Showing posts from December, 2013

One Thousand and One Nights; or, The Arabian Nights

The One Thousand and One Nights , popularly known as The Arabian Nights , is a composite work compiled from Middle Eastern and Indian folklore during the first millennium AD. In its earliest form, its origin was in tales from India and Persia, and then Arab tales were added to it- most of them dating from the period of the  Umayyad and  Abbasid Caliphates. Many of these stories are based around the adventures of the Caliph of Baghdad, Harun al-Rashid and his vizier (advisor) Ja'far the Barmecide . ( Harun al-Rashid was an actual historic figure, although his real-life vizier was Ja'far's father, Yahya . The  real Ja'far was mysteriously executed, although it was possibly for an affair with the caliph's sister.) Then later, more folk tales from Syria and Egypt have been added to create as many stories in the Arabian Nights to fill up over a thousand nights. I've read the Penguin Classics English Translation by Malcolm C.Lyons and Ursula Lyons, with a

Reflections on "We3" by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely

    I recently enjoyed reading "We3", a graphic novel by Grant Morrison (writer) and Frank Quitely* (artist). The story premise is that a shadowy branch or agency of the US military and government are using pets as part of covert experiments in clandestine warfare operations, turning them into cyborg killing machines. "We3" are a dog, cat and rabbit (formerly known as Bandit, Tinker and Pirate, kidnapped pets from off the street) who have been 'enhanced' with metallic   exo-skeletal plate armour, powerful weaponry and brain surgery to boost their intelligence. They can now talk, and communicate in a peculiar form of text-speak. The dog is the most self-aware and articulate. They have been transformed into cyborg assassins, trained and programmed to eliminate potential targets.     The reader is also introduced to rats who were clearly the first phase of the experiment- one rat has a drill for a head- and the reader is also shown the ne