Hey all. For today’s Mid-Afternoon Musings, I actually made a voice-recording to go with the write-up. The writing bit is a transcription of the voice recording. I’m trying to put together a new podcast gig thing, so I figured this could be a trial for it. I’m still working on getting a better mic, so if the audio quality isn’t all supreme, don’t worry, I’m working on obtaining the tools to make that aspect better.
Gothic horror is a much-underappreciated category of fiction, so to witness a culturally rich Latinx addition to the genre was absolutely thrilling. Mexican Gothic not only lived up to every expectation that I had, but it also surpassed them by a marvellous margin.
Ritu Weds Chandni by Ameya Narvankar is a Queer own-voices Indian picture book about a young girl named Ayesha who is positively ecstatic to attend her cousin’s wedding to another woman and to celebrate the joy of their love.
A local book shop had a really nice manga sale this month—Buy One Get One Free—to celebrate the arrival of Spring and it allowed me to indulge in some unexpected manga buying, a glorious activity I haven’t done in quite a long time.
My Self-Care Cinema Loot, as it’s been randomly deemed thanks to my nephews, consists of four TV boxed sets that I’ve been eyeing for the better part of three years and one film trilogy that I hadn’t realised had hit shelves in a single set. Most of these are mementos from my childhood and because of that they are so supremely cheesy, which, honestly speaking, is what makes them so bloody brilliant in terms of enjoyment
Murder in Old Bombay is an excellently written piece of historical fiction that is both transportive and insightful about an era that is rarely seen within the genre, the British occupation of India during the late 1800s. Coupled with the portrayal of a biracial identity and a curious crime mystery, readers shall have a pleasantly engaging reading experience, more so if they fans of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s dynamic detective duo
Reading-wise, I’m going to focus on fluffy romance manga because it has been a salve for my stressed out body, mind, and spirit. One of them I know for sure that I shall invest in acquiring the physical volumes in the near future because it’s legitimately one of my top ten favourite romance serials ever. The rest are mostly sci-fi horror novels with one fantasy novel that I’ve been working on since mid-February.
Phoenix Extravagant is an exceptional piece of science-fiction that is beautifully complex yet approachable and fascinatingly original. It is one of the best novels released within the genre in all of 2020.
Fantasy is a genre that pushes the confines of comfort zones to show us the dynamic differences in our idealism, political preferences, and even the various ways that communities partake in religion or choose to forsake it entirely. Out of the myriad of reasons that I adore The Daevabad books by S.A. Chakraborty, this is the element that I appreciate the most: the lessons on what faith means on a deeply personal level.
The Deep by Alma Katsu is a historical supernatural mystery novel about a young woman named Annie who survived the sinking of the Titanic, only to find herself working aboard another ship, the Britannica, years later. While working on the second ship, she is reminded of her time on the infamous maiden voyage of the Britannica’s predecessor; memories that are further heightened when she bumps into a familiar face.
Since I receive a lot of questions from people about Japanese literature and how best to begin reading from it, I thought it would be neat to share recommendations that are perfect for an array of readers, whether the preference is for mysteries to contemporaries and even magical realism and fantasy. All of these books are translated fiction that is authored by women, who are some of my favourite writers from the modern age.
Burning Roses by S.L. Huang is an adult own-voices Queer Chinese fantasy novella about Rose (a.k.a. Red Riding Hood) and an archer named Hou Yi. Together they join forces to stop deadly sunbirds from ravaging the countryside. Their journey shall take them into a reckoning of terrible sacrifices, a mourning of mistakes, of choices, and also of family amid a quest for immortality.
One of the most intriguing characteristics about Seven is the subject matter of female genital cutting (FGC) as it is one that I have never seen discussed in literature before. My own personal knowledge of this ritual is extremely limited and for all intents and purposes, it has always been a topic that has existed within my own cultural circles, but one that is never openly discussed.
Kemono Jihen (怪物事変) is a shōnen, dark fantasy, supernatural anime adaptation of the manga series, following Special Detective Kōachi Inugami who’s summoned to a mountain village after the discovery of animal corpses. Shortly after he arrives, he meets a young boy that wishes to help the detective in solving the case. This eventually leads Inugami to realise that supernatural forces may be at play.
The Empire of Gold by S.A. Chakraborty is the third and final instalment in the author’s epic adult own-voices Islamic fantasy series. The highly-anticipated conclusion follows Nahri, Alizayd al-Qahtani, and Darayavahoush e-Afshin as they must confront the consequences of their choices across the span of the first two volumes, all leading to a highly action-packed finale.