Monday, May 31, 2021

Random Thoughts, Part 14: Late (?) Pandemic Randomness

Made at:


My random thoughts series continues with Part 14! (You can see Part 13 here.) With this entry, I've broken 300 random thoughts and made it all the way to 332!

The pandemic has upended many things here on Earth, but my thoughts keep coming and they keep coming randomly. And now that we are (hopefully!) toward the later stages of the pandemic, I have occasional thoughts about that. But don't worry, there's still stuff about philosophy, the Culture Wars, cleaning the litter box, and the Snyder cut. And a few random memes just for a little something extra. Enjoy!

Dynamic Djinn: The City of Brass by S. N. Chakraborty

The cover is beautiful!


I enjoyed this fantasy in a world of djinn and other elements inspired by Middle Eastern and South Asian cultures. I figured it would be a good book to read during Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month. While writing this review I discovered that the author is white, and Chakraborty is her married name, so I can't say it has an AAPI author. 

Yet this work still delves deeply into the cultures and histories of the Middle East, North Africa, Central Asia, and South Asia, so it makes sense from that angle for AAPI Heritage Month as a nice break from the typical boring and problematic Eurocentrism of the contemporary fantasy genre and its endless paeans to Tolkien. (I also picked up Fonda Lee's Jade City, but I haven't finished it yet. Look for that review coming soon.)

Friday, May 21, 2021

Narrative Dimensions: Black House by Stephen King and Peter Straub


Black House is a 2001 sequel to King and Straub's 1984 novel The Talisman. It has enough fun Dark Tower connections for me and my fellow Tower-junkies, but it's also an interesting read in its own right.

There's too much going on in Black House to discuss in this humble review, so let me focus on two main things: the narrative style and the connections between other works and worlds, with a bit about the plot sandwiched between.

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Pandemic Journal, Part 20: A Different Kind of Weird


It has been a while since I posted Part 19 of my pandemic journal (March 23 to be precise). The last couple months have brought a lot of changes. Instead of a "new normal," I think we've reached "a different kind of weird." I'm fully vaccinated, my arm is healing (still not back to full range of motion), and I finished the semester. A lot of people are vaccinated here in the US (but rates are slowing down), there was a verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial, India has had a massive COVID surge, there are people (mostly Palestians) being killed in Israel/Palestine, and the CDC announced that fully vaccinated people don't have to wear masks even inside.

In addition to all that, I've been collecting a lot of memes for your enjoyment. So let's get to it.