Decision at Thunder Rift

Just finished re-reading "Decision at Thunder Rift" by William H. Keith Jr. (1986).  After 27 years and it's still as fresh now as it was then to read the first 'Battletech' novel. Its universe of 31st. century combat, not unlike the warring clans in "Dune" draws you in to a gritty realism of what it is like to be a pilot (a Mech Warrior) of a 20 to 60 ton walking machine of death!
The smell in the hot cockpit of oil, sweat and blood from 3 centuries of warfare, the patched-up Armour, and the machines weapons that cause it to over heat and shut-down just when the tied of battle could go their way!

We follow the exploits with there ups and downs of a young trainee Mech Warrior 'Grayson Death Carlye' [even the character struggles with the sense of his middle-name] pledged to finish his training and take the mantel of Mech Warrior in his father’s Mercenary regiment, garrisoned to protect an outlying world of little importance.

Suddenly his world is turn up side down, his regiment vanished his family and friends dead, unarmed and stranded on a back-water world that has turn against him. In the school of hard knocks he will have to learn that the machine does not make the man, but winning the hearts and minds of the locals and leading by example will go a long way. All he really has to do is raise a BattleMech regiment of his own, just one thing he needs to do is capture one mechanised walking war machines first!

Battle action interwoven with power struggles and betrayal, love and revenge, and danger at every turn, what more could you want? 
[And with hindsight you now know that all the Mech designs are Japanese Mecha from Anime.]

Book review No.2

Watching Anime, Reading Manga: 
25 Years of Essays and Reviews. 
by Fred Patten.
(Forward by Carl Macek) 

Publisher: Stone Bridge Press; 1st Printing edition (September 1, 2004)
No. Pages: 360 Price: US $18.95
ISBN: 9781880656921 (p) / 9781611725100 (e)  

Here I am in 2018 having just finished reading a book published 14 years ago (2004), that in its self is a retrospective on the impacted of Japanese animation and Japanese comic-book art in America.

This vivid multiple time-capsule of works dating back to the 1970's, 1980's, 1990's, and early 2000's is a showcase of what was known at the time, when information was hard to come by and the art of translation was in its infancy. This said the collection of sixty-three articles have addendums from the time of printing (when communication to sources of information, via the internet were accessible) fact checking and updating any information were needed, but keeping the original works intact furthering the reader with a wealth of treasured knowledge unbeknown to so many.

Having to recount my own experience from back in the mid 1980's of what it was like to first encounter and discover what is now understood as Anime (Japanese animation) and Manga (Japanese comic-books), I am in awe of the North American history of their own discoveries that pre-date most if not all those interested parties in the United Kingdom by more than a decade!  

To quote the late Carl Macek “Knowledge is a tricky commodity. Flaunt too much of it and you run the risk of blurring the message with minutiae. Position yourself as a fount of wisdom without the data to back it up and you can lose credibility.”

It is with much gratitude that we have this printed record to educate the Anime and manga devotee, and enlighten those that are at least inquisitive about the past. Not only is it a history of Fandom, but how American business took note as well, a must read for any generation.

For those that love information and data, what lies below is a complete contents list in Chronological order of original publication!

First Manga Ad in USA; Graphics Story World; 12/1/72
This Month in Anime History; First anime fan magazine, Animage, published July 1978 Tokuma

Dawn of the Warrior Robots; Fangoria #4; 2/1/80
TV Animation in Japan; Fanfare #3; 3/1/80
Force Five; Fangoria #8; 10/1/80
Gigantor; Fantastic Films/Rhino Home Video; 6/1/81
Fans in America (Japanese); Animedia; 9/1/82
San Diego Comic-Con '84; Convention brochure; 3/1/84
Mangamania!; Comics Journal #94; 10/1/84
RoboTech: Japanimation Invades Comics with Trio of Comico Titles; Amazing Heroes #75; 7/15/85
Japan + Animation = Japanimation! Part 1; Starlog #105; 4/1/86
Japan + Animation = Japanimation! Part 2; Starlog #106; 5/1/86
All Those Japanese Animation Soundtracks; CinemaScore #15; 12/21/86
A New Wind from the East; Amazing Heroes #118; 6/1/87
Full Circle: Japanese Animation from Early Home Studios to Personal Workshops for Home Video; WittyWorld #1; 6/1/87
The Dynamic World of Go Nagai (Afterword in Mazinger book); First Publishing, Inc.; 12/1/88

Japanese Anime: The Cult Grows Up; Animation Magazine; 6/1/90
Osamu Tezuka Obit/Tribute in 18th Annie Awards program book; ASIFA-Hollywood; 12/9/90
Osamu Tezuka: A Memorial to the Master; Animation News Service; 3/1/93
Speed Racer Still in the Lead; Animation Magazine #22; 12/1/93
What's Wrong with Japanese Animation?; StarQuest #3; 7/1/94
Japan's Anime; Animation Magazine; 7/1/95
Anime Fandom Timeline; Ch. 4 of Complete Anime Guide, 2nd Ed., by Trish Ledoux & Doug Ranney; 12/1/95
Anime Licensing Grows Up; Animation Magazine #46; 6/1/96
Capsule History of Anime; Animation World Magazine; 8/1/96
Momotaro's Gods-Blessed Sea Warriors: Japan's Unknown Wartime Feature; Animation World Magazine #7; 10/1/96
World's Biggest Animation Home Video Market; Animation World Magazine; 11/1/97
Letters; 'Anime' as Pejorative; ProtoCulture Addicts #49; 4/1/98
Anime "Porn" Market; Animation World Magazine; 7/1/98
Best of Anime CD liner notes; Kid Rhino/Rhino Entertainment, Inc.; 9/1/98
Who Knows 'Best'?; Manga Max; 12/1/98
Prince of Something; Manga Max #2; 1/1/99
Go to JAILED; Manga Max #3; 2/1/99
The 13 Top Developments in Anime 1985/1999; Animation Magazine #75; 2/1/99
By the Numbers; Manga Max #8; 7/1/99

Anime 2000: Money Talks; Manga Max #14; 1/1/00
Astro Old & Astro New; Manga Max #18; 6/1/00
Pokemon: Ready for its next success; Animation Magazine; 7/1/00
Anime Theatrical Features; Animation World Magazine; 9/1/00
Is Digimon Movie Destined for Success?; Animation Magazine; 10/1/00
Vampire Hunter D: The Next Anime Hit in America?; Animation World Magazine; 12/1/00
Anime in the United States; Ch. 3 of Animation in Asia and the Pacific by John Lent; 1/1/01
Anime: Subliminal Lessons in History; The Right Stuf Catalog introduction; 10/1/01
Blood: The Last Vampire; Anime's First Digital Feature; Animation World Magazine; 10/22/01
Event Report: Academy of Motion Picture Anime Event; Protoculture Addicts #69; 1/1/02
An Interview with Fred Patten;; 1/5/02
Retro-Future Metropolis; Animation World Magazine; 2/26/02
Shotaro Ishinomori: A Profile in Introduction in Vol. 1 of The Skull Man by Kazuhiko Shimamoto and Shotaro Ishinomori; TOKYOPOP; 3/1/02
Fred Patten: Anime Man; VideoScope #43; 6/21/02
A Winning Spirit; Anime Invasion #4; 9/1/02
Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Trip to U.S.; Animation World Magazine; 10/7/02
Anime Archive; Less, or More, Than Human; Newtype USA; 3/1/03
Cowboy Bebop: The Movie . . . At Last; Animation World Magazine; 3/31/03
Animatrix review; FPS Magazine; 6/10/03
Animatrix: Anime Reloaded; Animation World Magazine; 6/19/03
Publishing"; Newtype USA; 7/1/03
This Month in Anime History: Sept. 1963; Astro Boy Premiers in America; Newtype USA; 9/1/03
Anime Archive; Refighting WWII; Newtype USA; 9/1/03
Anime Expo '03; Conventions Enter Adolescence; Animation World Magazine; 9/5/03
Millenium Actress: The Struggle to Bring Quality Animation to Theaters; Animation World Magazine; 9/15/03
Perfect Blue; Animation Magazine; 10/1/03
Anime Archive; Terminology: 'Anime' vs. 'Japanimation'; Newtype USA; 11/1/03
Simba vs. Kimba; in The Illusion of Life II: More Essays on Animation, edited by Dr. Alan
Cholodenko, University of Sydney's Power Institute; 1/1/05
Simba/Kimba Redux? The Nadia vs. Atlantis Affair; Unpublished; 1/1/05

To quote the late Carl Macek “In the world of anime fandom I have found one person who knows how to balance his knowledge of the subject with reason, wit, and perspective. That person is Fred Patten.”  

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