Not just for books anymore! I just looked back at my journal and found it’s been 3 months since I posted anything about books and such… So here goes.

#5 Witches of Karres. Very amusing mix of magic and science fiction. Witches with a magic spacedrive basically force a guy to rescue them from slavery, then make him into a fugitive. Ultimately they travel all over the galaxy and end up fighting a race of transdimensional worms… This is the sort of thing Schmitz is known for, though even more magicy than his Telzey Amberdon series.

#6 Year 1 Issue 4 of Baen’s Universe. Darn these things are long… Some good, some mediocre stuff. Nice to see the Ancient Ones series progress. The fish tales story is a bit tiresome so far. Murphy’s Law was amusing…

#7 First Meetings in Ender’s Universe, This is very good, but short. 5 short stories going from when Ender’s father was a child, up until he first meets with Jane. Includes the original Ender’s Game. I find the Ender’s Game novel to be better though.

#8 Exiles of the Well of Souls, Interesting new characters, Obie, Mavra Chang… Fun until they got to the Well World, then it dragged on a bit.

#9 Quest for the Well of Souls, It actually starts interesting, drops off a bit in the middle, and then improves at the end. 

#10 In the Event of My Untimely Demise, A fairly amusing book of advice originally written for the guy’s kid. 

#11 The Return of Nathan Brazil, My favorite wellworld book since the very first one because of the length of time it spends dealing with the universe outside the Wellworld. 

Next up is probably The Dance of Time. It’s another paper book, so it’ll probably take me awhile.

On the TV front…

#1 The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. So bizarre, but exceeded my expectations. Worth a watch compared to most typical Japanese School series. Haruhi herself is a complete jerk though. 

#2 I’ve watched the first 4 seasons of the new Doctor Who, and most of the first season of the original. If you haven’t watched the new Doctor Who, you’re really missing out. 

#3, Xenosaga Animated series… Short and seems to follow the game story closely. Good if you don’t want to slog through such a dull game for the story.

#4, Highlander Anime. Dreadful. Boring… I think I would have given it 3 stars if it wasn’t so freaking preachy about the environment.

#5, Origin: Spirits of the Past. Same as the Highlander anime, but it is slightly better.

#6, Nausicaa and the Valley of Wind, 4 stars after the adjustment for environment preachiness.

#7, Deathnote. Geniuses battling it out with notebooks that can kill just by writing a name in it. Excellent series…

#8, Castle in the Sky. Pretty good Ghibli film. Not their best.

#9, Howl’s Moving Castle. Like Castle in the Sky, it’s decent. It does have an anti-war pacifist bent like Zaitcev says, so it deserves to get a star knocked off.

I discovered Netflix Instant queue watching… and ended up watching a few series that I might not otherwise finish…

#10, Red Dwarf. Not really Scifi, but comedy with a SF background setting. Quite amusing.

#11, PaniPoni Dash. I had high hopes for this one given the premise of a 10 year old genius teaching high school, but it disappointed me. It was amusing in spots, but they just completely bungled the main plotline. It went all the way over to surreal and had tons of inside jokes. Also… When your main characters are an 11 year old and a school full of 15 year olds, that’s a pretty good indication that this isn’t an anime series you should be doing excessive fan service in… Just saying…

#12, Air TV. After Paniponi, I had very low expectations for this one. It looked haremy and like it would start throwing the same fan service stuff in. This one really exceeded my expectations though. It turned out to be a very nice story with little to no bad content. Mostly a story about mothers and daughters…

#13, Best Student Council. I had low expectations of this given the cheesy setting (An all girls school owned and operated by the students), cheesy title (Best Student Council? Really?) and the Puppet that was prevalent in the title sequence. Even with the cheesy setting it was well done, and the first episode’s absurdity didn’t really spill out too much on the rest of the series. It’s by no means a great show, but at least a solid one. Huge ensemble cast means that about half of the episodes just deal with one character or another’s backstory though.

#14-16, The Cat Returns, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Whisper of the Heart… All excellent, you should rent them now. What are you waiting for. Go on…