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review 2017-12-12 12:55
Casting your brain into big questions
Stories of Your Life and Others - Ted Chiang

I went in all big eyes and heavy heart and cheating, starting with the story I was curious about after watching the movie. It was sadder in it's determinism, but it was all that (and it had emotion, lordy, did it have emotion).

 

About half way through this book (and with my brain much hurting, I get so immersed into these Big Question explorations), LeGuin's introduction for The Left Hand of Darkness (I was very much taken by them, book and intro) kept popping into my thoughts. The part where she says taking a concept to it's maximum expression is like concentrating any chemical element: it causes cancer.

 

The stories vary in nature and theme, they are interesting, and unique. And in a sense, bleak. Lacking in hope, some in sentiment, some in... something. I can't quite put my finger on it, but while amazing, thought-provoking explorations that filled me with wonder or questions, each tale left me with this vague sense of depression. Which had little to do with whether they had happy ending or not (most are a dagger), since Le Guin does that, you blubber like a fool, and still makes you love it and leave bittersweet hopeful. So, not the presence of pain. Maybe more like a general lack of joy to balance them (for the most part).

 

Anyway, it is a really good book to think about or discuss, and it delves into some interesting territories (I'm itching for some looong research and reading on some things that went over my head). Different and exhausting. Will read more of the author.

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review 2017-11-28 03:37
Alice Love Fables: Toy Box - Mamenosuke Fujimaru,QuinRose

This was a collection of short manga stories from the various QuinRose properties. Kind of a vignette of each of the worlds.

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review 2017-10-02 15:18
A Modern Day Fable of the Bizarre and of the Weird That's Truly A Wonder
Tales of Falling and Flying - Ben Loory

Modern day fables isn't some thing that is easy to write. The thing about writing such short stories it takes a lot of imagination to turn some thing that is like a fairy tale to some thing that suits the current modern day genre. But Tales of Falling and Flying some how, found its unique voice. And with that, I am glad that I pick up this book and read it in 2 days.

 

From the first short story 'The Dodo', I was in a good way speechless that this story got me thinking. There's a reflection in this story that touches on human nature, even though the story is about a dodo bird who thinks is a dodo bird but actually is a chicken since dodo birds are dead but deep down inside, its a dodo bird. Did I get you confuse? Maybe, but if you read it (in which I won't reveal much here), the metaphor is much deeper here. This is how Ben Loory found his mark as a writer. He writes what he wants to write. He writes about sad tales, love stories, science fiction with a touch of humor and even fantasy. He writes about animals that talks and do weird things. He writes about people that do weird things. In short - these are weird stories and its not a bad thing. It is his way that I love so much about it, that brings fresh new voices in the writing genre and I doubt there is anyone out there that really knows how to write a good modern day fable stories none other than him.

 

If not for a few stories which I do find it not to my liking, I would have given this a 5 rating but with 40 short stories in this book, 4 rating is what I would give plus I would recommend anyone who likes modern day fable tales or some thing that is weird.

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review 2017-09-28 23:01
Malay flavored YA
The Ghost Bride: A Novel - Yangsze Choo

Ghostly, entertaining jaunt. Foreign setting, lots of fantasy, family intrigues and romance. Teens and young adults would be a good audience for this one.

 

I liked it well enough, though I wanted to thump some sense into Li Lan several times. And she does the distressed damsel quite a bit. And some issues are managed in somewhat simplistic ways. But it was a speedy read, and I had a good time.

 

 

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review 2017-09-19 01:21
The devil asks you to sign
The Crucible - Arthur Miller,Christopher Bigsby

When ruling is based, and made stringent, on fear of an outside opponent, and someone has the brilliant idea of escalating yet to marking a personal opponent as an outsider, and it catches.

 

Might be easier to stomach going in without knowing how the episode goes and likely part of the reason that one was picked: no way really. Because no sucker-punch surprise horror can surpass the terror of inevitability, of seeing the evil the pettiness, the hysterical fanaticism and envy wreaths, knowing all the while the devastation it lead to.

 

I'm a bit discomfited by the part women play on this, saints or demons with little true humanity, but as a whole, a masterful depiction that ages all too well for my ease of mind.

 

Giles Corey, the contentious, canny old man, takes the badass-crown with his memetic "More weight". He knew what it was all about, and everyone could keep their saintliness debate to themselves. With Proctor the sinner and Hale the naive believer, they make a nice triad.

 

 

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