Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Last Airbender: Prince Zuko

Last week I said that I would talk more about Avatar: The Last Airbender, and I intend to stand by my word. I did get around to finishing off the series earlier this week, so now I have some words to offer up about it. However, instead of laying everything out right now, perhaps I will give one character at a time. I have a busy schedule, and this way I have something to write up each week without having to read/watch so much.

Prince Zuko, the son of the Fire Lord, is probably my favorite character. The inner conflict that he wrestles with intrigues me. In the beginning of the series, he is so caught up with regaining his honor and impressing his father that he doesn't even see the destruction and mayhem that he causes. However, by the middle of the second season, he starts to see that he is making a mess, and by the beginning of the third begins to hold himself accountable and prepares himself to clean up after himself. In my book, Prince Zuko is the real hero for the complete turnaround he makes. I didn't see it as much in any of the other characters than I did in him.

Eyes, Takes, and Scientists

Hey all! I know, it's not Friday today, but I missed posting this yesterday. I still want to keep the goal of posting twice a week, but now I'm wrestling with this new schedule and I'm losing track of which day is which. I plan on getting on top of that soon and figuring out ways of getting around my schedule and finding the little areas in there where I have some free/downtime and getting in more reading and writing. Everything is just a little hectic now, but I know I will find a way.

Now for this week's stories. The first story, Jonas David's "Those Eyes," comes to us from Ray Gun Revival. The other more recent story is Alex Shvartsman's "The Take" from Daily Science Fiction. The classic story comes to us from the beginning of the Great Depression. It's Desmond Winter Hall's "A Scientist Rises." They are all fun stories and pretty quick reads. I don't think that there is any reason why you shouldn't read any of these.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Avatar: The Last Airbender (Pt. 1)

Hey all. Looks like I might have to start posting this one earlier in the day. I don't exactly have too much time after getting home to write this up and post it to the blog.

Anyways, I've been watching quite a bit of Avatar: The Last Airbender lately. This is my second time going through the entire show, and third time for many of the episodes. I'm so glad that my nerdy friends got me into this back in college. Thank you, nerdy friends! I'm sure you all know who you are.

Today I just finished the first season and started watching the second season. By next week, I'm planning on finishing it up with the entire show. However, if I will in fact stick with that plan has yet to be determined.

I don't know why, but my favorite character in Avatar is not any of the protagonists. No, my favorite has got to be Prince Zuko, son of the Fire Lord. In the beginning, he sort of has this defiant personality, but as the show progresses, we, the viewers, begin to see what has happened to him that he acts in that manner. And also, near the middle of season one and onwards into season two and definitely in season three, we start to see a new Zuko. One who is not bent on capturing the Avatar, but rather on restoring balance to the world.

Actually, since I will be finishing up with the show next week, why not come back here and check out what I have to say about it then?

Friday, March 16, 2012

Guns, Alarms, and Embraces

Welcome back! If you're here for another set of short stories, than you're in luck. I have the (now habitual) three stories. And again, you know the drill: two of them are newer and one is old. The two new stories are S. L. Gilbow's "Alarms" and Nick Tramdack's "Cold Embrace." The older is out of the genre(s) I've been looking into which is probably a really good thing. That story is "Gun Crazy" by MacKinlay Kantor. So, with no further ado, I offer you those stories.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

I've Been Slacking a Little Lately

Hey all. I guess I don't have a whole lot to report back to you for this last week. Instead, I sort of have an announcement for you, the readers.

If you have come here regularly, you may have noticed that I've been kind of slacking off these last couple of weeks in terms of reading (and even this week in terms of watching movies). That is because I've been transitioning from one schedule to another, and I haven't had a lot of time in between to do all that I have wanted to do. And it will probably take another couple of weeks to get fully settled into this new schedule.

However, like I have said before, I will try my hardest to keep my promises. I mean, this is the second post for the week, after all. I've kept my goals thus far, or so it would seem. Now all I need to do is catch up on some more of that reading and I will be doing just fine. Well, that and some writing (which I really have been slacking on). Anyways, I should have something for next week as well, so be sure to come back for a quick visit.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Postmen, Spies, and Chinese Medicine

Greetings again. I hope all of you have had a nice time since the last we met. I have had quite a busy week and haven't had much time to do the things I want to do. However, who really does?

Anyways, it's Friday, and that means I have another three stories for you. Like it has been lately, two of the stories that I have for you this week are newer while the other is quite aged. The newer stories are Ken Liu's "The Five Elements of the Heart Mind" and Margaret Ronald's "Sunlight Society." The older story this week is Robert Silverberg's "Postmark Ganymede."

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Hunters, Dragons, and Pride

Hey, I'm back for today although I nearly forgot all about the promise I made yesterday. But don't fret. Here I am, and I have some fun stories for you today. All of the stories I have to offer you now were published in Ray Gun Revival in the last month or so. Those stories are Evan Dicken's What Price for Pride?, Tim Sevenhuysen's We Dragons, and Mark Bilsborough's Hunter. Be sure to check them out. All of them are pretty short stories and rather fun and interesting.

What Price for Pride? by Evan Dicken

What happens in the future after we have met alien races? Well, there is no doubt that we will probably fight with them. However, some may have better technology than us and not be as merciful as we may be. This story begins with a supreme chancellor requesting help from one of the most ancient alien races they have encountered in battle against another race. However, nothing he presents seems to impress the representative. He ends up battling with a question poised to him by a friend: is the human race really all that exceptional? Are we really that grand in the scheme of things?

I don't plan on giving away the answer here. Dicken offers an interesting insight. Be sure to read it and ponder over the question yourself for a little while.

We Dragons by Tim Sevenhuysen

We haven't done this yet, but I have a feeling that it will inevitably happen in our future. You're probably wondering what I'm talking about. What is it then? Exploring new worlds. Yes, we've sent probes to Mars, but it just isn't really exploring in my book until you've actually sent someone there. In this story, two men have set out to explore a new world with oxygen levels just under that of Earth. They end up finding sentient life. However, they somehow anger the planet's inhabitants and have to flee for their lives.

Again, I don't want to ruin the whole premise for you, so I'll try to leave this a little vague so you are forced to go and read this story.

Hunter by Mark Bilsborough

Our last story here feels kind of like a noir classic, starring a morally ambiguous protagonist who, along with his armed to the teeth partner, chase down a drug lord. There isn't too much else to say about this one. It was a pretty fun read over all though. Go and check it out.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Let 'Em Breathe the Hollow Space Inside the Cult of Egil

Hello all of you again! It's another Friday, and that means that I have another three stories for you. I know I originally only thought I would be doing two a week, but it looks like three has now become the norm. It's also become a habit. And one I can live with for that.

Just a little heads up for tomorrow. I know that I've been talking a lot about movies lately and kind of slacking on the reading I was trying to hold myself to, but tomorrow I want to get back to literature. I haven't been able to finish a whole book this week (been kind of busy lately), however, I will try to throw in a couple more short stories, and I'll make them fun-loving, gun-toting, adventure-seeking weekend stories that will make you want to turn off the TV, pop up a bag of popcorn, and take a rest in the laziest chair in your house. Well, maybe they won't be amazing to those standards, though they will be fun, so be sure to come back sometime and check it out.

Anyways, returning to the point of this post, the stories are "And the Hollow Space Inside" by Mari Ness, "Harry and Marlowe and the Talisman of the Cult of Egil" by Carrie Vaugn, and "Let 'Em Breathe Space" by Lester Del Rey.