JJ’s Galactic Musings – GeyserCon and Stranger Things

Welcome to the galaxy! I’m J J Mathews, New Zealand science fiction author and dreamer of alien worlds.

Whoop! I’m headed to GeyserCon at the end of May! 

What is GeyserCon? It’s the 40th annual NZ Science Fiction and Fantasy convention, which is being held in Rotorua this year between May 31-June 3rd. I will be attending (not presenting) but the full set of Taylor Neeran Chronicles so far (Illiya, Incursion and Intercession) will be available in paperback at the book store during the convention, with book signing opportunities on Sunday afternoon.

I’ve also registered to go to CoNZealand, the 78th world Science Fiction convention being held in Wellington, NZ July 29-Aug 2, 2020. I might see some of you there! 🙂

In other news, I took a break from everything for a few days over Easter weekend. No thoughts about work, writing, or any other side projects. The start of the year has been very busy, and my head, well, has been … busy.

So I decided to take a mental break and watch a show that I’d been planning to see for a while. I waited so long to start, in fact, that two complete seasons of the show had been produced. My wife had watched it. Friends had watched it. But really, I don’t watch that much TV. I find that there isn’t that much worth watching on TV anymore. Too much reality/contest/artificial forced drama blathering shows filling up air time, and not enough original stories

So I watch movies. A few TV shows now and then, but mostly my spare time gets filled with writing, and volunteer activities.

But on Easter weekend, I shut all of that ‘noise’ off. I crawled into bed on Thursday night, switched on the TV to Google Chromecast, opened Netflix on my phone, and started ‘casting Stranger Things.

I watched the first episode and a half. 10:30pm. Normally by then my brain is winding down, having read for a while, then putting the book down before it fell to the floor. Lights out.

So I stopped ‘casting, switched the TV off, and turned the lights out.

…For ten minutes.

Then it was all back on, and I was propped up on my pillow, eyes watching the screen.

Well, Stranger Things wasn’t what I’d expected. I’d seen glimpses of episodes over my wife’s shoulder, but none of the glimpses made any sense.

No, it wasn’t what I’d expected. It was much, much better than that.

I forced myself to go to sleep after I finished chapter 4. (Yes, the show actually calls the episodes chapters. Awesome.)

I woke up on Good Friday morning and started episode 5, earbuds in, watching on the phone. Still in bed.

By late Friday night, I had finished Season 2, Chapter 8. I thought I was finished – Season 1 had 8 episodes.

To my delight I still had episode 9 to watch on Saturday morning. A very good finish to the season.

Stranger Things was everything that a well written show – or story – should be. And it was well acted, to boot. I went through despising the prissy miss perfect and her jock ‘big hair’ boyfriend, to caring about  all of the characters, grieving with them, and taking a deep breath with them when they managed to survive, again, …just.

Now, I didn’t lie in bed all day on Friday. I did do a few other things, and we took the kids to see the new Lego Movie. But for nearly thirty-two hours real-time, 17 hours of episodes, I was enthralled, I was entertained. I was hooked.

I’m glad I finally watched it, but I have a problem. Now I have to wait until  July for Season 3, chapter 1. And watch them one… slow… week… at a time.

What great shows have you watched lately? (TV, online service show, or movie). What has captivated you, and made you want to see more?

And if you don’t watch much TV (like me) or Netflix-slash-equivalent shows much, what books have you enjoyed so much that you just had to tell your friends (or even perfect strangers walking down the street)?

I’d like to know.

Thanks for being part of the galaxy!

J J Mathews

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