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review 2017-05-29 21:15
Upside Down
Upside Down: Inverted Tropes in Storytelling - John Hornor Jacobs,Maurice Broaddus,Rati Mehrotra,Nisi Shawl,Valya Dudycz Lupescu,Elsa Sjunneson-Henry,Michelle Muenzler,Michael R. Underwood,Jaym Gates,Monica Valentinelli

[I received a copy of this book through NetGalley.]

3.5/4 stars; I liked quite a few of these short stories, none of them made me roll my eyes, and to be fair, the essays at the end of the book were also quite interesting.

My favourites:

* “Single, Singularity”: While it doesn’t really invert the trope it’s based on, I’m a sucker for AI stories, and this one was both thrilling, and chilling in its ending.

* “Seeking Truth”: The ‘blind psychic’ trope, subverted in that here, the blind person is extremely skilled at reading other people, no need for special powers for that.

* “Can You Tell Me How to Get to Paprika Place?”: A mix of Sesame Stree-like TV shows and jaded ex-super soldiers trying to go home. Very nostalgic, perhaps a wee bit long, but a good read nonetheless.

* “Chosen”: A comic twist on ‘the Chosen’, with jabs at tropes like the gun-toting weapons maniac, the Buffy-like teenager fighting demons, and pedantic occultist scholar. This one was really fun.

* “The White Dragon”: A different take on the ‘yellow peril’, in a 1920s San Francisco (also, I liked revisiting that city in such a light, now that I’ve finally been able to actually travel there).

* “Her Curse, How Gently It Comes Undone”: The Witch and the Damsel In Distress, poised against each other, each with their wiles and strengths, and with the story playing on the trope of men rescuing the Damsel... only they’re not the right people to do the job.

* “Burning Bright”: I really liked the main character here, just the right mix of slightly hinged and yet fairly grounded at the same time.

* “Santa CIS (Episode 1: No Saint)”: This story plays well on both the Santa Claus/Christmas and ‘old soldier goes back to war’ tropes.

* “The First Blood of Poppy Dupree”: At first I thought this would be about werewolves, and it turned out it was something else, which I liked.

* “Until There is Only Hunger”: A strong story, with a definite end-of-the-world feeling, dwindling hope mixed with growing despair, and characters trying to find whatever comfort they can, although this rings more and more hollow. Bonus point for characters not being typical cis/hetero/white.

* “Drafty as a Chain Mail Bikini”: I suspected where this one was going, but I liked it, and it made me laugh.

* “The Tangled Web”: Love at first sight and romance woes... but not among humans, which lent a different dimension to this story.

The essays: definitely read those. They deal with the Hero’s Journey, its limitations, the Heroine’s Journey, its limitations as well, and push further, when it comes to trans and gay/lesbian heroes, which is really needed. Because let’s be honest: it’s already difficult to find a good story where a woman is not reduced to accomplishment = family/motherhood/taking care of others, but it’s even worse when you’re non-binary.

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quote 2016-06-21 13:00
“We are storytelling animals, and cannot bear to acknowledge the ordinariness of our daily lives.”

~ Stephen Jay Gould 

Source: bibliophileanon.tumblr.com/post/146234975032/we-are-storytelling-animals-and-cannot-bear-to
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review 2016-05-14 18:05
God against the gods: Storytelling, Imagination and Apologetics in the Bible by Brian Godawa
God Against the Gods: Storytelling, Imagination and Apologetics in the Bible - Brian Godawa

This book can be summed up best by the following passage from the book..."My approach in this book is to understand the Bible in its own ancient Near East context...", and he does that through several essays showing the differences between the God of the Bible and the gods of ancient, pagan societies, through the use of storytelling and imagery that God uses as an apologetic tool in the bible. The author uses this in his series of books, "The Chronicles of the Nephilim", which I also highly recommend!

Sound biblical teaching which may open up your eyes to a deeper understanding of God's word, and several passages that you may have always wondered about and wanted to research. This book ties in nicely with another book I have also started to read by Dr.Michael Heiser. It makes you want to study the bible even more to find the wonders of our awesome God.

I read this through once, but I plan to read it again, taking my time with it and digesting it properly and taking lots of notes!

Highly recommended for all Christians and especially for those that want to dig deeper in their bible studies!

*I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review. This is it.

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review 2016-04-26 19:56
Like nesting dolls but with stories
Arcadia: A novel - Iain Pears

Some books are so amazing that you feel like you're racing to the finish line because you just can't bear to wait one more moment to find out how it's going to end. Then there are others that must be savored. You need to take your time with these books. In fact, you might even set them to the side for days on end because you want to stretch out your time with the characters. Arcadia by Iain Pears is one of those books. It's truly a story within a story within a story within a story. (I hope I didn't leave any of them out.) It's about time, cause and effect, and above all storytelling. Henry Lytten is a professor, part-time member of the British Intelligence, a wannabe fantasy author, and the owner of a cantankerous fat cat named Mr. Jenkins. (That right there should be the tagline.) It's also about Anterwold and the student Jay who is just trying to understand where the Story began and how he fits into it. Not to mention John More and his quest to find a document buried for hundreds of years which may or may not hold great significance to the human race. Of course, it's also about Angela Meerson and her invention which is most certainly going to change the course of history the future all of time. Do you see what I mean about nesting dolls? In the same way that it's obvious how the nesting dolls have a relation to one another, Arcadia is laid out bit by bit so the reader can discover how each of these seemingly disparate stories and characters are related to one another in a seamless narrative that is mindboggling in its intricacies. What I'm trying to say is that this is a must read for 2016. GO, GO, GO!

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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video 2015-10-06 17:40

A Reading from THE EAGLE TREE, by Ned Hayes.


My new novel THE EAGLE TREE has just been accepted for the Kindle Scout "preview for publishers" website -- you can VOTE for this novel to receive a publishing contract. 

(if you're curious, here's how Kindle Scout works)


READING LIVE at the Rainier Writing Workshop, August 2015. 

Source: nednote.com/eagle-tree
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