My Favorite Things with Lane Robins

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 author and Speculative Chic contributor Lane Robins. You may know Lane’s fiction from her recent psychic romances, Renovation and Reconstruction, or you know her work from her debut Maledicte. She also writes kick-ass urban fantasy under the name Lyn Benedict.

What does Lane love when she’s not forcing herself to watch movies for her Silver Screen Resolution? Spoiler alert: lost rooms, dollhouses, magic in the ATL, a very specific part of a wolfy tv show, and crossovers! Curious? Read on for more!

Coming up with items for a My Favorites List is always a daunting task because a) I’m fickle as hell, b) sometimes I love things in all the wrong ways for all the wrong reasons, and c) I get excited about bits and pieces of things and don’t really care for the whole. There are very few things I love unreservedly for more than six months, but those things you’ll have to pry from my cold dead hands.

So let’s start with one of those. A TV miniseries which held me utterly entranced from moment one and set me desperately hunting a copy on DVD. I got my copy, and it’s the worst DVD ever because the menu and the select buttons do not line up, which means that selecting an episode is a guessing game.  Also, there is no “play all” selection, so you can see how aggravating that is. Yet I have prevailed and watched it at least a dozen times over the last ten years.  What is this miracle miniseries that I love so much?

The Lost Room, written by Laura Harkcom and Christopher Leone, starring Peter Krause, a Fanning child, Julianna Margulies, and a whole slew of familiar character actors. It’s an urban fantasy that was theoretically a pilot for a whole series that… didn’t take off. I don’t care. What we got in three episodes made me ecstatically happy, so much so that I don’t want to whisper spoilers even now. Half the pleasure in this series is watching the story unfold as the amiable police detective finds himself possessor of a very strange key with very strange powers. It’s wonderful and I will shout it from the rooftops. Here’s the trailer.

A favorite that I will usually not rave about in public: Dollhouse. This show is the very definition of “your fave is problematic”, and that was before Joss Whedon got called out by his ex for appallingly bad behavior.  I shouldn’t love Dollhouse, but god help me, I do. Not for what’s presented on the screen so much, as for the way it makes my brain feel. It’s crunchy brain fodder. Usually when I watch TV, my brain shuts off, and I feel it click on afterward. But Dollhouse kept me churning away the whole time from the very first episode — where a dead woman’s personality is brought face to face with her own childhood kidnapper. I loathe the rushed ending, which made no sense, and none of the characters are actually good people — with the possible exception of Victor and Sierra — but then again, we’re not expected to think of them as heroes. And I adored the conceptual leap to the future; the recognition that this brain-imprinting/copying technology is a cultural atomic bomb. There’s so much wrong with this show on so many levels, yet, in the end, I love it. I’m sure at some point I’ll rewatch it, and my fickle nature will raise its head and pfft, that will be that for Dollhouse.

One of my current faves, not yet consigned to “tired of you now” status is Ilona Andrews’ Kate Daniels series. This is remarkable because I am a terrible reader who gets less engaged as a series goes on. Though I’ve only read through book 8, I’m still hooked in as ever. I love Kate and her ever-expanding “family” of shifters and magicians, and I’m still drawn into the world. Still recommending the series to people, too! In the beginning, I had some doubts because Curran just seemed to embody all the things I don’t like about Alpha Shapeshifter tropes, and Kate was all things snarky, but they both grew way beyond those easy labels. Now I’m really rooting for them as a couple. I can’t wait for the next book out. (Spring 2018 feels a long way away!)

Part of my problem with picking favorites is that not only am I fickle, I cherry-pick. I love Teen Wolf, season three, part B — excellent horror and a storyline that mostly holds together. But the rest of the seasons? I can take them or leave them. This often makes it hard to recommend my favorites to anyone. You should watch this, but skip all this part, and yeah, that part too, because this is the good part, what do you mean you don’t know who these people are?  Still, you should absolutely watch Teen Wolf, season three, part B. It’s horrific and awesome.

Likewise, I adore the CW superhero crossover shows.  Crisis on Earth-X was wonderful.

Any team up with the Flash and Supergirl appeals to me. I love the crossovers, even though I don’t watch the shows as a rule. There’s something just very satisfying about watching the superheroes romp all over the screen having adventures. Maybe it’s just that the characters interact well with each other. Barry becomes endearing in Kara’s presence and Ollie’s dourness becomes amusing rather than tiresome. Or maybe it’s the obvious fact that the actors are having fun as well. Either way, these crossovers have become some of my most anticipated TV episodes of any year.

So there you have it. A random assortment of things that (mostly, kinda, sometimes) make my brain very happy.

Lane Robins was born in Miami, Florida, the daughter of two scientists, and grew up as the first human member of their menagerie. She attended the Odyssey workshop, the Center for the Study of Science Fiction novel and short story workshops, and has a BA in Creative Writing from Beloit College. She is the author of the Antyrrian duology: Maledicte and Kings & Assassins, and the psychic romance novels Renovation and Reconstruction.

Under the name Lyn Benedict, she writes the urban fantasy series beginning with Sins & Shadows. Her short fiction has been published in Strange Horizons, Daily Science Fiction, Penumbra, and in Nightmare Magazine.

She currently resides in Lawrence, Kansas, but lives in worlds full of cannibal fairies, modern knights, and little girls who can turn their pigtails into snakes.

You can find her at


  • Shara White December 11, 2017 at 8:31 am

    I am also behind on the Ilona Andrews series! Not because I’ve lost interest, but when they automatically download to my Kindle I forget they’re there!

  • Heidi Ruby Miller December 14, 2017 at 2:09 pm

    Ditto your thoughts on Dollhouse, Lane! I always felt like I was in the minority about that one.


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