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

Drathnoxis

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I started reading Magic Time by Marc Scott Zicree and Barbara Hambly, because I bought it about 15 years ago and it's been sitting on my shelf untouched.

I'm 40 pages in and I can't go on. This book has ADHD, it can't go more than 5 pages without introducing a completely new viewpoint character. I'm serious. I counted. It's giving me whiplash. Also, nothing interesting has happened besides a paragraph of skinless buffalo, but I don't even know if that really happened or what. It wasn't that interesting either, to be honest.

Maybe if the book could focus on one character for a couple dozen pages I could get invested, but as it is, reading it feels like a chore.
 

Hawki

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Climate Code Red: The Case for Emergency Action (4/5)

I got this book for free from the library, as the alternative was letting it get pulped - yeah, we're doing that a lot lately, because we can't sell discarded books right now due to health concerns. Something I checked was the publication date, which turned out to be 2008. This gave me hope and dread alike, because on one hand, predictions are made in the book that haven't come to pass by 2020 - for instance, we haven't reached ice-free Arctic summers yet. On the other, the science as a whole remains solid, and what's telling is that the book treats 2020 like we great 2030, as a sort of benchmark. Similarly, the book talks about global temperatures being, on average, 0.8C above pre-industrial times, whereas now, it's 1.1C, and we're baralleling towards 1.5C and 2C, with threats of it going even higher. Some may decry crying wolf, but if anything, it reminds me just how long we've known about the issue of climate breakdown, and how only recently did it get the atention it deserved. But that aside, the book's science remains solid.

What isn't as solid, as the book points out, are ice sheets. A great deal of the work is spent on (Arctic) ice sheets, and it was originally how it was pitched. It goes into the thinning of Arctic sea ice, showing how continued heatwaves and water seepage can cause the ice to break down. Similarly informative was aerosols. On one hand, they're the result of pollution. On the other, they produce a global dimming effect. On one hand, if we stopped all emissions today, aerosols would leave the air in about ten days. On the other, that would result in a temperature spike. Sooner or later (better sooner) we have to stop putting all this shit in the atmosphere, and the longer we wait, the more severe the temperature spike will be. But in the short term, aerosols have a global cooling effect. What's worse, since the spike will be about 0.5-1C, if we stopped polluting today, we'd pass the 1.5C and potentially the 2C benchmarks automatically. If anything, it makes the argument for geo-engineering, just with something else.

Reading this book, I can't say it's filled me with hope, but hope in the field of climate change is hard to come by. So, little hope for the future, but at the least, the book is informative.
 

SckizoBoy

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Recently came by a whole load of related fiction and supplements for Warmachine & Hordes, working my way through the novellas at the moment (completely achronologically, tho). Probably go for one of the Warcaster Chronicles next or something. Read Scars of Caen most recently. Dinky read, learnt a bit about Pureblood Warpwolves, so there's that.
 

BrawlMan

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Finished volume 3 of Battle Angel. Keeps getting better. Before I know it, I'll be done with volume 4 & 5. After that, I can move on Last Order and Mars Chronicles. The story really shows Alita's blood knight tendencies.
 

Hawki

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Meet Me at the Intersection (2/5)

There's a story (or article) I read ages ago. I forget the details, and am probably getting something wrong, but it involved a man (working class, didn't have much money) watching a woman (rich, middle class, hugely influential) give a lecture on feminism. There's a quote from the man's perspective that's stuck with me, along the lines of "it occurred to me, as I listened to her talk, that I would have loved to trade my supposed privilege for her supposed oppression." Having read this book, I'm kind of left feeling in the same boat. Because on one hand, yes, I'm probably better off financially than the man in this story, and that women will face obstacles that men won't (though the opposite holds true as well). On the other, reading this gave me a sense of deja vu. Especially when the editor, a lawyer, illustrator, and author of 17 novels, gives the final story (really a lecture), ending with the assertion that that people like her have to fight just to survive, have to fight for the right to exist in Western society. Um...is this fight on easy mode? Yes, obviously said author has faced challenges that I haven't, but please, tell me about your daily struggle just to stay alive as you get more of your books published and continue to operate your high paying job. I'd gladly take on the horrors of people mispelling my surname in exchange for that and...oh, wait. People do that all the time. Huh. Well, carry on.

Maybe I should clarify. MMatI may as well be called "Intersectionality: The Book." Oh sure, the term is never actually used, but make no mistake, it's what the book's going for, and uses all the linguo in its foreward - intersectional identities, systems of oppression, etc. Of course, since the purpose of the anthology is to gather stories from authors in these groups? You know, I actually think that's a decent idea. Anthologies are published all the time, if you want to publish an anthology through this lens, that's the writer's prerogative. If you want to talk about the perspectives of under-represented groups? Well, okay. I'm admittedly dubious about that claim, because to claim a group is under-represented, you need to give me a baseline, and just recently, I came across an article claiming that female and LGBT writers were under-represented in fanfiction (no source), while every study I've read of the demographics indicates that these groups are over-represented. But, okay, fine. I'm willing to put aside all talk of intersectionality and representation aside, read the stories, and judge them on their own merits. So how do they fare?

...mixed, to be honest.

I checked the author bios at the end, each of them are already published to some degree. That said, the quality of material varies wildly, ranging from fairly decent to outright insufferable. Like, on one hand, on the upper tier, are the stories that deal with cultural alienation and family loss. Usually these are through the Asian perspective. On the other hand, are the LGBT stories, where often, the characters are at times absolutely insufferable. But that aside, almost all of these stories have something in common. Either they're touching on themes that I've seen be explored much, MUCH better, or they're portraying aspects of life as being unique to their 'group.' So while there's some stories that are better than others here, it's because the bar is pretty low. Honestly, I think it would have been better served with a collection of fewer, better stories, rather than a smattering of stories that are average at best.

So, no. Not a fan.
 

Hawki

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Firstborn (3/5)

Yep, another Sanderson novella. Damn it, why do I keep coming back to him when I've never really loved any of his works outside the original Mistborn trilogy? Well, maybe that's the answer, since I've still "liked" his works rather than "loved" them, but meh, whatever.

Firstborn's a bit outside his usual range since it deals with space opera rather than fantasy, but whatever. Basically deals with a nigh unbeatable fleet commander of an intergalactic empire finishing his conquests, only to turn back that same lust for conquest on the empire itself, and only the protagonsit can stop him. It's actually better executed than that description sounds, since there's a reason why only the protagonist can beat the antagonist, and he really doesn't want to be in command of anything. The twist in this regard is well done. What's less well done is how the story ends - abruptly, and with contrivance. Also, for what it's worth, the novella has shades of Ender's Game, Honor Harrington, and even arguably Star Trek: Nemesis. Or maybe that's just me.
 

Hawki

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African Magic (2/5)

So, I plucked this off the library shelf at random - part of an effort to read more non-fiction books without having to fork over the dough (what can I say, perks of the job). That said, this is a book I'm glad I didn't have to pay money for. Because on one hand, a book that promised a look into African religions? Sure, okay. Don't know that much about African faiths, and it's an area that hasn't seeped into pop culture much and is rarely examined, so fine. On the other hand, this isn't really a book about African religions. It's more about African witchcraft, or rather...well, let's just say that there's some problems on the continent.

Yes, I know that's not politically correct to say, and part of my dislike for this book probably stems from me expecting something else. Like, I dunno, wanting a top-down look rather than bottom-up, because the book is kind of 'ground level.' Like, what you might call "spirituality" if you're generous, "superstition" if you're not. I'm dubious of some of the claims, the idea that part of the reason why AIDS is so prevalent is due to the levels of superstition associated with it, but the author did operate on the ground and lives in Africa, so...

Anyway, not really my thing.
 

SckizoBoy

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Warcaster Chronicles - Wyrmbane at the moment, surprised the Chronicle for Cryx would be Venethrax of all people, but I don't mind. A bit too much infighting in it so far, but it's alright.

Warlock Sagas - Mutagenesis yesterday, and it was a lot more depressing than I thought it would be.
 

Hawki

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Oni (2/5)

It's the prequel to the Bungie game of the same name. It's pretty bleh. Art style is bleh, plot is bleh, and that's when there's a plot at all when the protagonist isn't going pew-pew-pew. Really, not worth my time.
 

Hawki

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(Dividing this into multiple posts)

White Fragility: Why It's So Hard to Talk to White People About Race

(?/5), if you live in the US

(2/5), if you don't

You may be reading the above and asking "how the hell can you rank a book differently based on the reader's place of residence?" Fear not, I'll answer that question in due course. But first, I'm going to give a sort of 'intro' here. So let's get into it.

Up till actually reading the book, I heard a lot of good stuff and bad stuff about it, ranging from "this is a book that everyone should read" to "it's utter garbage," and those opinions weren't confined to the colour of one's skin. Having actually read the book, the answer is that it's somewhere in the middle. Because while I think the book raises some good points, I also think it uses very spurious reasoning to make its case as well. To this end, I'm actually going to start with what the book does right, so to speak.

First, I think white fragility is a thing that technically does exist, but not necessarily as diAngelo describes. I say this because on one hand, over the last 4-5 years, I've been absolutely dumbstruck by the behaviour of people on the Internet. The whole concept of 'forced diversity' or 'pandering' or 'pushing an agenda.' Like, any deviation from the "norm" is at times met with anything from scrutiny to outright hostility. This isn't the phenomena as diAngelo describes it, but I would describe it as a phenomena all the same. Now, to be fair, some of this is due to producers using such traits as brownie points or shields from criticism, but whatever the case, the phenomena remains. So when the observations are made about what it calls "white fragility," then there is an air of truth to it. Like, I'll put it this way. I'm willing to take diAngelo at her word that the responses she keeps seeing in her anti-bias training sessions are correlated. Like if a white person is accused of racism, that person will react in an expected way. The opposing view to this is that this is a double bind, that any accusations of white fragility will demonstrate white fragility by simply denying one's own racism. It's a common complaint of the book's detractors. Having read the book, I don't that's the case being made exactly, but it's a paradigm that could flow in a real sense from what's being displayed.

If the book dealt entirely with this, I'd probably have given it a 3/5. Like, I think the argument and observations aren't too objectionable, even if they aren't watertight. However, the book encompasses far more territory than this, and that's why I had to mark it lower. But first, I'm going to address the geographic thing. To put it simply, this book has a lot less relevance outside the US than it does within it. And no, this isn't because the world outside the US is some post-racial utopia (Australia certainly isn't), it's that the dynamics and statistics cited really can't be applied elsehwere. Like, when the book talks about Major League Baseball, or redlining, or school segregation, or interactions between black and white Americans, I don't have a frame of reference here, and many other people won't. You could probably generate an equivalent of this book in numerous countries (this includes non-Western ones, because the examples of "white fragility" have clear equivalents in other countries; eerilly similar, from what I've seen), but since I'm reviewing this specific book, I have to acknowledge that it focuses on the US more than anything. Which is fine, just noticaeble, and therefore, any 'use' to be found from it is thus reduced. Like, a question may be asked to "you" (the reader; the book does this a lot) how many African Americans they know in their life. Outside the Internet, the answer is none. Does that make me racist? Or, is it because African-Australians account for around 1-2% of the population? Like, the question may be valid, but the specifics of it lose their weight outside the US.
 

Hawki

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Geography aside however, the book makes some really specious arguments that at least once, I literally asked "wait, what?" I'm going to sum up these trains of thought here:

1) Racism is everything and anything. There's a lot of hub-bub about the definition of racism being changed, but here, there's no ambiguity. diAngelo states early on that she's using a different definition of racism for the purpose of her argument. Now, that by itself should trigger an alarm bell in your mind, if your argument relies on special pleading, but it goes on to present the argument that if all human beings are equal, then any discrepency in outcome is due to racism. No ifs, no buts, racism. If the argument was that racism or prejudice could have an effect on some groups getting into certain areas, then that isn't too unreasonable a claim, but nup. Racism. Nothing but racism. I'm not sure how this accounts for areas where minorities are over-represented (e.g. Asians are over-represented in US universities, Black Brittons are overrepresented in UK media, etc.), but nup, racism. By the book's argument, any society where the occupancy of groups in that society doesn't match the dynamics of said society is, by definition, a racist society. To be frank, I find this horribly reductive, because it more or less espouses the belief that all humans are the same across cultures, with identical interests. That personal choice or cultural norms count for nothing, but in fact, all differences in society is down to racism.

And look, you might even own the argument. You might truly believe that any group in a society whose demographics don't match that of the society at large is, by definition, racist. You might even extend this to other stuff, such as sexism, or classism, or anything else (if that's true, I've clearly operated in sexist environments all my life, because my first job was predominantly male, and my current jobs are predominantly female). You might say that this is a truth, because as the book reminds us, there's no such thing as objective truth, because every human being is prejudiced, and ergo, there's therefore no one singular truth (is this post-modernism?) Unfortunately, the book goes a step further.

2) White supremacy. Like racism, the book redefines this to be anything and everything. The book's actually a bit more specific with this in a sense, in that it generates some stats. As in, X% of Congress is white, ergo, white supremacy. Now, if you want to make the argument that that white Americans are over-represented in Congress, that's an argument that's statistically true (even if the book never pvovides comparative statistics). However, this isn't the argument that the book is making. The argument it actually makes is that "most people in Congress are white, ergo, white supremecy." As in, most people in Congress are white, ergo, white supremacy. Most people in the US are white, ergo, white supremacy. This argument is independent from actual white supremacy (as in, the belief that people of European background are superior to non-whites), its definition of white supremacy is redefined (again, by the writer's own admission) to state that as long as whites are a majority in a society, the society is, by definition, white supremacist. Y'know, should I even bother asking whether China is by definition "Han supremacist" or Japan is "Japanese supremacist," or any Middle Eastern or African country "Arab supremacist" or "African supremacist," then by the book's own logic, the answer must be yes. Any society of any country, no matter how free of biases they are, would, by definition, be supremacist. And again, you might even own this philosophy. But you'd have to concede that by this definition, all these "forms of oppression" cannot, by definition, ever be removed from society. Like, if I extend it, hetro-supremacy will always exist because there will always be more hetrosexual people than homosexual people, regardless of the presence of absence of homophobia. Again, if the book was making the argument that whites in the US are over-represented in certain groups, that's fine, but this isn't the argument that's being made.

3) The book directly interrogates the reader. Again, this isn't a problem, but the book is clearly expecting answers to be given in order to prove its point. Like, say I accuse Bob of stealing. Bob asks me "well, have YOU ever stolen anything?" Bob, in this context, is clearly expecting the answer to be yes. The book takes this same approach. I can't remember all the questions, but here's some:

a) When did you first encounter POC in school?

b) When did you first have POC teachers?

c) How were you able to go through school without discussing racism?

d) When did you have POC friends?

e) What did you do when your POC friends tried to discuss racism with you?

To which, my answers are:

a) At least by the age of 5, if not earlier

b) At least by the age of 5/6

c) ...are you high? FFS, I don't think how anyone could study history or literature without being exposed to these things.

d) At least by the age of 5, if not earlier

e) They didn't. It never came up.

Of course, these claims wouldn't change the paradigm the book operates under, and you could shift answers a-d to "why not earlier?" and change answer e to "well, obviously they knew it was a waste of time" (again, this is an argument that the book more or less makes). I know the book isn't directed at me directly, but when the book is addressing the reader directly, then all I can do is directly respond.

4) The book uses specious reasoning. The example that most people have cited is Jackie Robinson. Because I don't know anything about the history of baseball, I can't claim whether diAngelo's claims are right or wrong. I CAN however, point to an example that's used.

In this example (all hypothetical), a young girl with her mother in a shop says "look, a black man." The mother hushes her child up. In contrast, the book maintains, if the girl had said "look, a white man" or "look, a handsome man," the mother would say "yes he is, dear." Ergo, the mother is racist, and the child is being raised in a white supremacist environment, because in this case, "black" is something to be ashamed of, while "white" is a mark of pride, akin to "handsome." I...no. Just no. Maybe there's some level of precedent for this, but all I can say is that if any child pointed at me and said "look at the man (attach a descriptor if you want), I'd be uncomfortable, even if the descriptor was a compliment. And I imagine the mother would too, because generally, it's considered impolite to point at people and make exclamations. But no. This is racism. Same as meritocracy and individualism (as the book explains, these are racist ideologies, as in, not that these ideologies may not take into account disadvantage, but the very idea of these ideologies is racist. Individualism is a racist idea, because everyone is a product of their culture, and individualism doesn't take this into account. Ergo, individualism is racist).

The book has other examples of this kind of reasoning, and some I'm more sympathetic to, but even so, looking at the above example...well, you tell me.

At the end of the day, despite all this, I kind of reccomend reading this book. Sort of. It does have some good points that I think people should be exposed to. However, there's far too many faulty arguments for me to actually give it a positive rating. Of course, all my criticisms could just be my white fragility showing, so hey, what do I know?
 

Hawki

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StarCraft: One People, One Purpose (2/5)

OPOP is the first of a trilogy of StarCraft short stories Blizzard is releasing to commemorate the 10th anniversary of StarCraft II. As far as ideas go, I like it. As far as execution? Not so much. Least not for this one.

Might as well elaborate. Of the three, OPOP is a protoss-centric story, and right away, that carries risks with it. Protoss, like all 'space elf' races, have a very formal language style, which means that you need to be a pretty good writer to keep that interesting. Compounded with which is that because the protoss lack mouths, you're slightly disadvantaged in conveying emotion through body language. Now, it's not as if a good writer can't get around these issues (see the Dark Templar Saga for instance), but the author here isn't that good. The writing is pretty basic, as is the plot. Like, I like the idea of the plot (dealing with the schisms in Daelaam society, and how the Khalai deal with the emotional and cultural shock of losing the Khala), but it's nothing that StarCraft hasn't done before, and done better. Also, it feels like protoss society is very small (which it is if compared to the terrans), like, a murder-mystery investigation gets in the main protoss characters because apparently there isn't anyone more specialized for the task. Now, there's technically an in-universe reason for that (since with the Khala, murder among the Khalai was rare), but here? Yeah. Doesn't work too well. It's not outright bad, but very basic, hence the low score.
 

Hawki

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Went through some of Sanderson's older works, because...I dunno, had lots of downtime. Yes, still searching for the ellusive "it's as good as Mistborn" story of his, but after these, I'm still searching. Still, regardless, reviews.

Centrifugal (2/5)

This is one of Sanderson's earliest works. By his own admission, it's not up to snuff with his later ones, and having read it...yeah, pretty much. There's really nothing to reccomend here. It's not terrible (hence the 2 rather than the 1), but still, yeah. Still, we all gotta start somewhere, right?

I Hate Dragons (3/5)

It's almost unfair to rate this because it's more a writing exercise than a story. The parameters were write a short story using only dialogue, and have the dialogue make the characters distinct. It's basically the kind of writing exercise I might have been given at CCE (one writing exercise I WAS given was writing a pre-existing scene from a novel from another character's POV). So in that sense, it's kind of unfair to really rate it at all. On the other hand, giving credit where credit is due, as a fully script-based story, it kind of works. The humour feels like a combination of Pratchett (absurdities of the fantasy genre, dragons included) and Fforde (how the character is able to pick up poor spelling and punctuation, as if they're literally seeing the text the author is writing). Overall, can't really rate it conventionally, but meh, 3/5 is my attempt to do so.

Defending Elysium (3/5)

Of the three Sanderson stories I read, this one best fits the definition of "story" (or at the least, it's long enough to be a novella). Apparently, it's set in the same universe as the Skyward series. I've read some of the first Skyward book, and I don't see any connective tissue between the two. Maybe it exists, but regardless, DE can stand on its own. And it does give me a bit more to talk about than its predecessors.

DE is a story I'd like to read again at some point, because there's certain revelations at the end that possibly put the preceeding story in context. I say possibly, because I might be reading too much into things. Basically, humanity made contact with alien species in the late 21st century, and 140 years later, we've spread as far as Saturn. However, these aliens are still holding out on giving us FTL technology. Much of this is in the background, as most of the story is basically detective work, but again, certain revelations as to what's going on are made clear. Sort of. Maybe. DE certainly has a strong sense of worldbuilding and wordpainting (as in, the space platform most of the story is set on is clearly described, and feels visually distinct, considering that an air envelope surrounds it so you can walk on its hull and not be exposed to vacuum (think Dark City)), but the story and characters are fairly rote. If I did decimal ratings, it would be more of a 3.5/5, but since I don't, I have to go with 3 rather than 4. So, it's decent, but nothing special. At least as of this time of reading and reviewing.
 

Hawki

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Halo: The Fall of Reach - Covenant (4/5)

Halo: The Fall of Reach - Invasion (4/5)

I read the Boot Camp part of the graphic novel adaptation of Fall of Reach years ago, and only now got round to the next two. I'm reviewing them together because they're really all part of the same story.

Anyway, it's good stuff, though since FoR still remains the best Halo novel out there (well, best I've read at least), it's got a good foundation to work off. I don't have too much to say, only FoR succeeds where Collateral Damage doesn't. It succeeds in that the artwork is less ugly, and in that it doesn't turn the Covenant into brainless mooks. Yeah, the Spartans are tough, but not invincible, and while that's a trait that comes from the novel, it does work here. I'm not too fond of how it handles space battles though, since its take is along the lines of "throw as many ships on the page as possible and watch them shoot at each other," whereas space combat in the Halo universe has been depicted as having more finesse than that. But apart from that, it's good. It's quality that comes from its source material, but as far as graphic novel adaptations go, you can do a lot worse.
 

Drathnoxis

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Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson.

It's alright. Not nearly as good as the original trilogy. It didn't feel as suspenseful, and the characters were passable if a little cheesy at times. I had to take a break halfway through to read through another Hornblower book, but I got through it in the end. I guess I'll continue on with the rest of the trilogy, after another Hornblower book. Can't really think of too much else to say about it.
 

Jarrito3002

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It is hard for me to read and finish books my attention span has always kicked my ass about that though I have been getting better.

But this what I have been working on.
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I am liking so far afrian mythology and terms mixed with sci fi is a rare find that I am enjoying.

Also after that I can hopefully start the The Light Bringer series by Brent Weeks but wish me luck that my brain can allow me to actually finish books.
 

Hawki

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Read some stuff:

Australia Day (4/5)

Fantastic Space Stories (3/5)

StarCraft: Waking Dreams (3/5)

Star Wars: Black (3/5)
 

BrawlMan

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Finished reading Batte Angel. I read all of volumes for 4 & 5 last night.Which means when I get paid this week, I'll be buying Volumes of Last Order since most of them are on sale. In the Deluxe version of what I read, the final volume has a special what if ending for the original series. I think it's nice bonus for long time fans, new fans, or for people who just want to end the story there. Also, Zalem is full of assholes. We get to know more abouth them in Last Order, so looking forward to that.
 

Hawki

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When the Animals Saved the Earth: An Eco Fable (2/5)

Yes, this is meant for kids, and yes, I read it as an aside while working in the library, and yes, the moral of treating animals and the planet with respect is a good moral, but bloody hell, this book is pretentious.

Basically, there's a place called the Emerald Isle. All animals live in harmony (this includes carnivores, but meh). One day, humans show up on an ark. Since humans are bastards, the humans cut down all the trees, and start eating animals, and there's one human named Adam who spends all his days swimming with turtles, so he can hear the animals speak because he's got a "pure heart," so they talk to God (he's not called God, but functionally, he's God) and he hears the complaints of the animals, who tell God how much humans suck, and God tells humans how much they suck, and humans deny that they suck, but then God gives humans the ability to empathize with animals, and they realize how much they suck, so all humans and animals work together to heal the Emerald Isle, which in time becomes Earth. The end.

Again, a kid's story. But it's such black and white morality that it's eye rolling. Even for children's books, I've seen this story been done before, and done better. But taking this book at writ, you should basically never eat any animal, or cut down any trees, or build houses, or anything. So, in other words, go full hunter gatherer and stay on a vegan diet. Um...yay?
 

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Battlestar Galactica: 1980 (4/5)

So, this is a bit weird. Starting with the rating itself, I feel it's too high, yet I also feel the comic is "good" rather than "okay." So, um, yeah.

So, I should elaborate. My experience with BSG is almost entirely confined to the reboot continuity, but I'm aware of the basics of the original series, and its much loathed continuation, Galactica 1980. The comic is more a "what if?" scenario, operating under the same premise (Galactica reaches Earth) but going in a different direction. Now, normally I'm wary of these kinds of stories, because I see them on FFN all the time and they rarely pay off, but since I haven't seen Galactica 1980, I don't have anything to compare it to. So as its own conclusion/continuation to TOS, how does the comic fare?

Well, again, "good," but I feel I'm being too generous. Because this is four issues that have to compress a lot of stuff. I'll provide you the basics:

-Thirty years after the fall of the Twelve Colonies, Galactica discovers the Voyager probe, which sets them on course to Earth (currently 1980)

-They discover that the 13th Tribe's technology is kinda shit, so try to initiate first contact. The Galactica appears over the White House, and is promptly shot down (as they believe it's a Soviet attack), with Adama supposedly being killed.

-Dr. Zee takes control of the Colonial Fleet and orders an invasion of Earth - the cylons will arrive soon, so he operates under the premise that the Colonials need to subdue Earth and conscript its military forces to use against the cylons. Cue a global invasion and WWIII.

-Adama, having survived, links up with Boxy (now a pilot) and an Earth scientist who's long since pioneered an Ancient Astronaut theory (and been shunned), and is able to communicate with the Colonials, because Caprican is similar to Aramaic (just go with it)

-Adama manages to meet with President Carter (it took me longer than it should have to realize that the guy is Jimmy Carter), and the two make a joint statement to their respective peoples to stop the fighting (it's actually a good moment). Unfortunately, the cylons have arrived, led by Lucifer and Baltar.

-The cylons start killing everyone. However, since Earth is in the middle of a Cold War, they have nukes. Lots of nukes. Enough nukes to load onto numerous colonial ships and send them against the cylons. Which Adama does, sacrificing his own life to take out the cylon fleet.

-Cut six months into the future - Boxy's learnt some English, and the United Nations is liasing with the Colonials. Two cylon ships escaped the nuclear bombardment. In response, Earth is building its own battlestar - the 'Adama.'

The reason why I gave a plot summary is to demonstrate a point. Plotwise, I think the overall direction is quite solid. However, it's an awful lot to fit into four issues, and I feel that the comic loses some oomph as a result. There's a lot to be said to say how Earthers and colonials fall into conflict almost immediately, how both are at fault, and how in spite of their shared species, they take to slaughtering each other in city fighting very quickly. It's also arguably telling that as soon as they're faced with a common enemy, both sides cooperate quickly as well. However, again, that's a lot of stuff, and the six month gap makes me wonder about lingering animosity on both sides. Especially the people of Earth, who, six months ago, were attacked by humans who, intentional or otherwise, led killer robots to their front door. Like I said, it works, but it could have been a lot better IMO if there'd been more time to flesh it out.

Still, good stuff.