Thursday, February 28, 2013

February Writing Round Up

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Book Review: Hammerfall by C.J. Cherryh

I read Hammerfall when it first came out in hardback.

Read this review on Rena's Hub of Random

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

GBE2 Blog On Prompt 90: Writing Dreams

I like reading (and writing) dream/nightmare sequences.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Reading Homestuck Part Thirty Four:==>John: Continue to be really gullible!

We cut briefly to a scene where John is heading off in his rocket pack.

Read this on Rena's Hub of Random.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Reading: Telempath, by Spider Robinson, Part Two

So far, our mental image of Carlson is of a radical mad-scientist type. The guy who worked with him (Our Hero’s Father) has Carlson pegged as a somewhat pathetic anarchist would-be rebel without a clue, an ivory tower liberal who desperately wants to be a social justice ally. (Who is primarily frustrated by not being considered a social justice ally of the groups he wants to defend.) Someone we are primed to dislike intensely because he is an ivory tower academic liberal.  

Our Hero’s Father, Jacob Stone on the other hand, is self-defined as an absent minded professor and a slightly pompous, distant authority figure. The elder Stone has basically turned his son Isham into a weapon to be directed at the villain of the piece! Isham doesn’t mind very much, as he is completely on board with the entire killing Carlson thing.

This is going to be important later.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Book Review: Forge of Heaven by C.J. Cherryh

405 pp.
Forge of Heaven takes place hundreds of years after the events of Hammerfall, and takes place on a space station above “Marak’s World,” a planet being “remediated” after having been bombarded from space in an effort to destroy extremely dangerous “First Movement” nanotechnology. The political and social situation in the satellite is extremely complicated, a delicate balance of three governments and two species. Our Hero is Jeremy Stafford, who prefers the name Procyon. He has a very secret, very classified job--he is one of the “taps” who communicate with the inhabitants of the planet. Specifically, he is the youngest and newest of Marak’s taps.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

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

In my opinion, it really blurs the message when you have a theme of “prejudice is bad” and you also have what are essentially orcs. Lura reacts to Beast Thing spoor and presence the way animals do in monster movies, Fors senses something deeply wrong and unnatural about them. They cannot really be reasoned with and we do not really get a sense of them as people. Even when the narrative mentions that the Beast Things are probably descended from foreign soldiers that did not have the sense to get the heck out of Dodge when the cities were bombed, or city dwellers who had been trapped in the cities, we have no sympathy for them. The Beast Things are basically Gollum. (Compare and contrast with Fors encounter with the little lizard people. There is never a moment of doubt that the little guys are sentient people, even when they seem determined to kill Fors.)

Monday, February 18, 2013

Book Review: Defender, by C.J. Cherryh

314 pp.
In Defender, Bren comes to realize he’s been left out of the loop on some extremely delicate negotiations between Tabini and Ramirez, the executive captain of the Phoenix. He discovers this after having to attend a mysterious memorial held in honor of Tabini’s father. (The memorial is mysterious because Bren cannot quite figure out what the political purpose of the memorial was. The general theme of the memorial gives us just enough information to be extremely alarmed when we find out what is happening.)

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Manga Review: Blue Exorcist Volume Seven, by Kazue Kato

In volume seven of Blue Exorcist, the Impure King arc continues. It turns out that Mamushi Hojo is the traitor, and working with Hojo. She seems to be under the impression that they are taking the eyes to a safer place. Todo’s actual plan is to awaken the Impure King, which Mamushi finds out much too late to do anyone any good. The reason why he wants to seems to be to flush out Tatsuma and steal his familiar Kurakara. He does this successfully and runs off. (Some part of Kurakara stays with Tatsuma, which was slightly confusing.) Tatsuma’s familiar is a demon whose contracts depend on deception and secrecy. (This is why Tatsuma has been so avoidant and secretive.)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Book Review: Third Grave Straight Ahead by Darynda Jones

St. Martin’s Press
310 pp.
In Third Grave Dead Ahead, our Heroine has to deal with her extremely angry boyfriend, a missing person case that may be cover for a murder and her father’s efforts to make her quit her job. Charley does a lot of really stupid things in this book, mostly as a result of her ongoing obsession with finding out more about Reyes. This turns into an attempt to clear his name when she finds out that the person he was supposed to have murdered may have faked his death.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Reading: Telempath, by Spider Robinson, Part One

When I was much younger, I was a big fan of Spider Robinson’s Callahan’s Saloon stories. I also liked some of his other works, but I never really got into them the way I did with the earlier Callahan stories. Telempath is one of the novels I am particularly ambivalent about because I am not sure about the way Robinson handles race in this book. (In other words, there is something bugging me about the way he writes the black protagonist of the story. There is also something bugging me about the set up for the apocalypse that I can’t quite put into words.)

Another reason why I am ambivalent about this book is the odd little side plot where we discover that the plague made it impossible for anyone to be homosexual. There is only one gay character and he only seems to be there to be the only gay character. (For a while, I was toying with the possibility that the implication is that being bisexual is more of a thing instead. But no, if that were true, surely Last Gay Dude Standing would not be single and stiff-upper-lipping about a lack of romance in his life if bi were a thing.)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Reading Homestuck Part Thirty Four:==>John: Continue to be really gullible!

From here to here.

We cut briefly to a scene where John is heading off in his rocket pack. Below the image is another image of John with the caption THIS IS STUPID.

Then Rose pesters Dave. This is a repeat of the request she made during her conversation with Jade. Then we see Future Rose preparing for her nap, though she isn’t certain she’ll be able to drop off automatically. The next direction is for Future Dream Rose to cease to exist, which she does. The next point is an [S] command. Future Rose falls asleep.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Book Review: Hammerfall by C.J. Cherryh

440 pp.
I read Hammerfall when it first came out in hardback. Our Hero is Marak Trin Tain, a warrior who finds himself in a mass of people being herded to “the holy city.” He is one of a group of people who have been infected by a peculiar madness that “the Ila” the immortal ruler of the holy city finds interesting. Marak Trin Tain is also someone the Ila finds interesting, and despite the fact that Marak is the son of one of her enemies she puts him in charge of an expedition to discover the source of the madness.