Monday, 24 November 2014

Bookmark Three

Year Three in the blogosphere and, while no one yet suspects I am a dog, this was the year the realities of juggling work, study, and family really started to bite. Woof.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

We Have Always Lived in the Castle

(November 2014)

Now this is how you do narrative tension and an unreliable narrator. Terrifyingly fantastic.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Beasts of No Nation

(November 2014)

Fucking hell. Not an easy read, this. Harrowing, frequently appalling, and just downright distressing, but then given it’s about a child soldier press-ganged into conflict in an unnamed African country those are exactly all the things it should be.

Monday, 3 November 2014


You can imagine me reading this post whilst wearing a black polo neck if you like, or making some more topical references about an executive's sexual orientation, or hoping fanboys get all excited about how it's essentially the same thing as the last one I made but there's half a teaspoon more cinnamon this time. Look, it's an apple cake and I'm a busy man and you need to start pulling your weight around here with the gags and stuff. I can't do it all for you, y'know?

Friday, 31 October 2014

Bending Adversity

David Pilling, 2014
(October 2014)

Some fifteen years after John Dower’s near-mandatory Embracing Defeat, David Pilling brings us Bending Adversity, the next installment of the Manipulating Negativity series on The State of Japan. I’m happy to announce that I’m slated to write the final volume of the trilogy some time in 2029, to be titled Pity-Fucking Decrepitude.

Friday, 24 October 2014

East of West, Vol. 3

Jonathan Hickmam and Nick Dragotta, 2014
(October 2014)

So this is what it’s like experiencing an ongoing series at the rate at which it’s produced. It’s agonizing, isn’t it, knowing that you aren’t limited only by your own monetary and temporal resources but must conform entirely to the whims of someone else’s schedule? This is the 21st century people! I want my content here and I want it now! Bend to my fickle desires for escapist entertainment! Dance! Dance for me my pretties! God, I think the last time I consumed any sort of serialized media on an installment by installment basis dictated by the distributer was the first series of Heroes. I tried the second as well, but probably the less said about that the better.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Ghost in the Shell

Shirow Masamune, 1989-1997 [Frederick L. Schodt and Toren Smith, 2009, 2010]
(October 2014)

While we’re on the subject of Japanese-inspired cyberpunk (and isn’t it all, really), it seems the sensible thing to do is to head back to one of the ur-examples of the genre. Big hair, massive shoulder pads, cranial jacks, and high-legged swimsuits worn as daywear: late-eighties SF in a single sentence, ladies and gentlemen.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Out, Damned Spot

Or, Believing Your Own Bullshit

So this is going to be about the Comfort Women (again). And as an added topical extra I’m also going to be talking about #gamergate. If you find either of those two terms meaningful and want to back out now I wouldn’t blame you in the slightest.

Monday, 29 September 2014

Phantasm Japan

(September 2014)

We’ve established that I’m no fan of David Cameron’s, so you can imagine how much it pains me to say that every once in a while he, or at least his speechwriter, is capable of turning quite a nice rhetorical line. One specific instance sticks in my mind from ages ago, when he was baiting Tony Blair at Prime Minister’s Questions and claimed that, “He was the future, once.” And you know, this reminds me very much of Jesus Christ.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Tae Think Again

Here at This is How She Fight Start we like to pride ourselves on always being slightly behind the bleeding edge of the perpetually onrushing buzzsaw that is the 24-hour News Cycle. It’s the Ridcully approach to information management: if it really is important then people will still be talking about it a few days after the fact, and if they’re not, well, it can’t have been that vital anyway. And so it is that I eventually come to put down some thoughts on the Scottish referendum, a mere week after the fact. Next time I’m planning to discuss whether or not we should abandon the Gold Standard.