Monday, 22 May 2017

Archery Update


Looking back at my post I see that it has been ten months since I last posted anything about my archery practice; or preparing for the oncoming zombie apocalypse, if you're so inclined and are thinking about narratives.  Anyway, it's that time of the year when the weather is nicer and we are getting out and shooting at competitions, which means I have had to eat my words about doing so as evidenced here.

Last year my scores looked like this:


And this year has seen me move forward and achieve my bowman rating:


We've entered a couple of competition already, and much to my surprise I've come away with a couple of medals and this stunning trophy.


Sunday, 7 May 2017

The Battle of Forever


I have a pile of books to be read.  I'm pretty sure lots of people who like to read do to.  After reading Grave I decided to re-read The Battle of Forever by A. E. van Vogt.  He is one of my favourite  authors, with his short story the Black Destroyer being the classic that arguably marked the beginning of SFs golden era, and also inspired the Alien film series.

My worry that the The Battle of Forever wouldn't stand up to a re-read was unfounded, and while I could criticize the way the story was told, doing so is not really my thing.  What I will say is that the story kept me engaged and wanting to continue reading, something that a lot of other books do not.

The plot is a combination of the heroes journey, a quest and rebirth, by using a naive character as the central protagonist who is a master of philosophy.

This device allows van Vogt to pit an intelligent but, gullible character against aliens who, if not exactly evil, clearly do not have the best interests of humans at heart.  This is in many way classic science fiction, in that the story is about big ideas and discussing a future where travel amongst the stars is possible.

I enjoyed it so much that I read it in one day, an event that is so rare nowadays as to call attention to itself, but also an indicator that the novel is short or as I prefer to think of it, tightly written with no flab.

With regard to my own writing, I'm still adapting to the demands of running a clinic three days week, which is considerably more tiring than just doing two days.  I've been progressing my second novel, but have realized that I really need to up my game when describing the aliens, because of stuff I've been watching and reading in the meantime.  However, progress remains slow, and realistically if I could do more I would, so I just have to be patient with myself.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Ghost in the Shell


I have now been to see Ghost in the Shell at the cinema, which is a thing for us as we so very rarely go to the cinema nowadays because it's too expensive, and full of people being loud, possibly as we were once from just being young and exuberant.

I shall start by saying the critics are wrong.

This film, while not a classic in the same way as The Matrix or Blade Runner were when they were first released, is despite that a solid piece of entertainment.  Probably the best live action cyberpunk outside of The Matrix and Blade Runner.

It tells a slightly different version of the Major's origin story, and for that matter Section 9 too, but this is no way detracts from the film.  If anything it's the best bits version of the various iterations of the Ghost in the Shell stories, as told over the years through the various mediums of manga and anime.  Scarlet Johansson is perfectly cast as the Major, and Pilou Asbæk nails Batou.

If you want a big screen treat go see it.