The Alternative Reality Web Zine

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Joe Haldeman, Gene Wolfe, and Ai Yazawa

CoverYou know, if I posted more often, I wouldn't have so many of these catch up posts.

Review for Gene Wolfe's Shadow & Claw (first two books of the Book of the New Sun series: Shadow of the Torturer and Claw of the Conciliator) is on ARWZ.

What cracked me up was I was reading Wolfe's slow paced Shadow & Claw at the same time that i was reading Joe Haldeman's The Accidental Time Machine, which is nothing but fast paced action.  Wow do those two books not go together! Was very jarring to go back and forth!  is my own fault, as i tend to be reading more than one fiction book at a time.

Accidental Time Machine - my first Joe Haldeman, and i wasn't as impressed as I'd hoped. It was a fun, fast, well paced book, but I was hoping for something deeper from this award winning author.  Story follows physics student Matt Fuller, who literally, accidentally creates something that works as a future-only time machine. rigging the machine to an old car, Matt is able to hop about a decade into the future where he finds his girlfriend has left him for a rival, his physics professor has stolen his research, and everything he thought he knew about physics has changed.  When Matt gets in trouble, or bored, he can always hop into the time machine and jump into the future, where he eventually hopes to find the technology to send him back to his own time (Dr. Who? Quantum Leap? "hoping to get back to their own time" - that's gotta be it's own subgenre by now.) This is where the narrative falters: the time machine is nothing more than a plot device for when Haldeman isn't sure what to do.  It was a distraction, as in I knew the moment Matt (or Haldeman) got bored, frustrated, or curious, he was just going to hop into that machine and hit a button.  The little twist at the end was nice, but still, i was a little dissapointed in the book as a whole.

Speaking of Joe Haldeman, Hugo and Nebula award winning author, i just started his Forever War. This is the novel he's famous for, and my expectations are high.

If you've been following this blog, you've know I've been throwing a ton of manga at the wall lately, to see what will stick, and I've come to the conclusion that Ai Yazawa can do no wrong.  I'm still pretty obsessed with the short series Paradise Kiss, and now i've moved onto one of her older series: Nana.

Nana Komatsu is trying to start over in Tokyo - after a few years of falling in love with every guy she meets, she's trying to "be friends first", and maybe have a meaningful relationship. oh yeah, and keep a job, find an affordable apartment, and keep her relationship with Shoji afloat.

Nana Osaki is brokenhearted after her bandmate Ren is invited to join a famous band in Tokyo. trying to make it on her own as a rock musician, she moves to Tokyo and starts a new band while she is still pining for Ren.

the "Nana's" become unlikely best friends, and help each other through their hard times.

Nana in Japanese is another word for the number seven, and can also be used as a girl's first name.  Four volumes into Nana, and it's got humor, sex, relationhips gone bad and good, unrequited love, rock music, and then a little more humor and sexual situations.  This is my kinda Shoji (girl's romantic stories)!


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Alternative Reality Web Zine: ISSN# 1559-3037

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