Archive for April 2011

The Other Side of Dark Remembrance, short review

Saturday, April 30, 2011 § 0

The Other Side of Dark Remembrance is a novella by Lee Kyun-Young, about a businessman who wakes up hungover and disoriented, in a place he doesn't recognize. As he tries to piece together what happened the night before, he begins to remember a bit more than he had bargained for.

There is a more in-depth review here, and you can buy the book on Amazon here.

I found the book very moving, and the scenes of the boy with [SPOILER] made me tear up. It's said out of desperation, by someone who genuinely and absolutely means it, in one of the most painful ways possible.

If you're left all alone in this wide world, you cannot go on living because loneliness is so painful. Hold each other's hands. You should not part from each other even if you have to die. Go on living, the two of you, holding each other's hands.

There were some elements that I didn't like, but I feel that there would be no point in listing them? The story feels more like a memoir or personal history than packaged fiction, and after a certain threshold of how much realism one intends to convey to the audience (which I apparently think this work has crossed even if it's not auto/biographical), I think I can't and shouldn't write around what the people I knew really were like. Even if it's not how I would have wanted them to be, and they're not who I wish I would have been. I might as well read someone's diary and critique the characterizations. And in the end I think it took an amazingly deft touch to make the work what it is.

scattered thoughts on william gibson

Wednesday, April 20, 2011 § 0

I read William Gibson's Idoru once in high school, and I couldn't get into it at all. I picked it up again a few months ago and this time I was totally immersed. I feel a little behind the times, considering everyone I know read his work way earlier than I did, and I'm just starting to mainline his books now. I have to wonder if it's just because I didn't understand the internet in high school, and now I ... understand it slightly more. But also, when I was age sixteen I consumed very little pop media/culture, and that is also a reason that the book didn't do anything for me -- at the time. Gibson builds his worlds on references. The reader has to have already done the homework. I hadn't at the time. I've done a bit more now, but for example, the Bigend Trilogy is pretty opaque to me, but my bandom friends are all over it.

I enjoyed Idoru but I think the strongest feeling the book instilled in me was a desire to get my hands on the computer models that Gibson describes, which just goes to show Gibson really understand products after all XD. Sandbenders are steampunked up laptops and okay I don't want those, but I love the name *g* I do want one of the "Korean models" that he describes, the ones that look like sacks of jelly with candy-colored cubes floating inside. 1) that DOES sound exactly like what half of east asia would crank out if they could just get silicon to behave that way, 2) I really really want one.

I have surprisingly little to say about Neuromancer. It feels way more mainstream ahead of time -- like it is less irreproducible than many of his other works, not because they aren't visionary/worth imitating/etc, but because not as many authors THINK like Gibson, and that's much more evident in certain books than in others. Neuromancer's flavor is something that many people can pull off, whereas Gibson's other stuff still feels unique to Gibson, even after all the other authors have had their time to get inspired and crank out their own stories. Neuromancer is (more) something that someone else could have written; his other works less so. This isn't a slam on Neuromancer at all, I loved it XD and it's not like "unique" is any kind of standard of awesome writing since you can also have Uniquely Horrible Writing, but I think being unique makes a "good" work ... stand out more, against all other works that could be equally "good". So in the end it's just why I think the others are more ... Gibson. Maybe.

In conclusion, I also finished Count Zero recently (on a Kindle, appropriately?) and really loved it. *g* It really gives the best of all of Gibson's worlds! Now to work my way through Virtual Light.

review: source code

Tuesday, April 19, 2011 § 0

Watched Source Code - the title actually doesn't make any sense, fyi, even though the phrase gets said a lot - and so long as I pretend the very end didn't happen, it was beautiful and bittersweet and I wish I'd written it. I highly recommend watching it. I feel the end ... would have been good if they worked that into the rest of the movie a bit more smoothly, but it felt like cheesy executive meddling, so I choose to forgive it.

P.S. I went in thinking it was basically a scifi-movie version of the DS game Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective (a dead person jumping through multiple other dead people's last 8 minutes in order to reconstruct a mysterious series of events), but it was actually more like just ONE minigame. Which is just as well, considering that I couldn't beat one of the minigames and so I ragequit >_>;

... So I guess there's still room for someone to write the movie I thought it was going to be XD