Thursday, April 8, 2010

We Interrupt the Very Srs Blog Bsnz To Bring You Lulz

Look, if you note in the left sidebar of this blog, there's a link to the Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage, yes? By the Amazing Sydney Padua. She's fantastic, I say. She puts in a ton of research into her work, and produces some of the most hilarious visual puns that have ever existed on the Internetz. If you have not yet started reading the Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage, I suggest, very strongly, that you start immediately, forthwith, as soon as possible, sooner if possible.

Today's arc is part of the Organist arc, in which Babbage has gone a little off and turned his mathematical genius to destroy all instruments which produce street music, because he hates street music, and he really does. Our Lady Lovelace has thus abandoned him to his eccentric, overbearing project, and Chaos Ensues! 

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Jay Lake's Mainspring

I just finished Jay Lake's Mainspring. Here's my initial impression: I am thoroughly annoyed. This may change when I re-read it further down the line, but right now, colour me really annoyed.

Spoilers to follow. This is just a record for me, so I don't mind if you think it's tl;dr. It's not really a review, but my thoughts upon reading. This post is For The Herd, if I may say so.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Kyriarchy in Avatar: The Last Airbender - Perpetuating & Challenging Oppression & Imperialism

In a previous post, I wrote about kyriarchy and how it permeates our institutions of today, and is a driving force behind imperialism. Being a value system that places priority on control, it has its manifestations in a lot of the fiction we create, to the extent that a work without its presence is an unrealistic utopia, lacking any tension to drive the plot.

Many stories which involve grand-scale plots and politics also illustrate the kyriarchy at work, among these the animated TV series Avatar: The Last Airbender.

Avatar: The Last Airbender (which I will cut short to A:TLA) is an epic adventure spanning an entire secondary world, in which magic (the bending arts) and technology blend together in a form of industrialization. Its steampunk visual aesthetic are most visible in the technology of the Fire Nation, an island nation that uses the most visible amount of metal, refined by the element that they bend.

If you haven't watched it, you should. (I, for one, consider it a wonderful example of Asian-inspired steampunk.) This essay will contain spoilers, so you were warned.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Stephen Hunt's Court of the Air

Yes, I know there should be an essay on A:TLA here in place of this, but I also recently finished Stephen Hunt's Court of the Air and I wanted to note down before I forget and have to get the book all over again (which I probably will have to) some salient things I noticed about it. And there are spoilers here. It's not a review per se, but a condensation of some of the many thoughts I had while reading it.