April 11th, 2006



Last night I sat down and watched Appleseed. It's an anime set in a war torn future where civilization's last hope is a utopian city where half its population are clones. These clones, however, have had their emotions dampened, and require treatment every few years to keep their bodies from failing. It's not a bad idea or even a bad film, but the real problem I had with it is that the animation has been motion captured, and the characters have that hyper real look to them that comes from motion captured computer animation.

As a result, the main character reminded me of a RealDoll.


Which, you know, is kinda distracting.

It took about half an hour for me to settle into the film because of this, and I found that the problem existed mainly with the young female characters, and the close ups on their faces. Still, once I got past that, the film isn't too bad, though there are parts of the action that feel more like a video game than a film, and it's filled with info dumping that could have been smoothed out considerably. But I thought it worked more often than not, and I had a weird fascination with the RealDoll like characters in the film, so I was carried through to the end.
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Being a Publisher

You've mentioned that you have long term plans to get into publishing. Is this because you think there's a niche in the publishing market that you'd like to fill or are you just interested in starting your own vanity press?

I want to be in control of my work. It's not that I think that publishers are evil, or anything like that, it's just that I like the idea of being in control of it. I think it comes from watching musicians who create their own label and then make and produce their own music, and have complete control over it. That strikes me as a difficult and time consuming thing, but at the same time more fulfilling for the artist.

That said, I'm also aware that it's not going to happen in any big way any time soon. I don't know anything about publishing and I lack the money to be able to do it properly. In addition to this, if I was to do it now, it would be seen as vanity publishing, which I'd rather avoid for the stigma attached to it. But if I can do a bit of time with some major publishing houses, learn how things work, and get myself a solid reputation, I think it's something I'd really like to do then.

On a smaller scale, and a more immediate one, I am interested in doing it just to test it out, and creating a small, personal thread that I can do with work that won't command a big audience and which won't interest a publisher. Offbeat things, really, but offbeat and personal to me. Something I can try by making it something that I own and control from the floor up.

The Ben Peek Show

(I thought this made a nice follow on from yesterday's quote. I have no idea when I'll be in a position to do it, but we all need goals, don't we? It's like my goal to win the nobel prize. Yes, that's a goal of mine. Why not? You seen the money they give away with that?)

Black Sheep (What is My Novel About)

So you have a book coming out with Prime this year, Black Sheep? What is it about and will I like it?

Black Sheep is my dystopian novel. It's set in a vague future world where the planet's population has been divided into three 'mass race' categories, African, Asian, and Caucasian. This has resulted in each city the world turning into a walled ghetto repeated three times. So there exists, now, an Asian-Sydney, and African-Sydney, and a Caucasian-Sydney, for example. The biggest crimes of this world are wanted to cross the walls into other cities, and to also be considered multicultural, which is what happens to the narrator, Isao, a Japanese born man who immigrates to Australia with his wife and child.

The punishment for being multicultural is Assimilation, which is Australia's own invasive, violent punishment that strips the Isao of his personality and skin colouring. He is left, after this treatment, with pure white skin and an identity that is only a number, and a job where he drives around a government sponsored taxi, taking people from one place to another.

It was a book that I began writing in response to the idea of racism. Racism just fascinates me for the sheer stupidity of it. I mean, how can you hate someone for being from a different culture, or because they have different skin colour to you? It's just the most idiotic thing in the world, really, and I was trying to get my head around the idea of what a world run by racist people would look like. That world is in this book. It's a world of paranoia, hate, where being patriotic is the default setting of everyone, and where the police have been named Segregators, and where politics are conservative, and fashion and the consumable culture within each race's city ensures that no one has any individuality.

It's called Black Sheep because it's the story of a man who is, in his culture and time, a black sheep, but it's also called that because I think speaks not only for the book, but for the kind of author and person I am, though I only realised this long after the title was suggested to me.

The Ben Peek Show.

(Come on, like I wasn't going to put this up here. It's my novel and it will require your love and money.)