My Favorite Things with Nancy O’Toole Meservier

They might not be raindrops on roses or whiskers on kittens, but that doesn’t mean that we love them any less. Welcome back to My Favorite Things, the weekly column where we grab someone in speculative circles to gab about the greatest in geek. This week, we sit down with librarian and Speculative Chic columnist, Nancy O’Toole Meservier. What does Nancy love? Spoiler alert: divisive sci-fi shows, nerdy violinists, post-apocalyptic manga, and (just maybe) Wonder Woman figurines. Interested? Read on for more!


In five episodes, Star Trek: Discovery has become one of the most divisive shows on television. And I love the shit out of it. Sure, I can understand where some of the criticisms come from. The darker tone does seem to fly in the face of all that is Trek, and the show’s handling of significant character deaths can be pretty uneven. But I found myself pulled in from the very first episode, and a big part of that has to do with the show’s wonderful cast of characters. I am completely invested in our protagonist, Michael Burnham (played by the talented Sonequa Martin-Green), and her quest for redemption. Other notable side characters include Lieutenant Saru (played by Doug Jones, who does full-on creature makeup like no one else), Michael’s charming roommate Tilly (played by promising newcomer Mary Wiseman) and the wonderfully dickish Stamets (played by Anthony freakin’ Rapp of the musical RENT).

Discovery’s decision to put a woman of color front and center, as well as feature an openly gay relationship feels like a positive step forward for Trek, a property that has long prided itself on its progressive nature. It is also visually stunning and genuinely exciting to watch. I hope that the remaining episodes of season one are just as strong as (if not better than!) the first five.

When it comes to music, lately I’ve found myself reaching for the songs of Taylor Davis over and over again. A violinist with a passion for nerdy topics, Taylor is well-known for covering soundtracks from video games, movies, anime, and TV shows, on top of her own original music. Her cover songs are often performed in fantastic music videos, many which feature Taylor in full cosplay (check out her cover of “Hedwig’s Theme” from the Harry Potter movies, as well as this light v. dark side take on the music of Star Wars). While I have a soft spot for many of her albums (both original and cover), Melodies of Hyrule: Music from The Legend of Zelda, holds a special place in my heart. Featuring music primarily from Ocarina of Time, as well as other Zelda games, Melodies of Hyrule manages to successfully take the simple, repeating melodies of the games, and expand them into epic tracks. My personal favorites are “Gerudo Valley,” “Bolero of Fire,” “Song of Time and Song of Storms,” and “Ballad of the Goddess.”

Because Taylor got her start on Youtube, many of the songs on this album have music videos, so if you’re a more visually minded person, I’d highly recommend checking out her channel for Zelda covers and more.

As for my reading, I’ve recently been catching up on Attack on Titana post-apocalyptic manga by Hajime Isayama. While the series has been excellent from the start, the Twenty-First and Twenty-Second volumes of the manga have really taken it up a notch. After dealing with the remains of a horrific battle (not to mention the deaths of multiple major characters), the manga pushed forward by finally unlocking the secrets hidden in Eren’s old basement. It’s time to learn some painful truths. Where do the monstrous Titans really come from? What is their purpose in this world? Are the remains of humanity truly confined to this single, walled city? And what does that mean for our beloved cast of characters? By the time you get to the end of volume twenty-two, it’s clear that the manga has begun to enter its final arc, but it’s also just as clear that there’s plenty of story left to tell. I am eagerly looking forward to volume twenty-three, which is set to hit the United States in December of this year.

And because it’s impossible for me to write about my favorites without venturing into some sort of superhero content, my final favorite thing is my Wonder Woman Funko. To be honest, I’m not normally one for figurines, or any kind of collectibles. Sure, they look great on other peoples’ desks, but when it comes to my household, they just become something else to dust. And because I’m not that great at dusting, that quickly degrades into something else covered in dust. But how could I resist tiny Diana with her lasso of truth, shield and sword? With that look of determination on her face, you know she’s ready to take on the challenges of man’s world, and save us all from the wrath of Ares.

And it’s this determination that I’ve sorely needed over the past few weeks. From frustrating writing projects, adjusting to the challenges that inevitably surprise you after buying your first house, and a major career change, it’s been nice to have Diana cheering me on by my side. It’s clear that she’s more than earned her spot of honor on my desk. And maybe, just maybe, she’s opened me up to acquiring other Funkos, or other figurine-type desk toys in the future.


Nancy O’Toole Meservier is a vertically challenged librarian who spends her off hours writing fiction, reading sci-fi/fantasy books and comics, watching geeky television, and thinking way too much about superheroes. She lives in Lewiston, Maine with two wonderful cats, and one equally wonderful husband. She is currently working on her first novel, tentatively titled Red and Black.

You can also find Nancy on twitter, Goodreads, and her personal blog.

2 Comments

  • Shara White November 6, 2017 at 9:08 pm

    I think fans of Lindsey Stirling might’ve found a new love with your favorite…..

    Reply
    • Nancy O'Toole Meservier November 7, 2017 at 8:29 pm

      LoL, There are certain similarities between the two, but stark differences as well. It makes things more interesting 😉

      Reply

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