So Party at the Last Tomorrow has had its moment. I got some good feedback on it, and I’m pleased that it picked up as much interest as it did. A Kindle Countdown deal suggested to me that I’m pricing these novellas too high. I’ve already dropped the price on The Devil Left Him to $3.99, I may drop Last Tomorrow as well, and price Void accordingly when it comes out.
In other news, I’ve shuffled something of my Medium profile around, removed some publications that weren’t doing anything, and created a new one: Pop Culture is Filth, to review and discuss the various arts. The title is ironic, I think.
This is a more relevant story that it might seem at first glance: the film doesn’t just cut into the difficulties of being a missionary in a foreign land, or in the clanging misunderstandings of East and West. It cuts right into the question of how far a culture can go to defend itself. Japan in the 16th century attacked Christianity largely because it judged Christianity as too foreign to gel with its existing conception of itself. Japan would not be Japan if it was Christian, the Tokugawa shoguns determined, and those that felt otherwise were brutally suppressed. The film highlights the sufferings of poor Japanese Christians who suffered for the sake of a vision of a deity that lifted them up.
In the process, however, it rather failed to give its heroes the strength of their best possible argument, and so somewhat undercut itself.
There’s some significant changes happening to Unnamed Journal, too. More on that later.
“I turn the wheel that spins. I delight to see the high come down and the low ascend. Mount up, if thou wilt, but only on condition that thou wilt not think it a hardship to come down when the rules of my game require it.”
You can knock Wikipedia all you like, but I discovered some truly interesting information about the descendants of J.R.R. Tolkein, just by doing a bit of research on the Mabinogion.
Christopher Tolkein deserves all the credit in the world for the existence of The Silmarillion. It was he who edited his father’s chaotic papers and drafts into the grand manuscript of the First Age. Plus, Christopher was actually part of the Inklings, the club of scholars and writers who included C.S. Lewis. J.R.R. called Christopher “his chief critic and collaborator”. He also drew many of the original maps of Middle Earth.
Simon Tolkein, Christopher’s son, is a novelist in his own right, and publicly broke with his father over the reaction of the Tolkein estate to Peter Jackson’s films. There was rumor that Christopher even disowned Simon over it, but they have supposedly since reconciled. His most recent novel, set during WWI and published coincident to the Battle of the Somme, is at least a partial homage to his grandfather’s experience in that battle.
Nicholas Tolkein, Simon’s son, is a playwright and director in Los Angeles. His first play premiered this past summer.
Quite the lineage, if you ask me.
The human character has been ill-served by nature: we tend to consider matters carefully after the fact, not before.