I give you the case of one Light Yagami. He lives in the Kanto region of Tokyo. His academic talent puts him in the top 1%, in his age group, for all of Japan. He has great prospects for University and careers. The problem is that he’s a young man; he’s bored; he feels contempt for his society and how it functions. Since his father is in the police, the underbelly of Japanese society is very obvious to him. He feels a great yearning to help his society, punish wrongdoers, but he feels helpless. He’s rebellious; his smarts make him arrogant; he’s searching for a cause and his place in the world, as all young men do.
Watch out, he’s going to get his wish.
This is what Viz says about Death Note, Volume 1:
Light Yagami is an ace student with great prospects – and he’s bored out of his mind. But all that changes when he finds the Death Note, a notebook dropped by a rogue Shinigami death god. Any human whose name is written in the notebook dies, and now Light has vowed to use the power of the Death Note to rid the world of evil. But when criminals begin dropping dead, the authorities send the legendary detective “L” to track down the killer. With “L” hot on his heels, will Light lose sight of his noble goal… or his life?
Light tests the boundaries of the Death Note’s powers as “L” and the police begin to close in. Luckily Light’s father is the head of the Japanese National Police Agency and leaves vital information about the case lying around the house. With access to his father’s files, Light can keep one step ahead of the authorities. But who is the strange man following him, and how can Light guard against enemies whose names he doesn’t know?
This is what I love about Star Wars. So much room for comedy. Visit the Dorkly channel on YouTube when you have a lot of time to kill ’cause you’re gonna need it.
The 2015 Hugo Awards have been announced at Worldcon 2015 – “Sasquan” The 73rd World Science Fiction Convention in Spokane, Washington. In the Best Novel category the winner is:
- The Three-Body Problem, Cixin Liu, Ken Liu translator (Tor Books)
- Ancillary Sword, Ann Leckie (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
- The Dark Between the Stars, Kevin J. Anderson (Tor)
- The Goblin Emperor, Katherine Addison (Tor)
- Skin Game, Jim Butcher (Roc)
Our congrats to Cixin Liu and all the finalists. You can see the complete list of winners in all categories over at Locus.
There were fewer winners this year than in past years because assholes but it was still a nice ceremony. Thanks to the organizers for making the live stream happen.
They’ve ramped up the adrenaline with this new trailer though I don’t really get why they would use All Along the Watchtower for the soundtrack. Seems out of place to me and a bit of a lazy choice. Still, it’s a good trailer. Fair warning: I’m going to post every new trailer for The Martian that 20th Century Fox cares to release.
This collection of stories has been my introduction to Nalo Hopkinson. I have read a few other stories in anthologies, but I’ve never settled down with one of her novels, although I have the best intentions of doing so.
Especially after having read Falling in Love with Hominids, which is a pleasure from beginning to end. All of what I have thought of as Hopkinson’s major themes are here: race, gender, feminism and the folklore of her Caribbean heritage. (Unless you are really up on your Caribbean folklore, expect to do some serious googling with a few of these stories. I learned the Jamaican slang term for off-brand sneakers among other things.)
Hopkinson writes a short introduction for each story. In one of these she remembers her response to a student worried about tactics for suspending the reader’s disbelief. Hopkinson’s advice was, “…never give them time to disbelieve.”
I think that must work, because looking over the notes I jotted down in an attempt to remember these eighteen stories, I find descriptions that sound much weirder than the stories as I experienced them.
Delicious Monster – son visits father now living with gay lover. Why is Vishnu to leave with Garuda during solar eclipse?
The Smile on the Face – St. Margaret of Antioch. Google her. Do kids still play post office?
Raggy Dog Shaggy Dog – ruthless orchid pollination
Message in a Bottle – kids with big heads travelers from our future. All species make art.
Emily Breakfast – lazy Saturday morning for gay couple. A stolen chicken. Cats can fly. Chickens breathe fire. Lizard messenger service.
Old Habits – why would one shopping mall have such a high mortality rate?
Hopkinson has contributed to the Bordertown Project, a shared world anthology begun by Terry Windling. Bordertown exists on the edge where the mundane world meets the world of magic. That actually sounds terrible to me, but “Ours is the Prettiest,” Hopkins contribution included here, navigates the terrain with grace and humor. And her description of how her protagonist made the transition to Bordertown could describe the process she puts her readers through in her own ficition.
The Change happened slowly… At some point it crossed my mind that the flashily overlit Honest Ed’s Discount Emporium seemed to have seamlessly metamorphosed into a store called Snappin’ Wizard’s Surplus and Salvage… but they were always bulldozing the old to replace it with something else… By the time I had to accept that I was no longer in Toronto and those weren’t just tall, skinny white people with dye jobs and contact lenses, it didn’t seem so remarkable. People changed and grew apart. As you aged, your body altered and became a stranger to you, and one day you woke up and realized that you were in a different country. It was just life. I hadn’t needed to travel to the Border; it’d come to me.
Hopkinson brings the border to us.
The Legend Award for Best Fantasy Novel:
- Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson (Tor; Gollancz)
- Half a King by Joe Abercrombie (Del Rey; Voyager UK)
- Valour by John Gwynne (Tor UK)
- Prince of Fools by Mark Lawrence (Ace; Harper Voyager)
- The Broken Eye by Brent Weeks (Orbit)
The Morningstar Award for Best Fantasy Newcomer:
- The Emperor’s Blades, Brian Staveley (Tor)
- Traitor’s Blade, Sebastien De Cassel (Jo Fletcher; Quercus)
- The Mirror Empire, Kameron Hurley (Angry Robot)
- The Godless, Ben Peek (St. Martin’s; Tor UK)
- Age of Iron, Angus Watson (Orbit)
We just added a new show to our list of 58 genre fiction podcasts. The Tao of Otaku (the way of the geek) podcast is a brand new podcast with only a couple episodes but you can already tell it’s going to be a good one. The show features Ziki, Obito, Demi and Tolu, 4 school friends from Nigeria now living in different countries who get together over Skype every week to talk about all things geek culture from an Afro-Caribbean perspective.
The first episode features a discussion of the Afro Super Hero focusing on Black Panther and touching on many stories and legends that may not be familiar to most westerners along with others that are very familiar like Tolkien’s Silmarilion. Episode 2 includes and interesting conversation about genre conventions in Africa like Lagos Comic Con, rAge Johannesburg 2015, and WAGE 2015. The guys also touch on African artist Siku as well as Anansi Boys and Judge Dredd.
Episode 3 has just posted so go and check out The Tao of Otaku!