Michaele Jordan is the author of the period occult thriller Mirror Maze and her stories have appeared in Redstone Science Fiction, Buzzy Mag, The Crimson Pact, Volumes 4 and 5 and Fantasy and Science Fiction. You can visit her website at MichaeleJordan.com while waiting for the upcoming steampunk adventure Jocasta and the Indians.

Animé Can Be Art

by Michaele Jordan

I’ve talked about French animation before. But I left out one very important name. This wasn’t an accident or an oversight. I felt that Michel Ocelot had to have his own column, if only for his revolutionary work in cut-out and silhouette animation.
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Michaele Jordan is the author of the period occult thriller Mirror Maze and her stories have appeared in Redstone Science Fiction, Buzzy Mag, The Crimson Pact, Volumes 4 and 5 and Fantasy and Science Fiction. You can visit her website at MichaeleJordan.com while waiting for the upcoming steampunk adventure Jocasta and the Indians.

A La Anime

by Michaele Jordan

I first started watching animé in July of 2009, having been invited to sit on an animé panel at the Montreal WorldCon. Naturally, I wanted to sound like I knew what I was talking about, so I did a lot of homework into the Japanese canon, and was immediately hooked..

It was years before I came up for air. But eventually I did begin to sense a sameness. Certain tropes became excessively familiar. I still loved animé, but I grew jaded, and even sought out stories that did not feature adorable high school students fighting demons. Can you guess what I found? French animé!
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Michaele Jordan is the author of the period occult thriller Mirror Maze and her stories have appeared in Redstone Science Fiction, Buzzy Mag, The Crimson Pact, Volumes 4 and 5 and Fantasy and Science Fiction. You can visit her website at MichaeleJordan.com while waiting for the upcoming steampunk adventure Jocasta and the Indians.

Internationally Fannish

by Michaele Jordan
We in the United States tend to think of ourselves as being the leading edge in SF/F. After all, we invented it, right? We produce hundreds of titles every year. It’s a commonplace in our movies. It turns up regularly on TV. WorldCon is usually held here; out of seventy-two WorldCons (that’s counting this year’s Loncon 3), only sixteen have been held outside the US, and of those, only three were in countries where English is not the first language, the rest having been divided between Australia, Canada, England and Scotland. So we own SF/F, right?
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Michaele Jordan is the author of the period occult thriller Mirror Maze and her stories have appeared in Redstone Science Fiction, Buzzy Mag, The Crimson Pact, Volumes 4 and 5 and Fantasy and Science Fiction. You can visit her website at MichaeleJordan.com while waiting for the upcoming steampunk adventure Jocasta and the Indians.

You probably have not heard of this 2007 Korean film directed by Lee Sung-gang. Even most anime fans may miss it, since it is not a Japanese TV series about big-eyed school children slaying demons and manning giant robots. I don’t see any indication it was ever distributed in the USA, although it did appear in a few film festivals in 2008. And that really is a shame.

Mind you, this delightful film (with Ye-jin Son as Yobi and Deok-Hwan Ryu as Geum-ee) makes very little sense. Just for starters, let’s consider the prologue. We are told the history of a species of magical shape shifters known as nine-tailed foxes. There are several more references within the film to nine-tailed foxes. But there aren’t any nine-tailed foxes in it anywhere.
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Michaele Jordan is the author of the period occult thriller Mirror Maze and her stories have appeared in Redstone Science Fiction, Buzzy Mag, The Crimson Pact, Volumes 4 and 5 and Fantasy and Science Fiction. You can visit her website at MichaeleJordan.com while waiting for the upcoming steampunk adventure Jocasta and the Indians.

Anime Alert: The Eccentric Family

by Michaele Jordan

I have discovered what may be the best sit-com ever! Yes, it’s an anime series. That doesn’t mean it’s not a moving yet comic family drama. And yes, since it’s being reviewed in SF Signal and not The Saturday Evening Post, it’s a fantasy, one could even say an urban fantasy, set in modern day Kyoto. Nonetheless, it is not about magic but about personal relationships-not inter-species romances, but the bonds between brothers and cousins and fathers, and the mystery of making these absurd connections work.
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[GUEST POST] Michaele Jordan on The Whimsy of Woochi


Michaele Jordan is the author of the period occult thriller Mirror Maze and her stories have appeared in Redstone Science Fiction, Buzzy Mag, Interstellar Fiction, The Crimson Pact, Volumes 4 and 5 and Fantasy and Science Fiction. You can visit her website at MichaeleJordan.com while waiting for the upcoming steampunk adventure Jocasta And The Indians.

The Whimsy of Woochi

The fun starts with the title. In Korean, it’s perfectly plain. But in English, this 2009 film is either Woochi, Demon Slayer or Woochi, the Taoist Wizard or simply Woochi. Please do not suppose this means the subtitles are a mess. The production values are excellent (as Koreans expect of writer/director Choi-Dong Hoon, who is famous for his heist films). It’s just fair warning that there are a lot of bewildering twists and turns in this delightful fantasy action comedy.
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Michaele Jordan is the author of the period occult thriller Mirror Maze and her stories have appeared in Redstone Science Fiction, Buzzy Mag, Interstellar Fiction, The Crimson Pact, Volumes 4 and 5 and Fantasy and Science Fiction. You can visit her website at MichaeleJordan.com while waiting for the upcoming steampunk adventure Jocasta And The Indians.

Will We Ever Let Anime Grow Up?

by Michaele Jordan

I recently surfed past an article by Meredith Woerner touting the virtues of anime. Headlines like, “Animated movies that are better than most live-action blockbusters” tend to stop me in my tracks, and this one was no exception. I am always interested if seeing animation claim a larger, more respected share of the film market. But, alas, I was disappointed.
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I’ve talked about American animation. I’ve talked about Japanese animation (at length). It seems only fair to add a few words about French animation. The French may not be famous for their anime, but Jean-Loup Felicioli and Alain Gagnol made a major contribution to the genre when they gave us A Cat in Paris (Folimage, 2012).

You probably don’t know it. It did not make much of a splash in this country. Usually I would blame that on subtitles but A Cat in Paris was dubbed, and dubbed well. Angelica Huston voiced the nanny, Claudine, and Steve Blum was Nico, the thief. (You may not know Mr. Blum if you don’t follow animation, but he is a big name in voice acting. He played Spike in Cowboy Bebop, which is anime gold standard.)
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Michaele Jordan is the author of the period occult thriller Mirror Maze and her stories have appeared in Redstone Science Fiction, Buzzy Mag, The Crimson Pact, Volume 4 and Fantasy and Science Fiction. You can visit her website at www.michaelejordan.com while waiting for the upcoming steampunk adventure Jocasta and the Indians.

IN PRAISE OF GENNDY, THE SAVIOR OF AMERICAN ANIME

For some time now, Japan has been getting all the credit for animation, so much so that the term anime has come to mean Japanese anime — even though in Japan the word simply means animated video — and you have to specify that it’s OE (original English) anime if it was made here. Despite the success of such gems as The Incredibles (Brad Bird, 2004) and WALL-E (Andrew Stanton, 2008), Disney/Pixar studios have always aimed their big guns aggressively at children. I say aggressively, since they have made only token gestures at rendering their offerings palatable to the long suffering parents, and have apparently never even considered attempting to expand the demographic sufficiently to lure teenagers into the theaters.

This left television to make animation for an older audience, a mantle it picked up only reluctantly. Granted that Batman: The Animated Series was significantly cool and wonderfully drawn, it was hardly typical. Apparently, if a superhero was considered interesting enough for video, it was interesting enough for a multi-million dollar live action film.
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[GUEST POST] Michaele Jordan on Korean Horror, Part 3: Psycho Killers

Michaele Jordan‘s novel, Blade Light, is a charming traditional fantasy that was serialized in Jim Baen’s Universe and is now available as an ebook at Amazon or at iBooks. Her newest novel, Mirror Maze, is available now.

Korean Horror, Part 3: Psycho Killers

Horror movies generally play off three main themes: monsters, ghosts and psycho-killers. The makers of Korean horror movies know these rules, and try to stay within the general guidelines. But they are artists (really, they are!) and they frequently end up re-inventing the genre. In particular, they cast a whole new light on slasher flicks.

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Michaele Jordan‘s novel, Blade Light, is a charming traditional fantasy that was serialized in Jim Baen’s Universe and is now available as an ebook at Amazon or at iBooks. Her newest novel, Mirror Maze, is available now.

Korean Horror, Part 2 – Ghost Stories

Worn out from the holidays? Round about the thirty-fifth rendition of “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”, I started seeking a refuge. Fortunately I found a haven in K-horror. Korean horror has it all: monsters, ghosts, psycho-killers, you name it, but the ghost story is their favorite.

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[GUEST POST] Michaele Jordan on Korean Horror Films

I don’t know about you, but I did NOT get enough horror movies this Halloween. So I distracted myself from the election with K-horror, Korea being the new Mecca of spooky thrills.

Would you like to see a truly great vampire movie, one that is scary, yet sexy and utterly sparkle-free, but still completely original? Try the 2009 Thirst (not to be confused with the 2010 Canadian thriller of the same name) directed by Chan-wook Park and starring Kang-ho Song. (Both these gents are big names in K-horror.)
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Wombats in Wonderland Or Retaining a Childlike Sense of WorldCon By Michaele Jordan

Yes, Virginia, there are wombats in Wonderland, as you should know because Digger just won the Hugo for Best Graphic Novel. I loved Digger. But I didn’t expect it to win. Firstly, it was in black and white (unlike all other entries), secondly, it had no babes in it, let alone naked ones (alright, there was a young priestess, but she was veiled and mostly bald, so I didn’t count her) and thirdly, it was a complete story from beginning to end (unlike all other entries).

Why would a complete story line disqualify a nominee? Simple. People vote for their favorites. Some fans (like myself) see their Hugo ballots as a sacred responsibility. They pour over the nominees, weighing every word and agonizing over the choice when (as often happens) several candidates are worthy. Others approach their vote (and I’m not criticizing, just observing) with light-hearted cheer, partial to their favorite authors/artists/etc. even before they start reading, and dismissing other entries as casually as a junior editor burrowing through the slush pile of Sisyphus. Some fans even join WorldCon solely to nominate and promote a specific work. Again, I do not criticize. They are driven by love. But whatever the technique, however much thought does or does not go into it, it everyone votes for the one they like best.

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“A movie needs three things,” my husband recently announced. “Horses, rocks and girls.”
“Not so!” I protested. “A movie needs butt-kicking martial arts. Also really over-the-top costumes.”

Our friend Scott shook his head sadly. “I hate to see you two arguing,” he intervened. “Especially since everybody knows what a movie really needs is a convoluted mystery.”

Not to worry. We made peace. We watched Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame.

What? You’ve never heard of it? But it won a dozen major Asian film awards! It was nominated for the Golden Lion at the 2010 Venice Film Festival, and was well received at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival. It was directed by Hark Tsui, China’s number one big name director, and starred Andy Lau, a major Hong Kong leading man. It got glowing reviews in the Washington Post and 81% at Rotten Tomatoes. But, as you may have heard, Americans don’t like subtitles. In the US, it vanished like an ice cube dropped into the sun.
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Are you having a hard time squeezing some entertainment out of your TV set? Please allow me to recommend a wonderful science fiction anime series: Noein: Mô hitori no kimi he (Or, in English, Noein: To Your Other Self). It was directed by Kazuki Akane and Kenji Yasuda and produced by Satelight. The series, which ran from 2005 to 2006, has 24 episodes which comprise a complete storyline.

You probably expect a Japanese SF/F anime to be fantasy, so let me reassure you: Noein really is an SF story. It’s all about quantum physics, starting with Hugh Everett’s Many-Worlds Interpretation, and progressing to the Copenhagen Interpretation, which suggests that an observer or measurement is important in determining the decoherency of any particular probability.
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Michaele Jordan‘s novel, Blade Light, is a charming traditional fantasy that was serialized in Jim Baen’s Universe and is now available as an ebook at Amazon or at iBooks. Her newest novel, Mirror Maze, is available now.

Time Travel with Woody Allen

Spoiler Alert! Nebula nominee Midnight in Paris is about a Hollywood screenwriter who time-travels to the glamorous Paris of the 1920’s. That’s a spoiler because that’s as far as the SF/F angle-or the plot-goes. Man visits past. Story over. I came away wishing I could travel back to when Woody Allen was witty and original.

The film is elegantly mounted, with excellent performances and crisp dialog. It contains the obligatory moral point about the importance of real love. The critics liked it and it won an Oscar for the screenplay. But there was nothing in it I hadn’t already seen. It was amusing to see big, goofy Midwestern Owen Wilson channeling a shrimpy New Yorker (Gil is supposedly from Pasadena, but he’s really the Woody Allen stand-in) but, since I’ve seen this character in all Woody Allen’s other movies, I was mostly just relieved that Allen hadn’t tried to play the part himself. Remember Jade Scorpion? Ouch!
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[GUEST POST] Michaele Jordan Offers A Gallifreyan Mea Culpa


Michaele Jordan‘s novel, Blade Light, is a charming traditional fantasy that was serialized in Jim Baen’s Universe and is now available as an ebook at Amazon or at iBooks. Her newest novel, Mirror Maze, is available now.

A Gallifreyan Mea Culpa

I am sure you have all heard about pride, and where it goeth. And, alas, I am very proud of my Doctor Who expertise, and that pride most definitely wenteth.

I recently boasted that I had caught out the almighty BBC and castigated them for having mislaid an episode-and not merely the episode but all record of that episode. I said that, in preparation for a convention panel, I had reviewed all the Doctor Who episodes with Sarah Jane, “starting with ‘The Time Warrior’ (11th season, John Pertwee) and continuing on through ‘Hand of Fear’ (14th season, Tom Baker).”

I was particularly annoyed since the missing episode was one of Elizabeth Sladen’s most memorable. In it, Sarah Jane found a stone hand with an unusual ring in a quarry. Before regenerating into a silicon being during a nuclear meltdown, it possessed her causing her to run around chirping, “Eldrach MUST live,” while dressed in pink and white Andy Pandy overalls. Trust me-Sarah Jane fans find it unforgettable. So I was particularly irate that the late Ms. Sladen was not getting the respect she was due.
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Michaele Jordan‘s novel, Blade Light, is a charming traditional fantasy that was serialized in Jim Baen’s Universe and is now available as an ebook at Amazon or at iBooks. Her newest novel, Mirror Maze, is available now.

Adventures with the BBC

When I am not writing books (such as Mirror Maze) or even stories (check out the March issue of Redstone Science Fiction for my latest, “I Will Love You Forever“), I like to relax by watching Doctor Who.

I first met the Doctor in August, 1979. I was attending the Louisville NASFC and happened to attend the masquerade. One particular costume caught my eye. A tall man with a wonderful head of thick lamb curls, topped by a dramatic fedora, walked down the aisle. He had a scarf around his neck. And such a scarf! It was at least fourteen feet long, and adorned with rainbow stripes. Red stripes, green stripes, yellow stripes-I was charmed! I had no idea who he was, but I was in love.

Did I mention that, barring the scarf, he was nude?
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Michaele Jordan‘s novel, Blade Light, is a charming traditional fantasy that was serialized in Jim Baen’s Universe and is now available as an ebook at Amazon or at iBooks. Her newest novel, Mirror Maze, is available now.

To Nominate or Not To Nominate (or, Where is that Pesky Line?)

The other day we were hanging out with some friends, and my husband (who-bless his heart-is insanely proud of me) boasted to the gang that since I was a member of SFWA now, I was eligible to nominate for the Nebulas.

“Ooh, that’s cool,” gushed one of my friends who (like me) is a great admirer of Neal Stephenson. “Are you going to nominate Reamde?”

“Don’t be silly,” snorted another. “She can’t nominate Reamde; it’s not SF.”

A minor argument ensued. No hard feelings resulted, but neither was the disagreement resolved. In fact, they are probably still at the coffee shop, arguing. (My husband and I went home).

Is Reamde SF?

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Michaele Jordan‘s novel, Blade Light, is a charming traditional fantasy that was serialized in Jim Baen’s Universe and is now available as an ebook at Amazon or at iBooks. Her newest novel, Mirror Maze, is available now.

Exploring the Edges

When I was a child I read anything you put in front of me. I remember standing in the library with my very first card, looking around, utterly thrilled to see hundreds (or thousands, or millions) of books I hadn’t read yet. Enough to last my whole life! Back then it never crossed my mind I couldn’t read them all.

When my reading fell behind in college, I blamed my studies. After graduation, I blamed my job for the growing stacks of books I hadn’t gotten to yet. But I still read everything, from classics to trash, with-of course-a special, loving emphasis of SF/F. I was over fifty before I faced the horrible truth. I could not read it all. I figured I needed focus and started to read SF/F almost exclusively. And I discovered that I STILL could not read it all.
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