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.
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.
This shouldn’t go unmentioned, The very first story from PodCastle the long awaited Fantasy podcast by Escape Artists Inc. (The guys that bring you EscapePod), had landed in my RSS reader today.
And what a great way to start a podcast indeed, the very first story, Come Lady Death, is as enchanting and striking as it could be, well done!
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.
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.