Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Okay let me begin by saying I LOVE Hitchiker's guide to the galaxy. It was hard for me to get through the book because it was so close to the movie's that I knew what was going to happen. I probably should have moved on to the other books but I was curious if the first one was any different from the movie, because sometimes that's fun when they leave out stuff in the movies and you understand things more during you're reading of the book. But everything was pretty straight forward. I guess that's the point of a Satire in the first place.
Anyway I just love this, I think it's so creative and funny. I have never before this seen a science fiction comedy. I'm sure there are more out there but this one is the first that I have been subjected to. I've seen both the British and the American versions. I remember watching the British one when I was younger and thinking...what the heck is going on? Because it's very fast pace and not really a child's humor. I just remember the technology of the guide sticking out in my mind. When I saw the American remake a few years ago I was cracking up. Like I said I had never really seen a science fiction comedy. Usually science fiction novels are so serious, such as being abandoned on a planet, abudcted by aliens, star trek or star wars ( a few jokes are there but not enough to be make a comedy ). I'll admit very old science fiction movies can maybe now be under the comedy category but I'm sure that wasn't the directors original goal haha.
I also really like how colorful it is with it's characters. It's not like five guys and a girl on a ship an their just a funny crew that make you laugh in whatever wacky science fiction situation they find themselves in ( like a futuristic "That 70's show" ) It had so many well developed and completely different characters. A manic depressive robot, the ruler of the Universe with a split personality.
I think what was the most clever development was the Vogons. The bad guy in most novels and movies are always some scary monster who wants to blow stuff up or eat things or use us for experiments. These were like average business men, I think more around a government official type, making way for a Universal highway. What a hilarious comparison to the working Englishman. Especially coming from a writer who obviously enjoys a sense of humor. There's usually a strong stereotype of British men being boring and all about work, and although I've never been to that part of the world and can't vouche, from knowing the stereotype I see the Vogon's as just hilarious. Especially when the guide goes on a long schpeal about how they need papers signed, filed, sent back, recieved and blah blah and all that just to save their grandmother from being eaten. Thats definately a government official if I've ever seen one.
The main character was likable, I think it was a good idea that the writer did not make him a complicated character because there was so many other things to focus on it would of made me not like him because he would be taking away from the stuff I wanted to read about. He was just basically constantly confused, but pretty okay with everything.
Now I didn't get to the end of the book but as I said I did see the movie and my all time favorite part is the ending, with the planet builders. It's funny how they made the Universe like some kind of running government, with builders and rich society and a President. They just happened to have an Earth back up, how perfect. And I'm not sure how visual the book is with this part but the movie was just gorgeous it really was such a cool and original idea.
I will read the rest of the series for sure this summer. I had no idea there was more, I thought it was just the one, especially because it wraps up so nicely at the end. Everythings back to normal for the most part. But I think this was a good note to end the summer on. Made me leave smiling.

Literary Speculation

I chose to read A Clockwork Orange for this week because I have always heard about that book and have always been interested to read it because every time I asked people what it's about they respond " It's hard to explain, " or "It's crazy, you gotta just read it yourself," which only spiked my curiosity. So this was perfect timing, now that work was ending too. And I must say those who have told me, it's hard to explain, and that it's crazy, I now understand what they mean.
So wow. That's the best way for me to begin this post. I'm only halfway through First of all I would not be surprised if this ability to alter the human mind and what it wants or doesn't want becomes a reality in the not so far off future. I would say it's in humane but I can also easily argue that the main character was some sort of crazy, and needed it so he wouldn't be so dangerous.
When I looked at the category for this week and read "literay speculation" I was thinking to myself, what in the world could that mean. I understood it now. The rapes and the beatings and subjecting women the way they do. Running around in weird costumes and masks and picking on bums ( Which I've actually seen other movies make a reference to and have NEVER understood what they were making fun of before ) Anyway, all of that was very overwhelming for me. It was hard for me to continue, especially after the rapes. I think I may have even written in an earlier post.....Yes after last week when I had read one of the Xenogensis novels, Lilith's Brood, I was enjoying it and then came to a point where the first male human she sees in the story beats her and tries to rape her and I haven't picked up the book since. All the more credit to the authors for being able to write those things and not feel guilty, but as a woman it's harder for me to stomache. It's surprising to me because all of my friends who have read this book, read it in Catholic school, while I attended public school and we didn't touch it.
I understand in ways how it refers to Catholic religion because the scientists are basically playing the role of God by altering Alex's mind. And also there is the obvious debate of free will and how it should be handled. But still to me it's surprising that such a strict school where you couldn't wear skirts or hair past a certain length or talk about Harry Potter yet they can read about a violent gang member. A bit hypocritical to me, which I suppose does make sense for a Catholic school ( I'm sorry if you're a strongly religious Christian! )
Anyways....I probably won't finish this. Part of me wants to know what happens to Alex, but part of me is afraid he'll revert back to his old ways which would not be a satisfying ending to me..

Monday, April 19, 2010

Diverse Position

I had some time on the weekend and was able to sit down and get through half of Lilith's Brood. I really liked the beginning. It wasn't that descriptive and got straight to the point of answering most of my questions.
This story of aliens is so completely different from anything I've ever seen or read, that it held my interest for hours. Usually we view aliens as some beasts trying to destroy the Earth for now real reason rather then the urge of mass destruction, Big eyed creatures that want to do awful experiments on our bodies for who knows what, or some weird funny aliens in comedies such as Across the Universe. But these were like....a kind sort of alien. They wanted to help and restore and heal which was really neat to see. Reading about aliens with a need to make things grow and evolve. That's a really original concept I feel. I really can not think of a single alien breed I've seen or read about that's like that.
I guess "diverse positions" is a perfect way to describe this week, because I couldn't figure out if I agreed or didn't agree with half of the stuff. Part of me was like, wow these aliens saved us all that's amazing. Just to understand and have a little bit of us is not much of a price to pay, most alien stories describe much worse. At the same time though I completely felt for Liliths anger about the whole situation. Who wouldn't?
Part of me agreed with the way the aliens handled things. I mean yeah if the Earth was destroyed and people were then placed together they would probably kill each other, and the Ooli claimed they didn't know how to group us properly so it was safer to keep us confined and alone. On the other hand though there's nothing that could drive someone crazier then seclusion. But then again maybe being stuck with the same few people would drive you just as mad if not more. Prime example, Real World. There's so many factors with how complicated people are that I suppose it's impossible to predict the outcome.
The cancer thing is interesting. They didn't get into it too much where I'm at, but Im guessing how cancer can grow and manipulate people's genes, is what makes it so fascinating and useful to them. That's a nice little twist because I've never heard cancer be described as a "beautiful thing" before.

The book kind of slowed down for now. The girl is learning their language and slowly growing but it's less direct then the beginning chapters and I feel like it''s going in circles a little bit. I'm one of those people that likes the happy ending type of stories so when she met the guy and then was practically raped and beaten to death it made me lose interest a little. I was hoping they'd fall in love or some kind of good would come out of it. They would find comfort in each other, or I don't know, something. I suppose what happened is more realistic, but that's why I like to read fantasy haha. I stopped reading after that. I'll finish it though. I liked the character and want to see her end up happy, hopefully somehow.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


When I ready the story in class, Johnny Mnemonic , I was really confused about what was going on. Everything was moving so fast and the world that was unfolding wasn't really being explained to me so it was easily getting lost. The wording seemed a little off too. I don't know why it was simple vocabulary but how it was laid out was confusing to me. Maybe I was just tired that morning? Anyways I was a little confused, so I looked up a summary of what was going on and then went back to read it now knowing what to expect. That time it made much more sense and was a pretty enjoyable adventure. I'm not sure about the movie we watched in class ( mostly due to the main actor ). I also don't think it really portrayed what I had in mind when reading it. I imagined things a little more updated. Still dark and dirty but just more technological, considering his brain is basically a computer I figure they have better technology then a fax machine. But that's just the movie.
Back to the story, I liked the heroine. As we talked about in class the women are much tougher in this Cyberpunk world. I never really knew much about Cyberpunk I actually thought it was the same thing as SteamPunk but I found out from my group that I was very far off. It's more about techonology and robots. I really am a big fan of BladeRunner too I'm glad we talked about that in class because that's just such a classic. I didn't realize it was part of this genre. I'm not sure I'll be dabbling in stories like this too much more. Their a little dark for me, I enjoy the action portion of it though. I suppose I only like dark stories when their horror. We'll see though. =)

Short Stories from the Multiverse

I chose to read the story about a giant washing up on shore. It seemed interesting when I read the title and got into the first few paragraphs. Especially imagining what it would be like is a dead giant really washed up on the beach. I liked the imagery of the people climbing all over it because honestly that's probably what people would really do. Children would be hanging off the ears and walking across the eyes and people would be walking up and down the arms inspectiing it. As I continued to read I started getting a little bored. Most of the story is just a constant description of how dead the giant looked day by day. I was waiting for some major conflict to happen. For another giant to show up or for people to do something really nuts with it. I liked how at the end people basically took the different parts of it and placed them in museums or freak shows, so when I finished it I did feel satisfied. But honestly I skimmed through the middle of the story much faster, I was getting bored with how many times the author described how the eyes were misted over with white liquid and the way the face looked everyday he came back to look at it. It was an easy read and the beginning and end were good but for the most part it dragged a bit in the beginning, I wish more went on.

Equal Rites

I usually always like the feminist type of books, such as this one. I liked the whole Wizard vs Witch, male vs female comparison. It reminds me of how in the old days they didn't want women to be educated, the same way they won't accept her to be an educated Wizard in their world. I also like the randomness of some things, such as how they live on pizza on elephants on a turtle in the stars or whatever it was haha. I like how the character is a little quirky and a little different and how she wants to change Discworld, and basically breaks the laws of physics to do so.

I think my favorite part of the book ( for how far I got ) was her experience in the library. How she bribed her way in there, how she longed to read and thought she could learn the way you learn how to dress yourself or cook. But the fun of it is that she didn't know what she was doing and that she was doing any magic at all. And I just liked her desire to learn, I can relate to that desire. My highschool didn't have much to offer so when I came here to Ringling I wanted to learn as much as I could and grow. Overall to me, the characters were likable, and the world feels established in its own sense, and even more so fun and inventive. The funny parts were actually funny and even the suspenseful parts contained more suspense because I actually cared about who I was reading about.

I also liked the idea that she accidentally became a Wizard. It's so old fashioned that men want to have sons to pass their abilities and name onto ( especially in Asian culture ) and I like that story line where the daughter needs to prove she can be just as good. Kind of like Mulan. Once again relating to Asian culture I suppose. Even though the father isn't around to see it we as the readers know that so it still is appealing to me.

I keep hearing that the second and third book ( especially the third ) are even more likeable and fun then the first so that inspires me to go find them and read them as well ( soon as I've completely finished this one ). Apparentally the character Granny Weatherwax changes alot so I'm curious to find out how.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Mythic Fiction

I tried picking up Anansi boys but it didn't catch my interest and after mention American Gods in class I decided to try that one out instead which I liked alot more. I'm still a little hooked with Pullmans dark Materials so it was hard for me to focus on a new story. From what I read from this though I did like. I love mythology and I really like his idea of making media and internet gods, because in a way they are gods to us. We live every day by them and rely on them. I also really like Giamans play on words with his names. How Mr. Wednesday is a play off the god Oden ( I think thats the gods name ) and how Shadow is basically the shadow of a man after being jailed and after his wife was so betraying.
I also really like that Gaiman didn't cop out and use all gods and goddesses we all knew, such as Zeus or Posideon. He really went out of his way to research and find quirkier and more interesting gods. Everytime a new character would arise I'd also put the story down and research that god so I could know about that and see what I may expect out of the character or how he plays with their personalities. And I also like that he didn't stick with just one type of mythology. Most stories will center around one, but he pulled from Norse and Greek and Hindu and basically anything that people believed in were real no matter what heritage.
He really is the master of mythic fiction I had no idea he made worked on many book and movies that I love. I'm a huge fan of Mirrormask, Stardust, Coraline, the Polar Express, etc. Especially after watching his interview in class it makes me want to explore his other work because he does a really good job of walking that fine line of reality vs fantasy where you wonder what in the story was real. And his work has a totally different feel, I've never seen a movie like Mirrormask before.
I think finishing American Gods will be first on my list once I'm done with Pullman.