There is no polemic today, just a wish to start using the blog more often, in amongst all the hubbub and upheaval of moving to a new job, and a new city. So lets get some things out of my brain and onto the computer screen.
While the twittersphere has been extremely enthusiastic about Squishables (and yes they are very cute), I’ve been buying up Folkmanis Puppets for the child of some very dear friends of mine. There is something innately satisfying about sending a Tyrannosaurus Rex to a toddler after they’ve visited the Natural History Museum for the first time. These puppets make fabulous gifts for kids, and you can be as geeky as you like – there are dinosaurs, dragons, bugs, a whole range of cute animals that make great ‘cuddly toys’ or actual puppets.
Tardis Ceramic Money Box
This is a classic piece of merchandise and I’m really glad Zeon have brought out a new version of the classic ceramic tardis money box. I’m a little worried that my room will get a little too Doctor Who themed, but the police box look is so classic, and I really do need to start saving some pennies so this would be the perfect excuse.
Alternatively it will be a perfect present for some Doctor Who loving friend in the future, seeing as I could start saving by NOT spending £16 on this item. I’m still excited by it though!
I am very excited about the Dreamblood Duology
I am very much spoiled for choice when it comes to books at the moment. Apart from a metric ton of books for study purposes, I’ve also recently finished The Killing Moon by NK Jemisin. This is a fabulous book because the author does not adhere to the ‘European medieval’ style of fantasy. While there is sexism, of a type, and sexual violence in the books she has written in a way that takes into the account the true impact of sexuality, of violence, of the competing natures of cultures and religions where one might hold dominance.
For me that’s a huge part of why it’s important to raise intersectional issues – the task is never about eradicating problematic things from fiction altogether, but about making authors aware of the impact of their work, and getting a little sensitivity towards the wider nuances and realities. Not that NK Jemisin needs that awareness, she already has it in bucketloads, but I think the majority of SF writers could learn a lot by reading her work. While a lot of George RR Martin’s work does perpetuate seriously racist fantasy tropes, and he is guilty of using rape far to often to illustrate how brutish or ‘gritty’ his world is, the women that populate his world are some of the most interesting the SF/F world has to offer simply because he really does take into account the gendered way the characters are treated and grow up. For me, I feel that it’s that ability to regard the women as real characters in their own right and not just companions to male protagonists that makes the books interesting at all. If he didn’t, the seedy nature of what happens to a lot of the female characters would render the books even more unpalatable. (And I should note that many feminist readers have serious issues with GRRM, I am amongst them I just happen to still love the characters.)
Anyway, back to NK Jemisin. The reason I am excited is because The Killing Moon is the first book in the Dreamblood Duology, and the second book is due to be released in June. I don’t know who decided this, but I adore the idea of releasing two parts of a Duology so close together. Is this a new approach in the publishing world? I don’t particularly care if it’s new, but I shall look for it again. The second part of the Duology is called The Shadowed Sun. I highly recommend The Killing Moon in the meantime, and you can read sample chapters from both books up at her website.
Beta would have me excited
Guild Wars 2 owns my soul at the moment, but ArenaNET seems to be magically scheduling Beta Weekend Events whenever I am busy. I can’t wait to get stuck into Tyria, but at the rate I’m going I’m going to be virtually unspoiled when release date finally rolls around. Every time I see some Charr art flash up on Tumblr I get excited all over again, and I’m actually looking forward to possibly roleplaying again. It isn’t a Jesus MMO, but it will be FUN exploring.
The Secret World I am still on the fence about. It’ll really come down to whether I feel I can justify another box cost and another subscription. Guild Wars 2 is already purchased so I can legitimately get excited about it, without worrying that finances won’t work out when release date rolls around.
Mists of Pandaria is…quietly exciting me again. For all that I’m not playing now, I can see myself picking up the expansion and pootling around with a Pandarian Shadow Priest, and that Dwarf warlock I’ve been promising myself since reading a very enthusiastic post by Cynwise. That said the ‘world’ hasn’t really excited me. What got me interested again was playing my Shadow Priest, so my interest could be extremely short lived. I’m not playing the beta, and am unlikely to.
This is just the tip of the iceberg lettuce
There are many things that have me excited, and no the least is being able to participate in geeky events and meetups in London, now that I’ll actually be living there. I won’t promise more posts, but more ideas than ever are bubbling away in draft form. One day I might even publish them.