Saturday, September 23, 2006

Review catch-up

Book — Rainbows End by Vernor Vinge

The novel for which Fast times at Fairmont High was the warm-up; a vision of 20 years from now, with ubiquitous computation and augmented reality just part of the fabric of life. Some of the political background may be a little bit suspect (a US-PRC war, India joining the EU, all quiet on the al-Qaeda front), but definitely the sort of future I'd like to have, if I can't have the one I was promised in Dan Dare.

And after such a gap, you forget quite how good a thriller writer he can be.

The Hugo will be a reflex response.

Anime — The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya

It's a high-school drama, about the eponymous Haruhi who feels that life is boring, and wants to find interesting people, like aliens, time-travellers or espers. Since none identify themselves to her, she recruits (drafts) some of her classmates to try and find sources of weirdness. But, little does she know…

Adding to the fun of the revelations, the show is shown out of order, according to the internal chronology, so characters can make tantalising reference to things that have happened, which we are yet to see.

Is this show a cynical confection of everything but the kitchen sink, or just clever fun? Hard to tell, but it was an enjoyable ride.

Anime — Black Lagoon

If Jerry Bruckheimer made anime, he would have made Black Lagoon.

It's about pirates in the South China Sea, and a hapless sarariman who finds liberation from his dead-end job after being taken hostage. Admittedly the pirates are a bunch of Yanks, rather than the usual run of lascars, and Reby, their enforcer, is one helluva woman.

You know how the show is going to be after the helicopter gunship/motor torpedo boat duel in the second episode.

Not deep, but violent fun.

[Now playing - Planet Rock]

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