016If you've been following these Saturday posts, I've been covering the Dragon Con inaugural Dragon Awards, for science fiction and fantasy pop-culture media. The books and games that KCLS has (and the ones we don't have but might get) are described in Part 1 (here) and Part 2.

As you know Bob (as the maid said to the butler,) a fan-favorite award for the genre media from the 2015 -2016 season wouldn't be complete without movies and TV. And, I'm happy to say, the two winners are not only available from your local library system, but they're the kind of films that take you back to a great read.

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The Martian is that movie in spades. For those not familiar with the book of the same name by Andy Weir, in the near future, a team of astronauts is forced to make a hurried escape from their Martian outpost, leaving one man on their team behind for dead. But Mark Watney is very much alive, and he's forced to figure out how to survive for over four years in an alien environment until the next mission arrives from Earth.

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Mark's stubborn determination to succeed, his self-deprecating humor, and his ingenious attempts to survive on a planet that's trying to kill him are very appealing. The reader can't help but want to root for this guy, and in the film version the actor who plays Mark makes the same connection to the viewer. Best of all, except for the inciting incident, all the science in the story is accurate. Fans of exciting, realistic science fiction will love the Dragon Award winner for best genre movie whether they're seventeen or seventy-seven.

(Don't believe me? Check out Mat Pat's film theory. loads of poop science, and spoilers, so save this YouTube video for after you've read or watched the story)

game_of_thrones_book_coverGame of Thrones, however, which took the Dragon Award for best science fiction or fantasy TV series, is definitely not for everyone. If graphic sexualized violence and nihilistic epic fantasy, in which the good die and the evil flourish like the green bay tree upset you: give this series a pass. For many readers, though, the intricate plots, brilliant world-building, and intriguing characters are more than worth it. The only real drawback is that it doesn't appear as if the author, George R. R. Martin, will be giving his fans another plot-advancing installment anytime soon.

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The TV series has all the drawbacks of the books with the added intensification and immediacy that visual vs. written imagery provides, but adds amazing costume, set design, and acting. The world of the books is truly brought to life in these episodes. Better yet, it appears that the creators are willing to move forward past the storyline in the books (rather as Japanese anime producers do) so there's a good likelihood that the TV series plotlines will be resolved.

Start reading The Song of Ice and Fire series with book one: A Game of Thrones, followed by A Clash of Kings (2), Storm of Swords (3), A Feast for Crows (4), and A Dance with Dragons (5). A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms is a prequel taking place over a century before the start of the first book.

You can watch The Game of Thrones TV series on DVD beginning with Season One. KCLS also has Seasons two through five. We'll be getting Season 6 when it comes out in mid-November.

Happy viewing!

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