There was an error in this gadget

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Listen to the Rain



Rain. My favourite weather.
But not for my dad, who works better under sunny weather.
But not for my mom, who dries her laundry better under sunny weather.

So, I keep the rain to myself.

Everytime I watch the clouds roll by and darken, I smile.

I await the moment of rain.

See
     the fountain sputtering and struggling over the rainfall
     the window tainted with beautiful pearl drops
     the leaves in the garden keep nodding in meaningless agreement

See
     myself, watching over the moist air
     your face, under the heavy downpour
     my smile, over the distance measured in puddles

City life has transformed everyone's heart.

Rain is a trap. It doesn't make you go free
    to eat, to shop, to go to work or school

But rain, is freedom.

Stand in the natural shower
Drench yourself in the sweet tears from heaven

Don't feel it.
Don't feel the rain with your heart just yet.

Open your ears
Listen
Listen very closely

It calls your name

Then,
you feel the rain.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Looking Out of the Window

Have you ever looked out of the window?

Drawn by Leong Min Zhi

Outside, it is so shiny and sunny,
with the greens, reds and blues of nature's beauty.

You sat by the window and stared and stared.
     Every bird which flew by,
     every flower that bloomed away,
     every trickling water from the grey fountain,
- each sparkle of Mother goodness was enough to hammer in your heart.

You wanted to go out from this dark cold room.
     to touch the colours.
     to feel the wind embracing your body.
     to inhale the fragrance of spring.

Or you wanted a blue Adonis butterfly
     to land on your petty fingers.

It's a dream of heaven out there.

*****

Then, you stepped out of the window
fell on a pungent shrub with violet bells.

You squeezed the carpet grass
and plucked the thorny rose.

Canary flew by and you thought it was a phoenix
spreading its fiery wings and casting light to the darkest corners.

You turned back and saw where you came from:
A wooden shed with neat four windows.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

L41187




"How long?" she asked.

"72 hours, maybe less," he replied.

"Can we survive that hit?" she asked again, eyes locking at his.

He flipped through a few pages of a thick book of nonsense about some evil antagonists taking over the world. He inhaled.

"Mr President, can we survive that hit?" she repeated.

He looked at her, observing her sad eyes. He shook his head. "No. No, we can't. Nobody can."

"You do realise we our doing live telecast, so I have to ask you this and it will not go uncensored: what is your best hope?" she reached her microphone closer to his lips.

He thought.

A meteor seven hundred metres at its widest point, lozenge-shaped, had been zipping past Jupiter and heading straight for Earth. Its speed was boosted by Jupiter's huge gravity well. And now, it had reached top speed of eight times the speed of sound. Hypersonic.

A month ago, nobody reported seeing any incoming celestial danger. There was one huge Trojan asteroid as big as five kilometres minding its own business. It was labelled and categorized properly as L41187. Then something happened to that asteroid. Something slammed on it and chipped a piece of from it.

And that piece headed towards Earth.

When it was discovered, the people realised it was too late. Nuclear missiles were fired, but turned off at the very last minute. The missiles were too slow for the chip. By the time the missles intercepted the chip, the chip would have entered Mars orbit. Scientists feared of contamination of the virgin Mars.

But now nobody could devise a better plan.

"My best hope," he began, "is praying. I urge everyone on this blue planet to stay calm. We can do nothing but bring ourselves closer to God. Wash away our sins. Help each other. All the useless wars we had, we must stop. We must forgive."

"You strike us as a very religious person, Mr President," she said. "Do you believe God will save us?"

"Do you?" he asked back.

She startled. "I believe that this is our punishment for all our sinful and silly acts. We deserve it."

"Look at the countries at war. Will they think like you do?" he questioned. "It's just a filthy rock reported three weeks ago and now every nation is fighting over each other for food and water and shelter. Where is the love? Nuclear warfare is on the verge of erupting. I am glad my nation stays out of the war. Look at that country," he pointed at the computer screen. "Tell me if there's anyone left on that area."

She went silent.

*

25 hours left.

"Is it ready?" he asked.

"Yes, Mr President," General Sully replied. He opened a huge metal door.

"How many?" They both entered. A blue glow washed over them.

"Easily 400. But till now we have got only a hundred and seventy-three. Some are on the way and some died."

"Died?" he raised an eyebrow.

"Shot down by rebels and wars," General answered.

"Alright, my condol-"

"There's one more thing, Mr President," General began.

"Yes?"

"Two hundred containment units went faulty. We have no experts to repair them, let alone time. The ones who are already inside were toasted."

"Is there a place for me?" he asked.

"Certainly, Mr President," General Sully answered.

"Then stop worrying about those. Get me into my unit and I will see you later."

"Regarding on the L41187, does it exist?" General asked.

"Yes, what makes you think it doesn't?"

"Then why I need to activate code L41187 for the missile launch? It coincides badly with the asteroid's name. There was a failed Jupiter exploratory mission whereby the craft Copernicus' Flight went faulty and can never reestablish contact. The last transmission sent in was two light seconds away from Jupiter, that is, close to L41187. Coincidence, isn't it?"

"You think too much, General. L41187 asteroid was named long before the activation code came to my hands. The code restructured to be similar to the asteriod name because it is easier to recognise the target-lock of the missiles. We don't want any wrong missiles firing, don't we? As for that poor chap lost in Jupiter, it remained lost."

General Sully nodded.

"How many countries are beyond hope?"

"Around ninety-four, Mr President. They will be doomed by the time the chip slam in."

"Good, get me onboard."

"Do I have a unit for myself as well, Mr President?"

"Did you sign up?"

"No, but there seems to be some empty units over there," General replied.

"Wait till you are left with 30 minutes. If the casket remains empty, you are allowed to come onboard."

"Yes, sir."

General Sully sealed the door of the unit, leaving the President in it. The casket was a top-secret military unit for cryogenics and life support. It can inter-switch roles. Radiation, heat and any known toxic or physical damage are nothing to that caskets.

General walked out of the chamber and took an elevator to the President's office. He noticed the book the President always read. The book about an antagonist take over the world. He took it and opened it up.

His nostils flared and eyes went red.

"... R and D caskets. They must be done within five years. Deploy and prepare Copernicus for orbit interference on L41187... Reprogramme coordinates of missiles... Destroy Copernicus after chipping using mass drivers..."

So, it was the President orchestrating the doomsday...

He read on, and he felt limp:

"Self-note: real event takes place 24 hours earlier than own speech."

And he saw a glancing white light in the skies.

Monday, February 18, 2013

A Biased Review on BLUE REMEMBERED EARTH




Add caption

"It is necessary to speak of beginnings..."

That particular phrase opens up on the first page far (not that far) before the Prologue section. And Alastair (or Al) closed the book with a good twinning phrase: "We spoke of beginnings, at the start of this. It is well now to speak of endings."

One of Al's bookfan mentioned that this is the only book which Al uses three words as a title: Revelation Space, Redemption Ark, Absolution Gap, Century Rain, Pushing Ice and many more. And another good (bad) news: it's a trilogy (of a sort).

There are a lot of trilogies out there swarming the bookstores, like The Hunger Games, or something as epic and classic as The Lord of the Rings. Al has his own trilogy in store: Revelation Space. But this time, it's different, I can tell that. The upcoming two more sequels are not really a direct sequel, but rather, lay in a much larger major plot line, or story arc. So don't expect continuous flow of reading. You can read the second book without the other three. It's semi-independent.

Blue Remembered Earth is a masterpiece of his works. I have all of his works. I read all of them, each with distinctive flavour, and this Blue Remembered Earth is the only book that made me want to cry. It has a happy sad ending, or sad happy ending, whichever you want it to be. But definitely not the sad kind in romance film, or which everyone dies in the end. It's a sadness of both nostalgic and awe that we are still babies in the universe.

The title itself struck me in my heart. "Blue remembered Earth". A pale blue dot in a vast cosmos. What have we, as humans, done to preserve it? Pollutions and wars. Business and industries. Where is the blue? Where's Earth?

Geoffrey and Sunday Akinya are the two main characters of the story, dotted by various interesting people like their cousin Hector and Lucas, as well as the Panspermian Initiative and the whale-woman. Set in the 2161 year, we can still find traces of our local tech, although economics have pushed as far out as to the Kuiper Belt. So, there would be no ridiculuous incomprehensible tech like teleport and time travel. You would feel comfy at home.

If you are too pushy on plots, this book could pose a danger to your mind because there are tonnes of new ideas "fizzing off every page". These new ideas do not relate properly to the storyline but actually serve as a base for the future two books, convincing readers that something like robotic organisms is not impossible. Some of the new ideas (spoilers!) include, well, robotic Darwinian evolution, dwarfing organisms and extreme bioenginnering of human bodies.

Geoffrey and Sunday (siblings) are from Africa whereby it has bloomed to be a major economic force in the world, and they are the descendents of the powerful matriarch Eunice Akinya (their grandmother). When their grandmother died, she left clues for her family to pick up. Oh, and mind you, the first clue you stumble upon, Geoffrey was right.

The search does not end on Earth of Trans-lunar space, it goes beyond till the Kuiper Belt. The adventure doesn't end. The sightseeing doesn't end. Every time the characters go to a new place, you have to relax and breathe in the sea of words and description, particularly the underwater city of Tiamaat.

There are so many worlds: the savannah of Africa, the blue waters of Tiamaat, the grey-white of Moon, the arid red desert of Mars. The colours are so blinding that you would stay awestruck for few seconds.

Besides, Al made us ponder on issues like: is it our imperative to spread life across the universe? is a world free of crime good for society?

Speaking of free of crime, Al created a Mechanism for this book, an All-seeing God that would annihilate any possible crime in the entire solar system, except the Descrutinized Zone on the Moon where Sunday lives.

It's a book of wonder, no doubt. Wonder as in wonderful, or thoughtful. It meant both. Get the book now and start soaking yourself in a brand new way of story telling by Alastair Reynolds!

Visit his website here: www.alastairreynolds.com. You can even email him or blog-comment him. Further information can be found on his website.

Oh you want to know why I made this for Al?

Because I only love Al's story-telling and friendliness to readers!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Aquarius

It's 2013 now, and New Age or Pleiades is playing my mind with the colour:

 
 
 


 
 
 
____________________________
___________ RED_______  ____
____________________________

I have an urge to dye my hair maroon, which never occur before. I have NEVER ever thought of dyeing my hair in my life, but 2013, this thought blinked in my mind.

Second, I bought two red shirts: one for brother and another for myself.

Third, I bought a red book by Lovecraft for brother.

Fourth, I bought a red dress for mummy.

Red?
 
RED?
 
REDDDD?????


What is going on in my mind?

New Age please restore my colour to my mind. I am either Amethyst or Sky. Never RED.

NEVER!



Oh, by the way, CNY is coming, so, yeah, RED for you all! And me! And us! GONG XI FA CAI!

Monday, February 4, 2013

HP Lovecraft

HP Lovecraft (1890 - 1937)
 
 
 
 
Great story teller. Go get one of his works. He is awesome in telling horror stories. No, he doesn't do ghosts, he does other things that are more chaotic and dark and mysterious. Notice the tentacles behind lurking him.
 
Also, notice that I used present tense.
 
He is still alive in our minds.
 
I will update more on his works and synopsis soon, including some bizarre pictures.