Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thoughts on presents

It's nearing the time of year when everyone scrambles around buying presents for each other.

So here are a few things that I would suggest you get me, if you feel the need to get me something. Which by the way no one should feel they need to get me anything. I am perfectly happy not getting stuff actually.

My first thought is to donate to something. Donate to whatever charity you like, or if you want to donate to something that seems like "me" I can offer a few suggestions. I always liked the Black Hills Children's Home, I know a few folks that work there and it would mean the world to those kids. Child's Play is a charity run by gamers for kids, they give video games, movies, and similar things to kids in hospitals. I also like monkeys. And of course any animal shelter or library is awesome. If you run across any other cool charities that seem like they would interest me, just let me know! A donation is a wonderful gift, and a sure way to make me smile.

I like stuff people make. Art is awesome. Art need not be a masterpiece to be loved and hung on my walls. And other little trinkets like that. Some of the gifts I remember most were things people made for me. A little beaded bookmark, a keychain with a piece of amethyst, a hand made pen... And I tend to like food that people make too. Yum!

But if you do feel the need to buy me something specifically material, well there are a few things. Amazon gift certificates would be used to get me kindle books. iTunes gift certificates would be used to get me music. I've been having fun modding Nerf guns, so if you buy me one it will keep me busy tearing it apart and repainting it for a while. I like Star Wars figurines (specifically I am wanting an Aayla Secura to go with my Kit Fisto). I love Legos of course, especially anything that looks like castle type stuff, Star Wars, or Technic. I am currently really into SteamPunk, so pocket watches, clocks, or really anything with gears or weird moving parts, doesn't have to actually work. Or if you happen to see something and think "Oh man, I know EXACTLY who that would be PERFECT for!"

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Soulless - How I learned I like Urban Fantasy

On October 1st at 7:56 am something happened. You see, several weeks before that I bumped into a fascinating person on Twitter by the name of Gail Carriger. I don't know who followed who first, but I'm fairly sure it was due to a Follow Friday suggestion from Jill Estabrooks.

Gail Carriger is a fascinating person to follow on Twitter, and her website is a boon to anyone interested in Steampunk. Also, she happens to be an author. Her style of humor on Twitter made me think her books would be excellent to read, but unfortunately her books weren't actually out yet.

So I really had no choice... I had to preorder her first book: Soulless. I admit I was nervous. I am not the type to preorder books. Also I haven't read much in the way of Steampunk besides The Difference Engine. Although I have a rather fluid gender identity the idea of reading what might be construed as a romance novel worried me.

And then on October 1st at 7:56 am it finally happened... Soulless magically appeared on my iPhone. Nevermind that I was supposed to be at work at 8:00.

My expectations were off however. Soulless was better than I expected. I had not read a book that good since Spook Country, or perhaps Keeping It Real.

There were many genres in Soulless. Steampunk, vampires, werewolves, science, romance, comedy... Listing them all off almost sounds silly. But that's exactly what this book is.

The Steampunk is woven casually in, like Firefly. The romance was believable and did not offend my X chromosome, yet made my Y chromosome beg for more. British humor bringing it all together naturally with preternatural Alexia Tarabotti standing in the middle of it.

I look forward to preordering her next book: Changeless. (don't read the synopsis of Changeless until you read Soulless, as it might have spoilers!)

I highly suggest adding this to your list of books to read. It is a fast read that keeps you interested. It blends several genres smoothly, letting you sample several while still staying in the comfort zone of whichever is your favorite genre. It won't challenge your beliefs in humanity or deal with very many social issues, but it will make you smile which is more important anyways.