I Spy: “A Visitor’s Guide to Mystic Falls” in “You Came From The Stars 별에서 온 그대”

Ever since “Edward Tulane” showed up in Korean drama “You Came From The Stars 별에서 온 그대” (a.k.a. “My Love From Another Star”), I’ve been on the lookout for what else our Handsome Bibliophile Alien Next Door has been reading. Look at what I spied in Episode 10:

The Alien has been reading about vampires...

It’s “A Visitor’s Guide to Mystic Falls”, a companion book to the popular TV series “The Vampire Diaries”. The Alien has been reading about vampires! I can still remember Song Yi’s “If you’re an alien then I’m a vampire!” moment. And I suppose this is more interesting than seeing Min Joon reading about aliens in popular culture, although that would have been amusingly meta. 😛

mfThe Vampire Diaries, the television series based on the iconic books by L.J. Smith, has already managed to captivate millions of viewers with its unique mix of immortal romance and very human drama.

In A Visitor’s Guide to Mystic Falls, YA authors—led by Red and Vee of premier Vampire Diaries resource Vampire-Diaries.net—take a closer look at Mystic Falls: its residents (both alive and undead) and its rich, inescapable history.

  • Claudia Gray delves into the events of 1864 and how they’ve shaped not just Mystic Falls but the success of the show itself
  • Sarah Rees Brennan tells us what it takes for a girl to hold her own against a vampire boyfriend (or two), placing Elena squarely between fellow vampire-daters Buffy and Bella
  • Jennifer Lynn Barnes takes Mystic Falls to task for poor treatment of Caroline Forbes
  • Jon Skovron examines the male-female vampire dynamic, in history and in The Vampire Diaries
  • Plus a guide to the book series for tv fans looking to visit The Vampire Diaries’ literary inspiration, and more

Min Joon might just learn a thing or two after reading Sarah Rees Brennan’s contribution.

I Spy: “The Happy Prince” in “I Hear Your Voice 너의 목소리가 들려”

I only noticed this last week, during my…ummm…nth re-watch of “I Hear Your Voice”, a.k.a. My Favorite Korean Drama as of this moment (why? that’s something for another post).

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In episode 11, Park Soo-ha (Lee Jong-suk) meets up with his classmates, Sung-bin and Choong-ki. Choong-ki returns the things he found in Soo-ha’s locker the year before after some rather…let’s just say exciting things went down.

Aside from Soo-ha’s journal, headset, and some papers, a copy of the Korean edition of “The Happy Prince” by Oscar Wilde was also found in his locker.

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happyIn a town where a lot of poor people suffer, a swallow who was left behind after his flock flew off to Egypt for the winter meets the statue of the late “Happy Prince”, who in reality has never experienced true happiness. Viewing various scenes of people suffering in poverty from his tall monument, the Happy Prince asks the swallow to take the ruby from his hilt, the sapphires from his eyes, and the golden leaf covering his body to give to the poor. As the winter comes and the Happy Prince is stripped of all of his beauty, his lead heart breaks when the swallow dies as a result of his selfless deeds. The statue is then torn down and melted leaving behind the broken heart and the dead swallow which are taken up to heaven by an angel that has deemed them the two most precious things in the city by God, so they may live forever in his city of gold and garden of paradise. (Wikipedia)

The book was probably part of their literature curriculum, although it’s not far-fetched that Soo-ha could have been reading this just for fun.

Maybe the writer wanted this to symbolize something about the characters or the story; she likes that device. Certainly, the prince giving the poor people around him the jewels and gold that were inlaid on his body and the deeds of the swallow are reminiscent of the thread of sacrifice that runs through the drama–of people losing their lives, their innocence, their memories, and even actual body parts–to either protect or avenge their loved ones.

Or maybe I’m just reading too much into this; maybe it was the only book anyone had on set, so it was commandeered as a prop. 😛

I Spy: “The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane” in “You Came From The Stars / My Love From The Stars 별에서 온 그대”

EDITED ON 2014.05.10 – My blog stats show that so many people have somehow found this post, likely looking for more information on the book after watching “You Came From The Stars / My Love From The Stars”. After posting this back in January when the drama was airing in Korea, I later managed to find a copy of the book. It’s heartwarming, and in many ways, Edward’s story is reminiscent of Min Joon’s. The rabbit’s journey and experiences with each of the people who manage to find and care for him feels like the many lifetimes Min Joon has had to live since he came to Earth. They both loved and lost and loved again, and eventually, managed to find their way back home.

I’ve added an excerpt from the book below, which is the part Min Joon was reading in the drama.

~゜・_・゜~ ☆ ~゜・_・゜~ ☆ ~゜・_・゜~

Soompi ran a story on how the book sold some 30,000 copies (in Korea, I assume) after this episode of the drama “You Came From The Stars 별에서 온 그대” (a.k.a. “My Love From Another Star”) aired.

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In the drama, Do Min Joon (Kim Soo Hyun) is an alien who has been living on Earth for several centuries. Just like any self-respecting immortal, he has amassed enough riches to maintain a swanky apartment with an awesome hidden library.

In one scene, he is seen reading Kate DiCamillo’s “The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane”, an illustrated (by Bagram Ibatoulline) children’s book.

37186“Someone will come for you, but first you must open your heart. . . .”

Once, in a house on Egypt Street, there lived a china rabbit named Edward Tulane. The rabbit was very pleased with himself, and for good reason: he was owned by a girl named Abilene, who treated him with the utmost care and adored him completely.

And then, one day, he was lost.

Kate DiCamillo takes us on an extraordinary journey, from the depths of the ocean to the net of a fisherman, from the top of a garbage heap to the fireside of a hoboes’ camp, from the bedside of an ailing child to the bustling streets of Memphis. And along the way, we are shown a true miracle — that even a heart of the most breakable kind can learn to love, to lose, and to love again.

Here is the excerpt which Min Joon was reading in that scene. I’ve quoted a few more additional lines to give it some context:

“Once there was a princess who was very beautiful. She shone as bright as the stars on a moonlit night. But what difference did it make that she was beautiful? None. No difference.”

“Why did it make no difference?” asked Abilene.

“Because,” said Pelligrina, “she was a princess who loved no one and cared nothing for love, even though there were many who loved her.”

☆彡 The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane — Chapter Four

I’m not sure why the writer picked this part to highlight in the episode, but I feel like the description of the princess somehow reflects what Min Joon thought of Song Yi at this point in the story.

When Soompi wrote that the book was published in 2009 and that it didn’t generate any interest then, they are referring to the Korean edition; the English first edition was published in 2006, and within a span of 2 or so years, it was nominated for and won several awards.

The publishing industry exec that was interviewed made an interesting point: “…that the bestselling status of a work can be influenced by a single broadcast is very bittersweet, reflecting the fragile state of the Korean literary market.” The appearance of the book was about as effective as most product placements in Korean dramas (i.e. very effective)!

I’m no publishing guru, and I have no idea what the literary market there is like, but it’s obvious that this cross-media thing is happening everywhere. Many publishers, especially American ones, know that social networks, movies, television, fandom (just go on Tumblr) and other non-traditional book marketing increase awareness and sales, and exploit those. Those are part of why the Young Adult demographic is alive and kicking…and hey, those are also part of how a K-pop album can sell a million copies.

I write about books and give away books not only because I enjoy it but also, in my own small way, I want to try to make people more interested in reading. Personally, while I think it is disheartening that it has to take a drama to get people interested in reading a certain book, I am nevertheless happy that it got people reading in the first place. I appreciate that the writer used such a public platform to introduce a book that she liked.

Next move for the publisher: invite Kate DiCamillo to do a book signing in Korea and make sure Kim Soo Hyun attends. 😛 (Kidding.) (Or maybe not.)

Time Out for TV: Gratuitous Picture of Yourself 0001 / “Dal Ja’s Spring (2007)”

Me too, Sleepy Kitty Cat. Me too. a.k.a. Gratuitous Picture of Myself After About 8 hours of Dramathoning “Dal Ja’s Spring”.

“Dal Ja’s Spring 달자의 봄” is a Korean drama released in 2007. Mother Monster Mabs recommended it to me a while back, but I only took it up last weekend when I didn’t have any other new episodes to watch because my internet connection was being a snail again.

Synopsis (Dramawiki): ‘Dalja’s Spring’ is the story of Dalja, a 33-year old single at a crossroad of whether to remain single or get married before she gets older. The drama aims to comically and candidly portray the reality and undying pursuit of romance of a thirty something single woman. The drama also highlights the life and work of women in their thirties through Dalja who is a talented managing director at a home shopping channel.

I enjoyed watching this drama very much because the story is a familiar one that I can empathize and sympathize with. Dal Ja’s story and her circumstances and her feelings will not be alien to a certain demographic of women, me included. These days, while many women are striving to build careers, the pressure to marry or even just to be in a relationship is ever present. But if you will watch this, you have to be open to how different the rules and perceptions of Korean society and culture are, though. If you will hold the characters to your own standards, then I don’t think it’ll be easy to enjoy the story.

Writer Kang Eun-kyung can be very blunt when she is trying to hammer in some of the character points, such as Dal Ja’s dilemma about her age and her relationship status. I know that’s the entire crux of the drama, but it felt like she got whinier and whinier about it. And we had 22 episodes to get through! 22 episodes, which felt like it should really have been 20 or even 18. I wouldn’t be surprised if this got an extension back then.

I am not sure if it’s because of hindsight and because I’ve watched too many dramas for my own good, but the plot was predictable. Again, not surprising. considering this is from the same writer who gave us “Baker King: Kim Tak Gu”. In the 3 dramas she wrote that I’ve watched, I was only ever surprised–story-wise–by what she did in the last few episodes of “Gu Family Book (a.k.a. Kang Chi: The Beginning, a.k.a. The Love Story of Kang Chi)”, and not in a good way.

But the thing about predictability and overall ridiculousness that Writer Kang does well, though, is when she decides to go in that direction, she goes all the way. At least we get a consistent story in terms of the tone and what we can expect from the characters.

Speaking of tone, I like that even though Dal Ja experiences a lot of drama in her life, the show doesn’t devolve into crying fits and mopiness and gloom and doom. I like that we get narrations which provide insight into Dal Ja’s thoughts, although it’s not that hard to read her. And I also love the humor and the meta and the camp and the overall artsy aesthetic of the show.

d200702150348ge1

There were a lot of super cute and hilarious and warm moments in the show, and there are characters you do get attached to, like the Ice Queen Wee Seon-joo, Dal Ja’s loveable Grandma, and the Cross-Between-Snape-and-Ms.-Trunchbull Team Manager Kang. The ending is tied up neatly, which is okay, but every single character was redeemed, which was…well, just a little too perfect. (Yeah, yeah, the fickle mind of a Drama Fan: damn you if it’s a messy ending, and damn you if it’s too neat.)

Chae Rim was great as Dal Ja, and the other actors were okay, too. I can’t decide whether I like Lee Min-ki’s performance here, though. His character is certainly charming, and he himself has quite an appeal, but he won’t win acting awards in my book for this; I liked him better in “Chilling Romance”. I did root for his character the entire time, though.

Rating: 3.5 / 5 yellow roses

The “Cover (Story) Girl” Blog (De)Tour: Review and Scoring the Book

CSGHeader

Cover Story Girl Book CoverCOVER (STORY) GIRL
Author:
Chris Mariano
Read Date: September 2013
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

1) She has amnesia.
2) She’s on the run from her father’s creditors.
3) She’s enjoying her last days on earth.

Ever since Jang Min Hee walked into Gio’s small museum, she’s given him one excuse after another about why she’s vacationing at scenic Boracay Island. Rarely has Gio’s neat and organized world been shaken like this. Soon he finds himself scrambling over rocks, hiding in dressing rooms, and dragging her out of bars. But how can Gio tell what’s true from what isn’t? Their worlds are getting unraveled — one story at a time.

So this blog tour made a detour back here, and this time, I’m posting my review of “Cover (Story) Girl”.

It is more difficult for me to review novellas compared to full-length novels because my reading list for the past few years consisted mostly of novel series. I’ve taken a liking to reading about a lot of story details, and I’ve learned to be patient when reading about how character relationships play out. And so when I read novellas, I feel like it operates on a different time frame, and more often than not, I feel like things are rushed, especially when it comes to the development of relationships.

That’s exactly how I felt for most of “Cover (Story) Girl”—that things moved a little too fast for our couple. Considering that Min Hee is from a different country and culture, I felt like Gio should have had a little more of a challenge adjusting to Min Hee, and vice-versa.

I’m not averse to a whirlwind romance in a romance novella, of all things, but because of the character profiles, I expected that Min Hee’s foreign-ness would have played more of a part as a challenge in the relationship than her mysterious circumstances. This would have “slowed” things down a little for them (emotionally, perhaps, more than time-wise), and the development would have felt more natural. But that’s just me. Maybe I’ve been watching too many Korean dramas that I already half-expect there to be a lot of roadblocks in romance plot lines, and for someone to push for extra episodes to prolong the agony if the ratings are high enough.

I did not feel Min Hee’s foreign-ness much, actually. The author has said that because it was difficult to get into Min Hee’s mindset as a foreigner, she wrote the character with a lot of caution, and it looks like this is how that caution became most evident. But, on hindsight, I’d rather have this cautious writing of the character than a forced, unbearably awkward caricature.

I did enjoy reading this story very much despite the above. It was well-written and fun and peppered with a lot of cute moments.

I love that Boracay felt like another character, so much so that the island seems more…real than how some other travel documentaries and blogs describe it. Believe it or not, I haven’t been to Boracay, but how it is described in this novella is probably how I will expect it to be if I finally get the chance to visit. I suppose the love that I can feel Gio has for the place reflects the author’s own love for her hometown; it’s a nice feeling to get from reading a book.

As was already obvious from my author interview, Chris Mariano and I share an interest in Korean entertainment. I appreciated all the references to dramas and music, celebrities and the fan culture. Fellow fans will surely spot all the meta, but for those who aren’t, those references serve to build Min Hee’s world a little more.

I also like that this was written from the guy’s perspective. It’s hard to resist using fan-ish fiction defaults even when writing original stories, so this could just as easily have been a foreign-guy-meets-a-local-girl thing. I’m glad it’s different because man, the climactic scene was worthy of a k-drama, and it wouldn’t have had the same effect otherwise.

My song choice as the book’s theme music/musical score is, of course, by a Korean artist and one of my favorite bands: Nell. People who have been reading this blog for a while now will be familiar with how much I like this band; I’ve used their song for a Scoring the Book post before.

The song is called “Beautiful Stranger”, and it’s sung entirely in English, so I’m not going to link to translations anymore. Enjoy!

Safe
I barely know you,
but yet I feel secure when I’m with you.

Strange
I don’t even know you,
but yet I feel so strong and bold when I’m with you.

My beautiful stranger.

☼☼☼❤☼☼☼

 
If you haven’t read “Cover (Story) Girl” yet, you can check out the following links:

COVER (STORY) GIRLGoodreadsOrder via AmazonOrder via Smashwords

To know more about CHRIS MARIANO, visit her at the following sites: FicsationTwitterGoodreadsTumblr

Visit BOOK JUNKIE BLOG TOURS for other exciting book tours!
 
 

The “Cover (Story) Girl” Blog Tour: Author Interview and Giveaway

CSGHeader
 

Cover Story Girl Book Cover1) She has amnesia.
2) She’s on the run from her father’s creditors.
3) She’s enjoying her last days on earth.

Ever since Jang Min Hee walked into Gio’s small museum, she’s given him one excuse after another about why she’s vacationing at scenic Boracay Island. Rarely has Gio’s neat and organized world been shaken like this. Soon he finds himself scrambling over rocks, hiding in dressing rooms, and dragging her out of bars. But how can Gio tell what’s true from what isn’t? Their worlds are getting unraveled — one story at a time.

As of this writing, there is a tropical depression that’s moving nearer and nearer to where I am in the Philippines, so it’s been raining for the past few days.

Chris Mariano’s “Cover (Story) Girl” is the perfect book to read on days like these because it’s set in sunshiney Boracay Island. Not that it never rains there, but…well, reading the book is like entering a portal to a place where the lovely weather never changes. I’m so envious of all the fun things the characters got to do, the yummy food they ate (calamansi muffins!), and of course, the sea, the sea! I’m pretty sure that if we had the chance to ask her, Min Hee would say that falling in love is more fun in the Philippines. 😉

I’m sharing my Q&A with Chris below. I’m also including my comments and reactions to her answers, as well as additional questions which I never got to ask her / tell her as I would during a face-to-face interview. Feel free to join in the conversation via the Comments section. 🙂

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Time Out for TV: Halftime Commmentary on “I Hear Your Voice 너의 목소리가 들려”

Hey, it’s been a while since I’ve done a Time Out for TV post!

These thoughts about the latest Korean drama I’ve been fixating on has been stewing in my head for a month. I really need to be able to put them into a “pensieve”, so I’m taking a break from books today.

It’s now a little over halftime for I Hear Your Voice 너의 목소리가 들려, which currently airs Wednesdays/Thursdays over SBS in South Korea. Episodes 9-10 aired last week, but my notes are more about the first 8 because there was a natural break in the story at that point. So…8 episodes’ worth of comments! This is going to be long, but it will be such a relief to get this out of my head. *flexes fingers*

Lucky Gremlins are watching a 3D movie! I wish I can watch Lee Jong Seok in 3D.

Lucky Gremlins are watching a 3D movie! I wish I can watch Lee Jong Seok in 3D.

Continue reading

I Spy: “Catching Fire” in “Wild Romance 난폭한 로맨스”

This is the result of me being unable to start on my review of “The Rithmatist” because I have to finish writing my story on Sungha Jung’s concert for publication. 😀 It’s been difficult to even start writing it because:

74d907522f3d9324fb332fab85ad830b

Now that I have my alibi, let’s get down to business. So here’s what I Spied recently:

Screenshot from the Korean drama "Wild Romance 난폭한 로맨스"

Screenshot from Episode 9 of the Korean drama “Wild Romance 난폭한 로맨스”: “Catching Fire” (Korean Edition)

Or to be more accurate, that’s what my friend Rainecaphriel spied recently. (Thanks, Lea!) 😉 She said the book didn’t play a particularly significant role, it was just among the things that one of the characters (a guy who is suspected to be the main male character’s stalker) had. Well, what do you know? Suspected Stalker-types read YA books! Kidding. 😛

“Wild Romance 난폭한 로맨스” was shown during the first cycle of dramas in Korea last year (January-March). It’s a romantic comedy/suspense drama that explores the relationship between a star pro baseball player (Lee Dong-wook) and his lady bodyguard (Lee Si-young). It didn’t fare too well in the ratings there because it was up against the juggernaut that was “The Moon That Embraces The Sun 해를 품은 달”, but apparently the drama had a small, loyal following.

I Spy: “Harry Potter” in “Princess Hours”

I am unable to write a long entry today, so following “Scoring the Book”, I decided to start another feature here called “I Spy”, where I post screenshots of books that I have spotted in TV shows that I am watching.

"Harry Potter" in Korean drama "Princess Hours"

Various “Harry Potter” books in Korean drama “Princess Hours”

 
I will cheat today, though, because I haven’t seen this drama myself. Fellow Korean drama enthusiast Rainecaphriel shared this screenshot she took of various “Harry Potter” books seen in episode 7 of “Princess Hours” a.k.a. “Goong (궁)”, a 2006 drama which starred one of my favorite ladies, Yoon Eun-hye. In this scene, Prince Yul (Kim Jeong-hoon) was reading the books. It’s interesting to note that these are the English Bloomsbury editions. 🙂

I chose this as my first entry for this feature because it’s my friend Leia’s favorite K-drama (and the only one she would gush about, LOL), and it’s her birthday today! Happy Birthday, dude!

Other Stories: Moonlight

I like looking for patterns in things around me. Maybe that’s why I was drawn to “Fringe,” which is one of my favorite TV shows ever.

This week, it seems, is all about the word “moonlight.”

☽ The song I listened to the most this week so far is “Moonlight Punch Romance” by Nell.


 I really love the title and the song itself, so I told my friend Lea:

 
☽ The day before that, we talked about a new Korean variety show called “Moonlight Prince,” which totally has nothing to do with moonlight or royalty. It actually has to do with books, and the concept is something similar to an idea for guest posts that I wanted to implement here but just never had the time to properly do. Maybe I should try to start on this soon; it could be fun!

☽ Lea thought the title of the show is pretty, though, and might be a good one to use for a story or as a username. And so:

 
“Next time I play a game, I’m going to use Moonlight Princess as a username.” It might be good to save this up for an epic fantasy edition of “Angry Birds.” LOL

Later, this prompted me to remember that I have a history with even more moonlight-related things.

☽ The local “Twilight” fandom knows me by my username: Clair de Lune (French, moonlight).

☽ One of my most memorable scenes from one of my favorite Korean dramas last year, “The Moon That Embraces The Sun”, is when the heroine, Heo Yeon-woo, sent the Crown Prince a classical poem as a response to his letter.

A monk living in the mountains
desired the moonlight
he saw it floating in his bottle of water and filled it
but at the temple he realized
that if you lean the bottle and pour it out
the moon disappears

[Translation Source: Dramabeans]

It’s such a vivid image that I can almost draw if I had the talent to do so. And it’s also significant in the story because it alludes to both characters’ developing feelings for each other and the painful lesson that they had to learn then: you can’t always have something just because you want it.

☽ One of my favorite movies of all time is “Sabrina,” the one which stars Julia Ormond and Harrison Ford. No matter how many times I watch this movie, I just never get tired of it. And my favorite song from the film is “Moonlight” by Sting:


 So there! I just hope this doesn’t mean that if I get zapped by some magical light ray that transforms people into supernatural creatures, I will turn into a werewolf. I’d rather turn into this instead:

Sailor Moon

😛

Snapshots: Bookmark Love #1

A good friend who became the catalyst for my geek-out over Korean dramas and 1 Night 2 Days—we call her Mommy Monster LOL—recently went to Seoul. (I’ve actually been watching the Korean dramas that are broadcast on local TV for years now, but one fateful day when we had a chat about dramas over coffee and she recommended I watch “The Moon That Embraces The Sun 해를 품은 달” started all this craziness. 😛 )

So anyway, she gave me this when she came back from Seoul:

It’s a lady in a hanbok playing a traditional flute called a dae-geum (대금).

엄마 Mabs, Daene (your K names escape me right now), 감사합니다! ❤,연혜

This year, friends who’ve gone on trips abroad have taken to giving me bookmarks from the places they visited. Gotta admit it’s a great gift to give to someone who loves books!

So yeah, maybe I’ll start a bookmark collection now. I’ll post more snapshots of (international) bookmarks soon. 😀

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.)