The Encounter Log

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Emperor and Clown by Dave Duncan: Finally, a chance to read the end of this series and find out what Duncan was talking about when he says he later realized he'd left a loophole that evil would inevitably exploit and had to write a followup series. Not only can I not spot the loophole, I'm actually not sure how the main character thinks the problem has been solved in the first place.

The Belgariad and The Malloreon by David Eddings: It's the rare fantasy series which has underwhelming worldbuilding (though it does get better over time), but a plausible and consistent interpretation of quantum mechanics.

The Riddle-Master of Hed, Heir of Sea and Fire, and Harpist in the Wind by Patricia McKillip: Then again, I guess any fantasy writer's mannerisms can start to get annoying with a sufficient number of books read back-to-back. I understand why the first book won a Hugo, and it completely deserves it, but I should have taken this in smaller doses.

Tiger & Bunny episodes 21-25 at Viz Anime: An ultimately unsatisfying ending because so much is held back for the next series. And yet everything else about remains excellent, and it might still make it onto my Hugo ballot.

Steins;Gate episodes 19-24 at Crunchyroll: This one, though, is a shoo-in for my ballot. It's been a grim and sometimes uncomfortable journey, but the destination is more than worth it.

970 A. D. S. by Glenn Hough: The fun part of reading bad vanity press books is that they can be bad in a much wider variety of ways than published works. This one here, for instance, has some solid attempts at character development and plotting, hiding behind a wall of terrible, awkward, clumsy prose.

Next Rest Stop: Earth by Patrick H. T. Doyle: Just when I thought there was nothing new left to write about Roswell, the Bermuda Triangle, or alien abductions, along comes this book to give the tropes a big irreverent hug and vault up to a whole new level. Additional revelations include what pigeons are really up to, and why tornadoes have such a curious attraction to trailer parks. The most fun book I've read in ages.

Leaf and the Sky of Fire by Jo Marshall: Despite copious cover quotage emphasizing what an excellent propaganda tool this series is, it's actually not a bad book. And the art is nice too.

Mayan December by Brenda Cooper: Yes, it's time for the flood of 2012 disaster/revelation stories to really get going. To give you a quick taste of the science in this one, the calendar rollover is repeatedly said to coincide with a very important equinox, in December. It's also the sort of book where you start wondering why there have to be white people in it at all, other than the author's imagination apparently can't accomodate people of non-Eurasian heritage being any good at book-learnin'.

Space Rangers: Yes, I came crawling back to this game eventually, and finally worked out the right attitude to play it with. The key is remembering that it was written in Romania in the 1990s. Cheat, lie, make free with the bribes, play the black market, and the way will open up easily.

Grimm episodes 1-2: On the one hand, nothing on the writing side to especially recommend it; on the other, it's not aggressively bad and it sure does make Portland look pretty. I might keep watching long enough to find out what they were taping at the Baha'i center last month.

Last Exile: Fam, the Silver Wing episodes 1-3 at Funimation: In episode 1, it looked like a safe, pedestrian sequel to the original Last Exile. In episode 2, someone got a moon dropped on them. Definitely sticking with this one.

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