Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Weird Fiction

Painwise, by James Tiptree, Jr. This has to be one of the weirdest stories I've ever read.

I also read Ellison's "I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream" but the narrator's description of the only female character almost put me off of the whole story. I'd heard the guy was kind of a jerk/misogynist, but... I didn't expect that in what I'd always heard described as a great classic sci-fi piece.

For what it's worth, I've liked all of the Tiptree that I've read, but had trouble finding more... then again, I have trouble finding fiction that appeals to me, period. Everything has to be full of crappy romance subplots nowadays-- either that, or in sci-fi/fantasy, played-out macho wankery. (The female-written stuff I tried to look up is mostly romance-saturated.)

I'm not fictionally well-educated anymore. Mostly, I read nonfiction. If there are good recent fantasy or sci-fi writers without boring tired out crap or juvenile wanking, I'd be glad to hear about them. For a long while, I've pretty much stuck to reading old things I never had the chance to. I like things such as Lovecraft, Ray Bradbury, Ursula leGuin and Angela Carter, and can't remember the last fiction book I read, unless you count reading online archives of Lovecraft or 19th century weirdness like Dunsany. I've seen recommendations of Joanna Russ and Shari Tepper for so-called 'feminist' sci-fi, but has anyone read them?

More fiction links:
Tiptree - The Screwfly Solution
HP Lovecraft Archive
Arthur Machen - The White People, The Great God Pan
Robert W. Chambers - The King in Yellow


Here's an image from a book I had picked up some time ago called "The Devil Wants Me Fat!", a Christian weight loss guide. I think I gave it to someone as a gift, so i don't have it anymore.

The post on vintage nature illustration resources will have to wait until I have the brain energy, because I have massive amounts of 19th century ephemera and web archive links in my reference folders.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Fun with Creationism

Oh I was excited about this one. It was so worth the $4.
Published 1987 by MASTER BOOKS, Paul S. Taylor and "Films For Christ Association" and with a foreword by someone from "Institute for Creation Research"

Monday, June 28, 2010

Fuzzy-felt Bible Stories

Bought for a dollar at Gracie's thrift in Tempe, AZ. Dated 1961, Buckinghamshire, England. It must have pretty much all the pieces in it...

Has that page with samples of themes the kid could use. I made up my own scene at some point, I guess.

The product is mentioned in detail in this novel which was a favorite of mine, since I read it around the exact time I started to accept my own orientation, so it's pretty strange to have found it so randomly. I remember I freaked out a little at the time.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Goodnight Time Tales

1982, published in Great Britain. Enjoy~

Your Daily Touhou Arrange:

Sync Art's - Unhealing Scar

Friday, June 25, 2010

Not Enough LOLs.

How did I driled oil, lol

Texas GOP: No porn for you!

I LOL'd IRL. Is there really anything more to say? Ohhh I can't wait to get out of this state. They should just wall off Austin, annex it to some other state and call it a day.

Scientificator-type Smart Guys: If You Don't Wash Stuff, It Gets Dirty

WOW. Recyclable bags: a conspiracy to murder our children!

Another random book cover from an old thrifting spree. Man... being single looks so fun, why am I not having that much fun? :(


Your Daily Touhou Arrange contains traditional instruments this time.
The Primal Scene of Japan...
You might be fooled into thinking this isn't video game music.


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Vintage Grab Bag

I don't know about you, but... none of these phrases would ever occur to me as descriptions of pork sausage. But whatever, 1950's. Keep on keepin' on.

this book is pretty amazing, and I will post more of it later.

That taken care of, your daily Touhou arrange:

Murasame United! The Unbelievable Alice Assault

Speaks for itself...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Illustrated Roger Zelazny 1979

Found this in the Goodwill last week, for 99 cents because it was with the kid's books. The illustrations are amazingly 60's like and garish, but fascinating. A little sample.. (I'll edit and add the artist's name when I get back home)

Sweet horses.

Now it's time for your Daily Touhou Arrange; this one is threefold for the price of one.
Byakuren's theme (boss of UFO and savior/Jesus to all youkai, forever may her purest name be honored and stuff.) Let's see what happens when two vastly different arrangements take on the original game music!
Emotional Skyscraper - Cosmic Mind: original flavor
Star River - kind of pop-style vocal arrange by IOSYS
Fractal Cage - techno by East New Sound.

Can you find the similarity? It was difficult for me.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Inaccuracy in Paleontology: Spider Edition

Here we have a page from the 1999 Scholastic-published book "Dinosaurs to Dodos" by Don Lessem. You'll notice the gigantastic tarantula chasing a giant 6ft long megamillipede of the Silurian.

Read the text: Megarachne is described as a foot across in the body and extrapolated to a span of 8 feet. I couldn't remember reading about any 8 foot spider anywhere, so I went to teh Google and found that 'Megarachne' is an odd eurypterid (sea scorpion) that was originally identified as a spider, and reinterpreted in 2004.

Now this was from 1999 so the spider thing is forgiveable, but... everything I read about the fossil on the web said that the leg-span was estimated at around 20 inches. INCHES. Where the hell did they get 8 feet from?? Isn't this guy a super scientastic paleoperson?

An amazing example of inaccuracy, and only from 10 years ago. Amazement!
Then again, I'm open to any reasonable explanation of this...

Trading Card Reviews: Bella Sara "Moonfairies" and "Sunflowers"

Those who know me already know that I collect some trading cards, strictly for the art and to amuse my OCD. Bella Sara is really the only one I collect semi-completely; it's a world populated mainly by magical shiny horses (and some pretty creepy, chimeric and mythical ones) that I would have loved when I was a child. By my quick mental reckoning, I'm guessing Moonfairies is the 12th series. Oddly if not frustratingly, it was only last week that I finally found the
previous set (Sunflowers) in stores. So I'm not sure what's going on with that distribution, but in any case I'd like to review and critique a trading card game aimed at 8-year old girls. Let's see what magic and irritating human additions await...


Actually, I'm going to c/p my review from DeviantArt, because it pretty much says it all.

1. Now 5 cards and a sticker, no fake tattoos, and they put the point vouchers on plain paper instead of shiny cards which was stupid. The package was 2 card pack and the lenticular card thingy, which does have nice art of 2 horses.
2. Well, they have leeway for more creative art than "Bella's Ball" which was just a bunch of horses and girls in fancy dress standing around in the same environment for the most part
3. overall art looks better than last time but I always have complaints
4. Dryads and Wolf Riders? OK I guess thats cool.
5. Foxglove horse looks nice.
7. 'Story' cards that don't make sense to me and I guess you go online and read about them. Also there is no online code for the horses anymore but whatever, i just like the pictures.


This one is a bit wordier, I suppose. Firstly I should note that human characters were introduced in, IIRC, the Royalty series-- technically I think it was only "Sara, Goddess of Horses", but it was the start. Humans came out in full force for Bella's Ball, which also introduced 'story cards.'

Being not quite human and a misanthropist, I was not pleased, but can put up with it if they remain more on the sidelines (i.e., if most of the cards feature only horses.) As it turns out some of the humans aren't that bad: consider Twig and Deru or Ivenna the wolf rider. Twig is some sort of forest fairy, that's cool. She's pretty cute and refreshingly non-Caucasian (no offense, but a little variety is nice.) Ivenna seems pretty badass, I mean check out her cards. She has a super cool wolf and looks somewhat Slavic, Nordic, or something, and the art is nice. Predictably however, the story cards I pulled in Moonfairies tell us she is a villain, apparently one of those awesome villains who is just randomly evil for plot purposes... although I guess there could always be a heel-turn or Tragic Past that will come out later. But it's a bit sad. I thought wolves were all cool now? Go onto DeviantArt and just search 'wolf' -- you'll put up innumerable accounts belonging to 14-year old girls who draw nothing but their wolf roleplay characters and wolf versions of the My Chemical Romance guys. Why the evil? Maybe 8-year olds haven't reached the shadow acceptance stage or something.

All in all the art is cute this time, with the usual complaints (Minty's card has a beautiful background, but the horse is lazily rendered... WTH? I love the totally ambiguous joint of the wing. Uh, it just kinda... comes out of there... somewhere. I DUNNO LOL.) The usual suspects from past series return, including Moonsprite from Babies, whose original card had beautiful art by Stephanie Pui-mun Law.

New horse: Gherkin, steed of the fairy king. Hmm I have to say... I find this name very questionable, for a male horse. Isn't a gherkin one of those tiny cutesy pickles? Forget that though, he's a noble unicorn stallion named after a freakin' pickle. 8-year olds probably won't care, but there is something very wrong here. Run out of names much?

The Ivenna card is lovely, in any case.

That's my review. To finish up I think I'll post a Daily Touhou Arrange:
This one is from East New Sound circle, who pretty much do electronica/vocal trance stuff. I've been listening to them a lot because I like that style of music anyway-- it's neutral enough to have in the background while doing art or writing, but still emotional enough to really get into and space out with. This is a vocal arrange of Eirin's stage 6 theme from Imperishable Night, already a lovely song in the game that lends itself really well to arranges.

Honestly it will be really hard for me to restrain myself from posting multiple songs. It's not even a conscious choice to get deeper and deeper into this stuff-- it starts with randomly hearing one song you like, then you link and link and find more, and you're in a hole from which you can never escape. It helps that I'm already into this style of music, but the music from these games is truly awesome.

Jaa, mata and hasta la vista.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Great Dinosaur (and Prehistoric Animals) Book Collection

This is my collection. There are others better than it, but this one is mine.

***I'm still new to this program... can anyone explain why, after I make a post and go to edit it, none of my edits to the image display work? I keep having to delete entire posts and create them again. Also, is there a problem with linking images from other sites? I tried to tell it to display them small size, and they came up huge.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

From the sketchbook

Something I did a few days ago, and something else I did today while at the usual coffee shop:

The phoenix-like thing is based upon Epidexipteryx , although you may not be able to tell. About 3/4 of the way through coloring it, I remembered why i hate using colored pencils on this sort of paper, and gave up. Better line drawing is needed for the future since I kind of like the idea.

Tiktaalik is based upon... Tiktaalik. Surprise!

Thrift Store Book Get, Part 1: Children's Bible

Yesterday's haul. ( The red patterned cover is The Illustrated Roger Zelazny, 1979.) First installment below: Children's Bible, Vol. 1

On the Fifth Day, God created... coelocanths and Pteranodon? Cool.

I'm assuming this was pre-Eve, because Adam is looking a bit...
friendly with that there deer/antelope/whatever thing. Well... honestly, can you really blame him? Just look at those bedroom eyes.
Whoa, I just noticed how tiny that elephant is. Were there a lot of dwarfs in Eden?

Pretty sweet pic of the Deluge, I gotta admit. Really nothing to snark about here.

More awesome books in subsequent posts~


Have realized that I spend way too much space wanking about nonsense on either deviantart or the livejournal that maybe five people read, and things that don't really fit in those spaces. Need more room for images and real obsessing.

I'd like to post some of the old book illustrations I've been gathering in my regular thrift store hauls, so that may be the first order of business when I get some time.

It might take a while to fix the 'Links' module, sorting through my bookmarks was kind of complicated and I know I'm missing things I wanted to post there.

Jaa, mata... to the current deafening silence.