Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Arthur Charles Clarke tribute

Hoag's object

It is vital to remember that information — in the sense of raw data — is not knowledge, that knowledge is not wisdom, and that wisdom is not foresight. But information is the first essential step to all of these.

Sir Arthur Charles Clarke
(16 December 1917 - 19 March 2008)

Monday, 10 March 2008

Heroes: Saving Charlie: A Novel

Heroes: Saving Charlie: A Novel
Written by Aury Wallington; Story by Jeph Loeb; based on the series Heroes created by Tim Kring

I waited this book to be released in the Philippines for a long time. I am always checking out the bookstores since January and when I saw this last February, I immediately bought it, set aside all other books that I am reading and started reading this.

The book is based on the hit television series, Heroes, with a central story revolving around the characters Hiro Nakamura, a time traveler, and Charlie Andrews, a waitress whom our main character is infatuated but destined to be killed by the "Brain Man". In the Heroes - Season One episode "Seven Minutes to Midnight", Hiro told his best friend, that he wants to prevent Charlie's death by travelling to the past -- one day before the incident -- but he missed by six months! After the episode "Six Months Ago", we saw that Hiro failed on his mission with the look of desperation.

The story of Hiro and Charlie in those six months is chronicled on this book. We see how the romance between them blossomed and the relationship of Hiro and his father Kaito via Hiro's flashbacks. This is definitely not your ordinary science fiction book, it is a romance novel.

After reading the novel, it is below what I am expected from a science fiction novel or even a romance novel. As a science fiction novel, I was hoping that effect of time travel is explored at least on the Heroes universe. The explanations through examples from manga, American comics, and movies fell flat for me. As a romance novel with the male as a point-of-view character, the novel fell flat too. (Sorry, my exposure on romance novels is from Nicholas Sparks novels and I am spoiled by his male characters.) The deep emotions felt by Hiro (claiming that he is in-love with Charlie) did not came across the page although I felt his excitement and over-all infatuation. As a media tie-in book, my only problem is the last part. All the Hiro-Charlie scenes in the episode "Six Months Ago" was reworked to fit the novel but those reworking made sense and I would like to thank the author for that although I am not recommending this book for the continuity buffs. The ending fell flat, as some events was just mentioned and it should have been told.

Overall, this book is recommended for Hiro/Charlie shippers like me. But for the serious Heroes fans, read the Heroes, Volume One graphic novel instead.

Rating: 2 1/2 stars out of 5

Friday, 1 February 2008

New Worlds Alliance launches the country's first online science fiction and fantasy lending library

QUEZON CITY, PHILIPPINES (newworlds.ph) -- Have you ever tried following one of those long-running fantasy book series like Robert Jordan's "The Wheel of Time" or the Dragonlance series? Or have you ever tried reading all the "Star Trek" novels in order but couldn't find the next volume? Tried to keep up with the Star Wars Expanded universe novels?

You've probably tried. But as the venerable Master Yoda would say, "Do or do not, there is no try."

"But Master Yoda," you protest. "I can only try because it's too difficult to find all the books in these series. It's rare to find all 10 Wheel of Time books available in a store, or to find someone with a great number of Star Trek books I can borrow!"

Master Yoda looks at you with a knowing smile and whispers, "Ah, but the New Worlds Library, there is. Know about it, do you not?"

I can see you're quite bewildered. And before Master Yoda decides you have to do a single handstand while he's standing on your foot and you try to levitate some rocks using the Force because you don't know what the New Worlds Library is, let me elucidate.

The New Worlds Library (NWL) is a project of the New Worlds Alliance (NWA), a network of local fan organizations of science fiction, fantasy, and horror enthusiasts. Located at Fandom Café, the Alliance headquarters in Quezon City, it is the first online lending library of its kind and scope in the country. The aim of the NWL is to provide a wide selection of science fiction, fantasy, and horror books and references, and various magazines and similar publications that its members can either read on-site or borrow.

To date, the NWL has more than 1600 books in its collection, most of which were donated by NWA member groups and other individuals. There are substantial collections of Star Trek, Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, Star Wars, and various classic science fiction and fantasy books, some of which, you won't find available in local stores, or are already out of print. So if you've ever wanted to finish that long book series but couldn't find the other volumes, try searching the NWL database, and you just might find what you're looking for. We can't count how many times visitors to the library have said "I've been looking for this book for the longest time!" while browsing the NWL collection.

The NWL catalogue is available online to provide members easy access to information they need before going to Fandom Café. Members may browse the catalogue at their leisure using their workstations, check if the book is available for loan, reserve it online, and go to Fandom Café to pick up the book. If the book they want was checked-out by another member, members can reserve the book and they will be notified by e-mail if the book is already available. Right now, library volunteers are still busy migrating book information into our new database system, but a more comprehensive list of books may be found in the NWL Librarything account.

Applying for membership to the NWL is easy. Secure a Membership Form from Fandom Café or request for one through the NWL website, fill it up, present the required documents, and pay the membership fee. After validation of the information in your application, you can start browsing for books you can borrow.

So now that you know what the New Worlds Library is, hurry and apply for membership now! Master Yoda is watching you, and so am I... especially if you do not take care of those books.

The New Worlds Library is open for business and is located at:
Fandom Café
Unit G-09 Regalia Park Towers,
150 P. Tuazon St., Cubao, Quezon City

For more information, visit our websites:
http://www.fandomcafe.com
http://www.newworlds.ph
or the NWL catalog database at:
http://www.newworlds.ph/elib/login.php
our Librarything account is at:
http://www.librarything.com/catalog/nwa_library
You can also call: (02)4396586
or e-mail: library@fandomcafe.com