Welcome to the future

According to the boat-load of science fiction titles featuring the year 2020 from the last two decades, at least. Here we are finally at the dawn of a new decade. The old Happy New Year tune has been so appropriately worded for this rare occasion. Also, happy the 5th anniversary for this blog as well. Wow, five years…this sure has gone quite a long way!

Looking back at the past year, I have been quite productive in writing while neglecting the design and engineering aspects of this blog. Nevertheless, I’m still logging some traffic on the old lecture notes concerning basic electronics and sensors from search engines so those notes are still valuable to somebody out there; unlike my amateurish, cringe-worthy scribbles.

The old commitments

For a good chunk of the year, I spent dragging my feet in the ancient quagmire that was “White Destiny” revision 5. I somehow managed to chapter 16 before NaNoWriMo hit. I’m not going to lie, I’d love to get back on that story now that the first act is over and the inventor is finally thrust into the second act where the real meat of the story is.

But first, I really need to wrap up my leftover NaNoWriMo project, which turns out surprisingly better than I have expected, progress-wise, and unsurprisingly cringy as I have expected from the start. There are lots of pacing problems and tension building problems, which are especially troublesome considering the Thriller genre.

I have spent the last two weeks working on a more methodological approach to tension building and decision making instead of simply running with whatever a coin flip says. I’ll cover it in more details in the next commentary for “the old tailles” project (soon™) but here’s a sneak peek analysis for the all-time classic anime “Laputa: Castle in the sky”

Laputa tension graph

Laputa has the textbook-example of tension and stake building graphs. Meanwhile, “the old tailless” doesn’t hold up to the analysis very well. There are still a few things to iron out. For one, I need to modify this analysis to support the Tragedy genre, which runs on “desperation” instead of “tension”, though I expect the pattern to remain the same.

The rising stars

Among the short stories that came out this year, two stood out: “the Raijin” and its sequel “Aeolus“. These two stories explore the idea of illegal designer’s children with supernatural power as mercenaries and the theme of recklessness vs. cruelty portrayed in a dystopian manner.

I believe this whole thing started with the CRISPR controversy earlier in the year concerning the birth of Lulu and Nana twin in China. I plan on expanding the concept further and it might turn out to be a good candidate for a future novelization effort. The tension graph analysis indicated these two short stories were much more well-written than anything I have produced this year and that’s all the more good signs.

I have yet to run the analysis on “White Destiny” but I already have a feeling I’m not going to like the outcome at all!

Other than that, there will also be a few short stories written in German, some of which may get an English translation if they pass the analysis. For the most part, it’s just me trying to learn German and I really wish some German-speaking people would comment on what went wrong with my German…

A bit of a heads up for now: I’ll be moving again for a new job this quarter so updates might be slowed down for a while. Still, expect a holiday special for Valentine from me and the seasonal anime review at the very least.

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