Staying at home is the norm... What are you reading?

Hawki

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Read some stuff:

-Doctor Who: The Shining Man (4/5)

-Shroud of the Avatar: The Sword of Midras (4/5)

-Three Doors: The Third Door (3/5)
 

Specter Von Baren

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Rereading an old favorite of mine, Friends

And since I realize most of you will cringe over this, I'll put a spoiler here.

Ok, so some of you are probably aware of the manga Love Hina. One of the first manga to make it over to us here in the English speaking countries and one of the most archtypical "harem" manga.
Anyway, one of the great things about fanfiction is the ability to explore alternate possibilities in stories. In this one, a few things on the chessboard are moved around and cause things to take a different turn. The pairing is MitsuneXKeitaro, a very interesting pairing given how low on the totem pole it is compared to the others in the series. So the major what ifs, what if Mitsune dropped her playful and teasing side and just tried to give Keitaro advice? What if Keitaro avoided Naru for a while after one of her usual punches into orbit? This leads to a series of events, Keitaro giving up on Tokyo U to try pursuing less lofty but not less important goals. Naru becoming isolated from everyone. Mitsune, Motoko, and Shinobu deciding to stop holding back for the sake of Naru and openly pursuing Keitaro.

That last one has interesting effects, Shinobu has a bit of a "I'm fed up with this" moment, both with being taken advantage of and being treated like a child and decides to play dirty for once in her life in trying to gain Keitaro's affection, Motoko opens herself up to be honest with her feelings and goes out on very normal and very nice dates, Mitsune attempts to just try to make Keitaro think about himself for a change rather than the girls but eventually she too decides to throw her hat in the ring after getting fed up with how people treat her and view her. At a certain point it seems that Motoko is clearly "winning" in guiding Keitaro's affection towards her but Mitsune is Kitsune for a reason, and she has one dirty trick up her sleeve that she knows Motoko doesn't have, and one she pulls that card, she "wins" the race and her and Keitaro are officially going steady.

But it also leads to spicy angsty moments; Motoko gets red in her eyes and when she gets her first opportunity to be alone with Mitsune, she goes after her with the intent to fucking beat her to within an inch of her life because she doesn't respect her and she hates her for what she pulled but she only manages to get off one punch to the gut before she has an inner break down over how fucked up the situation is and what she had been about to do.

There's also a sweet moment between Keitaro and Shinobu, where Shinobu was also feeling angry and petty, both with Mitsune and Keitaro and thinks she's tricked him into not being able to go to an important interview by scheduling a date with him at the time of it and hiding the letter sent for him. But Keitaro had received a follow up phone call for the meeting but decided to skip it anyway, despite knowing what Shinobu had done, because he thought doing so would make her happier than if he just went anyway. The scene is punctuated by how Shinobu has been wanting to be treated like an adult during the story but once she gets her date, she finds that she still has a lot of "childish" tastes and feels like a fish out of water with the date feeling more like a big brother treating his little sister to her.

Then there's Naru. Oh, poor Naru. Love Hina is an interesting case study into how fans eventually react when a gag has gone too long and too far. Naru, with her constant inability to be honest with her feelings, overreaction to things, and her constant punching of Keitaro into space, is viewed by a lot of the fandom as being kind of like an abusive spouse to Keitaro, always hurting him and hitting him but always making up with him in a "baby I'm sorry" way that doesn't ever stick. There's a lot of stories that go in with the premise of "what if Keitaro ACTUALLY got really badly hurt by one of these attacks on him?" it shows just how much the gag ended up warping the meta perspective of Naru's character even when fans know it's just meant to be a gag. At any rate, the story is called Friends for a reason; one of the underlying currents of the narrative is the friendship of all the characters and how their actions threatened to break apart the friendships of the various characters, the biggest one being that between Naru and Mitsune. Both in the story of Love Hina and word of god show/say that the reason Mitsune never seriously tries for Keitaro's affection is because Naru is her best friend and she doesn't want to mess with a guy she's interested in. Near the end of the story Naru just leaves Hinata House, doesn't say where she's going or leave contact information. She's been broken down by losing all the safety nets around her relationship with Keitaro, the dream she's pursued for so many years, and freezing of her friendship with everyone, most importantly with Mitsune. But after a timeskip we have a wedding between Keitaro and Mitsune, but the big element of this final chapter is Naru showing up to see the wedding and Mitsune running after her and making up with her, because they're still friends. This is one of the few stories I've read that takes the view of Naru being abusive towards Keitaro but manages to humanize her rather than turning her into a completely hateful caricature. The best moment that sums it up is when Naru is depressed and alone from no one coming to try and make everything right again but during the middle of the night when she's getting food she runs into Su of all people, who manages to be her one anchor in the storm by showing the girl that she still has at least one person who still cares about her when she's at her lowest. Ahhhh, such sweet drama!

So yeah, truly one of my favorite fanfiction pieces. Thanks for coming to my Ted Talk, hope you didn't cringe too much.
 

Hawki

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The Key to Rondo (3/5)

The first installment of the Rondo trilogy, the easiest way I can describe this is a mix of Chronicles of Narnia, Alice in Wonderland, and fairy tales in general. As in, you've got the premise of two kids being sucked into a fantasy world that's contained entirely within a music box, where their antagonist is the White Witch (sorry, Blue Queen), who has a magic mirror that tells her she is the fairest of them all, where the pests of this world are gingerbread men called "dots," and where one of the supporting characters is a member of the three little pigs who gave up lodging at her brothers' places for different reasons, and, well, you get the idea.

Anyway, it's...fine, I guess. Course it's designed for a younger audience, so while there's some genuinely clever humour and writing at times, I'm still dealing with stuff intended for people much younger than myself. Also, in regards to the comparisons to the afforementioned medias, it isn't nearly as crazy as Alice in Wonderland (the world and its people still operate on logic, and there's solidifed backstory), and while comparisons with Narnia can be drawn, if you're expecting any allagorical subtext, you won't find it here. It at least does answer the question as to why this isn't part of Rodda's shared Deltora universe, but, um, yeah. Not my thing.
 

Hawki

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Starship Troopers: Insect Touch (4/5)

Read this as part of my 'research' for the Starship Troopers story I was working on (which is finished, BTW - somewhere between 70-80,000 words). Luckilly, the comic is a good read in its own right. Not great, but good.

Anyway, taking place 30 years before the events of the film, the comic depicts first contact between the Arachnids and humanity. The Arachnids attempt to colonize Mars, but their Bugs perish due to its hostile environment (apparently the terraforming that occurred by Traitor of Mars makes the events of that film possible?) Deducing that the meteor came from Klendathu (somehow), the Federation sends a survey team to the planet. Arriving in orbit however, their shuttle is shut down by an asteroid, the shuttle crashes, and hostile contact is made. While what few survivours there are manage to escape, it's stated that both species are now headed for war. That they know about each other, and that now it's a fight over control of territory.

I should note that this comic is really riffing off 'Alien,' to the point that in some ways, it feels more like an 'Aliens' story. The group is small, and the Mobile Infantry are, in some ways, akin to the Colonial Marines. The no. of troopers is small, their equipment is different from the film (accounting for the passage of time), yet they're easily to mow the Arachnids down. It's actually kind of weird - in the films, it's shown that it takes a lot of firepower to kill even a single Warrior Bug, but here, the troopers do a better job with their 30 year old guns then the Mobile Infantry does 30 years later, with upgraded tech. Replace the Warrior Bugs with xenomorphs howver, and the high kill count makes a lot more sense.

There's also the cynical element. It's not outright stated, but it's implied through dialogue that first contact with the Arachnids is a boon for the Federation. Rationing and "Washington riots" are mentioned, and there's clearly at least some discontent in the Federation, but present humanity with an external enemy, and that means you get a populace easier to control, and a lot more enlistment (because apparently even now, service guarantees citizenship). Similarly, at the end, where the acting captain of the ship outright states that war is now inevitable to the survivours of the crew. That's not an entirely unreasonable assumption, but he already calls the aliens "Arachnids," and speechifies. And while the Arachnids did try to colonize Mars first, and DID shoot down a shuttle, their first contact with humanity resulted in the deaths of thousands of Wariror Bugs due to the humans' tactical nukes (the same ones in the film, stated here to be prototypes).

So, yeah. Story is good. Could have been better, but good.

Would you like to know more?
 

Hawki

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Overwatch: New Blood (4/5)

So with the fifth and final New Blood issue released (and read), able to review the series as a whole.

Anyway, it's good. Deals with McCree (or "Cole Cassidy" as he's now known, which is never explained or even addressed in the comic itself, because of course it isn't) gathering potential Overwatch candidates in light of the group's reactivation, and Null Sector's re-emergence. In essence, it's a sort of sidequel to Overwatch 2, or an interquel between OW1 & 2, depending on where you draw the line.

The weird thing about this comic is that I found myself enjoying the non-action far more than the action, with the exception of the final issue, as mechs fighting Null Sector is more interesting than firefights with Talon. But by extension, the level of action to drama kind of alternates, with issues 1, 3, and 5 focusing on action, while 2 and 4 are more character focussed. Also, while Cassidy is obstensibly the main character, the series really takes a 'spotlight approach' after the first issue, focusing on each major character introduced in each subsequent issue.

Still, minor points. All around, it's a good read.
 

Drathnoxis

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Just finished Yahtzee's new book, Existentially Challenged. I liked it a lot, listened to the whole thing in a couple of days. Yahtzee is very good at writing intriguing mysteries that keep you on the edge of your seat and have satisfying resolutions. I think Differently Morpheous had a bit of a better mystery, but I still really liked the sequel. There was some advancement on the overarching mysteries of the series but not really that much. I'm eager for more and hope it isn't too long until he writes the next installment.

I wonder how well his books sell, because in my opinion Yahtzee is a good novelist and is more deserving of recognition than a lot of the trash that makes it onto best seller lists.
 

Hawki

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Read some stuff:

Firestorm (3/5)

Star Wars: The High Republic – Race to Crashpoint Tower (3/5)

Doctor Who: Twice Upon a Time (3/5)
 

Hawki

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Star Wars: Bloodline (4/5)

Of all the new EU stuff that Disney has put out since taking over the IP, this is definltey one of the better reads out there.

Taking place in 28ABY (that's 6 years before The Force Awakens, you cultural neanderthal :p), the story focuses on Leia, as she navigates everything from a conspiracy against the New Republic, to the New Republic itself being, well, useless. The Senate is polarized between two factions - the Centrists (those who favour strong, central control), and the Populists (those who favour more autonomy for individual planets). Furthermore, each branch has its own wings, with the Centrists having a far-right (those who favour military expansion) and the Populists a far-left (those who want to dismantle the Republic entirely). If you're reminded of real-world politics, congratulations, have some spice.

Anyway, Leia, who belongs to the Populist faction, works with a Centrist senator as they uncover said conspiracy, both being able to work together and become friends, before the shit hits the fan. Honestly, the plot isn't too important - don't get me wrong, it isn't bad, by any means, it's quite good - but the strengths of the novel are more in the worldbuilding and characterization. Ransolm Casterfo (the Centrist senator) is one of the best written Star Wars EU characters I've seen in a long time. Because on one hand, he suffered greatly at the hands of the Empire, and at Vader's hands himself, yet on the other, believes in the Centirst creed of strong, central authority. In other words, someone who believes in the best ideals of the Empire, despite suffering at its hands, but wants a system that avoids people like Palpatne running things. You can debate whether that's logical, and there's debates held in the story itself, but like I said, it's a well written character.

From an in-universe standpoint, there's something kind of delightful as to seeing how, in less than three decades, the New Republic has become as useless as it was during the prequel area. The sequel trilogy regretfully never explores the New Republic, but this, in of itself, acts as a good segway. Not just for the New Republic, but also for the First Order, as it's revealed that the group moving against the Republic in the stories (the Amaxines) are a kind of harbinger for the First Order, and the groundwork is already being laid in the Senate for secession, as fed up with its ineptitude, a swing of Centrists are in league with the First Order. It also shows the formation of the Resistance, sort of, at the end. As in, literally on the very last page of the book.

So, yeah. Good stuff.
 

Hawki

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The Chronicles of Pern: First Fall (2/5)

This is a collection of four short stories set in the Pern universe, the first three of which are shit. If not for the last being marginally better, this would have got a 1 rather than a 2.

The first story depicts the original planetary survey of what will become known as Pern. Yes, chances are you're aware of this, but Pern's a case of sci-fa, where Pern itself is an extra-solar colony, but the people ride dragons, and have been reduced to a medieval level of technology. While this is potentially interesting (spaceships and dragons in the same setting? Could work), the first story is anything but. It's slow, plodding, and pedestrian.

The second and third stories occur early in Pern's history, and it's here that the main issues of the writing come forward. The worldbuilding is poorly handled - it seems to assume that the reader already knows about this setting, and while that isn't entirely unreasonable (this isn't the first Pern book published after all), these are still the earliest stories chronologically, so I'd argue that there's still some onus for them to be able to stand on their own two feet. But furthermore, the writing style is basic, and it handles characters terribly. Often, Character A will talk with Character B, and reference characters C to Z offhand, without any real fleshing out of any of them. Not the main characters, not the supporting characters, nothing. Having read all four stories, I don't think I could name a single character from any of them off the top of my head, and it's not like I'm writing this review too long after finishing the last one.
 

Hawki

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So, yeah. It's terrible. The second story has something to do with an eruption, the third something to do with building more weyrs for their dragons, and I really don't care.

The one thing that gives this collection some grace is the fourth and final story, which depicts a starship coming to Pern, responding to a decades-old distress signal. This story stands above the others in that it at least clearly defines what the Thread is, and why Pern has regressed, and while it deals with starships like the first, it flows better - conveys a sense of hard sci-fi, with issues such as weight vs. escape velicity, and trajectories. However, even then this story still can't escape how none of the characters are really that interesting.

So, yeah. Waste of time. I don't know what the other Pern novels are like, but after reading this, I've little desire to try them.
 

Hawki

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Dune: The Lady of Caladan (4/5)

This just about falls into the "good" category, which means it's the best Herbert & Anderson Dune novel I've read thus far. Make of that what you will. Also, the reason I haven't read book 1 is that the main library network I work at has three copies of this book, but has no installment of its predecessor, The Duke of Caladan. Also feel free to make of that what you will.

Anyway, despite this being the second installment, it was easy enough to get into things. Taking place about two years before 'Dune' proper, the story focuses on multiple plotlines, ranging from the Harkonnens' illicit spice operations on Arrakis, their sabotage of Caladan's moonfish industry, rebellion formenting in the Imperium as the Noble Commonwealth is formed to tear it down, Jessica being recalled by the Bene Jesserit due to giving birth to Paul, Paul's own dramas on Caladan as he's forced to be duke, Leto's own storyline as he navigates the Laandsraad's politics and then infiltrates the Commonwealth, etc. I've seen this compared to 'A Song of Ice and Fire' in how it handles its multiple characters and plotlines, and while the novel's nowhere near on that level, in terms of form, I think that's fair. Granted, you could also apply the comparison to Anderson's 'Saga of Seven Sun' series, which is not only sci-fi with kings and emperors, but also has the multiple POV, multiple plotline system.

I will say that the writing style has Anderson's same approach to storytelling, in that a lot of the writing is simply functional and little else, but there's a bit more flair than usual here. So, when you combine that with the overall plotline, it just about manages to be good. How well it fits in with Frank Herbert's Dune is another matter (space travel seems really easy here, for instance), but I can't see any particular glaring issues, least in terms of content.

Anyway, good, if not great.
 

bluegate

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Picked up Anne Frank's Diary last week and have been reading that.

Not sure what to say about it. It's quite an enthralling read, but it's a bit of a rollercoaster, knowing what ultimately happened to the people involved in the diary.
 

Specter Von Baren

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Picked up Anne Frank's Diary last week and have been reading that.

Not sure what to say about it. It's quite an enthralling read, but it's a bit of a rollercoaster, knowing what ultimately happened to the people involved in the diary.
Might I recommend, 'The Gulag Archipelago' as well? The horror and inhumanity is surprisingly bearable for most of it. It's only in the last third of the book when he goes over the escape attempts and their longer accounts that you start to really feel the sting of man's inhumanity to man.
 

Hawki

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Doctor Who: The Endless Song (3/5)

I'm going to make this review short, as I don't think I can really evaluate this graphic novel. At least not fairly. It's clear from reading its contents that it's very much in sync with wider Titan Comics DW continuity, so while the stories have their ups and downs, it's hard to contextualize them. So, overall, decent.
 

Hawki

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StarCraft II: Nature of the Beast (3/5)

So this is a weird one. Basically, the graphic novel collects Issues 1-3 of NotB which were released with the SC2 war chests, then has 4-6 which are exclusive to this graphic novel, and a short story (one that isn't even properly named) that caps off the plotline.

Overall, this bugged me, but more about how the whole thing is handled. I get that SC2 had to enter maintenance mode at some point, and doing so after ten years of updates was a pretty good run, and with all the comics and short stories that were released for free prior to that, I can't complain. Taking this as is, however, there's an overall sense of just wanting to be done with it. Issues 4-6 are okay, but then we have a short story segwayed into a graphic novel to finish it off, in what's a paid product. Reportedly, NotB was meant to be 9 issues originally, but here, we get 6, and a resolution to the rest in a different format.

But okay, let's leave all that aside, how is the actual plot handled? It's...okay, I guess. Issues 1-6 clearly form one cohesive arc (characters converge on Tartarus, find Spectre pods, revelations that Project Shadowblade was secretly continued under Mengsk, cue ethical drama between Nova and Riegel as to what to do with them), all the while as the zerg attack. They're saved by Vorazun, cue nine day time skip as they track down six Spectres that hijacked the 'Griffin', and are waging their own personal war against the Dominion.

I'll give credit where it's due, there's an overall theme of...well, I can't really put it in one word, but there's parallels drawn between the protoss and terrans at this point. The protoss are striving to become a unified society, mainly in regards to the divide between the Khalai and Nerazim, and Vorazun is fully onboard with this (so yay for character development). On the flipside, there's the terrans (or at least those of the Dominion) - Spectres wage a two week war against a Dominion that's no longer theirs, so to speak, even with Mengsk dead. And as revealed (this ties in with the comic series itself), it's made clear that there's plenty of people who prefer the regime of Arcturus Mengsk to Valerian, and Lockwell asks (paraphrased) whether the Dominion is forever tainted due to its roots. Feel free to draw whatever real-world parallels you want, but there's a clear parallel being drawn between the protoss and terrans here (this isn't projecting, the dialogue makes it clear this is the intended theme), only it's the protoss that seem to be doing a better job of it, while the terrans are stuck in intercine strife. It's telling that the story ends with the six Spectres brought to Aiur to be 'healed' (literally and figuratively) by the protoss, and how Vorazun compares the treatment of Spectres to how the Khalai treated the Nerazim, yet Nova can't (or won't) settle down, and she and Riegel leave Aiur to presumably keep being vigilantes.

If the story had been handled better, this might have had more impact for me, but if we assume that this is the last StarCraft story chronologically (bar the epilogue of Soldiers), and the last one ever released (which isn't too far-fetched, as the IP's dormant right now), it...well, it isn't the worst ending in the world, really. The protoss seem to be on their way to healing, the terrans are forever stuck in their squabbles. If Legacy of the Void provided a feel-good ending, and Shadow Wars went the route of "yeah, everything still sucks, actually"), then NotB is somewhere in the middle.

Possibly I'm reading too much into this, but on the other hand, this is still in a graphic novel that largely isn't a graphic novel at all, despite being advertised as one, so, um, yeah. Make your own conclusions.
 

Hawki

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Read some stuff:

Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor (3/5)

Firefly: Life Signs (4/5)

Sonic the Hedgehog: The Official Movie Pre-Quill (4/5)

Sonic the Hedgehog: Volume 9: Chao Races and Badnik Bases (3/5)

Sonic the Hedgehog: Volume 10: Test Run (3/5)
 

Hawki

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Democracy in a Divided Australia (4/5)

I'm going to admit from the outset that this book ended up catering to my pre-existing thoughts on the state of things. It's not like I intentionally sought it out, but it does summize my own thoughts on a lot of things. Regardless, it's still well written, if a bit broad.

So, anyway, the author makes the following arguments/observations (summed up):

-Australia (note: this can largely apply to the Angloshere as a whole) can be divided between "Inners" and "Outers." In other words, it's the author's own terms for the "Anywheres" and the "Somewheres."

-Inners make up 20-30% of the population, but have disproportionate political influence. Inners tend to be university educated, inner city dwellers, more likely to travel overseas, less patriotic, less attached to one's personal culture, more cosmopolitan, less connected to neighbours, etc.

-Outers make up the remaining 70-80%. Tend to be rural and outer city dwellers. Less likely to be university educated, less financially secure, more patriotic, more attracted to personal community, etc. These people are grossly under-represented in the political process.

-Both Inners and Outers live in their own bubbles and have little contact with each other, facilitated in part by social media. As the author puts it (paraphrased), "Inners watch opera, Outers watch Oprah." This translates to the workplace (e.g. looking at the university sector, and the dearth (3%) of professors who could be considered right of centre).

-The old left-right divide has little relevance to the politics of the modern era, and in a sense, the Labor and Liberal parties have had a reversal in their bases. Labor tends to attract "Inners," rather than the old working class, while Liberal tends to attract "Outers," rather than the middle/business class. In other words, the Outers and Inners tend to follow their party affiliation based on culture more than material status.

-Neoliberalism has been misconstrued. In the Reagan/Thatcher era, government spending went up. What did occur, however, is that governments got in bed with big business.

-By extension, socialism is pretty much dead, and is only really supported by the middle class, with no interest from the working class. While this comes off as anecdotal, the author cites the Socialist Alternative for Australia as middle class individuals who actively look down on the working class, who are simply too ignorant to understand what's actually good for them.

-Inners have brought immense benefits to Australia - we're more cospopolitan, we've had over 20 years without a recession, we've benefitted from globalization, etc. However, on the flipside, people are disengaged from politics.

-Too many people go to university, and there's a mismatch of uni graduates to jobs available. Alternate pathways should be encouraged, and there should be less emphasis on uni as the be all and end all of employment.

-The Greens and One Nation are mirror images of each other. The Greens are an example of what the author calls a "post-materialist party, in that the issues it campaigns on (environment, LGBT rights, indigenous rights) don't have much relevance to the everyday person. Greens supporters are basically inner city elites - wealthy, unlikely to be involved in physical work, etc.

-One Nation is the party of the disaffected working class, feeling left behind culturally and economically. Far more likely to have support in rural areas, generally anti-government, etc. The author claims that Greens and One Nation voters mutually loathe each other, and calls the Greens "the disaffected elite" (voters upset that Labor isn't progressive enough) while One Nation is the "disaffected anti-elite" (those who feel left behind and not listened to).

-Identity politics have been a disaster. Not too much time is spent on this, but the book references how it's reinforced tribalism, and has become more self-fulfilling. As in, say "all of X are Y," then members of X are more likely to become Y, because they're constantly told as such. Y usually being homophobic, racist, sexist, etc.

So after all that, what's the author's perscriptions? IMO, this is the book at its weakest, because it mostly comes off as a weak defence of small L liberalism. The irony of this being is that, generally in my experience, liberalism is under assault from all sides, from the right, from the left, and various 'tribes' in society. He does suggest the idea of allowing more local government, so in order to be more responsive to people's needs, but while the book is very good at pointing out cultural and political faultlines, I don't think it's as good as finding solutions for them.

So, yeah. I imagine that a lot of people on these forums will take umbrage with these claims (and I don't necessarily agree with all of them), but overall, the book's a solid, if broad read. I don't think Australia is in the same malaise as, say, the US (insanely polarized) or the UK (in a state of cultural rot), but the warning signs are there.
 

Specter Von Baren

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Starting up Eighty-Six after having it sitting around my room for several months. Not far into it but I'm questioning something. If the Colorata were being used as a scapegoat for the country's misfortunes with the war effort and the vast majority of the Alba were easy to persuade that this was the case, why do they even need secrecy or political definitions to hide that they're using the Colorata as meat soldiers since they don't have autonomous military machines?
 

Hawki

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Wolverine & Jubilee: Curse of the Mutants (2/5)

Um...

Okay, I get that this wasn't for me - knee deep in continuity, had little idea about what was going on, but, fuck, I dunno. Jubilee's a vampire now (huh?), and Wolverine's helping her by letting her use his blood, which gives her a regenreation factor, and they're in Siberia, and vampire's hunting them, and there's a dragon who runs a laundromat, and fuck, I really couldn't make heads or tails of this. I find it bizzare that vampires are apparently an accepted part of life in the Marvel universe, but mutants are apparently still prejudiced against, because the metaphor was lacklustre at the start, and now it's stretched to breaking point, and fuck, at least the old reprint story at the end was kind of neat, as the M-squad (a Ghostbusters parody) hunt Jubilee in a shopping mall, who's saved by Storm, Rouge, and Psylocke, but meh.

Star Trek: The Children of Kings (2/5)

So this was a weird one. The book starts off fairly solid, but over time, I just lost interest in what was happening. By the end, I was just skimming pages because I just didn't care anymore.

The book starts off relatively promising. Taking place in the TOS era, when Pike is still in command of the Enterprise, the klingons destroy a starbase which would plunge the Federation and Empire into war (yawn), while meanwhile, the orions are doing their own thing. A "talith" is trying to unite their warring clans and revive their once glorious past.

So, CoK is trope heavy, but it does start off interesting at least. It does have the benefit of fleshing out orion history and culture at least. However, and I'm not sure why, over time I just cared less and less about what was going on. There's no single thing the book does or doesn't do that makes it drag on for me, but whatever the case, I just stopped caring by the end. And maybe 2/5 is too harsh for that, but whatever the case, that's the way the cookie crumbles.
 
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