Caturday Reads: Japanese Steampunk & Eberron’s Sword & Sorcery

Yesterday morning I received the first dose of the COVID vaccine. I was super nervous about getting it because I have a terrible fear of needles (all of the heart shtick did nothing to help me with this phobia) and I also really hate getting shots. But this is one of those situations where it’s do or die, more so since I’m an immunocompromised human, so as soon an appointment became available, I signed up. Thus far my arm has been hurting like a goddamned motherfucker. I’ve some other mild symptoms as well and I’m going to hope that they don’t get worse as the weekend goes on. Friends and family members have warned me that the second dose has a much stronger punch to it, so in three weeks when I get that second dosage, I will probably cry and whine a lot to my roommate and kitties. Gonna be some good times… *extreme sarcasm*

Since I’m unable to do much of anything because of how much pain I’m in, my plans for this weekend are strictly simple—stay in bed, read, and nap with cats. I’ll also binge-watch stuff here and there when I need a change of pace. I do have a tiny bit of homework, but it’s all pretty easy this week so I shall more than likely bullshite my way through that. I don’t typically like to do this. However, I feel a mighty need for an exception this time around.

I don’t have a lot of stuff on my to-be-read list as I’ve been battling severe bouts of depression and suicide ideation. While I have no idea where it’s stemming from, I’ve been working really hard not to give into it. This is another reason that I plan on spending most of my time sleeping as it tends to help me when absolutely nothing else can.

There are two books on my weekend reading itinerary. One of them is a Japanese steampunk novel that has been on my TBR for over a year. My local library had a copy, so I snagged it the last time that I was here. The second book is the first novel in one of my favourite sword and sorcery trilogies of all-time, a trilogy that I love to read and re-read, especially when I’m having a difficult time dealing with real-life challenges. Check them out down below. GoodReads pages shall be linked via the titles.

Automatic Eve by Rokurō Inui: An own-voices Japanese steampunk, science-fiction story filled with political intrigue that involves a mighty shogunate who’s ruling from Tempu Castle. Opposing him is an imperial line of strict female succession. The city of Tempu is one full of many wonders, such as the superhuman technological achievement of the female automaton named Eve, and it’s also caught right in the middle of these two warring powers. When the mystery surrounding Eve’s creation is revealed, it shall rock both sides into a spectacular conclusion.

I haven’t read Japanese literature in a long time due to personal reasons, so I’m looking forward to getting back into it. Because one of my main reading goals for 2021 is to read adult SFF only as much as I can, I felt this would be a good way to get back into Japanese fiction while still sticking to my very specific bibliophilic goals for the year.

Thieves of Blood (The Blade of the Flame #1) by Tim Waggoner: Set in the Eberron universe, the novel follows an assassin-turned-priest human and his half-orc chum as they travel the lands ridding the world of evil and helping the less fortunate. While visiting the priest’s hometown, something malevolent washes over the city and sends the duo on an epic quest to eradicate it.

This novel was the book that introduced me to the Eberron universe (akin to Dragonlance and Forgotten Realms), which has become my favourite fantasy universe in existence. I have all of the original 3.5 sourcebooks that came out when Eberron was first established, and I own every single Eberron novel ever released to date (just to give you an idea of the depth of my obsession). While I adore every bit of the universe, The Blade of the Flame trilogy shall always hold a very special and important place in my heart. If you’ve ever noticed that my location on certain social media is listed as “Lhazaar Principalities,” well, this is where it came from. I’m pretty excited to return to this series after many years as I’m sure it’ll provide me with comfort that nothing else can compare to at the moment.

If I end up needing a change of medium with respect to reading then I’ll pick up the last deluxe omnibus edition of Berserk by Kentarō Miura (volume seven)that I own before I’ll need to wait for the next release, and I also have the first two volumes of Vinland Saga by Makoto Yukimura.

Once I get a better idea of how the first dose fairs in terms of symptoms and their length, I can share that information here for anyone that is curious. Just please be aware that because I experienced these symptoms, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you will as well. I have a really shitty immune system, so I’m more likely to get the crap end of the stick with these vaccinations.

With that, I wish you all a kind and gentle weekend and leave you in the presence of Azizi’s beautiful floofyness. (No word on his lump yet, but I’ll keep y’all updated as soon as I receive some news.)

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