Happy New Year! Can't believe the year's rolled over and it's now 2023. Pleased to report that Singapore doesn't seem to have changed all that much on my trip back, though maybe it does feel a little more crowded than before. Japan remains beautiful. Visited Miyajima Island for the first time as well, over near Hiroshima, where my brother was sneak-attacked by a deer with manju-cravings. He had to chase it down as it tried to make off with his bag...
Being in Japan reminds me of how so much of the cyberpunk genre as imagined by Western creators is "Tokyo but grungy with more neon". Highlights of the trip were amazing food, especially modern fusion Japanese at La Bombance, eating Kobe beef in Kobe, and modern sukiyaki at Imafuku. Short trip through Singapore this time, but I had a great modern Crepe Suzette at Claudine and an amazing "multiversal dining" dinner experience at Absurdities, which takes you through several imagined "worlds" hosted by local anchors.
*Not legally possible in Singapore in the colloquial sense.
Things I've Been Watching
Taco Chronicles Season 3 | I love tacos and I love entertaining, beautifully-filmed food documentaries so I've been an ongoing fan of this series since the beginning. Don't watch while hungry.
The Witcher: Blood Origin | Frankly I will watch almost anything that has Michelle Yeoh in it. I watched Crazy Rich Asians for her, even (Not usually a huge fan of romcoms). She was great in Blood Origin, a fairly decent limited series prequel to the Witcher series. Plot felt compressed at times but with a set of great characters it was still an entertaining watch.
Things I've Been Playing
Pokemon Violet | No surprise on this one – I've been playing Pokemon since Red and Blue. Fun addition to the game, especially now that your MC is enrolled in school and the battle system seems to be part of the syllabus, along with helicopter parent-esque teachers that make the game feel a lot less like intentional child endangerment than usual. Enjoyed the twist to the "rival" and "team [antagonists]" storylines too.
God of War: Ragnarok | I first tried God of War years back, when it was still full of QTE and random sexual encounters, and I'm glad that the series has evolved so much. God of War: Ragnarok is a gorgeous tale so far, a multi-faceted take on an increasingly strained father-son relationship that gets more fractured as pressures of prophecy, coming of age teen issues, and powers come into play. Beautiful game too. Worth a try: it's more accessible than ever with even more difficulty modes.
My short story with Uncanny last year, Earth Dragon, Turning, has been selected for the Year's Best Fantasy 2022! Included along with a host of other amazing authors, so check out that anthology if you can. I have at least a couple of other short stories slated to come out this year, and I'm working on my fourth book. Hope this year is a good one for us all. Happy Year of the Rabbit!