Review: Summer Wars (anime)

I’ll probably have to class this as a near-future SciFi film, although the focus is on the importance of family.

Summer Wars (2009) tells the story of Kenji Koiso, a math prodigy and junior at Kuonji High School. He is invited to the country for four days by a senior, Natsuki Shinohara, to celebrate her great-grandmother’s 90th birthday.

It is not until he is introduced that he finds out he is supposed to be Natsuki’s fiancé. At first he is unwilling, but Natsuki convinces him it is only for four days. That first night, Kenji receives an email with an … more

Review: Clannad (anime)

I’ve just finished watching this anime series comprising 23 episodes and an OVA. The OVA is an alternative ending to the series.

Overall, I enjoyed it, although I felt there were a couple of problems, which I will go into later. There will probably be some spoilers at that time, but I will warn you before starting.

This would be what’s classified as a Slice of Life series. It isn’t my usual cup of tea, as I generally prefer speculative over realistic story lines. Now for those of you who have already seen this and are about to take me … more

Anime and Me

Recently I’ve been watching a lot of anime. There is quite a lot of anime out there, not all of it available in the U.S., so my sample size is quite small. My first exposure to anime was when a friend introduced me to Oh My Goddess. This was a five-episode OVA, originally released in 1993 on VHS tapes using the characters and situations of the AA! Megami-sama (Ah! My Goddess) manga.

It is a sweet, romantic comedy about the Goddess Belldandy who comes to grant a wish to a luckless college student. I love this and I re-watch it on a semi-regular basis. It doesn’t … more

Why do I write?

They say that dreams are the sleeping mind’s way to integrate the events of the day, I wonder if stories are the waking mind’s way to integrate the events of dreams? Even dreams you can’t remember.

Perhaps stories are like waking dreams. Dreams you can direct and control.

So you dream to make sense of the day’s events, and you write to make sense of the dreams. Occasionally the events of the dream, but more likely the feel of the dream.

A vicious cycle. Well, maybe not vicious, but a cycle anyway.

Review: The Incrementalists

Read date: 11 January 2014

The Incrementalists by Steven Brust and Skyler White

This book is very different in setting than anything else I’ve read of Mr. Brust. Set in modern day Las Vegas, Nevada, it tells the story of Renee, the newest recruit to a world-spanning secret society, and Phil, one of the longest-lived members, who is her sponsor and trainer.

The goal of the Incrementalists is to make the world better, a little bit at a time. They do this by ‘nudging’ people who are at a pivot point in their lives.

Renee is the replacement for Celeste, who recently died, but … more

23 in ’13 final

John Anealio issued a challenge in January of 2013: do 23 creative ‘things’ in 2013. John was very flexible about what ‘counts’ to meet the challenge (read his post for details). This is the announcement of my totals.

Excluding this post, I have created 44 new pieces, comprised of 18 short stories and 27 other blog posts; a combination of reviews and various ramblings. However, 8 of the 45 were partial works. Chuck Wendig (you are reading, his blog, right?) issues a flash fiction challenge every Friday. The latest one was a five-parter.

Chuck’s five-part … more

Fiction: Stewart (part 5 of 5)

Chuck Wendig’s Latest Flash Fiction Challenge. Part five of Meagan Wilson’s story of demon summoning. I think someone titled it “Stewart”, possibly in one of the other threads. I’m kept that here just for the sake of convenience. Total word count: 979

Part 1: Meagan Wilson

“Yes, this penthouse view is quite breathtaking,” I turned to the luscious blonde before me, “but not nearly as lovely as—”

A thunder clap, and then I was standing in a small, glowing circle, surrounded by a gaggle of chanting fools in robes.

“Oh great Sorasel im Palat, lord of fire and … more

Pushing the Envelope; or a technological idiocy

I’ve been using my new iPhone 5s for a few weeks now. This isn’t a full review of the device.

I was chatting with a colleague yesterday about this phone and the subject of the Touch ID feature came up. For those who don’t know, Touch ID is Apple’s version of a fingerprint reader, integrated in this model. Kurt asked it you could use your nose to unlock the phone.

*ping* a light went on.

So I tried it. I set a new fingerprint scan and used my nose to create it. And guess what…it works. After a fashion. I … more

Fiction: Untitled (part 4 of 5) – galactic mercs

Chuck Wendig’s Latest Flash Fiction Challenge. Part four of the untitled story about galactic mercs, started by Fatma Alici

I’ve continued the back-and-forth POV.

Part one by Fatma Alici

Another shot glass slammed down as Toops flashed her big, black eyes at me. “Are you going to black out.” Her tone as dry as the desert planet we had left.

“I never black out. “ I grinned motioning for another shot. “I’m only resting my eyes.”

Toops rolled her eyes and crossed her arms. “Yeah, I believe you, Lancer. I really do.” Her scarred fingers pushed her still … more

Fiction: Jersey City of the Dead (Part 4 of 5)

Chuck Wendig’s Latest Flash Fiction Challenge. Part four of Michael D. Woods’ untitled story, later titled Jersey City of the Dead.

Part One by Michael D. Woods

“Casey’s Jersey City crew got careless,” Says Bossman. “Zombies flooded three sites. Two held them back but we blew the third. Horde made it up four flights and we couldn’t risk it. All told, probably lost fifty people.”

Bossman looks at me, gin blossoms reddening. The skin around his eyes draws tight, his hands, resting on the desk between us, clench, unclench. “Go find Casey. You ask him how he … more