“Mythspace” by Paolo Chikiamco

2014_08_11_17_34_56

I reviewed the published stories in Paolo Chikiamco’s “Mythspace” universe for GMA News Online:

“Tikbalangs in Space: “Mythspace” reimagines mythology as science fiction”

“Mythspace” is a wonderfully innovative take on Filipino mythology, which should appeal to readers of all ages. The diversity in the art and stories make for different and enjoyable reading experiences. The series is so much fun, so I hope more people, especially Filipino readers, will check it out. 🙂

Advertisements

“Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2)” by Marissa Meyer

scarletSCARLET (The Lunar Chronicles #2)
Author: Marissa Meyer
Read Date: 21 April 2014
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison–even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive. Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

*SPOILER WARNING FOR PLOT DETAILS* Continue reading

“Star Trek” by Alan Dean Foster (2009 Movie Novelization and Audiobook)

I was looking through my old Livejournal and realized I never got around to reposting this here. So to celebrate the release of “Star Trek Into Darkness”, here is my integrated review of “Star Trek” (Movie Novelization) by Alan Dean Foster and “Star Trek” (Movie Novelization – Audiobook) narrated by Zachary Quinto, which was originally published on NewWorlds.ph on 26 June 2009.

star trekStar Trek
Author: Alan Dean Foster, based on the screenplay by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci
Audiobook Narrator: Zachary Quinto
Read Date: Sometime in 2009
Rating: Novel – 4 out of 5 stars; Audiobook – 5 out of 5 stars

The origins of James Kirk, Spock and the crew of the USS Enterprise from the 2009 film “Star Trek” and how these iconic characters came together in the alternate reality caused by Nero’s time travel. This book is the novelization of the 2009 film of the same name.

* This review assumes readers have at least watched the film. 🙂 *

When I read a novel, I create an independent movie in my mind. I visualize scenes and characters vividly as if I were directing them, and every word contributes to my imaginary screenplay.

Listening to audiobooks, on the other hand, provide me with a completely different kind of entertainment. In a way, they add sound and music to my mental indie film, especially if the narrator delivers an exceptional performance. For a long time now, my personal standard for audiobooks is Stephen Fry’s reading of Harry Potter – all 7 of them. Even though I’ve read each of the books several times over, I still take away something new from the story every time I listen to him.

In the past, I’ve always read the books before listening to their audiobook counterparts. I didn’t realize doing things in reverse will result in an unexpected side-effect; at the time, the books were simply easier to get hold of than the audiobooks.

With the movie novelization of Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci’s Star Trek by Alan Dean Foster, I experienced the novel by listening to Zachary Quinto’s unabridged narration first, so I’m now writing about both the book and the audiobook simultaneously. [Full Disclosure: I’ve listened to the audiobook too many times that I can’t read the book without hearing ZQ’s voice inside my head.]

Foster’s adaptation stays true to Kurtzman and Orci’s screenplay and basic storyline about James Tiberius Kirk, Spock, the rest of the crew of the Federation Starship USS Enterprise, and how their lives were changed by a time-travelling villain who is out for revenge. Foster, however, wrote in several key scenes that were cut from the film [For reference: DVD list of deleted scenes]. They became effective establishing scenes: Spock’s birth, a little more about Kirk’s childhood, certain parts of the Kobayashi Maru arc.

Conversely, there were also scenes that he did not include but were shot for the film and edited out. Why he did not write about Nero and Crew’s time at the Klingon prison planet when it could have been used to give the readers more insight into the Romulans is a mystery to me. He also extended many of the scenes from the screenplay. The discussion between the people on the bridge after Kirk assumed command of the Enterprise became the platform to unravel the intricacies of the parallel timeline plot point. If the final cut of this scene from the film forced audiences to take leaps to connect the dots, the scene in the book will at least help readers grasp the concept at the same time the characters do. A lot of sections were also added to establish relationships and flesh out characters and backstories.

One of the fascinating things about novelizations is being privy to the characters’s thoughts. Foster gives us a lot of these, especially for Kirk and Spock. However, his characterization of Kirk did not quite endear the character to me as the movie did. Kirk does have his moments, but he is abrasive and arrogant for the most part. In contrast, Chris Pine’s portrayal gave that same arrogance a softer edge and a certain vulnerability and charm. I always root for movie!Kirk, but I wouldn’t mind someone hitting novel!Kirk squarely in the face just once. Foster’s Spock was written closer to how the Vulcan was portrayed by Zachary Quinto, though Spock in the novel is perhaps less intriguing. The other characters were better written, most notably Leonard McCoy and Christopher Pike.

I’m not too crazy about the general writing style that Foster employed, but the one thing I specifically loved and he got right is the humor of the film; this really redeemed the novel in my eyes. If I had read this before listening to the audiobook, though, I fear I might have been a bit more disagreeable, so special commendation must be given to Zachary Quinto for his narration.

For someone who is on his first stint as an audiobook narrator, Quinto turned in a remarkable performance. He has a very pleasant voice and good enunciation. His extensive experience as an actor obviously came into play as he gave a lot of thought to how each scene and character will be portrayed, capturing the essence of the performances of his fellow cast members in the film, yet giving each one his own personal interpretation.

Quinto’s narrator voice is appropriately neutral most of the time; omniscient, but never intrusive. However, he adjusts perceptibly to add atmosphere to certain sections. This is best exemplified by the transition from a subdued reading of Spock’s audience with the elders in Vulcan to a more vibrant reading of Kirk’s bar scene in Iowa, you can almost hear the jovial music playing in the room; from the frantic reading of Kirk’s encounter with the monster in Delta Vega to a wistful reading of Kirk and Spock Prime’s mindmeld; from the melancholic reading of the scene between Spock and Sarek to the urgent reading of the strategy session on the Bridge.

The voices he created for the different characters were very distinct, but he never resorts to exaggeration. Instead, he varies the cadence, texture, volume, and tone of his voice slightly to convey McCoy’s gruffness, Kirk’s brashness, Spock’s calmness tinged with emotion, Chekov’s eagerness, Nero’s subtle menace, Pike’s confidence, Uhura’s femininity, and yes, even the monster Polarilla’s growls. My only problem was I could not stop laughing at his portrayal of Amanda Grayson. Quinto also managed the accents of both Chekov and Scotty wonderfully, again, rendering a distinct reading without resorting to parody.

In conclusion, Foster generally did a good job of adapting the screenplay and adding richness to the story we see on film, but there are glaring hits, misses and inconsistencies. Quinto, for his part, pleasantly surprises, entertains, and elevates the novelization to a new level.

♪♫ ♪♫ ♪♫
Excerpt from the audiobook:

Other Stories: Despite the fangirling, somehow, it still comes around to books.

this is how i roll AVATARI’ve toyed with the idea of putting up another blog where I could write about non-book-related things and occasional personal stuff, but then I remembered that I put up a disclaimer that there will be non-book stuff in this blog because it’s The Girl Who Read and Other Stories after all, and stories are everywhere, not just in books. Besides, it’s just a pain to maintain too many blogs.

So, lest I protest too much, I will just go ahead and write, and…yeah, I’ll probably do this every weekend.

bag

Caution: Fangirl Blogging.

Continue reading

Miscellany: Emo about AMoL + Steelheart Into Darkness + Book Nerd Confessions

“A Memory of Light,” the final book in Robert Jordan’s “The Wheel of Time” saga, was released in the U.S. today. And while starting the series is part of my Reading Goal this year so I don’t have much of a clue about the story, I nevertheless got kinda emo over Brandon Sanderson’s blog post about reading the final scene in the Saga. In truth, I even got emo back when I was reading a fan’s account of attending RJ’s funeral. I guess it’s the thought of RJ not being able to finish his magnum opus after years and years of effort. It’s a good thing he was organized enough to leave lots of notes and that he had enough time to leave instructions.

Or maybe I’m just plain emo at heart.

Also, it’s now a bit less intimidating for me to start “The Eye of the World” now that there’s an end in sight.

✿ ✿ ✿

steelheartSanderson’s next book up after AMoL is a dystopian YA (EDIT: Apparently this wasn’t the YA, it’s The Rithmatist) called “Steelheart”.

There are no heroes.

Every single person who manifested powers—we call them Epics—turned out to be evil.

Here, in the city once known as Chicago, an extraordinarily powerful Epic declared himself Emperor. Steelheart has the strength of ten men and can control the elements. It is said no bullet can harm him, no sword can split his skin, no explosion can burn him. He is invincible.

It has been ten years. We live our lives as best we can. Nobody fights back . . . nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans who spend their lives studying powerful Epics, finding their weaknesses, then assassinating them.

My name is David Charleston. I’m not one of the Reckoners, but I intend to join them. I have something they need. Something precious, something incredible. Not an object, but an experience. I know his secret.

I’ve seen Steelheart bleed.

It sounds epic! (And look, “epic” is now a pun in this context, so it’s very much intended.)

This is Sanderson, so I expect good humor and yet another fascinating magic system. It’s going to be interesting to see him do this kind of dystopian. The cover image hints at something a little more sci-fi-ish, so I also expect the world to be very different from his Cosmere-set epic fantasies.

Hrmmmm.

Okay, actually, the reason why this is giving me a sci-fi-ish, even a little steampunk vibe, is that cover art. You know, ‘coz there is this:

Star Trek Into Darkness

and THIS and THIS and…nevermind.

✿ ✿ ✿

Epic Reads has a fun post on the Undeniable Truths About Being A Book Nerd, and…dude, so many of these are true about me. But right now, I have a…

Book Hangover

And it’s all because I’m a bit drunk on Ernest Cline’s “Ready Player One.”

Ready Player OneI would never call myself a gamer, but I do love video and computer games. My childhood favorites were The Legend of Zelda and Super Mario Bros.; I finished Diablo II, Final Fantasy VIII and several Resident Evils; I love the Mystery Case Files series; I obsessed about Angry Birds and Plants Versus Zombies, and I even have an NES emulator installed in my computer because I still want to play the old Zelda with the pixelized graphics. So I empathized a lot with Wade and his geekiness even though his life is a lot more extreme than mine.

I also related a lot with all the 1980’s references because I lived through those years and everything is just so familiar. I think there’s an added layer of enjoyment of this book for people who lived through the 1980’s or those who are very much immersed in that time’s pop culture.

It is by no means a perfect book even if I gave it 5/5 stars. The characters are pretty much game character archetypes (not sure if that’s intentional or just a product of the plot) and there are some rather cheesy analogies and story points. I had other pet peeves but I forgot them amid all the fun I was having. I loved the pacing of the story and the geekiness of it all, the effort Cline took to world-build the OASIS and its mini-games, and the way the narrative sucked me into the world. Reading this was more of an experience because I felt like I was actually playing along with Wade. His feeling of almost-emptiness after logging out of the OASIS to go back to the real world is akin to how I felt every time I had to stop reading the book to do some work.

So because I had so much fun reading this…5 stars! And a book hangover! I have to get over this so I can start our next TMRS Book Club Pick: “Open House” by Elizabeth Berg.

More geek confessions: Back when Steve Jobs died, I half-expected Apple to announce that he has a clause in his will that mandates the holding of some freaky grand Apple app-based tournament where the winner will get a million dollars. I really did. For serious. For realsies. Oh, well, I guess he’s saner than I imagined.

“Scarlet” Book Trailer + a short story by Marissa Meyer

The book trailer for Marissa Meyer’s “Scarlet,” the sequel to “Cinder,” is now live online as exclusive content on Entertainment Weekly’s Shelf Life section. Click HERE to view the trailer.

“Cinder” is a science-fiction re-imagining of the “Cinderella” fairy tale, while “Scarlet” will integrate elements from “Little Red Riding Hood.”

Tor.com also posted “The Queen’s Army,” a short story set in the world of The Lunar Chronicles. The hero of this short story, Ze’ev, will probably make an appearance in “Scarlet”. We know from the end of “Cinder” that the Queen of Luna is already preparing for a war against Earth. I just hope Meyer won’t go the predictable route again–I hope Ze’ev doesn’t turn out to be “Wolf” because I really want to be surprised. 😛 Click HERE to read “The Queen’s Army.”

I wish I can draw because the Lunar Queen is seriously giving me some “Final Fantasy VIII” Ultimecia/Artemisia vibes, and that vision is reinforced by Meyer naming the Lunar capital Artemisia. This world lends itself very well to a visual medium that I wouldn’t be surprised if Meyer lands a graphic novel adaptation deal or something; they’re already shopping around the film rights.

So anyway, I’ve said in a previous post that I really liked “Cinder” even though it was a little predictable, so I look forward to reading what happens next. Just surprise me this time, okay? The world is rich and well-conceived, and there is a lot of room to play around with the plot and characters and to exercise more subtlety or authorial sleight-of-hand.

Cinder returns trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive. Halfway around the world in Paris, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother and the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she has no choice but to trust him, though he clearly has a few dark secrets of his own. As Scarlet and Wolf work to unravel one mystery, and ignore their growing attraction to one another, they cross paths with Cinder. Together, they must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana who will do anything to win Cinder’s beloved Prince Kai.

Cover Reveal: “Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2)” by Marissa Meyer

I recently finished reading Cinder, the first book in Marissa Meyer’s The Lunar Chronicles. The series re-imagines fairy tales into a sci-fi world with cyborgs and aliens from the Moon.

Cinder is a re-telling of Cinderella in which our princess turns out to be a cyborg who’s making a living as a mechanic. I enjoyed reading Cinder a lot, so I’m in for the rest of the series.

The cover for the second book was recently revealed along with a summary and an excerpt.

Book two, Scarlet, is based on Little Red Riding Hood. It continues Cinder’s story as she attempts to escape Queen Levana’s vengeance and learn more about her past. The story also introduces readers to Scarlet, a girl living in southern France whose grandmother has mysteriously disappeared. In order to find her, Scarlet seeks the help of Wolf, a street fighter with more than a few mysteries of his own.

Publication Date: 2013

There are two more books planned after Scarlet : Cress (based on Rapunzel), which is due in 2014, and Winter (based on Snow White), due in 2015.

Read the excerpt from Scarlet along with an interview with Meyer here: click! There’s also a non-spoilery prequel short story to Cinder entitled Glitches, which you can read for free here: click!

Waiting On Wednesday: “Deadlocked” by Charlaine Harris

 


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

 

I doubt it’s still Wednesday anywhere else in the world, so my usual “I come from the future” excuse won’t work today. The truth is, this really is just a late post because, unfortunately, there is still procrastination in the future. 😛

Deadlocked (Sookie Stackhouse #12)
by: Charlaine Harris

With Felipe de Castro, the Vampire King of Louisiana (and Arkansas and Nevada), in town, it’s the worst possible time for a body to show up in Eric Northman’s front yard—especially the body of a woman whose blood he just drank.

Now, it’s up to Sookie and Bill, the official Area Five investigator, to solve the murder. Sookie thinks that, at least this time, the dead girl’s fate has nothing to do with her. But she is wrong. She has an enemy, one far more devious than she would ever suspect, who’s out to make Sookie’s world come crashing down.

Publication Date: 1 May 2012

Dead Reckoning left me hanging, so it’s a relief to know this book will be out in less than a month.

Charlaine Harris has an excerpt of chapter 2 up on her website (click!), and if my math and logic are any good, I’d say the “devious enemy” being referred to in the synopsis is probably werewolf/Sam’s GF/Alcide’s enforcer Jannalyn Hopper. Sorry, Sookie, it really is difficult being the most desirable woman in the supernatural community. 😛

It will be intriguing to see how Sookie and Bill will work together to solve the murder in question. I still can’t forget what happened in the last season of True Blood, where Sookie essentially went all Team Switzerland on us Eric/Sookie shippers. Then again, Sookie is in a different place now when it comes to the books. Just don’t give me a Sookie/Bill reunion, please!

Oh, and I just have to say Charlaine Harris does excellent work when it comes to her characters. Even though I watched True Blood before getting into any of the Sookie books, I can still un-imagine Anna as Sookie, Stephen as Bill, and Alex as Eric because the book characters are very vivid. And that’s saying something considering Alexander Skarsgård’s compelling portrayal of Eric.

I hope that Harris will use this book to start wrapping up any loose ends going into Book 13, which is the alleged last book. While I love the series, it really does have to end some time, and this conflict with King Felipe de Castro of Several States, and the revelations in the Faery world are all good set-ups for the finale. Sookie’s journey has been a very long one, and she deserves her peace and happiness.

⍣ ⍣ ⍣

Honorable Mention for Waiting on Wednesday : Darth Vader and Son  by Jeffrey Brown! Super cute and super sweet! Coming April 18th. 🙂

Miscellany: While I was hiding out in Joseon-era Korea…

I’m back from Holy Week Semi-Hibernation!

Aside from participation in the usual religious ceremonies, my holiday also included a Korean drama marathon (The charming Sungkyunkwan Scandal and The-Show-That-Made-Me-Cry-For-1.5-Hours-Straight The Moon That Embraces The Sun ) and, unfortunately, much procrastinating on writing assignments.

While I was on that self-imposed internet blackout, these happened:

➳ Writer-producer-director Chris Weitz, otherwise known to me as the director who made a problematic Twilight book at least watchable (i.e. New Moon ), will soon add “author” to his résumé. Little, Brown and Company won the rights to publish Weitz’s The Young World, the first in an “epic, post-apocalyptic trilogy” set in a New York where only teenagers remained alive. [Source: click!]

It sounds a little too manufactured for my taste, to be honest. I can see where he wants to go with these teenagers who are left alone without adults and the comforts of life. I just hope it’s written well and that Weitz can bring something new to the post-apocalyptic YA sub-genre.

➳ As Lauren Oliver revealed when she visited last month, she’s writing her first adult novel. The Harper Collins website just revealed that the book will be titled Rooms, but offers no other details about the plot. (Duh.)

➳ One of my favorite authors, Brandon Sanderson, will release four shorts this year. I don’t know how he does it considering he’s working on other novels and is probably at the editing stage on A Memory of Light (Pub. Date: 13 January 2013). I think he’s a secret Mistborn and he must have found a previously unknown metal that can be burned to enhance writing efficiency. If so, I hope you can hear me, Brandon: will you be my Kelsier? 😛

Heuristic Algorithm and Reasoning Response Engine (with Ethan Skarstedt) will appear in the John Joseph Adams-edited military science fiction anthology, Armored. Mecha fans will probably love this! If you click on the title link, you’ll find a short excerpt on his blog.

Legion , meanwhile, is a modern sci-fi-ish mystery/thriller that will be released as a novella and e-book.

Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell   is included in an anthology called Dangerous Women, edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois.

The one that I’m most excited about is The Emperor’s Soul, which is set in the Branderson Cosmere (the core mythology will tie-in with the worlds of almost all of his adult fantasy novels). I love the premise of the story, and this promises to be another showcase of Brandon’s always-fresh-and-never-boring magic systems.

Shai is a Forger, a foreigner who can flawlessly copy and re-create any item by rewriting its history with skillful magic. Though condemned to death after trying to steal the emperor’s scepter, she is given one opportunity to save herself. Despite the fact that her skill as a Forger is considered an abomination by her captors, Shai will attempt to create a new soul for the emperor, who is almost dead from the attack of assassins.

Delving deeply into his life, she discovers Emperor Ashravan’s truest nature—and the opportunity to exploit it. Her only possible ally is one who is truly loyal to the emperor, but councilor Gaotona must overcome his prejudices to understand that her forgery is as much artistry as it is deception.

Skillfully deducing the machinations of her captors, Shai needs a perfect plan to escape. The fate of the kingdom lies in one impossible task. Is it possible to create a forgery of a soul so convincing that it is better than the soul itself?

➳ In other Branderson news, Writing Excuses is up for a Hugo this year and the Mistborn movie is moving forward!

They now have a working script for Mistborn that Brandon likes, and it’s being shopped around to studios along with this “mood trailer.”


 
Note: That wasn’t an official trailer; it’s cut from scenes from different movies that were put together to show studios what kind of film Mistborn is supposed to look and feel like.

I wish I had several million dollars to put into financing this film! (Actually, I wish I had several million dollars, PERIOD. 😛 )

➳ Mina V. Esguerra’s new book, That Kind of Guy–I mentioned this in my profile story about her–will be released this month! She’s hosting a giveaway on her site. Check it out: click!

➳ Lastly, if you are wondering why I never posted about The Hunger Games after seeing the movie, well…let’s just say I had so many things to say that I didn’t know where to start. I had a LONG conversation with my friend Frankie via the comments section of her blog post (click!), but I lapsed into procrastinating and lost a lot of the words that I wanted to write into the ether.

I eventually managed to put together a coherent review, which was published yesterday on GMA News Online: (click!) I’m sure it’s evident in the tone of the article that I had more to say about the movie, but I had a maximum word count to abide by and had to choose only the points that are most important to me.

I hope I can still make myself write a proper blog post about the movie, but re-capturing my train of thought despite extensive notes is going to be an uphill battle. After a marathon of 2 Korean historical dramas, I feel like my mind is stuck in another time and place where magical english subtitles appear when people speak. 😛

I really should take Jae-Shin‘s advice, eh? Don’t procrastinate often; it will become a habit. Lesson learned! (I hope.)

Miscellany #02: Alternatives

 
It’s time for another “Every-Flavour Beans” post! :p

Alternative Alamat: Coming 14th December

Paolo Chikiamco (Hi, Pao!) is going to make it easier for me to get into more works by Filipino authors with his new anthology, Alternative Alamat. Rocket Kapre will release the book on Amazon.com, Flipreads.com, and the iTunes store.

Philippine mythology is full of images that ignite the imagination: gods of calamity and baldness, of cosmic time and lost things; the many-layered Skyworld, and weapons that fight their own battles; a ship that is pulled to paradise by a chain, and a giant crab that controls the tides… yet too few of these tales are known and read today. “Alternative Alamat” gathers stories, by contemporary authors of Philippine fantasy, which make innovative use of elements of Philippine mythology. None of these stories are straight re-tellings of the old tales: they build on those stories, or question underlying assumptions; use ancient names as catalysts, or play within the spaces where the myths are silent. What you will find in common in these eleven stories is a love for the myths, epics, and legends which reflect us, contain us, call to us–and it is our hope that, in reading our stories, you may catch a glimpse, and develop a hunger, for those venerable tales.

“Alternative Alamat” also features a cover and interior illustrations by Mervin Malonzo, a short list of notable Philippine deities, and in-depth interviews with Professors Herminia Meñez Coben and Fernando N. Zialcita.

There’s a list of stories and authors included in the anthology over at Rocket Kapre. [Link]

The Hunger Games movie news

Our local SM Cinemas promises they will be showing the film 1 day ahead of the US release. Apparently, this really is 1 “day and date” ahead, so it’s 22 March 2012, Philippine time.

Lookie at the cover art for all the THG movie tie-ins!
The Hunger Games: The Official Illustrated Movie Companion
The Hunger Games (Movie Tie-In Edition)
The Hunger Games Tribute Guide
The World of The Hunger Games

Danny Elfman is out as one-half of the musical scoring team for the film, and James Newton Howard is taking his place. Howard joins T.Bone Burnett on board the multi-album project. While Howard is a solid alternative to Elfman (and yes, I like Howard’s work more), I would’ve liked to see Hans Zimmer or Alexandre Desplat take on something like THG. Then again, since there are roughly 4 months to go and 2 albums to produce, maybe the filmmakers prefer to play it safe.

More Book-to-Movie Madness: “John Carter”

The trailer is out! I saw this in 3D ahead of our screening of The Adventures of Tintin, and it looks like Pixar did a great job on the production design.


 
It needs better marketing buzz, though, to be honest. John Lasseter apparently didn’t want to use the title of the source material, John Carter of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs, because JC isn’t quite “of Mars” yet in this movie. Ye-huh, but “John Carter” does not exactly pique one’s interest. It’s not as if he’s James Bond or something…even if he is played by someone like Taylor Kitsch.

At least they didn’t go with the original Princess of Mars. How about: John Carter, Princess of Mars? 😛

Okay, okay, moving on.

Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day!

They have one in the US! I wish we did, too. We need to change that “it’s like taking a kid to a candy store” expression to “it’s like taking a kid to a book store”. ;p

Other Stories:

Hollywood’s Blood Money: Variety has a piece about Hollywood’s on-going love affair with vampires.

– Now I know how I want my book shelf to look.

– Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross have released 6 tracks from their upcoming The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. For free!

Why 3D Movies Need to Die. Until they can do better, I say Amen to that.

– JJ Abrams took it back: Benicio del Toro won’t be in the Star Trek sequel anymore. But what about Khan? *dun dun dunnnnn*
 

Want Books: The Strange Case of Origami Yoda

 


Want Books? is a weekly meme hosted at Chachic’s Book Nook and features released books that you want but you can’t have for some reason. It can be because it’s not available in your country, in your library or you don’t have the money for it right now.

 

   

 

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger
In this funny, uncannily wise portrait of the dynamics of a sixth-grade class and of the greatness that sometimes comes in unlikely packages, Dwight, a loser, talks to his classmates via an origami finger puppet of Yoda. If that weren’t strange enough, the puppet is uncannily wise and prescient. Origami Yoda predicts the date of a pop quiz, guesses who stole the classroom Shakespeare bust, and saves a classmate from popularity-crushing embarrassment with some well-timed advice. Dwight’s classmate Tommy wonders how Yoda can be so smart when Dwight himself is so clueless. With contributions from his puzzled classmates, he assembles the case file that forms this novel.

Darth Paper Strikes Back by Tom Angleberger
It is a dark time at Ralph McQuarrie Middle School. After suffering several Origami Yoda–related humiliations, Harvey manages to get Dwight suspended from school for being a “troublemaker.” Origami Yoda pleads with Tommy and Kellen to save Dwight by making a new case file—one that will show how Dwight’s presence benefits McQuarrie. With the help of their friends, Tommy and Kellen record cases such as “Origami Yoda and the Pre-eaten Wiener,” “Origami Yoda and the Exploding Pizza Bagels,” and “Origami Yoda and Wonderland: The Musical.” But Harvey and his Darth Paper puppet have a secret plan that could make Dwight’s suspension permanent . . .

 
I’ve had Origami Yoda on my wishlist since last year, and I still haven’t managed to find a copy in a local book store. I feel like I’ve lost some of my Star Wars Fan cred. :p

The posts on the Origami Yoda blog keep popping up on my Twitter and WordPress feeds like constant reminders to “go call the book store to order these or Darth Paper will order the Origami Death Star to destroy your Origami Planet.”

Fine. *prepares to give book store a call*

The Force: 1. Meann: 0.

Miscellany #01: 24 November 2011

 
Anne McCaffrey (1926-2011)
Anne McCaffrey, a legend in the SF/F community, passed away yesterday. As someone who loves fantasy, I understand what her loss means to the genre and to the people who were inspired and influenced by her works. I must, however, take this as a cue to confess that I have not read any of her books. I know, I know. Feel free to send out your fiercest dragons to hunt me down for this blasphemy (Warning: I wear a Ring of Dragonfire Protection). Or if you don’t have any dragons to send out, maybe you can hit the comments section and send me suggestions for which of her books I should read first instead. ;p

“The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” clothing line to be launched
I still haven’t managed to get past the first chapter of the book, but I’m excited to see the movie starring Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig. Trish Summerville, the costume designer for the film, is going to launch a men’s clothing line inspired by Mikael Blomkvist’s outfits in the movie, and a women’s clothing line inspired by Lisbeth Salander’s. This warms my little movie geek’s (and my little closet fashion fan’s) heart.

Speaking of fashion, I love Rooney Mara’s dress on the cover of Vogue. 😀

10 Themes Shared by Science Fiction and Historical Fiction
It explains a lot. 😉 [Link to article]

Also, Keith Thompson is ♥, and here’s proof:

Ronreads Interview: Junot Diaz
My friend Ron was very lucky to have interviewed Pulitzer prize winner Junot Diaz during the Manila International Literary Festival. He seems like such a fun guy to talk to (color me envious, Ron!), and I love that he’s taken the time to get to know the Philippines and the Filipinos. [Link to interview transcript]

Open Call for Submissions: “Horror: Fantastic Filipino Fiction for Young Adults”
Hit the link if you’re interested to submit something. [Link]

#bumperstickersforwriters
A couple of days ago, I stumbled upon this fun Twitter meme, #bumperstickersforwriters. Here are some of the funnier entries:
– “Support our tropes.” @3rdplacepress
– “I’m not lost; I’m procrastinating.” @katelhunter
– “I just killed someone.” @LisaDMartinez
– “Cut me off and I’ll break your fourth wall.” @IrisBlasi
– “It’s not cheating if he’s only an imaginary lover.” @EbonyMcKenna. I suppose this counts for the #bumperstickersforbookworms meme too, if ever one gets started. :p

Notable Children’s Books of 2011
The New York Times released their Notable Children’s Books of 2011 list a few days ago. Maggie Stiefvater’s The Scorpio Races and Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone are on it! This makes me happy.

Other Stories:

Salvador Dali + Walt Disney = Destino
I just had to post this link because the short film that Dali and Disney collaborated on is made of pure awesomeness. You can spare 6+ minutes of your time to see it, right? 😉

Star Trek sequel: 17 May 2013
My Star Trek men in IMAX 3D. World, please don’t end in 2012. That is all. [Link to report + JJ Abrams is seriously considering casting Benicio del Toro]

I hate season breaks
The Vampire Diaries is on season break, so I’ve had to resort to re-watching the first 8 episodes of season 3 and some from the tail-end of season 2 (Klaus walks into a bar and confronts Damon and Alaric…) Sometimes news breaks the monotony: lo and behold, Ausiello comes through with a spoiler!

For the record, though, I see all the other characters as “somewhat less evil” than Klaus even if he is actually more complicated than just plain “evil.” So that description from the spoiler doesn’t really tell us much about Finn. The flashback occurring in the 1400’s, though, makes for more interesting Originals Speculation Fodder and also begs the question: is there a curse on the Petrova doppelgangers that has something to do with brothers falling all over or fighting over them? ;p I wonder if the writers will spin an Elijah vs. Finn angle on this one.

Enough rambling. It’s time to post a gratuitous photo of Klaus. Just because.

Please note that the caption should be read with Klaus' American accent from S03E01. :p | Image Source: The TVD Facebook App

Now, I’m gonna go open my media player and listen to some Coldplay while I work. 😉