In many ways, R.F. Kuang’s Babel, or the Necessity of Violence: An Arcane History seemed a novel written for me: nerdy, linguistic, political, with a dash of fantasy. Specifically it: For all these reasons, it resonated more with me than it would, perhaps, with other readers, even other Asian-Australian or Asian-American readers. I mean, I too have considered writing a work of fantasy fiction based on … Continue reading Babel, or how not to write yourself into your novel
Incidental damage As a kid, I’d come across the term collateral damage but it wasn’t until I studied the “War on Terror” in high school that I learned its true, ugly meaning. A military term, it refers to incidental harm caused when attacking an enemy, especially to civilians. When you pick a military target you know there are risks of other damage being inflicted and … Continue reading Collaterally damaged, collaterally blessed
The best smoothie I ever had also happens to be the most thought-provoking. Smoothies and indecision In a scene oft-repeated through the course of my life, I was at a cafe, unable to decide between three equally delicious sounding options. And in a tactic oft-deployed to deal with my indecision, I asked the guy taking my order which he recommended. Little did I know that … Continue reading What my gut knows
“That’s so gay” Back in my school days, everything was gay. Science class was gay, bumbags were gay, a chip packet missing a Tazo was gay. Of course, no one says that anymore. In this day and age, it’s frowned upon to use gay in a derogatory way. Or really to mean anything other than homosexual, even if the original meaning of the word was … Continue reading Is political correctness impoverishing or enriching our language?
The internet troll is a fearsome creature. It is not unlike a werewolf in that it will go about its day as an ordinary human being, indistinguishable from the rest of us – but when it sits down at its computer or smartphone and enters the dark web of social media, it is transformed into a monster. I come across these from time to time … Continue reading Internet trolls vs an unfair God