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text 2017-11-25 06:35
Wringo Ink. Short Story for the Genre Play: Poindexters & Pinkies



Originally published at midureads.wordpress.com on November 25, 2017.




Scene 1

The scene opens in a laboratory, showing two bearded octogenarians in lab coats. One bespectacled scientist is tipping a conical flask full of frothy vomit green liquid into a beaker. The other one is sitting across from him and observing with one eye closed to make up for his misplaced glasses. None of them is a redhead and there is a complete lack of annoying sisters clad in pink, pirouetting all over the lab.


“Easy on the Sibling Rivalry, Maaz. You know what happened the last time!” he says, checking if looking through a beaker would help him see better.


“Those tentacles…” Maaz says and both brothers shudder as they remember.


“Ugh never mind the tentacles. Do you remember that cleavage?” Shehzad opens his palms wide enough to hold a grapefruit in each hand.


“Thanks, bro”, Maaz puts down the flask and gives his brother a disgusted look. “I’d only just managed to get it out of my mind.”


Shehzad replaces the seeing beaker with a magnifying glass and retorts with, “It is a good thing that you don’t have a brain then. Ain’t it?”


Used to his brother’s insults, Maaz ignores and starts searching for something, “Whatever. Where did I put the syrup of Running Away From Your Responsibilities?


“Too long, bro. We agreed we’d call it RAFYR. It’s by that beaker. Just a squirt, mind you” Shehzad reminds his brother with one of his eyes comically enlarged behind the magnifying lens.


“Stop lecturing me, Shehzad. I know how much of what goes where” Maaz manages to grab the RAFYR after dropping a beaker or two in his pursuit.


“Fine. Fine.” Shehzad gets up and starts pacing while trying to remember, “What are we missing? Ah yes”, he says spotting an amber bottle full of viscous liquid, “a dollop of Exam Fear” he goes to stand next to his brother and adds the last ingredient, “and we’re back in business!”


Meanwhile, Maaz tallies the number of ingredients on his fingers twice until satisfied, “All right! I’ll whip it up nicely while you get in the chamber. Mind your beard.”


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review SPOILER ALERT! 2016-12-01 17:35
Eight Reasons Why You Should Not Read The Bonehunters by Steven Erikson
The Bonehunters - Steven Erikson







This is not a review. This is me gushing about the fact that The Bonehunters did not disappoint. However,  you should avoid reading this series, if you are not interested in the following:


It Has Dragons:


The book had two ghosts who haunted lizard skeletons, were compulsive liars, had a secret agenda, and were actually dragons! This is how they talk:


"Beauteous mistresses, curvaceous, languid, sultry, occasionally simpering..."



It Includes Practical Concerns:

An assassin who would be wearing concealed weapons on her person, 


"a score of aches from knife pommels and scabbards attested that they remained strapped about her person..."


 It Could Make you Think:


You'd be reading and suddenly, there'd be words that just make you stop and read them over and over again! 


"A single god, no matter how benign, is tortured into a multitude of masks, each shaped by the secret desires, hungers, fears, and joys of the individual mortal, who but plays a game of obsequious approbation."


It Rewards its Readers:


"And gods run when they see a Bridgeburner." 


If you have stuck with this series so far, then you will reap the rewards with one-liners and zingers like the one mentioned above. 


It is Unique:


This is a world where gods are as good as their worshipers. 


"Mess with mortals, Poliel." he said, wheeling his horse round, "and you pay."


Old deities fall and new ones ascend all the time. There are layers upon layers of complications that you won't even grasp at until much much later. This is why, the books can still manage to surprise and delight readers re-reading them for the 7th or 8th time! 


Oh, the Humor can Earn you Stares if Read in Public:


Part of it comes from insane situations. To be able to inject humor into situations that'd otherwise leave a reader weeping is one of Erikson's amazing qualities. You might think that a person about to die cracking a joke is unrealistic but this is military humor. As we follow soldiers who see things that would drive any other person insane, they use this kind of gallows humor to keep themselves functional. The other part comes out of love -- or hate -- for the characters.


"Saw your mouth moving -- some kind of spell or something? Didn't know you were a mage..." "I'm not. I was saying, "I hope this works".


It has Well-Written Female Characters:


Firstly, there are a lot of them. Just in this book, there was the Empress, her Adjunct, the Adjunct's lover, a drunk captain who was bad at her job when sobered up, the trouble-maker soldier who loved throwing knives at people, the deity who was going around possessing people, the assassin who murdered most of the empress' team of elite assassins by herself, and so on. They're just there...within the story, just as you would find them in real life.   


You Will Feel Pain:

Erikson can clue a reader into the significance of what is happening and how it is related to what has already happened with just one sentence. This one made me cry:


"You fight for the Wickans and for the Khundryl Burned Tears this night. We choose to witness."


  If you love epic fantasy, then the MBotF is one series that you just cannot miss!

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photo 2016-11-15 17:35



GR Synopsis


Andrew was one of Earth's first house robot domestic servants—smoothly designed and functional. But when Andrew started to develop special talents which exceeded the confines of his allotted positronic pathways, he abandoned his domestic duties in favour of more intellectual pursuits. As time passed, Andrew acquired knowledge, feelings and ambitions way beyond anything ever experienced by any other mechanical men. And he found himself launched on to a career which would bring him fame fortune—and danger. For a robot who wants to be human must also be prepared to die...
In the Bicentennial Man, Isaac Asimov returns to his first and most enduring love—robotics. The result is a brilliant book of first-class entertainment and mind-spinning ideas which confirm Asimov's supreme status as Grand Master of science fiction.

My Comments


I bought this anthology from Kitabain. It is an awesome place with books that you won't find in most bookstores. It is also my go-to bookstore for when I am looking for anthologies or when I need to shop for books because the craving kicks in.



The Library Languishers Series features a book that languishes in my physical library. The picture quality will always be sucky. Depend on it!


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review SPOILER ALERT! 2016-11-06 12:47
Much Fun Was Had at British Council’s #ShakespeareLives but My Heart was Won Over by Puck’s Farewell Speech!


So, I got to go British Council's event that was a part of their initiative known as Shakespeare Lives. From what I understood, Shakespeare Lives is based on an attempt to re-imagine the Bard's works for a modern audience. To that end, they chosen emerging artists from UK and had them reinterpret a play. What I found to be even more effective, than choosing people who the younger generation would identify with, was limiting each interpretation to under 4 minutes or so. After all, asking people to focus on most things for much longer than this is a bad idea these days.


Even though, I haven't read a lot of the plays, I enjoyed the evening.They started with a discussion on all things Shakespeare and it was entertaining to listen to. Before the event, while I had known that no manuscript written by the playwright himself had ever been found, I had never thought about its implications. An obvious effect would be that whoever compiled the plays for a particular version would undoubtedly leave their own  The triumvirate panel expounded upon how this meant that no two manuscripts would be completely identical. 


We were shown four clips of the re-imagined works during the session:



Clip 1:


Inspired by The Tempest, this clip focuses on there being quite a few missing mothers within Shakespeare's plays. The mother in this clip died before she could watch her daughter grow up.


Clip 2:


This clip is loosely based on the play, Hamlet. The events in this one were presented in a comical way with a bawdy joke slyly hinted at in the clip. Needless to say, I loved it!


Clip 3: 


Based on Julius Caesar, parts of this clip were shot in the Foreign office. There was a sense of urgency and premonition in it that reminded me of the movie, Equilibrium



Clip 4:


Anjana Vasan's original composition shown in this clip was inspired by As You Like It. Out of all the clips shown, this triptych was my favorite.


Rosemary Hill, one of the people on the panel mentioned that there were more such clips on British Council's website.


After a brief Q&A, the panelists gave way to actors who would be reciting parts of Shakespeare's plays but in Urdu! The entourage consisted of four students from NAPA and led by Khalid Ahmad. As soon as I saw him, I knew we were in for a treat. I was right! They kicked off the recital with the first scene of the first act from King Lear. I was amazed at how good they all were. But, the actor who played the role of the Lear's illegitimate child stole my heart with his foul-mouthed performance! The other performance was based on the opening act from A Midsummer Night's Dream , which was done well, too. 


The recital ended on Puck's monologue from the play presented by the same actor who had played Lear's bastard. His lively performance stole my heart once again!


Stanley Tucci's Puck from the movie adaptation



More information on Shakespeare Lives.

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text 2016-08-09 03:03
The Secret Life of a Book Blogger Challenge

Okay, so I wasn't tagged but I decided to join in on the fun anyway.


(Original Post) start with yourself, tag anyone else you'd like to join in.



The Secret Life of a Book Blogger Challenge




How long have you been a blogger?

I've been a blogger since I was fourteen years old.

At what point do you think you'll stop?

When I get tired of it.

What's the best thing?

Getting to know other people like myself and discovering all the books we love in common. 

What's the worst thing?  What do you do to make it ok?

The worst thing is discovering authors who discredit their reviewers. I don't think anything makes that okay but I continue writing reviews anyway.

How long does it take you to create/find pictures to use?

Sometimes minutes sometimes hours.

Who is your book crush?

I don't really have one. There are tons of male characters who have traits I absolutely love but as an individual I really couldn't say.

What author would you like to have on your blog?

Terry Spear, Joey Hill, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Kay Hooper, many more.

What do you wear when you write your blog posts?

Depends on when I write the review.

How long does it take you to prepare?

Minutes, days sometimes weeks.

How do you feel about the book blogger community/culture?

It has its good days and its bad days but I'm glad we have one.

What do you think one should do to get a successful blog?

Not worry about what others feel. Post what makes you happy. Don't let anyone tell you that you can't.

Tag Your It!



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