JAKE AND THE DYNAMO
CHAPTER 18: SINKING DEEPER
Jake squirmed in his bus seat and struggled to control his breathing. His face felt hot, as if he had a fever, and his clothes stuck to him in uncomfortable places. Marionette’s intense kisses kept replaying in his head.
Other bus passengers glanced his way uneasily or stared at him openly. He probably looked like a freak.
He swallowed hard and ran a hand through his hair. His fingers came away moist with perspiration. He desperately wanted to hit the court and shoot some hoops. Or go back to Marionette’s apartment. Or grab another girl—any other girl.
You’re not choosy, she’d said.
And he remembered Natasha’s words, too: Boys his age need sports to release their excess energy, or they commit sex crimes. He had thought she was joking.
Darn it, maybe they were both right. Continue reading “JAKE AND THE DYNAMO Chapter 18”
Alice 19th. Story and art by Yuu Watase. Viz Media, 2003. 7 vols. Rated T+ for older teen.
Yuu (or Yû, or Yu) Watase is a prolific and influential creator of shoujo (girls’) manga whose work, according to her Wikipedia page, fills over eighty volumes. She has explored a few different genres, primarily focusing on teen rom-coms and historical fantasy. She’s best known for her bodice-ripping, wuxia-inspired reverse harem sword-and-sorcery epic Fushigi Yugi, which broke the mold of the schoolgirl-gets-sucked-into-an-alternate-universe brand of Japanese pop fantasy. It’s a gigantic stew of melodrama, overwrought dialogue, lush costuming, hawt bishie boys, dippy romance, rape, martial arts battles, naked chicks, gay jokes, and rape.
How should I characterize Watase-sensei’s work? Remember the old days before Tivo when people used to channel-surf: you’d be flipping through the channels looking for something to watch, and for a brief moment you’d land upon the Lifetime Network, which was “television for women.” And it was always some guy beating the hell out of a woman. Every. Single. Time.
Reading Yuu Watase is sort of like that. Continue reading “Manga Review: ‘Alice 19th’”
I break the rules.
All right, chapter 18 of Jake and the Dynamo is drafted, but I’m not going to post until it’s been through my writer’s group. Things have been hectic for me for the last month, so I’ve burned through my buffer and I want to get it back. Thus, the novel’s on hiatus.
My situation is calming down, at least in some ways, so I’ll be able to post more regularly. We’re going to move more into reviews and articles for a while as I work on getting some more chapters put together on the novel.
JAKE AND THE DYNAMO
CHAPTER 17: FLASH IN THE PAN
Magical Girl Grease Pencil Marionette remembered.
She lay, as she often did, with her head in the lap of the Moon Princess. She stared at the ceiling, face expressionless, saying nothing, as the Princess ran delicate fingers through her silver hair.
“My pet,” the Princess cooed in a gentle singsong. “My pet, my pet, my darling Marionette.”
They were in the Moon Base, the Princess’s secret lair hidden beneath an antiquities museum in the heart of the city. The Princess sat on a divan between two marble pillars, and Marionette sprawled on the divan like a carelessly dropped toy.
Across the room, Sentinel, the Princess’s supercomputer, quietly thrummed as it communicated with its satellite network, which scanned the Earth, near space, and proximal alternate dimensions for significant threats. Around the room, screens showed satellite images of the world, or shots of stars or the moon. Other screens displayed scrolling text. Continue reading “JAKE AND THE DYNAMO Chapter 17”
Featured image from Rocket News 24.
I’m going to be off my regular update schedule for this week. The next chapter of Jake and the Dynamo is almost ready to go, but its final section needs some work, and I can’t afford to stay up late tonight. It should post tomorrow or the next day.
After that, it may be on a brief hiatus, as things have been hectic and I’ve lost my buffer. Chapter 18 is about half written.
Should also have another review up this week.
JAKE AND THE DYNAMO
CHAPTER 16: REQUIEM
A stairwell led down into the shelter. From that stairwell, a patch of black soot radiated out into the street. As Chirops neared it, his nose twitched. He recoiled at the stench of burnt petrol and charred flesh.
A chill ran down his spine at the thought of what must lie in the concrete bunker down beneath the street, a place of refuge now turned into a charnel house. Across the universe, these magical girls of Earth were infamous for their ruthlessness, a ruthlessness that, thanks to their influence, had come to characterize humanity as a whole. Urbanopolis, as its innumerable enemies well knew, would do anything to survive.
Even kill its own.
The universe is a tomb … Continue reading “JAKE AND THE DYNAMO Chapter 16”
Featured image by Lissa Treiman.
I just got notified that I’m going to be working twelve-hour graveyard shifts for the next three nights.
We’re on hiatus until further notice.
Featured image: “Magical Patisserie Kosaki ~ Haru Chan” by SylphineSnowphire
I was laid off recently, and I’ve been working temp jobs, so my schedule has become screwy. The sixteenth chapter of Jake and the Dynamo has been edited on paper, but I still have to put the edits into the uploadable version, and I need to add a short, additional section.
The chapter won’t go up tonight, but depending on my work schedule tomorrow, I might be able to post by late tomorrow afternoon. If that doesn’t work out, it will go up later in the week.
Yotsuba&!, volume 13, by Kiyohiko Azuma. Translated by Stephen Paul. Yen Press (New York): 2016.
I have on my shelf a twelve-volume set of Kiyohiko’s instant classic Yotsuba&!, right underneath my twelve-volume set of Sailor Moon. The twelfth volume had ended in 2013 on a more-or-less satisfactory note, and no more volumes came out for about three years, so I simply assumed the series was over.
I am happy to be wrong. The thirteenth volume appeared in Japan in November of 2015 and in America in May of 2016. Continue reading “Yotsuba&! Volume 13”
JAKE AND THE DYNAMO
CHAPTER 15: A NEW PRIMA DONNA
Chirops trembled as he slipped out of the stream. In a flash of dissipating magical energy, he entered Urbanopolis. The jagged rubble gouged his feet, and the cool air made his fur stand on end. It had been many ages since he’d been here.
All things considered, not much had changed.
The demoniac wasn’t hard to find. Near a collapsed building, he stood, perfectly balanced on the tips of his toes, on the top of a broken wall that now leaned at a forty-five degree angle. Blood and dust streaked his cheap suit. He gazed at the full moon, his back to Chirops. But soon after the bat appeared, the demoniac, with the sound of popping vertebrae, twisted his head around backwards. His mouth spread into an impossibly wide grin, revealing sixty or seventy sharp, crooked teeth. He flexed long, bony fingers, which at their tips had six-inch, razor-sharp claws. Continue reading “JAKE AND THE DYNAMO Chapter 15”