Daily Archives: April 3, 2012

Naruto Spinoff: Rock Lee’s Ninja Pals review

This is pretty much a silly show with no pretenses of being anything but. Every Naruto character that appears is in a squeezed-down “chibi” or “superdeformed” version of himself or herself. The characterization is totally controlled by gags. And the gags are exactly what you’d expect of Japanese cartoon slapstick: pantsing of both sexes, a running gag where Lee narrowly avoids stepping in dog poo, boys dressing up as girls for totally comedic reasons, and so forth. There are two gag stories per episode.

It’s not great humor, but it’s not a bad way to kill a half hour. Probably only comprehensible by Naruto fans.

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Free SF Books (for Kindle) by Known Authors

Free SF you can grab only on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. One book every week for the next couple of months, as promos for the authors and associated books. Via Happy Catholic.

This week’s giveaway features Daughter of Elysium by Joan Slonczewski. It features a city of immortals vs. nanites wanting vengeance, and an outsider who wants to obtain the secrets of immortality for his own people. And it’s free. Check it out!

Joan Slonczewski is one of those people who’s always getting writing awards and always ending up respectably midlist. I’ve met her, and she was nice. She’s a biology professor at Kenyon in Ohio (which is why I’ve seen her around at Ohio conventions); but Kenyon also has her teach SF lit, which is sensible.

Anyway, her awardwinning debut, The Door into Ocean, wasn’t my cup of tea (not much into oceany biotechy feministy stuff per se), but I don’t recall it as a waste of my time or an insult to my intelligence. Just sort of sober on the adventure side (she’s a Quaker, so it’s not likely that she’ll have much swashbuckling violent fun) and heavy on the ocean description side. Daughter of Elysium adds a sort of aikido-like martial art to the mix, though, so she really is trying to add more adventure fun.

What she does like is genetic engineering, which isn’t a surprise in a microbiologist author. So yeah, it’s biopunk if you need a label, except not punkish — more idealistically or dystopically predictive. Hard sf, political sf that’s liberal, with soft sf writing.

Yeah… you can kinda see where the publishers have had a hard time finding her audience. But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have one. You might be in it!

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