Jack Dowden examines the unfulfilled promise of Arlen from Peter V. Brett’s The Warded Man.
Sometimes when you’re looking for the ordinary, a badass girl will have to do.
Are SFF characters too badass?
The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold is your typical medieval fantasy. There’s magic, and knights, and people in distress and political schemes. On the surface, it doesn’t seem much more than a carbon copy of everything else out there. However, Curse of Chalion does have a lot to make it stand out from the crowd. Among them, is Cazaril, the protagonist. He is not your typical, heroically minded, buffed-up warrior, handsome features hero. The interesting thing about Cazaril, is that he used to be.
Few characters, and people, start off with the intention of winding up where they do. There are the few who succeed at their childhood dreams. The astronauts, the politicians, the firefighters (though I imagine these occupations are far different than what the childhood dreams imagined). The point is, we all begin with either a specific […]
As far as main characters go, Zinzi’s got a lot of problems before the book even starts.
Like many good journeys, Lara’s begins with disaster which thrusts her into the unknown
Alif the Unseen is a book about language, subversion, and the Arab Spring. It’s a good read, and a fast one. For this week’s Characters article, I’d like to talk about the title character. A brash, ill-tempered, love sick loser, who becomes a hero, Alif may not break the mold, but he’s pretty interesting. I’d […]
I don’t know about you, but I really liked Pacific Rim. I found it a delightful tale about how humanity can overcome any problem so long as we put our differences behind us. It also featured a sequence with Charlie Day getting into some shennanigans with Ron Perlman, so that was also pretty great. However, […]
Just so you all know, I didn’t intend this series to feature so many anime characters. I wanted to talk about the characters from books I’d read, movies I’d seen, and television shows I’d watched. I blame my vacation from work. Instead of reading more, I sat on my butt and watched anime. It was […]
Rounding out the characters from Cowboy Bebop, we end with Jet Black, the Black Dog. Yes, there’s still Ed, but what else can be said about her than, he’s a seven foot ex basketball pro, hindu, guru, drag queen, alien? Spike and Faye are certainly more popular than the Bebop’s oldest crew member, but Jet […]
My last article talked about Spike from Cowboy Bebop. I decided to write this week’s article on Bebop’s other fan-favorite character, Faye Valentine. Originally a theif who trusts no one, Faye becomes an important – if annoying – member of the Bebop’s crew. Jet and Spike encounter her through a misshap. Faye owes money. […]
Ask someone to name the most important SF anime of all time, and chances are they’ll say Cowboy Bebop. It’s hard to argue. The sometimes-drama-sometimes-comedy about spacefaring bounty hunters had most of what you could want. Great animation, great action, great stories, and great characters. Jet, Faye, Ed, Ein, and Spike. Each had their own […]
Among fantasy titans, Patrick Rothfuss shocked just about everyone by carving a place for himself with his book, The Name of the Wind. It centered on Kvothe, a character of a hundred different stories and the truth behind those stories. Then Rothfuss did it again with The Wise Man’s Fear, the second book to feature […]
Let’s talk about Firefly. Remember Firefly everyone? That show we all love? The one FOX cancelled? The one about the scrappy band of space cowboys by the guy who did The Avengers? Hell yeah. Let’s talk about Firefly. Specifically, let’s talk about Malcolm “Mal” Reynolds. Captain of the Serenity, smuggler, browncoat, excellent shot, witty; all […]
Claymore is one of the more interesting anime I’ve seen in a while. It’s a pretty standard story. Monsters, known as yoma, feed on humans, and the only ones who can defeat them are swords for hire known as Claymores. All Claymores are women, and they serve an organization known as the Organization. (Very creative.) […]
For better or worse, Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series is filled with characters. Encyclopedia WoT has the total at around 2200. Most, thankfully, are minor. Some have small roles. Others are given a single POV section and never heard from again. Still more play significant parts in the greater schemes of individual countries and […]
Jack Dowden’s Characters feature will return next week.
The Demolished Man is a classic of SF. The story of Lincoln Powell’s faceoff with Ben Reich is worthy of the first Hugo, and is still an entertaining read today. Beyond the well imagined world of Espers, The Demolished Man’s strength lies in its two principal characters. Powell is the stalwart defender of the innocent, […]
I spent my last weekend in bed, with beers in a cooler a few inches away, and NK Jemisin’s The Killing Moon in hand. I’ve read few page-turners these last few months. But I devoured The Killing Moon in four days. (I would’ve finished it sooner, but the beers made it hard to read.) Set […]
Most reviewers seem to agree, Kim Stanley Robinson’s 2312 is a book with well thought out science, beautiful descriptions, and a bold, interesting look at the future of humanity. Most also seem to agree that the plot and characters of 2312, left something to be desired. I didn’t hate this book. I found it to […]
Tyrion Lannister has become a household name. Anyone who knows someone with an HBO subscription has heard of him. George RR Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire has been making waves throughout the fantasy community for over a decade. Tyrion has become the face of it, along with Jon Snow and Dany. What makes Tyrion […]
Oh, Toni Anzetti, or Ann Tonsor Zeddies, whichever. She’s magnificent in her creation of alien worlds. Not so magnificent in her characters. The Typhon series isn’t widely known, and I’ve never really met another who’s discussed it. However, it is an interesting trilogy involving the genetic manipulation of human DNA, and the wonders and monstrosities […]
I’ve just finished reading To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis. I’m a fan. There are far too few comedies within SF/F, and those that exist still find a way to take themselves way too seriously. It’s nice to take a few days and read about how saving a drowning cat in 1888 […]