Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Witches Don’t Die…, They Multiply

Three witches enter the basement
Immediately whispering spells and incantations
Ghosts appear, dancing and howling
Until towns-folk storm the building
Burned, screaming their last words

Despite it being Halloween, can humans every really and truly escape the allure of the dark and mysterious people known as witches. Even the world number one bestselling book, the Holy Bible mentions their names:

Exodus 22:18 “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.”
Leviticus 20:27 “A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be upon them.”

Despite what was written in the good book however, in the early 400’s, Saint Augustine argued that witch craft is impossible. He stated that it was the error of pagans to believe some other divine power than God. For a while, that held true and people thought to be witches were ignored, for the most part. That did not last forever because we are all aware of the witch persecutions throughout Europe. We also know that in order to obtain confessions from supposed witches, brutal torture techniques were used. As the enlightenment age approached and reason reigned supreme, humans realized that confessions obtained through torture were unreliable. I think we all realize that if you are in pain you will probably admit to anything to make it stop.

Even with this colorful path for witches, we still today idolize them on the big screen and in fiction novels. I guess that the unknown will always capture the imagination. Weird and isolated people usually draw side long glances with people wondering ‘what is wrong with that person’ or ‘does that person have some special power’. Me personally, I think the latter is what it all boils down to, everyone wants to be special. If casting imaginary spells and riding on broom sticks is your thing then by all means, do you. From firsthand experience I can tell you that being different is not a bad thing, isolation is not a bad thing, being misunderstood is a bad thing. People consider me a little weird and possibly a bit mad. Who knows, perhaps I am raving mad. I would be lying if I did not inform everyone that Shakespeare inspired the 5x5 short story above. Therefore, in the words of the timeless Shakespeare and his immortal play Macbeth:

“ALL: Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.”

Happy Halloween everyone, be safe and have fun.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Cost of Day Dreaming

I usually don’t watch television, but when I do, I like to watch either the news or some other type of informative program like the ones on Science chancel, Discovery, or History. Although I do not have a degree in science or physics, I do consider myself a space geek, among other things - like tech, and comics. I have always found a fascination with space however.

Late at night, staring up at the twinkling balls of gas and energy that are thousands of light years away really makes you wonder about your place in the universe. Sure I can create a blog and write a book, but is there any guarantee that any of those things will stand the test of time. When you look at where humanity has come from and still how far we have to go, I am not sure how to the answer that question.

I envision humans one day landing on asteroids and mining them for their precious minerals, and since these items will no longer be such a scarce resource once humans conquer the void of space, hopefully the cost associated with them will decrease and humans will have the resources available to colonize other worlds like Mars in the short term. In the long term I see humans spread out onto colonies similar to that of Star Wars movies or the video game Mass Effect.

With that being said, in the grand scheme of things, how much is a science fiction book really worth?

Friday, October 12, 2012

Heaven's Fate Brief Book Review

Let's Read It: "Heaven's Fate"

"Scheming Empress, Legendary Swords, A prince, sounds like an epic adventure..." 

Teaser: Protagonist, Thame Elliot is an expert in a magic based martial art called “Rietsu”.  He is on a journey to avenge the untimely death of his father and rebuild a mystical sword, known as the “Sword of Tundra”. He is constantly troubled by the meddlesome ways of his aunt, Empress Autumn, whose grand design will place their nation on the path to a devastating war. Thame will have to resist the manipulative ways of both his aunt and his spiritual guide, who habitually impedes his pathway to the greater good. Faced with the ever constant quandaries and the looming threat of his spiritual twin, bent on his assassination, will young Thame become the hero he is meant to be?

Did I like it? : It has a wide array of characters, with decent pacing and doesn't tend to drag between plot points. The novel has a complete concept and encompasses the proper scale of a fantasy world. The story is meant to be grand and that is exactly how it feels. The dialogue between characters is generally engaging and adds to the development of the plot.

This book has a lot of merits however at times the author’s  writing style tends to make the story feel disjointed and leads exponential detail that is not always necessary. Though the story is based in a fantasy world, the use of modern terms can sometimes be slightly confusing. Some of the terminology makes the fantasy too ambiguous to place.

  However, as an introduction to the fantasy genre I think readers would enjoy this book. For readers that aren’t regulars of the genre, fantasy worlds can seem cumbersome and over bearing.  What I liked best about this book is that it was enjoyable for me to read as a non fantasy aficionado ( I do dabble in it though).  It is an epic classic type grand story. Overall I liked this book, and with a little polish, I think this author can be a real contender in the fantasy genre.

Caveats:  None

Who’s It For:

  • ·         New fantasy readers
  • ·         Casual readers
  • ·         All ages
  • ·         Heavy fantasy readers

Overall Rating: 3.5/5