March: what a shit month it’s been for me. I’ve been overwhelmed and driven close to burnout due to uni work, editing Empire Times, and family issues. I’m constantly in high stress mode right now and unsure on what’s coming up next or not. However, despite these issues, Empire Times issue 2 got released, I started creating a game for one of my uni classes, and actually got to do some reading. So, let’s put the shit behind and get into what I’ve read this month.
Corpselight by Angela Slatter
I finally finished reading Corpselight this month, after much difficulty. Overall, the story was really good, but it unfortunately dragged in the middle third. I found myself less interested in wanting to continue the story the further it went on. The journey Verity goes on through this part of the novel though is still very interesting, and what happens to her in the end is emotional. It has me interested to know what’ll happen in the next entry in the series.
Corpselight is a good book, but unfortunately doesn’t live up to Vigil, the first in the series. I will continue to read the series in the future as it’s really cool to have a Wolf Among Us–like tale set in Australia. If you have read and enjoyed Vigil then I recommend this book, if not, then pick up the first book and have a read of it before starting here.
The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords (Part One) by Akira Himekawa
In this manga adaptation of The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures, Link is one of the greatest knights in Hyrule. That is until a Shadow Link makes an appearance, brought back by the Dark Lord Vaati. To succeed, Link must power up the legendary Four Sword, and together with three separate versions of himself bring peace back to Hyrule.
Four Swords Adventures is one of the few games in The Legend of Zelda series I haven’t played yet. Copies for this on the Australian GameCube are rare and expensive, which is why this manga is the only real way I can experience the game’s story at this moment.
I’m still reading this from the time of writing this, but it’s been really enjoyable. It’s easy to read and has an engaging story. Seeing the Four Links argue with each other feels natural and is reminiscent on how the different incarnations of the Doctor from Doctor Who act around each other.
I will give my full thoughts on this in next month’s Book Talk.
I will try to be brief with short story thoughts as always, but this month I read two very thought-provoking stories, which may have me going more in-depth this time around.
The Smile by Ray Bradbury
From A Pleasure to Burn, ‘The Smile’ is the story of art destruction. It places us in a world where art is feared due to its ability to influence people. This story offered a curious insight from the mind of a young boy witnessing this happen, and how a particular smile makes him reconsider his life.
I found this story engaging right from the beginning. The painting chosen to be destroyed really grabbed me as it is one of the most well-known ones in history, and how even in an anti-art world it still can influence people. The ideas behind this story to me also felt very relevant, in a way. I feel due to all of the problems in the world and changes in societal thoughts that the significance of art and literature are declining. Being a writer, this is something that I fear deeply.
I highly recommend this short story to anyone who is interested in dystopian ideas and who fears collective belief. I also recommend it to anyone who is interested in a fascinating read which will make you begin to question the ways of society.
Long After Midnight by Ray Bradbury
Also from A Pleasure to Burn, “Long After Midnight” is yet once again another dystopian story. Unlike the other stories in the collection though, this is essentially a shortened version of Bradbury’s novella Fahrenheit 451. This follows Montag, protagonist of Fahrenheit 451, beginning from essentially the centre of the book and with its ending shortened.
It’s been a few years since I last read Fahrenheit 451. It’s one of my all-time favourite novellas and to return to its world in this shortened version was fantastic. After observing people around me I’ve found myself relating closely to Montag and the ideas in this story. Scary part is, most of what this story says about society’s ideals are happening in our world now: fake media consuming us, shorter attention spans, and literary censorship (recent banning of Animal Farm in China).
If you’ve read Fahrenheit 451, this is the same deal. It’s a great to return to the world in a shortened version. If you haven’t read the novella, then this is a great starting place also.
Obsolete, Absolute by Robert M. Price
From Eldritch Chrome, ‘Obsolete, Absolute’ is a cyberpunk tale that was inspired by H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos. I read this story but found it difficult to exactly understand exactly what was in it. While I liked the idea of the Cthulhu Mythos in the future, I couldn’t exactly understand what this idea of upgrading in it was. I find it hard to recommend this particular story to anyone, but I do recommend the collection it’s in at this point.