I like to Move It, Move It

All Gamed Out Mom

Apart from my box of Cadbury’s Milk Tray (which is the only gift I ever ask for, and expect to get) I was also given two PS3 move controllers and the game Kung Fu Rider for Christmas. My reaction to the chocolates was YESSSS!!!! My reaction to the PS3 stuff was “eh nice, uh thanks”.

Yes, I was a little disappointed. Yes, I was an ungrateful cow.

It took a while for me to get over my distinct lack of enthusiasm. In fact he* had to set up everything and he was the first one to actually use any of it.

And he was having fun doing it.

And I was a little jealous. So I decided to stop indulging my inner sulky five-year-old and joined in.

Fun was had by all. The End. Well not quite. We went out shopping this morning for games, specifically Sports Champions because I was getting so good at the demo table tennis game (that came with the motion controller) that I was winning whilst playing left-handed**.

And I also seem to have found, finally, a first person shooter (The Shoot) that I like playing.

With the constant cloudy and rainy days that have made up the majority of our holiday (we last used the pool on Christmas day) we’ve been gaming a lot which entails sitting on our butts and consolidating all our holiday weight gain in our asses***. So now I get to game and get physical and all this moving around makes me feel really good.

I didn’t realize that I was actually starting to feel a little, I was going to say claustrophobic (because of being trapped in the house all day) but really the correct word is depressed. Who knew that no sunshine and sitting around all day could make one depressed?

I’ve also discovered the added benefit of trash talking my table tennis opponents without fear that they’ll come round to my side of the table and beat the crap out of me. This is possibly more fun than actually winning the matches.

We have one week of holiday left. I realise that the moment we go back to work glorious sunny weather will return to these parts. But that’s okay. My garden can enjoy the thorough watering and I’ll enjoy practicing headshots. Because gaming doesn’t make people violent, lack of an internet connection does.

* He needs a blog pseudonym. I am tempted to capitalize the H in He so that he feels more important and so that you will know that I am talking about him (him = man I love and live with) and not some other male person. But that doesn’t sound distinct enough; it doesn’t POP. Sigh. Will have to ask him what he wants to be called on this here blog. But he should know, up front, that Captain Underpants is out.

** My next step was to try the tw0 player option and play against myself. That was going to be oh so awesome because I’d always win.

*** When I say ‘we’ I really mean ‘me’. I don’t hate him because he is skinny but I am mightily envious.

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Thoughts: Joan D Vinge “The Snow Queen”

What does it say about a book that halfway through it I put it aside and read seven other books before coming back to finish it? Were it not for the fact that I take a particular pride in finishing every book I start I might not have finished it at all.

The book is “The Snow Queen” by Joan D Vinge and had I read Vinge’s bio in my Illustrated Science Fiction Encyclopedia* before I started reading it, I would have been pre-disposed to liking it. But I didn’t and perhaps that is a good thing.

My encyclopedia says of the book that it “represent(s) one of the most ambitious attempts to combine the structures of fable, which shape fantasy, but are rarely thought to shape SF, with a surface plot consistent with SF”.

Perhaps it would have been better had Vinge split this book into two or three books maybe, so that she could veer off and elaborate on the personal stories of the secondary characters and the places; stories within the story, much like fantasy does. Instead it was encompassed into one book and though the details lacking weren’t obvious, it was felt.

Is it well written? Certainly; how Vinge handles the different languages spoken by the characters by using grammar and syntax I thought was quite brilliant. And the world of Tiamat which is alternatively ruled by Summer (and nature) and Winter (and technology) is like no world I had read of before.

But what I struggled with most is that I didn’t particularly care for any of the characters. Our heroine, Moon Dawntreader Summer, seems perpetually stuck in adolescence and she is far too forgiving of Sparks, the great love of her life. And maybe this was part of Vinge’s intent, a way to convey exactly how alien a world it is, a world where ritual sacrifice still has a place.

As is the norm with SF (and fantasy), this is not a stand-alone book. There is a follow on “The Summer Queen”. I’m not sure we own a copy and my irritation with Moon (the summer queen herself) is still far too fresh for me to go hunting for a book that may not be on the shelf.

However, I am glad that I finished it and it is always a happy surprise to encounter a science fiction novel written by a woman. The world needs more of those.

* Science Fiction The Illustrated Encyclopedia by John Clute (1995)