tanithryudo: (Default)
The novel Blindsight by Peter Watts. The author is a marine biologist and the book has a lot of bio jargon and stuff in it (that went straight over my head), even though it's technically a sci fi. Not a happy ending book, but interesting to read.

Web serial novel Worm was pretty heavily recommended on a forum that I frequented. It's a LONG, character driven, gritty version of the urban superhero genre. Also a somewhat downer ending in some ways as well, though not the same way as Blindsight. I haven't actually had a chance to read through it myself, so all I know of the plot/characters comes from the mess of fanfics it's inspired.

With This Ring - Self insert fanfic crossing over with the Young Justice cartoon. I thought it's pretty good, actually. It's a WIP, but the author has been pretty good about updating daily so far. (The forum can often get horribly laggy during afternoon/evening hours though.)

(more as they come to me...)
tanithryudo: (Read)
Warning: This contains spoilers. You have been warned.

Read more... )
tanithryudo: (Read)
I decided it was way too hot for me to go to the bookstore today, so I decided to browse the Baen Free Library instead. Found two pretty good reads that I thought I'd recommend...

Digital Knight, by Ryk Spoor )

Planets of Adventure, by Murray Leinster )
tanithryudo: (Default)
Right, so yesterday I was playing catchup with the YvtW Afterlife arc. I had saved the storyline up to where we'd just entered Hades, which means that I lost all of what happened in Hades, and most of what happened in Helheim, the OMGU, and Egypt. Le sigh.

I'd finished writing up the scene with the shades in Hades and our encounter with Tiresias, and just had us arrive in Helheim, when I decided to do a little (re)research on the descriptions of the place and the inhabitants.

Somehow, a search for the hellhound Garm and the ferry...er...hag Moghud (or however you spell it), led me to a page in the middle of a Baen Free Library novel. I skimmed through it, in case there was something useful, and noticed that the chapter seemed to be about some mortal guy trying to work his way physically into Helheim. The book is Sleipnir, by Linda Evans.

Well, I thought: "Hey, cool, the main character's sorta doing what we're doing. Maybe I'll read this novel and see if I can pick up some ideas!"

So I did. (Note: Spoilers) )

One of the ideas I liked from the book was that Balder could be a helpful presence to our heros in Helheim. Of course, I have no idea if the MU version of the Norse pantheon has Balder in Hel... [insanejournal.com profile] ossian? Do you know?
tanithryudo: (Release)
Right, so I was out for the most of yesterday. Woke up late, had lunch, then went to the movies to see Shrek. Then I holed myself up in Barnes & Nobles until their closing time before dragging myself back home again. A good day, all in all. ^_-

Shrek 2 )

Hyperion/Fall of Hyperion )
tanithryudo: (Unsung Heroes)
Well, this morning just dragged on and on. I got up early so I can finally get [insanejournal.com profile] ossian's bday present mailed. Managed to get out of the house at like... 8:30 or so.

Spent ~2 hours just figuring out *how* I was gonna do this. What with packaging and boxing and whatever. I think I spent maybe 1 hour of it in the car just wrapping/packaging. Maybe 15-30 minutes of that time was spent on the road... specifially, spent on getting lost on the road. Driving by memory for me isn't really a good idea, even in my home city, which is a really really sad testament to the state of my memory. ^_^;;

Then spent half an hour or so in line at the post office and then sending the sucker off. I used express mail, since I spent so much time on the thing already that I might as well make it worth my time. This means that it'll get to the destination really fast (hopefully). It *should* get to Edmonton on Monday, or at least that's what the ads claim. But at the very latest it ought to get there by early next week. I think you may have to sign for it though, [insanejournal.com profile] ossian, so let's hope it gets there when you're home, else you might need to drop by the post office for it. :p But hey, at least it'll get there on time.

After that I decided that since it's close to noon, I might as well grab some fast food and go see a movie. Since I figured there'll be eateries next to the theater, I went there first...after some more confused directions and driving (*sweatdrop*). Got a ticket for the 12 o'clock Harry Potter 3 showing, which left me with like 30 minutes to run down a block or so to Burger King and grab something to go. I finished a small chocolate milkshake on my way back (it's really hot out today) and managed to sneak in a to-go bag with a 8-pc box of chicken tenders to the theater. I'm so bad. :p

spoilers ahoy for the movie )

Well, that's enough yakking for now. I'm pretty much out of stuff to say. Hope that review was informative. Maybe I'll go see Shrek 2 some other time.
tanithryudo: (Twins)
Went by the bookstore today and read a book that I'd planned on reading for a long time now. Pegasus in Space is one of the more recent novels by Anne McCaffrey. It bridges the gap in her Parapsychic Series between the Pegasus arc taking place in the late 20th/early 21st century and the Rowan arc, which takes place a century or two later.

The book mainly focuses on the beginning of space travel on that Earth, as made possible by budding psionics and technological discoveries. It also details the founding of FT&T - Federated Telepath and Teleport... which was the model that I'd based my own RP company of PADT on. ^_^

You know, I would love to see a Rumbles fight featuring the psionics of that series, especially by the end of the series. These people can teleport space fleets over interstellar distances... and I note in the epilogue of Pegasus in Space, also through *time*. That just boggles the mind. I'm not sure if that bit was something of a plot hole that the author hadn't realized was there... or a stroke of genius to help explain a lot of things in the later books.

Anyways, powers aside, the characters and especially the plot were very well done. The romantic pairing that the main character ended up with rather took me by surprise. Though I've noticed that McCaffrey rarely dwells much on romance as the focus of her storytelling. She does like to pair her characters off, marriage and children and all... but she rarely dwells on the whole love and angst and stuff. Or at least covers it pretty well under the plot.

Anyway, Pegasus in Space is a good book, though I'd recommend reading the two books before it in the series to get a lot of the references in it. That would be To Ride Pegasus and Pegasus in Flight, in that order.
tanithryudo: (Stone Knives)
Well, [insanejournal.com profile] cashew did a much better job than I of summarizing our day spent bookstore raiding today. So go see her lovely entry here for her recap.

Borders was fun. I broke down and finally bought Diane Duane's Spock's World, which has long been held to be official fanon for STTOS, as oxymoronic as "official fanon" can be considered. Also look forward if we ever get our hands on a copy of "The Ring". That was one freaky manga, IMO, even in the text. I just know I'm gonna spend most of the movie hiding behind my hands, wimp that I am. :p

B&N in Emeryville is huuuuuuuuuuge. It's paradise, basically. ^_^ Read the Trek book Badlands I, which is a book which has two separate stories taking place in the badlands (an area of space first introduced in the Maquis arc in late TNG). The first took place in TOS era, and the second took place in the TNG era.

The slashy bit? Well, the Enterprise (original one) had just captured a Romulan smuggler, a very charismatic female captain, who's doing her best to try and convince Kirk that she wasn't smuggling what Starfleet had sent the Enterprise to investigate, and they should let her ship go. Kirk gets disturbed by the fact that he's starting to believe her and trust her words. All of a sudden, he realizes that he's trusting her because she's a lot like Spock, who he trusts implicitly (this is actually in the narration, which includes a string of adjectives which Kirk uses in his mental monologue to describe his Vulcan XO. ^_- ) Moreover, he notes that the Romulan captain has some of the same *subtle gestures and facial expressions and other small details of her persona* as Spock... gee, Cap'n... You sure have noticed a lotta very small details about that first officer of yours. *nudge nudge wink wink* :p

Hehe... so very hot.

ADDENDUM: Also read the manga Psychic Academy 1. The plot and characters were interesting. But the clothing fashions in that book? So, very, very, very scary... in the ugly, cringe-worthy kinda way. I mean, metal panty-shaped underwear on outside of a *guy*'s clothing? Armor-like uniforms for female students which have a metal cap over their groin (actually, it's over their lower abdomen, not groin area)? So... ick. Also, the art style for girls in that manga is totally fanservice. All the girls have huge melons on their chests. It looks very, very painful. *cringe*

Yep. This was a very, very productive day. A very Good day. :D

PS: Oh yeah... and we came across one of my former roomies at B&N, who finally gave me my part of the deposit check on our previous apartment. Ah well, better late than never. :p
tanithryudo: (Read)
Baen Free Library. Free novels by well known authors. No strings attached. Wonderful, wonderful, place. ^_^

Oh and also, on the Baen site, I found some funny short stories by Mercedes Lackey. I think they're samples from one of her short story collections. If anyone wants to read some light and short satire...

Aliens Ate My Pickup - An exercise in stereotype-breaking in more than one area. Sci-fi? Or just a hoax?

Small Print - TV evangelists making deals with the Devil. Makes so much sense. ^_- Less fantasy than maybe horror or supernatural.

Last Rights - Animal rights activists who don't do their homework on the critters they're planning to "liberate".

One last link: How I Spent My Summer Vacation. Not a story, but basically Mercedes Lackey writing about her life as a writer, with some advice on writing in general. Excerpt:

Actually, I have been considering borrowing the disclaimer from the game Stalking the Night Fantastic by Richard Tucholka—"If anything in this book offends you, please feel free to buy and burn as many copies as you like. Volume discounts are available."

Edit: I think they made a slight error transcribing those stories and got the author's notes switched around. The notes for How I Spent... goes with Aliens Ate My Pickup, the notes for Aliens Ate My Pickup definitely goes with Small Print, the notes for Small Print definitely goes with Last Rights, and I think the notes for Last Rights goes with the next story in the book which isn't transcribed. Oh well.
tanithryudo: (Fandom Ages Well)
So I ran out of interesing manga to read on Sunday when I dropped by the bookstore... So I grabbed the first book whose backcover summary looked vaguely interesting and started flipping through it. I think that Baxter did a pretty good job, given it's a topic that is so widely misunderstood by the media and the masses, and even a lot of learned people.

Obviously, this means that if you're a Creationist, don't bother reading the book. Religion isn't actually villified or actively proven wrong in the story, it's not even marginaalized... it is, however, wholly and entirely irrelevant to the topic, irrelevant to the plot, irrelevant to the story, and thus entirely ignored and not even given a half-second's consideration. Which is how it ought to be, really. ^_^

I also have to admit that I didn't read the entire book. I read the first major section (which covered a time era from the Jurrassic to the end of the Cretaceous - when a certain meteor rang the death knell for the reign of the dinos), and IIRC most of the last major section (which consisted of the future, from 2031 to the end of the world - Sol going nova). But I skipped over a lot of stuff in th middle there.

Quite frankly, I think that in his efforts to create a subtle impression of the relative time scales and important though little-known-to-the-masses periods of hominid development, the story was forced to sacrifice a lot of the normal devices of attractive and compelling storytelling for the pre-historic facts that must be explained to the common reader. The story read like a paleontology/anthropology textbook at times, and some of the attempts at making the prehistoric past more... "dramatic"... seemed kind of awkward. Though, in retrospect and careful consideration, I think Baxter did manage to use it to convey what he wanted to convey, which is enough, I think. I mean, sure, we know that early hominids didn't speak in perfect-grammar English, and the earlier primates didn't think thoughts in terms of human-understood words... But using the human words, Baxter saves us from pages of tedious "Ooog, aaagh... Tarzan, Jane" (j/k :p) and so forth, and instead lets the *terms*, roughly translated to English, stand for the ideas behind them. It's a crude method, but better than most alternatives. Narratively, though, I think I would have preferred a consistancy of not-so-dramatic facts to the sporadic bouts of anthropomorphism.

Regarding his future scenario and the "end" of the story... I find it to be slightly depressing, purely on the level of a human/emotional response to the portrayal (and strong probability in real life) that, yes, humanity for all our ego is just a blip on the evolutionary time scale. Life goes on before we came, despite our prescence and legacy, and after we're gone for one irrelevant reason or another. Evolution is a book that portrays evolution as it is (in the definitive sense, not the temporal), even if it means that modern civilization/humans feature in less than 1/10th of the book. And really, I think Baxter did try to soften the blow (so to speak) with the assurance that Life, at least, will go on as always, and even after human civilization has disappeared into the earth after a few million years or so, at least our genetic legacy will be around in some gene pool(s) in the world. And even after the eventual end of the solar system, the remnants of biological matter (bacteria, proteins, etc.) that would fly off on chunks of broken space detrius might on day bring life on some other planet out there.

Oh, and I think Baxter's side-tangent with the legacy of mankind's technology in the absence of their long-gone masters and his whimsical depiction of the colonization of Mars gone awry is somewhat amusing. Baxter's treated science with respect, and he hasn't neglected technology either. These ain't the borg or other sci-fi robotic horrors we're talking about.

Overall, while I found the book simply too dense to read through entirely, I did enjoy the parts that I did read. If you're looking for good sci-fi and you're very interested in paleontology or anthropology fan (or even interested in dinosaurs), I'd suggest this book for a serious read.
tanithryudo: (Red Lady)
Borders bookstore this time.

Faeries' Landing is a Korean manga with one volume out so far. It's somewhat in the vein of Ranma 1/2, Tenchi Muyo, and Love Hina, except that the main male character isn't a spineless wuss when it comes to girls and the main female character(s) isn't an abusive psycho. The "faeries" in the series are an interesting mix of western and easter mythos - with names of people and places like "Goodfellow" and "Avalon", and with girls drawn like Chinese xian nv.

One is also a Korean manga with 2 volumes out so far. It's a jiang-hu/wu-xia series that's very reminiscent of chinese novels/manhua of the same vein. I like the art style, it's somewhat... simpler than the standard fare anime (like Clamp), but still pleasing. Come to think of it, are there any "traditional" wuxia Japanese mangas out there?

Fire Rose is the only book in the Elemental Masters series by Mercedes Lackey that I haven't read so far, and now I've completed the entire series. ^_^ Needless to say, I liked it as much as the other books in the series. Following the fairy-tale-retold theme of the series, this one is based on Beauty and the Beast, set in 19th century San Francisco. As always, the characters are a delight to read, and I love how Misty can turn out such strong female characters while still preserving their feminity, as well as without weakening the male characters.

My only nitpick with the book is the portrayal of the Chinese elemental masters (in Chinatown) - I wouldn't think that Master of Earth would equate to Master of Dragons, since traditional Chinese mythos tends to associate Dragons more with Water, or even Air. Ditto for Phoenix and Fire, which is more of a middle-eastern association; the more traditional Chinese association would probably be more like Phoenix and Air.
tanithryudo: (Release)
Went to B&N today and read Mercedes Lackey's The Fairy Godmother. Here be my impressions.

Foremost of all, Mercedes Lackey once again astounds me at the fantasy settings she creates. While they can't claim the level of attention to minutae as Tolkien, they do stand out quite well as world-making concepts go. Recognizable inspirations where inspirations apply, and twist and turns that are truly unique.

This time, the concept is based on the fairy tales... of the folklore and Grimm's fairy tales persuasion. Except she's put together the collection of those tales as a coherent world, with it's own trappings that are both traditional and with twists in it.

teaser )

Other things I liked of the story - wonderful bits of humor with some of the characters, such as the unicorns who go all googly eyed when a virgin human of the opposite gender comes along, the epilogue showing the fate of our girl's step-relatives in her absense, the wonderfully crafted characters both main and supporting...

The only thing I didn't like about the book was the cover art. Ugly as heck. What was the artist thinking?!?

Other news - Read through RK#3. Watsuki refers to the storyline as the "Megumi Arc", so I guess it does qualify as a storyarc. Ken-san is as cute as ever. Also, I think I actually prefer the scanlation wording to Viz's translations. It makes more sense in conjunction with the pictures.

Reread PSoH #4 and bought it. I'm just so easy for that series. :p
tanithryudo: (Release)
Bland day today and yesterday. Nothing happening of worth. Actually did lots of work... yay me. Other news... Haven't been too much of a mood to write anything intensive for YvtW 2.0 either. Or write anything for GJ, apparently. Not many of the fanfics I'm tracking have updated... *le sigh* Maybe I'll just go and read old fanfics...

*wracks brain to find something to say*

Um... since reading This Scepter'd Isle at B&N and noticing how many new hardbacks Mercedes Lackey has out lately, I checked her website and the Firebird Arts & Music site to see what else she's got out or has coming out in the near future. So far, The Fairy Grandmother sounds like an interesting read... somewhat of a twist on traditional fairy tales - something ML is well known for. Charmed Destiny is a collection of three stories by three authors, one of whom is ML, and looks interesting as well... something about "a arranged medieval marriage with a unique and well deserved ending for the abusive lord." I love how ML has so many strong female chars and good male chars in her stories.

Coming up in April is the anthology Dragon Quintet, edited by Marvin Kaye. Two of the five authors in it are Mercedes Lackey and Tanith Lee. *grin* How can I possibly not read it when it comes out? (Or at least read those two stories.) I've always loved TL's short stories (as opposed to her series works, which tends to lose me in her tendency toward overreaching metaphors in conjunction with twisted plotlines).

To celebrate, I'm gonna go and reread The Origin of Snow, from Tanith Lee's site. It's a good example of her typical writing style when it comes to fantasy... though my favorite has always been her (probably one and only) humor-fantasy short novel. ^_^
tanithryudo: (Read)
Spent most of yesterday at the bookstore. Read all the OMG volumes they had there so I can write Urd better for YvtW. Am such a geek. *facepalm*

Read Petshop of Horrors #4... so... very... slashy. Leon = denial boy... soooo totally in denial. And D? Yer wearing your heart on your sleeves. How the mighty (er... muy-cryptic and mysterious) have fallen. Heh. Also, the volume brings up the Number Of Compromising Postions Between D And Hot-Looking Guys to 2. (Three if we count D & Leon, but that was at D's instigation, while the others are by the other char's instigation.) I wish I had the book so I could scan in the pic... But, [insanejournal.com profile] cashew? - next time you go by the bookstore, check out the "Dracula" chapter in Vol. 4, when Leon bursts into the petshop and sees this caped bishie dude pressing D down to the couch and trying to bite (kiss, nibble... *wink*) his neck. And later D says the guy is a bi. *g* Methinks PSoH is much like Demon Diary in that the subtext is so loud that it's pretty much canon-slash, though still shonen-ai instead of yaoi.

Also read This Scepter'd Isle by Mercedes Lackey. She seems to have several giant hardback novels out recently. Scarily productive. O_O Anyways, the novel seems to be set in the past of her Serrated Edge series, during the reign of Henry VIII. Serrated Edge means that the sidhe/seleigh/fair folk are involved. I have no idea how accurate she's got the history, but the story itself is pretty good. There's both courtly intrigue/politics and action. Plus the Bazaar of the Bizarre seems like a really cool thing to incorporate into YvtW somewhere. *g*

Hm... what else... flipped through a few volumes of Flame of Recca. Tokiya isn't as hot in the manga as he is in some of the anime pics I have of him. Strange. Maybe the way they did the hair had something to do with it. Didn't see the next volume of Rurouni Kenshin at the store, which sucks. *shakes fist at Barnes & Nobles* Aaaaand that's about it. That I'm willing to post public anyhow. Look for more under friends lock.
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