Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Aquatic Uncle

The Aquatic Uncle was very interesting. I've never read a story that has played with evolution the way that this one did. I found it super interesting that they thought to mingle the evolutions of these fish-like creatures and even make them a part of the same family. The story also made the fish family relatable. There are all kinds of stories about someone who is ashamed to have their significant other meet their family, sometimes a grandparent, too.

I'm going to be honest, I saw the ending coming from a mile away. As soon as Lll met Uncle N'ba N'ga and she couldn't wait to go back and talk to him again, I knew, somehow, that she was going to fall in love with him. At the end when Lll just said "good-by," I felt so bad for the narrator because that must've been a horrible feeling to have the love of his life leave him for his great-uncle who was a fish.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

New Rose Hotel

The reality that is the story of New Rose Hotel is one that is definitely different. The fact that the hotel rooms in the New Rose Hotel are coffins still confuses me. He described it as a plastic capsule that was a meter high and three meters long, but I just can't fathom as to why someone would want to live inside of a coffin. Then the whole concept of Sandii kind of confused me as well. For a brief moment while I was reading the story, I started to think that she was a computer program because of the way the narrator was talking about her. However, that thought was brought to a quick halt when Sandii was given human attributes.

Once I finally finished the story, I could put together all the pieces and I was able to think about the plot. Honestly, the idea that someone can infiltrate a major organization and be able to implant something in the midst of them and kill them sounds like something that might be possible in the real world. And then the narrator and Fox got blacklisted and burned because they were found out. That probably already happens to people. People working government jobs that betray their peers have everything taken from them and they're forced to relocate. The concepts inside this story were very interesting and I found them pretty plausible.

The Drowned Giant

The Drowned Giant started off real quick by stating in the first sentence that after a storm, a drowned giant washed ashore on the beach. That in itself is a distinct theme because whenever I think of a giant, he's living in the clouds at the top of a beanstalk or chopping down trees as a lumberjack. Usually, the giant is somehow engaged in the story, but in this one, it was merely a background drop and a prop. The people of the city ogled over the giant, using it as a publicity stunt and even cutting parts of the body off and turning it into mulch or other things.

One by one, people came and spent time with the giant by crawling all over his corpse or taking parts of his clothing or body. The narrator seemed to be the only one who saw the giant as a person who once had a life. The narrator realized that the giant was once a person with emotions and he imagined the amount of pain that the giant must have felt while drowning out at sea.

After a while the narrator began to see the decline of the giant's popularity. Soon, less and less people began visiting the giant because the excitement had gone. Plus, the corpse's stench became pretty bad and I can only imagine how awful that must've been. However, once the corpse on the beach lost the people's interest, the giant soon became popular again in the cycle of ogling the dead. Parts of the giant started appearing all over the city being used as props and arches over entrance ways and other things of that nature. The giant was, yet again, being used for societal consumption. I think it's pretty safe to say that our own society today still does this. A good example (old, but still good!) would be Abraham Lincoln. He was dead for two weeks and people paraded his dead body all around the United States for the people to ogle him.

The Nine Billion Names of God

The Nine Billion Names of God was actually really interesting. There were elements in it that you wouldn't think would work together because they aren't together in real life. My favorite theme in the story was when George and Chuck were questioning what would happen if the monks didn't get what they wanted at the end of their project. They were so worried about someone else's beliefs and what that group would do to them if George and Chuck got blamed. I think that really relates to today's world where humans attack other humans just because their beliefs are different, and they find some way to blame something bad on the people who don't have the same beliefs.

The other pretty shocking theme going on in this story is the fact that Tibetan monks want an extremely scientific computer in order for them to complete a fifteen thousand year project. And all they wanted to do was be able to compose a giant list of all of the possible names that God could have. In today's world, the monks don't really use technology. At most, I'm pretty sure they use cell phones to be able to communicate with each other and friends they make during travels and such. Other than that, the monks aren't very tech-savvy. I might not be immersed enough in space opera and science fiction but I can't recall ever hearing a story about how Tibetan monks want more technology to somehow become closer to God.

Overall, I thought that this story was pretty interesting. It really gave a great twist on how the world could actually evolve because honestly, that doesn't seem like a far-fetched idea. Who knows if the monks could want a super-computer to figure out all of the possible names for the God that they believe in. Crazy things have happened in the past so who could honestly know.

Monday, November 9, 2015


1. Are there any prominent symbols in the story? If so, what are they and how are they used?

There are definitely symbols present throughout the entire story. The concept of the Preserve is basically one giant prison that the humans can roam around in, yet there's always the Tlic around which are more or less the prison guards. However, the Tlic beings aren't all bad because, just like the humans, they're just trying to survive. The Tlic use the humans to their advantage in order for them to reproduce but the humans just kind of go with it because they have no choice, really. And the cases are all different, too. For example, T'Gatoi actually feels love towards her human family. She wants them to be safe and happy and protected. But at the same time, she knows that she has a purpose and she's going to do whatever it is that she needs to do for her own sake.

2. What connections did you make with the story? Discuss the elements with which you were able to connect.

I connected to the plight of having an older sibling that (relatively) sucks. Growing up, my sister was always better than me at literally everything so it really sucked growing up in her shadow. It wasn't until later that I realized I didn't need to be in her shadow, but that's a completely different story. The way that Gan and Qui interact with each other, very aggressive and always having this underlying sense of bitterness and resentment toward the other, is exactly how I grew up with my sister. The only difference was that my sister and I didn't beat each other up in the front yard. 

3. What changes would you make to adapt this story to another medium? What medium would you choose? What changes would you make?

If I had to change this story into anything, I would definitely adapt it for the big screen. The entire time I was reading it, I saw the scenes in my head so I feel as though it would translate well into a film. I'm not sure that I would change anything but I would definitely add a little more backstory to the relationship between the Tlic and the humans. I feel like that element in the story wasn't elaborated on enough, like, I kept questioning why these beings were brought together. I mean, clearly the Tlic are using the humans to stay alive and vise versa (sort of) but my biggest question is why? Where did the Tlic come from and why did they choose the humans to use as breeding animals for themselves? That's really the only thing that would, not necessarily change, but add. 

Monday, October 19, 2015


There are so many life lessons that are present all throughout the Harry Potter series. It's the best that these books are aimed at a younger audience because it teaches lessons that are very important for the shaping of adult lives. For example, these stories teach people that you're capable of doing pretty much anything (within reason) as long as you have the help and support of your friends. The trio had the perfect balance of bravery, intellect, and creativity which is why they all survived through the endeavors they went through. The series also taught us that being the smartest shouldn't really be the most important thing in a person's life. Even though the trio's escapades would've gone nowhere fast without Hermione's ability to remember every single thing she reads, they also wouldn't have gotten far if Harry wasn't so brave and determined. That being said, other qualities shouldn't be shadowed by intelligence. Harry and his friends also taught us that we are fully capable of deciding our fate. As long as we are in the right mindset, we can stay on the path that we believe in the most. Even with the pressure of the people around you, it's always you who makes the final decision. Arguably one of the best life lessons that Harry Potter taught us was that love conquers all. Harry had the upper hand on Voldemort because of Voldemort's inability to feel love. With all of the love that Harry felt for his parents and his friends and vise versa, he was able to defeat the dark lord. Sometimes the love, support and motivation that comes from family and friends is all you need to get through the hardships of life. 

The Hero's Journey

The Hobbit is probably the best example of The Hero's Journey you could ever find. It immediately starts off with the depiction of Bilbo and his calm, peaceful life. He's comfortable with his comfy life living in Hobbiton, but then Gandalf shows up and literally calls him on an adventure. When Bilbo finally came around and decided that he wanted to get away from his peaceful life, he crossed the threshold and went on a magical journey. The trials of Bilbo's journey with the dwarves and Gandalf include getting trapped by trolls, goblins, wargs and narrowly escaping them all. The troop of dwarves, Bilbo and Gandalf were helped by the eagles when they were being attacked by the goblins and wargs. Then, of course, there was that little brush with the dragon that they had but naturally the good guys had to win that battle. The transformation happens when Bilbo sort of betrays the dwarves and gives the Arkenstone to the elves but he actually did it with good intentions. The ultimate boon, for Bilbo at least, would be that the adventure was finally over and he was able to go back home safely. He was happy that he had chosen to go on this trip and have that experience but at the same time, he knew something had changed inside of him and that he was never going to be the same as he once was. When Bilbo returned home, he had lost the friendship and respect of his fellow hobbits, however, he didn't really care. He had the friendship of Gandalf, the dwarves, and the elves and that was just fine for him. The return home was filled with reminiscent memories and ended with a very humble hobbit returning the comfort of his cozy hobbit hole. 

The only things that were really out of place in comparison of the Hobbit and the Hero's Journey were the aid of something supernatural and the refusal of the hero returning home. The supernatural aid in the Hobbit would be the ring that Bilbo found and unknowingly took from Gollum. In a typical cycle of the Hero's Journey, the supernatural factor tends to happen before the threshold is crossed and in the Hobbit, it happened after the fact. Bilbo also showed no signs of reluctancy to go home. In fact, he was excited to return back to his tame, adventure-less lifestyle.