Friday, October 28, 2005

You know it's bad for AD Vision when they have one of their cut-rate store-on-fire sales and I can't justify buying enough to cover the shipping charge. There's a lot of relatively new stuff in there, too. It can't be good for their long-term business when people like me get the idea that it's never worth-while to buy the first version of an ADV title, because we'll inevitably see a brick of that thing we paid in excess of a hundred dollars for in the single-disc version, selling at a cut-rate bargain-bin price of ten dollars - Daiguard, BTW, which is definitely worth the shipping charge if you haven't seen it yet.

At least they're finally getting around to the second volume of Princess Tutu. Watch me buy it at almost retail, like a schmuck.

Caught Solty Rei last evening, before we had to toddle off for the weekly home-game. Dave and I were arguing over whether it was a direct rip of Blade Runner, or a strictly derivative rip of Bubblegum Crisis. I was doing pretty well on the Blade Runner front, until two chixor in partial Knight Sabre battlesuit armor showed up, chasing a lolicyborg. The show was fun for about five minutes' worth of "spot the homage/ripoff", but after that, I had to pay attention to the actual plot, which was tedious, and the writing, which was nearly indescribably inept. Solty Rei's script felt like it was written by a replicant - someone who knew what scripts were, and what they were supposed to accomplish, but was comprehensively incapable of making any actual human connection with the emotional needs of the story. The writing staff of Solty Rei failed the scriptwriting equivalent of a Voight-Kampff empathy test.

I finished reading three of Eric Wittenberg's books on Civil War eastern Union Cavalry - Little Phil, the Union Cavalry Comes of Age, and Protecting the Flanks. I bought the latter two sight-unseen, and was somewhat disappointed in the physical presentation and brevity of Protecting the Flanks, which turned out to be a short tactical study married to a battlefield guide.

Protecting the Flanks also had one of the least reader-friendly fonts I have ever encountered in a professional publication - the dashes were light, thin marks at a forty-five degree angle to the line of text, and visually indistinguishable from paper flaws in an indifferent light. The text was also laid out double-spaced, as if it were a high school term paper. I'm inclined mostly to blame the publisher rather than the author, but lord, what a mess. I had never read much about the cavalry actions east of the main armies at Gettysburg, though, so what little there was of Protecting the Flanks was worth the slight cost, I suppose.

Little Phil is the latest in a relatively popular micro-genre, the enthusiastic revilement of Phillip "Little Phil" Sheridan. To be frank, so many people have had so little good to say about Sheridan over the years, that the idea that he's some sort of paragon of military virtue worth tearing down to reveal the rotten truth behind the lie, is kind of foreign to me, as if the sentiment had been translated poorly from a not-particularly-translation-friendly dialect like Pashtun or Osaka-ben. Ah, I suppose this is what comes of fads of revision and counter-revision, each new song-and-dance seeming old to those that don't generally read that which has been out of the book-stores for a generation or more. After all, I've never read Battle Cry of Freedom, or Lincoln Finds a General or most of that general run of book.

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