What Will I Read in September?

Hoping to get out of this reading slump in September. My daughter’s starting school, so while she’s learning to read, I’m going to be reading. I hope.

The book I’m reading now should be finished in the next couple weeks. I will work hard on it! And then I’ll move on to something new, one of the books I got earlier this year. Take a look at my to be read list.

So, if I can finish Revelation Space, I’ll move on to N. K. Jemisin’s The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, then Andy Weir’s The Martian. I’m really looking forward to them.

What are you planning to read in September? Let me know in the comments below.

Reading Slump?

I guess you could say I’ve been having a reading slump this year. I’m still only on my third book of the year.  It hasn’t been a great year for reading. I talked about it in a video. Enjoy my daughter’s acting in this one, too. And the bloopers.

I’m hoping to pick up my reading for September. I should be able to finish this book that’s taking me too long to read. Then I’ll move on to a couple shorter books that should be much easier to read quickly. But that’s another video.

What do you do if you are in a reading slump? Is there anything special you do that can encourage you to read more? Let me know in the comments below.

Better Late Than Never – This Show Is Hilarious

Henry Winkler (The Fonz) got three other old guys and a young guy together to travel across Asia. The show is called Better Late Than Never. So, what are four famous guys and a not famous guy doing? Well, some are making asses of themselves, while the other is proving to be surprisingly knowledgeable.

So, who did he bring together? William Shatner (Captain Kirk), George Foreman (legendary boxer, grilling and barbecue sauce spokesperson), Terry Bradshaw (Hall of Famer football player and coach), and Jeff Dye (some guy).

Their first stop was Tokyo, which was last week’s episode. This week, they’re in Kyoto. In Tokyo, they stayed in a capsule hotel, enjoyed interesting kushiage, and took in a view of Mt. Fuji. I’m currently watching them in Kyoto.

Henry Winkler seems to try to be silly from time to time. He isn’t taking things seriously. George Foreman will eat anything, and he’s not making an ass of himself. Terry Bradshaw is talking at inappropriate times, being loud, and very annoying. Jeff Dye, I have no clue who he is. William Shatner has surprised me, though. He seems pretty knowledgeable about things, is trying to be respectful of the culture, and is the only one who isn’t acting like a juvenile idiot.

But you know what? This show is hilarious! I’m loving it! Of course, they’re acting silly just for laughs. But Shatner is proving to be perfect in everything. He knows about the food, he’s responsible, and he’s enjoying every moment of it. I was kind of wondering where this show was going to go in the beginning, but it’s just great.

Have you been watching it? What do you think? Let me know in the comments.

Up Close and Personal With a Wild Animal

As I returned home with my daughter after visiting the playground, we encountered a wild animal. There it was, the Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog!

We were in mortal danger! This bloodthirsty creature was ready to lunge at us and tear our throats out! But I have been trained the arts of Bunny Fu. I battled bravely, and the fiendish rabbit ran away. I managed to take a picture of it as it escaped in fear.

I was lucky, wasn’t I?

In Memoriam: My First No Man’s Sky Game

Early last week, I signed in to No Man’s Sky only to discover that my saved game wouldn’t open. It started a new game on a new planet in a new system! I was quite disappointed. I was originally on a very colourful world, and I was going to take screenshots of the scenery on all the planets I discovered.

Has this soured my enjoyment of this game? Not really. I just started over again. The problem was a bug in the game that has been addressed by a patch recently, so it shouldn’t happen again. The game has been getting a lot of hate recently because it isn’t what was advertised. So many things that were said to be in the game actually aren’t. But I have expectations that some will appear in future patches. It seems more like they were pressured to release the game, and they released it unfinished. But what we get, I’m really enjoying.

My initial expectation of this game was to be able to explore planets and discover interesting landscapes, plants, and animals. That’s what I got. If you take this as a straightforward exploration game, then you should be satisfied. That’s what I love about this game. And so, I’m enjoying it a lot.

So, I’d like to share with you the Ariadne system. It was the first system I arrived in and I renamed it to Ariadne. Unfortunately, I didn’t get screenshots of one of the planets before the game reset. However, I have images of the first and third planets I played on. So, here is the first planet, Ariadne II:

The view of Ariadne II from space. It looks like it has water, but I didn't actually get to see it. It was mostly a rocky world.
The view of Ariadne II from space. It looks like it has water, but I didn’t actually get to see it. It was mostly a rocky world.

A night time view.
A night time view.

The sun is coming up, bathing it in a pink hue.
The sun is coming up, bathing it in a pink hue.

One of the local animals. Interesting looking, isn't it?
One of the local animals. Interesting looking, isn’t it?

Ruins in the foreground, big mountain in the background.
Ruins in the foreground, big mountain in the background.

The second planet I went to was pretty barren, and it had no animals at all. I didn’t get any images of it. The third planet was totally different. Very colourful and had abundant plant and animal life. No forests, but a pink “grass.”

A view of the pink planet, Ariadne III, from space.
A view of the pink planet, Ariadne III, from space.

So brightly coloured. Look at all that pink!
So brightly coloured. Look at all that pink!

At a trading post on Ariadne III.
At a trading post on Ariadne III.

More colours on display, with a pink sky matching the pink landscape. Sunset.
More colours on display, with a pink sky matching the pink landscape. Sunset.

What's this? A dinosaur? Kind of.
What’s this? A dinosaur? Kind of.

I loved this planet. The colour was amazing, and it seemed so comfortable and inviting.
I loved this planet. The colour was amazing, and it seemed so comfortable and inviting.

These planets have been saved on No Man’s Sky’s server, so someone way stumble upon it sometime in the future, although that’s extremely unlikely. I wish I could’ve seen the other planet in the system.

Despite the problems and issues people have had with the game, I find it beautiful to look at, and very inspirational. I love going into the game to just explore. That’s all that matters to me. I can’t wait to discover more.

In the future, I’ll have more posts about the worlds I’ve discovered in the game. I’m not sure if I’ll be doing animals, but I will certainly do landscapes. If you’d like to see animals, then let me know. I can still show you animals from these two planets, as I have the images saved.

Let me know which planet you like the most. Also, if you’ve played the game, did you enjoy it?

Week in Review – August 28, 2016

It was quite the week. Personally, it was exciting in some aspects. The next week will be very interesting. And I’ve seen so much about No Man’s Sky, I find it almost funny. Despite all the bad press the game has been getting (it’s not exactly what was promised), the things that I was anticipating about the game are exactly as they were advertised. So, I’m enjoying it. But let’s look at what happened in the past week.

Reading

Thanks to a bus ride, I got some somewhat significant reading done. Well, it really wasn’t that much. I’m now at 64% done in Revelation Space.

Writing

I’ve been talking a lot about writing! Does that count?

Videos

I posted 9 videos over the past week, including 1 for my vlog channel. My main channel gained 9 subscribers in the past 48 hours, which is the fastest increase ever. This week, I have a rather ambitious video to do for my main channel, and I have a pretty personal vlog to do that includes complaining about shady advertising.

Patreon

Nothing. Major revamp coming!

Languages

I keep studying a week on, a week off. This was an off week.

The Blog

Authors Answers is going to have new contributors! Also, I reached 2,000 blog posts. That’s a huge milestone. So big, I even made a video about it!

Studying

Nothing!

The Next Week’s Goals

I’ve been trying to keep up on social media for my newest blog posts, and I’ve noticed that my views per day have increased. I shouldn’t have been slacking off on that. Also, I’ll be doing some posts about No Man’s Sky that involves screenshots from the game. I find the game quite beautiful, even though some people aren’t satisfied with the gameplay.

How was your week? Let me know in the comments!

Authors Answer Contributors’ YouTube Channels

Right now, we have eleven Authors Answer contributors (plus more in September!), and four of us have YouTube channels.  Of course, I’m one of them. I made a video about the 2,000th blog post and I introduced my viewers to some Authors Answer contributors’ channels. Here it is:

In case you’re wondering whose channels I mentioned, and you didn’t watch the above video, here they are:

But before I forget, since this is all about Authors Answer, I also posted a video on Question 8! However, there are some big differences. That one was about New Year’s resolutions. But it’s August now! I changed the question. Now it’s this:

What are your plans for the rest of 2016 in terms of writing?

I answered it in this video:

This post was a bit all over the place, but it’s all about Authors Answer. Any comments are very welcome!

A Look Back at Endymion

I looked back at the Hyperion Cantos series and my review of Endymion, by Dan Simmons. You can read my original review here. I remembered it was like an epic journey from planet to planet, and I did a retro book review on YouTube. So, how does it stack up compared to my original review? Check out my video.

Have you read this book? Let me know in the comments below!

2,000th Blog Post Q & A Extravaganza!

From the moment I started this blog until now, I have done 1,999 blog posts. This is the 2,000th blog post! A couple days ago, I asked you to ask me some questions for a major milestone, and this is it! It’s hard to believe that I’ve now made 2,000 blog posts.

So, let’s get into the questions. They’re not easy.

The first question comes from my sister, leeannarcher.

What is your favourite location on your world of Ariadne?

I can’t go into much detail about this, since I don’t have finalised names for a lot of the places, but I’d have to say for now, I like New Brasilia. It’s the second colonial site, and it’s situated on an inland sea in a tropical rain forest. It will eventually be a major city and a very important one in the series.

Next up are some questions from Myrea.

If you could be any animal in the world, which would it be and why?

Could you ask anything any more difficult? Well, I like living a long time, so I wouldn’t want to be a short-lived animal. I always thought I wanted to have a dog or cat’s life, but they don’t live long enough for me. Maybe a parrot. They live long, they can fly, and they can talk! That’s what I’d like to be.

What was your favourite book when you were a child?

The encyclopedia. And that’s the reason I named this blog I Read Encyclopedias for Fun.

Which “authors answer” is your favourite and which is your least favourite?

To be honest, I really, really loved #52, where I brought some much more established authors in to contribute for just one question. That was a lot of fun, mostly because I got to communicate with some well-known authors, even if they declined. Though this month has had some really fun Authors Answers. My least favourite is much more difficult, because I haven’t really thought about it. I don’t think I can answer that one.

Who do you look up to most in the author world? 

Also a difficult question. I have some favourites, but the one I was reading when I started developing my world is probably the one I look up to the most. But also partially because she is what got me into worldbuilding. And that is Anne McCaffrey, the author of the Pern series.

And finally, I got several questions from Gradmama2011!

If you could combine the best qualities of life in Japan and those in Canada, what would the combination be like?

Very interesting question! While both countries are quite similar in terms of quality of life, there are some things I prefer about Japan, and some I prefer about Canada. First of all, what I’d like from Japan are the transportation system and convenience stores. The way the transportation system is built make it so easy to get around quickly without relying on cars. I love the train system. As for convenience stores, there’s always one within a 5 minute walk from wherever you are. If I had to add anything else, I’d say that I love the atmosphere and history of the place. Oh, and the climate. And can’t forget the quality of customer service!

What I’d take from Canada are the friendliness of people, cost of health care and education, and central heating. People in Canada tend to be friendlier in public than in Japan. It’s real friendliness, while Japanese politeness is a social responsibility, and not genuine (a lot of the time, that is). People in Canada will say “hi” to strangers when walking down the street. That never happens in Japan’s big cities. Health care in Canada is free (paid for by taxes), but not in Japan. Our daughter’s birth cost a lot of money. In Canada, there would’ve been no cost to us. As for education, kindergarten is free in Canada, but not in Japan. Public school is free in both countries, but private schools and cram schools are extremely popular in Japan. I’m glad the public school system in Canada is good. And finally, central heating. I’m not cold in winter in Canada!

If it were up to you to choose what your daughter would be like when she is an adult, what would you prescribe for her?

First, I’ll just say that I would never choose how she would be as an adult. She’s her own person, so I want her to be her, not what we want her to be. But I would hope that she would be kind and considerate and go for what she desires. Life is short, so you should be able to live life to its fullest. I would also want her to be strong against any kind of discrimination or injustices.

When you sit down to write, do you have an idea in mind? Or do you just wing it and start out with what pops out? Do you keep a notebook or other list of things to write about?

Three questions in one! When I sit down to write, I always have an idea in mind, whether it’s my fiction or blog posts. I never wing it. However, I do let the story write itself, in a way. I don’t want to rigidly plan everything. I like it to flow naturally. And I do keep a notebook, but many of my notes are spread out between notebooks, my phone’s Notes app, my computer’s desktop, and a couple folders of loose papers.

If you were told that in 30 years you will be permitted to go out into space to a planet that is being colonized with Earth people…..how would you begin to prepare for that journey? You may take ten items besides clothing…what would they be?

Interesting question. Of course, it would be difficult for me to leave my family, unless they come with me. Hopefully, they aren’t one of the ten items. I would definitely make sure any loose ends are taken care of here on Earth. Ten things I would take:

  1. A Kindle filled with my entire to be read list.
  2. Computer
  3. Photo album of my life on Earth.
  4. A full set of Star Trek DVDs (or whatever format movies and TV series are sold on at that time).
  5. The player for those DVDs.
  6. A camera/video camera.
  7. A sketchpad
  8. Pencils
  9. A jetpack
  10. A personal water filter/bottle for when I go wandering and exploring the new world.

What if the people on the Colony all speak different languages, but otherwise are of similar age and educational background? Would that present a major problem for you?

I don’t think that would be much of a problem. I like languages, and have studied a small amount of several languages. I’d definitely study a lot more in the next 30 years, though. But I would wonder about a colony of people who are all around 70 years old. It would be unsustainable!

If it is up to you to decide who, what…etc. gets to go to the new planet, how would you decide? Lets say you have complete say-so, who gets to go, where they are from, what they know, all features. No relatives or friends…just all the people of the world to pick from.

I don’t care about where they’re from, but I would hope they’re all educated and have skills that are useful for a colony. They must have ambition, but are well-balanced and not power hungry. They’d need to pass psychiatric tests to make sure they are well-adjusted people. I’d like them all to be generous, excellent at teamwork, and not self-absorbed. I’d need a good balance of scientists, engineers, construction workers, farmers, teachers, planners, artists, architects, and doctors. Of course, there may be more kinds of people we need, but no politicians or career military. Some ability to use weapons for defense only may be required if there’s hostile life on the planet, though.

So, those are all the questions! Thank you everyone for all of your questions, and I especially thank all of my readers for coming here regularly. That’s 2,000 blog posts, and hopefully we can do something again when it reaches 3,000 (in about a year and a half, I think).

And of course, comments are always welcome! I look forward to reading them.