Monthly Archives: April 2013

Book Review: Summers at Castle Auburn by Sharon Shinn

ACE
339 pp.

Summers at Castle Auburn is a quiet romantic fantasy that addresses social problems, but keeps it in the background. Our heroine is a young woman named Coriel who spends summers at Castle Auburn, the royal palace. She is the bastard child of the bastard son of noble and is–pretty much without her actual awareness for most of the novel–being groomed for an advantageous or at least politically useful marriage. She has a close relationship with her half-sister, has a crush of her sister’s fiancée, and is somewhat feckless and fancy free. Fortunately, she has a strong vocation for becoming a healer and has no intention of ruining her relationship with her sister by acting on her crush. Continue reading

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Filed under fantasy, non-earth, Review: Book, Sharon Shinn

Manga Review: Kuroshitsuji Volume Eleven, by Yana Toboso

buy on AmazonAt the end of volume ten, the young doctor rushes back to the manor because of a hunch. His hunch proves to be correct, and Ciel and Sebastian are willing to reveal the real secrets of the case. (Or at least a good deal more of it than you would expect.) Sebastian also reveals his real form to the Doctor, which causes him such a fright that he is inspired to continue writing. (Sebastian is the scariest muse ever.) Continue reading

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Filed under fantasy, Kuroshitsuji, manga/anime, Review: Manga

Reading Homestuck Part Thirty Eight : ==> John: Become an ectobiolobabysitter!

From here to here.

John sees that the device in the lab has been recently calibrated. (Mutie is also present.) John is directed to examine the monitor. The monitor is showing his old neighborhood, and a large red Betty Crocker factory. The date is a few months before John was born. (December 1st, 1995) He zooms in and sees a gentleman walking with his elderly mother. A target has been locked over the old woman. We get a slight change of angle and see that a meteor is heading straight for the building. It destroys the building, and John is directed to press the blue button.

This creates a Paradox Ghost Imprint of the elderly woman whom John realizes is his grandmother. The slime is sucked into a nearby container. The next direction is “switch four.” This monitor displays an image of a distant island in the Pacific on the date of December 3rd, 1995. (It is of course Jade’s island.) John is directed to zoom in. He sees an elderly billionaire on a yacht, and an adorable toddler. This monitor is also locked and there is also a target on the elderly billionaire. Continue reading

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Filed under apocalyptic, homestuck, Reading, science fiction, web comic

Manga Review: Kamisama Kiss Volume Ten, Julietta Suzuki

Buy on AmazonIn Kamisama Kiss volume ten, Nanami helps Kurama solve the succession crisis brewing at Mount Kurama. Since Nanami cannot enter the male-only environment of Mount Kurama, she disguises herself as a boy tengu, while Kurama poses as a tochigami, thanks to Nanami’s “substitute tochigami” ofuda. (It is effective enough that Kurama is able to order Tomoe to act like a cat.) The plan is for Kurama and Tomoe to distract Jiro, while Nanami and Botanmaru go looking for Sojobo, Kurama’s father. Continue reading

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Filed under fantasy, Kamisama Kiss, manga/anime, Review: Manga

Book Review: Fledgling, by Octavia Butler

Seven Stories Press

316 pp.

Fledgling is another one of those books that took me a while to get around to reading. I was not entirely sure what to think when I first heard that Octavia Butler was going to write a vampire novel. (Let’s just say there was some metaphorical pearl-clutching and leave it at that.) I do not really like vampire novels all that much, even though I always seem to end up reading them. (Most urban fantasy novels have vamps in them. There is no escape.) Continue reading

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Filed under Octavia Butler, Review: Book, science fiction, vampires

Reading: Telempath, by Spider Robinson, Part Five

$(KGrHqJHJCoE9rfTjDVbBPcm3jPyRQ~~60_35What is interesting here is that from Isham’s point of view, things like racism, homophobia and sexism are non-issues. (Of course, he considers homosexuality to be a non-issue because there is only one homosexual person in the entire world.) Isham has experienced bigoted individuals such as Alia’s father, but he has been more or less sheltered from actual systemic racism. Contrast this with Jordan (or even Jacob Stone) who have experienced systemic racism and whose personalities have been shaped by it. When Jordan tries to get Isham riled up and knocked of balance by calling Isham “boy,” Isham doesn’t even realize that he should react. Jordan seems to read Isham’s non-familiarity as evidence that Isham “acts white.” (Jordan also levels this accusation at Isham’s father.)

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Filed under apocalyptic, Reading, science fiction, Spider Robinson, telempath

Apologies: What, When and How

Whatever

I’ve apologized a fair amount for stupid and/or ignorant and/or insensitive things that I have done or said over the course of my life. This has has given me the time and experience to, if not perfect the form of an apology, then to at least get it to a point where I am comfortable that the apology will be understood as genuine. Perhaps at some point in the near future you’ll need to apologize for some stupid and/or ignorant and/or insensitive thing you have done. Here are thoughts I have for you on the subject.

First thing: What is an apology?  Leaving aside classical definitions that are not directly on point to how the word is used in everyday life:

An apology is an admission that you’ve wronged others and that you are actually sorry for it. This is of course why it’s difficult for people to apologize. No one likes…

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