Tag Archives: Ursula K. LeGuin

Challenge: Zombpocalypse Book Tag

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I just really like using the word zombpocalypse.  But officially, this is known as:

The Zombie Outbreak Survival Team Book Tag:

Step 1: Choose six books from your shelves: two with titles that contain your first initial, two with titles that contain your second initial, and two with titles that contain your last initial.

I cheated a bit. I had a really hard time finding any books that even included a word in the title that began with J that I remembered well enough to know who these characters were. I guess I have some rereading to do. I did have three books I could I knew really well with titles beginning with K, so… 3 Ks, 1 J, and 2 Es. I mean. I didn’t cheat a lot. And these are much more fun when you remember the characters.

Step 2: Draw the names of those six books out of a hat in random order then answer the following questions:

Open your first book to a random page. The character whose name you see first just dragged you out from whatever hiding place you’ve holed up in (let’s just face it – we’d all start out under the bed). This character probably just saved your life, and is destined to become your best friend before all this is over. Also, s/he is the leader of the EZFBKs. (Don’t get jealous. You thought you would be invisible so long as your head was covered by your lucky ducky blanket.)

1777211Book 1: A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. LeGuin

And Vetch is the first name I see. I love Vetch. Yeah, he could lead EZFBK, and I’d love to be his bestie. He’s an excellent bestie.

Open your second book to a random page. The character whose name you see first is your weapons supplier. What sort of weapons does s/he have stashed in the basement?

Book 2: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee mockinbird

All of these fantasy books, and I get the one realistic, historical fiction. Jem’s gonna be supplying our weapons. So… guns, knives, slingshots, rope. All very practical. Probably less likely than the magical or sci-fi weapons to backfire on us or die because there’s no more electricity available due to the plague. I guess. But I was kind of hoping for some magical or at least high-tech weapons.

Open your third book to a random page. The character whose name you see first just died in front of you. This apocalypse just got getting serious.

9780756404741MBook 3: The Kingkiller Chronicles, Book 1: The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

Fela. Fela just died. Not sweet, loyal, intelligent Fela, who knows the Name of Stone.  She was probably doing something idiotically heroic.  She’s probably one of the last people who should have died of this group.

Open your fourth book to a random page. The character whose name you see first is your vehicle specialist. I hope s/he has a fast ride…

Book 4: The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kiplingjungle

There’s a lot of irony in this book tag…. “By the broken lock that freed me, I am sure, Little Brother.” Little Brother here is Mowgli. I think we’ll be riding whatever wild animals Mowgli can convince to let us ride on their backs. I mean… could be worse?

Open your fifth book to a random page. The character whose name you see first is your medic.

enderBook 5: Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

Bonzo. This team gets worse and worse…. I’d rather avoid Bonzo entirely.

Open your sixth book to a random page. The character whose name you see first is… well, you’re honestly not sure how this person ended up on your team, or how s/he is still alive. But every team you’ve ever seen has one of these Resident Idiots, so maybe they’re good luck.

Book 6: The Kane Chronicles, Book 1: The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordanpyramid

Ha! Carter and Sadie’s British Gran, Catherine Faust, is… why is she here?

 

All right… recap….

Vetch saved me, pulling me out from under the bed and taking me with him and his team on the run. Time to smash some zombie heads! Vetch I’m excited to see. He has magic. He’s a good friend. He’ll get me through this somehow. EXCEPT the only weapons that Jem can find are those available in the early 1930s in rural Alabama. So, you know, at least they’re not likely to run on electricity, which might be scarce. Mowgli has convinced several of his animal friends to help us, but they get tired too, and we’re heavy loads for most of them. At least we won’t run out of fuel, though they will have to stop to hunt or graze. Sweet Fela dies in front of me, and that breaks all our hearts. Bonzo is not the person I’d most trust to be our medic. Vetch would be better, but Vetch is too busy leading to also be medic. At least Bonzo’s trained for war. I just don’t like him. Gran’s here too. I hope she’s not our cook, or we’ll be eating a lot of burnt biscuits. She’s tougher than she looks though, and maybe a zombpocalypse will convince her to unleash some Egyptian magic—though that’s not likely.

You know, actually, we just might make it, our low-tech team, led by a kind-hearted wizard, with our battle-trained medic who you know will try to wrest power, and with our Gran who might just cave to the magic in her veins too.  Yeah, I might read that novel.

I think this book tag originated with Gwen over at Apprentice, Never Master. Anyway, that’s where I found it. Thanks, Gwen, for a fun, relaxing blog post for my fuzzy, sickly brain. I really enjoyed that way of choosing books—very unique—even if it was a little hard. (It’d’ve been easier if my memory was better.)

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Book Review: An Atypical Hero, Gom on Windy Mountain

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Minor spoilers ahead.

A good friend lent me The Riddle and the Rune, second in Grace Chetwin’s Tales of Gom.  This friend said, and I agree, that I had to meet Gom Gobblechuck, hero of this series, because he so resembles in many ways the hero of my own W.I.P.  I greatly enjoy Gom, but finally returned to the first book of the series, Gom on Windy Mountain, which this friend had never read, only recently.

Each of the first two books in the series reads well independently.  Having read the second first, I was sure of some outcomes in Gom on Windy Mountain, which may have affected my experience.  If anything this helped me to enjoy Gom on Windy Mountain, given my propensity to stall when the tale turns sad or dangerous.  I only balked once against the dangers in which Gom finds himself in this adventure and quickly soothed my fears by reminding myself that he lives for the span of several books at least.

Dangerous and exciting though this quick read is, it is a far cry from the epic fantasy adventures, like Harry Potter or Percy Jackson, so much in vogue today.  In this first book, Gom fights no great evil.  The fate of the world, so far as anyone including Gom can tell, will not be decided on Windy Mountain.  This book recounts, I would even venture to say, probably Gom’s first encounter with true wickedness.  He has seen cruelty and known dislike, but never met a murderer.  The village by which Gom lives with his father is small and remote.  The people, though superstitious and closed-minded, are essentially good.

Evil has to come to Clack from the outside.

But this evil is not like Voldemort.  Skeller is greedy, grasping, cruel, and unafraid to kill, but he does not seek world domination, genocide, or the reordering of society.  He is essentially nobody in the grand scheme of the world, nor really does Gom seem to be.  If Gom’s adventures had ended on Windy Mountain, he would have been mourned by his father, his sister, his brother, and maybe some of his animal friends.  The world would have continued without much change.  For that reason in particular, I consider him an atypical hero.  Nothing is expected of Gom except, perhaps, that he will watch after his father, Stig, and cut the wood for Clack when Stig is gone.

Gom, like Harry or Percy, is separated from the general population and is outcast.  Percy and Harry both overcome dislike, however, while Gom never does.  Harry and Percy both win favor from their peers through friendship and feats of bravery.  Gom reserves most of his kindness for a select group of people, his animal friends, and the winds (there he differs too from my W.I.P.’s hero) and is only outcast for his bravery.  Unlike the other two, Gom’s great power goes practically unrecognized, even by himself.

Those especially seeking a more down-to-earth hero and fantasy-fans who favor personal quests to epic battles (in this it hearkens to Ursula K. LeGuin’s A Wizard of Earthsea) will especially enjoy this series.

***

Chetwin, Grace.  Tales of Gom in the Legends of Ulm, Book One: Gom on Windy Mountain.  New York: Laurel Leaf Fantasy-Bantam Doubleday Dell, 1986.

The books have been reprinted in ebook form by the author via Feral Press Inc.

This review is not endorsed by Grace Chetwin, Laurel Leaf Books, Dell Publishing Group, Bantam, Doubleday, or Feral Press Inc.  It is an independent, honest review by a reader.