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Showing posts from March, 2008

Da Fey

Read this story. Read it. Savor it. Enjoy as every moment throughout the tale unfolds, smacking your lips with every delectable sentence, letting the rough R's roll off your tongue as the Spaniards would since this story borrows heavily from the Iberians. Roger Zelazny might have become famous for his Amber saga, but the truth is, you see the full extent of a writer's skill in his shorts because he doesn't have enough room to create as full-bodied a story as he would in a novel (which leads to the rise of short short fiction but that's another topic altogether), but Zelazny is a genius and Auto-da-Fe is one of my favorite stories by this author who was well-received during his time but doesn't get half the public exposure it deserves in this day and age.

For you non-believers let me tell you this: J.K. Rowling can bite Zelazny in the behind, since none of the Harry Potter novels even comes close to the magic that this story generates. The first few paragraphs plunge…

Fantasy Storytelling and the Books that Make the Tale

I love hunting for really old bargain books whenever I can. In the country where I live in, there's this chain of bookstores that specializes in the acquisition and distribution of really really old books at bargained prices, and sometimes I would just lounge around in one of the said bookstores, running my hands through the volumes and hunting for the occasional book that might catch my eye.

While these bookstores carry mostly unsold books from publishers and other such surplus volumes, one can usually find the rare treasures from within the mess; classic literature books, for example, can be unearthed if you dig through the piles long enough (I have experienced this countless times; sometimes it's fruitful, other times, you end up frustrating yourself). Slice-of-life and adventure books literally litter (pardon the alliteration) the shelves of the more popular / consumer-friendly books, which are usually thronged either by romance novels or textbooks. In the popular fict…

An Ode

It's very rare that you encounter something that can be both poetic and powerful at the same time these days. Sometimes, you think all the miracles had been exhausted during the earlier centuries of history, and that we were stuck here, left to fend for ourselves. Sometimes, you end up thinking that maybe there really isn't anybody up there watching over us, or if there were, the dude was doing more watching than caring. Sad as it may seem, the outlook of majority of today's people goes a little something like this: we're alone in the world, so we have to look out for our own. I'm hardly at my quarter life, and I tend to see things in this light (which is, admittedly, kinda sad). It's like a defense mechanism generated by people living in a world that's become run by fast-paced businesses that require sufficient sacrifice of the self in order to survive.

The other day, though, something happened that helpd bolster my belief that somewhere out there, a holis…

This Will Shock You Senseless

As a writer, I make it a point that I read and read and read some more , because the only way any self-respecting writer would improve in his craft is to amass as much experience and information as he can, which, of course, is a rather difficult endeavor (given the restrictions of time and money, among other viable resources).

There's also the question of knowing what to read. Which is an important question, because while everything readable is always a valuable resource depending on the person, not all books are actually conducive for writerly inspiration. You could spend hours and hours going through books like The Name of the Rose or Solzhenitsyn's The Gulag Archipelago and you wouldn't come up with anything inspiring. Those are two awesome books, don't get me wrong, but they're both two rather difficult books - and when books get difficult, they tend to render you useless for the next couple of days (at least, in my experience).

Just recently, I came across, thro…

To Be Happy

Completion is such a big thing for everybody these days. There's a misconception that people who're truly happy can't be incomplete, since the lack of something important within the wholeness of the self can't constitute to being happy.People are likening happiness to stew. You can't get a good stew going without a good base. Now, I've never been the happiest man alive. In fact, when it comes to the level of happiness anybody can have, I'm probably the dude who's sitting in the aisle, trying to figure out what question number fifteen was about. But there's one thing I've learned about being happy, and that's people are never happy by default. Not with everything we have to put up with. People and things can make us happy for the time being, but in the end, the way we think and figure things out for ourselves is what's important.So yeah; in a way, the only people responsible for our happiness is ourselves. Which isn't a very comfortin…

Awesome. Just Awesome.

This article more or less sums up what I feel about today's increasingly fast-paced lifestyle. Like I said previously, I stumble upon a whole gamut of miscellaneous information at work, and sometimes, I end up hitting pay dirt; this find happens to be one of the more deep-seated, interesting jewels I managed to pan from the quagmire of the 'net.

I like how he compares present to past habits, and puts in a logical reason for the dramatic shifts in lifestyle. The ironic thing is that the same thing that's pushing the body more and more into workaholism is the same thing that everybody's working for in the first place. A huge chunk of what today's economy is made up of relies heavily on the manufacture and sale of cutting-edge technology, which admittedly makes our lives an eternity easier (can you imagine living with the old-school video cassettes rather than having your very own mp3 player? mon dieu!).

But what everybody seems to fail to grasp is the reality that this…