Sunday, December 3, 2023

Heartfelt pledge for unity to our fandom family


My dear Grishaverse family,

We're all heartbroken after Netflix announced the cancellation. For most of us, this wasn't just a TV show but what saved us from the depth of despair as we were struggling with some of the darkest chapters in our lives. A few years back, I was very sick and almost died. This show gave me hope, courage, strength, and a reason to fight, survive, and see another day. I met great friends through Grishaverse conventions and online fandom groups. After losing all my biological family, this fandom has become my home, family, and refuge from the darkness of real life.

And let's not forget that aside from a few stars and famous names on the show, for most of the cast and crew, this has been the most important project in their entire career. People often make the false assumption that actors are all rich, looking down at us from the penthouses of their ivory towers. But if we look past the few stars, every frame & scene involves the efforts and toiling of dozens or hundreds whose names we ignore within the credits as we click on the next episode. The majority of people working in the movie industry don't have stable jobs, pensions, or even health insurance. The majority of them struggle to make rent. Imagine their lives and the lives of their children when they come back after a long strikes season to be hit with the news that they don't have a job to go back to. Imagine yourself, your parents, siblings, & children going through that. Some of us, working in other industries, like service, know that feeling too well & can very well relate. For the rest of you, I hope you will never experience that.

So it's crucial that we stay together, united and strong as a family as we call for a renewal.

But recently, as I joined others in campaigning and raising funds to convince Netflix or any other streaming service to bring back the show, I've been confronted with a divide within our fandom family. I do understand some of the points of view and every single person is entitled to their own opinion. In fact, there's disagreement in every family. My sister and I fought a lot, often over the most trivial things. But from the outside, we always represented a united family. Sometimes, I would be jealous of her getting a gift. But she would tell me that as long as one of us got a prize, we could both share it. It doesn't matter whether it would be the 3rd season of Shadow And Bone that we'll get or a Six of Crows spinoff. We can share in each other's success because one will lead to the other. That has in fact happened for many shows, which have gotten both further seasons and spinoffs thanks to the strength of their fandoms.

We're currently campaigning on two fronts: the petition & the Kickstarter to raise money for billboards

We've gotten a number of objections I wish to respond to:

  • Why not invest all that money, time, and effort in supporting a more important cause? 

    This argument makes a few false assumptions. One can support more than one cause. I know for a fact that many of our donors to the Kickstarter campaign and all the organizers also donate and support various charities and noble causes. There are indeed wars and genocide going on in our current world. I have donated to Doctors Without Borders (, and I highly encourage everyone to do so. Moreover, as I've mentioned earlier, this show isn't just entertainment. As a war, genocide, and abuse survivor, I know the value of hope and having a little respite from the brutalities of real life to gather enough energy to survive another day. The 9,000 dollars this Kickstarter has raised so far isn't enough to end wars or world hunger. But we have been getting messages from people in bomb shelters who have gotten to watch the show and it helped them. The show also provides positive representations for people like us who cope with genocide, human trafficking, civil war, abuse, chronic illness, disability, mental illness, and even being bullied and alienated for just being different. It gives us hope that we can turn our lives around. That we aren't too broken to save ourselves. That we matter. And again, let's not forget that for the crew working on this show, it is a matter of survival, it's how they feed their children and make rent. If our 9,000 dollars would have a chance at saving a hundred crew members from homelessness, I would take it.

  • Why should the Darkling fans care about another season or a Crows spinoff? 

    Putting aside the bitterness of "why should I care about a cause that will not benefit me personally?", we can still hope that another season or a spinoff could eventually give us back the Darkling as per how the Rule of Wolves book ended. Another season or the spinoff can have the plot of saving the Darkling (if you haven't read RoW, you need to check it and the ending of it where the crows are to be given a mission for that very purpose.) I won't go into more details due to spoilers.

  • Why should the fans of other non-crow characters care about a Crow's spinoff? 

    Based on the Crooked Kingdom plot, characters like Nikolai, Zoya, Genya, David (we don't know exactly what happened to him in the show, so let's hope for the best), Tamar, and Tolya are also featured. As for Mal and Alina, we can hope that based on the direction season 2's ending has taken, both could be featured in the spinoff. And even if the current script didn't feature them yet, we can still convince the writers to remedy that and include both of them. We do have our channels to do so if only we get the show back.

So, I ask you, my dear family, please help us save this show that is much more than just a show.

Please donate to the Kickstarter if you are able & ask friends, social media followers, and anyone you can influence to do so:

Please sign the petition:

Please let us all keep a united front on social media and in public. Like every family, we can have our differences, but together we stand stronger than alone. Don't let them divide and conquer us.

And please, please let's keep it civil, respectful, and polite both in the comments here and anywhere online, on social media, and on any other platform.

I wish you all the best and hope we'll get our show back. Lots of love for all of you my dear Grishaverse family.

Monday, October 23, 2023


When I first heard about Kit Young working on a one-man magic show, I couldn’t wait to see it. Not many actors can claim to be able to pull off any role. Kit has proven his broad acting range time and again, and there isn’t anything he can’t master. But a one-man show in front of a diverse audience is a huge responsibility, even guided by the fantastic script of the brilliant Stockroom Writers (Chris York, Georgia Crowther, Maheni Arthur). Of course, Kit isn’t the one to shy away from a challenge. Thank the universe for that.


Collective Theatre is a nice and cozy environment with a wonderfully kind staff that makes one feel welcomed from the first moment. Even though I flew in alone and didn’t know anyone, I immediately felt at home among the impressively large group of people who had gathered from all over the world to celebrate the show’s first performance night. And we were not disappointed.


I must admit that as I was booking my flight to London ahead of the first preview night, I wasn’t sure what awaited me. All I could count on was that it would be worth hours of journey, crossing multiple countries, and the post-Brexit hassle of finding where I had put my passport! 

We, the audience, are all de facto sworn to secrecy about what happens in the show, and it would be extreme cruelty to spoil such a magnificent script. But I believe I’m permitted to discuss some of the themes that were the focus of this production. Let’s say there are connections made between the power of influencing people’s minds and decisions, and the broader scope of how our current societies are influenced by the pseudo-celebrities dubbed the Influencers. With power comes consequences.

As a scientist, I carry that innate curiosity yet also skepticism, especially about anything supernatural. I never had any inclination to attend a magic show. And a few I was forced to watch were usually unimpressive, especially since I’ve watched many documentaries explaining all the common tricks and techniques. But Influence is not just any magic show. It is art, social critique, and theater at its best. The kind that sweeps you away into another reality, making you forget your mundane life for an hour or two. The kind that plays with your mind, makes you feel your body and soul to the fullest, and experience the range of emotions beyond what you would allow yourself to express under mundane circumstances.

Through it all, Kit manages the ultimate deception, making the audience forget he’s a fantastic actor. I laughed so hard that my cheeks hurt and shed tears as he wrenched my heart out of my chest. By the end, Influence flushes out all those emotions tangled-up in the viewer’s subconscious mind to give them the deep release that only a true theater masterpiece can hope to achieve.

I highly recommend everyone watch Influence live at Collective Theatre. And if you can, it definitely is worth watching a second time. I had to dedicate three days to a very tiring trip and spend over 30 times the ticket price to fly into London from the EU just to attend the first two performances. If you live in London, you really have no excuse not to go see Kit bring his magic on stage. I recommend buying your tickets before the rest of the world realizes what a magnificent show Influence is and all the performances sell out.

So, head to the Collective Theatre webpage at:

And let there be a spark of magic in your life.

Monday, October 2, 2023

There is NOTHING you can ever do to me that hasn’t already been done.

In the old times, the only accepted circumstances for a woman to have sex was through force or coercion.
I wonder if modern society has moved forward at all or rather backward.
People who abused me as a child or sexually assaulted me as an adult are still celebrated as respected members of society, while I get called a whore by friends and strangers for daring to want to have sex with and only with people I am attracted to.
The liberation for modern women is to be expected to hold a job while still being feminine and fulfilling a woman’s ultimate duty that is being a mother. As a childless woman, I’m considered “defective” and scorned for daring to refuse to fulfill “my only purpose”. I’m still held to the same standard as the “virgin mother Mary”, the symbol of the highest achievement a woman can ever reach in her whole life.
And to you who scorn me, judge me, and slut-shame me without really knowing me, I tell you that do your worst. I was called a whore when I was a virgin. I was called a whore when I was a little child abused for years by those who were supposed to protect me when the rest of the people looked the other way and let it happen. I was called a whore by men I refused to have sex with. I was called a whore by hundreds of people, especially women, who I never met or know their names.
So go ahead, do your worst, for there is NOTHING you can ever do to me that hasn’t already been done. You can’t break me. You can’t silence me. You can’t kill me. I have been shattered and burnt at the stake. I have died a dozen times. And I rose again from the ashes, invincible. I’m not afraid of you or what you call me from the shadows behind my back.
I’m not afraid of your judgmental looks and your derision. Go ahead, tire yourself out. And maybe your attempt to bring me down would make you feel better about yourself, less small and less miserable. I happily give you that. I don’t need you or your respect.
I’ve made it so far all on my own, despite of you. I’m going to outlive your hate and contempt. You can NEVER bring me down. No power can ever bring me down.
Shida Katz

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Damsel by Elana K. Arnold, a book review


DamselDamsel by Elana K. Arnold
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The ultimate MUST READ
This fantastic work of literature is an absolute gem. Sadly, very underrated by the narrow-minded on whom the books metaphorical narrative and symbolism is totally lost & those who are put off by its feministic message. This novel is ultimately about gaslighting. Many people (not just women) could find themselves in the situation of this Damsel & with a bit of brain power, one can clearly understand how kings, dragons, castles, and so on can easily translate to our modern & mundane lives. People silently suffer decades of abuse and manipulation so well-crafted that it takes too long for the victim to realize what is happening to them & do something about it before every bit of their self-confidence & self-worth is carved away until they might no longer recognize themselves.

I highly recommend this book to every adult.
That being said, please be aware of several trigger topics, especially sexual assault/abuse. This isn't a book for children or anyone who could be triggered by such topics.

It starts from the golden hero prince's perspective, intentionally akin to classical legends & fairytales. But it wonderfully switches to the Damsel's perspective [as somewhat unreliable narrator due to her amnesia and loss of all memories from the time before her rescue].

In terms of prose:
Every line is precious & beautiful. This book reads like the gorgeous work of literature that it is.

It's quite good. In fact, I was getting anxious at the end when the story had me figuratively at the edge of my seat & only few pages were remaining. I was keeping hard from biting my nails! But fortunately, the ending is complete, no cliffhangers as this is a standalone book.

Negative aspects:
My only qualm is the way the book keeps referring to the prince's/king's genitalilla as his "yard", which is too humoristic for some of the very serious scenes, including one involving sexual assault/abuse.

View all my reviews

Shadow & Bone Season 2: A Quick Review

 After a too long wait, the second & last season is here.


Shadow & Bone Season 2: A Quick Review


  • The visual effects are gorgeous, better quality than the first one by far.
  • The cast are magnificent & the act the hell out of every scene.
  • Ben is not only more dashing with the scars, he finally succeeded in inserting all the Darkling's best lines into the show.
  • No more insufferable Mal toxic masculinity and slut-shaming scenes.
  • No more miscommunication trope as a plot device.


  • The screenplay appears as if someone who has never read any of the books threw every Grishaverse Fandom ( pages into a blender, then poured the over-smoothed dough into 8 molds to bake a version of the stories.
  • Every single character is a much much better person than the original version in the books. One might think this a positive trait, yet the results lack the "edge of one's seat" level of interpersonal friction and irremediable conflicts, making the stakes rather artificial.

Monday, February 20, 2023

A response to a Twitter writing prompt

A response to a Twitter writing prompt "What happened? What is about to happen? To/by whom?" featuring Neuschwanstein Castle.

Knowing the awful truth behind the notorious castle, I had to respond with the following:

"OMG!" squealed the tourists in unison, cameras flashing. "It's the Disney Castle!" 

The guide pinched the bridge of her nose. No. This is the epitome of a narcissist's arrogance, an imposter, a fallacy, a cheap imitation of grandeur. She sighed. "Well, yes, after a fashion."



Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Venting the stress of querying by dissing shows I watched:

 Every traditionally published author or anyone aspiring to traditionally publish their fiction novel will tell you that querying is hard, often heartless, and increasingly frustrating. So, as a "cardio exercise" that can be done from the comforting embrace of the couch, I decided to vent by dissing the shows I watched and even enjoyed a lot in a quick fire round. I hope you enjoy reading them. 

Warning, the following contains major spoiler for each show mentioned. 

  •  9-1-1: Lone Star: It's one thing to make Liv Tyler disappear with nothing more than a vapid explanations, but what did happen to the Capt. Strand's girlfriend? Doesn't she even merit a lousy explanation?
  • Breaking Bad: Saving one's racist, sexist, lousy brother-in-law is too lame an excuse for poising a child, even for a meth kingpin. Also, I loved Gus and Mike & wished they had killed Walt before he had a chance to ruin such a solid operation. Compared to my last boss, Gus is an angel.
  • Better Call Saul: What is it with American shows' urge to stifle all the fun of watching lovable villains and antiheroes, by forcing a didactic ending. This is a show for adults and we live in a world where real villains *coughs, and you swear it sounds like Bezos, Musk, and Trump* always win.
  • Leftovers: I absolutely love this show and it rules. But why spending three seasons on hyping this mysterious event that turned the lives of everyone on the entire planet upside down, only to have one of the protagonist just casually mention the secret behind this earth shattering phenomenon over a cup of tea they drank at the kitchen table in the very last episode.
  • Peaky Blinders: Season 6 managed to become The God Father 3 of the show, didn't it? At least this way I don't mind if there's not going to be any sequels.
  • Lucifer: They gave us all closure by making the last season so needlessly silly that no one would mind the show ending. I respect that.
  • Godfather of Harlem: What Disney witch has cursed poor Stella? In the last episode of the second season I only cared about two things, one got shot in the head and the other went up in flames (though could have been easily avoided). Way to torture fans!
  • This Is Us: I thought we were over feeling sorry for the American soldiers who invaded the poor Vietnamese fisher villages.

[I'm going to add more, later.]

Heartfelt pledge for unity to our fandom family

  My dear Grishaverse family, We're all heartbroken after Netflix announced the cancellation. For most of us, this wasn't just a T...