This isn't news. This isn't about gaming... not really.
After three weeks of Australian-flavored vacationing I'm back, well at least in mind I'm back. I'm actually still here in Australia for another couple of weeks, hanging out with my in-laws on the Central Coast, north of Sydney.
It's been a fun, and fruitful vacation. I managed to finally take up surfing, taking lessons from a surfer just south of Surfers Paradise. Never mind that he had to tow me out past the breakers the second day of lessons because I was shot, I still managed to catch some big waves, something I've always wanted to do.I read through seven books:
Snow Crash: Just to finally get to the bottom of the whole Hiro Protagonist stuff... yes, tragically late. Good book, flat ending. The Cleft: Author Doris Lessing won this year's Nobel Prize for literature. Her latest novel, The Cleft, examines the relationships between men and women by telling the story of the first men and women. Definitely worth a read. His Dark Materials trilogy: I decided to pick this up after reading how annoying religious groups were getting with the upcoming movie based on The Golden Compass. The books, all meant for a young adult audience, are quite interesting and really get you thinking about the place of religion in the world, which makes sense since the author is a confirmed atheist. I'd call the three books a most read for anyone with any interest in fantasy or religion. Parasite Eve: It's said that Hideaki Sena changed the face of horror in Japan, reading this book I can believe it. It manages to slip deftly between intriguing details about the mitochondria and graphic, chilling descriptions of a murderous bacteria. My copy of the book was given to me by a Kotaku reader at our New York Party at the beginning of the year. Oh, and the book was made a PS2 game by Square. Go figure. Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World: The book is one part Gibson, two parts Kafka with a measure of Borges thrown in for good measure. Of course I loved it. Ashcraft tells me he would hug Murakami if he ever met him and recommended Dance, Dance, Dance to me, though I think I might sink into The Trilogy of the Rat or Kafka on the Shore the next time I dig into him.
I've started reading Pashazade, a book I picked up at a used book story last week totally randomly, not sure if I like it yet.
It sounds corny to say it, but I've really missed you guys. Sure Kotaku is a job, but it's so much more for me as well. It is my friend, made up of both readers and writers, my family, a tiny piece of me, though I'm glad it's grown beyond that, becoming, perhaps, a piece of everyone who both writes for it and reads it regularly.
When I first arrived in Australia, like with all my breaks from the site, living apart from Kotaku was sort of like (to steal a notion from Murakami) living apart from my shadow. Overtime, of course, I got used to it. And Australia is an amazing place to lose your shadow.
It's a country of incredible incongruity, for those of you not lucky enough to live or have visited here. Its a country of beautiful, modern cities in the middle of vast rain forests, deserts and mountains. My first, most vivid image of Australia, from my visit here nearly ten years ago, remains the most accurate: A freeway retaining wall lined with dozens of wild, white cockatoos. Australia is a splash of the wild and fantastic in an increasingly tame and mundane world.
Well enough of that, back to work, to writing, to my shadow.