Professor Layton and the Wandering Castle

Professor_Layton_Book_1

Unable to sleep last night, I mocked up this draft of the translation for the first part of Professor Layton and the Wandering Castle (レイトン教授とさまよえる城), the first Professor Layton novel and not yet translated into English. It really didn’t take long but my workload is going to get heavier as I start a new job next week, so this is all for now. Enjoy! Sorry it’s a bit awkward in places!
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Don’t r*pe your friend

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I don’t update this blog half as much as I should, but I suppose I should give an update on some things I have been creating recently.

I recently created a short interactive fiction game about healthy boundaries and consent. It’s as close a retelling as I could make to something that really happened to me. It was showcased at the Freeplay Independent Games Festival 2018 as part of the Queerly Represent Me game jam.

I want to make more games in this style, to illustrate more ideas about consent. I have reached out to Kitty Stryker about creating more small interactive fictions based on the essays in her ‘Ask: Building Consent Culture‘ anthology, so there may be more like this being made in the near future.

The game comes with content warnings for sexual assault.

Play it here.

Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom review: No, really, do not look at the dinosaur park

brach

As a massive dinosaur fan, when the first Jurassic World came out I gave it a very long and fairly detailed review. I think it is only fair that its sequel gets the same treatment.

Here we go.

This movie is shit.*

The end.

*There is not one single scene where a dinosaur is not crying in pain, hurt, distressed or killed. It’s dinosaur torture porn. So if you actually like dinosaurs, it’s not a fun experience.

If you fucking hate dinosaurs though and want to see them shot, stabbed, mutilated, their teeth ripped out, burnt alive, drowning in water, drowning in lava, caged, choked, gassed, shackled, exploited, terrified and afraid then…. boy is this the movie for you!

There is a scene where the famous amber-tipped cane of John Hammond shatters on the floor, and I think that’s a very apt image for this movie. It also features the complete annihilation of the original Jurassic Park island, which is again very fitting. And let’s not forget, all of the above torture is happening mostly to the original prehistoric inhabitants of Jurassic Park, the stars of the first movie. The Brachiosaurus was the first dinosaur we ever saw on Isla Nublar, and it was also the last. But whereas its first appearence was full of hope and natural wonder, it’s final one was hellish and sends a very different message.

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Xaela clans

xaelaI would just like to take a moment to mention that the Xaela faction of the new, dragonesque Au Ra race in Final Fantasy XIV are based around 15th century Mongolians, and as such Square-Enix decided this meant they were a bunch of piss drinkers, shit collectors, lesbian separatists, chess nerds, nudist colonies, drunk vegans, Cthulhu worshippers and bestiality cults.

In other words, possibly the best fantasy incarnation of medieval Mongolia, ever.

Also these guys:

Ugund – When members of this tribe die, their heads are removed from their bodies and placed in a jar of fermented goat milk. Once the liquid has been drunk by the head (in other words, evaporated), the head is then buried under an anthill so that the tiny workers can carry the spirit to the afterlife. The journey is thought to be a terrible one, the road filled with ghosts of the damned, so ensuring the spirit is drunk helps ease the journey.

Your move, Ant-Man.

Photo credit.

Jurassic World review: Do not look at the dinosaur park

Update: There is a review of the second movie in the series here.

Jurassic World is a strange movie. It claims to be a dinosaur movie, and yet throughout it is repeated over and over by the actors that dinosaurs are the most boring part of the movie. Do not look at the dinosaurs. No-one wants to look at the dinosaurs.

It is possible you will see dinosaurs in the dinosaur park. Do not approach them. Do not approach the dinosaur park. The fence is electrified and highly dangerous. Try not to look at the dinosaur park, and especially do not look for any period of time at the dinosaurs. The dinosaur park will not harm you.

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Incarnations: India in 50 Lives

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BBC Radio 4 are currently running a series exploring India through 50 great personalities. The first in the series details the life of the Buddha and can be listened to for free on the Radio 4 website.

Stay tuned to hear about other impressive names, some of them like Kautilya and Aryabhata not very well known by the general British public. As some of the greatest minds in our world history they definately deserve the coverage.

The next in the series tomorrow is Panini: Catching the Ocean in a Cow’s Hoofprint.

Interview with Fangs Moon, fantasy author from Kathmandu

Nepal is famous for many things. The colourful and vibrant religions, the beautiful Himalayas, brave Gurkhas and, of course, delicious Momos. It does not however have a reputation for having an active and creative sci-fi and fantasy scene. Despite often being used as the scenic backdrop to a video game or novel, the creative works of native Nepalese people have not yet made it onto the mainstream English-speaking internet.

Fangs Moon is an indie fantasy author from Kathmandu who was kind enough to let me ask him a few questions about his writing. You can find out more about Fangs on his Smashwords page or get in touch with him via twitter.

I lost contact with Fangs over the course of the earthquake but just in case any readers were worried I can confirm that he is alive and well, thank goodness!

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O Fortuna Devi

tumblr_mj93inm96Q1rqxd5ko1_1280A multi-armed Goddess of fortune, wealth and prosperity. Typically depicted wearing a red dress embroidered with golden threads and lavishly opulent décor.

This could apply both to the Hindu goddess Lakṣmī and the above depiction of the roman goddess Fortuna. However, that is as far as the comparison goes. Apart from a few references to South Asia in the context of trade, import and export, there was barely any cultural crossover between 15th century Europe and Hindu iconography. So, no, they are not related. The above image comes from Giovanni Boccaccio’s ‘Des cas des nobles homes et femmes’, a 1410 French translation by Laurent de Premierfait (Bibliothèque de Genève, Ms. fr. 190/2, fol. 30v).

So why, then, does she have so many arms? And why are they lop-sided? Unfortunately the complex mystery of the Fortuna’s snaggle-limb will forever remain an enigma, reminding us of our crippling alienation from the past (I suspect the artist miscounted). The other question is much easier to answer. Here are a couple of other contemporary depictions of the goddess:

CarminaBurana_wheel ForutuneWheel

She is seen here spinning the ‘wheel of fortune’. Her multiple arms are spokes for a wheel that she alone can control.

Canary in a Coal Mine

Before all this Constantine TV and movie malarkey, rewind the clock. Back, further, further… that’s it. Old, pure Hellblazer. Late eighties, post-punk, anti-Thatcherite con jobs and the odd bit of magic. John has yet to get lung cancer and spends his time wandering the acetate and hand-coloured pages looking for trouble. In this story, he found it in bloody Wales, of all places.

Story after the break.

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