Wednesday, May 30, 2007

33 Days and Counting

Not to hate on Harry (the last thing I need is to have another wizard mad at me--long story, don't ask) or J.K., the richest, most powerful woman in the world, but we have another new release from a Brit master about to drop.

Now that Kurt Vonnegut has joined Douglas Adams on the other side, I'm going to have to declare Neil Gaiman is my favorite living writer (Best thing about living writers? They're alive to write new books. Of course, that hasn't stopped 2Pac).

Anyway, M is for Magic is a collection of short stories (I know, not a new book exactly but we're not going to have to wait long for that either) that really is a good intro to Gaiman's writing. This is flying under the radar, so there's not a long wait yet.

Once you're hooked, you'll want to go back to some of his early books, starting with Stardust (hitting the screen in August) and Neverwhere and working your way up to the amazing American Gods. Or you can do the right thing and drown in the genius that is The Sandman. Your call.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

55 Days and Counting

Yep, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows will be available in 55 Days. You can keep up with the countdown by checking out which is a good Harry Potter fan websites or you can view it below:

We also have the third question bookmark available at your local library. The question is "Will Hogwarts Reopen?". Let us know what you think?

Monday, May 21, 2007

Final Fantasy is an RPG

And one of my favorites indeed! Not to mention one of the largest and most successful video game RPG series out there.

The first Final Fantasy video game was produced for the original Nintendo Entertainment System back in 1987 by Square (now Square-Enix). Now it has a total of 12 numbered games, a sequel for Final Fantasy X called Final Fantasy X-2, and various other side games such as Final Fantasy Tactics. Not to mention all the various prequels and sequels for Final Fantasy VII- such as Advent Children and Dirge of Cerberus. There even has been a movie (Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within) and a TV series (Final Fantasy: Unlimited)- although they are not connected plotwise to any of the specific games.

Most of the music in Final Fantasy (such as the Chocobo Song) has been composed by Nobuo Uematsu. Many of the character designs have been created by Yoshitaka Amano- who visited Tampa last October for Metrocon: Amano's World! And I even got two of his artbooks autographed- complete with drawings of Rosa Farrell from Final Fantasy IV and Terra Branford from FFVI!!!

My favorite Final Fantasy game would be Final Fantasy VI, followed by Final Fantasy VIII. Although they have numbers in sequence, their plots are all independent of each other. However, there are some elements that show up in many of them- Chocobos, Moogles, Biggs and Wedge, Cid and his airship, just to name a few. I have even cosplayed several of the heroines: Rosa Farrell, Terra Branford, Tifa Lockheart, Rinoa Heartilly, Ellone, Garnet til Alexandros, and Yuna Braska. I even made an Anime Music Video with the cut scenes from FF6. Many fans have followed with other Final Fantasy creations of their own, since it is such a popular franchise for a reason.

Final Fantasy goodies the library owns and you can check out:

- Final Fantasy IX Strategy Guide
- Music Inspired by Final Fantasy
- Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within

Here are some more cool Final Fantasy sites:

- Final Fantasy Online
- Final Fantasy Insider
- Wikipedia article on Final Fantasy
- Chocobo Robo Voice- hilarious song and video about Final Fantasy.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Subtle Knife

So, I just finished Book 2 of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy, The Subtle Knife, and I have to say this is one subversive series. Picking up where Book 1, The Golden Compass, left off, our heroine Lyra finds herself in a new world and on a collision course with her father...who just happens to be planning a rematch of the biggest war ever--the angel rebellion in heaven. But, and here's where it starts to get fun, we're left wondering if that might not be exactly just what the universe needs.

Now, I have no intention of opening up a religious debate, but I'd like to use this example of how important books can be to our development as critical thinkers. Asking questions that we think we already have the answer to will not only help us intellectually, but socially as we see the infinite threads of diversity wrapped around our world. Or something like that.

Of course, the books are a lot of fun to read (otherwise, who would care). And people do care, a lot, as evidenced by Pullman's inclusion on banned book lists throughout the world. In my mind that means he's doing something right.

You can read more about the author's thoughts here and here (Warning: May Contain Spoilers). I'm especially interested in your thoughts about Pullman's view on the Narnia series.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Harry Potter Bookmarks - Collect Them All

While I was walking through the library, I noticed we now have Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallow bookmarks. Investigating further, I discovered they have a new one every two weeks. The first one came out on April 17th, and each one has a different question. We still have some of the first bookmarks at SouthShore Regional Library. You can go to the website and vote with your answer. This weeks question is "Is Snape Good or Evil?"

Now all Harry Potter fans know that the book of the year is coming out July 21st. However, did you know that you can now place holds on the book. Check it out!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Anime Conventions

This past weekend, I was at JACON. And what's JACON? It's an Anime Convention!

Let me tell you all about some events and happenings that take place at anime conventions:

- Dealers room: where you can buy any anime goodies from figures and dolls of your favorite characters to soundtrack CDs of your favorite series to Japanese inspired clothes and then some more!
- Contests: for Anime Music Videos, Cosplay, and costume photography.
- Workshops: making plooshies, creating props, AMV basics, etc.
- Panels: about everything from classic anime to current series to fandom in America to cosplay and convention attendance tips.
- Guests: often dub anime voice actors (I got to see Wendee Lee and Lex Lang at Anime Festival Orlando, and they are the voice actors for Emeraude and Zagato in the Magic Knight Rayearth dub!). But also other anime staff, such as Marc Handler from Voltron.
- Anime viewing rooms and video gaming rooms.
- And of course, you get to see your friends and meet some more!

I was cosplaying as Rosalie Lamorliere from Rose of Versailles on Friday, Ellone from Final Fantasy VIII on Saturday, and Violet Baudelaire from A Series of Unfortunate Events on Sunday.

The next Florida anime convention will be taking place right here in Tampa!!! It's called Metrocon, and this will be its fifth year. Come join us at the Tampa Convention Center on July 4-6 to celebrate Metrocon!

Monday, May 7, 2007

Some days my job is pretty cool...

No job is perfect, but how can you beat this?

I'm posting from the North Tampa Library, where we're celebrating my last day here doing afterschool tech classes for teens by playing PS2s.

The guys behind me are talking smack to their basketball game (and each other), and on the other end of the room, there's a revolution going on... a Dance Dance Revolution!

Nobody here is quite as good as this kid,

but I've got to say, we're definitely having fun!

Yeah. Some days my job is pretty cool.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007


How exciting is this weekend gonna be! Not only do we have the much awaited Spiderman 3 swinging into theaters, but on Saturday we get free comics!

Visit a participating local comic shop to get some of the free comics supplied by several major publishers. Many are special editions only available on Free Comic Book Day!

Thanks to Paul, the Librarian at Pasco County's New River branch, for telling me about the this last week and to the folks at Westport Library in CT for reminding me to post about it.