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For better or worse, I'm a sucker for the mixture of elements that come together in Babymetal, so here's a transcription/translation of a favorite song from their newest album. (My last Babymetal translation, of a favorite song from their first album, is here.) This is actually my current Encouragement Anthem.

See transcription/translation and notes.Collapse )

Municipalites in which I've spent at least 30 days (not necessarily consecutive)
the rock
(In approximately chronological order)
Pocatello, ID
San Diego, CA
Idaho Falls, ID
Salt Lake City, UT
Provo, UT
Calgary, AB
Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture, Japan
Los Angeles/San Bernardino counties, CA
Las Vegas, NV
Takashima, Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan
Osaka, Japan
Kyoto, Japan
Austin, TX
Ruston, LA
Boston/Cambridge, MA
Berkeley/Oakland/Emeryville, CA

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Washington, D.C. area
Dallas, TX
Modesto, CA

2016 Hugo picks: Novels
power lines
Right at the deadline, here are the novels. I read every word of all five. Read more...Collapse )

2016 Hugo picks: Novellas
Once again, four from the Rabid slate and one from the Sad. Though I was actually surprised to find that I didn't hate any of these. In fact, I think I actually enjoyed reading every single one (which is in stark contract to last year's pickings in this category). So that's a positive sign, at least.Read more...Collapse )

2016 Hugo picks: Novelettes
power lines
Once again, four of these are Rabid and one is Sad. They are better than the short stories, though. Read more...Collapse )

the rock
Well, friends, today I found out that one of my favorite books published in the last few years is being made into a movie, as we speak, by Alex Garland (who made 28 Days Later and Ex Machina). The book is Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer, and it is strange and knotty and dark. The narrator and main character, called merely the "the biologist," ranks among the fictional characters I feel the most affection for (in a taciturn, standoffish, alone-in-the-woods, go-away kind of way). Natalie Portman will portray her in the movie. I had frankly imagined her as more of a Tilda Swinton type, but I'm not about to complain about one of my favorite actresses portraying one of my favorite characters. If you like Weird, check this book out.

"A religious or superstitious person, someone who believed in angels or demons, might see it differently. Almost anyone else might see it differently. But I am not those people. I am just the biologist; I don't require any of this to have a deeper meaning."

2016 Hugo picks: Short stories
This category is mostly a disaster. Four out of five are Rabid picks of varying degrees of trollishness, and the last is a Sad pick. Whatever, let's do this. Read more...Collapse )

Hugo epiprologue
So, I have been remiss in my Hugo coverage. Let's fix that. Read more...Collapse )

power lines
A playlist of my favorite songs about my favorite books. If you have Spotify, you can listen to it here.

0. "Track" by Artist (Book by Author)
1. "1984" by David Bowie (1984 by Geroge Orwell)
2. "Wuthering Heights" by Kate Bush (Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë)
3. "The Drowning Man" by The Cure (Gormenghast by Mervyn Peake)
4. "Holland, 1945" by Neutral Milk Hotel (The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank)
5. "Soma" by The Strokes (Brave New World by Aldous Huxley)
6. "No Spill Blood" by Oingo Boingo (The Island of Dr. Moreau by H. G. Wells)
7. "Purple Haze" by Jimi Hendrix (Night of Light by Philip Jose Farmer)
8. "The Scentless Apprentice" by Nirvana (Perfume by Patrick Suskind)
9. "More Human Than Human" by White Zombie (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick)
10. "The Call of Ktulu" by Metallica ("The Call of Cthulhu" by H. P. Lovecraft)
11. "Atrocity Exhibition" by Joy Division (The Atrocity Exhibition by J. G. Ballard)
12. "Ramble On" by Led Zeppelin (The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien)
13. "Baobabs" by Regina Spektor (The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry)
14. "Charlotte Sometimes" by The Cure (Charlotte Sometimes by Penelope Farmer)
15. "Rocket Man" by Elton John (The Illustrated Man (specifically, "The Rocket Man") by Ray Bradbury)
16. "White Rabbit" by Jefferson Airplane (Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll)
17. "5 1/2 Minute Hallway" by Poe (House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski)
18. "The Ghost of Tom Joad" by Bruce Springsteen (The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck)
19. "The Man Comes Around" by Johnny Cash (The Bible)
20. "The Booklovers" by The Divine Comedy (various)