As laid out in the first-ever Evan Yeong Literary Awards, the purpose of these blog posts has been to provide a retrospective of the books read in the past year. Typically these have been written and published in January, but here we are. Better late than never, as I always say.
This is the first of these awards to be written during my relatively new career in publishing. While I wouldn’t say I have a strong understanding of the ins and outs of what’s hot in the industry, I certainly have a healthier grasp of things, especially compared to past years when I had none whatsoever.
The other notable difference is that the list of books read has been censored in part, due to a number of the books having been unsolicited manuscripts that I was asked to read during my time as an Editorial Intern at Penguin Random House Canada. A handful were also unpublished manuscripts or ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies) and have been marked as such. You can check out a full list [with the exact dates of when I read each one] at this link.
ALMOST AS COMPLEX AS THEIR NAMESAKE
Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Aslan
Those who aren’t as familiar with the works of C.S. Lewis should know that “Aslan” is the name of the Judeo-Christian-God-stand-in of that author’s Narnia series. The lion is a complex figure, embodying a dichotomy of a being that is “isn’t safe” while also “good”. Aslan himself is a likewise complicated man, having been raised Muslim, converted to Christianity in his teens, then back to Islam, a faith he continues to practice, and did during the writing of this book. A fascinating fact for both believers and nonbelievers alike is his statement that whether or not he was the son of God, the Nazarene definitively performed miracles.
SHOULD HAVE WON THE 2017 GILLER PRIZE
Brother by David Chariandy
One of many short, powerful works of fiction that I read this year, Brother is as unpretentious and beautiful a novel as you’re likely to find, and a worthy contender for Canada’s loftiest and most coveted literary prize. Shining a spotlight on Scarborough in the 90s, an area that I have (recently) shamefully joked about only “technically being Toronto”, this book would have served as a reminder of the real life stories that are overlooked and underheard.
The actual winner of the 2017 Scotiabank Giller Prize was Michael Redhill’s Bellevue Square, which I read the ARC of. Brother was longlisted. Continue reading
Posted in art, Canada, Christianity, Comedy, food, Islam, literature, race, relationships, religion, review, science, sex, writing
Tagged An Ocean of Minutes, Anonymous, Beauty Queens, Blink, books, brother, David Chariandy, E. V. Cunningham, Evan Yeong Literary Awards, Horns, horror, Joe Hill, Joey Comeau, Joy Kogawa, Libba Bray, literature, Malagash, Michael Pollan, novel, Obasan, race, relevant, Reza Aslan, romance, satire, Ted Dekker, The Botany of Desire, The Case of the One-Penny Orange, The Incest Diary, Thea Lim, Zealot
StarCraft, undoubtedly one of the best and most important games of all time, at least according to Wikipedia. This is an RTS [real time strategy game] that commands legions of fans, and its sequel, which launched in 2010, now commands many of the same legion of fans.
But the competitive online scene for any game is not an exceptionally friendly place. There’s the stress and pressure of playing against other players to achieve ranks, and that’s not at all helped by players who are BM (bad manner[ed]). This rudeness can even be found among pro-gamers themselves (see: many of IdrA’s interactions with other players).
Enter Jonathan Burton, also known as “Carbot” and the creator of the YouTube StarCrafts. Set entirely in the world of StarCraft II each episode presents various units from the Terran, Protoss, and Zerg races engaging in a battle that is, in a word, adorable.
Here is an artist’s rendition of the Zergling as it appears in-game:
And this is a gif of what the Zerglings look like in StarCrafts:
And they’re more than just heartwarmingly lovable, they’re also hilarious. Anyone with even the slightest familiarity with the game will lose it when they see a Zealot dancing from side to side to defend a choke, and people who didn’t understand what any of those words meant are still going to chuckle when they see the baby-like Marines running [almost always away from something]. Add to that the fact that almost all of the soundbites used are from the game itself and you have a very impressive piece of work on your hands.
The following is probably the best entry into the series, and it showcases the dangers of letting yourself get . . . overzealous. Cue classic CSI scream.
What’s really great though, is how I don’t even really have to be writing this post. StarCrafts has received the recognition it so greatly deserves, and episodes have been featured fairly often on the Blizzard [the game’s creator] site. What’s even more exciting is how they were also aired during game breaks at the first ever BWC [Battle.Net World Championship] in China. A special episode was also created for NASL [North American Star League].
I strongly encourage all of you to check out a few episodes. Even if StarCraft II isn’t your thing [and really, it’s not for everybody] maybe this can help you relate just a little to all the die-hards out there. At the very least, you’ll have spent a few minutes watching an excellently produced video by a very talented man.
YouTube Channel: youtube.com/user/CarbotAnimations
Facebook Page: facebook.com/CarbotAnimations
Personal Site: carbotanimations.com
Updates every Saturday
Posted in art, cartoons, Comedy, design, Fame Day, internet, video games
Tagged adorable, animation, art, Blizzard, Blizzard Entertainment, BM, BWC, Carbot Animations, cartoon, cartoons, cute, Fame Day, funny, hilarious, Mr Jack, NASL, Protoss, RTS, StarCraft, StarCraft II, StarCrafts, Terran, YouTube, Zealot, Zerg, Zergling