This still wasn’t a favourite book for me in the Earthsea sequence, because it deals so much with the consequences of what happened to Ged in The FartThis still wasn’t a favourite book for me in the Earthsea sequence, because it deals so much with the consequences of what happened to Ged in The Farthest Shore. Considering I’m not a great fan of that plot (though I have come to appreciate it more as an artistic choice and for the way it changes Earthsea), I guess it’s not surprising that I’m not such a fan — even though, like The Tombs of Atuan, this brings the female point of view to the fore and deals with some of the issues of sexism in the world.
The brief glimpse of Lebanen as the young king is lovely, and the understanding Tenar and Ged eventually come to is too. The stuff about the friendship between women, and the way Tenar realises that she’s totally failed to raise the kind of man she’d like for a son, also works pretty well.
But it takes away Ged’s dignity — and that, more than the loss of his power, I dislike intensely. He’s always been proud, and here… he can’t fight, can’t save himself. He needs Therru and the dragons.
So as with The Farthest Shore, I see the thematic importance. I just… don’t like it that much.
This was a reread for me, since it’s been so long since I read it, and I want to get on and read the second and third book. (Although alas, I don’t knThis was a reread for me, since it’s been so long since I read it, and I want to get on and read the second and third book. (Although alas, I don’t know that the fourth book has progressed at all since I bought them.) It’s a refreshing world where, though people have a duty to provide an heir, sexuality isn’t tightly regulated and once you have provided a child, you can love whom you will — and polyamory is also an option. Despite that, it’s not idyllic: the characters don’t always accept their lovers’ choices, don’t always agree with their actions, do things to hurt one another, etc, etc. It’s not falsely optimistic: in fact, the way Herewiss and Lorn hurt each other is very real, and recognisable.
The fantasy elements are fun enough, if somewhat typical (though that might be partially familiarity with later fantasy). Herewiss has access to a power men can’t normally wield, and yet he can’t truly call it forth. Lorn is a king without a kingdom, exiled after usurpation. Segnbora is wandering with Bad Stuff in her past and an inability to use her abilities for other reasons. There’s a fire creature that might call to mind Calcifer at times for those of us who love Howl’s Moving Castle.
There’s all kinds of humanness amongst the fantasy elements, which is what makes good fantasy. I really enjoyed rereading this, because despite feeling typical in terms of the plot, it feels like a world with so much more potential than some other fantasy worlds I could name, because it allows for so much more — it isn’t bound by Christian morality or constrained by our history. It genuinely feels like a separate world with its own reality, and despite the fantasy elements, that’s partly because Herewiss and Lorn never have to worry about being hurt because they’re in love.
Finding an intact skeleton of a dinosaur is rare enough: some of the famous specimens that look complete actually aren’t, with gaps filled in by guessFinding an intact skeleton of a dinosaur is rare enough: some of the famous specimens that look complete actually aren’t, with gaps filled in by guesswork, or from other skeletons. Partial finds are much more common — but even then, compared to all the dinosaurs that ever lived, the number that survive in some form as fossils is tiny. Every find provides new clues: an impression of skin, the hint of a feather, the presence or absence of marks which tell us how dinosaurs stood or walked.
This book is about the holy grail of paleontology: mummies, i.e. remains with soft tissue preservation. They can tell us an astonishing number of things about a corpse, and they can even include preserved biological molecules that can be tested — perhaps even DNA. This book goes through the past discoveries which have fuelled hope for soft tissue preservation, and given a lot of food for research in themselves, but the main point is an almost totally preserved specimen from Dakota. It includes background into the research and the discovery, and then a few chapters on what’s happening now. Frustratingly, it went to print before the research was complete, so readers might be left wondering if the Dakota mummy was ever successfully scanned, etc, and what that might have revealed.
It’s very much a work on an evolving situation: there’s more to learn from Dakota than is contained in these pages. That’s for sure. But that could be the case for years and years to come, so I’m glad this book exists and is accessible to laypeople.
This seemed like a comic perhaps more for my partner than me (and lo, she did love it), but I wanted to give it a try too after hearing some stuff aboThis seemed like a comic perhaps more for my partner than me (and lo, she did love it), but I wanted to give it a try too after hearing some stuff about it on the radio… somewhere. And Robert kindly sent me his copy to peruse, so I had no excuse (and didn’t really want to find one anyway). I like the art — it’s cute, but not too cute; lively and character-ful, without feeling like caricature. And the sense of humour suits mine pretty well too.
If you’re looking for a serious what-if about the Difference Engine, then this isn’t really your show; the comic itself is more about the characters, their endearing characteristics, their partnership. It’s based heavily on material surviving from the correspondence of and commentary on Lovelace and Babbage, but the events themselves are fanciful, often ludicrous, for the sake of a fun rather than “educational” comic. It works well, if that’s what you’re here for — and even if you aren’t, there’s a whole wealth of info contained in the footnotes and the appendices.
One thing I did find awkward about reading this was how busy the pages are. Text! Everywhere! Here’s a footnote there’s a footnote and another little footnote! My brain is not very good visually at all, so I found it cluttered and distracting at times. Colour might have helped; maybe not.
Still, overall fun and yes please to Ada Lovelace as hero.
It took me so long to get around to reading the second volume of The Movement, I thought I’d better reread the first. Perhaps it was very much of itsIt took me so long to get around to reading the second volume of The Movement, I thought I’d better reread the first. Perhaps it was very much of its moment, both in terms of the content and in terms of the effect on me: I wasn’t as taken with it this time round, though there’s still lots to love. The diversity of the characters, in terms of sexuality and gender and even political views. It’s great for the way the characters struggle against each other: they don’t automatically have the same opinions, and some of them clash on fairly fundamental levels (and yet friendship can win out — note to US politicians: try not seeing your opponent as total scum).
The art is still awesome; I love Virtue and Rainmaker in particular. And Tremor. Okay, I just love the art, okay. I do wish at times there was a bit of a brighter colour palette — I can tell I’m reading a DC comic just from the gloomy colouring! Though it is also appropriate to the world that these characters are living in, so it does make sense. (Marvel’s Young Avengers are a much more privileged group, after all.)
So if you were wondering if this is worth getting, the answer is — unless you’re a fanatic collector of the MCU tie-in comics — no. It really doesn’tSo if you were wondering if this is worth getting, the answer is — unless you’re a fanatic collector of the MCU tie-in comics — no. It really doesn’t present much new material: I counted eight pages of new stuff, if we’re being generous. The rest was either recaps of the movies (which, if you’re enough of a fan to be grabbing the tie-in comics, you’ve probably seen) or excerpts from the original Civil War comics. And sure, that might prepare you for the film, I guess, but so would rewatching the movies so far. The movie adaptation (which I have now seen) is different enough from the original comic that it’s not at all necessary to read the comic as a companion.