Hello, internet! Last week I had the absurd luck and pleasure to win lottery tickets to see Hamilton on Broadway. I was already a big fan, and getting to be In The Room Where It Happens took my appreciation to whole new level. I’ve already been spreading the love of Hamilton, so here are 7 reasons why Readers should check out Hamilton:
1. It’s all about passion
So many readers I know, myself included, respond to passionate leads, to characters who push the story forward. Hamilton is all about Alexander Hamilton’s ambition to raise above his station, to make a difference, to leave a Legacy. He makes enemies every step of the way, and the show highlights several crisis points for Hamilton, as well as the other leads (Aaron Burr, Eliza Hamilton, Angelica Schuyler), expressing their conflict through music.
2. Hamilton is a wordsmith of the first order
Hip-hop and especially rap, as musical genres, are all about the writing and the lyrics. Flow, imagery, rhyming. The rap and hip-hop of Hamilton is generally incredibly easy to follow, especially when you bring in the fantastic resource that is the Genius Annotations for the show. As the creator of the show Lin-Manuel Miranda says,
“It’s a story of someone who rises and falls on the strength of their facility with words,” says Miranda. “So to me, this was a hip-hop story.”
3. Repetition and Emphasis
If you like reading for theme, if you get chills when someone says “Winter is coming” or “Orlando the Axe was following the fox,” or like how phrases come back several times in a book, taking on new meanings, then Hamilton is the show for you. Hamilton and the other leads have lines they come back to, lines they live by, lines they die by. Many of the songs reprise in full songs or as themes in later shows, and “Non-Stop,” the Act One finale, folds basically the entire first act back in, while hinting at the danger that is coming.
4. You Want character arc? We got character arcs.
Hamilton and Burr, the two male leads of the show, have truly impressive and complicated character arcs throughout the show, as they pursue their ambitions, as their friendly rivalry becomes enmity and more. It’s the story of Hamilton’s rise, his fall, and of his lasting legacy. Hamilton in his death scene is miles from the boy of 19 he is in the first number.
5. Hilarious comedy
Jonathan Groff (of GLEE fame) plays King George, who appears several times throughout the show, is utterly hilarious, even just on the soundtrack. It’s even better in person (Groff is a great physical comedian), but even in the soundtrack, you get the King’s warnings and exhortations to the colonies framed in terms of poppy breakup songs, and it is hilarious.
In addition, Daveed Diggs as Marquis du Lafayette and then Thomas Jefferson is a whirlwind of awesomeness. His reactions and fills enhance every scene he’s a part of.
6. It’s an AP History unit in 2 amazing hours
Hamilton was created in part to serve as as an education in the history of the revolution and the founding of our democracy, and it does a more than adequate job, especially for people whose history classes were boring, or even if they were just a number of years ago. Reading can be a great education, and this show is just as informative as any number of books. It’s inspired by Ron Chernow’s biography of Hamilton, so if you want to go directly to the source, you can immerse yourself in the 800+ page tome.
7. Share the squee
One of the best things about reading, for me, is getting to talk about the books I love with people. And it’s no different with Hamilton. Sharing in excitement about the show online has been one of the best things about getting in on the Hamilton phenomenon.
So if I’ve piqued your interest, there are few better places to start than this YouTube video of Lin-Manuel Miranda in 2009 performing an early version of the first number at a White House poetry event.
Michael R. Underwood is the author of eight books, including Geekomancy, Shield and Crocus, and Genrenauts. His latest work is The Absconded Ambassador: Genrenauts Episode 2.
Hi folks, Mike here – As we move solidly into December, I’m looking back at books I read in 2015, like so many other folks in the bookish internet. For this round-up, I wanted to focus on books that surprised me in some way – made me laugh when I didn’t expect it, caught me with a gut-punch, and so on.
I spend a lot of time reading not only SF/F prose books, but comics in the genre as well. But there are a lot of prose readers who have a hard time figuring out where to start, or where to find jumping-on point with comics.
Worry no more. Here are six SF/F comics that I think prose readers will really enjoy.