Sunday, 3 November 2013

Shalee lhaih 2013: Shiaghtin 44

Jerrey kerroo hiaghtin as daeed ny Shallee Lhaih. Shoh ny lhiah mee yn çhiaghtin shoh chaie:

Nausicaa y.l. 1 (Miyazaki Hayao)

Skeeal anaasoil as bio, lane dy reddyn yindyssagh (as treih ec y traa cheddin). Ta aght tayrnee Viyazaki bog dy liooar, gyn linnaghyn doo creoi manga-kaghyn elley, agh by vie lhiam eh. Hug eh orrym smooinaghtyn er caslyssyn ayns lioaryn lhaih mee myr paitçhyn tra v'ad foast cur jallooghyn ayns lioaryn lhaih mee. As ta'n aght cooie da'n skeeal as dowan aght ennagh.

The age of the enlightened despot (AH Johnson)

Coontey jeh reeghyn as çheeraghyn ny h-Oarpey eddyr 1660-1789. Cha row fys erbee aym er y eash shen, as by ghoillee dou ee y hoiggal er yn oyr shen. Ren mee skimmal harrish chooid jee va lane dy enmyn caggaghyn as buill as sleih ass enney aym. Ny yei shen, dynsee mee red ennagh er shennaghys ny h-Oarpey jee, as bentyn rish reddyn nagh smooinnee mee rieau orroo. Chammah's shen, t'ee shenn dy liooar (keead blein!) as myr shen ta'n aght as barel eck ass cliaghtey ain.

Ar drywydd y duwiau (Emlyn Roberts)

Noaskeeal fansee mastey cooid veg 'sy Vretnish, as feeu lhaih son shen hene. T'ee beggan quaagh er coontey'n scansh t'eddyr toshiaght as corp y skeeal. Hoshiaght, she skeeal doo t'ayn: aegidee scapail voish ayr ta jannoo drogh-ymmyd jeh'n 'neen, as ad gyn saase er y fa dy nee ard-saggyrt ny caayrey fo-hallooin t'ayn. Ta'n inneen marroo e hene erreish daue scapail. Stoo trome. Scuirr mee jee rish tammylt, agh daahoshiee mee. Er lhiams, shen er y fa nagh vel monney noaskeealyn 'sy Vretnish as anaase erbee aym oc, as myr shen va brod er lheh aym. Ghow mee yindys dy nee skeeal contoyrtyssyn cadjin eh cooid elley ny lioar, as y guilley as kuse dy chaarjyn shirrey yn Eaghtyr as ny Jeeghyn caillt.

Shegin dou gra dy vel y scansh t'eddyr oc bwoailley ort dy trome. Er lhiams nagh lhisagh oo cur drogh-ymmyd as hene-varroo ayns skeeal mannagh vel oo son dellal roo aght ennagh. Cha nee cooid chooie dhyt faagail ad gyn freggyrt as goll royd. Agh ta Roberts goll shaghad rish cooid smoo y skeeal, gyn agh shallid angstagh nish as reesht. T'eh orrym credjal dy hug Roberts ad stiagh 'sy skeeal myr brod daue scapail, agh ny yei shen cha row eieyn erbee echey er ny oddagh y neen jannoo 'sy skeeal, as myr shen varr eh ish. She cooish ghlen jeh ben 'sy choyr rioee t'ayn. Er lhiams nagh vel drogh-chroiaght cooie myr saase skeealagh ry-cheau ersooyl, as 'sy chooish shoh oddagh oo cooilleeney'n dean cheddin ayns ymmodee aghtyn share. Chammah's shen, cha ghow mee rish freggyrtyn ny karracteyryn elley da'n hene-varroo. Moal.

Çheet er reddyn elley... ta'n skeeal elley ny skeeal contoyrtyssyn fondagh. Cha nel eh ro-noa, as shen un oyr chaill mee anaase ayn: Craueeaght Un-Jeeagh Tranlaasagh nagh vel yn ard-saggyrt hene credjal aynjee (shassoo noi y chraueeaght yl-yeeagh kenjal as firryn), y Streebagh As Cree Dooie Eck, y Dunver Kenjal... as eisht ben co-inçhynagh ta moal ec dagh ooilley red, shenn 'er ass e cheeayll 'sy cheyll as fys echey er najoor as eh ny Yee caillt, as y fer lhaih ny shenn lioaryn as foddee eh soilshaghey dagh ooilley red da'n lhaihder. Cha nel mee gra nagh vel ad feeu, agh cha row monney noa dy my chleayney rish y skeeal. Oh, as bare lhiam dy row un ven 'sy skeeal gyn shennaghys skeilleydagh, as ny share foast, ben nagh row boiragh.

T'eh jeeaghyn dy chowree mee dy row mee er ny lhaih tra scuirr mee jee hoshiaght, as myr shen cha nel y lioar shen caghlaa y towse lhaiht aym.

The stars and under (re. Edmund Crispin)

Çhaglym far-skeealaght heeanse feer vie. Ghow mee soylley jeh dagh ooilley skeeal, as v'ad anaasoil as noa trooid as trooid. Feeu ass towse.

The end of week forty-four of the Reading Project. Here's what I've read this week:

Nausicaa y.l. 1 (Miyazaki Hayao)

An interesting and vibrant story, full of fantastical things (and also melancholy). Miyazaki's drawing style is quite soft, without the hard lines of other artists I've read, but I liked it. It reminded me of the illustrations in some children's books when books I read still tended to have illustrations. It also seemed somehow appropriate to the story and the world.

The age of the enlightened despot (AH Johnson)

An account of the countries and kings of Europe from 1660-1789. I didn't know anything about this period outside very vague British history, so it was pretty hard to follow. I skimmed over a lot of sections full of names of wars and places and people I didn't recognise, because that's just a meaningless combination. However, I did learn a bit more about European history, sometimes things that had never occurred to me. Okay but tough unless you already know something about the period - and really quite dated.

Ar drywydd y duwiau (Emlyn Roberts)

One of a very small number of "fantasy" novels in Welsh, and probably worth reading for that alone. It's a bit of an odd fish because the start and rest of the story felt quite different in tone. The early stages are grim, and give the impression the rest will be: it starts with siblings escaping a sexually abusive father who's the oppressive priest-despot of their underground city, fleeing into a filthy and murderous ghetto where the girl hangs herself out of shame. Heavy stuff. I put it down around here, but eventually picked it up again. Let me note that I'm pretty sure the only reason was my reluctance to set aside a Welsh novel that was even remotely fantasy, given how rare they are. To my surprise, the rest of the novel is basically an adventure story, as they flee to the surface both to escape pursuit and to seek the rumoured gods.

I've got to be honest: while the rest of the story is fairly standard fantasy fare, the disjunct between the two sections was very jarring. I'm strongly of the view that you should not put things like sexual abuse and suicide in a book unless you intend to damn well deal with those issues. Instead, Roberts flits lightly over them for the rest of the story, leaving them as very occasional sources of minor angst and an under-explained reason for them to be pursued. The impression I get is that the abuse was dreamed up to give these kids a reason to flee their comfy city, but then Roberts couldn't think what else to do with the character and killed her off to leave the others free to adventure. It's simple fridging. I do not think that abusive incest is something you should use as a throwaway plot device, particularly when there are so many other ways to achieve the same end, and I am quite unhappy about this. It's also clumsy because it has minimal impact on the rest of the book, while the other characters' responses weren't very convincing. This did not need to be there at all.

Leaving that aside, the rest of the book is a decent adventure story with some mildly fantastical elements that are technically sci-fi. It's not groundbreaking, and there were some very familiar elements, which is one of the reasons I lost enthusiasm: as well as that old favourite, the Oppressive Monotheistic Religion Whose Boss Deliberately Made It Up (contrasting with the nice polytheistic religion that's based on truth) we quickly meet a Prostitute With A Heart Of Gold and a Benevolent Assassin. There's also a telepathic woman who's useless at everything, a crazy old man in the woods who knows everything and turns out to be a god, and the one who studied all the old lore that explains everything they find. None of these are bad as such, though several are very overdone in my view, but it did mean there wasn't much original to sink my teeth into. I'd also have liked a female character who at the very least didn't have a traumatic backstory, and ideally was actually likeable.

And for some reason this was marked off as read - I think when I first stopped reading - so I don't get any points for that.

The stars and under (ed. Edmund Crispin)

An excellent collection of short science fiction. I enjoyed every one of the stories, and they're all interesting, creative and generally entertaining too. Very worthwhile.

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