By Jonathan Clements.
Supposedly, life has returned to normal in the lands of Aquafa, but there are still unwelcome echoes of the past. The Empire of Zol maintains garrisons of soldiers on Aquafan territory, and plunders the nation’s riches for its own ends. But a new threat arises, fighting the Zolians on an unexpected front. Long believed dormant, the dreaded mittsual plague is about to resurge in another wave.
By Shelley Pallis.
The trouble with Rentt Faina is that he isn’t very good at his job. He’s spent ten years wandering the ruins of a haunted dungeon, where, for reasons that defy logical explanation, a menagerie of different creatures lurk in various rooms, guarding treasure. But he’s a pretty mediocre adventurer, ever-ready to cut corners and stick to low-risk, low-return endeavours like mugging goblins. He thinks he’s found a new motherlode of riches, but it turns out to be a dragon’s lair, and the dragon eats him.
Oh, you would hope that his troubles would be over right there, but having negotiated passage through the dragon’s bowels, he wakes up an unspecified amount of time later to discover that he is a literal pile of bones. Rentt gets to his feet, horrified at the discovery that he is now a reanimated skeleton, one of the very creatures that he and his fellow adventurers once tried to kill off. He has become an Unwanted Undead Adventurer.
At the start of this month, we teased you with the prospect of a summer sale, but now we think you've waited long enough and it's time for us to lift the lid on our plans. Whether you've been out enjoying the recent weather or hunkering down to avoid it as best you can, there's no denying that we've had a summer in the UK this year, so we wanted to offer you some blazing hot deals to match!
We have various things in store for you over the course of the sale week, so read on for all of the info.
By Jonathan Clements.
“My stay here has been so short,” said Rabindranath Tagore to Japanese students in 1916, “that one may think I have not earned my right to speak to you about anything concerning your country.” Pallavi Aiyar chooses to quote him in the final chapter of her Orienting: An Indian in Japan, a gentle apology for daring to add to the pile of books about the Land of the Rising Sun after only four years in the country. Her life around her in boxes, as she prepares to move to Europe mid-COVID in 2020, she frets about what her book is really about. “This book,” she writes, “was ultimately about me as observer, my circumstances and predilections, as it was about Japan.”
By Helen McCarthy.
The mascot characters of the Tokyo Olympics are Miraitowa and Someity, selected from over 2000 entries in an open competition over four years ago, and spattered over every conceivable surface, screen and item of merchandise. They even had an animated appearance, showing up in two online shorts, participating in every planned Olympic and Paralympic event. Over the last year, they have turned into high-profile symbols of Olympic frustration, doggedly clinging to the “2020” logo as their merch passed its sell-by date. But they are by no means the first Japanese characters associated with the Olympics.