Howl’s Moving Castle, a charming book

Being an avid Anime watcher, I obviously took note of Miyazaki’s Howl no Ugoku Shirow, and watched it as soon as I could get my hands on it. It is, as all Miyazaki’s movies are, a charming and entertaining movie, however I found it to be slightly inferior to other Miyazaki hits such as Kaze no Tani no Nausicaa and Tenkuu no Shiro Laputa.

I did have vague notion that the movie was based on a book, but I’ve never really paid much attention to it until I heard it being recommended by Gili Bar-Hillel, the Hebrew translator of young-adult fantasy hits such as Harry Potter at the Haifa University’s Fantasy and Reality convention. While I’m much less then a Harry Potter fan, she gave such an excited recommendation that I thought, “what the heck”, and ordered the book from Amazon.

Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones delivers a charming, compelling story, which is much more intricate then anything a two hour Anime could deliver, with interesting, complex characters and breathtaking scenery that even Miyazaki somewhat fails to convey.

This book is a gem, I recommend it wholeheartedly.

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PodCastle, male protagonist please

I’ve just listened to the last installment of PodCastle, it was a nice story, as these things go, but as I was listening, a realization swept over me, the protagonist of this story was a woman as were the protagonists of all the other stories that were released so far.

Now don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a bad thing, a female protagonist, commonly coupled with a feminist theme, add a certain spicy flavor to the story, one that is not very common to science fiction and fantasy stories.

However, too much of a good thing makes it stale, there are other flavors to fantasy, I wish the PodCastle staff would include them in future stories released, to create a richer stew.

Fantasy and Reality convention: Day 2

Since I pretty much enjoyed myself yesterday, I decided to go ahead and attent the second day of the Fantasy and Reality convention at the Haifa University.

I was quite pleased with the way the first day was organized, therefore I was quite disappointed to realize that today they decided to take a similar route that other conventions take and have multiple lectures taking place side-by-side rather then stick with the first day’s format of having only one lecture going on at a time.

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Fantasy and Reality convention: Day 1

I’ve spent my day today attending the Fantasy and Reality convention at the Haifa University, I must say it was quite interesting and joyful.

The convention is composed of a series of lectures by various speakers as well as a marathon of fantasy movies projected in a hall nearby.

Since I’ve already seem all the movies projected (The Never Ending Story, Blade Runner, Disney’s Fantasia and The Fifth Element) and movies being a mere download away, I attended the lectures instead.

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