Book Rec: On Reading Well by Karen Swallow Prior

On Reading Well is the most fruitful impulse purchase of my life. Well, save perhaps for Halo: The Flood.

Karen Swallow Prior’s book is a collection of essays examining how certain books explore various virtues, and I fell in love with it for its virtues:

  1. How deep it goes with both the philosophy and the novels.
  2. How expertly it avoids proselytizing or pearl-clutching.

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The Fall of Reach (Definitive Edition) – FROM THE ARCHIVES

Reposted without edits, save navigational issues.

Review and analysis of Halo: The Fall of Reach by Eric Nylund

Halo has long been a major game changer in the industry. It redefined first person shooters for the console and helped establish online communities through the launch of Xbox Live with Halo 2.  The role of Halo within the medium of video games is a widely-discussed topic.

But what of its role in the genre?

Continue reading

Posted in From the Archives, Gaming's Place in Literature, Reading Journal | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

A Glimpse of Brilliance (Arbiter Watch) – FROM THE ARCHIVES

Reposted without edits, save navigational issues.

Partner piece to The Fall of Reach review and analysis.

Welcome to a companion series to the reading journal series for the Halo novels. As I reread these books, my eyes are always peeled to catch even a glimpse of my Sangheilibro. Trust me, I can find him just about anywhere. So where is he in Fall of Reach?

Continue reading

Posted in Arbiter Watch, From the Archives, Gaming's Place in Literature | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Watership Dead – An Adaptation We All Missed

Adaptations are interesting things to consider. As much as fans of the original tale, especially we bookworms, love to cry havoc at the first sign of deviance, there’s something to be said for the craft of adapting a piece from one medium to another. Each medium has its own rules, its own language with which to convey the story. Adapting is an art of translation. It is finding ways to convey the same idea with different tools.

Continue reading

Posted in Gaming's Place in Literature | Tagged , | Leave a comment

A Close Read of Star Wars Rebels “Twin Suns” – Part 11 – The Lesson Animation Taught Me

All Close Read Entries

The best stories are the ones that encourage exploration.

Continue reading

Posted in Twin Suns Close Read | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

A Close Read of Star Wars Rebels “Twin Suns” – Part 10 – Suns and Moons

All Close Read Entries

While most conversations in the fan community are focused on the last few minutes of the episode, my favorite parts involved Ezra and his journey. Most believe he was being arrogant, selfish, and foolish. Some even wished that he wasn’t involved in the episode at all, missing the point entirely. (Macias, Johnamarie. “Twin Suns” Review. The Wookie Gunner)

Seeing as almost half of this series is focused on the times Ezra isn’t on screen, I’d call myself guilty under that first charge, Ms. Macias. And it is true that most of the reactions surrounding “Twin Suns,” even outside of this close read, have focused on the legacy characters of Maul and Obi-Wan. Trust me, I’ve read a lot of reactions over the past year and a half.

I’ll even admit that I was initially one of those people who just wanted a story centered on Maul and Obi-Wan. But the more I rewatched and began digging into the episode and Rebels as a whole, I came away with an entirely different opinion. Understand, it’s not just that Ezra plays an important role in the story. It’s not just that “Twin Suns” is an essential part of Ezra’s story. It’s that “Twin Suns” as a story loses vital elements if told outside of the context of Ezra Bridger.

(And honestly, go read the whole of Macias’ review for an excellent breakdown of Ezra’s journey leading up to this episode.)

Continue reading

Posted in Twin Suns Close Read | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

The Charming Sincerity of Venom

There will always be self-aware movies that give a wink and a nod to the audience. Deadpool is on the extreme end, with fourth wall breaks (and fourth wall breaks inside of fourth wall breaks), but it doesn’t always look like that. The Last Jedi is on the other side with the story itself acting as a commentary on the rest of the franchise, repurposing and repackaging common tropes of the franchise. Falling in-between that is a lot of the self-referential humor that Disney currently employs, especially with its princess line.

Self-aware media is not necessarily a bad thing; it’s tool in a storyteller’s kit that works when deployed effectively. I love The Last Jedi, and Moana is my favorite Disney princess. However, sometimes it feels like people expect the media to be self-aware and have some sort of commentary on the genre for it to be fresh and worthwhile, and when you are inundated with stories that are trying to out-self-aware each other, to make themselves either so meta or so airtight that they are above critique, it stops being fun.

And that makes movies like Venom a breath of fresh air.

Good heavens, I was not expecting to ever write that sentence.

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment