Archive | October 2011

Everything I Know About Science Fiction I Learned From Reading Comics


I’m having a weird fit of nostalgia. Most specifically for late Bronze Age Space Opera/Post-Apocalyptic comics. Off the top of my head I can remember reading:

1. Dreadstar (My dad read this comic and didn’t want my brother and I to know.)
2. Atari Force
3. Scout (going to put Dragon Chang here too.)
4. The Marvel Star Wars Comic (Do you remember Den Siva?)
5. The Micronauts
6. Stark Future (Has anyone else heard of this let alone read it?)
7. Alien Legion (really should be #1 on this list. Never got into the reboots.)
8. Rocket Raccoon (Like the Secret of NIMH with laserguns and early Mike Mignola artwork. Also the Boba Fett character was a black rabbit with red eyes…)

I’m not counting manga, Legion of Superheroes, or stuff I didn’t read like Grimjack/Border Worlds or found later like Kamandi and Magnus: Robot Fighter.

Anyone else remember others?

El Hombre

It’s a strange courage

you give me ancient star:

Shine alone in the sunrise

toward which you lend no part!

– William Carlos Williams


And Another Quick One…

I was walking back to my classroom yesterday when I passed three of my students carrying a box full of dirt and test tubes.

These three are a rather nerdy trio, so I like them. The dirt and test tubes made me curious and I asked what they were doing. They froze, looked at me, looked at the box, had a quick whispered conversation in Korean, and then one finally looked me straight in the eye and said in the loudest voice I’d ever heard her use, “SCIENCE!” before they all ran off.

It was the best answer ever.

You know what I forgot sucked? Puberty.

Here’s a Wednesday check in. My hay fever is raging fierce and mean so don’t expect much in the way of segues.

You know what I forgot sucked? Puberty.

Holy shit does puberty suck. You go from playing with GI Joes, drawing rainbows, and unicorns to crying uncontrollably for five hours and breaking out in zits all in the span of one week. And that’s just the early stages. Give it a few years and you’re a sanctimonious twit outraged because the book kiosk in the mall doesn’t have a copy of Naked Lunch.

But anyway, I bring this up because right before my Tuesday afternoon class (the one I teach alone) the 6th grade alpha couple (he’s a dope, and she’s a smart bully) had a big fight and broke up. Then it came time for my class. He’s not in it, but she is, and, well, the tears, my friends, the tears and I’m the “adult” in the room who, you know, has a lesson plan and wants to teach some English—but fuck all if that gets done when the season finale of Dynasty is going on in the classroom.

You know what’s really popular in Korea? “The North Face” athletic gear.

It’s so popular there are tons of knock off North Face gear. My dress sweat pants have a The Novella Face logo on them and my sneakers are The Red Face. Which only means I think of the Gas Face whenever I put this stuff on:

If I had a segue to the next part it would be here.

Mary Renault’s The King Must Die is one of the best fantasy novels I’ve read this year. No fooling. First, there’s the language:

“Then I saw why Apollo had sent a bard. Cretans do not know everything, though they think so. They know how to raise stones, but not men’s hearts. The people were afraid. So I understood why I was there, and called upon the god; and he put the power on me, to feel the work and make it music. I sang his praises, and gave the time. After a while, the seven kings with their sons and barons came forward and pulled for Apollo’s honor, standing among the people. Then the stones rose up slowly, and slid into the beds the Cretans had made for them. And they stood fast.”

Second is the world building, which is Ancient Greece seen through the eyes of a person who believes himself the son of Poseidon. If you’re a fan of Gene Wolfe or Catherynne Valente it’s worth checking out. Even if you always thought Theseus was a bit of a douche for leaving Ariadne on Naxos after she helped him escape the Labyrinth. It’s still worth it.

Quotidian Pohang – Three Day Weekend Edition

Stuff done this weekend:

Ate noodles and hotteok, not together but on the same day. While eating noodles the restaurant owner gave me some tips on how to hold my chopsticks. Hotteok remains delicious if not nutritious.

Printed out Clusterfuck, the Novel (it’ll either be called The Crooked Ones or Castle Junction depending on which pile of story-corpses wins the fistfight). This necessitated purchasing a printer and three printer cartridges to print the whole thing.

A new coffee shop opened up near us. It’s next to one of the faux-French bakeries. Drank lots of coffee. Also lots of green tea. Jin and I had a conversation about the difference between “being lucky” and “being fortunate”. We decided it came down to degrees of randomness and one’s response to that randomness, with “being lucky” being more random than “being fortunate”.

Would you agree or disagree?

Back to work tomorrow…

Quotidian Pohang

Apologies for the fuzzy picture, but I didn’t have my camera with me.

This is the big intersection near our apartment. The big TV screen was likely showing a commercial for a restaurant and not just white light.