The Amber Shotglass

Emma has arrived!

Alas, a problem, ( once again my fault, as have been all the other misadventures in book ordering, not my book shop’s); So excited I was in getting the concept across to the person I was ordering from that I wasn’t looking from a Jane Austen novel, and that it was on their ordering list, that I forgot to say vol1.

Instead, I got vol 5. I understand of who, what, when and where, the art is beautiful, the dialogue emotive – whether its comedy, tragedy or moe – and its got one of the funniest artist’s afterthoughts I’ve read in a manga. Doesn’t smell as nice as Del Ray manga, (printed by CMX, who now do my beloved Megatokyo), but beautiful overall. So Emma is something I’ll be puttering away at over the next several rounds of Christmas and birthday book shopping.

I liked Hellboy alot – the sheer originality of character made fighting undead nazis and the cthulu mythos new again. The dialogue alone was worth it, bleanding well with the panelling for effect, eg:

[Hellboy spends several frames beating nine types of frag out of a frog dude, and getting it knocked of him in turn. They fall from a balcony and Hellboy stands over the unconscious amphibian]

Hellboy: “Well . . . thats all for you!”

Hellboy thinks: “It now seems unlikely I will discover anything of Miss Sherman’s whereabouts from the transformed butler.”

Or:

[Hellboy starts fighting back]

Hellboy thinks: “I feel myself starting to get angry.

Good.

Sometimes I can accomplish more that way.”

[Hellboy gets tossed sideways]

“Sometimes not.”

I liked it as an origin story that didn’t tell me everything but set the character and the genre sufficient to leave me hungering for more.

Picking up Emma, I also got Starship Troopers and the Princess Bride (William Goldman’s abridged version) – the last of my birthday/grad celebration shopping, I assure you.

Haven’t read TPB yet, though I remember the movie as but a boy. The book seems very witty, pithy and adventurous, so I’m hoping for a good ride.

Starship Troopers leaves me somewhat ambiguous. Without a doubt its one of the greatest military fictions I’ve ever read, of course,  and definitely the best sci-fi military fiction I ‘ve read (I haven’t read Ender’s Game or Slaughter House Five yet), but, when considered alongside his other works, I’m left to think that either he is a satirical master, embracing a mindset of the laughably conservative, making it real, or he’s the biggest crypto-facist sci-fi series since the Lensman works. Women are in space but pilots only – no ladies in the Mobile Infantry, an organisation which Heinlein states over and again fights for the protection of women in particular, etc.

Given that its Heinlein, I’d give him the benefit of the doubt.

In terms of the film (lets pretend the sequel didn’t happen), its much like Shawshank Redemption – the film tied together variant themes, characters, plots, while keeping the heart of the novella, within reason. Its Heinlein, so if its one of his top works it stans head and shoulders above many others.

The book also has many things a film obviously couldn’t afford; powered armour capable of flight, open air atomic explosions, being shot onto the planet in iron eggs from in orbit spacecraft, etc. Awesome.

Next Week: The Princess Bride (probably)

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2 Responses to The Amber Shotglass

  1. Revenant says:

    Beloved Megatokyo?

    Personally, I’ve felt that it’s been in a constant downward spiral for several years now. I don’t know why I still read it. It always confused me how someone who is supposedly making a living off of this manages to consistently fail to meet deadlines too.

  2. flannelcrat says:

    Oooh, burn.

    Meh, this skipping ahead a week thing was a welcome plot enema. I’m willing to continue.

    I’ll be interested in this probably print-only Warmth thing when it comes about – his whininess about daily completes aside, we’ll be able to see what he can do with a flowing, revisable story.

    And you know why you still read it – he lured you in with the comedy, and then burned out your heart with sadness and lots and lots of snow . . . .

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