Monthly Archives: October 2009

Partnership (Isn’t It Romantic?)

I think I’m going to have to blame Thundarr the Barbarian for this one–it was one of my favorite cartoons when I was a kid, and in some ways was a very strong influence in what I like to read and write. Thundarr the Barbarian was an early eighties cartoon with a post-apocalyptic setting, an episodic adventure story content and main characters that even my dad suspected were Doing It. (He would pitch a fit if he caught me watching it, because he was convinced they were Shacking Up. To me, it was obvious they were a Couple, and because of this, I had assumed they were Married.) Ariel and Thundarr were the first couple that caught my interest plot-wise as a possible romantic pairing, (though honestly, there was never canon confirmation they were a romantic couple). Continue reading

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Filed under book, manga/anime, Meta

Elephants in the Living Room, Loveless by Koga Yun

At first glance, Loveless is a deeply disturbing manga. At second and third glances, your perspective won’t and probably shouldn’t change.

The primary themes of Loveless involve child abuse, people with sociopathic tendencies, dysfunctional families and relationships–but this is not to say that the series is dark or grim (though there are some very grim and scary things going on in the story). There is also a certain sly humor, sarcasm, and themes of love and loyalty, friendship and surviving. Kouga Yun manages to weave these various themes together in a way that makes for a compelling story that pulls you right into the (very convoluted) plot. Given some of the darker themes and certain other details I was surprised by how quickly I was drawn into the story. Continue reading

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Filed under alternate history, fantasy, manga/anime, Review: Manga, romance, science fiction elements, slash/thots on yaoi, urban

Book Review: Daemon, by Daniel Suarez

Dutton, 429pgs.

Daemon
Buy from Amazon.

With first novels, there is often a feeling of awkwardness. The writer hasn’t quite found his or her voice yet, or hasn’t fully realized the world in which the novel is set. (“Incompletely realized world” would be true of a mainstream novel taking place in modern-day Los Angeles as it would be of a novel taking place on a not-quite-terraformed Mars. How I might perceive or write about Los Angeles if I were to visit would be completely different from the perception of someone who lived there, for instance. And no two people actually living in Los Angeles would have the exact same perception, even if they lived in the same neighborhood, on the same street.) The writer might or might not succumb to the meme that a story must have a great deal of sex and violence in order to be interesting. The writer might or might not decide that it’s Absolutely Necessary to have unlikable anti-heroes, because unlikable anti-heroes are a “must” for real literature. (The Holden Caulfield Effect, you might say.) Continue reading

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Filed under book, Daniel Suarez, near future, Review: Book, science fiction

Book Review: The Sword of the Lady by S.M. Stirling

Roc, 484 pgs.

The Sword of the Lady: A Novel of the Change (Change Series)Another book where they be changing the laws of physics, and magic is afoot. (Or at least science that is indistinguishable from magic.) This is the latest of Stirling’s Nantucket/Change books where the island of Nantucket is transposed into the past, (and the past version of Nantucket is now in the present) and the laws of physics are tinkered with in the present so that firearms and combustion engines don’t work anymore. And of course, stuff happens. Continue reading

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Filed under anomaly/nexus, book, fantasy elements, Review: Book, S.M. Stirling, science fiction, time travel

Book Review: Breaking the Wall:Thirteen Orphans, by Jane Lindskold

Tor, 367 pgs.

Thirteen OrphansBreaking the Wall:Thirteen Orphans is the start of a new series by Jane Lindskold, author of The Firekeeper Saga and Lord Demon (co-written with Roger Zelazny) among many other novels. It’s an urban fantasy of the “magic is known to be real to a select few” variety with “people from the universe next door” as protagonists. It’s using a primarily Chinese and other Asian mythologies, though it’s also clearly indicated that other magical systems/mythoi also exist. (Culture appears to define Perception of local forces or energies, which is a useful gimmick if you can do it without making everything look totally and obnoxiously homogenous. Lindskold has managed to do this very well, by the way.) Continue reading

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Filed under anomaly/nexus, book, fantasy, Jane Lindskold, Review: Book, urban

Bad Ass Babes, Or, the Only Man That’s Man Enough (Isn’t Human)

No, really I have no idea of where I’m going to go with this one. I don’t have a literary degree, and I’ve never taken women’s studies so I have no idea of how to critique the increased number of fantasy romances with bad ass babes from a feminist dialectic. All I know is that I have a few opinions I’d like to share about bad ass babes with guns fantasy urban romances. Continue reading

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