December 19th, 2006

pencil

The Lost Room, Harry Dresden (and diamonds)

The other night I watched the Sci Fi Channel 6 hour mini-series The Lost Room. I enjoyed it, and would recommend it (even though I'm having trouble discovering if they are going to rebroadcast it anytime soon). Detective Joe Miller, while investigating an unusual robbery/murder, encounters a motel room key that will open any door, loses his daughter to the room thus entered, and embarks on a quest to find her that involves investigating the origins of this Key and the other Objects from that motel room, all of which have unusual properties and powers. An interesting meditation on the power of things, and the power we invest in them.

One of the cool things being advertised was the January 21st premiere of the miniseries The Dresden FIles, based on Jim Butcher's novel series of the same name. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing this; I enjoyed the novels (thanks faintheart!) the way I enjoyed the first couple of Anita Blake books (back when there was something to them besides a litany of lusts fanged, furry and otherwise). Light reading, fast paced, interesting developing characters, and a well-thought-out internally consistent but not overly-explained supernatural system. (I wish I could have gotten into his other Codex Alera series, but it hasn't grabbed me yet. Another time perhaps.)

I was also amused by the type of consumer ads being shown during the broadcast. Apparently the target demographic wishes to remove chin hair and replace scalp hair, likes gadgets, and makes a habit of giving presents of diamond jewelry. It was the last one that struck me the most - I swear there were at least two diamond spots per commercial break. I'd heard the cartel was gearing up to try and counter the negative publicity being generated by the film Blood Diamond along with increasing general awareness of the De Beers near-monopoly and the abuses and problems thereby created. Judging by conventions I've attended, skiffy geeks seldom drape themselves in expensive diamonds; the big bucks are pretty clearly aimed elsewhere, in fandom. So the diamond execs must be pretty desperate to have pushed the blitz so far into the fringes, IMuHO. Perhaps they see us as an untapped market, like Japan in the late 1960s.