The Geekender November 20-22: Jessica Jones, The Man in the High Castle, and more

The weekend is upon us, and with it, a chance to sit back, relax and consume massive amounts of sci-fi, fantasy and horror pop culture. In The Geekender, our writers share a bit about what they're reading, watching and playing -- and we want to hear from you. Let us know what's on your plate in the comments!

Trent Moore: I'm going to try and avoid the obvious answer of watching Jessica Jones (though I will be mainlining the back six episodes) and go with something a bit different. Hidden behind the buzz surrounding Marvel's latest series, the first season of Amazon's The Man in the High Castle also dropped this weekend. The pilot was a clinic in world-building, and I'm fascinated to take a deep dive into this alt-history where the U.S. is now occupied by Germany and Russia. I don't know how much time I'll have to dig in, though I do hope to rewatch the pilot and maybe jump 1-2 episodes into the first season this weekend.


Ernie EstrellaI'm proud to say I bought Marvel's Alias when it came out monthly. As a big fan of Brian Michael Bendis' writing, I always championed the book for the new boundaries comics were headed towards and were being paved. Jessica Jones was such a deeply flawed character, and that's exactly why she was relatable, felt honest and was as real as a character could get in the Marvel Universe. Thank goodness for the Max imprint, which allowed Bendis to let loose. At the time, no Marvel character had ever been written this way, and Michael Gaydos' art grounded the story and set the tone for the Max imprint. Now I get to sit in front of the TV, entranced for hours revisiting this world on Netflix as a series, Jessica Jones, starring Krysten Ritter, with no doubt that I'll sit camped with the vital sustenance within arm's reach until it's complete, then cry for more. It's an exciting time for geeks when shows like Jessica Jones are made and bringing to a bigger spotlight the quintessential comic books of the early 2000s. Here's to experiencing both versions.


Carol Pinchefsky: I’ll be doing what everyone else here at Blastr will be doing/has already done: binge-watch Jessica Jones on Netflix. From the trailers I’ve seen, Krysten Ritter gives a dead-eyed, world-weary performance, and David Tennant, who plays her troubled-past-turned-present, is as full of casual contempt as any villain I’ve ever seen. JJ shares the same universe as Daredevil, and that show deeply impressed me: Not only is the hero fleshed out, but so is the villain. Hell, the villain has more romantic success than the protagonist. It was a first on superhero TV. I can’t see what other firsts JJ will be providing.

Don Kaye: Like many of my Blastr colleagues, I will be watching at least some of Jessica Jones this weekend on Netflix. But I'm also really excited to check out The Man in the High Castle via Amazon. The early reviews are great, and from what I understand, this is a serious adaptation of not only a seminal work by one of science fiction's most trailblazing writers, but also a classic of the genre, overall. With this out now and Childhood's End coming soon on Syfy, can it be long before we see faithful screen versions of Foundation, The Stars My Destination, or other literary sci-fi landmarks? What a thought. Of course, I have a kid, so binge-watching is probably out of the question...but I'm gonna try.

Jeff Spry: This weekend, in addition to my continued struggles trying to wrap up my new screenplay, I'm gonna find time to play more Dead Space 2 and manipulate Isaac Clarke through the claustrophobic corners of The Sprawl, a massive space station parked off the shoulder of Saturn's biggest moon, Titan. This has been my favorite from the Dead Space franchise in terms of story, graphics and gameplay, with loads of atmospheric touches and jump-out-of-your-shorts scares. Plus, I loved those "Your Mom Hates Dead Space 2" commercials that supposedly showed horrified moms watching the game's sci-fi slaughter. So, I intend on putting Isaac's potent plasma cutter to good use against marauding Necromorphs, at least until the Packers-Vikings game comes on Sunday afternoon!


Krystal Clark: It's pretty clear what most of us will be doing this weekend. Nov. 20 is a day I've been waiting for for a very long time. Marvel's Jessica Jones is finally available on Netflix, and it has my undivided attention. I'm excited for this show for a lot of reasons, but I'm most interested in how it will progress the overall Defenders story. Daredevil had subtle hints about other characters and the Marvel Universe as a whole, but Jessica Jones is taking a more direct approach with the introduction of Luke Cage. There's also the presence of Jeri Hogarth, an attorney who has a connection to Danny Rand/Iron Fist. Not a lot of people are familiar with Jessica's story, so I'm hoping they knock it out of the park.

Matt Dorville: Remember when Wesley was trapped in The Princess Bride and the six-fingered man used the machine to suck life away from him? This is basically what video games are to my life. So, with a heavy heart, I am playing Battlefront and Fallout 4 this weekend, knowing, as soon as I put them in my PS4, that life is being sucked away from me. For any of those people that are also afflicted with the same addiction as I have to incredibly awesome video games, I invite you to play with me this weekend. My username is mattydbrooklyn, so friend me and let's play.


Lisa Granshaw: I'll be celebrating the release of the last Hunger Games film, Mockingjay Part 2, this weekend with some fellow geek girls at a special themed brunch appropriately called "May the Brunch Be in Your Favor." It's part of this great group Geek Girl Brunch that has chapters across the country and hosts events (mostly brunches, of course) where geek girls can get together and hang out in a fun, welcoming environment. I've been attending brunches for more than a year now and I always end up meeting a great group of fellow geeks every time!

Aaron Sagers: I have an embarrassment of geeky riches to enjoy this weekend. I watched the first seven episodes of Jessica Jones, and I am so hooked. The Avengers brought to life a lot of my fanboy wishes, but Jessica Jones is the tightest storytelling, and most mature, we've seen come out of Marvel yet. And you can bet Ben Grimm's Aunt Petunia I'll be powering through the final eps this weekend. But there is a hitch. See, I'm obsessed with Star Wars Battlefront on the Xbox One; although I'm not particularly good (yet!) I love the experience of moving through the familiar Star Wars settings. Also, it's incredibly cool playing favorite characters. The movements and attacks of Luke and Vader are especially fun, but Boba Fett is the hands-down best playable character. Fighter Squadron is a great dogfighting mode, and you're able to fly as the Millennium Falcon or Slave I, but I think the standout battle available thus far is the Walker Assault, which resembles a true campaign with a narrative feel. Anyhow, I'm finally getting enough credits to unlock some sweet weapons, and the next step is upping my rank. I am a 10 rank now, so what level do you think I should hit by Sunday night?


Evan Hoovler: I am boiling over with excitement for this weekend. I have organized a fundraiser, the proceeds going to Suicide Awareness Voices of Education. It's like a raffle, but with one huge, geeky twist. Instead of awarding prizes by drawing tickets, everyone who entered gets a wrestler made in their likeness in the video game WWE 2K14. On Saturday, I will pit all the contestants against each other in a giant computer-controlled simulation, and they will battle it out for prizes. The entire thing will be streaming live from 4-7 PM, PST on my Twitch account (drunknerds8888), so feel free to pop in and have a raucous time cheering on virtual violence for a great cause.


Adam Swiderski: Like everyone else, I'll be spending at least part of my weekend with Jessica Jones, but I'm also planning on dipping a toe into The Dark Forest, sequel to The Three-Body Problem by Chinese author Cixin Liu. Three-Body was a fascinating read that offered a distinctive slant on the whole alien invasion trope, and I can only imagine where the story is going to go from where that book left off. Cixin Liu's voice is a welcome breath of fresh air in sci-fi fiction, and I'm looking forward to diving into it yet again.


You've heard what we're up to -- now it's your turn! What movies, books, comics, shows and games will you be diving into this weekend? Let us know in the comments!

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