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Monthly Archives: June 2013

Unlike many who have read “A Series of Unfortunate Events”, I was well above the age of the intended audience when I went through the thirteen books. 

Much to my surprise, there were moments in the book that were truly comical and clever. The wordplay, foreshadowing, theme building and suspense were at a much higher level than I had expected to find in children’s literature.

To absurdity of all that has happened did not bother me one bit and in fact, made it much more fun to read. Logic, much to my surprise, was not at all necessary to the telling of the story. It went out the window, fell off a cliff and still hasn’t hit the ground by the time I finished the last book. 

But alas, my love for this series went unrequited. The ending simply left too many holes for me to call it conclusive. It left me wondering what could’ve been if the author had only paced the story better. It’s like serving up a birthday cake one day late. Oh…fate is cruel. 

 

Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve last posted. I’ve begun work in the public service and have found the experience rather fascinating. Inland Revenue feels more like a spy agency at times than just another government branch. 

There are quite a few adjustments to make. First of all, less sleep. Getting up at 6am during the middle of winter is a bit of a struggle for a spoiled brat like me. Secondly, caffeine has become my best friend. Lastly, I’m learning to make better use of my time. Unable to use work internet during breaks will take some…enduring. 

Still, I feel this is a good opportunity to observe not just the organisational procedures (well, that’s important if I want to keep my job), but the people around. Unlike college, one gets to encounter folks from multiple backgrounds. And yes, we do have interesting work stories, only that we cannot tell you about it. 

I’m typing this up while praying for snow. Let’s hope the weather forecast will not disappoint. Fingers crossed!

Interestingly enough, now that I have started work (yes, me!) and am busier than I have ever been, I’ve gotten more writing done. Upon reflection, I probably had too much free time. Anyway, that’s not we’re here to discuss. 

The title contains what I would like to call the “Holy Trinity” of society, be it real or fictional. Needless to say, building one from scratch is much more challenging than using an existing template. This was what truly distinguished Lord of the Ring. 

Based on my (limited) reading, I think fictional societies can be classed as the following.

Religious fanatics: I’ve read many fantasies which consisted of at least one group that worshiped something or someone that must be appeased by burning a human being. When it wasn’t burning, it usually involved some other rituals which the Bill of Rights would consider “cruel and unusual punishment”. 

Primitive tree-huggers: these are the folks who forgo material gains to preserve their land and tradition. They’re usually charitable, pragmatic and will offer spiritual insights to lost strangers from time to time. Again, a popular choice for fantasies. 

Warmongering nomads: the Aiel is a good representative of this category. These people typically have respect for power and little else. They live by the unspoken laws of honour and blood. Fantasy epics tend to have at least one such society. 

Vampire pride: okay, not just vampires, but this applies to what I would like to call the non-human societies (sorry if this seems very broad). Authors tend to focus on their differences from mankind and how they interact (if at all) with humans. 

There are many more of course, but I believe these are the main categories, with some variations. If anyone can alert me to anything I have missed, or point me towards some quality reading for this topic, I would be most grateful. At the moment, I’m researching archaic Chinese architecture and that is slow reading indeed.