Go go Gadget helicopter! Shaun, Paul, and Julia sacrifice our childhood’s to tackle the infamous 1999 adaptation of Inspector Gadget. Justin Landon makes a brief appearance, but manages to save himself from a full torture…
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Jeff Vandermeer has always been a frustrating author to me. He is an incredible anthologist and an adroit genre critic. I want to love his books. I should love his books. The New Weird movement got me into writing in the first place. But, for some reason, I’ve had a hard time getting into them.
Not so with Annihilation, and that’s a relief.
Annihilation is the story of “Area X,” an irrational, transitional landscape in the south. With shifting, horrible borders that must be passed through under hypnosis, it’s at once part of and separated from the mundane world. Inside Area X, monsters come in familiar forms, and nothing is what it seems. Expeditions have been going into Area X for a long time, with few survivors. The mysterious organization dubbed the “Southern Reach” controls Area X. They also condition and “prepare” each expedition, but there is so much unknown about Area X.
In a border kingdom of the Syldoon Empire, a long-range military unit has gotten itself too tangled with local politics for its own good. Its commander, Captain Killcoin, having lost one of the few people who can keep him all together with his dangerous mind-warping weapon Bloodsounder, is in a heap of trouble with higher ups in the Empire. Trouble enough that one of the most dangerous people in the Empire has been fetched to bring him home — his sister. The completion of Killcoin’s task and the journey home to the capital is not going to be a straight road by any means.
And chronicling, witnessing, watching this all, an unlikely protagonist — a scribe, with little military skill, who is only slowly shedding his callowness. He’s hired by the Syldoon for purposes only now becoming clear. Purposes that could shake an Empire. Arkamondos is in way, way over his head. Continue reading →
I want to expand on what I have written in my essay, “Languages, Dialects and Accents: Why Our Voices Matter.” Much has been said about the use of dialect in science fiction and the outcry that follows. I would like to see more of such discussions because we have been shying away from issues that really matter to us. Perhaps, it is the shift from white Anglo science fiction to a more international/world science fiction that has started the ball rolling. For a long time, the world has been white, male and painfully Anglo-centric, not to mention US-centric. Now we have new voices coming into the song, and some are naturally reacting rather angrily, I would say.
Why are we fixating on English – and for that matter, proper grammatical English English? Let’s not bring in the American versus British spelling argument. Let’s talk about English. Why do we insist SFF writers write in English? Probably because science fiction, at the moment, is dominated by the Americans and the British? Bear in mind that science fiction is also written in Mandarin Chinese, Finnish, Spanish, Portuguese, French and Bahasa. Why does English have so much hegemony in the SFF-sphere? Continue reading →