Thursday, 20 February 2020

Three times movies have predicted the future

There are so many movies out there set in the future, whether near or distant, that seem to have astounding technology as well as stunning revelations. However, how many of these things actually come to pass. Well, we’ve put together a list of three movies that have done an astounding job of predicting the future.

Bladerunner (1982)

Though we may not be driving hovercars or living with the rolling darkness, but one thing they got spot on was the giant billboards advertising foodstuffs with moving pictures projected onto them. When Bladerunner was made the jumbotron billboard wasn’t even running in Times Square of Piccadilly Circus.

The Cable Guy (1996)

As funny as this movie is, the rant at the end is where they really hit the mark. Carry’s rant “Soon every American home will integrate their television, phone and computer! Visit the Louvre on one channel, and watch female mud wrestling on another! You can do your shopping at home or play Mortal Kombat! In 1996 this all seemed far flung and virtually impossible, but over twenty years later we have exactly that.

Super Mario Bros. (1993)

The most chilling prediction of any movie, was the moment in Super Mario Bros. where the Twin Towers in New York City can be seen disintegrating while a plane creates a hole and flies through the right tower. Even now, that is still a hard one to watch.

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Monday, 17 February 2020

A cute couple of novels on the perils of digital dating

Love can be a tough business in any era, but with the current wave of digital dating has added a whole new wave of difficulty to finding true love. Here are two romance novels which detail the perils of digital dating.

The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai

There’s not much about dating apps the Rhiannon Hunter doesn’t know, but when it comes to romance, she less sure of herself. Rhi is devoted to her career, and although she makes a living from hook-ups, her own cynical view of romance means she rarely swipes right. Her ethos of self-preservation protects her up to a point, but when she is swept off her feet one night by retired pro footballer Samson Lima.

Samson is sweet and sexy, but doesn’t hang around and after that one crazy night, he vanishes. By the time he resurfaces, Rhi thinks she has gotten over her feelings for him in the wake of his sudden departure. To make matters worse, though, Samson is working with a direct business rival.

Can their relationship survive these constant glitches and is Rhi prepared to break all her rules of romance for one shot at true love?

How To Hack A Heartbreak by Kristin Rockaway

Mel has swiped right one too many times and this time she has vowed to get revenge on a succession of sleazebags who insist one sending her unsolicited pictures of an adult variety. What they don’t know is the Mel is a computer whizz who specializes in fixing up laptops and coding. The dating app Fluttr has brought her into the world of the aforementioned sleazebags, but when she decides to make her own app to turn the tables on these guys, it explodes. JerkAlert strikes a chord with harassed women and is an instant success. But when Mel must decide between a relationship with the one nice guy she might have a thing for – Alex – and her burgeoning career, she has a tough choice to make.

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Monday, 3 February 2020

3 is the magic number for these wizard tales

The Harry Potter series of novels may have awoken an interest in all things magic, but there are other collections of books which also provide something of the supernatural to delight readers and these ones come in threes.

The Broken Earth Trilogy by NK Jemisin

This features magic and supernatural happenings on a grand scale. There’s not turning enemies into frogs, in the Broken Earth Trilogy, characters can move and spilt entire continental plates and bring about apocalyptic events. All this is intertwined with personal stories about loss, death and betrayal.

The Broken Empire Trilogy by Mark Lawrence

Epic war and dark magic come together in this sweeping trilogy which kicks off with the first book Prince of Thorns. The opening offering introduces readers to Jorg Ancrath, the young prince referred to in the title of the first books. The conflict as scarred him from an early age as he has to deal with the death of his parents and his sudden elevation to power. Often brutal and uncompromising, the trilogy also contains enough magic and mystique to allow readers to get lost in the sumptuous storytelling.

The Magicians Trilogy by Lev Grossman

This series has drawn comparisons with the Harry Potter series due to the fact that it is set in a school for magic, just like JK Rowling’s famous wizard. However, while Hogwarts was more like a high school/boarding school for would-be wizards, Brakebills College tends towards the teenage angsty end of the young magician. So we have the usual introspection of young adults wondering where they fit in in the world mixed with the fact that they can do magic.

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Wednesday, 22 May 2019

The Origins of the Dragon

Think about a mythical beast that can often be found in fantasy novels… at least one of your thoughts will almost certainly be a dragon. While there is no physical evidence of any fire-breathing winged lizards ever existing, the motif of the dragon permeates so much of our culture from East to West, that it is as if it were a real creature who once walked the earth.

Here is some of the story behind the myth of the dragon.

The word ‘dragon’ first appeared in the English lexicon in the 1200s. It stems from the word ‘draconem’ or ‘draco’ in Latin which means ‘giant snake’. Original representations of dragons are very serpent-like. You can find images of dragons in almost every culture across the globe, and so there is much dispute about the actual origins of the creature.

One theory is that dragons represent an innate fear that humans are born with: a fear of snakes and large predators, such as birds of prey. According to this theory, the winged, snake-like creature is therefore an amalgamated representation of our evolutionary fears in the form of a generic monster.

Another theory is that people discovered fossils of dinosaur bones and were inspired to create images resembling giant lizards. And yet another is that people would have seen and heard stories of real giant lizards, such as crocodiles and komodo dragons and the stories became elaborated over time.

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Tuesday, 7 May 2019

Facing Adversity

Adversity is something that we all come up against at some point in our lifetime, but it is how we face that adversity that defines us. Here is a short story about how adversity can change us.

A daughter went to see her father, complaining about how miserable her life was and how she didn’t know how she was going to make it through. She was tired of fighting all the time. Her father was a chef. He listened to her talk and then took three pans and filled them with water. He placed all three on to boil. When they were boiling he put potatoes in one pan, eggs in another and ground coffee beans in the last. He let them boil for a while, not saying a word to his daughter.

When they were done, he took the pans off the heat. He put the potatoes in one bowl, the eggs in another and the coffee in a cup.

“What do you see?” he asked his daughter.

“Potatoes, eggs and coffee,” she huffed.

“Look again. Feel the potatoes and the eggs. Taste the coffee,” he said. She touched the potatoes, they were soft. She peeled back the egg shell to find the egg was hard. She sipped the coffee and the taste brought a smile to her face.

“What does this mean?” she asked her father.

“When you face adversity, it affects everyone differently. The boiling water is adversity. When the potatoes faced it they became soft and weak. When the eggs faced it they became hardened. When the coffee beans faced it, they changed and became something new. Which one will you be?”

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Thursday, 2 May 2019

Young Adult Fantasy books with homosexual protagonists

Over the last few years, we’ve seen a wave of diversity in Young Adult fiction, especially when it comes to embracing homosexual protagonists across the spectrum of gender and sexuality. Read on to discover some of our favorite examples of this welcome trend. Representation matters across all areas of media and culture, but it’s especially true when it comes to Young Adult work.

Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova

This book is a tale of magic and identity set in a spectacular and imaginative setting that practically hums and buzzes with life. It is also a quintessential coming of age tale, featuring a young Bruja who must travel to a strange land to save her family. One balanced by an entertaining and deep cast of supporting characters and page-turning plotting.

When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore

Magical Realism has been a source of wonder and depth for decades, and this beautifully written book from Anna-Marie McLemore is no exception. Buoyed by an honest, and heart-swelling, depreciation of a blossoming young homosexual romance, this is a poetic and profound work with complex and relatable characters and deftly lyrical prose.

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Monday, 29 April 2019

Two fantasy classic series you need to read in your lifetime

There are millions upon millions of books in the world with many released every single day, however, there are some classics out there that you need to read. If fantasy is your chosen genre, you need to add these books to your must-read list.

Lord of the Rings - As one of the best-written novel series of all time, Lord of the Rings is an essential book to read in your lifetime. Going by the title, the books follow the story of the ring. Long ago twenty rings existed: three for elves, seven for dwarves, nine for men, and one made by the Dark Lord Sauron in Mordor which would rule all others. Later he was killed and the ring fell to the bottom of the ocean. It’s found and the story unwinds from there with the aim to destroy the ring as it harms anyone in its power.

A Song of Ice and Fire series - Now made into the renowned action-packed TV series, Game of Thrones, the show originated as a series of books, and is worth the read. ‘A Games of Thrones’ is the first one in the series followed by A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons. The series follows the different families in the seven kingdoms who are all after the throne. There’s violence, death, honor, and shock as you plod your way through the novels.

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