Thursday, August 25, 2016

Aliens celebrates 30 years


The classic science fiction film Aliens turns 30 this year. It's one of the interesting examples of speculative literature used to respond to the Vietnam War, albeit abstractly, and so it always holds a special place in my heart, even as follow-up sequels were consistently underwhelming.

 For my Laotian American colleagues, of course, I would hope many see that science fiction is still WIDE open for a counter-response from our perspective on the conflicts and its aftermaths. What would it mean to tell the story of the Secret War framed through this lens, and issues such as UXO, decades later? What might happen if we saw the conflict through the lens of the "Aliens" with greater nuance? Or, even a post-war study of the xenomorphs arriving on Earth? I took a particular stab at this with my poem "Sympathy for the Xenomorph," but I know there's more that can be done on these themes.


While we mull those possibilities, a deluxe blu-ray edition is being issued for the anniversary. On a poet's budget, I don't get to watch things in blu-ray, but it certainly sounds like an interesting opportunity. But then again, the release of the Blade Runner anniversary edition was so problematic, I would recommend one wait until other reviews come in before committing to the purchase.

IO9 suggests "This 30th-anniversary edition comes with art cards and a book of art from Dark Horse Aliens comics, with new cover art made especially for this. (There’s also a new documentary titled “The Inspiration and Design of Aliens” listed among the extras such as deleted and extended scenes, art galleries, and a few others which don’t seem to be new.)"

As someone who appreciates the film, I would get a comprehensive set that features both the special edition with restored footage, and the theatrical edition. I also wish there were ways to get the foreign audio tracks, if any, to see how different international audiences were shown the film, and if there were tonal shifts, rephrasing of idiomatic expressions, etc. Both Aliens and Blade Runner would be my top two films from my generation that I'd like to see presented in a classic Criterion Collection format. But so it goes.

Lao-American reading center opens in Luang Prabang

The Lao-American reading center is open in the Luang Prabang Public Library. Hours are Mondays-Fridays 8:00-17:00. Topics include business and economics, protection of the environment, trafficking in persons and narcotics, democracy and human rights, and current events in ASEAN countries and around the world. It also contains materials about American people, society, values, literature, arts, sports, history, and government policies.

ສູນອ່ານປຶ້ມ ລາວອາເມລິກາ ແມ່ນຕັ້ງຢູ່ທາງດ້ານໃນຂອງຫໍສະໝຸດແຂວງຫຼວງພະບາງ ເຊິ່ງໄດ້ມີປຶ້ມອ່ານຫຼາຍກວ່າ 1000 ເຫຼັ້ມ ແລະ ວາລະສານພາສາອັງກິດ ໄວ້ໃຫ້ທ່ານອ່ານ ເພື່ອຊ່ວຍພັດທະນາຄວາມສາມາດທາງດ້ານອ່ານພາສາອັງກິດ ແລະ ຮຽນຮູ້ດ້ານອື່ນໆຕື່ມອີກເຊັ່ນ: ເສດຸຖະສາດ ແລະ ທູລະກິດ, ການປົກປັກຮັກສາສິ່ງແວດລ້ອມ, ສິດທິມະນຸດ ແລະ ສິ່ງເສບຕິດ, ປະຊາທິປະໄຕ ແລະ ການຄ້າມະນູດ, ກິດຈະກຳຕ່າງໆຂອງທີ່ຢູ່ປະເທດອາຊຽນ ແລະ ທົ່ວໂລກ. ນອກຈາກນັ້ນ ຍັງມີເອກະສານການດຳລົງຊີວິດກ່ຽວກັບຄົນອາເມລິກາ, ສັງຄົມສາດ, ຄຸນຄ່າທາງວັດທະນະທຳ, ວັນະຄະດີ, ສິນລະປະ, ກິລາ, ປະຫວັດສາດ ແລະ ນະໂຍບາຍຂອງລັດຖະບານ.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Santa Rosa Toy and Comic Con 2016


Sonoma County's Original Toy and Comic Con is coming back strong for its 4th year! This year will be "even bigger than previous years with more Guests Activities and Dealers. Come check out everything from 200 plus toy and comic dealers to Movie cars, larping, a video game room, panels, live wrestling from SPW, a lego free play area and a whole lot more!!"

This years special guests include Phil Lamarr, Vincent Ward, Veronica Taylor, Catherine Sutherland, Tom Beland, Jon Provost, Kathy Garver, C. Andrew Nelson, and many more.

Check the facebook page or website for updates and more info. It will be held at Sonoma County Event Center at the Fairgrounds at 1350 Bennett Valley Rd, Santa Rosa, California.

Book of Starry Wisdom


An actual physical copy of the Book of Starry Wisdom has been spotted,and for those who backed it on Kickstarter, your copies should be arriving soon from the recently formed Strix Publishing.

The Book of Starry Wisdom compiles newly edited editions of H.P. Lovecraft’s public domain cycle of Cthulhu stories, edited and produced by Simon Berman, and illustrated by renowned deific and fantasy artist, Valerie Herron (The Book of the Great Queen). Accompanied by essays and musings by some of today’s premiere Lovecraftian scholars, writers, and devotees, The Book of Starry Wisdom is a luxurious hardback tome, featuring a leather textured cover with gold foil pressed symbols of significance to the Cult of Cthulhu, 13 interior B&W illustrations, as well as other features.

I'm looking forward to getting my own copy soon, and will share more pictures once it arrives.