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review 2018-09-20 08:18
J.K. Rowling’s world: Harry potter

 

We all have heard about J.K. Rowling from her famous novel series Harry potter, the movie that changed our childhood perspective of magic and wizards, and somehow during the series, Daniel Radcliffe became to be known as Harry potter. Taking us to the journey of magic through her righting J.K. Rowling have spread her wings into the world of fiction, but, is that really true?

 

Origin of J.K. Rowling

J.K. Rowling is one of the pen names of Joanne Rowling born on 31st July 1965, she has also been writing under the pen name Robert Galbraith. Joanne is a British novelist, film and television producer, philanthropist and screen writer. Her most popular novel series was our all-time favorite Harry Potter, the book that won many awards and were sold more than 500million copies all over the world. Some of her other works are The Cuckoo's Calling, ‘The Silkworm, ‘Career of Evil, and ‘Lethal White’. She have been through a lot of hardship but, after dedicated hard work she is now the most successful British author alive.

 

Harry potter: the series

J.K. Rowling first got the idea of Harry potter while she was on her way to London from Manchester on a delayed train in 1990, The first book took seven years to make as, she saw her mother dying, her child as born, got divorced by her first husband and many circumstances throughout this time span. But, fortunately the book was completed and was a global hit. Soon there were six sequels of the book, where the last one was released in 2007 ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’.

 

J.K. Rowling had put all her heart and might in writing these books that were taking fantasy to a whole new level. A world of magic with so much details that even candies were special in such a world. Let us go through the time span of all the series of Harry Potter and she did not have academic paper writing service online to help her with things that time.

 

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

ABOUT- This was the first ever series of Harry Potter, book released on 26th June 1997 (UK), in English. A fiction fantasy novel.

 

STORY LINE- Harry potter was an orphan, lost his parents after he was born. He was given shelter at his relative’s place the Dursley’s, who made him live in a cupboard under the stairs, was forced to wear his cousins hand-me-downs and was even forced to work at home. But, everything changed at his 11th birthday. He gained an invite to study in a school of magic name ‘Hogwarts’, School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. He was informed by a giant named Hagrid that he was a wizard. When he was an infant, the evil Lord Voldemort killed his parents and then tried to kill Harry too Despite of the Dursley’s efforts to stop harry he takes the night bus (magic bus) to the station and took the train from London to Hogwarts and his journey to magic begins. By the end of the book harry had fought Voldemort once, and had become friends with Ron and Hermione, facing all the dangers in his way.

Many interesting things were introduced with the book like, magic wands, magic candies (even the one that could scream), and flying brooms, talking hats and what not? I honestly wished to have magic so that wouldn’t need to research paper topics for college and could complete it magically.

 

Well as the series took shape more books were released during the span of nine years creating masterpiece after masterpiece, those were the extension of the initial book. The other parts of the novel were as follows with, the time of release that were J.K. Rowling’s own work:

 

  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,

 [July 2, 1998 (UK), June 2, 1999 (US)].

 

  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,

 [July 8, 1999 (UK), September 8, 1999 (US)].

 

  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,

 [July 8, 2000 (global)].

 

  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,

 [June 21, 2003 (global)].

 

  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,

 [16 July, 2005 (global)].

 

  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,

[21 July, 2007(global)].

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review 2018-09-17 19:47
Parable of the Sower / Octavia Butler
Parable of the Sower - Octavia E. Butler

In 2025, with the world descending into madness and anarchy, one woman begins a fateful journey toward a better future

Lauren Olamina and her family live in one of the only safe neighborhoods remaining on the outskirts of Los Angeles. Behind the walls of their defended enclave, Lauren’s father, a preacher, and a handful of other citizens try to salvage what remains of a culture that has been destroyed by drugs, disease, war, and chronic water shortages. While her father tries to lead people on the righteous path, Lauren struggles with hyperempathy, a condition that makes her extraordinarily sensitive to the pain of others.

When fire destroys their compound, Lauren’s family is killed and she is forced out into a world that is fraught with danger. With a handful of other refugees, Lauren must make her way north to safety, along the way conceiving a revolutionary idea that may mean salvation for all mankind.

 

What a powerful view of a dystopian near future! Just like Margaret Atwood, Octavia Butler was able to scan the news of the time (early 1990s) and extrapolate from those stories to produce this tale exploring where North America might be headed. Her version of a United States that has been reduced to third world status is striking for how possible it feels. Although Canada features as a desired destination for the economic refugees, Butler tells us nothing of what is really happening north of the border, content to show us the plight of regular Americans.

The trends that she was working with? Effects of drug use (made me think of our current fentanyl crisis), the growing rich/poor gap, the precarious nature of employment, the willingness to build & fill prisons, the unwillingness to build & repair schools & libraries, the tendency to value the economy over the environment, and climate-driven weather change (and the resulting change in what crops will grow and food price inflation). Butler could foresee this twenty years ago—how much closer are we today to this exact situation? Oh, this makes me think so much of Atwood’s The Handmaid's Tale, where you can really feel like the whole book scenario could easily come true.

Of course this wouldn’t be Octavia Butler if there wasn’t some exploration of the power dynamic between people and groups of people as well. The main character, Lauren, progresses from childhood, governed by her Baptist father, to leader of people migrating north and founding her own religion. We get to see Lauren and her brother Keith struggle with their father’s authority in different ways and the outcome of those struggles. Butler certainly makes the reader see the value of having a community—a chosen circle of people who both give & receive support.

My only complaint might be that it is so United States focused, rather like Stephen King’s The Stand. It could have been even better, in my opinion, had she widened the scope to include other parts of the world, rather like Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven.

This is book number 295 of my Science Fiction and Fantasy Reading Project.

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review 2018-09-11 21:50
Beggars in Spain / Nancy Kress
Beggars in Spain - Nancy Kress

In this future, some people need no sleep at all. Leisha Camden was genetically modified at birth to require no sleep, and her normal twin Alice is the control. Problems and envy between the sisters mirror those in the larger world, as society struggles to adjust to a growing pool of people who not only have 30 percent more time to work and study than normal humans, but are also highly intelligent and in perfect health.

The Sleepless gradually outgrow their welcome on Earth, and their children escape to an orbiting space station to set up their own society. But Leisha and a few others remain behind, preaching acceptance for all humans, Sleepless and Sleeper alike. With the conspiracy and revenge that unwinds, the world needs a little preaching on tolerance.

 

I read this original short story version of this title in July of this year. I was sufficiently impressed that I ordered the novelized version through interlibrary loan and I’m glad that I read both versions. Ms. Kress really managed to flesh out the ideas better when she had a bit more elbow room.

Now, I love to sleep. It is one of the basic human pleasures and when I have occasional bouts of wakefulness during the night I am pretty cranky the next day. I have never, ever wished to do without sleep (although sometimes, during particularly exciting periods of my life, I’ve declared that I’ll sleep when I’m dead). I once had a coworker who just hated the idea of sleep—like Roger Camden, father of our main character Leisha in this novel, she thought sleep was a complete waste of time. Each night, she would try to shave off minutes of sleep, working her way towards eliminating it. And she completely failed because sleep is really, really important to our health. (See Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams for an excellent discussion of these ideas). It really is the basis for avoiding illness and being able to reason and make sensible decisions.

The one thing that bothered me about the assumptions in this work was the conflation of not needing sleep with increased intelligence. It was my understanding that parents in the book could choose either/or for their genetically modified offspring. Just because a child was one of the Sleepless didn’t necessarily mean that they would be super smart or would have driving ambition. I guess those options were almost always chosen together? And much longer life was an accidental genetic change, much more likely to cause envy, in my opinion.

One other assumption annoyed me—why would being extremely smart curtail a person’s compassion? This whole idea that the rest of humanity consisted of beggars, not only not pulling their own weight, but relying on others for their support. Leisha, although she appears to be emotionally stunted, maintains that everyone has their place in the economic ecosystem, as people actually do in our world. I am left to suppose that the genes for sleep (or lack of the need for it) and/or intelligence would somehow also affect the genes for feeling emotion, not a proposition that I accept.

Despite these misgivings, I found the book to be an interesting exploration of intolerance, including taking it to the extremes to see what could happen. There is, of course, the old warning against messing around with genetics without fully realizing the consequences and then our new demographic group goes on to repeat the pattern. That particular ‘message’ is becoming a bit boring, honestly, but I still enjoy a book in which it is approached with a new twist, such as this one.

Book number 294 in my Science Fiction & Fantasy Reading Project.

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text 2018-09-11 15:51
Reading progress update: I've read 340 out of 438 pages.
Beggars in Spain - Nancy Kress

 

Wow, I'm glad that I decided to find the full novel.  The short story was very good, but I like what she's done with more elbow room.

 

Lots to think about, for sure.

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text 2018-09-10 18:21
Reading progress update: I've read 110 out of 438 pages.
Beggars in Spain - Nancy Kress

 

7 Days until this is due at the library.  It's an interlibrary loan, so I can't renew.

 

I think my mission for this evening is clear:  Make a dent this volume (after I clean the bathroom, a task which I shirked over the weekend).

 

Dinner is leftovers.  Yay!  Soup made with Italian sausages, tomatoes, chicken broth, navy beans & veggies.  Plus the last remaining cornmeal muffin.

 

 

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