Is chivalry slavery?

This time we’re going to do something a tad bit different, although I’ve done it once before I think on this blog.

Instead of me posting a long article on something, I want to get your ideas on a difficult topic. I’ll be in the comments (am I ever not?) talking with you all, but I want you to start it up. Don’t feel shy, and say your mind! Think with lexicology. 😉

So the question is this: Is chivalry slavery?

What do I mean by that? Well, by chivalry I mean showing deference and respect to others, particularly to females. By slavery I mean the kind of unjust servitude and subservience enforced by tyrannical power over people of supposed lesser status, particularly to those of a different skin color.

If you want to know where the question came from, you can watch this very infuriating video (be forewarned, it might make you angry, haha): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCW2dKD45oA

So I’m curious… what do you think about this issue? Comment and let us know!

 

 

 

 

Review: Starfire

Greetings,

Starfire - Stuart Vaughn Stockton

Starfire - Stuart Vaughn Stockton

Here I am again to review yet another Marcher Lord Press novel, and again, this is one of my favorites (no, I won’t say that about all of them, but probably about most of them, haha).

Starfire, by Stuart Vaughn Stockton. Awesome book. Pure awesomeness.

His characters were deep, memorable, connectable (i.e., I empathized with them); his world’s premise, development, weaving, and execution were absolutely stunning; and his story’s plot, intricacy, concept, and progression were perfectly crafted.

And it was beautifully unique: I mean, who has ever thought of doing a high fantasy sci-fi story with a world populated entirely by dinosaurs? I know I never did, but I wish I had. Brilliant idea, hard to execute though. But he did a marvelous job of it.

And then, who wouldn’t like to read a book from the perspective of someone tasked with the creation of a world-wide catastrophe??

These kinds of things make it really hard to publish, though, at least with regular publishing venues. With Marcher Lord Press and other companies like them, it becomes very possible to get awesome stuff like this into the hands of voracious and thankful readers like me. And like you. 😉

Starfire stands out in my mind as a Wow Book. I can’t wait to read it again.

The morals, the theme, the lessons, could even be described as life-changing. Powerful stuff, deep thinking, great challenges.

Another six out of five. 🙂 So go check it out.

Super Share Saturday Serendipity (with a Surprise!)

Learnable: The Way Learning Should Be

Learnable: The Way Learning Should Be

Greetings!

Well I have a lot to share with you today, and one thing in particular that is simply awesome and exciting. I hope you all will be as excited about it as I am.

At long last, essence mapping has gone public!

My very first course on essence mapping is live and for sale at learnable.com!

* dances about in joy and glee *

So what does that mean? I am pretty sure a lot of you don’t even know what essence mapping is, or why you would care. And especially why a course you have to actually pay for would even be worth hearing about.

Or why you should even keep on reading!

Well, hopefully you have a reason to keep on reading… I have something to tell you! 😛

Essence Mapping is a system of artistic communication. It enables creative artists, whether they be designers or writers or anything else, to write down, and thus communicate, pure artistic expression without ambiguity.

Using this system, you can capture the perfect essence of a moment, an emotion, a thought, an impression, and communicate it to someone else, and define it for yourself. And you can do it without having to get any kind of software or anything like that. You can even scribble it out on paper if you want.

In the past, essence mapping has been known as enigmatic and confusing. Difficult to learn. But no more. It has been completely revamped and reexplained from the foundation up, and this course that just went live, teaches it all to you!

Imagine: in one week, you can be able to describe anything you want to describe. Even so-called indescribable things!

One week, five lessons, just for you.

So check out the course, share it, subscribe, tell everyone about it! 🙂

https://learnable.com/courses/essence-mapping-for-beginners-helping-you-imagine-and-communicate-your-ideas-75

And if you still aren’t sure you want to click that link (come on… it isn’t that hard… click it!), check out this video of me giving more details about why essence mapping is just so cool:

Got it? Good. Now go click the link. And then click the Subscribe button. Not that hard. 😉

Here is is again for good measure.

And now here are a few other videos that I have found either awesome, or super helpful.

An awesome short film using music as the main action sequence. Brilliant cinematography, acting, and music of course:

Two videos by the Gracie brothers, showing you just one of the strategies of teaching that they use, making them world renowned as some of the best instructors ever, on anything.

And then, a music video with one of the best renditions I have ever heard of Hans Zimmer’s song He’s a Pirate, for Pirates of the Caribbean:

Have fun! 😀

Book Review: The Superlative Stream

Greetings,

The Superlative Stream by Kerry Nietz

The Superlative Stream by Kerry Nietz

My last book that I reviewed here was A Star Curiously Singing by Kerry Nietz, and I gave it a resounding six out of five. It is, however, only the first in a trilogy, only the first two of which are published so far (hopefully the last one will come out later this year). I have the first two, and I can’t wait.
The second one is called The Superlative Stream (of course also by Kerry Nietz, duh). Now, sequels are hard to do. And trilogies are also rather hard to pull off (though I have seen more successful trilogies than sequels). There are several ways to go about it: you can just continue the story you started in the first books, which means each book kinda has an incomplete story arc, which is annoying, or you can make each one have a unique story plot, while loosely linking them together in an overall story arc.
The former is more like one book severed into three volumes. The Lord of the Rings is like that, but people rarely read them individually because it is so obvious they don’t stand alone (although he was able to create individual story arcs for each book as well, which is amazing).
The latter is kind of like beads on a chain. They are related, but not one unified whole. Stephen Lawhead‘s The Dragonking Saga is like that to a degree.
One way is not necessarily better than the other way: each has its own unique challenges and blessings.
But Kerry Nietz did ’em both (or at least he has done this so far).
I won’t give away the plot, which is marvelously and beautifully woven, but the way he did it was more like weaving many threads together on a wristband. It has definable sections that stand somewhat alone, but are very much obviously a part of the whole. Each one has its own personality, character, and design, but each one is a part of the structure of the whole. That said, don’t read The Superlative Stream until you have read A Star Curiously Singing: it won’t be nearly as good otherwise. But you are going to get that anyways, right? 😉
The Superlative Stream answers some questions about A Star Curiously Singing, but it also creates some more, while preparing the main characters to be hurled right back into a struggle that looks to be of epic proportions and magnetic awesomeness (magnetic in that you won’t be able to set it down, not that magnets will be fighting each other or anything).
Like A Star Curiously Singing, it also delves into fascinating theological and philosophical concepts in a dramatic and clear way, demonstrating some powerful truths about many things, including belief. I like the way Kerry consistently develops the main character, integrating doubt and struggles without voiding the steps forward that he has taken in the previous book. I hate it when people mess that whole thing up, and Kerry doesn’t.
And I love Dark Trench. Brilliant way to make a great character out of an AI being without violating the fact that he is indeed AI, and not human. Perfectly done.
So again, six out of five, on all points. Go get it. 😀

A Defense of Voyage of the Dawn Treader

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Da...

Image via Wikipedia

Well, this was supposed to be written and posted last week’s Monday, but things happened and it didn’t get done. So we can all pretend like this is last week, alright?

I watched the Voyage of the Dawn Treader movie with my mom and the other two of the 3Literati (Patrick and Juliet: we are the oldest three siblings). I went with this mindset: this is a movie, not a book. Thus, it isn’t the same as the Voyage of the Dawn Treader book, never will be, and shouldn’t be. So I sat back for a good movie.

And was utterly blown away by how similar it was to the book, and by how much biblical morals they were able to include from the original book. In fact, from what I have seen from the reactions of different people, a lot of people have actually missed a lot of the lessons in the books that were brought out in the movie.

I find that a lot of people complain mostly about the plot changes from the book. A few people complain about the plot itself (i.e., the mist was cliché, and etc.), but there always will be that small group of people who say that about practically every piece of media that is ever created. And besides, those kinds of things are more matters of opinion than anything else (I, personally, thought the plot was brilliantly done). So I will focus in the first part of this review on the changes of the plot from the book, and in the second part on the content itself as a movie for Christians to watch.

In the old days, people published books. And they way they went about it was quite different from the way they do it now. And the interests of the people who read books back then were possibly even more different. Actually, most likely more different. And so different things got published.

In fact, if you tried to publish practically any of the old classics now… it just wouldn’t happen. And even if you did, veeery few people would actually read it. The whole style and expected content was different. The way you structure plot, the way you developed characters, the way you set up scenes, the way you described things, the stuff you included, everything was different. Nowadays, books are a lot more like movies in a lot of ways. Now, I am not saying that either way is bad: in fact both are perfectly legitimate ways of writing books, and I enjoy both styles.

However.

The old way of doing book writing simply does not work nowadays, especially on screen. And if you put over a hundred million dollars into producing something, which is required for epic movies to be done well (though that price is lowering), you want to get something out of it. You need to rely on selling to a powerful enough market to support your venture.

So in the process of making an old book into a new movie, changes will have to be made simply to make it vendible. This is not a bad thing. This is actually a good thing. Sure, eventually, prices will lower and people will be buying movies like they buy ebooks (by the gross), and then you will be able to get away with more stuff and sell to niche markets, and that will also be a good thing. But at the moment, you can’t rely on the tiny portion of the world who actually is watching the movie because they read the books and who also actually want the movie to be exactly like the book.

It doesn’t need to be exactly like the book. It shouldn’t be exactly like the book. And with a book like Voyage of the Dawn Treader, which is a prime example of old-style structure, changes have to be made to make it able to be made into a movie. No changes, no movie. Pretty simple.

And if you think about the changes that they actually made… they were pretty small.

* listens to the shouts of consternation and gasps of unbelief *

Right. You heard me right. 😀

They weren’t all that big. Think about it, what did you expect? That they would drop an island or two (they dropped only one, unless you count Felimath and Doorn), and that they would merge others (which they did). They did this quite masterfully, and retained a ton of detail from the book.

What else would you expect for them to change? I expected them to add a more obvious plot arc that tied everything together: the book was very episodic in nature. And they did. And they did a great job of it too, tying together the events from the book by their common elements and elaborating on those. They also added on several bits of plot without removing any of the original. And in the case of the morals, they actually made the original morals much easier to see (judging by how many people missed them completely).

No, I am not giving any spoilers, haha, in case you haven’t watched it yet. But my advice to you is this: watch the movie as a movie, without expecting it to copy everything exactly from the book. And then you will absolutely love it. Especially the ending.

Now for the content. This should be pretty simple: it was great. 😀

For an epic fantasy, in which there is generally somewhere some kind of immodesty in the female portion of the cast, it was incredibly perfect. There was no immodesty at all, which is awesome. As far as language, it was clean: no words you wouldn’t want to repeat. Gore was innocuous (non-existent in the cases of humans, and vanishing into green smoke in the cases of monsters). And in truth, the book was more ‘gory’ than the movie, especially when Eustace had to be un-dragoned. The movie handles this absolutely splendidly.

There was only one element that I would advise caution for younger viewers on: the sea serpent is pretty intense and… freaky. Totally freaky. Awesomely sends-chills-down-your-spine kind of freaky. I loved it to pieces, personally, but little members of the audience might have to close their eyes a bit. 😉

If you have questions about specific pieces of the plot, asking for justifications for changes they made, I would be more than willing to answer with my views on the matter. I wanted to keep this spoiler-free, but I will lift that ban on the comments section. 🙂

So have at it. On guard.

A Review of Stephen Lawhead’s Skin Map

 

The Skin Map

The Skin Map

 

When I got The Skin Map from Booksneeze (at no charge, no obligations, very awesome), I really had no idea what to expect. I had already read a few of Stephen Lawhead‘s books, and I knew that he had a diverse range of style. So I dug in with no preconceived notions about what it would be like.

And I loved it.

His mastery of the art of description is beyond belief (I had to stop several times to jump up and down because I loved his style so much, seriously). His level of attention to details like period mindset and speech is a delight to behold (especially for die-hard background-first novelists like me).

My only quibble was that he doesn’t end the first book as a stand-alone. He makes you need to read the next one to continue the story arc properly. And that isn’t out yet, which is maddening.

And for those of you who are worried about inappropriate content (I was a bit, since his Song of Albion trilogy had some), don’t be. It is completely clean. Utterly. I couldn’t have been more pleased on that score (and promptly gave it to my little siblings to share).

5 out of 5 stars, very recommended.

What Do You Want Me To Write? :D

The book

Image by Dave Heuts via Flickr

Hey everyone!

I am planning to write a book (well, several books). I have a few topics for non-fiction books, and I have well over 20 concepts for novels in various stages of development, in both fantasy and sci-fi genres. I know roughly what my writing plans are for the fiction end of things will be…

But I am also planning to write a non-fiction book and publish it. It will be along the lines of what I am writing here in this blog: advocating outside-the-box, logical, Biblical lexicology and hermeneutics. I will take a set of concepts that I have expounded on here, and expand on them, examining all the different facets, and answering objections, and present them in a book form.

And, knowing me, it won’t be dry theology either. Be prepared for lots of humor, drama, and probably short stories illustrating points (you can’t keep me from writing fiction even when I am writing non-fiction). 😉

And also expect to have a hand in helping me bring it to fruition. This is a community project as much as a Jay Lauser project. I want you, my loyal friends, to help me in every stage of this creation. From picking a topic, to figuring out what to include, to helping present counter-points, to giving feedback, to editing, and of course to get all of that you will be getting insider reports on my progress and reading my stuff before anyone else in the world. Happy yet?

So First Things First. What topic would you most like me to publish a book on? Ask your friends, look at the state of the world, at what our generation most needs to hear, look back at my old posts, and think about what we have talked about, and let me know what you think I should present as my debut non-fiction work.

I can’t wait to hear what y’all say. 🙂

(Oh, if you don’t want to comment below, you can email me at jay.lauser@sir-emeth.com.)