Thursday, November 29, 2012

Book Review: Forward the Mage, by Eric Flint and Richard Roach

464 pp.

Forward the Mage is neither a prequel nor sequel to The Philosophical Strangler. Instead, this book is chronologically somewhere in the middle of the events of The Philosophical Strangler. Our main protagonists are the wizard Zulkeh, his long suffering apprentice Shelyid, and the artist and swordsman Benvenuti Sfondrati-Piccolomini. We also have revolutionaries, madmen who run their own asylum and a region of absolute anarchy that has regularly scheduled civil wars.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Manga Review: Kuroshitsuji Volume Five, by Yana Toboso

Kuroshitsuji Volume Five (yeah, I’m just going to keep calling it Kuroshitsuji instead of Black Butler even though the English translation uses Black Butler) opens with Sebastian attempting to come up with a curry recipe that is the equal of Agni’s. His first attempt is less than successful because store-bought “curry powder” and paste while convenient, lacks the depth and personality that Agni’s curry does. Feeling extremely challenged by this, Sebastian embarks on an epic montage of culinary experimentation with poor Prince Soma as his taste-tester. Just when poor Soma hits his absolute limit, Sebastian hits upon the correct combination of spices but there is still something that is not quite right. After some more experimentation, Sebastian creates a completely unique curry that Soma dubs “divine in its own right.”

Friday, November 23, 2012

Manga Review: Chrono Crusade Volume Four, by Daisuke Moriyama

Volume Four of Chrono Crusade begins with Rosette talking on the phone with Sister Kate, who is less than pleased about the trouble Rosette keeps getting into. (Meanwhile, Satella is extremely smug about being a rich, self-employed bounty hunter.) After some more squabbling between Rosette and Satella, Rosette goes to check on Chrono, who is having Symbolic Nightmares of Doom. (We see that Chrono has some very deep issues that have yet to be resolved, most of them centered around Aion.)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Reading: Daybreak 2250 A.D. by Andre Norton, Part Five

what is this even.
Reading this book, I am reminded of a conversation I ended up in with a gentleman concerning a post-apocalyptic book called Earth Abides. The conversation revolved around the problematic racist elements I found in the book. Earth Abides was written in 1949 and has certain racist assumptions and stereotypes concerning black people. I found the book to be problematic and the main character obnoxious, though I fell in love with one of the secondary characters. I was informed that I had completely failed to understand the point of the book and that the racist elements were totally forgivable since the book was written in the forties.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Manga Review: Blue Exorcist Volume Three, by Kazue Kato

Volume three of Blue Exorcist opens with Rin and Yukio arguing over Rin’s lackadaisical work habits. The argument is interrupted by Yukio being called on a mission. The mission concerns Father Fujimoto’s familiar, a Cat Sidhe named Kuro who has recently learned of Father Fujimoto’s death. Rin is successfully able to calm the distraught feline down. (Funny bit: Rin states that he will “use his head” to deal with the problem instead of his sword. Of course, this does not mean Rin is going to try to be smart, he is literally going to use his head.)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Reading: Daybreak 2250 A.D. by Andre Norton, Part Four

This is hands down the ugliest cover.

Arskane is quickly becoming my favorite character in the book. (When I was younger, I was more attached to Fors, the protagonist. With this re-read Fors and Arskane pretty much have equal billing.) Arskane is an extremely smart, capable character who is obviously not afraid of Fors mutation. This is primarily interesting because Fors home community is extremely prejudiced toward those with visible mutations, and Fors has mentioned that many communities engaged in infanticide to prevent “mutant” genes from entering the population. It is also interesting because while Arskane is very friendly with Fors, we have seen him act with extreme caution where other people are concerned, particularly the Plains People. In the next few chapters, we will learn why.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Book Review: The Philosophical Strangler, by Eric Flint

342 pp.

I first read The Philosophical Strangler when it was being posted in sections on Baen’s Bar. It is a humorous fantasy about politics, weaponised philosophy and revolution. Our Protagonists are a professional strangler named Greyboar and his hapless agent Ignace. Though very successful in his profession, Greyboar is feeling a great deal of ennui about his lifestyle. Motivated by the disapproval of his political activist sister, he attempts to find a philosophy worth following. (Ignace is not happy about this, and complains about it frequently.)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Reading Homestuck Part Twenty Eight: ==>John: Talk to the troll who is literally a troll!

From here to here.

In a future settled askance of the present, we are back with our first group of post-apocalyptic survivors. We see a huge beam of blue light behead the frog temple. PM’s weird worm-apple vehicle is shooting blasts of energy at Aimless Renegade, who is dancing a jig in his efforts to avoid being incinerated. AR responds by blowing up the PM’s vehicle. AR next takes aim at Wandering Vagabond, but the devil face carved on the pumpkin causes him such immense alarm that he immediately rushes over to WV and surrenders. (At least his arms are up in what appears to be a “don’t shoot” gesture.) PM tackles AR, looking extremely ticked off.

Sunday, November 4, 2012