Tag Archives: art

A review of Season 4 of “The Man in the High Castle” (2019)

The fourth and final season of “The Man in the High Castle” (2019) ended the show pretty strongly — I’d rate it an 8 out of 10 for concluding the dystopian science fiction epic just when its ambitious storytelling started getting too unwieldy.

I won’t lie to you … I loved the show, and was the sort of fan that exhorted all of my friends to watch it — but even I have to admit that there were some general narrative failures.  This show tackled nothing less than multiple, detailed parallel universes — each with its own history and analogous characters.  (It is an Axis Powers’ World War II victory that sets the stage for the story’s initial, “prime” universe.)  That’s a lot to tackle, and “The Man in the High Castle” didn’t always follow through.  (It didn’t help that there was a seeming myriad of subplots and character arcs fleshing out its prime universe alone — and that some of Season 4’s story setups seemed redundant with those of prior seasons.)

By the show’s end, there were major plot threads that were left dangling — including key questions about the show’s basic plot elements.  I wouldn’t blame many longtime fans for feeling frustrated at the overall story’s insufficient exposition — and this last season’s deliberately vague, befuddling final moments.

But “The Man in the High Castle” was still simply too good to dislike.  What the show does well, it tends to do very well — especially its grand, sweeping, Wagnerian science fiction world-building.  I’ll bet you’ll never see another what-if-the-Nazis-won story as good as this one.  With everything from its panoramic backdrops to its costuming to its incidental dialogue, “The Man in the High Castle” tackles its sprawling milieu with zeal, style and impressive detail.  You can tell that it was a labor of love for the screenwriters to bring Philip K. Dick’s dangerous multiverse to the screen.

Its cast includes performers that absolutely shine — most notably Rufus Sewell as the premier American Nazi, John Smith, but also Alexa Davalos, Chelah Hordal, Joel de la Fuente and Rick Worthy.   For me, Sewell often made the show; his role here seems like one he was born for.

Despite its admittedly significant flaws, Season 4 was still a great watch.

 

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Check out the art of Jennifer Shepit.

Social media is wonderful for getting acquainted with a variety of new artists to follow, but I must say that my friend Jennifer Shepit’s work has especially struck a chord with me.  Jen is a wonderfully talented (and sometimes darkly inspired) artist from British Columbia, and her work is always engaging and sometimes startling.

She has a unique muse, I think — and I think many people with a taste for horror or dark fantasy would enjoy what she creates.  I hope I get the opportunity to collaborate with her one day.

Below are several of Jen’s recent pieces that I have asked permission to share.  You can find more of her prints, oil paintings and watercolors at her Etsy shop right here:

https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/JenniferShepit

 

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Call for Submissions — The Bees Are Dead

From The Bees Are Dead:  

“The Bees Are Dead is officially open for business, and this is your official invitation to submit work for publication. Below are our submission guidelines – these will live permanently on our ‘Submissions‘ page. Please read the information below and get submitting!

The Bees Are Dead (BAD) is a new transatlantic webzine focusing on dystopian and post-apocalyptic prose, poetry, art and photography. BAD accepts submissions on an ongoing basis. We are searching for:

– Poems, with no limit on length within reason…
– Prose, preferably less than 6000 words, though longer pieces will be considered if exceptional.
– Photography, please no nudes…
– Reviews of books, single pieces or films/movies/TV shows – preferably under 1000 words.
– Videos and Audio recordings of poetry, prose or reviews.

http://www.thebeesaredead.com/submissions/

 

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Photo credit:  By yumikrum – highwire, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=48418789

Submit your creative work to “The Bees Are Dead!”

Hey, gang — my colleagues and I over at The Bees Are Dead are just thrilled with the submissions we’ve been receiving after the launch of our transatlantic webzine!  As you might know from my blog right here, we’ve been honored to launch the site with a powerful poem by Scott Thomas Outlar.  And Eddie Skelson’s “Fort Hope” was a wickedly clever post-apocalyptic zombie story.

Again, we’re interested in your very darkest visions of worlds gone bad — the editorial focus of The Bees Are Dead is dystopian and post-apocalyptic prose, poetry, art, photography and reviews.  Our submission guidelines are actually fairly flexible; click here and take a look:

Submissions – The Bees Are Dead

If you have submitted already, thanks!  If you are working on a submission, then keep at it!  And if you enjoy stories or verses about fearsome futures or world-ending catastrophes, then bookmark us and remember to visit!  We hope to keep you entertained!

 

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Photo credit: By yumikrum – escaping the dome, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=48418763