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Archive for October, 2018

The other thing I’ve been up to this month, in order:

Spaceport-alpha

Hat

Priestess-of-flame

All of these are abandoned paintings or sketches – two from over a year ago – that I finally went back to and finished.

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Some points of interest from the past month: up this time are a novel, a webcomic, a cartoon.

All you need is…to take a break from video games

51djxql872l-_sx326_bo1204203200_I got Hiroshi Sakurazaka’s All You Need is Kill with the intention of writing a full review, but after breezing through this it just didn’t stir much in my brain. There little more to it than the core premise: a soldier in a future war gets the ability to loop back in time and is reborn to the same morning whenever he dies, eventually using what he learns to become an unstoppable seasoned combat savant. There is a level of personal horror inherent in this what if but Sakurazaka only touches on it lightly. The main inspiration for the novel, its main obsession, and its central metaphor is video games. That’s not a bad thing; the experience of playing video games has become an immense part of some peoples’ lives and shouldn’t be dismissed. But Sakurazaka mainly skims off the surface, and it becomes uncomfortable when he imports the culture of online multiplayer deathmatches as manifesting in both the behaviour of the Japanese soldiers and the main character’s relationship with the only other character of note, the “Full Metal Bitch.”

There are a few moments of meditation in the face of destruction and some melancholy pieces near the end, but in this (thankfully) short novel those end up drowned in the noise of combat as filtered through a flickering screen. (more…)

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