A partially obscured shot of a female face. How original for a book dealing with a trans character...
I just finished reading Almost Perfect, a young adult novel about a high school senior, Logan, who falls for a girl, Sage, that he eventually learns is trans. It’s well-written and believable, told from the first-person perspective of Logan, and does a good job of being injecting humor without being light or unrealistic. As someone who is a trans fiction aficionado, it was very refreshing to find a trans main character in a book that isn’t sensationalist or belittling. Or overly optimistic and picture-perfect.
There will be spoilers beyond this point, so consider yourself warned. If you’re looking for a recommendation, I would definitely recommend Almost Perfect. But a title like that should tell you that it has an ending which is – at best – bittersweet.
Continue reading 'Review: Almost Perfect'»
Like computer games? Like indie computer games? (Like the previously-mentioned World of Goo?) Than you’ll love The Humble Indie Bundle. It’s a pay-what-you-can system where, for whatever you decide to send toward the project, you’ll get five great indie games, and some of your money will go toward two amazing charities: Child’s Play and The Electronic Frontier Foundation. The games also all run on Windows, Mac, and Linux. I feel like I’m using too many italics in this post, but I’m crazy excited at projects like this.
They’ve already raised over one million dollars (prompting an extension of the Humble Bundle) with more than $100,000 going to each of these developers and each charity. I paid $20 (slightly more than the average) but feel like I got more than my money’s worth.
So go! What are you waiting for?!
I’m out of the hospital (thank goodness!) and slowly recovering, but thought it’d be fun to do mini-reviews of the many movies I’ve watched this past week. Enjoy!
Star Trek (the new one) – I’m ashamed, as a geek, to admit that I’d never seen a Star Trek movie or TV episode before watching this. But, having seen it, I want to go back and watch some of the older ones. I really enjoyed it! I wasn’t totally expecting to (and the morphine may have helped) but I thought it was a good mix of action, intrigue (at least enough intrigue for an action movie), and character development. I also thought they did a good job offering nods to past Star Trek characters, and I’m sure I would have gotten tons more references if I hadn’t just been relying on the bits and pieces of Star Trek lore I’ve accumulated over my years. Verdict: Definitely worth watching
Sunshine Cleaning – I started this movie expecting a dark comedy with some drama, and ended up watching a dark drama with some comedy. Which, fortunately, was worth it. But I did not see the movie I was expecting, so be warned if you’re looking for something lighthearted. I was really pleasantly surprised, though, at the lesbian character who shows up midway through the film. She very easily could have been cast as a man, without making any major plot changes, but she just happens to be a woman. Her sexuality was never the focus of a huge, dramatic scene, but simply wove into the rest of the plot. I also really liked the casting of this movie, from the young son up through the grandfather. Verdict: Worth seeing
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs – I originally had no interest in seeing this movie (considering it revisionist blasphemy) but a good write-up on io9 made me want to check it out. It certainly wasn’t amazing – even at their worst, Pixar makes better movies – but it was more enjoyable than I expected. The plot was pretty weak, even for a kids movie, but it was pretty and the cute little romance between the main characters was fun to see. It had some good gags, or at least I thought so while on morphine, but you wouldn’t miss anything amazing if you gave it a pass. Verdict: Worth watching with kids, or on morphine
Continue reading 'Movie reviews from a hospital bed'»
For the last week or so, I’ve been making my way through Angharad’s epic piece of trans fiction, Easy as Falling off a Bike. It follows the tale of Cathy, a trans woman in her early twenties, as she’s pushed toward transitioning, love, and, well, I’ll let the author describe it:
Stella, someone who could get women drivers a bad name, literally knocks Charlie off his expensive racing bike. She discovers that Charlie, a research field biologist, has a secret. He’s gearing up to transition as a woman, only he’s too frightened to do it. Stella takes control and her brother, Simon not only fancies ‘Cathy’ but falls in love with her.
Follow the mayhem, as this romantic and at times adventure story rambles all over the place as they pursue their lives. Keep the tissues handy, it has pathos, humour and real life, as Cathy deals with the triumphs and tribulations of being a woman.
Continue reading 'Trans fiction: Easy as Falling off a Bike'»
I recently bought Lost Winds for $10 on the Wii Virtual Console (a downloadable games service) and think it was worth it. In the game, you take control of both Toku, a young boy who you control with the control stick, and Enril, the spirit of the wind, who you control with a pointer via the Wii remote. You use the wind to pick Toku up, cary him accross chasms, fight enemies, and solve simple puzzles (pick up rocks to throw at closed doors, for example). The game is a 2D sidescroller, but rendered in a 3D style which is simple but still impressive.
In the game, you’re tasked with finding four chests to restore Enril to full power. The first two are hidden in nice little dungeons, each taking about 45 minutes to an hour to complete. So you’d think by that the whole game would be three to four hours. Unfortunately, you’d be wrong. The big disapointment is the last two chests each take about 10 to 15 minutes to find. The game then ends on a (rather predictable) clifhanger, pointing to a sequel.
Even with these flaws, I still think the game is worth $10 – I’ve paid more than that to go to movies that weren’t half as good.
Read on for an ‘Okami’ mini-review. Continue reading 'Lost Winds and Okami mini-reviews'»