Sunday, October 14, 2007

Here's some thingies

Finished reading Isaac Asimov's The Gods Themselves. This is now the fifth Hugo-winning novel I've read and, well, I liked it so-so. The book is divided into three sections, and each reads like a standalone novelette. This probably because each was published as a single story before being compiled into a novel.

Regardless, the plot deals with a race of aliens living in a parallel universe, or para-Universe as Asimov calls it, that plan to turn Earth's sun into a supernova, reaping energy from it once it's been destroyed. Section one is about scientists and their slow discovery of the para-Universe and the endless source of energy dubbed the Electron Pump. Kind of boring, and only made interesting because Asmiov choose to start things off further ahead than necessary.

The second section shows us the alien race; a fascinating culture, built on triads and the obsession for melting, we follow a trio of three immature aliens. One is a Rational, one is a Parental, and one, Tritt, is an Emotional. She's different than other "mids" in that she wants to learn, a desire only found in Rationals. This is where The Gods Themselves shine, here with the aliens, where Asimov fully explores a civilization where gender roles are tossed to the wayside (much like Le Guin does in The Left Hand of Darkness). Amazing stuff, and the surprise revelation at the end of what the triad really is--or rather who--caught me by complete surprise. I can see myself going back and re-reading this section alone: it's that good.

The final section has us on the Moon, where a purely functional society of Lunarites live. A somewhat cynical physicist named Denison has come to the moon to put into effect a theory he has that will both stop the sun from exploding while helping humanity even greater. He meets Selene, a woman born on the Moon, a native so-to-speak, and together they work toward a common goal. Some of this section was pretty interesting; mainly common stuff, like how a human from Earth would adjust to living on the Moon much differently than someone born there. The ending, while complete and fulfilling, felt a bit out of left field. As with anything that deals with para-worlds or time-traveling, some of it had me scratching my head, but otherwise it was a decent read. The aliens make it worth it for me.


I watched Saw III the other night. Eh. More "games" were played, this time with no hope for redemption. People talk about films like Hostel being goreporn, but no one dares say a word against this franchise. Sure, the first one was pretty original when it came out, but now I have to wonder what's happened to the magic. Is the purpose just to torture folks? I see there's a fourth one coming out. Spoiler alert! Spoiler alert! Jigsaw is dead. Gee, I wonder if it'll be a Jigsaw wannabe and that there will be more bloody games to play and that no one will really learn anything throughout the experience but limbs will be lost and guns will be shot and the average consumer will feel cheap, dirty, and dumb. I will not watch Saw IV. Ever.


Two rejections this weekend. One called my story "charming," which is a new one for me.


And yes, I picked up The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass. It's quite fun, and makes me want to break out my SNES and ol' Link to the Past cartridge. The graphics are solid, but it's the gameplay that's damn addicting. Hack and slash and cuttin' grass! Bring on the rupees, baby. The sailing though is going to get tiresome, I predict.

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