From Peter Rubie of Fine Print Literary
image – Flickr / zev
Rule #1 in writing is – or should be — if you’re not yet published (by someone else) you’re not the best judge of your own material. At the very least make friends with a writer who has a good editorial eye and the bravery that goes with using it. It’s the collaborative experience that is so important in writing at a professional level. I know YOU know what you mean, but does everybody else?
But then there’s rule #2 – Forgedaboudit! as they say in New York. Ignore what everyone tells you about writing, including what I just wrote as Rule #1. Learn to trust your instincts instead.
Dr. Johnson was once called the second most important writer in the English language (after Shakespeare, in case you’re wondering). A friend asked him if he was upset about being described like that. “Not at all,”…
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The Girl with All the Gifts is a fantastic read. How good? When I first came across it, it had so many aspects that I usually dislike. I typically don’t do books this grim. I’m not a fan of books written in the present tense. If fact I rarely get through them. For The Hunger Games, I had to go to the audio book. Something about the style doesn’t compute in my head. I’m also not a fan of zombies.
None of these biases mattered. This book pulled me in so completely, I forgot about them. How often does a book overcome personal odds and earn such a high rating? Rarely. But The Girl With All the Gifts is that good. It’s transcendent. The girl herself, Melanie, is so perfectly written. She starts out sheltered but grows throughout. Her voice matures and becomes powerful.
Kudos to Mr. Carey for perfecting such a complex and compelling character. The same goes for the story itself. I thought this would be a hard science fiction story, one stuck in a lab or compound. That’s all there, but Mr. Carey wisely moves the action beyond the labs and turns it into a true survival tale.
Another reviewer likened it to The Day of the Triffids. I can definitely see that. It also has a similar tone to James Cameron’s Terminator and Aliens. Bleak, desperate, and thought provoking, this book will keep you turning its pages. I hated to finish it but admit to it having a stunning yet perfect ending.
I will remember this book for a long, long time.
Mecha has long been an anime staple, the uber-cool–and absolutely impossible–mechanical creations that are as much of a show’s draw as the characters and stories. Sometimes the two are actually one and the same, shows and movies in which the main character isn’t really a character at all, but an allegory for man’s constant struggle to balance scientific responsibility with the natural world.
Usually, it’s bada** too.
So, to honor anime’s impressive array of insanely cool stuff — admit it, you want the toy as soon as you see it–we’ve compiled a list of anime’s top 10 mecha.
10. The God Phoenix: Science Ninja Team Gatchaman
The God Phoenix from Science Ninja Team Gatchaman is part transport and part battleship. It neatly houses all of the awesome Gatcha vehicles — all of which could make this list — and though it doesn’t mechanically transform, it does so…
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Love this book. Absolutely love it. Brandon Sanderson has made a name for himself as one of the major voices in fantasy fiction, but it’s in his YA works that you’ll find the most originality and best storytelling. The only exception I’ll make to that are his collaborations with the late Robert Jordan.
Sanderson’s fans will notice some fairly blatant similarities to his earlier Mistborn series, such things as the perpetual darkness and the evil overlord already in command. Not that this is unique to Sanderson–Star Wars used the same template. The characters set this story apart, along with the firm, solid plotting Sanderson constructs. 18-year-old David is fully fleshed out. We understand what motivates him, and it’s a joy to see him mature to the point where he questions it. The surrounding cast is equally good, Cody, Prof, and Abraham, each holding his own while remaining uniquely individual.
The women are just as good, though Megan is, if anything, a little too stereotypical. She’s the beautiful, out of David’s league girl he nevertheless sets his sights on. Not that she’s a bad character. Far from it. It’s just that the situation, with her as David’s potential love interest–is less original than everything else about the story.
Mr. Sanderson wastes nothing in telling this tale, using each chapter to plant seeds-very subtle ones at times–that come together brilliantly in the book’s final act. The Epics are something special. At first blush, the seem like any other comic book super-being. They’re not. Sanderson twists them in devilish ways and makes them wondrous and villainous at the same time. Of particular note are the fantastic names they give themselves. In one sentence, Sanderson shows how silly such things can be when he notes one particular Epic’s self-designation. And it’s hilarious.
Steelheart is a great read by a great voice. The next book is due out by the end of 2014. I can’t wait!
Great in depth review.
Since the first pictures for Disney’s new Maleficent started surfacing in late 2012, hope for a masterful rendition was high; after all it was Angelina Jolie at the helm. But with the inundation of villain perspective movies, and revamped fairy tale flops, the expectation was that this too would fall short of its immense budget.
Moviegoers long for that one flick to take them back to childhood fantasy, but will find only a hollow CGI reminder that nothing will ever be as good as a classic Disney cartoon.
If a great movie starts with a great script, this one was doomed from the beginning. The dialogue reduced the story to over simplified cliché. Linda Woolverton, a main stay at Disney, gave nothing substantial from which greatness could spring. Surprising, given that this same author penned titles like ‘The Lion King‘, ‘Beauty and the Beast‘, and Tim Burton‘s…
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