I was dreaming about cannons a couple of weeks ago. It was a surefire sign that I have read far too many dense fictions and non-fictions about the Napoleonic Wars and that I needed a change of reading matter. I am very much an intellectual chameleon-cum-method actor. When I am writing fanfiction I will read loads of comics, when I am running a fantasy RPG campaign I will watch loads of fantasy films and when I am writing a Napoleonic rpg I will read and watch loads of ... well musket and cannon stuff. It gets me in the correct headspace but it also messes with your mind if you do it too much.
So I changed my book to something else and finally picked up 'Storm Front' by Jim Butcher, the first of The Dresden Files. My relationship with this book is a strange one. I wasn't aware of it until I heard that the guys who made Spirit of the Century were making a roleplaying game based on it. Thats kind of cool as it is 'urban fantasy' - my absolute favourite genre of trashy fiction, especially the 'strong and resourceful female protaganist' style of Kim Harrison and Laurel. K. Hamilton. Oh I know, its dreadful, but sue me! However, before I found time to read the book the TV series came out and well, it was just ... nothing. Dull. Uninspired. Flat. Lifeless. Missable. And that was a great disappointment to me. It didn't make me want to read the book!
So anyway, with nothing else pending in the reading pile that didn't involve killing the French, I delved in and it was a surprisingly good read. Not inspiring and not troubling the Booker Prize judges but a pretty good read with some excellent characterisation. I quite like Harry Dresden.
So, yesterday, I downloaded an episode on SKY Anytime for free and watched it. And it was something. Good. Inspiring. Vibrant. Full of life and very watchable. It struck me that it was all about context - because I had read the book, I 'knew' the characters a little better than when I watched the series first time around. I understood some of the relationships and that made them easier to understand in the TV series. I have a sneaking feeling that the Dresden Files may have suffered from a Firefly scheduling problem and the originally intended #1 episode may be hidden in the middle of the series.
So I have a new series to read and watch - which is groovy, especially as it gets me into the headspace for the forthcoming 'Ben's As Yet Unnamed Horror Campaign: The Moderning'. Oh dear, this is where we came in, isn't it?