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Black Gate 4

Black Gate Issue 14 Preview

The preview's up! Follow the link here to see the cover and a sneak peek at the contents.

The wife and I hadn't really been looking forward to Avatar because we'd heard it was unoriginal and predicatble, etc. Well, we went yesterday and really enjoyed it. Did I think it was the greatest movie ever? No, but it hit all the right notes, and was firing on most of its cylinders most of the time. It got me involved in a great adventure. I left thinking that the criticism I'd expected to agree with had come from an ungenerous place.

I think that too often people forget that what's old hat for them is new to lots of other people. YOU may not be the target audience for Stephanie Meyer's work or for J.K. Rowling, but somebody sure is, and if some of the critics had heard (or read the essays from) the number of students over the last few years who have reported to me how Meyer or Rowling got them fired up about reading, or introduced them to fantasy, I think they might be more charitable... although they'd probably manage it with noses in the air anyway.

Here's a cliche (minus the accent mark I can't figure out how to add): there's nothing new under the sun. We keep tapping and retapping the same mythic elements for a reason -- they speak to us. Avatar was a good story, even if it has elements we'd seen before. It worked; it lifted me out of the mundane, and fired up the imaginations of my children. Any of my friends who are reading this and who were buying the word of the critics should go see it on the big screen, preferably a 3D screen, while they can.


Agreed completely!

Even if someone thinks it's B-movie plot and B-movie acting, they still have to admit that it's a B movie that appears to be filmed on location on another planet.
I've read too many cynical posts about it myself. Luckily I did'nt listen to them. Sorry thing is only making it's way to the top selling movie of all time. Wish I sucked that bad.
Forgive me for the off-topic post, but...

Any chance of submissions opening up again any time soon? :-)
I think John's planning to open them up shortly after the issue goes in the mail. We'll post a fanfare on the site when it happens, and it will happen soon. It won't stay open for too awfully long, though, no more than a month or so.
I'll be sure to be ready, then. :-)
The plan's to open up once a year. It was going to be regularly, around the first of the year, but we got hung up getting a double-sized issue ready, ironically enough to help clear out some backlog.
I think that too often people forget that what's old hat for them is new to lots of other people.

Exactly! And the moment you start whining about stuff being old hat, that's when you are - well - old. Because you've lost your ability to go for the ride and enjoy something for the heck of it, for the fairytale, for the dream.
I think you're right. In part it comes from a knee jerk reaction as part of being well-read or more experienced. It's easy to react with a smug "well, this new thing has elements of these old things -- why don't these people see that this new thing is just that old thing restated?"

It's almost a defensive superiority -- I know this thing (say the old, old idea that reality is but a dream that was a new concept to many people who encountered The Matrix), why don't you people know about this thing?
Heh heh. Watching AVATAR I couldn't help but think that time has relentlessly pushed me out of the demographic they were shooting for. Still, it certainly had its moments.