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10 posts from July 2007

July 28, 2007

Still Galleon Trade

Hey all, still in Manila. Still posting on atlas(t): The Galleon Trade Edition.

Come on over!

July 26, 2007

Carl Brandon Society Awards Nominations Close Soon!

I've been sadly remiss in announcing this:

The Carl Brandon Society is accepting nominations for its Kindred and Parallax awards until July 31. You have four days, people! Get on it!

The Carl Brandon Parallax Award is given to works of speculative fiction created by a person of color. Nominees must provide a brief statement self-identifying as a person of color; creators unwilling to do so will not be considered for this award. This Award includes a $1000 cash prize.

The Carl Brandon Kindred Award is given to any work of speculative fiction dealing with issues of race and ethnicity; nominees may be of any racial or ethnic group. This Award includes a $1000 cash prize.

Here's a link to the awards page.

Got Jesus?

Warning: HARRY POTTAGE SPOILERISH!

OMFG, when did Harry Potter turn into Jesus Christ? Or Aslan?

I haven't read any other reviews or responses to the last book yet, so I don't know what others are saying about it, but ... hello! He dies to disarm evil and then comes back to life? WTF?

I'm both thrilled and disappointed by the book. Most of it was the wild ride I expect from a Harry Potter book, with the requisite tantrum from Ron, and everybody doubting Harry again (that got old with the fourth book). And the final showdown was surprisingly satisfying while I was experiencing it (more on that in a sec), but the second Voldemort's dead body hit the pavement, some stupid Hollywood ending took over.

There wasn't a moment's silence at Voldemort's death, no shellshock, no disturbance. Just everybody immediately cheering and raising a ruckus. How stupid. I was cheated of my moment of shock.

And then, almost immediately, I realized several things:


  1. The ending felt satisfying b/c it was the Christ story all over again and I knew what to expect. Harry even gets his quiet moment walking through the garden of Gethsemane with his favorite disciples--only in this case, his disciples are also his parental figures, b/c this is a YA Christ story. He has to choose to accept his death, and walk into it willingly and without fighting. And, of course, his death destroys the power of evil. And, of course, he comes back.

  2. Rowling may have been drawing more from Narnia than from the Bible.

  3. The stupid ending and the epilogue were NOT satisfying b/c Christ only RISES from the dead, he doesn't really come back--a point the book itself makes when talking about the resurrection stone and how it works,or doesn't work. To really fulfill the archetype Rowling drew on for this story line, Harry would have had to "move on" in some way--to die in such a way that he proves he's conquered death. Like Christ. Or Aslan. Or ... Frodo Baggins.

  4. Come to think of it, Rowling may have been drawing more on LOTR than anything else.

July 23, 2007

Reading Update

Don't have time to talk about it--maybe later--but just finished Michael Chabon's The Yiddish Policemen's Union. Dumb title, good book.

In fact, it's exactly what I would want to read: a literary genre-melded, ethnic novel. Awesome.

July 22, 2007

On Galleon Trade

Hey everybody!

I'm writing this from a beautiful, mahogany-floored, art deco apartment with a view of Manila Bay. Yes! I'm in Manila!

I'm here for two weeks on the first leg of the 2-3-year Galleon Trade international artists exchange. Conceived and organized by the Bay Area's own Jennifer Wofford, the project is an exchange of artists and artwork organized into three series of exhibitions: the first in Manila, right now; the second in the Bay Area in 2008, and the third, close behind that, in Mexico.

Those of you paying attention will notice that the exhibitions follow (roughly) the route of the old Spanish Manila galleon trade between Manila and Acapulco. That's da theme.

I, of course, have lots more to say about all of this, but I'm going to say it in a new blog. Yes, that's right, folks! I've started a blog specifically for this project, upon which all the project-related musings 'n' stuff will be posted.

Because the thematic is so close--or belongs so well--to the topic area of my mapping and taxonomy blog, atlast(t), the new galleon trade blog is a child of atlast(t) called atlast(t): The Galleon Trade Edition.

Check it out. I'll be blogging there for the next two weeks. See ya on the flip side, so to speak!

July 14, 2007

Transformers

Was absolutely brilliant. How genius was it of them to mirror the back-and-forth transformation of cars and trucks into robots with the back-and-forth transformation of the movie from a whorish product-placement vehicle to a snarky Gen-Y fanboy tantrum about privilege and parents?

Seriously, some people might call it a racist, sexist, asshole-scouring, cow-pie of a mess, with too many characters, excessive plot pointlesses, and a fragmented half-hour-long commercial for the privatized armed forces. Some people might wonder if even kids these days, with their WoW-trained eyes, could track the triple-speed action sequences, which would have obviated the necessity of repeating the same silly action moves ad nauseum if they had just been slowed down enough to fill up a scene.

But not me.

A New Thing

New to me, anyway. My predatory women story is making the rounds right now and I have gotten back two letters now that are form letters, but, unlike the usual form rejections, specifically say "We're not taking this piece but we admire your writing and want you to submit again soon."

That's never happened before. In the past, I've either gotten the usual rejection, or a form rejection with the encouraging note hand written in by an editor.

Is this a new thing? Keep two form letters: the usual one and the encouraging one?

I'm not complaining, by the way, although I do prefer the handwritten encouragement. Surely they're not getting so many to-be-encouraged submissions nowadays they can't possibly handwrite "We liked it! Submit again!" on all of them ... ?

Not sure how I feel about that possibility. On the one hand, I suppose it's a good thing that there might be so many good writers out there these days. On the other, I don't want that much competition. And on the third hand, I can't get over the cranky suspicion that it wouldn't be so much that they are good writers as that they are competent writers, according to the standards of the MFA program, and as such, can't be ignore the way incompetent or outright genre writing can be.

July 12, 2007

Dexter on iTunes!

Yay!

iTunes finally has Dexter!

Plus, this is my 300th post.

July 04, 2007

All I Have To Say

about Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer is that you have to get up pretty early in the morning to make Jessica Alba look that bad.

And also to fuck up pretty much every filmmaking choice you get. Every one. That takes talent.

July 03, 2007

Reading Update

Laurie Marks Water Logic

The SeeLight Scale

Crap
Legible
Readable
Not Bad
*Recommended*
Highly Recommended
Do Not Go Another Day Without

This is the third Elemental Logic book and the book bucked up a bit from the second one in terms of stakes and danger and tension. But the plot was, if possible, even poorer than that in the second book. No matter, really. I love this world and will read the fourth book as well.

Walter Mosley 47

The SeeLight Scale

Crap
Legible
Readable
Not Bad
*Recommended*
Highly Recommended
Do Not Go Another Day Without

This won the Carl Brandon Society's Parallax Award last year. It's pretty good, but the language is stilted (rather than old-fashioned) and it felt very golden-age-of-sci-fi, with it's cutesy-amazing aliens and silly-scary villain. Maybe this will really appeal to younger folks, but I'm used to naturalistic fabulism and tend to think that Today's Teens would respond better to that.

I also find the contrast between the classic sci fi and the naturalistic slave narrative to be unsuccessful. It could have been amazing, or it could have read like Slaughterhouse Five, where you're never really sure if the protag is crazy or not. But it wasn't either one.

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