I just finished reading an intriguing retelling of Jules Verne’s classic tale, Journey to the Center of the Earth. It has its own unique twist to the original story. Instead of prehistoric monsters, the center of the Earth is inhabited by the arthropod equivalents of dinosaurs and other invertebrate abominations. In the center of the Earth, there are a million ways to get killed or eaten. Every creature, plant, and even the elements want to kill humans. A team of cavers follow a series of clues that lead them to the center of the Earth, but they get far more than they bargained for when they find themselves in a land of giants and nightmares. Now they are constantly hunted and on the run as they struggle to find a way back to the surface. Every character is fair game and you are constantly guessing on who would die next. It has been an enjoyable read and I am currently reading the sequel.
During James May’s trip to Japan, he made a number of interesting discoveries and encounters. While looking through the stores of Tokyo, he discovered a number of gadgets that were designed to solve problems that no one else thought of. Among those gadgets were self-cleaning toilets. I always knew Japan was a technological superpower, but I never thought their usage of technology would be this diverse.
Then James’s day in Tokyo got even better when he met a couple of otaku or “super geeks”. The interesting thing about otaku is that while geeks would be shunned by Western society, geeks in Japan are welcomed as an essential part of the social fabric. Otaku interests can range from anything from manga to video games. The otaku James met were a special breed of otaku known as train spotters and they knew everything about trains. They could imitate the sounds of trains, they would take photographs of trains in stations, they enjoyed listening to train station music, and they could imitate train station announcements.
As a super geek myself, I could easily relate to these two otaku. The moment I saw their quirky mannerisms and the passion of their interests, I knew they were like me. Since geeks are embraced as part of the social fabric in Japan, I think I would feel right at home there.
I have wonderful news! In the near future, my sister will be getting married and I have been chosen to officiate the ceremony. To celebrate this glorious occasion, I will be having a very rare giveaway where five of my books will be FREE on Amazon Kindle. These books include Numen the Slayer, The War of the Gilded Beasts, Cosmic Genten, Karmathaur, and Herawulf Rising: Origins. This giveaway will last five days.
I found a new interesting book to read called Primitive War. It takes place in the Vietnam War and a bunch of soldiers come in contact with dinosaurs in the war torn jungle. The book is like a combination between Apocalypse Now, Predator, and Jurassic Park all rolled into one. The characters are believable with their own set of relatable problems while the dinosaurs are more scientifically accurate with feathers. The dinosaur killings are definitely more brutal than Jurassic Park, but the dinosaurs have been described as animals instead of monsters. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes dinosaurs and war stories.
My first fantasy book, Numen the Slayer, got a four star review on Amazon:
“This was a complex yet enjoyable medieval fantasy series. Numen the Slayer had the tropes I expect in a fantasy story, so that was covered. This is the story of a boy who has a magic weapon, a classic, but there is also some politics here and there. Numen was a coherent character.
A classic fantasy story, a hero’s journey that, despite some minor issues, works, and makes you wonder how will Numen’s journey continue?”
I discovered that one of my favorite television hosts, James May, has a new television show where he travels across Japan. While he was in Kyoto, James tested a prototype robot called Robohon, which is equipped with information about all the locations in Japan. To use Robohon, James had to type in a nickname on the robot’s back and that was the name the robot addressed him. He tried to type in “Jim”, but accidentally typed in “Bim.” So for the remainder of the trip, Robohon called James “Bim” and proceeded to malfunction in hilarious fashion, much to James’s amusement. This scene was super funny and it showed just how funny James can be when he is by himself without Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond. James’s interaction with Robohon was just one of countless funny encounters he had when he traversed Japan.
I did some research on the space opera genre and I discovered something stunning on Amazon. Apparently, the space opera genre is surprisingly popular because there are over 30,000 stories to choose from. The picture above is but one example that is available. A few of them were released this this month in November. Since I am writing my own space opera series, this gives me hope because I clearly have a big audience waiting when I am done.