Tag Archives: Zombies

And Then There Was Blog.

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After much deliberation, 

I have decided to type more things on the Internet.

Oh HO! What a fun few months it has been. This week, my tantalizingly interesting obsessions are full of Magic, SASQUATCH ZOMBIES and of course, flying anime cats.

Ladies and Gentlemen… and all the pretty Unicorns,

There comes a time in a humans life where they become overwhelmed with the logistics and complications of reality and retire into dark corners to consume copious amounts of jello and sprinkles and cry over semi-dramatic television shows for weeks on end. Then there comes the time AFTER that time for the human to wake up and smell ALL of the life and realize that the Internet must know everything about it. This is that time. This is that human. And THIS is what I have realized:

1) So Much Film Disappoint:

Okay. So I haven’t had a lot of time to go to the cinema recently… BUT when I have gone, it’s just been generally disappointing. Elysium was disappoint. Man of Steel was disappoint. ALSO, not enough people are excited for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug film and not enough people are SUPER UBER DISAPPOINTED in The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones film. And that is pretty damn disappointing. I need more access to more clips of Benedict Cumberbatch’s dragon voice and more people to give out about the horrible screenwriting tragedy that was the City of Bones movie.  I have a lot of friends who are screenwriters and film editors. I think them to be quite noble professions. Even some of the worst films I’ve seen have at least been edited to a watchable degree. I do not know how the editor for City of Bones has survived this long after the initial release. I would have thought Cassandra Clare herself would have launched a hurricane of verbal ninja throwing stars…alas, it seems to have a money-making magic spell on most of the younger readers. Way to go guys. I just restored my faith in the YA fantasy genre and you go and make it into the laughing stock of all the genres… again.

YES!

YES!

City of DISAPPOINTING Bones.

City of DISAPPOINTING Bones.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2) The First Law Trilogy by Joe Abercrombie:

No nonsense, straight up fantasy adventure that’s seriously rough around the edges, in the best way of course! With characters that you love to hate and hate to love, this Abercrombie man knows how to work his characters to the bone. I severely recommend these books if you have not already had the pleasure of reading them.  Logen Ninefingers is my new role model. I was considering breaking my own nose as a testament to his awesome-ness. I decided against it. Say one thing for Aisling Lynch, say she’s a coward.

There are also awesome graphic novels of the books, if you are more inclined to want awesome violent artwork to go with Abercrombie’s epic printed words.

SO. AWESOME.

SO. AWESOME.

3) Clive Barker’s Books of Abarat Series : 

Think ethereal and terrible magnificence all squished into one world. Think Squid goggles. Think evil men wielding Nightmare juice. Think Alice in Wonderland meets…well, Clive Barker really.  I already love the Hellbound Heart and Cabal but learning that a Young Adult series written by Clive Barker existed was just far too much for my imagination to cope with.  There was much squee-ing.

Candy Quackenbush (a most memorable name for a literary protagonist) is a young girl sick of life in her extremely dull hometown of Chickentown, Minnesota. Which is, of course, famous for chicken produce, and a girl can only take so much chicken. On a particularly irksome day past the Chickentown limits Candy runs into the very courteous master thief, John Mischief (who has antlers and SEVEN HEADS) he entangles her in a merry chase involving a game of light (it’s the easiest one in the world, y’know) and ultimately leads her to the mysterious parallel world of Abarat. Abarat has twenty five islands, and each of them occupy a different hour of the day. How handy would that be? A world where there is technically no such thing as ‘being late’ or ‘being on time’! It’s confusing! It’s chaotic diversity! I love it.

Of course, Candy acquires a very important key and becomes embroiled in the local chaos which takes her from island to island.  Whilst Befriending fish people, tarrie cats and a Geshrat called Malingo Candy also becomes a target of interest for the Master of the Midnight Hour, Christopher Carrion and the sinister industrialist Rojo Pixler. Both evil to boot and seriously intent on dominating the Abarat Archipelago.

This book is amazing. Read it. And then give it it to your children (if you have any) so they can read it. I guarantee that you will have your mind opened, blown up from the inside and then put back together by happy little mind monsters.

Abarat: Because Magic is better than Chickens.

Abarat: Because Magic is better than Chickens.

4) Fairy Tail: 

WIZARDS! MAGIC! SASSY SPIRITS! ADORABLE FLYING CATS! After hearing so many positive reviews I FINALLY got around to watching this super cute fun punch of an anime series.  I’m hooked.

In the magical kingdom of Fiore we meet Lucy Heartfilia, a budding wizard that specializes in celestial magic, who runs away from home to join the legendary wizards guild Fairy Tail. I know. I was kind of put off by the name too. And yes, the name of the guild is actually based on the fact that nobody really knows whether fairies existed and had tails or not. I think the show states at some point that it’s supposed to imply mystery and adventure. Well. Colour me mystified.

But seriously, this is SUCH a fun show. Lucy is introduced to the guild by fire mage and Dragon Slayer Natsu Dragneel and his talking flying cat, Happy (who is easily the most wonderfully adorable bad ass character EVER).

Happy, the Flying Cat

Happy, the Flying Cat

SO like any decent anime series we get a host of colorful wizard protagonists who earn their keep using magic. Not a bad job to have really. Natsu and Lucy also team up with an Ice Wizard called Gray Fullbuster, who has a penchant for casually stripping in public, and the SERIOUSLY INTENSE Erza Scarlet whose magic allows her to summon ALL the weapons and change into all these super hot armor outfits.

Erza Scarlet: Because Magic is better than a wardrobe.

Erza Scarlet: Because Magic is better than a wardrobe.

And not only do we have an array of awesome wizards to keep our imaginations happy, the guild actually sounds like a place I would actually want to hang out in. In between all of the epic adventures and battles against evil-doers and plot twists and speeches about living and fighting for your best friends… all of these people just hang out at the guild, drink beer and start brawls.  MAGICAL BRAWLS. That sounds like the BEST JOB EVER.  I could go into more of the details on how awesome and funny the characters are but I would seriously be here for another 2,000 words or quite possibly more. So for all of my fellow anime freaks, just take my word for it. Please do your life a favor and make this show a part of it.

FAIRY TAIL

FAIRY TAIL

5) The Inexplicables by Cherie Priest:

Last month I went to America. The land of opportunity and large, greasy cinnamon things. On my way back to Ireland I had to suffer through a 7 hour layover in Washington and, much to my horror, I finished all of the books I had brought. So I wandered into the nearest book post, rifled through the fiction and came out with THIS bad boy. A wonderfully crafted steampunk adventure from the gritty and witty Cherie Priest. The novel is set in an alternate version of Seattle in the 1800’s, many years after an earth shattering incident with a machine called the Boneshaker has left the city to ruin and unleashed a subterranean vein of a deadly toxic gas called Blight. Not only does it kill but it also turns the corpses into zombies, how fun!

The book follows Rector ‘Wreck’em’ Sherman, a drug addict orphaned by the Blight as he leaves his orphanage to seek out a dead friend (who isn’t actually quite as dead as he thinks) in the underground society of a ruined Seattle.  As he adjusts to life in a gas-mask, he discovers that there are new perils within the city that are worse than the un-dead that are quite alive and not human at all…they are simply known to the city dwellers as ‘The Inexplicables’.

Cherie has given us all the trimmings of an underground society fighting for survival. Rector makes for a pretty good narrator character. He’s disillusioned and sarcastic, the perfect candidate to be thrown head first into the deep end of the tense societal politics, a territorial battle and drug war whilst trying to evade giant sasquatch zombies and accidentally breathing in his death. Oh, and he’s also fighting a serious drug addiction. Just to make things more interesting for you.

Overall, quite an enjoyable read I only wish I’d figured out sooner that it was actually the fourth book in a series called The Clockwork Century. It’s still quite a good stand alone tale though! I have no regrets. Never have regrets when it comes to Steampunk.

It gets explained, eventually.

It gets explained, eventually.

6) The Republic of Thieves – by Scott Lynch

FINALLY. It is mine! I own it! And I shall devour it with my eyes and tell you ALL about it. That is all. The cover is SO PRETTY. I like to think that the big one is Jean and then that’s our lovely Locke Lamora in the dress.  ALL IN GOOD TIME, UNICORNLINGS. All in good time…

The Republic of Thieves.

The Republic of Thieves.

And there ends this long anticipated adventure blog. I hope you had as much fun reading about all my ridiculous loves as I did ranting about them. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go attach wings to my entire stuffed animal collection, pour myself a rum, pretend it’s Austershalin Brandy and read this awesome book.

Peace Out.

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A Quick Rant For Your Reading Pleasure/Displeasure

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Folks, it’s time to get a little angry.

Don’t worry, you’ll like me when I’m angry.

No, really.

Here, have a flower.

It occurred to me recently that this blog has become somewhat of a utopia for nerdgasms and things that I feel incredibly passionate and happy about. Like television, literature cake and very very small shiny things that you can stick to stuff. It also occurred to me recently that something I have to see and deal with during my regular working day has been making me very, very angry.   So I decided it’s time to get the proverbial claws out and tear this thing up a little bit because it has been nibbling away at my peace of mind like a lab rat on diet pills.

First of all I should mention that my not-so-new pet hate is intrinsically linked to the significant rise in popularity of erotic romance books. Now, let me be very clear here, I have absolutely no problem with the writing and reading of Erotic fiction. Personally the likes of E.L James, Vina Jackson and Sylvia Day are really not my cup of tea. I have not and most likely will never read them and seeing the ever growing stock of books they publish DOES give me headaches to some extent but that is just my own big fat opinion. I am currently in a state of acceptance with the fact that at the moment these books are in demand. People are going to read whatever the fuck they want to read and that’s just fine (sort of).

HOWEVER, due to recent sightings in my local book haunts, I’m beginning to feel that certain lines need to be drawn. Lines that have a lot to do with the restructuring of beloved classic novels that are now in the Public Domain such as Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and The Picture of Dorian Gray to suit the genre of erotic fiction. Key titles I’ve seen so far have been the nefarious Jane Eyre Laid bare and of course the one that irks me so horribly with its awful pun-like title, 50 Shades of Dorian Gray.

I should also cite here that I am all for many ideas of the postmodern parody, re-representations, pastiche works or whatever you want to call them with regards to these stories. I loved Frank Beddor’s Looking Glass Wars Trilogy (a re-working of Alice in Wonderland which I SINCERELY recommend) and I have yet to sink my teeth into Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters or Android Karenina but I’m sure I’d enjoy them too.

I read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and it was AWESOME. Elizabeth Bennett totally ruled as a kick ass Zombie hunter. Honestly, much of the social and cultural context of the text wasn’t changed much…apart from the zombies and many of the female characters being well trained in Karate and Kung Fu and what have you. In summary, yes the zombies were awesome and badass and it was good to see Mr. Darcy get kicked by Elizabeth but I was happy that was all that changed. Ultimately, the relationships between the main characters is what drives these novels. I felt that the developments in character relationships in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies were still somewhat effective because they still very much kept tuned to the manners and codes of society of the landed gentry in early 19th Century England. Apart from when Elizabeth the zombie hunter kicks Darcy in the stomach. That wasn’t landed very gentry (HARHARHAR).

But you see what I’m getting at, right? No? Okay. I may have wandered off topic. Zombies put to one side for now, my main problem with these restructured versions of 19th Century Romance Novels with ‘Erotic Twists’ is this: These ever so important relationships and romances in books like Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre and the drama and tension they bring will suffer a lot. Ergo, the story in general will suffer.

These stories were constructed in a social and cultural context where romance was a pretty damn strict code, so sure there will be that temptation to break the code and let all hell break loose, but then where would ALL that dramatic social tension go? If Jane Bennett slept with Mr. Bingley at some point behind a closed door and very much out of wed-lock (which is only how I’m assuming it would be written into an erotic version of the tale) that’s a good chunk of the romantic tension between them gone. Maybe I’m being a snob. Maybe I’m being overtly critical. But I really love these books. I loved that they were written so well into their own social systems. Romance worked so well back then because all the frilly manners and social codes just drew it out. And I feel I MUST defend them.  From formal introductions to courtships and everything in between, it just worked for these stories because a lot of that stuff developed relations and kept us in that suspended happy romantic tension place where our brains can think things like:

‘OH MY GOODNESS HE PICKED UP HER GLOVE AND GAVE IT TO HER AND THEN TALKED ABOUT THE WEATHER HE IS TOTALLY INTO HER I HOPE HE DANCES WITH HER LATER AT THE BALL.’

For some reason, all that stuff would kinda just disappear if there was an illicit sexual encounter involved and the whole world of the text would just be crushed for me. I don’t WANT Jane Eyre to have sex with Mr. Rochester because I WANT there to be drama and quiet suffering and tension because, for me that makes everything a lot more interesting. That and it just DOES NOT fit into the social and cultural context. It would just feel so alien in that circumstance. Plus Rochester does NOT deserve an additional plot hook featuring physical satisfaction from that girl, some of the shit he puts her though? He can fucking WAIT.  I don’t care if you lost a hand and most of your eyesight, Edward. That’s what you get for locking your crazy wife in the attic.

So when I saw that there was a mashup novel of 50 Shades of Gray and The Picture of Dorian Gray…I kind of wanted to kick something. Okay, so yes The Picture of Dorian Gray does have that underlying Faustian theme of dealing with the devil and giving into temptation…but…but again with the social values kind of being key features that are important to me! Gah! And you can’t just TAKE the character of Basil Hallward and turn him into a woman! YOU JUST CAN’T.

NO FOREVER.

NO. JUST NO.

My other fear is that the staggering popularity of erotic fiction will cause people to surpass the ACTUAL BOOKS and go straight for the smut. I think if you ARE going to read 50 Shades of Dorian Gray or Jane Eyre Laid Bare, as much as I recommend you NOT to…you should at least see how wonderful the original is before you read the desecrated version!

ANYWAY, in conclusion to this already way too long rant.  Bodice ripping is just fine. Just, please keep it away from classic books that I love. You can add ANYTHING ELSE YOU WANT. Aliens, Zombies, Vampires, Mutant Squirrels, Ninja Tiger People, Cthulu ANYTHING…just PLEASE keep the characters out of each others pants.

Thank you.

After all this anger, I think I feel the need for another Anime Happiness Splurge.

Peace Out.